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Vladimir Petrov
Vladimir Petrov 
 
Number of games in database: 188
Years covered: 1922 to 1942

Overall record: +79 -49 =59 (58.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (14) 
    D02 D05 D04 E00 A45
 Slav (9) 
    D15 D17 D12 D11
 Catalan (9) 
    E02 E01 E06
 Sicilian (7) 
    B63 B25 B40 B80 B62
 Nimzo Indian (6) 
    E46 E33 E44 E49 E47
 Queen's Gambit Declined (5) 
    D30 D06 D31
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (17) 
    C10 C11 C18 C01 C05
 Sicilian (14) 
    B74 B84 B58 B70 B56
 Queen's Pawn Game (12) 
    D02 D04 A40 A46 E00
 Nimzo Indian (8) 
    E34 E23 E37 E22
 French (8) 
    C10 C11 C13 C00
 Slav (7) 
    D19 D10 D15 D16 D13
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Vladimir Petrov vs Alekhine, 1938 1-0
   Vladimir Petrov vs R Grau, 1939 1-0
   Rellstab vs Vladimir Petrov, 1937 0-1
   Vladimir Petrov vs V Mikenas, 1939 1-0
   K Treybal vs Vladimir Petrov, 1933 0-1
   K Richter vs Vladimir Petrov, 1936 1/2-1/2
   G Page vs Vladimir Petrov, 1933 0-1
   Stahlberg vs Vladimir Petrov, 1938 0-1
   Vladimir Petrov vs Fine, 1937 1-0
   Vladimir Petrov vs Alekhine, 1939 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Rosario (1939)
   Kemeri (1937)
   Margate (1938)
   Semmering/Baden (1937)
   Podebrady (1936)
   USSR Championship (1940)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Vladimirs Petrovs Tournaments/Matches 1923-1942 by jessicafischerqueen
   Vladimirs Petrovs Chess Biography by jessicafischerqueen
   Lodz 1938 (Petrov's games) by jessicafischerqueen
   Buenos Aires Olympiad 1939 (Petrov's games) by jessicafischerqueen
   Munich Unofficial Olympiad 1936 (Petrovs' games) by jessicafischerqueen
   Margate 1938 by sneaky pete
   Prague Olympiad 1931 (Petrov's games) by jessicafischerqueen
   Rosario 1939 by Tabanus
   Stockholm Olympiad 1937 (Petrov's games) by jessicafischerqueen
   Folkstone Olympiad 1933 (Petrov's games) by jessicafischerqueen


Search Sacrifice Explorer for Vladimir Petrov
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VLADIMIR PETROV
(born Sep-27-1907, died Aug-26-1943, 35 years old) Latvia

[what is this?]

Vladimir Petrov (Latvian spelling: Vladimirs Petrovs) was born in Riga, Latvia, on 27th September 1907 (some sources list 1908 as the birth year).* Although he joined the ranks of the world chess elite in 1937, he is perhaps less well known than he should be, due to his being arrested by the NKVD in 1942 and imprisoned for the rest of his life.(1) He was subsequently expunged from Soviet chess history. Most of his colleagues in the Soviet bloc, with the notable exceptions of Alexander Koblents and Paul Keres, avoided publishing his games, or even mentioning his name in public.(2) Consequently, little was heard about Petrovs in the west until long after his career and life had ended. The political turmoil of the USSR kept him from being as well known as he deserved. He notched a lifetime 50% score against both Alexander Alekhine and Jose Raul Capablanca, and defeated an impressive list of international masters including Alekhine, Keres, Samuel Reshevsky, Reuben Fine, Rudolf Spielmann, Isaac Boleslavsky, Gideon Stahlberg, Savielly Tartakower, Grigory Levenfish, Erich Eliskases, Vladas Mikenas, Karel Treybal, Georgy Lisitsin, Vladimir Andreevich Makogonov, and Alexander Kotov.

Genesis of a Master

Petrovs' father ran a modest cobbler's shop in Riga, while his mother worked as a housekeeper. In 1919 Petrovs was accepted at the prestigious Lomonosov High School, where he received a first rate liberal arts education. In that same year, the streets of Riga were barricaded as nationalists fought Bolshevik and German armies to retain Latvian independence, which had been declared in 1918. Such concerns seemed far from Petrovs' mind, however, as he enjoyed a vibrant school life centered largely around music, soccer, and gambling at cards with his friends. He and his friends grew bored with cards, and were introduced to chess by Viktors Rosenbergs , who offered to help hone their skills. Petrovs soon challenged him to a 100 game chess match, which he ultimately won. In 1923 he won the school championship and joined the Riga-2 chess club, and a year later went on to win the reserves section of the first Latvian Chess Congress earning the first category title. His optimism and spark in almost everything he tried earned him the nickname "Successful like Petka," and he was indeed successful in gaining admission to the Riga School of Jurisprudence in 1925, although he wouldn't graduate for another 16 years. In 1926 he won the strong Riga City Championship, which prompted him to devote almost all of his time to a quest to become a chess master.

Chess Olympian

Setting law books aside, Petrovs instead immersed himself in the games of Latvia's strongest players, Hermanis Karlovich Mattison and Fricis Apsenieks. In his own games he favored Mattisons' positional style, and soon became an expert at knowing exactly when to trade down to a winning endgame, a characteristic he would retain throughout his career. His star rose quickly as he finished shared 2nd in the 1926 Latvian Chess Congress, and earned his Latvian master title by winning the 1930-1931 Latvian Chess Congress. Petrovs played 3rd board for Latvia at the inaugural FIDE Chess Olympiad at The Hague 1928, and went on to play for Latvia in all the Chess Olympiads up to 1939, garnering a gold medal on 3rd board at Prague 1931, and a bronze medal on 1st board at Buenos Aires 1939. He won his first Latvian Championship in 1930, and tied Apsenieks in the 1934 edition. Petrovs had his heart set on playing 1st board for the Olympic team, so instead of a playoff match to decide the Latvian championship, Petrovs struck a deal with Apsenieks: he would concede the title in exchange for 1st board in all subsequent Chess Olympiads.

