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Edgar Colle
Number of games in database: 381
Years covered: 1921 to 1931

Overall record: +140 -138 =101 (50.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (92) 
    D05 A46 D04 D02 D00
 King's Indian (17) 
    E94 E60 E67 E76 E77
 Slav (10) 
    D12 D10 D11
 Orthodox Defense (7) 
    D67 D57 D50 D64 D63
 Semi-Slav (6) 
    D48 D44 D49 D46 D45
 Queen's Gambit Declined (6) 
    D30 D38 D06 D37 D31
With the Black pieces:
 Alekhine's Defense (36) 
    B02 B03 B05
 Nimzo Indian (28) 
    E34 E32 E27 E22 E23
 Queen's Pawn Game (20) 
    D02 A46 A45 D01 E00
 Queen's Indian (20) 
    E16 E12 E17 E14 E19
 Sicilian (19) 
    B83 B20 B30 B29 B28
 Chigorin Defense (10) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Colle vs J J G Delvaux, 1929 1-0
   Colle vs Gruenfeld, 1926 1-0
   Colle vs J J O'Hanlon, 1930 1-0
   Colle vs V Berger, 1928 1-0
   Spielmann vs Colle, 1928 0-1
   Colle vs Euwe, 1924 1-0
   Colle vs Bogoljubov, 1930 1-0
   Colle vs Gruenfeld, 1929 1-0
   Colle vs Euwe, 1924 1-0
   Colle vs Stoltz, 1931 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1928/29 (1928)
   Scarborough (1930)
   Hastings 1926/27 (1926)
   Hastings 1923/24 (1923)
   Hastings 1927/28 (1927)
   Liege (1930)
   Frankfurt (1930)
   Berlin (1926)
   Budapest (1929)
   London (1927)
   San Remo (1930)
   Bled (1931)
   Karlsbad (1929)
   Kecskemet (1927)
   Baden-Baden (1925)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Colle's chess masterpieces by Fred Reinfeld by nikolaas
   Alapin - Bird - Colle // The Players by fredthebear
   Homage to Colle by chocobonbon
   colle & related systems enhanced by Fredthebear by fredthebear
   colle & related systems by gmlisowitz
   Colle & related systems by yiotta
   Dudley's Colle System Classics (Koltanowski c3) by fredthebear
   Zort's Edgard Colle collection by Zorts
   Bled 1931 international tournament part 2 by cuendillar

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Edgar Colle
Search Google for Edgar Colle

(born May-18-1897, died Apr-20-1932, 34 years old) Belgium

[what is this?]

Edgar(d) Colle was born in Ghent, Belgium. He won the Belgian championship in 1922, 1924 and 1926-1929. His international breakthrough was in Scheveningen 1923 ahead of, among others, Euwe. In 1924, he came third in the unofficial Paris Olympiad.

In 1926, Colle enjoyed perhaps his best year. He won in Amsterdam (ahead of Tartakower and Euwe) and in Merano (ahead of Spielmann, Tartakower, and Yates). Apart of these successes, he also managed to finish second in Weston Super-Mare. Afterwards, he participated in many international tournaments, with victories at Scarborough 1927, Hastings 1928/29, and Scarborough 1930.

His health was not as good as his results; he survived three difficult operations for a gastric ulcer, only to die as a result of the fourth. He is most known for the Colle Opening: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3.

Wikipedia article: Edgard Colle

 page 1 of 16; games 1-25 of 381  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Colle vs N Borukhovich 1-0301921Belgium chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Koltanowski vs Colle 1-0301922BEL-chA03 Bird's Opening
3. Colle vs T Gerbec  0-1301922Bad Oeynhausen mD85 Grunfeld
4. Koltanowski vs Colle 1-0411923rapid playA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
5. Duchamp vs Colle 1-0321923BrusselsA53 Old Indian
6. Colle vs Koltanowski 0-1711923BEL-chE60 King's Indian Defense
7. Koltanowski vs Colle  1-0501923BEL-chA10 English
8. G Oskam vs Colle 0-1241923International amateur tournamentB20 Sicilian
9. Koltanowski vs Colle ½-½291923National Interclub ChampionshipA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
10. A Speijer vs Colle ½-½521923ScheveningenE61 King's Indian
11. Colle vs G Oskam  1-0261923ScheveningenD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. Jacques Davidson vs Colle  0-1541923ScheveningenA53 Old Indian
13. Colle vs Euwe 1-0291923ScheveningenA48 King's Indian
14. G Fontein vs Colle 0-1421923ScheveningenA53 Old Indian
15. Colle vs Loman ½-½201923ScheveningenD05 Queen's Pawn Game
16. E Straat vs Colle 0-1701923ScheveningenB58 Sicilian
17. Colle vs Olland 1-0241923ScheveningenA22 English
18. W Fick vs Colle  1-0431923ScheveningenB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
19. Colle vs Weenink 1-0221923ScheveningenA22 English
20. Colle vs Yates ½-½461923Hastings 1923/24E76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
21. H E Price vs Colle  0-1291923Hastings 1923/24A46 Queen's Pawn Game
22. G Norman vs Colle  0-1491923Hastings 1923/24A53 Old Indian
23. Colle vs Maroczy  ½-½351923Hastings 1923/24D26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
24. Colle vs J Mieses  1-0491923Hastings 1923/24A25 English
25. Colle vs E G Sergeant  ½-½671924Hastings-B 2425D67 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line
 page 1 of 16; games 1-25 of 381  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Colle wins | Colle loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: b3 always! My book The Rubinstein Attack is filled with exciting games. Many strong players use it, few use c3.
Jan-14-12  einherjar: Colle is a fine opening indeed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Isn't his first name Edgard?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Could be. Jeremy Gaige's "Chess Personalia", generally considered accurate for this sort of information, uses <Edgar>, but Edward Winter uses <Edgard>. I don't think Winter would deviate from Gaige without good reason..

