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Braslav Rabar vs Gosta Stoltz
"Give Up the Gosta" (game of the day Aug-24-2006)
Munich (1941), Munich GER, rd 11, Sep-16
Tarrasch Defense: Swedish Variation, Central Break (D33)  ·  0-1



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Braslav Rabar vs Gosta Stoltz (1941) Give Up the Gosta
Stoltz contemplates his next move, while Opocensky and Alekhine observe.
From Schackmästeren Gösta Stoltz by E.E. Böök (Stockholm, 1947).

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  oao2102: Where is Alekhine in the picture?
Aug-24-06  babakova: Gösta is pronounced more like 'german' than 'ghost' though.
Aug-24-06  cyclemath: <Where is Alekhine in the picture?>

I think he's the one standing second from the right, holding his nose and looking at one of the other games.

Aug-24-06  dakgootje: Picture seems to be have taken at the 52th move
Aug-24-06  EmperorAtahualpa: I would agree Alekhine is the guy holding his nose. But then, who are the other two guys observing this game? One of them I guess must be Opocensky.

This photo was taken during World War II. Does anyone know at which tournament this game was played? Could it have been played in Munich (München)?

Aug-24-06  RandomVisitor: Perhaps better for White was

13.Be2 Bh3 14.f4 Nd7 15.Bxc4 0-0 16.Bf1 Bxf1 17.Kxf1 Rfd8 18.Kg2 Nf6 19.Qb3 Nxd5 = (-0.12) Depth: 18

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: If you view the PGN, it states that the tournament was played in Munich.

I find the tournament conditions interesting, showing how things were in wartime Germany. Note that they are playing on a small circular table, with no place to rest their arms. Even the captured pieces and scoresheets are on separate tables. I shudder to think what might have happened if one player had been left-handed.

Aug-24-06  RandomVisitor: 10.Nxf6 = is another possible improvement for White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: I believe it is G. Fuster standing to the left, then K.Opocensky (with notebook), next, Alekhine intently observing Bogoljubov's game with N. Cortlever, which appears to be at about move 51, Bogoljubov vs Cortlever, 1941 and finally standing to the right is P.Mross.

Munich 1941 was Stoltz's greatest success. He finished in 1st place (+10-1=4), 1 1/2 points ahead of Alekhine(+8-2=5) and Lundin (+8-2=5), with Bogojubov finishing 4th (+7-3=5).

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A nice ending:white didn't have a Gosta've a chance with black's two passed pawns ushered in by his king.
Aug-24-06  Rodriguez: Good photo! I like it!
Aug-24-06  LPeristy: I thought Alekhine was on the far right.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <LPeristy> It was harder to identify Fuster, Opocensky, Mross and Bogoljubov. Alekhine was easy to identify, even with his back to the camera.

As Alekhine intently watched the important 11th round Bogoljubov-Cortlever game, one can almost sense his thoughts.

Perhaps Alekhine was thinking; "Now let's see, after 51.b5 and Kg7, then 52.Rd6! and if either 52...Rc7 53.Ke3 Re7+ 54.Kd4! or 53...Rc3+ 54.Rd3 Rc7 55.Ra3 Kf6 56.a6 and White will win."

Bogoljubov did not pick up on my imagined calculations by Alekhine. He went wrong with 52.a6, but fortunately for him, he still won.

After 10 rounds the leading scores were: Alekhine - 8; Stoltz - 7.5; Lundin - 7 and Bogojulbov - 6.5.

After 11 rounds the leading scores were: Alekhine - 8.5; Stoltz - 8.5; Lundin - 8 and Bogoljubov - 7.5.

Stoltz had a great finish ending in 1st place with 12 points. Alekhine faltered at the end, losing in the penultimate round and drawing his final game to finish tied with Lundin for 2/3rd with 10.5 points. Bogoljubov finished 4th with 9.5 points.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: In Alekhine's report on the 1941 Munich tournament, he spoke highly of Stoltz.

