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Old October 7th 15, 11:07 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn

I wonder how many chess players there are in the world?

I bet that there's about 600,000,000 people who know the moves.

But how many of them can play with any degree of competency?

Probably about 1%: 6,000,000.

How many of those could play a good, club-standard game?

No more than 3,000,000.

How many of those can speak and read reasonable English?

I'd say about 1,000,000.

How many of those are able to freely spend $60 on a single book?

About 20,000.

And how many of those 20,000 would buy a book about Julius Finn ?

Hard to say. I'd guess about 2.

http://shop.chess.co.uk/product-p/cb03172.htm

"Julius Finn - Olimpiu G. Urcan
A Chess Master's Life in America, 1871-1931
Foreword by John S. Hilbert

286 pages, hardback
About the Book
Julius Finn was born in Russian Poland, and came to New York in 1887 at the age of 16. From a humble start as a street peddler on the Lower East Side, Finn swiftly rose to become New York's champion chess master and one of the country's best blindfold chess entertainers. Finn's chess success contributed to the rise of the chess scene in the Big Apple in the early twentieth century, and he fared equally well in business, parlaying his skills into a highly successful career. Along with a foreword by John S. Hilbert, this biography of Finn in America includes analysis of 99 of his chess games-- most of them previously unknown or little studied--diagrams of game situations, and photographs.

About the Author
Award-winning journalist Olimpiu G. Urcan is a frequent contributor to New in Chess and pens a monthly chess history column at Chesscafé.com. He lives in Singapore, where he works as an education consultant.

ISBN: 978-0-7864-4283-6"
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Old October 9th 15, 01:22 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn



snip


There are players out there who are obscure but could have been great players if given the chance. Klaus Junge who Alekhine said was one of the most talented young players he ever saw. Arthur Dake an american player who also was very talented. Dake owned Rueben Fine and gave Reshevsky a run for his money. Teichmann who many said in the early 1900's was one of the most talented players out there but was too lazy. He actually won a super tournament when his mom passed away left him some money so he played without pressure and won the tournament. Sultan Khan was a slave to a Maharaja and entered a tournament to play and he held his own with the best. Names of players who could have
been. There are probably so many more out there.

EZoto

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Old October 9th 15, 06:22 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn


- See more at: http://www.britishchessmagazine.co.u....rky9M9es.dpuf


snip


Wonderful story. It is too bad that so much is out there but not written about them. I remember reading how Fischer thought very highly of Ratmir Kholmov's games and that he studied them. Who is Ratmir Kholmov? Nezmetdinov. Another player many said had great talent. Serawan said that about Viktors Pupols. Duncan Suttles many players said had the most unique style of play they had ever seen. The list goes on and on.

EZoto

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Old October 10th 15, 09:22 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn

On Saturday, 10 October 2015 00:44:44 UTC+1, Euclides Zoto wrote:

....
All the players you mention wpuld be deserving of a biography. So why write a biography of Julius Finn, or Albert Beauregard Hodges?

BCM:
'Albert Beauregard Hodges: The Man Chess Made' -
John S. Hilbert and Peter P. Lahde (McFarland 2013, but first published in 2008.) 542 pages. 4 appendices, including 351 games in algebraic notation, the Chess Problems he composed and his match and tournament record. Selected Bibliography. Index of Hodges's games, the openings he played and the ECO code for others' games. Index of illustrations, nearly all drawings, and a General Index.
When the BCM Editor asked me to select a book to review, my curiosity was aroused by such a massive tome concerning a player of whom I had never heard.. But that is my ignorance; my friend Michael Macdonald-Ross was certainly aware of him.
Albert Beauregard Hodges (21.7.1861 to 3.2.1944) was born in Nashville, Tennessee, during the American Civil War, and died at the age of 82 in New York. But, even more importantly, on the day the Union troops were routed by the Confederate forces led by Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. This was the first major action of the war and is known as 'First Bull Run'. Thus his middle name.
He probably didn't learn chess until the late age of 19, but then made surprisingly rapid progress and was writing on the game by 22. Zukertort tried to give him knight odds, as was the custom of the time, but Hodges won 4 1/2-1/2.
He nearly always referred to himself as A. B. Hodges. He came to NY in 1889 when he was the hidden operator of Ajeeb, the chess automaton. While hidden in the machine he played all comers at both chess and checkers. He won the US title in 1894, defeating J. W. Showalter 5 to 3 with just 1 draw. Pillsbury challenged him in 1895, but Hodges didn't accept for business reasons, and retired from the title in 1896. In his very long career, continuing until 1923, he played against World Cham-pions Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine. He won the Manhattan Club Championship and became NY State Champ. He is best remembered for playing in all 13 Anglo-American Cable Matches from 1896-1911, winning 5, drawing 8 and losing 0, playing between boards 1 and 6. His best-known opponents were Blackburne and Atkins, against both of whom he drew.
From 1893 to 1913 he was secretary of the Sailor's Snug Harbor on Staten Island. He lived on that island for 50 years, but he also played for Manhattan and Brooklyn CCs.
He was never a professional player, except possibly when inside Ajeeb. There were a few in that period in the US: Steinitz, Lasker, Pillsbury, Marshall. He may have had walk-on parts in some very early films. He was known as a 'good club player'. But that had a completely different meaning from today, where it usually signifies a playing strength of about 160. He was a chess club player and organiser and performed a sterling service in both respects. 'For surely it could be seen what chess had made of the man, as much as what the man had made of chess.'
The games are only sparsely annotated, mostly quoting contemporary notes. The book is one of considerable scholarship, listing sources and quoting appropriate texts in full. It tells us of a bygone age, where the Swiss System was unknown; there was no USCF and little international play. A.A. Smith reviewed a companion work about Emil Kemeny in the December 2013 BCM.
One sad note. The publishers do not serve the authors well. It is paperback and 'perfect bound'. Un-surprisingly, the earlier pages of my copy have become detached. The 2008 library edition is no doubt more serviceable.
- See more at: http://www.britishchessmagazine.co.u....rky9M9es.dpuf
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Old October 15th 15, 04:53 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn

On Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 6:07:42 PM UTC+8, Offramp wrote:

About the Author
Award-winning journalist Olimpiu G. Urcan is a frequent contributor to New in Chess and pens a monthly chess history column at Chesscafé.com. He lives in Singapore, where he works as an education consultant.