Joining the Elite

Petrovs won another Latvian championship in 1935, and gave a creditable performance on 1st board at the Warsaw 1935 Olympiad, scoring 55% and defeating both the Lithuanian and Argentine champions, Vladas Mikenas and Roberto Grau. On the strength of these results, Petrovs was invited to his first major international tournament, the Czech Championship in Podebrady (1936). Despite a disappointing 10th place finish, Petrovs was included in another top event, this time in his home city of Riga. At Kemeri (1937) he stunned the chess world by finishing shared 1st with Reshevsky and Salomon Flohr, ahead of both Alekhine and Keres. Reshevsky and Flohr decided that it was most fitting that Petrovs should accept the tournament prize from Latvian president Karlis Ulmanis. In addition, he was also awarded a silver cup donated by the Aron Nimzowitsch family, honoring the "best result by a Latvian against a foreign master" for this brilliancy with the black pieces- Rellstab vs Vladimir Petrov, 1937. Petrovs also earned the title of Grandmaster, due to a widely recognized convention in European chess at this time that if a home town player won a tournament in which at least six foreign Grandmasters participated, then that player would also be recognized as a Grandmaster. Petrovs' surprise victory at Kemeri created a stir among European chess journals, which then began referring to him as a "Latvian Grandmaster."(3) He also received laudatory notices from prominent peers such as Max Euwe, Emanuel Lasker and Alexander Alekhine.

More invitations to premier events were forthcoming, but Petrovs lacked consistency at the top level and he logged uneven international results from 1937-1939. He finished dead last at Semmering/Baden (1937) against a very tough field, featuring Capablanca, Keres, Fine, Reshevsky and Flohr. Petrovs fared much better at Talinn 1938 in the Latvia-Estonia team match, leading his side to victory by defeating Keres 1.5-.5 on first board. He then finished a respectable third at Margate (1938), surprising Alekhine by almost checkmating him in the middle of the board- Vladimir Petrov vs Alekhine, 1938. After disappointing his Latvian fans with a dismal eighth place at Kemeri 1939, Petrovs rebounded yet again with a bronze medal performance on 1st board at the Buenos Aires 1939 Olympiad. He scored 71% without losing a game, prompting Harry Golombek to remark "Petrov played the best chess at Buenos Aires."

Life as a Soviet Master

Shortly after a harrowing return journey from Buenos Aires through mine-filled seas, the Olympic bronze medalist was faced with a new challenge. Not only was Europe at war, but in 1940 the Soviet Union invaded Latvia and established a puppet communist government. No more would Latvia field Olympic teams, and Petrovs was no longer allowed to participate as an organizer of Latvian chess events. At first, however, Petrovs was guardedly optimistic about this upheaval. Although he had always been dubious and wary about the Bolshevik life in Russia, he and his wife Galina had long been members of what might be termed Latvia's Russian cultural intelligentsia. Though both considered themselves Latvian, they were steeped in Russian music, literature, theatre, and dance, and frequently attended such cultural events in Riga. Even better, after Latvia became the Latvian SSR (Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic), Petrovs was awarded the title of Soviet master and seeded into the 12th USSR Championship (1940). Petrovs did well to finish in the middle of the field, behind future world champions Mikhail Botvinnik and Vasily Smyslov, but ahead of Grigory Levenfish, who had won the 1937 USSR Championship, and Alexander Kotov, who had finished 2nd in the 1939 Championship. In addition, he defeated both Levenfish and Kotov in their individual games. Petrovs also drew both of the event's co-winners, Andre Lilienthal and Igor Bondarevsky.

On his return to Riga to rejoin his family and play in the inaugural Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) Championship, Petrovs found his wife worrying about the current Bolshevik regime. She reported that availability of food and other materials in Riga was already scarce, and even worse, local government purges and general deportations were well underway. Petrovs, now employed by the Soviet TASS news agency, had experienced no particular trouble during his trip to Russia, and he tried to assuage her fears. Nonetheless, as he left again for the USSR Championship Semi-finals in Rostov-on-Don, she pressed a photo of herself and their child into his palm for "good luck." He never saw either of them again. After six rounds of the Semi-finals had been completed, in Petrovs' section only Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush had a better score, and it seemed that he was destined to qualify for his second USSR Championship.(4) However, the Semi-final was abandoned on 23 June 1941 when news reached the tournament that the Germans had invaded the Soviet Union. There was a mad rush as the players attempted to reach home. Petrovs, accompanied by Latvian chess colleagues Alexander Koblents and Janis Fride, was halted at a customs station near Abrene, in the Latvian district of Latgale. They were informed that they could travel no further, as the German army had already overrun Latvia. Petrovs was forced to return to Moscow, but soon left for Gorky to volunteer in the Russian-Latvian Rifle Division. He was summoned back to Moscow in the winter of 1941, where he finished second to Isaak Mazel, ahead of Vasily Panov and Vladimir Alatortsev in the Moscow City Championship. Petrovs then took a position as Assistant Commandant in the Moscow council "Dynamo," devoted to organizing logistics and defense in a city many feared would soon be under siege. Despite the German advance into the heart of Russia, however, the Soviet Chess Section still managed to keep organizing tournaments. At the Moscow national tournament in 1942 Petrovs finished 2nd behind Bondarevsky, ahead of Alatortsev, Mikenas, and Panov. Evacuated to Sverdlosk in 1942, Petrov competed in another national tournament, finishing second to Viacheslav Ragozin, ahead of Alexey Sokolsky, Boleslavsky, and Georgy Ilivitsky.

