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Member since Sep-23-04 · Last seen Apr-24-14
Scott Thomson

The Perseus Project: The classics in Greek, Latin & English--hyperlinked

A page from the Venetus A, the oldest complete manuscript of the Iliad, courtesy of Harvard's Multitext Library:

A collection of chess links, including tons of tournament crosstables and games:

From Google Books, a link to Tarrasch's book on the 1908 world championship. I've translated his notes on the game pages.

Lasker's book on St. Petersburg 1909

Chess-play is a good and witty exercise of the mind for some kind of men, and fit for such melancholy, Rhasis holds, as are idle, and have extravagant impertinent thoughts, or troubled with cares, nothing better to distract their mind, and alter their meditations; invented (some say) by the general of an army in famine, to keep soldiers from mutiny: but if it proceed from overmuch study, in such case it may do more harm than good; it is a game too troublesome for some men's brains, too full of anxiety, all out as bad as study; besides it is a testy choleric game, and very offensive to him that loseth the mate. William the Conquerer, in his younger years, playing at chess with the Prince of France (Dauphine was not annexed to that crown in those days) losing a mate, knocked the chess-board about his pate, which was a cause afterwards of much enmity between them.

--Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy

"Just because many great chess players were obnoxious jerks, doesn't mean that if you're an obnoxious jerk you're a great chess player."


"You are also a machine, as are Anand, Carlsen, Kasparov, and Fischer. You and the others are just inferior machines. Your idea of beautiful chess is simply faulty chess that is not caught in its faults."


>> Click here to see keypusher's game collections. Full Member

   keypusher has kibitzed 15686 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Apr-24-14 Kenneth Rogoff (replies)
keypusher: 9/10 on the bundy test, and I never watched Married with Children.
   Apr-24-14 Magnus Carlsen (replies)
keypusher: <Wyatt Gwyon: I'd say it's fair to call it a slump, at least by Carlsen's standards. It's been what, four years since he lost back-to-back games?> Well, it's definitely bad! I wouldn't call it a slump, because to me two games just isn't long enough. It's not like he wasn't ...
   Apr-24-14 Carlsen vs Radjabov, 2014 (replies)
keypusher: <Nicocobas: <all> Carlsen is often compared to Capablanca. I searched Google without success trying to find if Capablanca ever lost two games in a row in a tournament. Does anyone know?> St. Petersburg 1914 (Lasker and Tarrasch). I think that's it. Lasker is even more ...
   Apr-24-14 Gashimov Memorial (2014) (replies)
keypusher: <KingG> nice to see you. You have been missed.
   Apr-23-14 keypusher chessforum
keypusher: kp-MA 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Be2 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Qd3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 0-0 10.Bg5 h6 11.h4 d5 12.e5 hxg5 13.hxg5 a5 14.Qf3 Ba6 15.gxf6 Bxe2 16.Qg3 g6 17.Qg5 Qxf6 18.exf6 Rab8 19.Qh6 Rb1+ 20.Rxb1 1-0 After 15.gxf6. [DIAGRAM]
   Apr-23-14 Robert James Fischer (replies)
keypusher: <Bobby, of course you KNOW my father was just being sarcastic, he was upset that you wanted 50K > I've read the article and I don't see any sign Schapp Sr. was upset by the babbling old fruitcake. He was amused. Fischer used to demand large amounts of money to talk to people
   Apr-23-14 Caruana vs Carlsen, 2014 (replies)
keypusher: <DcGentle: To me this game looks as if Carlsen got angry at himself, most likely due to his oversight, and the ensuing moves were more like a desperate act. Things happen. He wanted to open the game, yes, but the price was too high.> I think this is quite right. Maybe ...
   Apr-22-14 Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2014 (replies)
keypusher: <Shams: <keypusher> <And how many 12-year-old user-supported websites are there, anyway?> In context, an amusingly ambiguous question.> Yeah, I'm going to slowly crawl away from that one. <peristilo: Yes, many serial killers are good guys most of the time>
   Apr-22-14 Karjakin vs Carlsen, 2014 (replies)
keypusher: Well, these two definitely gave us our money's worth. I didn't give K much chance of holding the draw back when he was an hour behind on the clock with a wretched position!
   Apr-21-14 London (1899)
keypusher: <whiteshark: <<keypusher> White scored as follows: +59-81=46, or .31/.44/.25 > Additionally, I wonder if there also had been another 'great' tournament with 75% decisive games.> I'm sure that was a normal result for the time. I checked Hastings 1895 and got a ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Scott here it is
Ulf Andersson vs Karpov, 1982
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Benzol>, thanks. I now have two game #28s, though. Do all the remaining game #s need to be updated "by hand"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <keypusher> I wouldn't think so. As far as I know it's the dates that determine things.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Phillips & Drew Kings (1982) It still needs a crosstable and it might need some streamlining on the intro perhaps but the basic structure is in place. Good work matey.


