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Old March 13th 04, 06:38 PM
Gregory Topov
 
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Default SR Chess - introduced by GM Topov

This post was part of an earlier thread entitled "CricketConnoisseur &
Stanley the Chimp" but it deserves to be a new thread, so I'm reposting it
here.

From: Gregory Topov
Date: March 12, 2004 3:15 PM
Subject: CricketConnoisseur & Stanley the Chimp

My apologies, I did not intend to insult you whatsoever. Somebody else (not
me) suggested that you were playing the monkey, and in answer to your
question about what the monkey is, I merely quoted what the Chessmaster
documentation says about the Stanley the chimp personality to answer your
question. I certainly didn't intend to denigrate your chess-playing
ability - in fact I believe I was one of those who complimented you for
finding this trap, and asserted that it would be effective against many
beginner players.

As far as my own chess-playing credentials are concerned, I would prefer not
to boast about my abilities, but I will admit to having a real fondness for
Stanley Random Chess (SRC), and I achieved my GM norms in SRC quite some
years ago already. So yes, I am a grandmaster in SR Chess. But rather than
speak about myself, allow me to simply share with you a thoughtful tribute
that I came across, devoted to one of the greatest SR Chess players in
history, SRC GM Lord Edward Humberton-Snapf (1874-1916). I personally have
two of Lord Humberton-Snapf's books, and am greatly indebted to him for my
own understanding of the intricacies of the game. Here is the tribute:

SRC GM Lord Humberton-Snapf, famous for his eponymous theorem, of which
there were 421 revisions, was one of the great Victorian players of the
game. He was a student of Percival "Watford Junction" Penfold, himself a
legend in the SR chess world, but young Edward soon exceeded his master with
his inate wit and guile, and a bit of cheating now and then. Lord
Humberton-Snapf rose to become the All England SRC Champion in 1897. During
the championship game of that year, in which one of the spectators was Queen
Victoria herself, Lord Humberton-Snapf performed a particularly daring
Gladstone Goodge Street Gambit, and followed this two moves later with the
now famous Camden Co-axial Combination, which led on to his spectacular win
64 moves later. Afterwards he was heard to remark that "My trousers are
shaking uncontrollably!", and the remark became his trade mark at all
subsequent important matches.

Lord Humberton-Snapf it was who helped brought the game to the great
unwashed masses of his time, through his famous books of SRC instructions-
"The Unwashed Masses Guide to Stanley Random Chess- Being the first Volume
of Instruction for The Great English Game of The Same Name, to Educate and
Exemplify for the Common Riff-Raffs in The Street the Rules of This Game"
and the book which later became compulsory reading for all would-be SRC
experts- "Vol Two".

Lord Humberton-Snapf died in the year 1916, after failing to correctly
execute a Vauxhall Ventral Verification move in an important SRC
championship game, and dying of a heart attack after his Finnish opponent
played an Silician reverse gambit. It was a most unfortunate ending to a
brilliant career, and the world has seen few SR Chess players of his
abilities since. As the British say, it's just not cricket.

Sincerely,
SRC GM Gregory Topov

--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan


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Old March 13th 04, 06:40 PM
Gregory Topov
 
Posts: n/a
Default SR Chess - introduced by GM Topov

Another repost, this one was a very friendly and polite reply from
CricketConnoisseur.

From: CricketConnoisseur
Date: March 13, 2004 3:28 AM
Subject: CricketConnoisseur & Stanley the Chimp

"Gregory Topov" wrote:
My apologies, I did not intend to insult you whatsoever. Somebody else

(not
me) suggested that you were playing the monkey, and in answer to your
question about what the monkey is, I merely quoted what the Chessmaster
documentation says about the Stanley the chimp personality to answer your
question. I certainly didn't intend to denigrate your chess-playing
ability - in fact I believe I was one of those who complimented you for
finding this trap, and asserted that it would be effective against many
beginner players.


Yes, that is true. I too apologize if I said anything to offend you. I
guess we got off on the wrong foot here.

As far as my own chess-playing credentials are concerned, I would prefer

not
to boast about my abilities, but I will admit to having a real fondness

for
Stanley Random Chess (SRC), and I achieved my GM norms in SRC quite some
years ago already. So yes, I am a grandmaster in SR Chess. But rather

than
speak about myself, allow me to simply share with you a thoughtful tribute
that I came across, devoted to one of the greatest SR Chess players in
history, SRC GM Lord Edward Humberton-Snapf (1874-1916). I personally have
two of Lord Humberton-Snapf's books, and am greatly indebted to him for my
own understanding of the intricacies of the game. Here is the tribute:


Your chess credentials are most impressive. I am not even in the same
league as you regarding my chess credentials. I am just a chess
enthusiast who loves to play the game. Also enjoy teaching youngsters.