Gulag

Characteristically, Petrovs had a habit of speaking frankly to friends and colleagues about his impressions of life in Soviet Latvia and Russia, some of which were critical of the Bolshevik regime. According to both Galina Petrova and Russian historian Sergey Voronkov, three fellow chess masters denounced Petrovs to the authorities.(5) After Sverdlovsk, Vladas Mikenas recalls that he expected to see Petrovs participate at the next major tournament in Kuibishev, but he never showed up. On August 31, 1942, Petrovs was arrested and questioned for two weeks in Moscow at Lubyanka prison for violating "Article 58," a catch-all law that forbade any kind of anti-Soviet statements or activities. He was subsequently transferred to Moscow's notorious Butyrka jail for a further five months of detention and interrogation. On February 3, 1943 Petrovs was sentenced to ten years in Vorkuta Gulag for criticizing decreased living standards in Latvia after the Soviet annexation of 1940. According to a death certificate released by the KGB in 1989, Petrov died of pneumonia in, or en route to, the gulag on August 26, 1943.(5)

Rehabilitation

Galina Petrova lost contact with her husband in 1942, and spent the rest of her life trying to find out what happened to him. Galina was given conflicting reports of his arrest and detention, so she moved to Siberia in an attempt to find any record he had been at a gulag. After Stalin's death in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev rehabilitated the names of thousands who had died during "The Terror," but the conviction against Petrovs was upheld. It would not be until the era of Glasnost that Mikhail Gorbachev finally rehabilitated Vladimir Petrovs' name with an official pardon in March 1989.

Notes

(*) There are conflicting sources on the birth year of Vladimirs Petrovs. The Russian Wikipedia article, for example, gives *both* 1907 and 1908 as the birth year: Wikipedia article: %D0%9F%D0%B5%D1%82%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B2, %D0%92%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B8%D1%80 %D0%9C%D0%B8%D1%85%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87 (%D1%88%D0%B0%D1%85%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82) In the kibbitzing section below, you can read a detailed account of which sources favor which birth year.

(1) The NKVD (Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs) was a predecessor of the KGB.

(2) Andris Fride <Vladimirs Petrovs: A Chessplayer's Story - From Greatness to the Gulags>, Caissa Editions, 2004.

(3) Vladimir Dedkov, ed. <Star Extinguished Before its Time> Riga, 2008

(4) At Rostov-on-Don 1941, the USSR Championship semifinal was organized into four separate sections. When the tournament abruptly ended, Petrov sat second in his section, a half point behind Tolush.

(5) Alexei Shirov, with Sergey Voronkov and Vladimir Dedkov <"Restoring the Annals of Latvian Chess History"> (ru) http://chess-news.ru/node/5341

Sources

Andris Fride <Vladimirs Petrovs: A Chessplayer's Story - From Greatness to the Gulags>, Caissa Editions, 2004.

Vladimir Dedkov, ed. <Star Extinguished Before its Time> Riga, 2008

Sergey Grodzensky <The Lubyanka Gambit>, Olympia Press, Moscow 2004

Alexei Shirov, with Sergey Voronkov and Vladimir Dedkov <"Restoring the Annals of Latvian Chess History"> (ru) http://chess-news.ru/node/5341

Biographical Game Collections

1.Game Collection: Vladimirs Petrovs Tournaments/Matches 1923-1942

2.Game Collection: Vladimirs Petrovs Chess Biography

Last updated: 2018-09-28 23:09:24

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 188  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. V Rosenbergs vs Vladimir Petrov 1-0151922Blitz MatchB10 Caro-Kann
2. Vladimir Petrov vs A Strautmanis  ½-½381925Russian Secondary-City Gymnasium matchC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
3. Vladimir Petrov vs Indrikis Strazdins 1-02219262nd Latvian Chess CongressD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
4. Vladimir Petrov vs J Turn  1-0641928Match Riga univ. - Tartu univ.B02 Alekhine's Defense
5. Movse Feigin vs Vladimir Petrov  0-1311928Latvian Team Select Control TournamentC14 French, Classical
6. Vladimir Petrov vs K Makarczyk 1-0481928OlympiadD64 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack
7. Vladimir Petrov vs W A T Schelfhout  ½-½261928OlympiadD92 Grunfeld, 5.Bf4
8. J Turn vs Vladimir Petrov  0-1311929Match Tartu univ. - Riga univ.D35 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Vladimir Petrov vs J Turn  ½-½651929Match Riga univ. - Tartu univ.D52 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Vladimir Petrov vs Gerz Gladstein  1-0351929Match Latvia-LithuaniaD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Tartakower vs Vladimir Petrov 0-1321930Hamburg ol (Men)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Marshall vs Vladimir Petrov 1-0161930Hamburg ol (Men)E11 Bogo-Indian Defense
13. Vladimir Petrov vs S Landau  1-0511930Hamburg ol (Men)E60 King's Indian Defense
14. Vladimir Petrov vs A Pokorny  1-0391930Hamburg ol (Men)E11 Bogo-Indian Defense
15. V Mikenas vs Vladimir Petrov  1-04119311st Baltic championshipE23 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann
16. L Hanssen vs Vladimir Petrov  0-1431931Prague ol (Men)B74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
17. G A Thomas vs Vladimir Petrov  1-0381931Prague ol (Men)B74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
18. W Rivier vs Vladimir Petrov  0-1641931Prague ol (Men)B56 Sicilian
19. Vladimir Petrov vs A Cruusberg  1-0531931Prague ol (Men)C11 French
20. Vladimir Petrov vs A Vajda  1-0351931Prague ol (Men)B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
21. J Rejfir vs Vladimir Petrov 1-0521931Prague ol (Men)D51 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. A Gromer vs Vladimir Petrov  0-1541931Prague ol (Men)B74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
23. Vladimir Petrov vs K Kullberg  1-0271931Prague ol (Men)B40 Sicilian
24. K Treybal vs Vladimir Petrov 0-1431933OlympiadB58 Sicilian
25. Vladimir Petrov vs E Gilfer  1-0321933OlympiadA22 English
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 188  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Vladimir Petrov wins | Vladimir Petrov loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 37 OF 37 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-28-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<hemy> I found some new information on the mystery of <Petrovs'> only win against <Keres>:

