Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Albert Einstein vs Robert Oppenheimer
"e=Nc4" (game of the day Aug-14-2011)
Princeton USA (1933) (probably analysis)
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Caro Variation (C70)  ·  1-0



explore this opening
find similar games 1 more games of Einstein
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Some games have annotation. These are denoted in the game list with the icon.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 30 OF 30 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-05-15  Trammy Cotch: 8...B-QB4! 9. P-Q4 NxQP! & the Lively Bish and knights stage a tri-piece attack
Aug-23-15  morfishine: No use splitting atoms, er splitting hairs over the authenticity of this game
Apr-26-16  devere: Einstein only took up residence at Princeton in October 1933, and Oppenheimer was then a young professor teaching at U Cal Berkeley 3000 miles away, so it is unlikely that this game was ever played in Princeton as stated.

Oppenheimer did do some part-time lecturing at Cal Tech, and Einstein had been there early in 1933, so the two of them conceivably might have met in Pasadena.

Premium Chessgames Member

See note 3533:

I have to dig up my (tome) on the biography of Einstein by Walter Isaacson and cross reference 1933 and Princeton. If I can only find that in my boxes and boxes of books...

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Einstein and Princeton in 1933 show up on page 425 in Isaacson's book. No mention of meeting Oppenheimer until the 1940s. Oppie was doing astrophysics work at Berkeley and CalTech in the 1930s and did not join Princeton until after WW II. I have no additional info of Einstein, Oppenheimer and chess in my article
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pyrandus: Interesting.
Mar-04-17  morfishine: <Sneaky: In case anybody doesn't know who Oppenheimer was...His name will always live in infamy because he is considered to be the chief inventor of the atomic bomb> Not entirely true since there were many other well-known physicists who worked on the bomb but their reputation didn't suffer.

The primary reason Oppenheimer lost credibility or will always "live in infamy" is his security clearance was eventually revoked for being a suspected communist


Mar-04-17  zanzibar: I wouldn't characterize Oppenheimer as the chief inventor of the A-bomb, although he was the leader of the Los Alamos team that built the first two versions of the fission bomb.

The real "inventor" of the A-bomb was Leo Szilard.

<He conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, patented the idea of a nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi, and in late 1939 wrote the letter for Albert Einstein's signature that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb.>

Mar-04-17  morfishine: <zanzibar> Yes, Fermi was at Los Alamos too. An interesting story during that time was Fermi was sitting in a vacant room, staring at the chalkboard covered with all those innumerable, indecipherable equations. He sat there pondering because he knew something was wrong

Meandering down the hall was Oppenheimer, who poked his head in and switched glaze between the board and Fermi, then became fixed on the board.

Without saying a word, Oppenheimer walked to the chalkboard and made the slightest correction to one of those indescribable notations within the mammoth equation, then walked out.

Fermi quietly uttered "Yes"


Mar-04-17  Marmot PFL: Oppenheimer corrected a mistake by Edward Teller once also, but he did in front of a room full of scientists. Teller was embarrassed and never forgave Oppenheimer for that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: If you just forget about the names, it looks like an authentic game between a reasonably proficient chessplayer (which Einstein practically had to be growing up in the old coffee shop and university environment surrounded by Swiss and German physicists and other intellectuals) versus an intelligent beginner, who will always get shellacked by a reasonably good player. One strong argument against it being a contrived game is that there's nothing brilliant or unusual about it.
Mar-04-17  zanzibar: From Hannak's book "Emanuel Lasker" is Einstein's very words (from the Foreword):

<I am no chess player myself, so I am not in a position to admire his mental powers in the sphere of his greatest intellectual achievements; indeed I have to confess that I have always disliked the fierce competitive spirit embodied in that highly intellectual game.>

p7 Dover 1991 ed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <zanzibar> I'm not saying Einstein was a chess fanatic, otherwise he would have probably been a GM, but he had to have some experience with it in order to dislike the game. When he said "I'm no chess player", he meant that he wasn't a great/real one, not that he didn't know the rules of the game or have any experience. He could hardly have invented the Ruiz Lopez spontaneously in this game, right? The biographical note of Einstein in [the internationally recognized supreme authority] says this: <Einstein had an interest in chess. In 1936, he told a reporter that he played chess as a boy. In 1927 Einstein met Emanuel Lasker in Berlin, and they became good friends.">

That means that he had to have had some interest in the game, which used to be far more widespread and popular than it is now (like philosophy). The fact that he disliked competition in chess is another argument that he had experience with the game and its players, and so is this criticism of its obsessive nature (op. cit.):

<Einstein is quoted as saying: "Chess grips its exponent, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom and independence of even the strongest character cannot remain unaffected.">

