|Oct-31-04|| ||offramp: Is he the same as Pim Muhring? |
|Oct-31-04|| ||sneaky pete: <offramp> Yes he is, Pim is (sort of) a nickname |
|Oct-31-04|| ||offramp: Thanks for that - I wondered why so little googled up for '"pim muhring" chess'.
Thanks to you I found a very good obit of him here http://www.sbsa.nl/tp/sw99muhring.htm and I presume he died in 1999 - no date is given, though. |
|Mar-29-05|| ||offramp: Funny story (fiction) here:
|Jun-27-05|| ||offramp: That link above no longer works. So here is that piece of fiction:|
"My name is Pim Mühring and I am a FIDE International Master at chess. I am from Holland and there are many Dutch readers who will remember me, even though I was never a really outstanding chess master.
In 1972 Boris Spassky and Robert Fischer played a match for the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Dutch television decided to cover the first game live—all five hours of the first session—with the possibility of sunsequent games also being shown. They asked Dr Max Euwe, the former World Chess Champion, to present the show. Euwe asked me to come along and help out. I agreed immediately; Dr Euwe was a hero of mine. Neither of us thought that more than one hundred people would watch the programme in the whole of Holland.
We commented on the entire first game. Fischer lost but it was not a very interesting game. As I was very much the junior party in the duo I asked the questions so as to allow Dr Euwe to show the great breadth of his chess intellect: “This is a Nimzo-Indian Defence, is it not, Dr Euwe? What will be the aims of black and white in this opening?” “Do you think white’s small lead in development is relevant, Doctor?” “Do you think this is a very weak move?” Questions like that.
When the programme was over we thought we had done a very good job. It was only in the next few days that we realised how phenomenally successful we had actually been. No less than 75% of the population of the Netherlands had watched our programme. People had also tuned in from all over Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France.
The producer—Hank van der Wijst—was almost delirious. Our programme had been watched by more people in those five hours than had seen The Sound of Music in seven years! It was incredible. There was no longer any question about Dutch TV following the remaining games. All the games would be shown, and shown live. Never in history had there been such interest in a chess event!
Fischer did not show up for game 2, and it was feared by many that the match would not continue. But he showed up for game three and the match went ahead...
|Jun-27-05|| ||offramp: ...Before game four started Hank came up to me in s’-Knalngers—the bar outside Nederland 2 TV Centre where I would meet briefly with Euwe before the games. He told me that he had received lots of letters from all over Europe about the coverage. He said that people were complaining that they didn’t know what the Nimzo-Indian Defence was, or what doubled pawns were, or what a weak white-square complex was. He said he wanted me to ask Euwe more basic questions, more consonant with the needs of a beginner at chess. It seems that the vast majority of the viewers were not highly proficient in the game and needed a more lowbrow commentary.
Thus, in game four, my questions took on a more demotic complexion. “I believe this opening is called the Sicilian Defence, Max. Is that right?” “This move seems to lose a pawn, Max. Is that important?” “Where should one place the bishops in these endings, Max?”
When the game was over—a draw—Max and I went straight away to s’-Knalngers for some beers. Very soon we were joined by Hank van der Wijst, who did not look happy. He addressed himself only to me.
“Listen, Pim. I told you to cut out the technical rubbish. People out there don’t understand it. Leave all the jargon to our esteemed Herr Doctor Euwe,” he said, jerking a thumb at the former World Champion, who was reading the back of a bottle of Oranjeboom. “People have been jamming the call centre for four hours saying they can’t understand what is being said. Now shape up!”
He walked straight out. Euwe soon left. I stayed for a while because I found that I was now a celebrity—people were buying me drinks and asking for my autograph.
Game 5 was won very quickly by Fischer—Spassky made a blunder—so there was not much room for commentary. I only asked one question that I can remember, “Can pawns move backwards, Herr Doctor Euwe?”
That evening, as I was walking home along Tasmanstraat I met an old friend, Constant Orbaan. I have played him many times at chess and in general I have emerged victorious. He is a strong player but he never quite achieved the status of FIDE International Master, as I have. He had read in the newspapers about how hugely successful the chess coverage had been of the Fischer-Spassky match, and he congratulated me.
“Euwe is very good, is he not?” he said. “You also are very good. I was surprised to discover that you are unaware that pawns may not move backwards.”
I told him that I was well aware that pawns could not move backwards; that such questions were asked for the benefit of the less chess-cognizant viewer.
Orbaan laughed. He said, “We shall see. We shall see…” and he strode off to the station....|
|Jun-27-05|| ||offramp: ...The next day, before the start of game 6, I arrived at s’-Knalngers early, and I had been there about an hour when Dr Euwe walked in with Hank van der Wijst.
Van der Wijst saw me immediately at the bar. He came over and said, “You were not too bad in the last game. But we are still getting these letters… I want you to ask questions at a slightly lower level. Imagine that you are a complete beginner.”
I told him that I had reservations about asking questions directed at a lower competency of player than I had previously asked.
He said, “Another solution is that we get a real beginner to co-present with Dr Euwe. Then there would be no problem. Would you prefer that?”
“No,” I said.
“Then you’ll carry on asking the questions?”
“Beginner’s questions. Not egghead questions.”
“That is settled then. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some business with Dr Euwe.”
They sat down at a table. A few minutes later, as I was leaving s’-Knalngers, I heard them laughing.
As Dr Euwe and I were waiting for the first moves to arrive from Reykjavík, I began my questions. “Who moves first in a game of chess? Which way round does the board go? Why are the pieces different colours?”
On his 5th move, Spassky castled. “What is he doing? What is that move called? Why is it called that?”
I felt like a sheepdog watching his owner do a jigsaw puzzle.
|Jan-23-06|| ||dakgootje: lol brilliant story! But well, cant please all, so I doubt whether it was relevant to ask even worse questions then <Can pawns move backwards, Herr Doctor Euwe?>...|
|Mar-12-06|| ||OhioChessFan: <lol brilliant story! But well, cant please all, so I doubt whether it was relevant to ask even worse questions then <Can pawns move backwards, Herr Doctor Euwe?>...>|
Of course they can, <dakgootje>:
|Mar-12-06|| ||aw1988: Lol, that is a brilliant story, I had no idea that existed. Thanks.|
|Mar-12-06|| ||Jim Bartle: Imagine this idea applied to other sports:
Poker: Are you allowed to look at the other players' hands?
Football (soccer): Why don't they grab the ball with their hands?
Basketball: Why do they bounce the ball?
Golf: When the ball goes in the trees, why don't they just throw it back on the grass?
In truth, I've watched a couple of broadcasts of the World Series of Poker, and haven't understood a word the announcers say.
|Sep-14-07|| ||dokterfree: nice story!
I had already heard about it.
Think it was a book from Bohm?
|Oct-29-07|| ||offramp: The other player mentioned in the story, apart from Euwe, is Constant Orbaan.|
|Feb-24-15|| ||morfishine: <offramp> I hope this story has won some type of award over the years|
|Feb-24-15|| ||offramp: <morfishine: <offramp> I hope this story has won some type of award over the years>|
All I ever got for it was the Order of the Netherlands Lion. And Viktor Korchnoi sent me two hundred bucks.
|Aug-17-16|| ||TheFocus: Happy birthday, Willem Muhring.|