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Baron Krudner vs Prince Andrey Dadian of Mingrelia
"The Red Baron" (game of the day Jul-15-2006)
St. Petersburg (1881), St. Petersburg RUE
Bishop's Opening: Ponziani Gambit (C24)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-15-06  CapablancaFan: <THE pawn><white was playing well and boom out of nowhere he plays Ne2 which off course loses instantly.> Ok, you've found evidence that Baron made a blunder, but what is your evidence that this game is choreographed?
Jul-15-06  CapablancaFan: <THE pawn><I may or may not be right.> Oh, it was an assumption.
Jul-15-06  SBC: <THE pawn>

While there is no way that I found so far to definitively determine whether or not some of Dadian's games were staged, leaving the entire argument in the realm of speculation, it's nice to see some interest, pro or con, in this highly unusual historic player.

As I mentioned before, my own opinion, after ascertaining much of what is known about Dadian, has somewhat changed in his favor.

I think it's unfair to assume that players in those days, because of impeccunious circumstances, were dishonorable. I don't find ethical behavior any more or less attributable to any particular age. And I think the same is true about classes of peoples. Some titled persons were good, some bad. <Whilhelmthe2nd> made the asute observation to me that there was an antipathy towards Dadian simply because he didn't "suffer" for chess. And the more I considered this, the more likely it seemed that Dadian was as much a victim of prejudice as anything.

The facts seem to bear out that Steinitz did publish some of Dadian's games partly, at least, because of Dadian's donations, but Steinitz' annotations weren't decidedly fawning towards Dadian. It's also seems true that Dadian would send his wins and not his losses. But I don't see that as particularly unusual or damning. I fact, I haven't uncovered a single bit of evidence that might convince me that Dadian ever staged a game. So, do I form such an opinion based on some idea I have of the decadence of 19th century nobility? Or do I base my opinion on the facts as I find them to be?

Jul-15-06  akiba82: The chief skeptic with regards to the legitimacy of Dadian's games was Tchigorin. He was invited to play at Monte Carlo 1903 by the organizers. When Dadian, who was bankrolling the event, found this out, he had Tchigorin excluded from the tournament.
Jul-15-06  akiba82: It seems Tchigorin had published some articles which poked holes in some of Dadian's brilliancies and the Prince was furious. Tchigorin was at least indemnified by an amount greater than 3rd prize for the tournament. He was also invited to play at Vienna 1903. This tournament required all games to commence with the King's Gambit, a Tchigorin specialty. Tchigorin in fact went on to win the tournament.
In view of Tchigorin's strength, he was after all a two time world championship challenger, joint winner of the massive N.Y. 1889 tournament, and just failing to win the super strong Hastings 1895 tournament, I tend to believe his accusations. That is to say I feel the Dadian brilliancies were spurious.
Jul-15-06  SBC: <akiba82>

I'm not sure I understand your posting. What does Chigorin winning the Vienna King's Gambit tournament in 1903 have to do with Dadian?

What Chigorin had published, that caused a riff between Dadian and himself, was an annotated loss by Dadian. Chigorin never said Dadian's games were spurious. Chigorin's receipt of money equal to the third prize of the Monte Carlo tournament was compensation for his being barred from playing in that tournament.

As Emil Kemeny wrote at the time "That much he [Chigorin] recalls, that having seen some of Prince Mingrelia's game, where the brilliancy was unsound, he published them with copious notes pointing out how the Prince should have lost. To select out of a score or more brilliant games, one or two which happen to be unsound and exhibit them as samples of the Prince's skill is not exactly right but, unfortunately there is no penalty for it."

Panov, in his 1953 book on Duz-Khotimirsky, wrote that Dadain would engineer his brilliancies with noted players for money but he offered no substantiation.

<I tend to believe his accusations>

What accusations are you agreeing to?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <SBC> Fascinating website about Dadian! Now, for your next assignment see what you can find out about Baron Krudner, whom I suspect is better known as N.N.
Jul-15-06  WilhelmThe2nd: If you know some Russian you may want to check out this article on Dadian:

Some highlights:

-The author writes that according to Georgian custom refusing an invitation is a major insult & while barring Chigorin from Monte Carlo 1903(or, rather, refusing to be involved in the tournament if Chigorin participated) may “look unjustified from our position today, it is necessary to discount historical realities and national customs.”