I feel exactly the same way. I'm no (professional) chessplayer, either, and I totally emphasize with Einstein's love/hate relationship with the game. The love because of its endless fascination and the hate because competition can really bring out the ugly side of people and he probably had enough first hand experience to see how it can become an unhealthy obsession. Being a totally black-and-white, kill-or-be-killed game, it tends to encourage paranoia when administered in excessively high doses. My point is that his criticisms, rather than suggesting that he had never played, show a good deal of experience in the milieu. I remember when I first started playing, I'd see pieces running around for hours and hours when I was trying to get to sleep. I said to myself: "I'm going to stop thinking about chess, I'm calm, cool and relaxed, calm, cool..." and then I realized that a rook was talking: "Calm, cool and..." At that point I realized it could definitely become an obsession if practiced in excess (I'm basically a Buddhist, all things in moderation).

Mar-08-17  zanzibar: <ChessHigherCat> my main goal was to post an interesting quote from Einstein himself.

I agree, although suggestive, it doesn't lead to an absolute conclusion about his ability to play.

But it is suggestive, right?

Now then, as for

<The biographical note of Einstein in [the internationally recognized supreme authority] ... >

If you hang around the Bistro you'll see inside the process of being the "supreme authority" is about as messy as making sausages.

Sometimes you don't get a super clean cut answer. And <CG> is really a melting pot of contributors, whose volunteer efforts can wain and wax.

Anyways, I think the other quote you cite:

<Einstein is quoted as saying: "Chess grips its exponent, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom and independence of even the strongest character cannot remain unaffected.">

also comes from the same foreword, and page, to Hannak's book(*). I'm not sure I totally agree with your conclusion that it shows Einstein played the game. It could just be his personal observations of the effects the game has on other players besides himself.

I got a chuckle about your dropping off to sleep seeing chess pieces running around. Luckily, maybe because I'm not good enough, that hasn't happened to me!

OK, cheers.

(*) <CG> is really a source, much the same as wikipedia isn't either. Both are a sort of clearing board pointing (if done properly) to the real sources.

Sometimes, though, a player will relate personal experiences on <CG>, in which case it becomes a true source.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <zanzibar: <ChessHigherCat> my main goal was to post an interesting quote from Einstein himself.

I agree, although suggestive, it doesn't lead to an absolute conclusion about his ability to play.

But it is suggestive, right?>

Hi, <Zanzibar>, I really don't think that's a normal of way saying "I don't know how to play chess" but rather "I'm not really into chess". (cf. "I'm no lady's man", which definitely doesn't mean the speaker is homosexual but rather that his whole life doesn't revolve around the fair sex.) Also, I'm not old enough to say from personal experience but I bet that fewer than 5% of Swiss or German physicists of Einstein's generation didn't know how to play chess at all. Like most traditionally male-dominated disciplines (including philosophy and boxing), the popularity of chess has dwindled dramatically in recent decades, including in America (see "How America Forgot About Chess" - 5/how-america...chess/257049/).
Just as a side note, my father told me he used to see the Oppenheimer brothers play "Go" in the lounge, which may explain why Robert wasn't much into chess (although he would know the rules, likely practically all the male scientists of his generation).

<"The biographical note of Einstein in [the internationally recognized supreme authority] ... "

If you hang around the Bistro you'll see inside the process of being the "supreme authority" is about as messy as making sausages.>

I was just joking about the "supreme authority", I'm about as anti-authoritarian as you can get, but I don't see any reason to be particularly skeptical about the information given on the CG biography pages, although I'm sure they're not always 100% accurate (like Wikipedia, as you say)

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <The primary reason Oppenheimer lost credibility or will always "live in infamy" is his security clearance was eventually revoked for being a suspected communist>

The key word being "suspected."

That was during the Red Scare, McCarthy, HUAC years after WWII, something <morfishine> most ikely thinks should be brought back today.

May-05-17  morfishine: <saffuna> You are correct, in my opinion, anything communist should be outlawed in the US: Their program is diametrically opposite a Republic that allows one to possess land, practice their own religion and vote for a real leader. IMHO, any other political ideology is welcome here in the US, all are welcome except communism

You know the greatest Flip-Flop in US History? ans: Hollywood

Remember 65 yrs ago if you were a suspected Communist (and checking out Liberals first was a good place to start) and an actor in Hollywood, you had a very hard time finding work. Many actors actually committed suicide due to this oppression. As a conservative, I actually sympathized over their plight

But now, the table's are turned: If you are an actor in Hollywood and oppose their Liberal policies or thoughts, you will have a hard time finding work.

Go Figure

This all goes back to when Khruschev in the 1950's stated "We will crush you". This is coming true as Communist agents and policies undermine Western Religious upbringing, infiltrate our schools, attack basic ownership rights and attack all of our rights under the Constitution

To hell with these Commies, along with their Socialist, Democratic Liberal Lunatic-fringe nut-jobs


Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: And don't forget the fluoridated water while you're at it! God preserve OUR VITAL BODILY FLUIDS! (Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper).