It might be an English vs. European difference. Any Colle or Belgian experts out there?

Dec-30-12  Karpova: I don't have the book but whoever does - Winter's <A Chess Omnibus> (Russell Enterprises, 2003) and look up <348> - with more information on the forename.
Dec-30-12  IndigoViolet: <Although virtually all chess reference books put Edgar, almost all contemporary sources had Edgard. The latter was also the spelling on his gravestone (see page 37 of <Histoire des maitres belges> by M.Wasnair and M.Jadoul). It was, moreover, the way he signed his name alongside the photograph in the booklet <Le match Colle-Koltanowski>, published in Brussels in 1926.>

From C.N. 2382.

Dec-30-12  thomastonk: There is a chess academy "Edgard Colle" in his hometome Ghent.

He is probably not the only Edgard who lost here and there the final letter. Another one is the composer Varèse. BTW, who knows Varèse's relation to chess?

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: R.I.P. master Colle.
May-18-13  backrank: Reinfeld's book on Colle is rather good:

Game Collection: Colle's chess masterpieces by Fred Reinfeld

Maybe it's still the only book on this remarkable attacking player?

May-18-13 Chernev's book "Logical Chess Move by Move" has a number of Colle System games. The potential of the Colle System is well explained in it.
May-18-13  waustad: I had a dedicated chess computer board many years ago and could draw it consistently by playing the Colle system. It probably had a Z80 as the CPU to give a notion of how long ago it was.
Oct-03-13  Karpova: Beat Georges Koltanowski in a match in Belgium +4 -0 =3 according to p. 13 of the January 1926 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'.
Nov-06-13  Karpova: Colle won the Brussels Championship 1924 with 10.5/12. Championship of Belgium was scheduled to begin on September 14.

From page 272 of the September 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Nov-08-13  Karpova: Belgian Championship, September 14 to 16, 1924, in Brussles, double round-robin:

1. Colle 8.0
2. Tackels 6.5
3. Varlin 5.0
4. Lancel 4.0
5. Engel 3.5
6. Censer 3.0

Colle scored +7 -1 =2 (loss to Censer, draws against Tackels).

Koltanowski (no prolonged vacation from military) and Deevrese (business) should also have played but withdrew.

From pages 290-291 of the October 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He would have been 117 today.
Oct-05-14  ljfyffe: The Colle hasn't got much of a bite to it.
Oct-27-14  ljfyffe: Seriously though, it's not that much of a dog:
<Zukertort-Colle Variation: 1d4 d5 2Nf3 e6 3e3 Nf6 4Bd3 c5 5b3 Nc6 60-0 Bd6 7Bb2> with a look to a king-side attack by White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The extra D in Edgard was removed and placed in an urn along with the extra L from Vlastimil Hort. The whereabouts of the urn is a mystery.
Feb-21-15  Deus Ex Alekhina: It's in Greece. It is a Greek urn.
Feb-25-15  ljfyffe: <FSR> In French, the final "d" in Edward and Edgard is silent. You coud say <Deus Rx> that Colle is ode a letter because it was urned. His last name is sounded somewhat like the Lassie-type dog.
Feb-25-15  ljfyffe: Spelling error:<could> though the "l" is silent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Colle boasted a perfect 0-9 record against Alekhine, but managed to hold Capablanca to only 0-4. Before he could reach his full potential, tragically, he died.
May-18-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Edgar Colle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Hans Kmoch’s heartfelt eulogy for Colle, is very much worth a read:

<Blättermeldungen zufolge ist der belgische Vorkämpfer am 20. April 1932 an den Folgen einer Magenoperation gestorben.

Nur wer Colle persönlich gekannt hat, wird nachempfinden können, wie mich diese Todesnachricht erschüttert hat.

Es gibt viele geistreiche Schachspieler, es gibt viele gute Journalisten, es gibt viele angenehme Menschen — aber einen Menschen, einen Kollegen, einen Freund wie Colle findet man nicht unter Tausenden.

