Von Anthony J. Gillam
525 Seiten, Leinen, 1. Auflage 2014
The Chess Player
94 games (the other 5 are lost) from the Masters’ Tournament at Mannheim which was broken off when World War 1 began, with extensive notes. Alekhine won ahead of Vidmar, Spielmann, Breyer, Marshall, Reti, Janowski, Bogoljubow, Tarrasch, Duras, John, Tartakower, Fahrni, Post, Carls, Krüger, Flamberg and Mieses.
90 games from the lower sections (all that are known), many never published before, many with notes.
103 games from the tournaments played by the interned players in Baden Baden and Triberg, plus other games played in consultation, in matches and by correspondence. All the available games (about 143), many with notes.
Almost half the book, more than 250 pages, tells the full story of what happened when the tournament was broken off - a story never told before of the arrests, internments, the ones that got away. The author has attempted to follow all 40 Russians who were at Mannheim playing, reporting and spectating and to tell their stories. Magazine and newspaper articles are quoted from the USA, Britain, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Australia and more. Alekhine’s story has some surprises!
The book contains (approximately) 373 games and 1 problem, 232 diagrams and 130 illustrations (photographs, maps, documents).
In early August 1914 there were 12 Russians left in Mannheim facing internment and by mid-1918 just 4 were left in Germany and only 2 were ‘free’ and still playing chess. The book explains how and why.
This is one of the strangest stories in modern chess and it is has now been researched and recounted for the first time.
Many years ago, Jan Kalendovsky of Brno sent me his collection of games from the lesser tournaments at Mannheim. For years I have been collecting games played by the interned players. I was contacted, several years ago, by Andrew McMillan of Toronto, who was working on a biography of Bohatyrchuk. He told me about Maljutin s six articles in Rech and the interview that Alekhine gave when he got back to St. Petersburg/Petrograd. I was aware that the story of the internees was unknown to most chess players. The answer to my puzzle of wh at to do with the Mannheim, Baden Baden and Triberg games therefore seemed to be, to publish the entire collection of games along with as much of the story as I could unearth. Little did I realise just how much there was to find. So here it is, tirned to coincide with the centenary of the Mannheim tournament. It isnt the last word as lrn sure that more details will crop up. The biggest unexplored source of new material is likely to be in the archives of the Russian government, if they still exist for this period. I know that there . are more documents in Canada which originated with Bohatyrchuk. I have been unable to find details of Alekhines brief stay in Paris or how Saburov travelled back to Russia, to mention only a couple of subjects. There may be more about Alekhine s stay in Genoa in the newspaper reports on his simul there in 1933. There is an archive of telegrams in Stockholm which may contain information about the messages Alekhine se nt from there to St. Petersburg. I have made no attempt to find information on all the players at Mannheim. The recently published book, in German, by Stefan Haas, Der XIX. Kongress des Deutschen Schachbundes zu Mannheim 1914, has many short biographies of Hauptturnier players. My objective is somewhat different. I have tried to give information on as many of the Russian players and visitors to Mannheim as possible, in order to try to explain why some of them were interned but others weren 't. My attempts to discover something about every one of them has produced some interesting stories - see Olenius, Szapiro, Walfisz and the reason why Chaim Janowski is buried in Tokyo. There is some sort of biography here on all the competitors in the Master Tournament. For those less well-known, I have included a standard, if brief, biography. For the better known players, I have focussed on events around Mannheim and the war and not repeated well-known information. For the non-Russians in the lower sections, biographies have been included where they were important to the story or, simply, where information was available. The chess world lacks a great deal of biographical information about manyof its players, even ones of international standard. Stefan Haas book on Mannheim 1914 has brief biographies of rnost of the German players - more than you will find here.