The Art of Combination

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Salwe, H.

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Wolf, and E. Cohn; below, R. Spielmann, R. Swiderski, H.

Fahrni, P. Leonhardt, D. Janowski, and D.

The Art of Combination

This was indeed high company for a young aspirant in chess. He was again at Ostend in , competing in the tournament of twenty-nine masters, all playing all on this occasion.

With 15 points he tied with E. Cohn and Spielmann for twelfth to fourteenth prizes. Among his wins were those against A. Rubinstein who tied with O.

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Teichmann, and O. Petersburg in , Znosko-Borovsky showed lack of recent practice; but the opposition was tremendously strong, including the world champion, Dr. Emanuel Lasker, and A. Rubinstein, who tied for first place. Two years later he had the satisfaction of gaining the St. Petersburg city championship.

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  4. In he further distinguished himself by winning an exhibition game against J. Capablanca, then on a visit to the Russian capital—the only game which the future world champion lost at that period against thirty masters in Europe. At the beginning of he competed in the Russian national championship of eighteen players. In this A. Alekhine and A. Then came the Great War, and for seven years Znosko-Borovsky was out of touch with chess. When he settled in Paris in he took the game up again, and studied to recover his old strength at it.

    This was partly in order to enable him to make a living, supplementing what he could earn by writing upon literature and the drama in French and Russian papers. He still continues to write on these two subjects being indeed an authority on the Russian theatre, and the author of plays acted there in the past , but has had more and more to devote himself to chess: practical play, tuition, and writing about the game. His tournaments in the various European countries have been very numerous. In Britain, to which he paid his first visit at Broadstairs in —a year in which he beat the late Belgian master, E.

    Colle, in a short match—he includes two equal firsts with the late J. Drewitt in the major open contests at Stratford-on-Avon, , and Edinburgh, , and first prize in the premier tournament at Folkestone, In Paris in he came out second to S. Tartakover, and equal with A. Baratz and E. Colle, in a tournament of twelve players, below him being J. Cukierman, Sir George Thomas, G. Koltanowski, etc. In Paris again, in , he came out first, without loss, in a tournament of eight players, below him being A. Gromer, Tartakover, A. Lilienthal, J. Mieses, etc. Kostich, Colle, G. In he won the Paris championship; very appropriately, since that year in Paris there was a celebration of his jubilee as a chess-master, when he received congratulations and mementos from far and wide.

    In , on a visit to Bucarest, he played hors concours in the Rumanian national championship, and came out equal first. As a lecturer, he has the gift of interesting and holding his audiences, and in consequence he has always been a success in this role. In the teaching of chess he may claim to have no superior.

    His contributions to chess literature, apart from articles in magazines all over the world, include The Evolution of Chess , Capablanca , and The Muzio Gambit , Capablanca and Alekhine after the War , and the following works, which are known to English readers, having been published in our language among others : The Middle Game in Chess, How not to play Chess , and How to play Chess Openings. He goes on to say:. To reach conclusions, to furnish instruction capable of use in practical play, it has been necessary to accumulate examples until our little volume contains nearly two hundred diagrams—and as many brilliant combinations!

    As a minute examination of all these, however, demands much time and attention, the busy reader is advised at the start only to study the first examples in each group, reading the commentary at the same time, in order to arrive at the general idea; and then, to complete his instruction, let him proceed to the details of each combination by an examination of all the remaining examples. BEFORE I begin my fascinating journey into the mysterious realm of Combination, so little explored and therefore so much the more attractive, I hasten to state my full realisation of the difficulties that await me.

    One might have supposed that the study of combinations in chess would be made pleasant and easy by the imaginative beauty therein displayed, that it was at all events much simpler than the study of other chess problems, which are governed by rigid laws and strict logic. But that would be an error; for it is precisely the apparent absence of logic which makes this particular study difficult. We can hardly deal in generalities. Can we even assert that there are here any general principles or governing ideas?

    Is not every combination a particular case, with its own special rules? At the risk of wearying the student, therefore, it is necessary to multiply examples, without even then feeling sure that convincing deductions can be made, to reward the labour involved in the attempt. What we have said is the probable explanation why combinations have been so little studied by the technical writers.

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    There is nothing ready to hand: no definitions, no terminology, not even a classification. All that we have in this domain is the collections of famous games and brilliant combinations. Some of these are deservedly favourites, but the combinations are hardly ever grouped under heads. It is as if mere chance had governed their selection and arrangement. When one spends much time over a mass of startling diagrams, must one not be driven to ask whether there is any instruction to be gained from the study, or whether these combinations are just exhibitions of luck, or at best of sheer inspiration?

    Let us then look on these collections as the raw material from which new products are to be fashioned. Let us introduce order into this chaos, and throw the light of theoretical reason upon it. After we have examined the abundant material furnished by practical play, it will be our task to group it according to certain common features; and then perhaps we shall be able to disentangle some general conclusions.

    Without depreciating what our predecessors have done, we are obliged to say that most of the writers dealing with this subject are too much under the sway of facts, and so appreciably lessen the value of their studies. We must, however, do homage, among these writers, to the late Dr. Tarrasch, to Dr. Tarrasch had devoted to Combination several pages of his celebrated manual Das Schachspiel.

    The study of combinations is also attempted in Dr. Here we find a first essay in classification. But the author, having allowed but one chapter for the subject, has taken as his basis of classification rather the outward marks: mate-combinations, drawing combinations, Pawn-promotions, etc. The second part allows of a remarkable study of the mechanism of combination, as well as a praiseworthy attempt at terminology. But the absence of a reasoned classification is to be regretted.

    The different kinds of combinations are not completely set. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

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    The Art of Combination
    The Art of Combination
    The Art of Combination
    The Art of Combination
    The Art of Combination
    The Art of Combination

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