Vladimir Petrov vs Keres, 1938 (kibitz #11)

Oct-28-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  hemy: Interesting article was published by Tenis Melngailis in "Brīvā Zeme", April 1, 1940, p. 11: "Jaunie Rīgas šacha meistari" - "New Riga chess champion". (In this case 'meistar' should be translated as a 'champion', not as a 'master').

"2 rounds before the end of the tournament is already known the name of the winner - 32 years old Leonids Dreibergs. Indeed impressive result. This time the winner was the strongest in spirit and body.

Success of chess player depends on health, well-being. Rarely, another game requires a nervous effort, energy consumption like a chess. It should not be forgotten that none of the chess players has economic security, except, perhaps, Koblenc. Everyone is working, earns his daily bread.
These daily worries do not require less energy.
And in the spring, a person feels a lot of fatigue. For this very reason, I did not participated in this tournament.

Grand master V. Petrov, as well as K. Ozols are busy to finish the University, so they did not played too..."

http://periodika.lv/periodika2-view...

Oct-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  hemy: Riga team chess championship 1940 was held from March 28th to May 9th. Only 5 teams are participating in the Riga chess championship this year: LDzB (Latvian state Railway workers union), VEF (National Electrotechnical Factory), Hakoah (Jewish sport club), RPDS (Riga Municipal Workers union) and US (University Sport). The matches were played on 10 boards. Each team also registered 5 reserve players.

Results of the tournament:

1. Riga Municipal Workers 26.5/40
2. University Sport 24/40
3. Latvia railway 21/40
4. Hakoah 15/40
5. State Electrotechnical Factory 12.5/10

Petrov played on the 1st board of the Riga Municipal Workers union team. His result was +0 -1 =2.

Round 1:
March 28, 1940 LDzB - Hakoah 9:1
April 2, 1940 US-RPDS 5:5

Round 2:
April 11, 1940 LDzB-US 2.5:7.5
April 11, 1940 VEF-Hakoah 4:6

Round 3:
April 19, 1940 US-VEF 8:2
April 23, 1940 RPDS-LDzB 7:3
Petrov - Strautmanis 0.5-0.5

Round 4:
April 30, Hakoah-US 5.5:3.5
May 3, 1940 VEF-RPDS 3:7
Straume-Petrov 0.5-0.5

Round 5:
May 9, 1940 RPDS-Hakoah 7.5:2.5
Petrov - Koblenc 0-1
May 9, 1940 LDzB-VEF 6.5:3.5

In the 1st round match Petrov refused to play because the 'University Sport' left the 1st board empty (L. Endzelīns didn't played) and since the 3rd board of RPDS K. Ozols didn't show up almost all RPDS team members raised to higher table.

Sources:
"Segodnia", March 27, 1940, p. 4; "Brīvā Zeme", April 1, 1940, p. 11; "Pašvaldības Darbinieks", April, 1940, p. 62; "Rīts", April 1, 1940, p. 10; "Dzelzceļnieks", April 15, 1940, p. 23; "Pašvaldības Darbinieks", May, 1940, p. 55; "Segodnia", June 1, 1940, p. 7;

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: Very nice write-up on this, <hemy>. I had come across something on this, but hadn't got round to deceiphering it. I find team events like this are a devil to sort out.
Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: <jessicafischerqueen>

Kemeri/Riga 1939:

I found one item on the Solmanis-Endzelins match mentioned by Gillam: "Darba Dzive", 29 April 1939, Page 6:

http://www.periodika.lv/periodika2-...

It says the reason for the match is to determine which of the two gets to play in the Kemeri/Riga tournament. It gives the score as 2.5 - 0.5 to Solmanis. Given that this item is well after the Kemeri/Riga tournament, it is presumably the final score of the match [maybe someone can read the translation better than me] if this item is correct. However, this conflicts with the score given by Gillam's source of 3.5 - 2.5 to Solmanis. The match was to be for 5 games (see below) - perhaps this supports the Gillam version as at 2.5 - 0.5, Endzelins could still tie the match, whereas if it was tied 2.5 - 2.5, another game would have been necessary to break the tie. Whatever the score, it certainly looks like this match existed.

It looks as though the Latvians always intended this tournament have 16 players. 7 foreigners (Keres, Flohr, Stahlberg, Bogoljubov, Szabo, Mikenas, Book) were invited. 7 Latvians were confirmed in as contestants for the Final of the Latvian Championship (Petrovs as current Latvian Champion, and 6 qualifiers from the foregoing Congress (Bezrucko, Hazenfuss, Ozols, Apsenieks, Tenis Melngailis, Dreibergs). This left 2 places for 2 more Latvians. This would explain this next item: "Rits", 22 February 1939, Page 15:

http://www.periodika.lv/periodika2-...

