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B Blumenfeld 
Benjamin Markovich Blumenfeld
Number of games in database: 17
Years covered: 1903 to 1931
Overall record: +9 -7 =1 (55.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

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C45 Scotch Game (3 games)
D02 Queen's Pawn Game (2 games)

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(born May-24-1884, died Mar-05-1947, 62 years old) Russia

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Benjamin Markovich Blumenfeld was one of the best players in Moscow between the First and Second World Wars. He studied law at Moscow and Berlin Universities before devoting himself to chess. He later became a student of chess psychology. Blumenfeld received his doctorate for a thesis on the nature of blunders in chess. He is now best remembered for his theoretical contributions to openings, particularly the Blumenfeld Counter-Gambit*. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 b5.

*Wikipedia article: Blumenfeld Gambit

Wikipedia article: Benjamin Blumenfeld

Last updated: 2016-07-28 12:52:29

 page 1 of 1; 17 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. B Blumenfeld vs Nimzowitsch 1-029 1903 BerlinC45 Scotch Game
2. B Blumenfeld vs NN 1-010 1903 MoscowC45 Scotch Game
3. Dus Chotimirsky vs B Blumenfeld  0-146 1905 St PetersburgD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
4. B Blumenfeld vs S Izbinsky 1-063 1905 St PetersburgB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
5. Salwe vs B Blumenfeld  0-157 1905 St PetersburgC12 French, McCutcheon
6. B Blumenfeld vs P A Evtifeev 1-035 1905 St PetersburgB06 Robatsch
7. B Blumenfeld vs Znosko-Borovsky  ½-½33 1905 St Petersburg itC10 French
8. B Blumenfeld vs G Helbach 1-015 1906 St PetersburgC45 Scotch Game
9. Rubinstein vs B Blumenfeld 1-022 1906 St.Petersburg-chD04 Queen's Pawn Game
10. S Levitsky vs B Blumenfeld 1-065 1906 4th All Russian TournamentC11 French
11. Alekhine vs B Blumenfeld 1-048 1908 Moscow MatchD02 Queen's Pawn Game
12. B Blumenfeld vs Alekhine 0-133 1908 Moscow m (02)C41 Philidor Defense
13. N Pavlov-Pianov vs B Blumenfeld 0-131 1920 USSR ChampionshipA47 Queen's Indian
14. B Blumenfeld vs A Rabinovich 1-032 1924 Ch MoscowD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
15. B Blumenfeld vs Botvinnik 0-123 1931 USSRB20 Sicilian
16. B Blumenfeld vs Kasparian  0-155 1931 Ch URS (1/2 final)B12 Caro-Kann Defense
17. A Khodzhaev vs B Blumenfeld  1-047 1931 Ch URS (1/2 final)D02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 1; 17 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Blumenfeld wins | Blumenfeld loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-19-04  Vischer: Is this the person who the Blumenfeld Gambit is named after?
Oct-05-04  Jesuitic Calvinist: Don't know, Vischer, but my guess is "yes". Judging by some of the players he beat, he was clearly a good enough player to have his name attach to an opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Bio:

<was one of the best players in Moscow between the First and Second World Wars.> ...but only one game in this database.

Jan-24-10  Oliveira: Man, I've just read an article by Frank Mayer in which he discusses about "the Mistery of Benjamin Markowitch Blumenfeld" and states that further investigations on his life were unable to settle anything but confirm the facts already known. In fact, it's very weird that there aren't any photos of his or even featuring him in any of the numerous tournaments he took part. Besides, the reason why the so-called Blumenfed gambit has his name isn't clear at all since there isn't even one registered game of his in which it was played.

But the weirdest thing is what comes next: Mayer transcribes a supposed conversation between two historians, whose names are probably fictitious, in which one of them affirms to know the secret of Blumenfeld. Actually of the Blumenfeld brothers! They would be twin brothers with only a slight difference and one was a king's pawn specialist and the other a queen's pawn one. And then in a tournament after his (or more suitable "their") adversary had made his first move, if it didn't match, the one who was engaged in the game would get up and go to the bathroom while his counterpart would take upon the game! And that would be the reason why they don't posed for photos.

I don't know if this is truthfull, but it is really surreal! And indeed, as the German novelist Herr Gerhard Josten said, "chess is full of enigmas!"

Here's the article (in Spanish):

You can read this article also in Portuguese here:

Dec-21-10  Oliveira: *I meant there isn't a single known picture depicting him and no games registered where he employs the gambit named (probably) after him.

Sorry my bad English.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: There are certainly more Blumenfeld games out there. Chess365 has 18 of them, and Chessbase about 25, including some consultation games. Neither includes the dubious 1903 game with Nimzowitsch. He played a match with Alekhine in 1908, from which two games are on record. These are still low numbers, and almost all the games are pre-1920.

Even Rusbase doesn't seem to have any other games from the 1st USSR championship in 1920.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: He must have done *something* to earn a reputation as an opening theorist and one of the strongest players in Moscow - there was serious competition on both fronts. For example, the 1931 USSR ch'ship, in which Blumenfeld did not play, had at least seven players who have important opening variations named after them: Iljin-Zhenevsky, Kan, Rauzer, Veresov, etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Antanas Gustaitis* became the Lithinian Chess Champion 1922 (<<Benjamin Blumenfeld> emigrated to Russia before a playoff match could be arranged>)

* so far not in the database -->

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <He later became a student of chess psychology. He received his doctorate for a thesis on the nature of blunders in chess..>

I did study (extensively) the same subject matter. Not at a university level though. Just OTB :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: R.I.P. Mr.Blumenfeld.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: entertaining anecdote by D. Bjelica from his book Grandmaster in Profile..

<GM Lev Polugaevsky told us a story to Dimitri Bjelica from a Moscow tournament when master Blumenfeld's opponent persistently looked at his rival's notebook. Blemenfeld was annoyed by this and so he wrote, "I am rather worried about the sacrifice of the queen of f7". Afterwards he went off for a walk. When he returned he saw that his opponent had played exactly that move. Blumenfeld sat at the board and calmly wrote in the book: "As I suspected the sacrifice was incorrect.">

rest in peace, master Blumenfeld..

Aug-25-16  hemy: Wrong picture of B.M.Blumenfeld on CG and Wikipedia. It is a picture of Isadore Blumenfeld:

Here is the picture of B.M.Blumenfeld:

Aug-26-16  hemy: Profile picture for B.M.Blumenfeld is a mistake, it belongs to the "Jewish Al Capone" Isadore Blumenfeld (aka Kid Cann), the most notorious mobster in the history of Minnesota.
Aug-26-16  hemy: German language page of Wikipedia displaying the right picture of B.M.Blumenfeld:
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