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Stalin, Bonaparte and Chess


* In ChessLab database search area, specify Stalin for White Player in ChessLab's historical archives (1485-1990).  Since the default selection is for modern games, you will have to select a second Date range: Historical archives: 1485 -- 1990.   After that, press the Search button.  

You will see that one of the games returned was played in 1926. (Stalin, J - Jeschow, 1:0, 1926).  This game was between Stalin and the person who became one of Stalin's first (and very ruthless) KGB chiefs,  Jeschow.  This game was published later in many of the Soviet papers of the time.  The comments to this game were praising the 'strategic' thinking of the Soviet leader.  It is widely believed, however, that like many other Soviet events of the time, this game was staged.  Being a heir to Lenin, who was a strong chess player, Stalin probably wanted to enhance his own image as a thinker.  Jeschow, by the way, was executed shortly thereafter...

 

 

* Now, specify Bonapart for a White Player in ChessLab's historical archives (1485-present) and press the Search button again.

The second game returned would be: 'Bonaparte, Napoleon -- Automaton, The Turk, 0-1, 1809'.  Automaton, The Turk was the first chess playing machine.  Of course, it was operated by a little man hidden in a machine. The Turk was  very famous, touring through the whole Europe for decades.  Apparently, there were multiple hidden Turk operators -- the whole succession of strong chess players, who bought and sold the machine to each other.  Allegedly, in the course of one of the games between Bonaparte and The Turk, Bonaparte had started making illegal chess moves.  In a mechanical sort of gesture, The Turk's hand had corrected the emperor's moves twice.   As soon as Bonaparte had moved the same piece to the same illegal position for the third time, The Turk machine allegedly sent the chess pieces flying off the board...

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