Here it seems to be saying that Betins arranged that the final 2 places would go to the winners of matches Feigins-Koblencs and Endzelins-Solmanis. Matches to be of 5 games on my reading. So there must also have been a Feigins-Koblencs match. Koblencs must have won this, as Feigins got in later to replace Keres (see below).

The next thing to happen was that Keres suddenly withdrew a couple of days before the tournament was to begin. This would explain why the Latvian Chess Federation held a meeting the day before the tournament began to decide the final list of players - they were almost certainly deciding who was to replace Keres. This would explain the next two items:
"Zemgales Balss", 4 March 1939, Page 7

http://www.periodika.lv/periodika2-...

and "Rits", 4 March 1939, Page 16

http://www.periodika.lv/periodika2-...

which list the above 15 confirmed players and say the 16th is Feigins or Endzelins, who thus must clearly be the losers of the two matches above. Obviously, there was no time for a playoff between Feigins and Endzelins: they must have chosen Feigins as the recognised stronger player.

I think all this explains how the three Latvians who were not contesting the Final of the Latvian Championship got in.

I have not been able to find any more (including the Feigins-Koblencs match) on periodika.lv. I tried 'the European Library', but never seem to be able to work this site to be much use (tips on this, anyone?). Another possible source could be the Latvian Chess magazine "Sacha Maksla" [or "Saha Maksla"] (Chess Art). According to Latvian Wikipedia, this was published from 10 April 1937 to 15 August 1939 (52 issues, issues twice a month), but only the first 41 issues, only up to 15 January 1939, are online. If someone can access the remaining issues of this magazine, it may well provide much more detail on all this, as it seems to be a very good magazine.

Did Gillam reference this magazine as a source of his information?

(will continue next post)

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: (continuing from my previous post)

Kemeri/Riga 1939 re Olympiad selection:

In the two matches (Endzelins-Solmanis and Feigins-Koblencs) I mentioned above, there is no mention of them being related to Olympiad selection - they seem to be solely for the purpose of who gets to play in the Kemeri/Riga tournament.

Also, Feigins was recognisably the third strongest player in Latvia at the time, so they would surely want him in the Olympiad team. So why would they risk him being eliminated by a short 5-game match (which he indeed looks to have lost; and he only got in because Keres withdrew)? To me, this is considerable circumstantial evidence that Kemeri/Riga 1939 was not a full Olympiad selection tournament. This is in addition to the Endzelins thing.

So, coming now to information that <hemy> posted on 21 Oct 2018: <"Rīts", April 6, 1939, p. 8:

"Latvian team for Buenos-Aires chess Olympiad will include V. Petrov, Fr. Apsenieks, M. Feigins, Dr. Hazenfuss.

L. Dreibergs and L. Endzelin will play match. The winner will be included in the team as well.">: My impression is that apart from the mention of Dreibergs, this selection of the Latvian team for the Olympiad had already been pre-decided before the Kemeri/Riga tournament. Dreibergs was the highest placed Latvian at Kemeri/Riga of the Latvian players not already selected as per above. Therefore, this tournament was probably used as a selection process as to who was to play Endzelins for the final place in the Olympiad team. Therefore, I think that Kemeri/Riga 1939 was NOT used as a FULL selection event for the Latvian Olympiad team, but probably only for the limited purpose above.

Then sometime after 6 April, Hazenfuss was forced to withdraw from the team. So thus, <hemy's> next piece of information says: <"Rīts", April 22, 1939, p. 4:

"Team selection for Chess Olympiad.

Yesterday's meeting of the Latvian Chess Union was devoted to the formation of the team for the Argentine chess Olympiad.

The team will include grand master V. Petrov and the masters Fr. Apseniek and M. Feigin.

Since the next candidate Dr. Hāzenfūss could not participate in Olympics because of the personal issues, the union decided to hold an additional tournament. The following players were chosen for the selection tournament: T. Melngailis, L. Dreibergs and L. Endzelīns.

Each one will will play 4 games with other one and the first two will be included in the team.> Hasenfuss' withdrawal meant that were now two places in the Olympiad team to be filled and the logical solution to me would have been to have included both Endzelins and Dreibergs without the need for a match between them. But it would seem the Latvian Chess Union Board did not want to give a free pass to these two. So instead, it looks like they picked out the next highest performer at Kemeri/Riga not already in the team, Tenis Melngailis, and made it a three-way qualification tournament. From which the top two qualified, the winner getting 4th Board and the second place-getter the reserve Board.

A crosstable of this qualification event is here: "Stasti un Romani", 23 June 1939, Page 23

http://www.periodika.lv/periodika2-...

So it looks like Kemeri/Riga 1939 was intended to be a qualification event for the Olympiad only in the sense that it was to pick an opponent for Endzelins for the match for reserve place. But due to the withdrawal of Hazenfuss, it looks like it (after the event) became a qualification event for 2 players to play in a 3-way qualification event for the final two places in the Olympiad team.

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: <jessicafischerqueen>

It's great that you've taken the trouble to post the interesting material on the page: <Kemeri 1939 Research Materials>.

Game Collection: Kemeri 1939 Research Materials

On here, you mention that Gillam in his book says: <"The Championship of Latvia was won by Petrovs, who had the best results against the other Latvian players" (Gillam, p.5)> Gillam is not strictly correct in his meaning here. Although Petrovs did indeed have the best results of the 10 Latvian players among themselves, it was only the results among 7 of them that counted for the Championship of Latvia. <Hemy's> 14 September 2018 post, here

Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #680)

where he says: <"The title of Latvia champion was gained by Petrov, since Feigin, as not gaining the place into the final group, was allowed to participate in the tournament without rights for the title of champion."

"Segodnia", March 21, 1939, p. 5.> makes it clear that Feigins, and by implication Solmanis and Koblencs, did not have the right to compete for the Latvian Championship title.

