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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

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Friedrich Saemisch
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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. Saemisch vs A Brinckmann 1-0151920Berlin2D00 Queen's Pawn Game
2. M Bluemich vs Saemisch  ½-½611920Berlin2C48 Four Knights
3. Saemisch vs Shropp  1-0351920ItD00 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
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Oct-06-13  Karpova: The July 1926 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung' reports on page 204 that he played 26 blindfold Simuls with the score of +232 -24 =44 (300 games overall), that year.
Oct-12-13  Karpova: Berlin Championship Tournament 1925 (14 rounds):

1. Sämisch 12.0
2. Post 10.0
3. Wächter 8.5
4-6. Dr. Dürssen 7.5
4-6. Wegemund 7.5
4-6. Elstner 7.5
8-10. Adeler 7.0
8-10. Koch 7.0
8-10. Kagan 7.0
8-10. Steneberg 7.0

From page 149 of the May 1925 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Nov-13-13  Karpova: After a stay in Czechoslovakia for 1.5 years, Saemich toured Silesia and Poland in 1924.

Overall, 32 Simuls in 22 cities and 562 games (score: +443 -39 =80). Of these games, 239 were blindfold (10 to 16 games per Simul) and in the blindfold games he scored +183 -17 =39.

From page 349 of the December 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Feb-19-14  HSOL: The Swedish Chess Federation's official magazine 'Tidskrift för schack' reported that Saemisch lost several games on time in Lidkoping. After checking all thirteen games, it looks likely he resigned up to 3 of the 13 games.

This game (Saemisch) is black against Ake Olsson, Saemisch lost on time after 12 moves (a record?). 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Bd3 exd4 8.cxd4 Kf8 9.0-0 b6 10.Nc3 d6 11.Bb2 c5 12.Nd5 Bb7 13.Ne3 and here black forfeited on time.

The tournament was the Nordic championship and several non-Nordics were invited to make the tournament eligible for international master norms. And since there were no rating back in 1969, Saemisch helped matters since he was an GM. (There were too many late withdrawals to make it eligible in the end anyway though)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It looks like someone has stolen Saemisch's pistol.
Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: What did he do during World War Two? Before the war he was a buttboy in a Berlin dance hall.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Friedrich Saemisch.
Sep-27-14  Christoforus Polacco: Interesting game with participation of Saemisch in Muzzio\Polerio gambit :

F.Saemisch, Lottge, Warneke
Gunter, Schubert, Wanschafte, Dr. Schott

Hanover 1927

Consultation Game
1. e4 e5 2. f4 ef4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. O-O gf3 6. Qf3 Qf6 7. e5 Qe5 8. d3 Bh6 9. Nc3 Ne7 10. Bd2 c6 11. Rae1 Qc5 12. Kh1 d5 13. Qh5 Qd6 14. Bd5 cd5 15. Nb5 Qb6 16. Bb4 Nc6 17. Nd6 Kd7 18. Ba3 Bg7 19. Qg4 Kc7 20. Qf4 Be5 21. Re5 Ne5 22. Qe5 Ng6 23. Qg3 Qc6 24. Nc4 Kd8 25. Qg5 Kc7 26. Ne5 Qe6 27. Rf7 Kb8 28. Rf6 Qe5 29. Qe5 Ne5 30. Bd6#

Sep-29-14  Karpova: When did the match against Richard Reti take place?

My source ('Österreichische Schachrundschau', March 1922, issue 3, p. 3) writes that the match was played a short while ago (<Der vor kurzem gespielte Wettkampf>), which makes 1922 more likely. The Bio says 1921.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: March 1922, see
Sep-30-14  Karpova: <Stonehenge>

thanks! I corrected the Bio.

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>:
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