Sunday, 17 June 2007

The Delights of Chess

Chess Grandmaster William Lombardy
The bulk of the book "The Delights of Chess" by Assiac (see eBay listing) is taken up with fascinating written portraits and anecdotes about a number of chess masters. The portraits, written in the late 50's and mainly based on personal encounters, feature expected stars such as Botvinnik, Reshevsky, Gligoric, Tal, Smyslov, and Keres; greats of yester-year including Lasker and Euwe; the upper echelons of English chess such as C.H.O.D. Alexander, Leonard Barden, Harry Golombek and an emerging Jonathan Penrose; a pair of German players (reflecting the author's background) Unizicker and Uhlmann; and a very surprising inclusion, the young American William Lombardy.

As well as being a Grandmaster, William Lombardy was also a catholic priest. He was a fine player, he won the World Junior title in 1958, but is perhaps best known as Fischer's second and the man instrumental for ensuring that Fischer actually turned up for his 1972 World Title match with Spassky in Reykjavik. Lombardy's own account of the events around the match is a fascinating read.

The chapter titles in "The Delights of Chess" are abstract yet descriptive of the subject player. Lombardy's chapter is entitled "Solid young man", not just a reference to his style of play!

Our teaser today is can you match the following seven chapter titles with the correct player?


Youthful veteran
Paradise regained
Warbling world-beater
Veteran prodigy
He conquered a nation for chess
Never a dull game
Genius is never satisfied

Players (jumbled order): David Bronstein, Vassily Smyslov, Samuel Reshevsky, Mikhail Tal, Mikhail Botvinnik, Dr. Max Euwe, Paul Keres

Good luck!

Check out "The Delights of Chess" on eBay.


Ryan Emmett said...

Cool quiz question!

I'll try:

Youthful Veteran: Tal
Paradise regained: Botvinnik
Warbling world-beater: Smyslov
Veteran prodigy: Reshevsky
He conquered a nation for chess: Euwe
Never a dull game: Keres
Genius is never satisfied: Bronstein

I could probably shuffle the answers about and still think they sounded right! The only one I'm reasonably confident of is Smyslov because of his fine baritone singing voice (hardly warbling?!)

Roger Coathup said...

Hi Ryan,

I'm glad you like it...

3 correct.

What's the game where you know how many are right, but not which ones?

All the best, Roger


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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.