<Vladimirs Petrovs did much of the organizational work for the committee. (Gillam, p.5)>. This could explain why Petrovs was in an overworked state in this tournament (as was discussed earlier in this page).

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: <jessicafischerqueen>

I am puzzled by your post of 20 October 2018, here:

Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #907)

where you say: <This game might be more helpful in tracking down where the original error lay in the <E. Melngailis/T. Melngailis> mistake.

=============

For round 7, <Gillam's Tournament Book> lists

<E. Melngailis - A. Koblencs 1-0>

with the following sources listed:

<"Krusta-mikla, Sachs, Bridzs 1939 p173/4; notes (S) from Sacha Maksla 1939 p.113"> (Gillam, p.36)>

Because the link for "Krusta-mikla, Sachs, Bridzs" 1939 p173/4 (18 March 1939; Game Nr. 932), here:

http://www.periodika.lv/periodika2-...

gives the name as "T. Melngailis".

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: <Foreign masters invited: Bogoljubov (Germany), Flohr (USSR), Stahlberg (Sweden), Szabo (Hungary), Book (Finland), Mikenas (Lithuania), and Keres (Estonia). (Gillam, p.4)>

It is not really correct to say that Flohr was from the USSR, as he did not become a USSR citizen until 1942. He was just living there after not returning to Czechoslovakia after the 1938 Munich agreement [he was visiting Keres in Estonia at the time]. He would either still have been a Czechoslovak citizen or else "Stateless" (a refugee). As it happened, Germany occupied the rest of the Czech part of Czechoslovakia during the tournament (on 15 March 1939), making Slovakia independent and calling the rest the "Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia". It would seem that despite this, Flohr kept his composure in the tournament.

Oct-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<chesshistoryinterest> Welcome back! With much excellent research, thank you. I will have much material from you and <hemy> to catalogue today, but first I would like to address your question about the E. vs T. Melngailis issue at <Kemeri 1939>.

On your post here: Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #935)

##################

<<jessicafischerqueen> I am puzzled by your post of 20 October 2018, here:

Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #907)

where you say: <This game might be more helpful in tracking down where the original error lay in the <E. Melngailis/T. Melngailis> mistake.

=============

For round 7, <Gillam's Tournament Book> lists

<E. Melngailis - A. Koblencs 1-0>

with the following sources listed:

<"Krusta-mikla, Sachs, Bridzs 1939 p173/4; notes (S) from Sacha Maksla 1939 p.113"> (Gillam, p.36)>

Because the link for "Krusta-mikla, Sachs, Bridzs" 1939 p173/4 (18 March 1939; Game Nr. 932), here:

http://www.periodika.lv/periodika2-...

gives the name as "T. Melngailis".>

######################

I wanted to know where the mistake came from re: E. vs T. Melngailis. Your research supplied valuable hints about this.

Based on your findings, it seems that it must be the <Keesings archives>, not any contemporaneous Latvian newspaper/journal report, that mistakenly listed <E. Melngailis> as the participant at <Kemeri 1939>.

This may suggest that <A.J. Gillam> used the <Keesings archives> only for the pgns with the basic moves listed- then <Gillam> must have added in commentaries later from contemporaneous Latvian sources such as <"Krusta-mikla, Sachs, Bridzs 1939 p173/4>, in the case we are currently discussing.

If so, it seems <Gillam> failed to notice the discrepancy between the two sources: <Keesings archives> and <"Krusta-mikla, Sachs, Bridzs 1939 p173/4>, because the mistake is not corrected in his tournament book.

I should add again that <Gillam> also failed to notice that <T. Melngailis> was correctly listed in the crosstable he lists, but <E. Melngailis> was incorrectly listed in all of the Melngailis games <Gillam> reprints in his tournament book.

I am wondering how many other Latvian events might have originally been reprinted from the <Keesings archives>? This might explain the widespread misprinting of so many games with E. Melngailis mistakenly substituted for his son T. Melngailis? Could it be a systemic problem with these <Keesings archives>, or did they just make this mistake one time, and might there be multiple mistaken sources that confuse E. and T. Melngailis?

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: <Foreign masters invited: Bogoljubov (Germany), Flohr (USSR), Stahlberg (Sweden), Szabo (Hungary), Book (Finland), Mikenas (Lithuania), and Keres (Estonia). (Gillam, p.4)

"...at the last moment Paul Keres decided not to participate (perhaps because of his unsuccessful participation in the russian training tournament" (Gillam, p.4)

"It was... regretted that the Estonian Chess Association considered Keres to be too much fatigued after his set-back in Leningrad-Moscow to be allowed to start anew at once." (Gillam, p.4)>

Great that you posted this, <jessicafischerqueen>. I had earlier noticed that all the newspapers had Keres listed as a contestant until 2 days before the tournament started and then no mention of him was made at all; and I was going to ask you guys at some stage if you knew anything more about this. The Leningrad-Moscow tournament finished on 1 February 1939, which is only 1 month before Kemeri/Riga began. In <"The Middle Years of Paul Keres">, Keres writes that he was already in no state after the AVRO 1938 tournament to play the Leningrad-Moscow tournament; that it was a mistake to do so; and that his exhaustion caused his poor result. He also writes <"but in the end [of the Leningrad-Moscow tournament] my physical reserves were exhausted. I lost the last two games and finished up in the lower half of the table. The result of this tournament was indeed bitter for me, but also extremely instructive. Shortly after the Leningrad-Moscow Tournament, I was invited to take part in a fine international tournament at Kemeri but this time I did not repeat my mistake. I refrained from participating and only took part in national matches against Latvia and Lithuania."> I had always thought from this that Keres didn't accept the invitation to Kemeri/Riga in the first place. But it looks as though he DID accept the invitation, and thus initially did repeat his mistake, only reversing himself at the last moment. Keres' schedule shortly before the tournament began was: 24-26 February 1939, Riga, match Estonia-Latvia (2 wins vs Petrovs); then 28 February-1 March 1939, Kaunas, match Estonia-Lithuania (2 draws vs Mikenas). Then the tournament was to begin on 4 March 1939. Perhaps after the games with Mikenas, Keres realised how exhausted he was and withdrew in a panic. This was extremely unusual for Keres; I don't think at any other time in his career, apart from illness, did Keres withdraw from a tournament at such short notice and he must have felt very bad about it. An interesting correction to Keres' history as I knew it; it seems he may have been slightly economical with the truth here, unless there is a mistranslation into the English.

