Chess: Crowley - Berlin - Kurt Richter  

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 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
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30/05/2014 1:12 pm  

I am researching the life and games of the Berlin chess master Kurt Richter (1900-1969).
  I have read the chess topics on this site, and I also have an article from the English periodical 'Chess Monthly', December 1997, by C.P. Ravilious. This article refers to Crowley playing against several notable opponents during his period in Berlin 1930-31; Mieses, Paul Johner and Kurt Richter. 
  Mr Ravilious refers to Crowley's biographer, John Symonds, and a 1944 Crowley letter mentioning his chess opponents during the earlier days in Berlin, but no other direct references.
  Can anyone direct me to specific sources?
  Thank you for any help offered.

Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland
www.chessscotland.com


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William Thirteen
(@williamthirteen)
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Posts: 1102
30/05/2014 1:39 pm  

“I had been to St. Petersburg to learn Russian for the Diplomatic Service in the long vacation of 1897, and on my way back broke the journey in Berlin to attend the Chess Congress. But I had hardly entered the room where the masters were playing when I was seized with what may justly be described as a mystical experience. I seemed to be looking on at the tournament from outside myself. I saw the masters — one, shabby, snuffy and blear-eyed; another, in badly fitting would-be respectable shoddy; a third, a mere parody of humanity, and so on for the rest. These were the people to whose ranks I was seeking admission. "There, but for the grace of God, goes Aleister Crowley," I exclaimed to myself with disgust, and there and then I registered a vow never to play another serious game of chess. I perceived with praeternatural lucidity that I had not alighted on this planet with the object of playing chess.”

Confessions - Chapter 16

the 1897 Chess Congress in Berlin seemed to have a few colorful characters

The Internationales Turnier Berlin 1897 celebrated seventy years of the Berliner Schachgesellschaft. Twenty great chess masters started but Curt von Bardeleben had to withdraw after a short draw. They played in the Architektenhaus from September 13 to October 4, 1897. Eventually the event became a race between Rudolf Charousek and Carl August Walbrodt. The youngsters had prevailed at the end of the tiring event. The first won 2000 Mark and the second one - 1500 Mark. Unfortunately, they would die within a few years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_1897_chess_tournament


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William Thirteen
(@williamthirteen)
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Posts: 1102
30/05/2014 1:58 pm  

Crowley played quite a bit during his sojourn in Berlin - usually at Cafe Koenig, but often at Romanisches or elsewhere when a board was available. Unfortunately, for the most part he doesn't list his partners, just his feelings about his own performance. However, he did mention in his diaries playing with Paul Johner & Dr. Mieses in 1931.  I am unsure if there are any published references to these games.


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