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H Hesse vs NN
Casual (1803), Bethlehem, PA USA
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio de Janeiro Variation (C67)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-20-05  Jaymthetactician: Hey a Berlin wall in the early 19th century! How about that!
Premium Chessgames Member
  misguidedaggression: The queen sac at the end is nice. (if a little obvious) 19...Kg8 20.Ne6 picks up the Queen while 19...Kxh6 20.Ne6+ Kh5 21.Ng7+ Kh4 22.g3#
Premium Chessgames Member
  who: <Jaym> it seems this was a wall made of straw. Walls that stayed took a bit longer to make.
Sep-21-05  Jaymthetactician: Sure was made of straw! I think the system was just starting to develop then, Ruy Lopez himself didnt like the Berlin wall (prefering the archangel, Cordez, and Berlin defenses), but Kramnik proved it to be quite a sound system. I don't like responding symmetrically, but I am studying the ruy lopez from the black side as I am emulating Kramnik in my play, but will most often play Paulsen sicilians.
Sep-21-05  Jaymthetactician: Why not 5...d5? I think this game was probably played blindfolded.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Jaymthe*> 5. ... d5 has been played twice, both times white won. Opening Explorer

Since you are a self proclaimed tactician and genius, perhaps you can explain why 5. ... d5 is a good move?

Sep-22-05  Jaymthetactician: I think it's better then 5...Be7 because it stops the white d-pawn from attacking (and winning) the knight and mobilizes blacks light square bishop.
Sep-22-05  korger: This is a nice game, but the year is obviously incorrect. As it is pointed out in his page, Herman Hesse (a namesake of the German writer Hermann Hesse), is very much a 20th century person. Correspondingly, the location where this game was played should read "Bethlehem, PA."

Does anyone have any more accurate information about this game (its correct date, perhaps)?

Feb-02-08  wolfmaster: I heard that Hesse was born 107 years after this game was played.
Mar-07-09  WhiteRook48: He was born in 1910?!
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  FSR: Siddhartha.
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  LoveThatJoker: Phenomenal game!


Apr-02-12  syracrophy: The German author of "Siddhartha", "Steppenwolf" and "Demian", Hermann Hesse, was born in 1877.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The year must be prior to 1935, since the game was published in Napier's "Amenities and Background of Chess-Play" which came out in 1934-1935. But it can't be too much prior, as this is definitely the Hesse born in 1910.

Napier mentions that his source for the game was the magazine "The Chess Courier", edited by W. A. Ruth. That journal began in 1934, but of course that doesn't mean the game was played then. But I would put it in the early 1930s for now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: This game was found by Jay Whitehead in the White Collection at the Cleveland, Ohio library. He was searching for games not found in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games, which covered games found between 1485 and 1866. I am sot sure what his source was.
Oct-16-15  thomastonk: Interesting case!

Finding the source for a game in Jay Whitehead's database is a recurring task. Often his pointers to the probably lost key are of some help. This game has the number '03354'; all games with numbers '03349' - '03359' are Ruy Lopez, and with the exception of this one they were played between 1853 and 1866. So, an opening manual or a collection of games sorted by opening could be the source. I have checked a few, but in vain.

<Phony Benoni> wrote that <this is definitely the Hesse born in 1910>. Well, there were father and son*: Ludwig Otto Hesse, who called himself Otto Hesse, was born in 1867. He was a bookbinder, correspondence chess player and 30 years (1888-1918) chess champion of Bethlehem, PA. Neil Brennen got the father's notebooks from the son, and based on this he published an arcticle in two parts in the "Quarterly of Chess History", vol 6 & 8. At least the second part appeared also in "Correspondence Chess Notes", vol 96, and can be downloaded. However, the article ends in the 19th century. Did Brennen continue the work somewhere?

I mentioned Otto Hesse based on the assumption that 1803 could also mean 1903. Jay Whitehead's database doesn't contain many errors, that's sure, but I've found a few.

(*) There was also another chessplayer, Anton Hesse Jr, secretary of the Bethlehem chess club; he was the brother of Otto Hesse.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <thomastonk> I must have decided that White was Hermann Victor Hesse (1910-1989) due to the site being given as <Bethlehem, PA>, which was his home town. That may be a leap of faith since there is no guarantee the site is correct, but it does need to be considered.
Oct-16-15  thomastonk: <Phony Benoni> I think it is absolutely justified to assume that White was Hermann Victor Hesse, because Napier/Horowitz mentioned "H.V. Hesse". Of course, this doesn't fit to the fact that the game is in Whitehead's database.

Btw, Bethlehem was also mentioned by Whitehead, and since his database became public many years after the game was already here, we may assume that these two occurrences are independent. So, the combination Hesse/Bethlehem is of some relevance, I would say.

The problem is however the year. Napier/Horowitz did not mention a year. So, where did the 1803 here come from? Every editor could have entered it.

Does anybody have a copy of Ruth's "The Chess Courier"?

Oct-16-15  thomastonk: Addendum: I've just found the game in another (non-public) collector's database. This database dates from 2006 and it "confirms" the combination H.Hesse/Bethlehem/1803.
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