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Thanks, <Benzol>. I enjoyed making that collection, I appreciate you getting it into shape.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: No worries matey. I've also listed the prizes as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan: Am I right about Fischer or was he being paranoid about the Russian players? and are people here who let's face it, hero worship him just saying that he went up against "a system" because they're just bias because it's him? That's a serious question btw, I only know what I've seen from a few Fischer documentaries and what I've read about him here from his "special fans!". I know that every player has played for draws since the year dot, but I would think that coming from someone who said "Play till there are just kings" (or something similar?) that he's the best example of a chess fighter. I would ask people on his player page but for the reasons I just gave above I don't think id get a completely impartial answer. 😃
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Hi, Mark, sorry I am only just now responding to this. I don’t check my forum very often, and I wanted to wait until I had some time to think about my response. There is a lot to think about.

As an American, I have very conflicted feelings about Fischer. He was the first chess player I really learned about, and he’s still the one whose games I know best. Either him or Lasker. But eventually a contra-Fischer reaction set in, as it always does. There’s a great quote by someone about the Rolling Stones: “when I was young, I thought they were the best band ever, and every one of their songs was better than any songs by any other band. Later I realized that this wasn’t strictly true.” That’s how I was about Fischer. The disenchantment grew in my early years on this website, when I got into huge battles with Fischer fans. It wasn’t that they thought he was a great player; it’s that they thought he was unquestionably the best ever, and no one else even seemed worth mentioning in the same breath.

What I particularly didn’t like was that they gave him so much credit for courage, but they never acknowledged that he walked away from the game after winning the title. There is one player and only one who never played a single serious game of chess as world champion. There is one player and one player only who never defended his title. If you’re going to talk about what a he-man and a fighter he was, it seems to me, you have to acknowledge that. You can’t ignore it, you can’t pretend that it was somehow FIDE’s fault or Karpov’s fault or the USCF’s fault or whatever. It was Fischer’s fault. It’s part of the picture, and if you’re going to compare him with other players and talk about how aggressive and tough he is, you also have to acknowledge that he is the biggest quitter in the history of the game.

That said…it is a fact that he played games out, in his time, much more than anyone else. In his prime, he almost never played quick draws, and he fought to win with both White and Black. The only other player who did that at the time was Larsen (Korchnoi, to a lesser extent), and of course Larsen just wasn’t the player Fischer was. Those guys aside, if you look at tournament collections from the 60s you’ll see a lot of dull, short draws. In the 70s, after Fischer quit, I think it got even worse. It’s instructive to look at Karpov’s games from one of his many tournament first prizes. With White, he generally tries to win, and you see a lot of very interesting games. With Black, you get a lot of 15-move draws. He’s making no effort to win, and very few people are trying to beat him. It’s funny to look at Karpov’s games with Miles. When Karpov has White, he has a ton of wins, and Miles has a couple (including the famous 1….a6 game). Very interesting stuff. When Miles has White…well, it couldn’t be duller. Almost all short draws.

Draws are common nowadays, but it’s my impression that short dull draws are much less common now than in the 70s. They are certainly rare in Carlsen’s games. I evidently have a much more positive view of his style than you do, but that’s for another day.

I think there was a fair amount of low grade corruption in Fischer’s time. Games being bought and sold. Supposedly he wouldn’t stand for that, so it tended not to happen in tournaments he played in (but what about this game??). Anyway, that is in his favor.

