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Friedrich Saemisch
Number of games in database: 586
Years covered: 1920 to 1972
Overall record: +172 -197 =214 (47.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      3 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (47) 
    A46 D02 A50 D00 E10
 Orthodox Defense (37) 
    D51 D52 D63 D64 D67
 Queen's Gambit Declined (26) 
    D37 D35 D30 D31 D06
 Nimzo Indian (21) 
    E24 E21 E38 E35 E20
 Slav (18) 
    D18 D15 D19 D11 D16
 Grunfeld (17) 
    D96 D95 D90 D97 D98
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (45) 
    B83 B40 B20 B24 B43
 Ruy Lopez (33) 
    C76 C71 C73 C79 C64
 Queen's Indian (27) 
    E12 E17 E14 E15 E19
 Queen's Pawn Game (26) 
    A46 E10 D02 E00 D01
 Nimzo Indian (25) 
    E38 E21 E20 E32 E23
 French Defense (16) 
    C11 C01 C10 C00 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 Reti, 1928 1-0
   Saemisch vs J Engel, 1928 1-0
   Saemisch vs O Menzinger, 1953 1-0
   Kmoch vs Saemisch, 1928 0-1
   Saemisch vs Alekhine, 1921 1/2-1/2
   Saemisch vs F Krautheim, 1946 1-0
   Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1925 1-0

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)
   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
   1925 Breslau by TheFocus
   Dresden 1936 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 586  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Saemisch vs Olland  ½-½48 1920 Gothenburg BD00 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Spielmann vs Saemisch  ½-½33 1920 BerlinB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
3. Carls vs Saemisch  1-092 1920 Gothenburg BA14 English
4. Saemisch vs E Jacobson  1-055 1920 Gothenburg BA46 Queen's Pawn Game
5. Leonhardt vs Saemisch ½-½50 1920 BerlinE12 Queen's Indian
6. Saemisch vs A Brinckmann 1-015 1920 Berlin2D00 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Saemisch vs Shropp  1-035 1920 ItD00 Queen's Pawn Game
8. M Marchand vs Saemisch  1-062 1920 Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
9. Saemisch vs Breyer  ½-½64 1920 BerlinA43 Old Benoni
10. Saemisch vs W Schoenmann  ½-½27 1920 Berlin2E70 King's Indian
11. Saemisch vs Euwe  ½-½22 1920 Berlin-Holland m TelegraphD00 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Saemisch vs P F Johner  ½-½56 1920 Gothenburg BD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
13. V Sjoberg vs Saemisch  ½-½42 1920 Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
14. Saemisch vs Tartakower  ½-½36 1920 BerlinC11 French
15. Saemisch vs H Von Hennig  ½-½51 1920 Gothenburg BD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. Saemisch vs Bogoljubov 0-133 1920 BerlinA40 Queen's Pawn Game
17. M Bluemich vs Saemisch  ½-½61 1920 Berlin2C48 Four Knights
18. A Larsson vs Saemisch  ½-½68 1920 Gothenburg BC10 French
19. Saemisch vs A Nilsson  ½-½77 1920 Gothenburg BA80 Dutch
20. Tarrasch vs Saemisch  1-077 1920 BerlinC49 Four Knights
21. W John vs Saemisch  1-059 1920 Gothenburg BC10 French
22. Maroczy vs Saemisch  ½-½48 1920 BerlinA46 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Saemisch vs K Kullberg  1-030 1920 Gothenburg BA46 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Gruenfeld vs Saemisch  ½-½26 1920 Gothenburg BE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
25. Saemisch vs J Mieses 0-151 1920 BerlinA80 Dutch
 page 1 of 24; games 1-25 of 586  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 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-06-12  Troller: <...winning two lightning tournaments at the age of 61.>

Is this not normally called "blitz" in English, or is "lightning" another thing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <ughaibu: The only blindfold game, that I can see at a glance...>

I'd guess that due to Alekhine's annotations this is a more famous one: Alekhine vs Saemisch, 1923

Jun-29-13  Karpova: When Adolf Kramer died in 1934, Saemisch wrote an obituary in the 'Berliner illustrierte Nachtausgabe' of 1934.02.23 where he rejects the notion of being the innovator behind the Nimzo Indian Saemisch. Kramer had played it already against Machate in 1926 (and Saemisch did not know the even earlier example G Norman vs R P Michell, 1923 as he calls the Kramer game the stem game) - the game was submitted to the database. In his annotations, Saemisch says

<Die vorliegende Partie ist die Prioritätspartie der bekannten Variante 1 d4 Sf6 2 c4 e6 3 Sc3 Lb4 4 a3!?, die fälschlich als meine Erfindung ausgegeben wurde [...]>

(The game at hand is the stem game of the well-known variation 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 which has erroneously been described as my invention)

on 4.a3 <(Die Anhänger dieses Zuges haben gute Erfolge zu verzeichnen, obwohl er objektiv betrachtet minderwertig ist.)>

(The adherents of this move achieve good successes, although viewed objectively it is inferior.)

Source: C.N. 4981

Jun-30-13  KlingonBorgTatar: Saemisch refuted the WHO fanaticism against smoking. He reached the ripe age of nearly 79 yrs old living the stressful life of a chess master while chainsmoking!! :D :D :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

"If I could play the first twenty moves, I would not mind somebody else finishing the game for me."

-- Sämisch

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: First 20 moves a Grandmaster. Rest of the game a Grandpatzer.

There is no need for a GM to lose like this so often on time.

Aug-28-13  Karpova: The crosstables of the infamous Büsum (May 1 to 16) and Lidköping (July 23 to August 4) tournaments in 1969, are shown in C.N. 8237 Link:

Saemisch lost all his games in both tournaments, at the Büsum all of them on time as Bent Larsen reported (Bent Kølvig (Rødovre, Denmark) provides the source) and at Lidköping at least many games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: One player known mostly for a pawn formation. King's Indian, Samisch Variation (E80). Unlike Geza Maroczy, he actually played the variation he's known for.
Sep-20-13  yesnomaybeidontknow: The bio on this page does Saemisch no justice:
Saemisch had several important tournament wins, including clear 1st at Vienna in 1921, ahead of Euwe, Gruenfeld and Tartakower, 1st at Dortmund 1928 and 1st at Swinemuende in 1930.
<Gypsy>'s excellent observations on page 1 of kibitzing here that Saemisch was openly contemptuous of the Nazi regime deserve inclusion also.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Saemisch.
Sep-20-13  brankat: Second that!
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.
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