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Ignatz von Popiel vs Carl Schlechter
Monte Carlo (1902), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 17, Mar-03
Bishop's Opening: General (C23)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-08-03  Bears092: or, my favorite:

(e) The big soccer match is on in 10 minutes! And those Ukranian sisters will be there.

Nov-20-03  PinkPanther: I am looking at some of these <Grandmaster draws and wondering why? I am pretty new to the chess world. Why would grand masters draw at after 2 or 3 moves? Is it because they both started an opening that they were not comfortable with? Or did the roof fall in on the 3rd move?>

Yeah, Sneaky pretty much explained it. The two main reasons are 1. mutual fear 2. the situation, for example if all you need to win the tournament is a half point (draw) then why try to go after the win and the entire point.

Nov-20-03  Master of Sacrifice: I would never do that kind of thing, even in the tourneys I go to........ A game of 2 moves doesn't qualify as a game to me.
Dec-25-03  jaime gallegos: the Ucranian sisters is a very funny reason ! By the way Happy Hollydays !
Feb-29-04  Resignation Trap: I'm not sure if this is the complete score of the game, or not. This was a draw, but not in the usual sense. each player received only a quarter-point. This game was replayed Schlechter vs Von Popiel, 1902

Schlechter, for winning, received an additional half-point. Had the replayed game resulted in another draw, each player would have received another quarter-point.

By the way, Maroczy edged out Pillsbury in this event by one-quarter of a point (14.75 vs. 14.50)!

Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: This game is too intense! Im guessing its drawn because Schlecters opponent asked him if he wanted to go get some beers, instead of crush him, and Schlecter liked the idea.
May-09-04  arifattar: Guys, the game was played in Monte Carlo. It doesn't take a chess player to guess what their plans were.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: The reason why this game is so ridiculously short was an unusual draw-replay rule that the tournament director de Riviere used in the 1900 Paris, amd 1901 and 1902 Monte Carlo tournaments.

If you drew you receieved a quarter of a point, and had to replay. If you then won your replay, you got an extra half point, and your opponent recieved nothing more. If you drew your replay, you both received a further quarter point.

Perhaps we should bring this to the attention of modern super-grandmasters. Their predecesors, however, frustrated the plan by mini-draws like this, or simply not playing and agreeing a draw anyway. Faced with mutiny, de Riviere had to drop his scheme in 1903.

Dec-23-04  EnglishOpeningc4: According to fisher and OMGP3 some of the Grandmaster Draws were aranged by the Russian government
Apr-05-05  Backward Development: Black HAD to accept the draw, in light of the following combination. 2...Nf6? 3. Nf3! Nxe4? 4. Nxe5 d5? 5. Nxf7! Kxf7 6. Qh5+ Ke6 7. O-O! Ng5! 8. Re1+! Ne4?? 9. Rxe4+!! Kf6 10. Rf4+! Ke6 11. Qf7+! Ke5 12. d4+! Kd6 13.Qxd5+! Ke7 14. Re4+! Kf6 15. Qf7#


Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <bd> heh, I didn't see the threat! fritz is baffled ;->

Ignatz Von Popiel - Do you think other masters called him Iggy Pop?

Oct-17-05  AlexanderMorphy: why did they draw?
Oct-31-05  n30: looks to me like white has the advantage here ;)
Apr-16-06  IMDONE4: White accidently touches his bishop, and isn't prepared for a bishop's game. He is satisfied with a draw, and so is black, who is hindered by the first move disadvantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The first 140 games for the 1902 Monte Carlo tournament were published by G. Marco in his Weiner Schnachzeitung between 1902 and 1908.

The tournament book published by The Chess Player in 1997 states that Marco clearly had all of the game scores but no trace of these has been found. After Marco's death in 1923, his books were sold at two auctions in Vienna, but there was no mention of manuscripts or the missing game scores.

Many of the last 95 games were found in various newspapers of the day and were included in the tournament book.

This particular game was played in the 17th round and was one of the missing games. An incomplete game score was all that could be located. The tournament book includes only the following information for this game:

<Popiel - Schlechter: A Bishop's Opening turned into a Giuoco Piano and a draw without special feature. 1. e4 e5 2.Bc4...>

Draws in this tournament were scored as 1/4 point and had to be replayed. When this draw was replayed Schlechter won and obtained another 1/2 point.

Schlechter finished 6th (6/20) in this tournament scoring 12 points (+10 -4 =12).

Popiel finished 16th, scoring 7 1/4 points (+6 -12 =5).

The Popiel - Schlechter game was played, but the complete game score is missing. Perhaps some researcher will still be able to locate the complete game score from some unsearched publication.

