< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 1 OF 75 ·
|Jan-18-03|| ||Sarimanok: Nimzowitsch's My System is one the most instructive chessbook I've read. A lot chess strategy and techniques can be learned from it. Nimzowitsch is one of the original chess thinkers of the world. |
|May-28-03|| ||chessamateur: Nizowitch is one of my favorite players! Too bad he didn't get a shot at the title, though Alekhine would most certainly beat him in a match. Unless of course he would get drunk like did against Euwe... heh heh heh --- that's another story. |
|Jun-27-03|| ||Benjamin Lau: Random Remark of the Day: Nimzowitsch's real name is actually Niemzowitsch but it was spelled incorrectly on his passport. Overjoyed at getting a passport, Ni[e]mzowitsch didn't care. |
|Jun-27-03|| ||AgentRgent: <Benjamin> I'm no handwriting expert, but it doesn't look like Aron included the [e] either, at least when he signed his name... http://home19.inet.tele.dk/kastanie... |
|Jun-28-03|| ||euripides: According to Raymond Keene's book he used more than one spelling. It's a moot point whether there's a correct spelling for a transliterated name - you could argue that Nimzowitsch is correct in German and Nimzovitch in English. |
|Jun-28-03|| ||Larsker: The following is taken from http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kmoch...|
Grandmasters I Have Known
by Hans Kmoch
Aaron Nimzovich (1886-1935)
"He pretends to be crazy in order to drive us all crazy." This was
Tartakower's dictum on his colleague Nimzovich.
The man was not exactly crazy, but he did have certain marked
peculiarities, which I had ample opportunity to observe during the
nine years I knew him.
We first met at Baden-Baden in 1925 and quickly became good
friends when I innocently told him how much I had enjoyed the
game he had won against Rosselli. Nimzovich suffered from the
delusion that he was unappreciated and that the reason was malice.
All it took to make him blossom, as I later learned, was a little
praise. His paranoia was most evident when he dined in company.
He always thought he was served much smaller portions than
everyone else. He didn't care about the actual amount but only
about the imagined affront. I once suggested that he and I order
what the other actually wanted and, when the food was served,
exchange plates. After we had done so, he shook his head in
disbelief, still thinking that he had received the smaller portion.
He was born in Riga, the capital of Latvia, which in czarist times
had a strong German culture as well as a good reputation in chess.
The chess column of the *Riga Tagblatt* was well-known in
Europe, and the Riga Variation of the Ruy Lopez (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3
Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Nxe4 6 d4 exd4) had considerable
significance for a long time until Capablanca demolished it in
1915. In the atmosphere of his hometown, Nimzovich learned to
speak German with the skill of an actor and to play chess like a
The Russian word nyem-tso-vitch, with the stress on the first
syllable, can be translated as "son of a German." In the Latin
alphabet the name has appeared in a variety of spellings, none of
them specifically sanctioned by its owner, as far as I know. The
most common form in English is Nimzovich, though it
misrepresents the correct pronunciation of the first vowel.
When civil war broke out in Russia around 1917, Nimzovich was
trapped in the Baltic war zone between the rightists and leftists. He
escaped forced service in one of the armies by complaining so
insistently about a fly on his head that they finally left the
"madman" alone. The "madman" sneaked out and made his way to
Berlin, where he presented himself as Arnold Nimzovich. He used
the name Arnold possibly as a precaution against anti-Semitism,
though he soon reverted to his real first name. After some years of
wandering, he finally settled in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Nimzovich was a great player but, like Bogolyubov, only came
close to the top, never quite reaching world championship class.
His most brilliant success--a little late, considering he was then
43--was winnning the Karlsbad tournament in 1929. Like Steinitz
and Tarrasch, Nimzovich was also a prominent teacher of strategy,
though he and Tarrasch disagreed on many points.
|Jun-28-03|| ||Larsker: (continued)
Nimzovich was a moderate eater, drank very little if any beer or
wine, and disliked smoking so strongly that he often got into
arguments with smokers, especially when they were his opponents.
But he had a keen sense of humor and enjoyed a good laugh, even
at his own expense. This once helped me save a potentially
embarrassing situation at the Bled tournament of 1931. Yugoslavia
was then a kingdom, and Bled was the summer residence of the
royal family. The queen and her children were in fact living there
while the tournament was in progress, and the tournament
committee was nervously on the alert in case Her Majesty might
drop in. Considering the circumstances, the committee was
mortified when Nimzovich, who that day had a bye, sauntered into
the playing room wearing only a bathrobe, and refused to leave.
Imagine a Jewish chess player presenting himself almost naked to
the queen! A horrible case of lese majeste.
I happened to be the tournament director, and the committee came
to me desperately seeking help. I grabbed Nimzovich gently by the
neck and gave him a boot in the behind as I propelled him toward
the door. Fortunately, he saw the humor in the situation and left at
once, laughing all the way.