Oct-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<chesshistoryinterest> On a directly related topic, I should clarify the data provenance listed in <A.J. Gillam's> tournament book for <Kemeri 1939>.

This clarification should address your post here:

Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #932)

<I found one item on the Solmanis-Endzelins match mentioned by Gillam: "Darba Dzive", 29 April 1939, Page 6:>

"mentioned <by> Gillam" is misleading- "mentioned <in> Gillam's tournament book" is more accurate. Gillam makes clear that the information he reprints from the <Keesings Archive> lists no author or further source.

===========

<Did Gillam reference this magazine as a source of his information?>

Again no, the information you refer to is listed in the <Keesings Archive> as coming from "unknown writer(s)."

######################

and also here:

Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #934)

<On here, you mention that Gillam in his book says: <"The Championship of Latvia was won by Petrovs, who had the best results against the other Latvian players" (Gillam, p.5)> Gillam is not strictly correct in his meaning here.>

Again, <Gillam> himself doesn't "say" anything on this- the passage you quote comes from "unknown writer(s)" who appended two separate introductory sections to the games collection in the <Keesings Archive>. No further data provenance is listed for these two introductory sections.

Oct-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<chesshistoryinterest>

More valuable information from you here, thank you! Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #938)

What I would really like to know is what role the <Estonian Chess Association> played in this affair.

It sounds from the new material you just posted as if it was <Keres> who maintained the final say on his participation in <Kemeri 1939>.

But it intrigues me that the <Keesings Archive> claims that *both* <Keres> and the <Estonian Chess Association> made this final decision on his not playing at the event. That's a contradiction that elides the state power relations between the <Estonian Chess Association> and <Estonian players>.

My "feeling" is that <Keres> could have played at <Kemeri 1939> if he really wanted to, but it's only a hunch.

Oct-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<chesshistoryinterest> I ordered three more tournament books from this era by <A.J. Gillam>, one of which arrived so far.

His book "Tournaments of 1938" (The Chess Player, 2017) supplies important corroboration on previous information from other sources about <Petrovs'> controversial win over <Keres>. It seems that <Petrovs'> one and only victory over his <Estonian nemesis> should have an "asterisk" beside it:

Vladimir Petrov vs Keres, 1938 (kibitz #11)

Oct-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<hemy> on Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #930)

I created this new entry for Game Collection: Vladimirs Petrovs Tournaments/Matches 1923-1942, and I added all of the information you posted on this event to our text file.

##################

<Riga 1940> (28 March-9 May) Riga Team Chess Championship. <Petrovs scored +0-1=2> on first board for the Riga Municipal Workers team. Riga Municipal Workers finished first, over University Sport team, Latvian State Railway Workers team, Hakoah team, and State Electrotechnical Factory team. ["Segodnia", March 27, 1940, p. 4; "Brīvā Zeme", April 1, 1940, p. 11; "Pašvaldības Darbinieks", April, 1940, p. 62; "Rīts", April 1, 1940, p. 10; "Dzelzceļnieks", April 15, 1940, p. 23; "Pašvaldības Darbinieks", May, 1940, p. 55; "Segodnia", June 1, 1940, p. 7. ]

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: <jessicafischerqueen>

Thanks for the correction on the data provenance in Gillam's book. I was focused on other things in my posts and so didn't pay sufficient attention to this. Overall, Gillam looks to have written a good book.

Re: <I am wondering how many other Latvian events might have originally been reprinted from the <Keesings archives>? This might explain the widespread misprinting of so many games with E. Melngailis mistakenly substituted for his son T. Melngailis? Could it be a systemic problem with these <Keesings archives>, or did they just make this mistake one time, and might there be multiple mistaken sources that confuse E. and T. Melngailis?> Sorry I can't help much here. I'm pretty dependent on what's online plus any books I own. About all I can offer is that it seems to me that Emilis Melngailis is either wholly inactive, or nearly so, after 1936 and therefore any Melngailis games after 1936 will almost certainly be those of Tenis. Perhaps it could be an idea to email Tony Gillam and discuss this with him; maybe if one is lucky, he took a copy of the <Keesings archives> and could send you one.

<Another possible source could be the Latvian Chess magazine "Sacha Maksla" [or "Saha Maksla"] (Chess Art). According to Latvian Wikipedia, this was published from 10 April 1937 to 15 August 1939 (52 issues, issues twice a month), but only the first 41 issues, only up to 15 January 1939, are online. If someone can access the remaining issues of this magazine, it may well provide much more detail on all this, as it seems to be a very good magazine.

Did Gillam reference this magazine as a source of his information?>

<Again no>

Hmmm, if it is possible to locate/view a copy of the issues that are not online (which cover the period of this event), I think this would answer many questions. From the issues I have seen online, the magazine seems to give a very good coverage of Latvian events.