The tournament book does list 8 other games, from the very end of the tournament that were not played, but were agreed drawn.

Apr-16-06  goldenbear: If this game really was played in 1902, then this proves that those food dehydraters really have kept this Popiel guy young.
Sep-15-06  Necessary Truths: That would be RON Popeil not VON Popeil.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: And Hannibal Schlecter, obviously.
Jan-28-07  SBC: <I am looking at some of these Grandmaster draws and wondering why?>

In this tournament "Grandmaster draws" were prohibited. All agreements to draw a game had to be submitted to the Director of Play (Jules Arnous de Riviere) who had the sole discretion whether to allow a draw or to make the game continue. The fact that draws had to be re-played and the arcane way that draws affected the point system, whether or not this was a practical solution, does demonstrate that unnecessary or system-manipulating draws were considered a problem and were highly discouraged even at the beginning of the 20th century.


Iggy Pop, aka Ignacy Popiel, aka Ignatz von Popiel has been all but forgotten. His nephew, Stefan Popiel, is only slightly better remembered. He was born in Lvov (Lviv), then a city in Poland (now in Ukraine). While he never won any major tournaments, he was an excellent analyst.

If I were to write an article about Popiel, I would include Steinitz, Pavel Bobrov, Armand Blackmar and the The New Jersey State Chess Federation and it would probably read something like

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <SBC: In this tournament "Grandmaster draws" were prohibited.>

According to the tournament book, Monte Carlo 1902, by The Chess Player, the tournament rules required that at least 30 moves be played before a draw could be agreed to. Any exceptions to this rule had to be referred to the director of play, Jules Arnous de Riviere.

A review of the tournament book, shows there were several draws in exactly 30 moves and, of course, many more in excess of 30 moves. In the game Teichmann - Mason, the players wanted to agree to a draw after move 24, but were required to play on. That game was drawn in 35 moves.

Two games were drawn in less than 30 moves. The first was Mieses vs Schlechter, 1902 in 23 moves. As nearly all of the pieces had been exchanged, the decision to allow this draw was logical.

The other game drawn in less that 30 moves was Teichmann vs H Wolf, 1902. The tournament book notes <Only the opening was played: every piece was exchanged alternately, and by permission of the director of play, given up and drawn.>

However, towards the end of the tournament, several players agreed to draws without playing. The tournament book notes, <The players payed their own accommodation costs and so, toward the end of the tournament, a number of players who were out of the running for prizes, agreed to share the point so that they could leave Monte Carlo early.>

The following games were agreed drawn without play: Wolf - Schlecter (2nd game); Eisenberg - Mason; Mason - Eisenberg; Popiel - Gunsberg (2nd game); Eisenberg - Scheve; Scheve - Eisenberg; Marco - Napier & Napier - Marco.

As several of these players later participated the 1903 or 1904 Monte Carlo tournaments, it seems that de Riviere did not wish to penalize these players for their draw agreements. The additional rounds for the byes and the replay rule had caused the tournament to last nearly 6 weeks. It is understandable that many of the players were anxious to leave.

SBC, I note with interest your reference to Stefan Popiel. I was privileged to play 3 games against a Stephan Popel, who I think is the person you are referring to. I lost the tournament game, but did get a draw in one of the two simultaneous games. I note Popel did well in the US Open in 1956, tieing for 4/8th with Fischer. At the New Western Open in 1957, Popel finished in a tie for 3/5th, 1/2 point ahead of Fischer and at the North Central Open in 1957, Popel and Kalme tied for 1st, a full point ahead of Fischer.

Jan-29-07  SBC: <Pawn and Two>

Thanks for the details concerning the draws. I love details.

Yes, Stefan Popiel is Stephan Popel is Stepan Popel. Congratulations on your one draw. That's more than I would have accomplished.

Jan-29-07  Resignation Trap: Stephan A Popel went from Ukraine > France > Michigan > North Dakota.
Jul-15-08  erniecohen: This old, discredited draw rule has resurfaced in the modern NHL (America's National Hockey League). Normally, the winner of a game gets two points and the loser none. If, however, the winner wins in overtime (or a shootout), the loser gets one point. Thus, in the last few minutes of a tied game, teams not desperate to hurt their opponent (standings-wise) have no reason to take chances to try to score until overtime. Of course they have to pretend to be trying to not upset the home fans (and to avoid being fined by the league).
Mar-16-11  redorc19: very nice... a brilliant bishop sac and instructive pawn phalanx in the endgame
Jun-25-15  zanzibar: This is a stub game, and really should have these meaningless opening moves moved into a comment in order to tag it as such (via 0-moves filtering).

At least that's my recommended stratagem.

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