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Bartholomew O'Sullivan vs Nicolas Rossolimo
Hilversum Zonal (1947), Hilversum NED, rd 7, Jul-22
Queen's Indian Defense: Classical. Traditional Variation (E17)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-31-06  morphyvsfischer: Ouch. So much for THAT novelty.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here is Euwe losing in 13 moves at the same tournament. Must have been something in the water.

Euwe vs A Muhring, 1947

Jan-31-06  Jarlaxle: ?? am i missing something, why did white resign?
Jan-31-06  nescio: <Jarlaxle: ?? am i missing something, why did white resign?>

Because he remains with a piece and a pawn less. O'Sullivan must have remembered the well-known trick 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 0-0 8.Nc3 Ne4? 9.Qc2 Nxc3 10.Ng5, but forgot that here he has already castled.

<keypusher: Here is Euwe losing in 13 moves at the same tournament. Must have been something in the water.>

Or in the air. It was very hot in Hilversum in july/august 1947.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: O'Sullivan, then Irish champion, came a very clear last in this tournament. According to Harry Golembek, his play "was rather worse than his score".

He - O'Sullivan - was an amateur magician, among other things.

Feb-08-08  nescio: <Domdaniel> Yes, let's hope he amused himself and his opponents with some magical tricks.

As you can see, the Euwe vs A Muhring, 1947 game which <keypusher> mentions, cannot have been played in the same tournament. It must have been some side-event, but if the game is genuine, Euwe's opponent is sure to be Willem Jan Muhring, not "A" Mühring.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <nescio> I played in the Dublin Chess Club (founded c.1860, claims to be something like 3rd oldest continuous chess club in the world) for a year, as a teenager in the 1970s. One of my opponents was Professor O'Nolan - brother of genius, polymath, multi-named author of The Third Policeman and At Swim-Two-Birds (died 1966), Brian O'Nolan/ Myles na Gopaleen/ Flann O'Brien.

Relevance? Not much. But there were also these stories about O'Sullivan ... how he'd learned chess while interned during World War 2 (known in Ireland as 'The Emergency'), and reached a good standard.

On release, he went to Dublin chess club, agreed to a game, took white, played 1.e4. His opponent replied 1...c5 and was surprised when O'Sullivan sank into deep thought.

After a while he took a walk, and returned to find his c-pawn had been firmly replaced on c7.

So he played ...c5 again, and back it went again. And again. After the 3rd return - and wary of this new chess-playing ex-prisoner, a possible 'subversive' and 'dangerous man' - he carefully asked what O'Sullivan was playing at.

With great gentleness, O'Sullivan explained that the only legal response to 1.e4 was ...e5. The game should then continue 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 -- and then the players could do what they liked.

Seemingly this was the version he'd learned in the prison camp.

I don't know which is more amazing, really -- that any player with such a start should still rapidly become good enough to win local tournaments and play in a West Europe Zonal ... or that he doggedly played on in the Zonal, scoring zero after zero.

Interesting character. I must try to find out more sometime. In the 70s, there were players around who had known him, but I don't know who's left now.

Feb-09-08  teachme: Thanks Domdaniel. You can learn a lot more than chess here just by reading the comments.

Search google or wikipedia for "The emergency" Ireland


Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <teachme> The Irish are notorious for emigrating to other countries, hence the number of Irish-hyphenates in Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, and (latterly) in France, Spain etc. Famous Irish writers like Joyce and Beckett lived in France.

Immigration into Ireland was tiny before the 1990s and the arrival of relative prosperity and 'guest workers' from Poland, Latvia, Nigeria, etc.

Even so, Dublin had a very interesting group of residents during the 1940s and WW2 -- the country was *officially* neutral, but leaned towards the Allies in a manner so subtle that the Allies themselves weren't quite aware of it. Churchill and Roosevelt considered invading; so did the Germans. So Dublin was full of spies, for starters.

Also present: poet John Betjeman, attached cryptically to the British embassy; the great Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger (now best known for the Schrodinger's Cat quantum paradox) -- he was invited personally by the Irish prime minister, Eamon de Valera, a maths buff. Plus the aforementioned Flann O'Brien/ Myles na Gopaleen/ Brian O'Nolan - novelist, satirist, wit, newspaper columnist (sometimes in Latin, or medieval Gaelic, if the mood took him) and - the day job - a senior civil servant.

I recently saw a truly *brilliant* play, a musical comedy, about all this stuff -- set during 'The Emergency', featuring Schrodinger, na Gopaleen, Betjeman and many more -- and a wonderfully crazy plot with spies converging on a strange time-bending discovery made by Schrodinger. The songs alone are witty and extremely funny.

It's called 'Improbable Frequency', written by Arthur Riordan and Bell Helicopter. It played the Edinburgh and Dublin festivals last year - I saw a recent touring production.

I can't recommend this too highly for anyone interested in The Emergency and all who sailed in her. The script has been published in book form - I think by the theatre company, Rough Magic, in Dublin.

As Betjeman sings: "Don't ever patronize the Irish/ For Paddy, you know, is almost just like us ..."


Feb-10-08  slomarko: after this game Ronnie gave up chess and started to play snooker.
Feb-10-08  Calli: White is Bartholomew O'Sullivan Submitted
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <More non-Emergency digging ...> This tournament in Hilversum 1947 was actually the first Zonal to be held under the new FIDE-run world championship cycle. Fourteen European countries sent their champion as representative. The winner (Count Alberic O'Kelly de Galway, of Belgium) went on to the Interzonal stage.

The final results were:

1. O'Kelly 10.5
2. Pachman 9.5
3. Trifunovic 9.5
4. van Scheltinga 9
5. Alexander 7.5
6. Szabo 7.5
7. Blau 6.5
8. Rossolimo 6.5
9. Castaldi 6
10. Zvetkov 5.5
11. Foerder 5
12. Plater 4.5
13. Doerner 3
14. O'Sullivan 0.5

O'Sullivan drew with Doerner, and lost all his other games. Zvetkov (or Tsvetkov) beat Pachman in the last round, denying him an IZ place.

Ireland, arguably, had no less than three representatives. Apart from O'Sullivan, the British entrant CHO'D Alexander was born in Cork -- and the winner, O'Kelly, was descended from a family whose name is markedly more Irish than Belgian.

The most famous individual to move in the opposite direction is probably Bob Geldof. Seems like a fair exchange.

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