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Walter Grimshaw
Number of games in database: 2
Years covered: 1875 to 1886

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(born Mar-12-1832, died Dec-27-1890, 58 years old) United Kingdom

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Walter Grimshaw was a British composer of chess problems. In 1854 he won the first ever chess problem solving competition in London. He is perhaps best known for a popular interference theme of chess problems, commonly known as simply a Grimshaw.

Wikipedia article: Walter Grimshaw

 page 1 of 1; 2 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Grimshaw vs Steinitz 1-0171875Casual gameC45 Scotch Game
2. W Grimshaw vs A Love 1-0191886WhitbyC28 Vienna Game
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Grimshaw wins | Grimshaw loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-08-05  aw1988: Responsible for the "Double Grimshaw"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <aw1988> Like in mathematics, it's always hard to say somebody is responsible for something... chess is more of a process of discovery than invention.

Here's an example of a double Grimshaw interference:

click for larger view

White to play and mate in two. (Loshinsky, 1930)

Scroll down for solution.











1. Bb3!!

Creating no direct threats but leaving Black in a state of zugwang, in spite of his wealth of movable pieces.

The Grimshaws occur on b7 and g7 here, hence it's a "double grimshaw". For example if 1...Rb7, Black will block his own bishop on a8, allowing 2.Rc6#. But if Black plays 1...Bb7 then he blocks his own rook, allowing 2.Re7#.

On g7 another grimshaw interference takes place. On 1...Rb7 the h8-bishop is blocked to allow 2.Qe5#. On 1...Bb7 the h7-rook is blocked to allow 2.Qxf7#.

There's even another interference going on: that of the f-pawn. E.g. if 1...Bc6, white has 2.Qg4#, because the bishop blocked the f-pawn.

A very famous puzzle.

<Grimshaw vs Novotny interference>

For years I puzzled over the difference between a Grimshaw interference and a Novotny interference, but now I think I finally know the difference. In a Grimshaw, it's Black (the losing player) who blocks himself, so that every defense to one mate cuts off another piece to allow a different mate. In a Novotny interference it's White (the winning player) who plunks a piece down on the interference square which curiously cannot be captured due to the same interference problem. Novotny tactics are often breathtaking, because a player will put a piece on a square which can be captured so many ways, and yet it's immune to capture. And it's not a revealed attack--it's pure interference. Puzzles with Novotny solutions often appear so outlandish they look like typographical errors.

Mar-22-08  TheBB: <Sneaky> Finally! :)

<E.g. if 1...Bc6,> You mean ...Bf6 of course. Took me a while to figure out... lol.

Remind me never to be a problemist.

Anyway, from your description it would seem to me that the following game features an example of a Novotny interference, but on the game page it's talked about Planchutta-something-or-other.

Tarrasch vs Allies, 1914

I don't really care what the names are. It's really the examples that matter.

Mar-22-08  acirce: <TheBB> Yeah, the theme in Tarrasch vs Allies, 1914 <is> a Plachutta. The difference is well explained by <Gilmoy> on the game page:

<- Nowotny is when they move differently, e.g. R+B. This implies that the moving piece <cuts off> the non-moving piece, which instantly gives the -1 defender.

- Plachutta is when they move similarly, e.g. R+R. This implies that there is no <cutting off>, but the moving piece does become <overworked>. Then you can deflect it further for the -1.>

and in the Wikipedia article:

Mar-22-08  xrt999: I love trying to follow lines with a bunch of errors.
Aug-31-09  PE56: Sneaky, this is indeed an excellent problem by the great Lev Loshinsky. However, there are actually three Grimshaws in the problem!!

1...Bf6 2.Qg4#
1...f6 2.Qe4#

We have here a reciprocal interference by the Bishop and Pawn, as opposed to a Bishop and Rook in a regular Grimshaw. This is called "Pickabish". Don't miss the fact that both defenses on f6 are also self-blocks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is an excellent website on the history of the Grimshaw family:

The Walter Grimshaw page is still under construction.

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: Article by Edward Winter on his alleged victory, in an off-hand game, over the World Champion <Grimshaw vs Steinitz>

And also <Chess Notes> 7271/2 with more bio-data, pictures etc

Jul-23-13  thomastonk: From "The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post" January 3, 1891: "A Whitby telegram states that Mr Walter Grimshaw, the eminent chess player and composer, committed suicide on Saturday morning by cutting his throat with a razor."
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