<1.) Not a Leg to Stand On
Pride of place in this gallery of Caïssic mishaps goes to a story I was told at Wijk aan Zee a few years ago. I was sitting in the bar of the de Moriaan, where the play takes place, and got talking to a local resident, who had lived in nearby Beverwijk all his life. In the early years of the event, and indeed, right up until the 1970s, most of the players were accommodated, not in hotels, but with local families. In 1961, when my interlocutor was 14 or 15, his family
played host to the legendary Ernst Grünfeld. By this time he was 67 years old and was one of various European veterans who played at Beverwijk around this period.
Imagine the scene at my interlocutor’s home, when the doorbell suddenly rings, and when his
mother opens it, there standing on the doorstep, with their house guest, is the great and saintly Dr Euwe! Hard though it is to credit in this country, Euwe’s face was known to
everybody in Holland and by all accounts the lady of the house could not have been more flustered if the king and queen had descended on her home.
After a refreshing cup of coffee and a few minutes’ rest, Grünfeld was re-united with his artificial appendage and driven to the tournament hall. Unfortunately, he faced the powerful
young East German GM Wolfgang Uhlmann that day, and despite having White, the trauma took its toll on him. He was annihilated in just 21 moves!>