How to Swindle in Chess

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:11 pm

There was once a slender US tome on "Alekhine's Block" - I would think that is pretty hard to beat in terms of specialism.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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MJMcCready
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:20 pm

That's rather ridiculous. I wonder if we have a publication on Alekhine's Gun also?

John Upham
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by John Upham » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:19 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:44 pm
It makes me wonder whether there has been a publication with an even narrower focus than the rare act of swindling. We haven't had a publication on 'Mouse slips' yet I see.
May I suggest the following as at least worthy of anyone's attention :

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Bullet Chess
One Minute to Mate
by Hikaru Nakamura & Bruce Harper
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British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
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MJMcCready
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:43 pm

John Upham wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:19 pm
MJMcCready wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:44 pm
It makes me wonder whether there has been a publication with an even narrower focus than the rare act of swindling. We haven't had a publication on 'Mouse slips' yet I see.
May I suggest the following as at least worthy of anyone's attention :


untitled.jpg
Another waste of paper.

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MJMcCready
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:57 am

All this reminds me of the 70s publication How to cheat at chess but I can't remember what the reviews of that were and its so long since I read it. Wasn't it by Hartson?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:01 pm

He wrote both that and its successor Soft Pawn (ho ho)

Both are highly readable.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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MJMcCready
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:22 pm

Not sure if I ever read Soft Pawn, How to Cheat at Chess I probably did in the 80s but can't remember anything about it. I would imagine both books weren't meant to be taken seriously.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:34 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:54 pm
Simon Rogers wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:05 pm
Ali Mortazavi brought out a book back in 1996 called:
The Fine Art of Swindling

112 pages by Cadogan Chess. It's a little gem.
It is certainly little. I recall it being said over lunch ( the author was present and didn't put up a fight ) that the primary victim of the swindle was Cadogan Chess. I did feel that I had to buy it, but tragically my copy fell into the hands of corrupt police officers.
Oh, Ali's book was rubbish! I was going to review it for KINGPIN, back in the mid to late 90s, but only found about two swindles in the entire book. So I just wrote my own article on swindling instead, on the matter of defining a swindle and what distinguishes a good from an ordinary swindle. Looking back, I do wonder whether it matters so much, but I was young then (as the photo shows) and who knows, Amatzia Avni then had it reprinted in Hebrew so maybe he liked it ... or maybe there were just a few positions he hadn't seen before.

It can still be read, and my youthful posture admired, online: https://www.kingpinchess.net/2013/09/th ... g-defined/

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JustinHorton
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:12 pm

There are many ways in which chess literature suffers from the fact that the game is not a recognised academic study. Take, for example, the imprecision of our terminology; we all use various chess words but seem to mean different things when doing so.
Let me introduce you to Political Science
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:01 pm

another time, perhaps ...

incidentally i made an effort to track down the Larsen gave that I think you meant on the first page - but I don't seem to be able to find it. Presumably the fault is mine since I think he included it in one of his best games collections.

Is it a Bird's opening where he is basically busted in the early middlegame as white against an amateur but rescues it with some quite unexpected kingside tactics? It came with a story about an elderly spectator who was told that larsen was losing and then sat down right besides the board and watched larsen turned it around. The game was a great pity for [opponent], said Larsen, but wonderful entertainment for [spectator whose name I have also forgotten]

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JustinHorton
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:40 pm

That sounds right, though I don't remember the spectator story. For some reason I have it in my head that the opponent's name began with P, but I wouldn't rely on that at all. I don't think it's in the best game collection that I have.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:01 pm

Yes, I think all the games from one of the collections are online, but this must be from one of the other collections, which I think had 50 games in it. Anyone?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:19 pm

Could you tell us the name of the Best Games collection you have that it is not in?

Bent Larsen's Best Games by Bent Larson from New In Chess was published in 2014. It has 120 games and is 352 pages.

Actually, don't bother, I've found the game!

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1318141
GrahamClayton wrote: Larsen's comment after 27...♗e2, taken from "Selected Games of Chess, 1948-1969":
"At this moment the Dutch master Spanjaard entered the tournament hall. He asked Donner if anything interesting was going on, and the grandmaster said 'Yes, Larsen has a lost game!' I am sure that this was the correct evaluation of my position. Up to now Black has played better in this game, but the situation is still so difficult for both sides that it can be useful to take advice from the words of a famous French general: 'My centre is broken, my flanks are retreating, I attack!".


That really is a classic swindle! :D

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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:00 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:19 pm
Bent Larsen's Best Game by Bent Larson from New In Chess was published in 2014. It has 120 games and is 352 pages.
GrahamClayton wrote: Larsen's comment after 27...♗e2, taken from "Selected Games of Chess, 1948-1969":
The 2014 book by NIC incorporated material from the earlier 1969 collection. in terms of being an influential games collection, in its time, that was a close runner up to Fischer's MSMG.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: How to Swindle in Chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:50 am

Thanks, Roger. Will be interesting to see if Jonathan and Justin were thinking of this game or another one, and if the "story" of the game being against an amateur, with a spectator, is an embellished version of what happened, or one of these myths/stories that grew in the telling, or if there was another game? (Or maybe this swindle got conflated with another swindle where that did happen - it is a nice story, a spectator wandering in and being treated to a swindling masterclass).

I don't think it would be fair to call IM Theo van Scheltinga (formal first name is Tjeerd) an amateur as such, though maybe it is meant in the Euwe sense of him not being a professional and earning money from chess (apparently he was a carpenter at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, though that has been sourced in turn to the passenger lists here, which I believe has been discussed here before as it is that famous trip to Buenos Aires in 1939, featuring lots of chess players, including B.H. Wood).

Still, given a choice between putting the bishop on e2 on g4 (which as far as I can tell forces the exchange sacrifice on g7 - surely Qh6 is met by Rf7) and turning that bishop into a pawn on c4 (for all the use it is later in the game), I know which move van Scheltinga would have been having nightmares about afterwards. Larsen would have been a real scalp for him. Maybe he just lost his nerve?

EDIT: Nice collection of chess photos here, part of a wider collection donated to Wikimedia Commons from the Dutch National Archives, see here, total of 415,851 images, so might be worth looking at the chess-related ones, somehow. This search brings up 1769 photos. Will pop this in a new thread.
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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