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Old September 1st 08, 10:27 AM posted to,,alt.chess,,
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Default Chess from Morphy to Botvinnik by Imre König

Chess from Morphy to Botvinnik is out now, available for $18.95 from

Note that, as usual, I have used the original dust jacket from the
original 1950 printing of this classic work.

Sam Sloan

On Aug 25, 10:27*am, samsloan wrote:
Chess from Morphy to Botvinnik
A Century of Chess Evolution

by Imre König

This book is one of the great classics of chess literature. The
author, Imre König, was an International Master of Chess and a great
analyst as well as an entertaining writer. He describes the
development of chess opening theory and discusses lines of play no
longer in vogue but which remain powerful weapons for the practical
tournament player.

This book was originally published in 1950 as “Chess from Morphy to
Botwinnik”. The title has been changed to conform to the standard
spelling of the name of Mikhail Botvinnik, who was World Chess
Champion three times: 1948 to 1957, 1958 to 1960 and 1961 to 1963.

Imre König was awarded the International Master title by FIDE in 1951,
the first year that these titles were awarded. He is rated 2440 in
Elo's book, “The Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present” ISBN
0923891277. However, he was better known as a writer and an analyst
than as a player.

There are a few mysteries about Imre König. The Wikipedia Encyclopedia
says that he was born on 9 February 1899 in Gyula, Hungary and died in
1992 in Santa Monica, California and that he was Hungarian.

However, he was always thought of as Austrian and this book states
that he was a member of the Vienna School of Chess.

He apparently played in two Chess Olympiads representing Yugoslavia
under the name of Mirko Kenig.

It is important to remember that at the time of his birth, Austria and
Hungary were one country known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Social Security Death Index states that he was born 9 February
1901 and died 9 September 1992 in Santa Monica, California and that
his Social Security Number was 572-46-3641.

In the mid-1990s, a distress call went out from the Mechanics
Institute Chess Club in San Francisco. It had been discovered that
Imre König had died, but nobody knew when or where he had died. He had
worked for many years in the United States Post Office in San
Francisco and had retired from there but, since he had rarely played
or come to the chess club, the players had lost track of him. It was
even suggested that he might have gone back to Austria.

Imre König immigrated to America in 1953. He did not play in any
tournaments. He gave a few simultaneous exhibitions. However, he
regularly played in the Annual California North-South Match which
primarily featured players from San Francisco in the North against
players from Los Angeles in the South. Here, he played several games
against Grandmaster Isaac Kashdan of Los Angeles, breaking even.

The games we have of him show a daring, swashbuckling style of play,
filled with combinations and sacrifices. Here are two examples, wins
against Grandmaster Isaac Kashdan and Master Tibor Weinberger. Both
games are from the North-South Matches.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Sam Sloan
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * August 26, 2008
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Bronx, New York

GM Isaac Kashdan vs. Imre König, California North-South Match,
San Luis Obispo, California, 1954 *ECO "E40"

In this game, Imre König as black plays some surprising and unusual
opening moves against Grandmaster Kashdan and quickly gains the

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 Nc6 5. Bd3 e5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3
e4 8. Bc2 Na5 9. Qe2 O-O 10. f3 b6 11. fxe4 Nxe4 {Diagram}


A shocking sacrifice. White should not capture the knight with 12.
Bxe4 because of 12. . . . Qh4+ 13. Qf2 Qxe4 and Black has the

12. Nf3 f5 13. Bb2 Ba6 14. Bd3 Qe7 15. O-O c5 16. Rac1 Rae8 17. Rc2
Qe6 18. d5 Qh6 19. Re1 Re7 20. Bc1 Rfe8 21. g3 Qh5 22. Qf1 Bxc4 23.
Bxc4 Nxc4 24. Nh4 Ned6 25. Rf2 Rf7 26. a4 Ne5 27. a5 Ref8 28. axb6
axb6 29. Nf3 Nxf3+ 30. Rxf3 Ne4 31. Kg2 Nxc3 32. Qc4 Ne4 33. Ref1 Qg6
34. Rf4 Nd6 35. Qb3 b5 36. Bb2 b4 37. Rc1 Ne4 38. Ra1 Qh5 39. Qc2 d6
40. Ra6 Re8 41. g4 Qg6 42. Qa4 Rfe7 43. h3 h5 44. Ra8 fxg4 45. hxg4
hxg4 46. Rxe8+ Qxe8 47. Qxe8+ Rxe8 48. Rxg4 Re7 49. Kf3 Nd2+ 50. Ke2
Nb3 51. Kd3 Na5 52. Rg6 Rd7 53. e4 c4+ White Resigns 0-1


The Final Position – White Resigns

Imre König vs. Tibor Weinberger
California "North-South Match"
Fresno, California 1962
ECO "B24"

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 e6 6. Nh3 Nge7 7. O-O O-
O 8. Bg5 h6 9. Be3 d6 10. Qd2 Kh7 11. Rab1 Rb8 12. Ne2 Ne5 13. f3 b6
14. b4 Bd7 15. Nf2 f5 16. f4 N5c6 17. bxc5 dxc5 18. e5 Qc8 19. c3 Nd5
20. Bxd5 exd5 21. d4 c4 22. Qe1 Rf7 23. Nd1 Bf8 24. Bc1 b5 25. Ne3 Be6
26. Bd2 Qa6 27. Nc1 b4 28. cxb4 Nxd4 29. Bc3 Nc6 30. Nc2 Bc5+ 31. Kg2
d4 32. Qf2 Bd5+ 33. Kh3 Be4 34. bxc5 Rxb1 35. Nxd4 g5 36. fxg5 hxg5
37. Ne6 Kg6 38. Nxg5 Kxg5 39. Qd2+ Kg6 40. Qd6+ Kh7 41. Rf4 Kg8 42.
Rh4 Qc8 43. Qg6+ Rg7 44. e6 {Diagram}


Rbb7 45. Bxg7 Rxg7 46. Qh6 and Black resigns because of mate.

44. e6 was a great queen sacrifice that works because if Black
captures the queen with 44. . . . Rxg6 it is checkmate with 46. Rh8#
mate 1-0

Weinberger, who played black, was one of California's leading players.
He played in the US Championship. In this game, he seems to have a big
advantage. However, after König sacrificed a minor exchange,
Weinberger's initiative slipped away and it was König's turn to

The final combination featuring a queen sacrifice made this a nice

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