NABOKV-L post 0008774, Sun, 19 Oct 2003 08:38:08 -0700

Fw: Fw: Prototype chessmasters for THE DEFENSE Alekhin

----- Original Message -----
From: George Shimanovich
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2003 10:31 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Prototype chessmasters for THE DEFENSE

Being on this list for a long time I am not surprised when someone, how should I put it, out of nowhere, presents, in a single statement, his utter contempt for life's achievement of a genius. Mr. Alekhin became alcoholic in his later years, after his second marriage, being separated from his homeland which he loved. The only maniacal in Alekhin was his constant striving to finish his opponent on the board. Off the board he was a gentleman, which Mr. Yost should know. Speaking of Alekhin's chess style he excelled in all aspects of the game, including positional side of it. He is recognized by professional chess players for his contributions to chess endings which is impossible to do without being astute positional thinker.

In my reading of 'Defense' Luzin cannot be described as positional player. I recall that he had a forced win in interrupted game with Turrati - somewhat in Alekhin's style. 'Combinations like melodies. You can simply hear the moves.', - these are not the words of a positional player.

Forgive me for being blunt, but I simply cannot stand people who cannot think up their own ideas and apply their mind to classify those who can. They belong to this list as 'poshlost' to 'Cloud, Castle, Lake'.

George Shimanovich

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2003 12:19 PM
Subject: Re: Prototype chessmasters for THE DEFENSE

In a message dated 10/17/2003 2:58:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

gifted if erratic Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Alekhin

Alekhine, though one of the greatest chess players, was an egomaniacal paranoid alcoholic. In addition his playing does not show the beautiful, balanced echoing attributed to Luzhin, whereas Rubinstein's does. Likewise with Morphy, a brilliant (19th century) combinational player but not a positional (Apollonian) player like Luzhin. Bardeleben, on the other hand, seems with Rubinstein, to fit into the mosaic.

Eric Yost