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: <jessicafischerqueen>

<"It was... regretted that the Estonian Chess Association considered Keres to be too much fatigued after his set-back in Leningrad-Moscow to be allowed to start anew at once." (Gillam, p.4)>

<What I would really like to know is what role the <Estonian Chess Association> played in this affair.>

Yes, I found this comment pretty strange as well. My understandng is that the <Estonian Chess Association> had no such control over Keres (such a control of a chess body over Keres did not occur until the Soviet takeover of Estonia in 1940; indeed I believe Keres himself had a fair bit of influence in this body and may have been part of its committee, at least in some periods). It must surely have been advice only.

I checked the Estonian newspapers. I found one item in "Postimees", Tuesday, 28 February 1939, Page 4

https://dea.digar.ee/cgi-bin/dea?a=...

It seems that Keres had a telephone discussion "on Thursday" (which must be 23 February) with Flohr and Petrovs about the possibility of withdrawing, so it would seem his withdrawal may not have been a big surprise. I don't see any indication of Estonian Chess Association involvement in this; I would say the decision was wholly Keres'.

Oct-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<chesshistoryinterest> Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #944)

Yes, thank you for the additional information. I agree with your analysis on this issue.

Oct-29-18  chesshistoryinterest: <jessicafischerqueen> Vladimir Petrov (kibitz #941)

Gillam's books would seem to be well worth getting!

<It seems that <Petrovs'> one and only victory over his <Estonian nemesis> should have an "asterisk" beside it:> It certainly would.
In "Uus Eesti", 17 February 1939, Page 2

https://dea.digar.ee/cgi-bin/dea?a=...

in the leadup to the 1939 Estonia-Latvia match, discussing the result of the 1938 match, the Estonians had already recognised Euwe's error and the writer complains something like: "due to Euwe's erroneous decision in Petrovs-Keres, the score was 9.5 - 6.5, but should have been 9 - 7."

<Keres' analysis was originally published in "Eesti Male" (1938), p.39> I would love to be able to purchase/view this magazine (1936-1940; Editor: Keres). It does not seem to be online. If you or <hemy> or maybe <Tabanus> are able to advise me the best way of going about this, I would be very grateful.

Oct-30-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  hemy: <chesshistoryinterest>

For sale online "Eesti male 1-3, 1940:

https://osta-ee.postimees.ee/en/aja...

and "Malekool I osa (1939)" (Chess school, part 1):

https://osta-ee.postimees.ee/en/p-k...

You may contact Mr Hendrik Olde, the compiler of Paul Keres: Photographs and Games. He is also a Chairman of the Board/Delegate of Estonian chess federation.

Phone: +372 5-662 64 3

E-mail:
mkolk243@math.ut.ee , mkolk@ut.ee

Alan McGowan (Author of the recently published book "Kurt Richter. A Chess Biography with 499 Games", (https://books.google.ca/books?id=cu... ) contacted him by email regarding the different scores of the game Keres-Richter, Munich 1942, and was answered.

I placed electronic version of Hendrik Olde's book and other books of/about Keres (total 24 books in 3 languages) in the folder "Keres" of my dropbox:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lpe9xjc7...

Oct-31-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <hemy>'s last post could also constructively go on the <Chess Books> forum.
Oct-31-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<hemy> Thank you for such a generous post about part of your book collection!

I agree with <zanzibar> that it would be a valuable addition to the ChessBookForum chessforum , but of course that is up to you.

Oct-31-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  hemy: <zanzibar><JFQ> Following your advise I posted on <Chess Books> forum link to download book of P. Keres (and also of A. Nimzowitsch).

ChessBookForum chessforum (kibitz #1895)

Oct-31-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<hemy> That is most kind!

Nov-02-18  chesshistoryinterest: <hemy>

Thank you very much for this!
Before committing myself, I decided to have "one last check" for anything online for "Eesti Male". To my surprise (and embarrassment, given my previous post), but also delight, I did find something. Previously when I looked, every time I clicked on a site showing the cover of one of these magazines, it would come up with an auction that was long over. This time it looked to be doing the same, then one led somewhere else... The magazine is in fact online on the site dea.digar.ee

For the interest of <jessicafischerqueen>, I link to Keres' original analysis of the adjourned Keres-Petrovs game (Page 5 of issue 3, 1938).

https://www.digar.ee/viewer/et/nlib...

Also Keres' annotations to his two wins over Petrovs in the 1939 Estonia-Latvia match are on pages 2, 3, 5 of issue 3, 1939

https://www.digar.ee/viewer/et/nlib...

It is a very game oriented magazine and Keres must have put a lot of work into annotating games in it. It does not give quite as comprehensive coverage of Estonian events as does "Saha Maksla" of Latvian events. Great to have found this.

Thanks also for the Hendrik Olde contact. I might email him sometime as to what other sources there are for Estonian information. [Something else must exist as I am missing several early results for Keres, and Gaige indicated in "Chess Tournaments: A Checklist" that he had crosstables for at least two of them that are not in the newspapers or magazines or Di Felice or "Male Eestis".

"Paul Keres: Photographs and Games" has the same error that you corrected here: <Sep-28-18
Premium Chessgames Member hemy: Paul Keres played against Tenis Melngailis, not <G. Melngailis>. Match "Kalev" (Estonia)- Daugava (Latvia), Tallinn, 1947.

1st board:
round 1: P. Keres - T. Melngailis 1:0
round 2: P. Keres - A. Aleksandrov 1:0

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9...

G Melngailis vs Keres, 1947 (kibitz #1)

I could advise Mr Olde of this if you have not already done so. I'll also add it to the Tenis Melngailis page.

That book on Kurt Richter looks like it is an extremely good one. And from me too, thank you for your generosity in posting part of your book collection.

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