One extreme inevitably generates the other. (a message brought to you by the voice of reason in a nuthouse)

Oct-01-17  jinkinson: According to Bruce Pandolfini, "we don't really know that Einstein played chess, or played Oppenheimer," and he refers to this game as "dubious".

Source: (page 111)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <morf> - < IMHO, any other political ideology is welcome here in the US, all are welcome except communism>

Fascism is welcome? Kukluxklanism? Racism?

I see.

Dec-17-17  RookFile: I guess the game was already over on move 10. 10...Ne7 seems very strange to me, but it may be the best move.

In these double e pawn openings, especially if black is planning on taking on e4, castling for black is not optional.

Dec-17-17  morfishine: <Domdaniel> Yes Dom, all political ideologies are welcome here in the US (except communism) IMO. Welcome in the sense they have a right to express their viewpoint. Fascism, yes. They won't get far, but they can express their viewpoint

I don't think the KKK or racism are political ideologies

The reason communism should be outlawed here in the US is simple: communistic ideology is diametrically the polar opposite of what the US was founded on (ie: democracy). Stuff like personal property, religion, voting rights, etc.

If an ideology is point for point the opposite of another ideology of another country, it should naturally be outlawed, banned or otherwise prohibited to exist within that country. If not, it will fester and grow and undermine that country. This only makes sense and its plain stupid the US allows the communist party to operate here, just plain stupid.



Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <morf> From my perspective, communism is almost extinct. I'm by no means a supporter, but there were some aspects of communism that I respected - such as idealism and a desire to improve the lot of ordinary people (misguided though this worked out in practice).

Have you heard the old line about the difference between capitalism and communism? "Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, while communism is the exact opposite".

Of course (as Marx wrote) it is capitalism, not democracy, which is the opposite of communism.

Anyhow, don't you think that outlawing a political movement in the USA would undermine some of the nation's founding principles?

And yes, racism in itself is not really a political ideology (though it came close in apartheid South Africa). But some ideologies are deeply racist.

Jan-11-18  morfishine: <Domdaniel> On your question: <...don't you think that outlawing a political movement in the USA would undermine some of the nation's founding principles?> No, not when the outlawed 'political movement' has a stated agenda of the destruction of your country. A political ideology (Communism) that is not only point-for-point the polar opposite of your own countries political ideology (Capitalistic Democracy), but has a working goal of the destruction of your country built into its own political basis, does not enjoy the benefits of those rights or principles extended to loyal citizens via the Constitution. They are, after all, the stated and self proclaimed enemy (and have the same status as traitors).

In any case, if this game were proven a hoax, could you imagine the fallout?


Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Domdaniel: Of course (as Marx wrote) it is capitalism, not democracy, which is the opposite of communism.>

That may be technically true, but when every single economic decision is made by a small set of centralized elite technocrats acting "for the good of the proletariat" it's hard to see what influence individual voters can have. On the other hand, I'm skeptical about the role of the voter in so-called "democratic capitalist societies" too, but at least it's supposed to be important.

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 30)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 30 OF 30 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any gratuitous name-calling of any members—including Admin and Owners—or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.

This game is type: ANALYSIS. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
The guy who said, "It worked!"
from Special games by Brit
einstein vs oppenheimer
from ninja007's favorite games by ninja007
musicmanTRIBALx's favorite games
by musicmanTRIBALx
Trapping the Q was 3-step plan
from Concentration of Force by sevenseaman
Go Einstein
from kingrook's favorite games by kingrook
from Marcin Lech's favorite games #1 by Marcin Lech
Princeton USA 1933
from Favorite Games from (1917-1943) by wanabe2000
trogdor's favorite games
by trogdor
Einstein clava y clava a Oppenheimer
from Clavadas y columnas abiertas by jonico
Atomic Chess
from Sibahi's favourite games by Sibahi
"Einstein's Chess game"
from The great hall of immortal games by Jaredfchess
I am become Death, blunderer of material (paulotopia)
from Punny Games vol. I by Memorable Quotes
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Caro Variation
from marwanredman123's favorite games 6 by Jaredfchess
Swiss Patent Clerk takes on Manhattan Project leader
from Famous people's games by Diggitydawg
HAL1999's favorite games
by HAL1999
Einstein vs Oppenheimer
from More games ! It never stops ! Thank G-D ! by arielbekarov
MarkFinan's Classic games by histories greats
by MarkFinan
JSYantiss' favorite games
by JSYantiss
Not Exactly Rocket Science
from GumboGambit's favorites copied by FTB by mneuwirth
plus 67 more collections (not shown)

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us

Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC