< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 1 OF 5 ·
|Jan-26-04|| ||Resignation Trap: Salomon Mikhailovich Flohr was born November 21, 1908 in the town of Horodenka in present-day Ukrania. In the dark days of World War I, Salo and his older brother were orphaned when their parents were killed in a pogrom. Eventually they found refuge and an adoptive family in the newly-formed nation of Czechoslovakia.|
In 1924 Salo Flohr made visits to Prague where he participated in simultaneous exhibitions by Reti and Spielmann. The local players took note of Flohr's successes in these events, and he rapidly improved his playing skills during the next few years. After winning the Kautsky Memorial tournaments in Prague in 1928 and 1929, Flohr made his international debut at the Slovenian resort of Rogaska-Slatina in 1929. Flohr finished clear second to Rubinstein in this event, which also turned out to be Rubinstein's last tournament triumph.
In the 1930's Flohr was one of the most active players in Europe, as well as one of the most consistent and successful. Of the 50 individual tournaments (national and international) during this period, he finished in the top three places in all but five events.
Salo Flohr represented Czechoslovakia in five Olympiads, and always on first board. The Czech team won the bronze medals at Prague in 1931, and the silver medals at Folkestone, 1933.
Flohr also had superb results in match play. He drew matches against future World Champions Euwe (in 1932) and Botvinnik (in 1933). But he was merciless against other masters, defeating Stoltz in 1931, Landau, Sultan Khan and van den Bosch in 1932, Grob and Naegeli in 1933, and Mikenas in 1938.
|Jan-26-04|| ||Resignation Trap: Major tournament victories were at Hastings (1931/2, 1932/3, 1933/4 and 1934/5), Moscow 1935 (tied for first with Botvinnik, ahead of Capablanca and Lasker), Margate 1936 (ahead of Capablanca), Moscow 1936 (third, behind Capablanca and Botvinnik), Podebrady 1936 (ahead of Alekhine), Kemeri 1937 (tied with Petrov and Reshevsky for first, ahead of Keres and Alekhine) and Kemeri 1939.|
In Czechoslovakia, Salo Flohr attained a celebrity status which few other chessplayers ever experienced. There were Flohr Cigarettes, Flohr pastries, Flohr slippers and Flohr Eau de Cologne.
In 1937, after Alekhine regained his title from Euwe, FIDE selected Flohr as Alekhine's official challenger. While negotiations were developing, fate intervened to prevent the match from being organized. Flohr served in the Czechoslovakian Army for a short while, and while doing so, learned of some of the early atrocities by the Nazi Party in neighboring Germany. The meeting between Chamberlain and Hitler in September 1938 killed any chances of a Flohr-Alekhine match. Later that year, at AVRO, Flohr's security and that of his family's were a major concern for him. Flohr had the worst result of his career, last place, and without a single win.
The early style of Flohr's play was flashy and he produced many combinative victories. In the mid-30's, however, Flohr discovered that he could win just as easily in quiet positional games. Instead of tactical thrusts and combinations, many of his games were decided by sheer technique.
Flohr fled Czechoslovakia when the Nazis arrived in 1938. After a brief stay in Sweden, he later arrived in the USSR where he became a citizen in 1942, and he remained there for the rest of his life.
|Jan-26-04|| ||Resignation Trap: After the war, Flohr was still in contention for a possible World Championship match. He finished 6th-9th at the 1948 Interzonal in Saltsjobaden, and qualified for the 1950 Candidates Tournament in Budapest. Flohr failed to play at his pre-war levels and finished this tournament in a tie for last place.|
Flohr continued to play in the USSR Championships until 1955, but the role of chess journalist gradually replaced his participation in tournaments. In his last years as a player, he earned the reputation of being a difficult man to defeat, but increasingly easy to draw. His last important tournament was in 1967. Salo Flohr died on July 18, 1983.
Flohr vs S Landau, 1930
Flohr vs Lisitsin, 1935
Flohr vs Lasker, 1936
|Jan-26-04|| ||technical draw: Thank you, Resignation Trap, for a very good and concise biography. So many chess careers were destroyed by wars. WAR! HMMPH! What is it good for? Absoulutely Nothing! |
|May-11-04|| ||vonKrolock: i dont find Flohr`s imortal game Blechschmidt-Flohr Zwickau 1930 )29, 31 - sorry i dont remember in moment the exact year - NIC base too have not, and chessbase not too |
|May-12-04|| ||vonKrolock: the game i referred is in fact from Zwickau 1930 and can be seen in chesslab.com |
|Jun-09-04|| ||marekg248: I'm glad Salo Flohr is today's player of the day. He was a fine fellow. And he was a good chess journalist too. This is but one of his interesting games Flohr vs Kashdan, 1933 |
|Jun-10-04|| ||Stavrogin: Together with Petrosian and Karpov the guy to study if you are thinkin about using the caro-kann. |
|Jun-10-04|| ||PizzatheHut: <Stavrogin> What about Botvinnik and Bronstein? Both introduced many new ideas, Bronstein in particular. |
|Jun-10-04|| ||Stavrogin: Of course both Botvinnik and Bronstein played the caro-kann with style!
Actually my favorite Caro-kann games are those by Bronstein using the gxf6-version, that brings about a flexible, sharp game for the cost of pawn structure and king safety. So, Bronstein proved the Caro-kann to be more than just defense. He did so in a grand manner! |
|Jun-10-04|| ||Jonathan Kolkey: Flohr's reputation has been unjustly stained by his terrible performance at AVRO. But he had other things on his mind. He was, for a time, technically "stateless" and might have been deported back to Czechoslovakia-to face certain death. Luckily Botvinnik arranged for Flohr to find shelter in the Soviet Union.|
But I doubt whether anyone could play decent chess under the threat of impending death--as was Flohr's nightmare.
|Jun-10-04|| ||iron maiden: Today we see Kramnik's play following the same pattern of Flohr's in the 1930's: becoming less and less aggressive, with more and more quick and painless draws. |
|Jun-10-04|| ||Gypsy: <ironámaiden: Today we see Kramnik's play following the same pattern of Flohr's in the 1930's: becoming less and less aggressive, with more and more quick and painless draws.> Very accute observation <ironámaiden>. The common theory, handed down from those who knew Flohr (Foltys, Opocensky, ...), is that the more the events of the 1930s progressed, the more Flohr's nerves got shut: All he could think of was safety and, again, safety--on the board and of the board. Even in the early to mid 1930's Flohr foresaw the general outlines of the next five to ten years of events in Europe. I give this theory lots of credence. |
But there could have been also other factors at play, perhaps similar to those affecting Kramnik's playing style today. Initially, Flohr started out as a new Capablanca. In his later years he became an antecedant to Petrosian, Karpov, and ... Kramnik. Chronologically, the link I see is Nimzovich-Flohr-Petrosian-Karpov-Kramnik.
