Chess players have always been somewhat accused of being smarty-pants. In order to feed on the slightly annoying smartness Chessimo will acquaint you with 15 interesting facts about checkmate today that will definitely be news to your partner in conversation.
+ In 1935, Elias Canetti, Nobel laureate of literature, wrote the novel UTO DA FE. A guy named Fischer is the main character who wants nothing more than becoming chess world champion. Coincidence or visionary gift?
+ Napoleon’s last will? Taking out his heart after his death and safely storing it in a chess table.
+ The German player Dr. Emanuel Lasker was undefeated chess world champion for 27 years and still holds the world record for this accomplishment.
+ In 1902, the first game of radio chess was carried out. The participants were passengers of two cruise ships that were sailing the Atlantic Ocean 70 miles apart from each other. Unfortunately, the duel was never finished, as the radio equipment used for transmitting the game were needed for navigation purposes.
+ The number of possible chess duels is 10 to the power of 1070.5. To play each and every possible duel the entire world population of 7.2 billion people would have to play twenty duels a day for three years straight.
+ Niaz Murshed from Bangladesh is the youngest player in the history of checkmate to win a national championship. He was 12 years old back then (1979).
+ Russia prohibited blind-simultaneous chess games in 1930, as the government was afraid it might cause mental illness.
+ In 1922, Jose Capablanca played against 103 opponents. One duel ended in a draw, all others he won.
+ The first American telegraph was used to carry out a chess tournament between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore via telegram in 1844.
+ Alexander Alekhine had a drink too much before the great the world championship final of 1935 and lost the game. Two years later he had another chance on winning the title, stuck with milk this time, and took home the trophy.
+ According to the legend, the Indian inventor of checkmate was asked by his king what he wanted as a reward for his endeavors. He answered: “Give me grain. Place one grain kernel on the first square, two kernels on the second square, and continue to double the amount of kernels for every square – until you have reached the 64th square.” The King was surprised at first about this supposed modesty. After he gave it a second thought and calculated the total number of grain kernels, he came to know that he would have to give the man 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 kernels. An amount that would be enough to cover all of England in a 12 meter layer of grain.
+ Anatoly Karpov became the first and only world champion in 1975 who did not have to fight for his title. His opponent Bobby Fischer refused to attend the competition.
+ After Billiard, in 1886 checkmate became the second sport discipline in which world championships were carried out.
+ Brooke Shields, Hollywood celebrity known from ‘The Ble Lagoon’ and ‘Quantum Leap’, became member of the World Championship Organization Committee in 1990.
+ 1980 in the Spanish Vigo: Francisco R. Torres Trois needed 2 hours and 20 minutes for one move that made history as the slowest move ever. Who could blame dim – the number of his possible moves was two.
written by Sarah, translated by Birthe