SRC GM Lord Humberton-Snapf, famous for his eponymous theorem, of which
there were 421 revisions, was one of the great Victorian players of the
game. He was a student of Percival "Watford Junction" Penfold, himself a
legend in the SR chess world, but young Edward soon exceeded his master

with
his inate wit and guile, and a bit of cheating now and then. Lord
Humberton-Snapf rose to become the All England SRC Champion in 1897.

During
the championship game of that year, in which one of the spectators was

Queen
Victoria herself, Lord Humberton-Snapf performed a particularly daring
Gladstone Goodge Street Gambit, and followed this two moves later with the
now famous Camden Co-axial Combination, which led on to his spectacular

win
64 moves later. Afterwards he was heard to remark that "My trousers are
shaking uncontrollably!", and the remark became his trade mark at all
subsequent important matches.

Lord Humberton-Snapf it was who helped brought the game to the great
unwashed masses of his time, through his famous books of SRC instructions-
"The Unwashed Masses Guide to Stanley Random Chess- Being the first Volume
of Instruction for The Great English Game of The Same Name, to Educate and
Exemplify for the Common Riff-Raffs in The Street the Rules of This Game"
and the book which later became compulsory reading for all would-be SRC
experts- "Vol Two".

Lord Humberton-Snapf died in the year 1916, after failing to correctly
execute a Vauxhall Ventral Verification move in an important SRC
championship game, and dying of a heart attack after his Finnish opponent
played an Silician reverse gambit. It was a most unfortunate ending to a
brilliant career, and the world has seen few SR Chess players of his
abilities since. As the British say, it's just not cricket.


Once again I wish to apologize if I have said anything to offend you.
I have the highest regard for any good chessplayer.(And the utmost
respect for anyone who has achieved a Grandmaster status in the game).
I hope that we can correspond regularly. Please email me on my
personal email id above. I hope that your email id given above is
valid. I would sincerely like to correspond with you on that.

Sincerely,
SRC GM Gregory Topov


Yours sincerely,

Chessplayer


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Old March 13th 04, 09:18 PM
mdamien
 
Posts: n/a
Default SR Chess - introduced by GM Topov

I have a copy of "The Life and Games of Antonio Pancris" and it certainly
holds a treasured position to the left of my bookcase. I would like to
correct one minor misconception with regard to the Nickio Gambit. In his
book, Pancris attributes the move to Nickio, citing a game played in 1795
against Alphonsus Cambio, during a match set in Peralta, a "small hamlet in
the Tuscan hills of Italy" (apparenly the only surviving game from that
match, as noted by Pancris, but he doesn't provide the full score).
According to GM Nemovic, the gambit was played a full 2 1/2 years earlier in
a game between the brothers Edwin and Earle Scotswasche during an exhibition
match by Claude Labour-Donnell against some of the strongest players of the
day. Labour-Donnell won that match 18 wins, 17 losses, 1 draw. Edwin
Scotswashe was also victorious, playing the white pieces, in the game
against his brother -- which was played in an antechamber off the main hall.
I suppose if Earle had won, we might be calling it the "Scotswasche Gambit"
today.

In any case, I'm disappointed that Nemovic neglected to provide any sources
for these claims, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. This is
from an article of his in SRC Reporter, April 1998.

Matt


"Gregory Topov" wrote in message
...
"CricketConnoisseur" wrote:

Yes, that is true. I too apologize if I said anything to offend you. I
guess we got off on the wrong foot here.


Apology accepted. I'm glad we've come to a common understanding and

mutual
respect for each other.

Your chess credentials are most impressive. I am not even in the same
league as you regarding my chess credentials. I am just a chess
enthusiast who loves to play the game. Also enjoy teaching youngsters.


Thank you for your compliment, although I find that most players who
undertake a study of Stanley Random Chess with any seriousness, progress
rather rapidly. I myself became a grandmaster within only a few years,
although it could be argued that I had a certain natural ability.

However, my ability is nothing when compared to the great SRC grandmaster
Antonio Pancris of Baden-Baden. Pancris began his brilliant career in

1812
at the tender age of 5, when he was spotted by a scout of the

International
Federation for the Promotion of SR Chess at a local tournament. Coming
from a poverty stricken home, Pancris was only wearing trousers at the
tournament, but there was nothing wrong with his mind. When the scout saw
the lad execute the now famous Nickio gambit with black against a leading
Polish grandmaster, leading a forced win in 6 with a unresolvable

dichotomy
on the dark squares, he knew that the young Pancris was something special.
But according to my treasured "Official Butterworth Guide to International
SR Chess" (fourth souvenir edition, signed by Samuel Butterworth

himself!),
it was in his match against an Albanian GM for the 1822 European
Championship that Pancris propelled himself into the international
spotlight. In this memorable game he created a local offside trap using

the
penny formation with both his knights, and forcing his unwitting opponent

to
declare a left coathanger with the queen's bishop, shortly after which he
resigned.