|Jun-10-04|| ||Gypsy: <... and might have been deported back to Czechoslovakia-to face certain death ...> This may require a bit of explanation for those no longer familiar with the history of that space and era: Nazi Germany started its move; Czechoslovakia was its prey in 1938/39. |
|Jul-06-04|| ||rochade18: I like Flohr's games and study them because of his Caro-Kann and QGA games. I think he should also be in that listbox where you can choose a player. |
|Jul-28-04|| ||rochade18: Oh he can be found in that list if you lengthen it. |
|Oct-20-04|| ||fred lennox: When Botvinnik lost the WC to Petrosian, he commented he was thrown off by the way Petrosian played, saying his playing has no precedent except maybe Flohr. I thought the comparison strange at first. With games like this, A Lein vs Flohr, 1961 I see his point. |
|Nov-21-04|| ||vonKrolock: Reading <Resignation Trap>'s nice summary above, i suddenly recalls that Flohr won the Hastings T FOUR times in a row, and was 2th in a fifth edition of the Congress, so i'm complementing my kibitz from Flohr vs Bogoljubov, 1932 31/32 Flohr 8, Kashdan 7 1/2 etc; 32/33 Flohr first whith 7 points; and 33/34 Flohr 7, Alekhine and Lilienthal 6 1/2; 34/35 1-3 Euwe, Flohr and Thomas 6 1/2; 35/36 1th Fine 7 1/2, 2th Flohr 6 1/2 |
|Nov-21-04|| ||WMD: As the Oxford Companion points out, 'He was rarely able to win against his equals: no wins against Alekhine, Fine or Reshevsky in the 12, 10 and 9 games respectively played between them, and no wins against Botvinnik in the 17 games they played outside their match.' |
|Nov-21-04|| ||vonKrolock: <WMD: no wins against Alekhine, Fine or Reshevsky> Yes,i remember - the same Fine developed some theories about this fact, in his habitual freudian manner...|
<outside their match.> By the way, according whith my sources he never lost a Match, a record shared whith him only by few of the very greatest - another argument to regret the lack of more of such encounters in his best period
|Nov-21-04|| ||WMD: It may be unkind but Flohr's name always brings to mind the following game: Flohr vs Grob, 1933.|
Even Flohr's supposedly 'immortal' game vs Blechschmidt doesn't exactly quicken the blood:
1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.0-0 d6 7.h3 Bd7 8.e3 Qc8 9.Kh2 h5 10.d4 h4 11.gxh4 g5 12.Rh1 g4 13.hxg4 Bxg4 14.Kg1 Qf5 15.d5 Ne5 16.Qa4+ Nfd7 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.e4 Qg6 19.Kf1 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Be2+ 21.Kxe2 Qxg2 22.Be3 Qxe4 23.Rab1 b5 24.Qxb5 Rb8 25.Qc6 Qxc4+ 26.Kf3 f5 27.Rxb8+ Kf7 28.Bd4 Ne5+ 29.Bxe5 Qe4+ 0-1
|Nov-21-04|| ||vonKrolock: Resignation was a GROBer mistake there indeed, but en passant i'll register here that the Arosa 1933 Flohr vs Grob Match run +4 -1 =1 |
<WMD> thanks for transcription of the Blechschmidt game: It's still lacking in the Chessgames.com files
|Feb-14-05|| ||Mameluk: Is it really right what does chessgames.com write above about AVRO 38? I thought that Alekhine┤s challenger has already been decded and it should have been Flohr.
My historical knowledge is that: In 37 FIDE was already active and decided to select a challenger for the next WC match. Euwe has already known the importance of such oganization and agreed FIDE┤s choice which was FLOHR ahead of Capablanca in case he would have beaten Alekhine again. Another possible challenger Botvinnik had no chance because Soviet Union hasn┤t been part of FIDE yet. But in the end it was Alekhine who won and he let FIDE know that the title is only hi property and chose for next challenger - FLOHR.
During AVRO 38 it was already clear that match Alekhine against jewish player has no chance to happen and there were negotiations between Alekhine and Botvinnik -who didn┤t win AVRO either, this tournament didn┤t have this candidats tournament status- - Hitler and Stalin were still friends by that time- but after Germans attacked Soviet Union, even this match was not to happen.
In 1943 there were some negotiations between Alekhine and Keres but it was not because Keres had won Avro but because he was the only other elite player playing in countries occupied by Nazi┤s.
Correct me if I┤m mistaken. |
|Feb-14-05|| ||euripides: <Mameluk: During AVRO 38 it was already clear that match Alekhine against jewish player has no chance to happen and there were negotiations between Alekhine and Botvinnik> Botvinnik's background was at least partly Jewish. |
|Feb-14-05|| ||WMD: How in 1937-38 would the relationship between Germany and the Soviet Union impinge on a prospective match between a Frenchman and a Czechoslovakian? |
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 1 OF 5 ·