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Normal Topic Not a joke, but a question about one (Read 103 times)
cathexis
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Re: Not a joke, but a question about one
Reply #2 - 07/31/20 at 18:19:25
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Thanks!
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Not a joke, but a question about one
Reply #1 - 07/31/20 at 15:35:15
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According to chess.com, a version of this story appears in Fox/James (1987) The Complete Chess Addict.
https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-players/what-is-your-favorite-chess-story...

However, that might not be the original source.

Quote:
These days we have a rather different relationship to truth than we did even 30 years ago when Mike Fox and I were writing The Complete Chess Addict. It’s no longer enough to use secondary sources, cutting and pasting dubious unsubstantiated anecdotes from earlier chess trivia books.
-- Richard James https://chessimprover.com/the-ultimate-chess-addict/
  
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cathexis
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Not a joke, but a question about one
07/31/20 at 12:31:13
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I'm sure all have heard this funny story. But can anyone cite the original source?

As often told:

" Here is Capablanca himself telling it to some friends:

"I was playing in a tournament in Germany one year when a man approached me. Thinking he just wanted an autograph, I reached for my pen, when the man made a startling announcement. 'I've solved chess!' I sensibly started to back away, in case the man was dangerous as well as insane, but the man continued: 'I'll bet you 1000 marks that if you come back to my hotel room I can prove it to you.' Well, 1000 marks was 1000 marks, so I humoured the fellow and accompanied him to his room."

"Back at the room, we sat down at his chess board. 'I've worked it all out, white mates in 12 no matter what.' I played black with perhaps a bit incautiously, but I found to my horror that white's pieces coordinated very strangely, and that I was going to be mated on the 12th move!"

"I tried again, and I played a completely different opening that couldn't possibly result in such a position, but after a series of very queer-looking moves, once again I found my king surrounded, with mate to fall on the 12th move. I asked the man to wait while I ran downstairs and fetched Emmanuel Lasker, who was world champion before me. He was extremely sceptical, but agreed to at least come and play. Along the way we snagged Alekhine, who was then world champion, and the three of us ran back up to the room."

"Lasker took no chances, but played as cautiously as could be, yet after a bizarre, pointless-looking series of manoeuvres, found himself hemmed in a mating net from which there was no escape. Alekhine tried his hand, too, but all to no avail."

"It was awful! Here we were, the finest players in the world, men who had devoted our very lives to the game, and it was all over! The tournaments, the matches, everything - chess had been solved, white wins."

About this time Capa's friends broke in, saying "Wait a minute, we never heard anything about all this! What happened?"

"Why, we killed him, of course."
  
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