Regarding Stoltz's first place finish, Alekhine said: <"This is not by chance, for to achieve such success requires, apart from talent, of course, continuous and consistent theoretical work and regular, untiring practice. In addition to all this, Stoltz, the first prize-winner, has a particularly fine feel for the unexpected chess tactics. This cannot be learned from any book, and it is this "something" which makes a player a grandmaster. In general, he played the best chess and since he is at a favorable age, great things may be expected of him.">

Aug-25-06  Albertan: Stoltz finished first at Swinemunde 1932,first at Munich 1941,second at Hoogovens 1946,second at Treybal mem 1946,second at Helsinki 1947,and was the match winner versus Nilsson in the Swedish Chess Championship of 1953.
Sep-06-06  patzer2: White's rarely played 7. e4?! is premature and defiitely not a best move. The better alternative is the more frequently played 7. Bg2! as in Lautier vs Conquest, 2001, Wang Yue vs W Lin, 2005 or W Arencibia vs L Bruzon, 2005.
Sep-06-06  patzer2: I suppose there were no Jews openly participating in this tournament, since, per, Hitler's campaign to enslave and commit mass murder of Jews in europe was well underway by September 1941. So my reasonable assumption is that only Nazis or those the Nazis tolerated would have been allowed to openly participate in an international chess tournament in war-time Germany during this time.

As another historical note, the player of the White pieces in this game was the originator of the Informant opening classification system.

Sep-06-06  patzer2: Stolz's play in forcing a winning endgame advantage with 13...Bg4! to force the favorable exchage of Queens is brilliant, and the play that follows demonstrates strong and instructive technique.

For one rudimentary example, with 43...Kb3! Stolz commits to sacrificing a piece for two connected passed pawns and a won endgame. Admitedly, this is not exactly deep GM-level endgame analysis, but it is a good illustrative example for demonstrating the power of the doubled passed pawn.

Jan-26-09  gauer: My original guess was that Alekhine was seated north-east of the flag, 3 tables beyond it - but was also considering him to be with the glasses, as mentioned above.

Ivan's relative H. Rohacek might have been at this tournament, as Alekhine seems to have had an off-hand game vs him that year, but unfortunately, is not listed in this section of the cross-table at (found this while checking a wikipedia link to years in chess during the war years). Perhaps it was large enough to have been a sectioned event for the brother, but it also appeared that with 16 rounds & 7 days (Sept 8-14), 2-3 games/day were being played, probably at today's equiv. of a 1-3 hour rapid-play event per game?

Stoltz previously scored with 6 ... c4 in round V: Foltys vs Stoltz, 1941

One wonders whether the Lundin game was also already wrapped up by this point, & was following Stoltz' play in round XIII: B Nielsen vs E R Lundin, 1941 with result 1/2.

Jan-26-09  Calli: <tournament conditions interesting, showing how things were in wartime Germany.>

Yes, but Germany was winning the war in 1941. What did they do with all the regular tables and chairs?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <gauer: One wonders whether the Lundin game was also already wrapped up by this point...>

The above photo was taken in round 11. In that round Lundin played Fuster G Fuster vs E R Lundin, 1941.

The moment captured is after Rabar played 52.Rh5. Also note the Bogoljubov - Cortlever game appears to be at about move 51.

The Fuster - Lundin game lasted only 31 moves, so it is likely it was completed some time before this photo was taken. Note it is Fuster that is intently watching the Rabar - Stoltz game. Fuster is standing on the left side of the photo, very near Stoltz.

Alekhine, even with his back to the camera, is easy to spot, as he watches the important Bogoljubov - Cortlever game.

Jan-27-09  Calli: More pictures at

Scroll down about 2-3 pages. Funny that in the overhead shot, the tables look normal height.

Mar-15-11  Xeroxx: Gosta Dirk:
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It seems clear from the photo, that at this stage of the war, at least, there was no shortage of tables, but chairs appear to be at a premium.
Oct-18-15  zanzibar: Could some editor please correct the caption for the photo above?

See: B Rabar vs Stoltz, 1941 (kibitz #13)

(And perhaps get the players an extra chair or too?)

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