-Duz-Chotimirsky said his own break with Dadian came when he played a private match at Dadian's home of twelve games which he won +9=0-3. Dadian took the best of the three games he won and sent it to the magazine 'La Strategie'.(Based on the time frame I believe this was probably the one Chigorin annotated). This tends to support <Phony Benoni>’s theory about there being a ‘selection bias’ when it came to Dadian’s published games. Duz-Chotimirsky, after being goaded by his friends, published one of his wins in a local paper's chess column which infuriated Dadian.

-When T. Georgadze wrote a favourable article about Dadian, in the former USSR, he was sharply criticized by IM V.Panov, who in his own fictional book on Chigorin’s life gives a very negative portrait of Dadian, in the magazine "Chess in the USSR " (#11, 1962). Georgadze was told by the "Grand Old Man of Soviet Chess", Peter Romanovsky: " Do not pay attention, they do not know history, continue your research ". In 1972 the publishing house " Soviet Georgia " released a book by Georgadze book on Dadian written in the Georgian language.

Jul-15-06  SBC: <WilhelmThe2nd>

<Based on the time frame I believe this was probably the one Chigorin annotated>

And really, Chigorin wasn't all that harsh, although apparently harsher than Dadian felt was appropriate.

By the time Romanovsky was old enough to start playing chess, Dadian had retired from the game. But I would imagine that the stories were fresh and plentiful and many of the people involved were around and active for many years to come.

Jul-15-06  SBC: <Phony Benoni>

<for your next assignment see what you can find out about Baron Krudner>

Very little is known about this man of mystery.

Baron Krudner was born in 1860 in Detroit Michigan. His father wanted to name him N.N. but his mother would have none of that silliness and gave him the name Baron. When he was 21, he emigrated (that means to move FROM a country) to Russia where he learned chess. Having mastered the game in 3 days, he changed his name to Deschappelles, but the St. Petersburgians would have none of that silliness and continued calling him Baron. About this time he met this handsome wait, that's another story...he met a Noble Prince from Georgia (Savannah, I think) who was thinking of changing his name to N.N. (or the chess-artist formerly known as Prince) and naturally they got to calling each other names. Finally they challenged each other to a duel, but being the cowards that they were, they decided to settle the matter over a rough and tumble game of Chesse-Playe. As we all know, the Baron got shot down and changed his name to Richthofen. The Prince changed his to Snoopy (or the dog formerly known as N.N.) and the rest is all technique.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <SBC>To which I can add nothing, nor would I wish to. Who says history can't be fun?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: That, has to be one of the funniest post I've read here in a long time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <SBC> That (bio) is even better than the one I wrote for Zoltan Kiss. =)
Jul-15-06  WilhelmThe2nd: Baron Krudner might be General Baron Nikolai Pavovlich von Krudener (1811-91) who lead Russia forces at the Second Battle of the Siege of Pleven(1877) in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8.

Jul-15-06  SBC: <WilhelmThe2nd>

<Baron Krudner might be General Baron Nikolai Pavovlich von Krudener>

That sounds pretty likely, unless Krudner/Krudener was a very common name. Generals seem to like to fancy themselves as chess players even more so than Princes.


Jul-15-06  SBC: <WannaBe> <Phony Benoni>

While I would like to take full credit for that piece of cutting-edge investigative reporting, I must confess that I plagarized directly from the OCC (Oxford Companion to Chesse-Playe)

Jul-15-06  SBC: The commonly held belief is that Dadain somehow either fabricated or pre-arranged his games.

Duz-Chotimirsky claimed that his fall out with Dadian was over sending in for publication his (Dadian) few wins and ignoring the greater loses.

Chigorin annotated one of these wins and demonstrated that it wasn't the "brilliancy" it at first seemed to have been.

Now we can deduce that Dadian and Duz-Chotimirsky had no "arrangement." Yet, Dadian produced at least a superficial "brilliancy" and in fact beat Duz-Chotimirsky in three games. Duz-Chotimirsky, while not a Great player, was a very strong player on a local level.

And when the smoke clears, we may see Dadian as a highly uneven player, but a very creative one. A player who is better at conception than at exectuion. We may see a person who enjoyed adulation enough to pay to have his games published (and pay to help sponsor tournaments) and we may see a man insecure enough that he felt he must demand respect and let no slight go unanswered. But, there seems to be nothing to indicate, other than innuendo and gossip, that Dadian crossed the line into chess fraud.