Re the Soviets, I honestly don’t think Fischer ever had anything to complain about. They clearly saw the world title as “theirs” and they definitely wanted to keep Fischer from winning it. But I don’t think they did anything underhanded to keep him from taking the title. It seems pretty clear that there was an entente of sorts among Geller, Petrosian, and Keres at Curacao, but I don’t think it was aimed at Fischer. And after that…FIDE put in candidate matches just like Fischer wanted, and what did he do? He skipped the 1964 Interzonal, and dropped out in 1967. They obviously didn’t do anything ’70-’72…Spassky could have demanded an extra forfeit at the beginning of the match, or gone home after Fischer forfeited game 2, but he didn’t. In 1974-75, they rightly opposed Fischer’s attempt to impose a “win-by-two” condition on the challenger. If they’d lost on that point and Fischer had actually showed up to play (which, IMO, he was never going to do) Karpov would have knuckled under and played him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: This is the Taimanov game I meant to post.

Taimanov vs Matulovic, 1970

Premium Chessgames Member
  Octavia: <Just because many great chess players were obnoxious jerks, doesn't mean that> most players are obnoxious
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Octavia> Quite true.

There are more than two sides to that coin in my experience:

Tal Memorial (2013)

<In chess and poker, I have sat across the table from top-class players who were actually easier to deal with than averagely good ones who caught a heavy dose of hubris somewhere on the way. Dealing with (the latter) could be what one would politely refer to as a pain in the fundament.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan: <MarkFinan: <MarkFinan: <keypusher: <MarkFinan> No, he's not innocent. He wrote: <Lennonfan: How is 12.d5 bordering on an outright win here for white? Providing black plays N.b4 on move 11...> Black did play 11....Nb4, White duly played 12.d5 and crushed him. So the answer to <how is 12.d5 bordering on a win for White> is provided by the game itself, at least provisionally. If lennonfan thought there was a defense after that, he should have provided some moves.> So asking a question about a move, and suggesting a move, make poor Lennonfan a guilty man?>

And Keypusher.. You just can't answer that with any conviction in believing what you're actually saying!? Truth is there is nothing wrong with asking a question no matter who asked the aforementioned question. You can't possibly believe that when I asked that question I was "not innocent!" #numptie>

I posted this on the game page but I'm reposting here in case you miss it. You have to be on the wind up. Re the Fischer thing. So he wasn't the biggest quitter in chess then? 😃

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: You mentioned not feeling it with chess lately. When is the last time you played a new opening?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Shams: You mentioned not feeling it with chess lately. When is the last time you played a new opening?>

I'm feeling it just fine with chess. It's everything else related to thinking that I'm having trouble with.

In chess, I try to think about openings as little as possible. Unless you're much stronger than I am, I think that is the way to go.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: As I think <ughaibu> has said, Geller beat Fischer in rational positions as well as irrational ones. In the 1971 Candidates Matches Fischer seemed to aim for hyper-rational positions with white and "crazy" positions with black (especially against Taimanov and Larsen). Or, as Alexander Shashin put it, "he divided himself into 'White Fischer' and 'Black Fischer.' With the white pieces, Bobby pretended to be the greatest classical player, playing dry and precise chess, often draining his opponents in 60-move endgames. The Black Fischer, because of a pathological greed for points, strove for ultra sharp play in Korchnoi's manner. But his brain rebelled against such a heavy undertaking . . . ."

