Annals of chess history
January 27, 2012 6:38 AM   Subscribe

Alexander Alekhine lies dead. Little Samuel Reshevksy gives a simultaneous exhibition. Mikhail Tal presents his most chilling death stare. Fischer plays Fidel. Che meets Miguel Najdorf. Reuben Fine cavorts with a beauty on a beach, showing her his moves. Anatoly Karpov hangs out with Salvador Dali. The grave of Jose Raoul Capablanca. Klaus Junge plays in his Nazi uniform. Sometimes hit and miss, but it has to be said that this a great epic thread of vintage chess photos.
posted by rahulrg (17 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

That's awesome. Capablanca's grave is badass.
posted by etc. at 6:50 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builts a bonfire, Enrico plays with it
posted by spicynuts at 6:51 AM on January 27, 2012 [4 favorites]

I like this picture of Capablanca playing a simul. It's like he's strolling past, kicking people's butts.

It's kind of odd seeing pictures of all these people. Certainly I'd not seen pictures of anyone active primarily before, oh, 1970. (Though I think I'd seen a picture of Morphy once.)
posted by hoyland at 6:58 AM on January 27, 2012

The last link: "This is a classical chess photo, one of if not the most famous: Alekhine's death scene. It is thought that Alekhine collapsed in front of his hotel door and was dragged inside by persons unknown to leave him in a more dignified repose."

Well I guess it's nice to think someone was doing him a solid, but I can imagine that it is equally likely that they moved the body to avoid prosecution. Chess is a rough and tumble sport.
posted by three blind mice at 7:27 AM on January 27, 2012

love that alekhine picture, as depressing as it is - my favorite player of all time -
posted by facetious at 7:42 AM on January 27, 2012

Bogart was a strong player, so he's probably mopping the floor with Paul Henreid here on the set of Casablanca.

And Kubrick - shown here playing George C. Scott on the set of Strangelove - used to hustle chess in the park.

Seizing the moment I told him that I had been hustling him and had deliberately lost the first four games. His response was that I was a patzer. All during the filming of 2001 we played chess whenever I was in London and every fifth game I did something unusual. Finally we reached the 25th game and it was agreed that this would decide the matter. Well into the game he made a move that I was sure was a loser. He even clutched his stomach to show how upset he was. But it was a trap and I was promptly clobbered. “You didn’t know I could act too” he remarked.
posted by Trurl at 7:50 AM on January 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

That photo of deceased Alekhine looks staged to me. Wikipedia mentions the suspicions that he was slain: some of the links from the wiki article are very interesting.
posted by exogenous at 7:57 AM on January 27, 2012

Gil Elvgren, "Your Move"
posted by Trurl at 7:59 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love the pic of little Susan Polgar (#193), her hand caught in midair as it comes down on the clock. Such an appropriate face of concentration for the world's youngest acknowledged problem composer.
posted by Chichibio at 8:05 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Age four [!!]
posted by Chichibio at 8:07 AM on January 27, 2012

Kasparov faces an unexpected attack.
posted by Trurl at 8:09 AM on January 27, 2012

Da Mystery of Chessboxin'
posted by Trurl at 8:19 AM on January 27, 2012

I've always wondered how chess survived and thrived under communism given that the pieces and game are somewhat a tribute to monarchies and feudalism. Great photos!

Also, not to divert the thread, but if anyone wants a game on, I'm Renoroc there too.
posted by Renoroc at 10:05 AM on January 27, 2012

Speaking of chess, Tatar Steel has two rounds left (they start at like 9am EST), and Magnus Carlsen is hot on the heels of Aronian who, with white, lost today to one of the weakest players in the tourney.
I'm "evi1joe" on (the L is a #1).
posted by whatgorilla at 9:06 PM on January 27, 2012

Tata Steel (not Tatar)
posted by whatgorilla at 9:07 PM on January 27, 2012

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