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Friedrich Saemisch
Number of games in database: 590
Years covered: 1920 to 1972

Overall record: +172 -198 =214 (47.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 6 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (47) 
    A46 D02 D00 A50 E10
 Orthodox Defense (37) 
    D51 D52 D63 D64 D67
 Queen's Gambit Declined (26) 
    D37 D35 D30 D06 D31
 Nimzo Indian (21) 
    E24 E21 E35 E20 E38
 Slav (18) 
    D18 D15 D19 D11 D17
 Grunfeld (17) 
    D96 D95 D90 D97 D82
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (45) 
    B83 B40 B24 B20 B23
 Ruy Lopez (33) 
    C76 C71 C73 C79 C64
 Queen's Indian (27) 
    E17 E12 E14 E15 E19
 Queen's Pawn Game (27) 
    A46 E10 D01 D02 A45
 Nimzo Indian (25) 
    E38 E21 E20 E23 E32
 French Defense (16) 
    C11 C01 C10 C08 C12
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Saemisch vs F Herzog, 1924 1-0
   Saemisch vs Capablanca, 1929 1-0
   Saemisch vs Gruenfeld, 1929 1-0
   Saemisch vs O Menzinger, 1953 1-0
   Saemisch vs J Engel, 1928 1-0
   Saemisch vs Reti, 1928 1-0
   Saemisch vs NN, 1934 1-0
   Saemisch vs Carlos Torre, 1925 1/2-1/2
   Jung vs Saemisch, 1936 0-1
   Reti vs Saemisch, 1925 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Copenhagen (1923)
   Baden-Baden (1925)
   Bad Pistyan (1922)
   Dresden (1936)
   Dresden (1926)
   Breslau (1925)
   Frankfurt (1930)
   Gothenburg B (1920)
   Vienna (1922)
   Teplitz-Schönau (1922)
   Marienbad (1925)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   Karlsbad (1929)
   Oldenburg (1949)
   Moscow (1925)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Gothenburg B 1920 by Tabanus
   Copenhagen 1923 by suenteus po 147

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(born Sep-20-1896, died Aug-16-1975, 78 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Friedrich (Fritz) Sämisch was born in Berlin. He was Austrian champion in 1921 and awarded the GM title in 1950. His most notable match win was against Richard Reti (+4, =3, -1) in 1922, and in his best tournament he finished 3rd at Baden-Baden (1925) after Alexander Alekhine and Akiba Rubinstein, won Vienna 1921 ahead of Dr. Max Euwe, Dortmund 1928 ahead of Reti, Efim Bogoljubov and Rudolf Spielmann and Swinemünde (today Świnoujście) 1930 ahead of Salomon Flohr.

In later years he became a notorious time trouble addict. At both the Büsum 1969 and Lidköping 1969 tournaments, he lost all of his games on time. (1) Nonetheless, he could play fast chess well, winning two blitz tournaments at the age of 61.

A profound opening theoretician, two major opening variations are named after him, which are still played today at the highest levels: Nimzo-Indian, Samisch (E24) and King's Indian, Samisch Variation (E80).

He passed away in Berlin in 1975.

(1) Wikipedia article: List of world records in chess#Lost all games on time

Wikipedia article: Friedrich Sämisch

 page 1 of 24; games 1-25 of 590  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Bluemich vs Saemisch  ½-½611920Berlin2C48 Four Knights
2. Saemisch vs Shropp  1-0351920ItD00 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Saemisch vs A Brinckmann 1-0151920Berlin2D00 Queen's Pawn Game
4. Saemisch vs Euwe ½-½221920Berlin-Holland m TelegraphD00 Queen's Pawn Game
5. Saemisch vs K Kullberg  1-0301920Gothenburg BA46 Queen's Pawn Game
6. A Larsson vs Saemisch  ½-½681920Gothenburg BC10 French
7. Saemisch vs P F Johner  ½-½561920Gothenburg BD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Carls vs Saemisch 1-0921920Gothenburg BA14 English
9. Saemisch vs Euwe  ½-½341920Gothenburg BD04 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Saemisch vs A Olson  1-0371920Gothenburg BA46 Queen's Pawn Game
11. W John vs Saemisch  1-0591920Gothenburg BC10 French
12. Saemisch vs H Von Hennig  ½-½511920Gothenburg BD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. M Marchand vs Saemisch  1-0621920Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
14. Saemisch vs Olland  ½-½481920Gothenburg BD00 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Gruenfeld vs Saemisch  ½-½261920Gothenburg BE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
16. Saemisch vs A Nilsson  ½-½771920Gothenburg BA80 Dutch
17. V Sjoberg vs Saemisch  ½-½421920Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
18. Saemisch vs E Jacobson  1-0551920Gothenburg BA46 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Hakansson vs Saemisch  ½-½311920Gothenburg BD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
20. Saemisch vs W Schoenmann  ½-½511920Berlin2E70 King's Indian
21. Saemisch vs Reti  1-0431920BerlinA46 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Maroczy vs Saemisch  ½-½481920BerlinA46 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Saemisch vs Bogoljubov 0-1331920BerlinA40 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Saemisch vs Breyer  ½-½641920BerlinA43 Old Benoni
25. Spielmann vs Saemisch  ½-½331920BerlinB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
 page 1 of 24; games 1-25 of 590  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Saemisch wins | Saemisch loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-14-15  Mr. V: < offramp: In the great mansion of chess Saemisch is the spirit that wanders through every room; his ghost flits from Spielmann to the time of Karpov, never fully visible. A shadow near the curtain; a puff of smoke when a door opens. A bang. A loud knock in the middle of the night... He is like Wood Allen's <Zelig>: an apparition wandering through time and space.>

Not so fast, Offramp. He has a home. I still remember and appreciate him and his games, if only for his unique mediocrity. After all, here we are on his page.