ISBN: 978-0-7864-4283-6"


There's a lively American market for such historical chess books on obscure persons. They have have one (that I bought) on Norman Tweed Whitaker (April 9, 1890 - May 20, 1975), an American International Master of chess, a lawyer, a civil servant, and a chess author, as well as con-artist, that showed in a photo a young Samuel Sloan bouncing on his knee. Wonder what the background of that photo was?

RL


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Old December 2nd 15, 02:10 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn

On Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 12:44:45 PM UTC-4, Euclides Zoto wrote:

- See more at: http://www.britishchessmagazine.co.u....rky9M9es.dpuf


snip


Wonderful story. It is too bad that so much is out there but not written about them. I remember reading how Fischer thought very highly of Ratmir Kholmov's games and that he studied them. Who is Ratmir Kholmov? Nezmetdinov.


Kholmov was one of the strongest players in the world for a number of years.. He tied for one USSR championship (but lost the playoff) and won several semi-finals, which were stronger than the championships of any other country at the time.

He is more obscure than he should be in part because he was not allowed to travel outside the Soviet Bloc. Presumably some KGB report labelled him unreliable, possibly one dating to his service in the Navy in WWII, when he might have been seen as being a little too happy to be in a foreign port.

Kholmov was noted as both a fine attacker and great defender, but I think the latter was what interested Fischer, as Kholmov, naturally, had to defend against the best the USSR had to offer. His attacking games often came from openings Fisher did not then play.

Fischer gave his win vs Kholmov as game 59 in MSMG.

William Hyde
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Old December 13th 15, 12:12 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn

On Tue, 1 Dec 2015 18:10:00 -0800 (PST), William Hyde
wrote:

He is more obscure than he should be in part because he was not allowed to =
travel outside the Soviet Bloc. Presumably some KGB report labelled him un=
reliable, possibly one dating to his service in the Navy in WWII, when he m=
ight have been seen as being a little too happy to be in a foreign port.


I'm sure I remember that the KGB's problem with him was that he had
family in the west (West Germany if I recall correctly).

I don't think there's any real suggestion he was "naughty" in any way
that would interest the KGB
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Old December 13th 15, 10:00 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn

On Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 7:12:45 PM UTC-5, The Horny Goat wrote:
On Tue, 1 Dec 2015 18:10:00 -0800 (PST), William Hyde
wrote:

He is more obscure than he should be in part because he was not allowed to =
travel outside the Soviet Bloc. Presumably some KGB report labelled him un=
reliable, possibly one dating to his service in the Navy in WWII, when he m=
ight have been seen as being a little too happy to be in a foreign port.


I'm sure I remember that the KGB's problem with him was that he had
family in the west (West Germany if I recall correctly).


That would explain their attitude. Unfortunate for Kholmov and chess in general.


I don't think there's any real suggestion he was "naughty" in any way
that would interest the KGB


Many people in his situation would strive to keep their copybooks as clean as possible. Minor sins that would be forgivable in, say, Smyslov, would cause trouble for Kholmov.

William Hyde

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Old December 21st 15, 01:21 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn


Kholmov was one of the strongest players in the world for a number of years. He tied for one USSR championship (but lost the playoff) and won several semi-finals, which were stronger than the championships of any other country at the time.

He is more obscure than he should be in part because he was not allowed to travel outside the Soviet Bloc. Presumably some KGB report labelled him unreliable, possibly one dating to his service in the Navy in WWII, when he might have been seen as being a little too happy to be in a foreign port.

Kholmov was noted as both a fine attacker and great defender, but I think the latter was what interested Fischer, as Kholmov, naturally, had to defend against the best the USSR had to offer. His attacking games often came from openings Fisher did not then play.

Fischer gave his win vs Kholmov as game 59 in MSMG.


Anne Sunnucks gives 18 index references to Kholmov, here follows the main entry on his name

KHOLMOV, Ratmir Dmitrievich (1925-)
Int'l Gm (1960) Born 13th May 1925. During the war Kholmov served as a rating in the Soviet Navy and when he was off duty, he used to spend lots of time studying the games of Soviet masters. Became Nat'l master in 1947 and an IM in 1954.

From 1949 to 1953, in 1955 and from 1957 to 1960 he was Lithuanian champion.. His results in USSR Championship finals include 6th/1954, 5th/1956, 6th/1957, =4th/1959, 4th/1962, 3rd/1963 In 1963 he tied for first place with Spassky and Stein but came third in the play off.

Kholmov's progress has been handicapped by his liking for strong liquor, and he was suspended from playing in tournaments for a year for conduct unbefitting a chess master and Soviet citizen.

Phil Innes



William Hyde

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Old December 21st 15, 03:08 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default The Incredible Story of Chess Master Julius Finn

What is all this guff about Kholmov. Who is he and what is all this about?
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