Among grandmasters, Nimzovich's best friend--and his greatest
admirer--was Dr. Milan Vidmar. Over the board, however, these
two were fierce enemies, always producing games full of
fireworks. I played four tournament games with Nimzovich, losing
three and drawing one. He was too strong for me, as he was for so
many others. In speed chess, though, one of our encounters did not
turn out so happily for him. At a rapid-chess tournament in Breslau
in 1925, part of the first prize was enough silk to make six shirts.
Nimzovich, taking it for granted that he would win, found out
everything he could about the silk even before the tournament
began. As it happened, however, I defeated him in the first
round--in a French Defense, in fact, in which he had played his
specialty 3 e5. I went on to win the tournament and the silk.
On another occasion, in Berlin, having missed the first prize by
losing to Saemisch, Nimzovich got up on a table and shouted, "Why
must I lose to this idiot?" This story was told to me by the idiot
Nimzovich also lost his temper at the end of the Marienbad
tournament in 1925, which he would have won had he defeated
Spielmann in the last round. But that game ended in a draw, and
Nimzovich had to share first and second prizes with Rubinstein. He
was so disappointed that he openly accused Spielmann of dishonor.
My last meeting with Nimzovich was also the longest. It took place
in 1934, when we were both following the second
Alekhine-Bogolyubov world championship match as reporters. The
games of the match were scheduled to be played in many parts of
Nazi Germany--unfriendly territory for a Jew and not particularly
safe for a Gentile either, in view of the tensions immediately
preceding Hitler's bloody purge of his political enemies, among
them Ernst Roehm.
|Jun-28-03|| ||Larsker: (last part)
Nimzovich considered himself protected by three consulates: the
Latvian because of his birthplace, the Danish because of his
residence, and the Dutch because some of his reports were going to
a newspaper in Holland. He boasted of this protection even to
Reichsminister Hans Frank, who at that time was in charge of the
"protection" of art and later became the governor of Nazi- occupied
Poland. Frank followed a few games of the match and sometimes
chatted with the masters and reporters, including Nimzovich. He
even invited the whole chess troupe to his villa for lunch. The Jews
Mieses and Nimzovich were included in the invitation, but only
Nimzovich showed up. At the luncheon he demonstrated his usual
persecution mania by complaining first about a dirty plate and then
about a dirty knife. The Reichsminister, seated directly opposite
him, pretended not to hear.
In Kissingen, where some of the match games were played, I was a
guest in the same hotel at which I had stayed during the
tournament in 1928. Overcrowded then, it was empty in 1934. At
dinnertime, when the restaurant should have been crowded, there
were only four people in the room: my wife and I, and, at another
table, Frank and an elderly man who I later learned was the
composer Richard Strauss. The sinister emptiness of that dining
room, which the hotel manager attributed to "bad economic
conditions," should have been a forewarning, but the Nazi leaders
understood nothing. Frank himself failed to understand what was
going on under his governorship in Poland. He became known as
"the butcher of Poland," and for his war crimes he was hanged in
Nimzovich caused several incidents during that 1934 match, all of
them harmless except one. And for a moment, that one was
hair-raisingly serious. One day when a high officer in a Nazi
uniform entered the press room, Nimzovich brusquely demanded
to see his credentials. When the perplexed officer didn't answer at
once, Nimzovich asked him to leave. The other reporters, including
myself, were horrified, expecting the Nazi to react violently after
receiving such an order from a Jew. But, amazingly, nothing
happened. The officer simply left.
Nimzovich appeared to be in good health at the time of the 1934
match. Later that same year, however, after agreeing to play a
match with Euwe, he canceled the match for reasons of ill health.
On March 16, 1935, he died of cancer. [Some sources say the
cause of death was pneumonia. --BH] Alekhine, who a few years
later would write his infamous anti-Semitic articles for a Nazi
newspaper in Holland, told me that Nimzovich's cancer was, in his
exact words, "syphilitic in origin."
|Jun-29-03|| ||Ron: Kmoch on Nimzovich
One of the funniest things I read in chess literature was Hans Kmoch's spoof of Nimzovich's writing style. Kmoch's article can be found at the end of an older edition of Raymond Keene's book on Nimzovitch. There is a new addition of Keene's book, but it does not have Kmoch's article.
I won't reveal everything, but it is called "The Immortal Overprotection Game" and in this fictional game White has ALL his pieces overprotecting one square! Another funny thing is that in this game after the moves e4, e6, white plays h4! which is "good because it is bad.."