Apr-14-15  Mr. V: Though I should clarify I wasn't alive during his lifetime; I mean to say I appreciate his games and his place in history.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Fritz!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Happy 120th Birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Sämisch won the (unofficial) first Austrian Championship played at Vienna in 1921 (Austrian Chess Association Congress - Master Tournament), above luminaries as Euwe, Breyer, Grünfeld, or Tartakower.

Austrian Chess Championship:

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: lastest cb article on Sämisch;
Apr-13-17  vermapulak: Chess program Fritz named on him ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: No, it was named after Fritz Von Erich.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I've just noticed that Sämisch rarely played outside of Germany. He played at Karlsbad, but that was a German speaking area of Czech. He played at Copenhagen, but I bet a shedload of Danes speak German.

A strangely insular, wraith-like figure, a fleeting memory, disappearing like cigarette smoke on a windy strand. [Could someone add that to the bio?]

Dec-16-17  JimNorCal: Maybe he was monoglot or had some other reason to avoid travel. But maybe he was not good enough to get invitations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I don't think he was a mongoloid.
Dec-22-17  JimNorCal: Thinly sourced, but quite astonishing. From wiki:

"Sämisch criticised Adolf Hitler at the closing banquet of the Madrid tournament in summer 1944. Upon returning to the German border, he was arrested and transported to a concentration camp. This was not his first transgression, since he had previously said loudly in the Luxor coffee house in Prague: 'Isn't Hitler a fool? He thinks he can win the war with Russians!' According to Grandmaster Ludek Pachman:[citation needed] Prague was full of Gestapo, and Sämisch had to be overheard at least at the next few tables. I asked him to speak quietly. 'You don't agree that Hitler is a fool?' was Sämisch's unconcerned retort."

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The whole section dates from 2015 and comes from <John Foley>:
Feb-18-18  ughaibu: Two questions: 1. who was the better smoker, Saemisch or Tal? 2. was there really a tournament called 'Pig-world'?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <JimNorCal: Ludek Pachman:[citation needed]> Pachman reported at least twice about these events in Prague and Spain. The quote from Wiki is similar to that in his booklet "Zug um Zug - Ein Leben zwischen Schach und Politik", (Freiburg, 1982), pages 19-20. Some minor differences are:

1. instead of the closong banquet Pachman mentioned a political speech by Sämisch at the end of the tournament, and

2. instead of the German border Pachman mentioned the Spanish-French border where Sämisch was arrested.

A less precise and hence less similar description can be found in "Jetzt kann ich sprechen" (Düsseldorf, 1973), page 29.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Do we have any information on what Saemisch did during the war? I doubt his chess skills were important enough to qualify him for the Gottbegnadeten list:

Come to think of it, he was just short of eighteen when WW1 broke out, so the above goes double.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <offramp: I've just noticed that Sämisch rarely played outside of Germany. He played at Karlsbad, but that was a German speaking area of Czech. He played at Copenhagen, but I bet a shedload of Danes speak German.> Here is Sämisch in his own words on that subject:

"Im Ausland habe ich an 42 Schachturnieren teilgenommen."

"Auf Schach-Reisen besuchte ich 1. Deutschland, 2. Dänemark, 3. Schweden, 4. Finnland, 5. Estland, 6. Lettland, 7. Litauen, 8. den Freistaat Danzig, 9. Rußland, 10. Polen, 11. die Tschechoslowakei, 12. die Slowakei, 13. Österreich, 14. Ungarn, 15. Jugoslawien, 16. die Schweiz, 17. Spanien, 18. Frankreich, 19. Belgien, 20. England und 21. Holland. Auch nach 22. Luxemburg bin ich gelangt, aber nicht als Schachspieler."


"Mein größter Kummer: daß es mir noch nicht gelungen ist, nach Italien zu gelangen."

Caissa, 1952.

Feb-20-18  Granny O Doul: Pachman's Prague café story also appears in his book "Checkmate in Prague".
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Wait, Czechoslovakia and Slovakia were once different countries?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <alexmagnus> Sämisch was right:

The Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II (aka Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia), while the Slovak region became the <Slovak Republic> (1939-1945).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <whiteshark: .. The Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II (aka Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia)> No, this happened already before WWII.

I find the dates, when Hitler increased his territory, easy to remember, because they happened in intervals of roughly sixth months:

March 1938 / Austria
September - October 1938 / Sudetenland
March 1939 / Bohemia and Moravia
September 1939 / Poland (begin of WWII)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <Granny O Doul> Thank you for this hint. I wonder if "Checkmate in Prague" is an independent book, or if it is related to "Jetzt kann ich sprechen" (this book has a letter instead of a foreword and two parts with 30 chapters).
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <No, this happened already before WWII.> That's right, just as my <while the Slovak region became the <Slovak Republic> (1939-1945).>

--> 14. March 1939 – 21. July 1939: Slowakischer Staat (slowakisch Slovenský štát)

--> 21. July 1939 – 8. May 1945: Slowakische Republik (slowakisch Slovenská republika)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <whiteshark> Obviously a misunderstanding. Sorry!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: WW I: Assured is that Sämisch was a soldier, that he was wounded and that three fingers of his right hand remained stiff. Details vary depending on the source.

WW II: Ludwig Rellstab reported that Sämisch was released from service because of being an invalid and by age. So he could get the travel permit to Spain in the autumn of 1943. He was against the Nazis, but first they didn't take him seriously. However, in 1944 he was indicted before a court in Leipzig (Volksgericht) and acquitted for lack of evidence. (From a booklet on the Friedrich-Sämisch-Gedächtnisturnier 1978)

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