Maybe Fischer forgot which color he was playing here? But I think as Fischer's career progressed he got better at everything, including irrational positions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: [Event "Team match"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2014.03.31"]
[Round "-"]
[White "atadros"]
[Black "keypusher"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2038"]
[BlackElo "2005"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. c4 Nb6 4. f4 c5 5. Nc3 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Nf3 Nb4 8. a3 Nd3+ 9. Bxd3 Qxd3 10. Qe2 Bf5 11. b4 e6 12. Nb5 Qd7 13. d4 cxb4 14. O-O Be7 15. axb4 Nc6 16. d5 exd5 17. Nd6+ Bxd6 18. exd6+ Qe6 19. d7+ Kxd7 20. Qf2 a6 21. Qb6 Qd6 22. Qxb7+ Qc7 23. Ne5+ Nxe5 24. Qxd5+ Qd6 25. Qb7+ Qc7 26. Rd1+ Nd3 27. Qd5+ Ke7 28. Be3 Qd7 29. Bc5+ Kf6 30. Rxd3 Qxd5 31. Rxd5 Be6 32. Rd6 h5 33. Rdxa6 Rxa6 34. Rxa6 Rb8 35. Kf2 Kf5 36. Bd6 Rb5 37. Rc6 Bd5 38. Rc2 g6 39. Ke3 Be6 40. h3 Rd5 41. Bc5 Bd7 42. Rc1 Bb5 43. Bd4 Ke6 44. g4 hxg4 45. hxg4 Rd7 46. f5+ gxf5 47. gxf5+ Kd6 48. Rc5 Rb7 49. Bg7 Ke7 50. Kd4 Bd7 51. Kc4 Ba4 52. b5 Bc2 53. Bd4 Bd1 54. Kb4 Bf3 55. Rc3 Bg4 56. f6+ Kd7 57. Ka5 Be2 58. Bb6 Bf1 59. Re3 Bg2 60. Ka6 Kd6 61. Bd4 Bh1 62. Re8 Bg2 63. b6 Bh1 64. Be5+ Kd7 65. Re7+ Kc8 66. Bc7 Bd5 67. Kb5 Ba2 68. Kc6 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I think it's pretty clear by now that the best computers are vastly superior to the best humans - in this age that would be me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Copied from the Berlin 1928 page - a list of the players in order of finish with their age and chessmetrics rank.

José Capablanca #2 39y11m
Aron Nimzowitsch #3 41y11m
Rudolf Spielmann #13 45y5m
Saviely Tartakower #8 41y8m
Akiba Rubinstein #7 46y0m
Richard Réti #10 39y5m
Frank Marshall #9 51y2m
Siegbert Tarrasch #33 66y7m

Striking how old the players are -- Reti and Capablanca are the only contestants (barely) under 40. The 1920s was pretty much a lost decade as far as new chess talent is concerned.

Here's the current top 10 from

1 Carlsen 23 (30.11.1990)
2 Aronian 31 (06.10.1982)
3 Grischuk 30 (31.10.1983)
4 Anand 44 (11.12.1969)
5 Kramnik 38 (25.06.1975)
6 Caruana 21 (30.07.1992)
7 Karjakin 24 (12.01.1990)
8 Topalov 39 (15.03.1975)
9 Nakamura 26 (09.12.1987)
10 Dominguez 30 (23.09.1983)

Only Anand is over 40, and no one is over 45.

Just to do this right, here's the Chessmetrics top 10 from October 1928.

#1 Alexander Alekhine 36y0m
#2 José Capablanca 39y11m
#3 Aron Nimzowitsch 41y11m
#4 Efim Bogoljubow 39y6m
#5 Max Euwe 27y5m
#6 Milan Vidmar Sr 43y4m
#7 Akiba Rubinstein 46y0m
#8 Saviely Tartakower 41y8m
#9 Frank Marshall 51y2m
#10 Richard Réti 39y5m

Only Euwe is under 30.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: kp-Magnus app

click for larger view

1.h3?? Bxf3 2.Bxf3 Bd2!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Bd2. Ouch. I might have missed that too since I have an amazing capacity to miss long moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <OhioChessFan: Bd2. Ouch. I might have missed that too since I have an amazing capacity to miss long moves.>

Botvinnik had the same failing, he said, so we are in good company. And ...Bd2 was so pretty I didn't much mind (as opposed to all the games I've lost to the app from hanging a piece, overlooking a back-rank mate, etc.).

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher> Ouch indeed.

In particular, Botvinnik noted that Euwe gave him particular difficulty early on with his 'long moves', and it was only when Euwe had lost a step that Botvinnik was able to even matters between them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: The age issue from Berlin 28 is shocking. I had never really thought of the 20's as such a desert of young talent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: MA v. kp

click for larger view

I'll tell you what, losing from here bothers me a lot more than ...Bd2 did.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: kp-MA

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Be2 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Qd3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 0-0 10.Bg5 h6 11.h4 d5 12.e5 hxg5 13.hxg5 a5 14.Qf3 Ba6 15.gxf6 Bxe2 16.Qg3 g6 17.Qg5 Qxf6 18.exf6 Rab8 19.Qh6 Rb1+ 20.Rxb1 1-0

After 15.gxf6.

click for larger view

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