Perhaps the funniest article in the chess literature.
|Jun-29-03|| ||Shadout Mapes: A little bit of couriosity and boredom and I found it.|
|Jun-29-03|| ||Benjamin Lau: <AgentRgent>, I obtained that information from The Oxford Companion to Chess. My copy is 1984 so it could be outdated. This is what it says:|
"Around 1920 he was able to leave Latvia. His name, originally of four syllables (Ni-em-so-witsch, meaning 'from Germany'), was seplt without an 'e' on the passport; overjoyed at having a passport at all, he accepted the new name."
|Jun-30-03|| ||euripides: To get a similar phonetic effect in German I think you'd have to write Njemzowitsch |
|Sep-02-03|| ||Tecumseh: Does anyone know the real story about the altercation between him and Capablanca at St Petersburg in 1914?|
All I can find is this fictional and disrespectful version
|Dec-19-03|| ||CapablancaRules: I think Nimzowitsch never became WCH because he commited a lot of mistakes. His nervs blew up for any reason. Also he low-estimate his opponents, a terrible habit for a sportsman! |
|Dec-23-03|| ||Prophylaxis: Nimzowitsch's most important contribution to chess was rebirth- a renaissance. After the turn of the century, Capablanca, among others, began to claim that chess was "too simple." It seemed that the magic had died, all the strategic concepts and theory of the game had been found and exhaustively explained. Then Nimzowitsch blew the world out of the water with his bold and original approach to the game. Even those who do not agree completely with his principles acknowledge how instrumental he was in reshaping and revitalizing the game at such an important time. |
|Dec-24-03|| ||russep: Is his name Nimzovich or Nimzowitsch?
If he did invernt the nimzo-indian opening how come he hasn't really played a large number of games with the opening or is this database incomplete?
|Dec-24-03|| ||Benjamin Lau: Nimzowitsch I think was the first player to play the opening seriously in a tournament and with a true understanding of the theory behind it, so that's why it gets to be his opening. Blackburne was the one who first played it I think, but he didn't take it seriously. In fact, after playing 3...Bb4, his annotations say dryly, "Not much good comes of this." Englisch vs Blackburne, 1883 . Karpov was the one who played the Nimzo Indian the most, but he came later on, so the opening doesn't get his name, just like Kasparov and Fischer don't have the Sicilian named after them (except in minor lines and variations, i.e. Fischer-Sozin Attack.) |
|Dec-24-03|| ||tud: Nimzowitsch is probably one of the best theoreticians, if not simply the best. He is the only one having 2 defenses bearing his name. Many chess originalities come from him. PLAYING chess is however different. So many sad stories with jewish chess players during world wars : Lasker, Rubinstein etc. |
|Dec-25-03|| ||skakmiv: How good was Tarrasch a theoretician compared to Nimzowitsch? |
These guys really hated each other, no?
|Dec-25-03|| ||tud: I think Nimzowitsch was not so dogmatic like Tarrasch. He had however some exagerations in his principles. After reading Chess Fundamentals and My System, I took the title of master at age 17 which in the 80s was still OK for an amateur. I gave up when I realized the complexity of the effort and started studying computers. Nimzowitch, Capablanca and Alekhine are mentioned by many chess players as the best chess tutors. I did not hear much about Tarrasch. Unfortunately as a PLAYER, he was not overwhelmingly strong. Same like Reti, Breyer and others, great in ideas but not great in front of Alekhine or Capablanca. Probably today, Soltsis or Dvoretski are better teachers. Look at the play. When I watch Karpov, Capablanca or Fischer, chess seems clear. When I see Tal or Kasparov, chess is beautiful and difficult. The first are better teachers for beginners. |
|Dec-25-03|| ||PizzatheHut: <When I watch Karpov, Capablanca or Fischer, chess seems clear. When I see Tal or Kasparov, chess is beautiful and difficult. The first are better teachers for beginners.> I have a question about that. How are the people that play clearly able to compete with people that play such complex chess? One would think that if someone played cleary, they could be beaten because their play wouldn't be difficult to figure out. Obviously this isn't true, because Karpov, Capablanca, and Fischer are in the top few people who have ever played the game. My question is simply how is a clear style so effective? |
|Dec-25-03|| ||ughaibu: Pizzathehut: Look at the players to whom and the games in which your exemplers where vulnerable and you'll've answered your own question. |
|Dec-25-03|| ||ughaibu: Marnoff Mirlony: Some examples please. |
|Dec-25-03|| ||shadowmaster: <How are the people that play clearly able to compete with people that play such complex chess?> My opinion is that the great players that strive for clarity in their games excel in organizing the game as a whole; i.e. they are strategically strong. They also have very strong calculating abilities and have a strong positional understanding. They use their calculating abilities to achieve superior positions in order to overwhelm their opponents. Capablanca, Fischer, Rubinstein, and Botvinnik are examples of this type of player. The great players who strive for complications have extraordinary combinatorial vision. They use their calculating abilities to find the combinations that overwhelm their opponents in complicated positions. Tal, Geller, Lasker, and Morphy are examples of this type of player.|
<Tud<I took the title of master at age 17 which in the 80s was still OK for an amateur>> This is still a fine achievement in the 21st century.
|Dec-25-03|| ||ughaibu: Since you beg it, I grant it. |
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