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Mir Sultan Khan vs A H Gould
Simul, 26b (1931) (exhibition), London ENG, Nov-03
French Defense: Knight Variation (C00)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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This game is from a simultaneous exhibition <Sultan Khan> gave at the Hampstead chess club in London.

He scored +23-1=2, losing only to his opponent in this game, a 17 year old lad from the University College School.

-Daniel King "Sultan Khan" (New in Chess 2020), p.347

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  MissScarlett: Does King's book aim to give all known games?
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<MissScarlett> I don't think so. I still haven't finished investigating the whole book, but I believe here at we will come out with just about 200 games total from all sources I found so far, including King. For sure we have some games in our collection that he didn't put in his book, so I don't think he intended to put them all in.

<King> really did some yeoman's work on digging up a lot of interesting material from primary sources. I was just reading parts of the acknowledgments a few minutes ago. He got a lot of up close and personal help from John Saunders- access to the paper copies of his archives, not just to the <Britbase> online material we all have access to. I will spend many hours with this volume I can tell you that- well worth diving in to.

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<MissScarlett> I have now read more of <Daniel King's> book, and I can report that publishing all known <Khan> games was not the intention.

He gives only a representative sample of the well known games from major events, in favor of many rarely seen or previously unpublished games.

I'm glad he did this, because we can easily find the games from high profile events in other sources.

I believe will be the place that ends up publishing all of the known games.

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  MissScarlett: Yes it's rare to have a combination of biography and a complete games collection, but since he only has about 240 known games, I thought they might have crammed the rest into an appendix.

I don't think I will buy this book. Seems a bit racist.

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<MissScarlett> You refer to <Sultan Khan's> grandaughter Atiyab Sultan and her article on King's book in

She makes several trenchant points, and I would suggest her article is a must read for anyone interested in <Sultan Khan>. However, I think she falls short of demonstrating intentional or unequivocal racism in <King's> treatment. In fact, she never makes that claim in the first place. Rather, she speculates on racism as a possible cause of an objectionable attitude in which King participates. She says <"It is only in later years that western commentators, perhaps owing to racism and perhaps envious of Khan’s success, sought to belittle him and reduce his status, a trend unfortunately repeated uncritically by King in his work.">

In my view, she is on more sure ground when invoking Said's "Orientalism" as an explanatory tool: <"It can be tempting for a certain class of writers to cast achievements of people of colour as extraordinary and miraculous and so they seek to dehumanize them as illiterate savages defying gravity, because the truth that they could beat white men purely on merit is too hard to bear. As a scholar of empire, I am only too familiar with such trends, neatly summed up by the Palestinian academic Edward Said in his seminal work Orientalism (1978).">

I think that applies to much of the earlier western commentary on <Sultan Khan>, particularly that of Rueben Fine, who referred to him as a "slave." But this notion is absent from King's work. This may be true of many: <"...the truth that [people of colour] could beat white men purely on merit is too hard to bear."> But it's not true of King's treatment. It's obvious he believes that <Sultan Khan> beat white men purely on his personal merit.

Speaking for myself, I prefer to read a book for myself before making judgments on whether it is "racist" or not.

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I had read this "240" known game figure before, but I wonder where did you hear this from?

I have <R.N. Coles>, <Matsukevich> and <King>, and the combined game harvest from all three together is going to come out at around 200.

Where do you think we might find the other 40 "known games"?

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  MissScarlett: Britbase has <205 games (plus 32 stubs/part-games)>. Most complete games collections will include stubs/partials. Whether <> should allow them is another matter. I think stubs more than, say, 10 moves are significant.
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<MissScarlett> I question the total in Britbase of 205 games?

I went through their online database carefully. Ok somewhat carefully.

But I say it has nowhere near 205 Sultan Khan games, unless the public online database is an abridged collection.

Maybe those figures you quoted are all of the games <John Saunders> has collected in his paper sources? Where did you get the Britbase Sultan Khan figures from?

The online Britbase has no Khan games from Olympiads, Berne, Liege, or the matches v Flohr and Tartakower.

I will go back to <Britbase> and look again, this time *very* carefully.

Is there a supersecret place where the "elite" can get access to all of <Mr. Saunders'> Sultan Khan games?


I agree with you on the stubs. I collected some of them from <Britbase> and I intend to collect more. I also think they are significant.

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  MissScarlett: Try
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Anddddd the honorable member from British Columbia proves once again she does not know how to navigate a website...

Will I ever learn probably not.

The funniest part is how many hours I spent typing out pgns from "old style notation" when I could have been copy and pasting ready made pgns instead.

On the plus side, I finally learned how to read "old style notation."

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