It is important to note that at the time of this tournament, a sharp

dispute
was dividing SRC players (even the president of the conservative
International SR Chess Foundation himself, GM Sergei Inventov, was

involved)
about the correct protocol to determine a universal European champion from
both quadrants. But with the clear emergence of Pancris there was no

longer
any question about the rightful champion. Pancris remained dominant for

the
next decade, pioneering the storm water pawn decoy (relatively obscure

moves
now, but very common in his day), and his now famous transverse rook hook
(using the sixth rank to prepare to propel bishop from the rear at the

enemy
king).

After his retirement due to bad breath and poor health (Pancris was
regrettably a vegetarian, and his strict diet of legumes and beans took a
severe toll on his bowels), he published his opus magnus on SR Chess,
entitled "The Life and Games of Antonio Pancris: An Annotated Exhibition

in
Playing SR Chess with Force and Farce". After going into sixteen

editions,
this book has been out of print for some time, but if you ever find a copy
at a used bookstore, don't hesitate to buy it - I've seen them sell for a
fortune on eBay. Although not quite to the same extent as GM Lord
Humberton-Snapf, GM Antonio Pancris has certainly had a tremendous

influence
on my own playing style.

I would welcome more discussion about SR Chess. Perhaps others here in

the
newsgroup might want to introduce some other famous players from history,

or
share their own experiences with the game.

Sincerely,
SRC GM Topov
--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan




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Old March 13th 04, 10:43 PM
Gregory Topov
 
Posts: n/a
Default SR Chess - introduced by GM Topov

Thank you for that correction Matt! I have a great respect for GM Nemovic,
but I have found more often that he neglects to provide proper documentation
of his source material. For instance, his brilliant commentary from the
32nd German Championship of 1885 between GM Otto Bolshnaut and GM Wolfgang
Plausch ("A German Waltz: Replaying the SR Chess by the Rhine" in two
volumes) is unmatched in terms of its analytical content. He argues very
persuasively on page 385 (This is from the revised edition, reprinted by
Groltzch Publishers) that the so-called novelty produced by the eventual
winner Bolschnaut in game 25 and the decisive game 29 (infamous for when
Bolschnaut ate copious amounts of bratwurst before the game, and unfairly
distracted his opponent with the odour of garlic) was in fact also played by
Claude Labour-Donnell in several exhibition games some 60 years earlier.
Bolschnaut used the bishop pair to create a split-level attack, and was
known to switch hands more often, but it seems that Nemovic is correct in
attributing the idea to Labour-Donnell in the first place. But regrettably
he provides no substantive documentation.

In an article by Mikko Scarlotti published in SR Chess Monthly in December
1925 (unfortunately this *excellent* magazine was no longer published after
the papal injunction of 1932), a cogent case is made for the fact that many
of Bolschnaut's novelties were not original. Scarlotti uses as source
material the Berlin Codex, which is not widely available, but Stanley
himself typically uses a copy for elevation at lunch hour. The elevation
factor of Bolschnaut's game after the opening is known to be rather high,
and perhaps corresponds to his remarkable winning percentage whenever he
played the Bombaug variation when opening with white. Of course, this was
until the Spanish GM Paco Suarez discovered a sound refutation to the
split-level attack by retreating the rook, and crossing the bishop pair with
an irregular bovine knight formation, to produce a rather remarkable
stalemate.

I am particularly interested in Bolschnaut's aggressive style of play
myself, since I often find my games often following his lines. At the
recent international SRC Convention in Geneva, I was fortunate to speak with
GM Edgar Mildew of Great Britain, who confirmed Scarlotti's hypothesis by
referring to a relatively unknown casual game that Bolschnaut played early
in his career against the French president at a tea party in Wales, while
the rest of nobility was playing croquet and cricket. As a result, no
official record of the game is extant, and all that remains to verify the
historicity of Mildew's claim are some nearly indecipherable notes scribbled
on a serviette by a serving girl. Despite this questionable source
material, his case is convincing.

I'm interested if anyone has studied Bolschnaut's tendency to use his
knights and pawns in the Viking Formation, when playing the Cartesian Gambit
Declined in the Bombaug variation. The Viking Formation was particularly
solid against Italian players, it seemed, who tended to follow the simpler
Venice Defence (common at the time, but now never played because of knight
weaknesses), and were more vulnerable to such attacks on the dark squares in
an uncastled position. If anyone can provide any insights on this, I would
welcome your thoughts for discussion.

SRC GM Topov

--
Gregory Topov
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan


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