Ich habe ihn genau sieben Jahre lang gekannt. In Baden-Baden 1925 lernten wir uns kennen. Von da an trafen wir dei zahllosen Turnieren zusammen und ich lernte ihn von Turnier zu Turnier höher schätzen. In diesen zahllosen Turnieren habe ich manches gesehen, gehört und miterlebt. Wenn es um Geld und Ruhm, um Ehre und Glück, um Sein oder Nichtsein geht, dann fallen auch die beste Menschen manchmal aus der Rolle, folgen dem Selbsterhaltungstrieb. Das ist natürlich und nicht häßlich. Trotzdem: Colle ist nie aus der Rolle gefallen. Das war bei ihm nicht möglich. Denn seine Höflichkeit, seine Güte, seine ritterliche Selbstlosigkeit — die waren ihm nicht anerzogen, sie saß in seinem Herzen. Im Siegen und Versagen, er blieb ein Kavalier.

Der arme Colle war krank — ich habe ihn nie anders gekannt. Sein glitzernder Geist, seine sonnige Seele saßen in einem mageren, blutleeren Körperchen, welcher ewig vor Kälte zitterte, ewig in Schmerzen gekrümmt war. Nur selten vertrug der Magen einige Bissen fester Nahrung. Und in diesem Zustand Turnier spielen?

Colle spielte. Niemals hörte ich ihn klagen, niemals die Ausrede gebrauchen, er sei krank. Im Gegenteil: er pflegte stets zu beteuern, er fühlte sich durchhaus wohl, und wenn er eine Partie verlor, so führte er dies ausdrücklick auf sein unachtsames Spiel zurück. Aber dabei stand er gewöhnlich in ärztlicher Behandlung.

Colle war nicht sentimental. Er trug sein Leiden als eine ganz private, nebensächliche Sorge, verlangte keinerlei Rücksichten, war stets heiter und zuversichtlich, ein reizender Gesellschafter, aber am Schachbrett ein unerbittlicher Kämpfer von geradezu vorbildlichem Sportgeist und Pflichtgefühl. Jede Partie wurde hartnäckig durchgekämpft. Langwierige, schwere, ermüdende Partien gehörten zu seinem Stil. Colle stand sie mit ungeheurer Willenskraft durch. Sein Geist beherrschte den Körper. Es ereignete sich einmal der Fall, daß Colle besonders schwer zu leiden hatte. Man befürchtete, er müsse jeden Augenblick zusammensacken. Aber Colle spielte gerade an diesem Tage eine besonders schwere Partie und erlangte nach achtstündigem Kampfe eine glatte Gewinnstellung. Sein Gegner gab jedoch wider allgemeines Erwarten nicht auf, sondern brach das Spiel ab. Tags darauf war Hängetag. Statt sich einen Tag auszuruhen, mußte also Colle wider frühmorgens zur Partie, um den Gewinn durchzufüren. Das rücksichtslose Vorgehen seines Gegners wurde allgemein verurteilt, Colle aber machte ihm nicht den leisesten Vorwurf; zitternd und totenbleich kam er um 9 Uhr morgens zur Partie und erfüllte ohne Klage seine Pflicht. Von da an lernte ich ihn bewundern, diesen Schachmeister mit dem Körper eines Todgeweihten und mit dem Geist eines unsterblichen Helden.

Während der letzten Turniere zeigte sich Colle ausnehmend lebensfreudig. Der lyrische Glanz einer zarten Liebe spiegelte sich in seinem Gehaben.

Er war verlobt und erzählte mir oft mit strahlenden Augen von seiner Charlottem von seinem Glück und von seiner Zukunft. Er wolle das unstete Leben eines Schachmeisters aufgeben und wieder ausschließlich Journalistik betreiben. Und er wolle sich vor allen Dingen einer neuerlichen Operation unterziehen, damit seine Gesundheit vor dem Eintritt in die Ehe endgültig hergestellt werde. Voilà!

Edgard Colle, lieber Kollege, teurer Freund! Das Leben hat dir jene einzige Rücksicht verweigert, die du aus ganzem Herzen ersehnt hattest. Wir alle, die dich gekannt haben, trauern dir nach in hilflos bitterem Weh, als wäre uns der nächste Bruder gestorben. Die Zeit mag unseren Schmerz stillen, aber dein Andenken wird uns nie verlassen. Du wirst uns ein Vorbild an Seelenstärke und Ritterlichkeit bleiben. Blank und schön wird dein Name in der Schachgeschichte noch weiterleuchten, wenn die meisten der unsrigen schon längst vergessen sein werden. Und wer deine Freundschaft genossen hat, der darf auf sie bis zu seinem Grabe stolz sein wie auf eine große Tat.


(Hans Kmoch in Wiener Schach-Zeitung 1932/9)

Source with bio, tournaments (scroll down) and games:

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Sep-17-17  Arconax: I think that if he didn't have all these serious health problems, he would have been even stronger. Yet, he managed to win some big tournaments (Amsterdam, Merano). He was an enormously gifted chess player. And of course, he also gave us the Colle system, a very solid and easy-to-learn system that is still highly popular, at least at amateur level. And he was Belgian!
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