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Si Narsar
Number of games in database: 12
Years covered: 1910 to 1931
Overall record: +5 -6 =1 (45.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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C41 Philidor Defense (2 games)

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 page 1 of 1; 12 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. S Narsar vs A von Oefele 0-1191910MedanA00 Uncommon Opening
2. A von Oefele vs S Narsar 0-1331910MedanC41 Philidor Defense
3. S Narsar vs I J Milborn  0-1371914BataviaC24 Bishop's Opening
4. S Narsar vs C van der Vecht  1-0801914YogyakartaC02 French, Advance
5. H Meyer vs S Narsar  0-1341914BataviaC41 Philidor Defense
6. S Narsar vs H Meyer  0-1401914BataviaB20 Sicilian
7. D Bleijkmans vs S Narsar  1-0491916SurabayaC33 King's Gambit Accepted
8. J Safier vs S Narsar  0-1351917WeltevredenC01 French, Exchange
9. P F N Heije vs S Narsar 0-1461917WeltevredenC15 French, Winawer
10. S Narsar vs B Kostic  0-1411925Simul, 3bA80 Dutch
11. H Meyer vs S Narsar  1-0491931BerastagiA40 Queen's Pawn Game
12. S Narsar vs H Meyer  ½-½441931BerastagiC55 Two Knights Defense
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Narsar wins | Narsar loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-11-12  Karpova: From Olimpiu G. Urcan's Past Pieces <An Unusual Clash>, 2011.10.11

Link: (also with a picture)

<The first Batak of significant strength rising in the early 1910s was Si Narsar, a Karo Batak, the son of a village leader, and who lived north of Lake Toba, a large volcanic lake that today is the site of a popular resort.>


<According to a brief profile (that included a photograph of him as a young man) in the January 31, 1914 edition of the Het nieuws van den dag voor Nederlandsch-Indië, Si Narsar was said to be about thirty years of age, had three wives, and lived in Brastagi, a mountain area in the northwest of Lake Toba.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Very good article, but it wasn't H D B Meijer but Herman Meyer:

H Meyer

I first thought it was (Ir.) H. Meyer but I was wrong. Meijer/Meyer is a very common name in the Netherlands, so he was very hard to find. I've also uploaded a game by his twin brother Justus.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: With his wife and baby:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

<'Shortest stalemate games'>

The following appeared on page 189 of the May 1914 BCM:

‘The Tijdschrift gives news of the “Batavian Capablanca”, Si Narsar. His simultaneous play at Java seems to have electrified the players in those distant parts; and we quote one of his recent games from the Tijdschrift':

[Event "Simultaneous display"]
[Site "Java"]
[Date "1914.??.??"]
[White "Narsar, Si"]
[Black "L...d"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A00"]

1. a4 f5 2. h3 d6 3. d4 e5 4. Qd2 e4 5. Qf4 Be7 6. Qh2 Be6 7. Ra3 c5 8. Rg3 Qa5+ 9. Nd2 Bh4 10. f3 Bb3 $2 11. d5 e3 12. c4 f4 1/2-1/2

'Black naturally falls into the trap. Stalemate! A most remarkable position.'

Source: C.N. 3679


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

Tijdschrift van de koninklijke Nederlandse schaakbond, 1914 Vol. 22, p. 148:


<Over Si Narsar, de Indische Capablanca>, schrijft ons een belangstellend Indisch lid het volgende:

„De partijen in het Tijdschrift geven m. i. geen goed denkbeeld van zijn kunnen. Men zou daaruit opmaken, dat hij allerlei bizarre openingen speelde. Maar dat is toch niet zoo. De Batakker speelde te Djokja en te Magelang simultaan en opende aan alle borden of e4 of d4 en speelde dan een normalen Spanjaard of Italiaansche opening öf een Damepionopening <*>. Hij brengt bijna steeds vlug zijn beide paarden uit en zoekt reeds op den 5en of 6en zet de minder bekende paden op. Het middenspel speelt hij heel sterk, combineert dan goed, maar zijn eindspelkennis is minder, vooral van de kracht der pionnen heeft hij weinig notie."

<About the game above (C.N. 3679):>

Over bovenbedoelde partij (zie Maartnummer, blz 58) schreef ons de heer Opdenoordt uit Venlo, <dat bedoelde partij bijna eensluidend voorkomt in het werk over Loyd, en ook stond in „Lasker's Chess Magazine" in 1906>. En in het Julinummer van „British Chess Magazine", dat ons artikeltje met de partij uit het Maartnummer overnam, komen nu ook de heeren Adamson en Wats op bovenbedoelde partij terug. De eerste schrijft: <„L...d is natuurlijk de groote Sam Loyd.> Misschien vond Sir Narsar, als die ten minste bestaat! ...


<*> For later simultanious games of Si Narsar this might be true, but not in generally - Rob van Vuurde (Author of the book 'A History of Chess in the Dutch East Indies') in an interview with Olimpiu G. Urcan:


How would you describe the Bataks' playing style?

Naturally, the illiterate Bataks lacked any knowledge of chess theory in terms of openings. They opened their games often with the h-pawn (as White - see for example: S Narsar vs A von Oefele, 1910 <*>) or a-pawn (as Black). By neglecting the importance of the central squares, they fell behind in development in games against European opponents. The reason why they played the opening this way is probably the different starting position of the two queens in Batak chess. At the start of the game, the queen did not reside on the same file with the opponent’s queen but on the same file with the opponent’s king and that invited castling on different sides and aggressive king attacks with swift pawn storms.

If the Bataks emerged from the opening stage not too badly damaged, they became tough opponents. After several games with them, Euwe concluded that it was difficult to outplay them positionally. But he was even more impressed by the way they played the endgame; he called them “masters of the endgame.” This surprised him even more so because they used to play rather fast, placing more trust in their intuition than in calculation.

What are the biggest myths about the Bataks?

The myth about Batak chess lived mainly in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies. In the rest of Europe chess magazines showed some interest in the phenomenon but limited and short-lived. The myth arose during the first Java tour of Si Narsar who became the personification of Batak chess. People overestimated his results in the simultaneous exhibitions, ignoring the relative weakness of most of his opponents. Nevertheless his play was remarkable indeed for Si Narsar was illiterate and had very little experience with both simultaneous exhibitions and the Westernized rules. It was for these reasons that contemporaries concluded that Bataks had a “natural” talent for chess, which became an important part of the myth around them. ...'

Full interview:


<*> Si Narsar's opponent Armin von Oefele published in 1904 a small booklet titled 'Das Schachspiel der Bataker' free downloadable with us-proxy here:


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