Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Chess Hero

Ever since I started exploring chess literature I've been an admirer of Dr. Tarrasch (seated r., playing Schlechter in 1911). He, after all, is the one who wrote that "Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy."

He was probably the strongest player in the world from the late 1880s through the early '90s, winning a string of tournaments with logical, forceful chess.

I found the image at Roger Paige's site. The caption says the game was played in 1911, which is also the year Tarrasch and Schlechter played a match, but I'm wondering if this was an offhand game or staged photo. Not only are no score sheets visible, but the position doesn't seem to exactly match any of the games, either.

Chessgames.com has Tarrasch and Schlechter playing each other 42 times between 1894 and 1918, with Tarrasch scoring 8-6 with 28 draws.


Ryan Emmett said...

Nice photo. Great site by Roger Paige as well - I love the photos there. What a great collection!

I'm a fan of the Doctor myself. I once used his famous aphorism that you quote above as my signature at the Chess Exchange website, although I changed 'men' to 'people'.

Someone pointed out to me that I was misquoting Dr. Tarrasch, but I already knew that - I just felt that if he were writing today (in the era of the Polgar's among others) he may have deigned to include women in his quote!

Wahrheit said...

The thought of Dr. Tarrasch playing Judit Polgar is fun...anyway, to be fair to the Dr. I think the quote was originally in German and "men" is used in the sense of "mankind."