Contrary to what Edward Winter stated about the qualitative difference between Dadian's games in public and those in private, it seems quite apparent that the games that we know without a doubt to be real show the same type of creative effort as those we know little about.

Jul-16-06  WilhelmThe2nd: <SBC>

<By the time Romanovsky was old enough to start playing chess, Dadian had retired from the game. But I would imagine that the stories were fresh and plentiful and many of the people involved were around and active for many years to come.>

I agree about Romanovsky, but he was was from St. Petersburg/Leningrad where most of the memories would have been of Dadian's earlier days (prior to his moving permanently to Kiev in the late 1890s) when he played at the Cafe Dominik or from Chigorin and his contemporaries. Other players who came out of Kiev from that period, in addition to Duz-Chotimirsky, would have been Bogolyubow and Nikolai Grekov. Both of them wrote books about Chigorin so their views on the matter would be important. I haven't seen Bogo's original book on Chigorin but I am under the impression that it doesn't have much biographical material being mainly a games collection. I have Grekov's book on Chigorin, or rather the 1949 edition, which is pretty negative towards Dadian in what little it has about him which is mostly in a contribution by a confidant of Chigorin's. A lot of the material on Dadian by Soviet players is colored by a Marxian antipathy towards the 'exploiting classes'. Panov is a good example of this. The Russian article pointedly says that the criticism that Georgadze originally faced after writing positively about Dadian came from "Russian journalists". Georgadze later had his book on Dadian published in Georgia, where Mingrelia is located, in the Georgian language.

(BTW, I slightly mispelled the Baron's (possible) patronymic, it should be: Baron Nikolai Pavlovich von Krudener)

Jul-16-06  SBC: In my previous posting, I wrote <Contrary to what Edward Winter stated >

It should read "what Edward Winter's Chess Note #1542 quoted Ken Whyld as stating..."

Jul-16-06  SBC: <WilhelmThe2nd>

I find it difficult to get a handle on Russian/Soviet matters. There seems to be subtle undertones and social/political nuances that color, or discolor, all phases of events and of peoples' lives.

Perhaps that's one reason Russians have excelled in chess - their very existence is like some great chess game.

Thanks for the insight.

Jul-16-06  mig55: Maybe you were punished when you dare to win from the Prince:-))
Jul-16-06  DrKurtPhart: The below is an automated translation provided by SYSTRAN. Apple is not responsible for its accuracy. As automated translations are performed by software tools and do not involve any human intervention or verification, it is not advisable to rely upon this translation where absolute accuracy is required.

from the Russian:


In 1903 in Kiev left the collector of the well-known Petersburg chess maestro Of e.Shiffersa the "ends of the parties of prince megrelii Dadiani". Compiler placed two beautifully won consultative parties of Andrey dadiani and Mikhail chigorin, played by them against the well-known French chess player of Arnoud de reviyery.

But who did be the prince Of dadiani, to whom the Petersburg master did pay this attention? Why the book after sending precisely in Kiev?

Prehistory is here such. After the final subjugation of the Caucasus Russia undertook the family of the former local tsars and owners in Petersburg for a "good" training. Thus, widely the well-known fact that in 1859 into Petersburg was brought the family of rebellious ceceno- Daghestan imam Shamilya. It is not surprising therefore that in Petersburg it proved to be and the family of deceased owner megrelii prince David dadiani. The wife of David, Ekaterina chavchavadze-Dadiani, the daughter of lieutenant general and poet- romantic of Aleksandr chavchavadze, their junior son of Andrey sent into Heidelberg university (Germany), where it in 1874 finished juridical department. Then Andrey entered the service into the Russian army. There he rose himself to the rank of lieutenant general.

In Andrey dadiani the interest in chess was in the blood, since in Tbilisi in finished sweeping Aleksandr chavchavadze (grandfather Andrey) it was gathered progressive intelligentsia of Europe, which was entertained by chess. Furthermore, itself of David dadiani (father of Andrey), after receiving formation in Europe, knew well this ancient game.
(the rest? a lot)

Jul-16-06  MrMelad: <DrKurtPhart:> To understand hard is. Why not link you give to speaker of russian for whom he will to translate?
Sep-26-07  Confuse: Is this really lost at the end? What about Ng5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 14. Nh2 looks like a big improvement, therefore Black's two piece sacrifice was unsound. We are supposed to say something about the romantic era where swashbuckling chess was favored over proper defense.

Interesting to read <SBC> supporting Prince Dadian.

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