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Carl Carls
Number of games in database: 193
Years covered: 1898 to 1956
Overall record: +83 -65 =45 (54.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
A13 English (15 games)
A18 English, Mikenas-Carls (10 games)
B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange (9 games)
B15 Caro-Kann (8 games)
A25 English (7 games)
A22 English (7 games)
A10 English (6 games)
A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto (6 games)
B16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation (6 games)
A21 English (6 games)

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(born Sep-16-1880, died Sep-11-1958, 77 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Carl Johan Margot Carls was born in Varel. Awarded the IM title in 1950, he was German champion in 1934.

A successful banker in Bremen with little time for tournament play or study, Carls specialized in the English Opening <1.c4> to help neutralize his relative lack of opening knowledge. Several variations bear his name or that of his city; for example, English, Bremen System, Keres Variation (A23) and English, Bremen System with ...g6 (A24).

Wikipedia article: Carl Carls

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 193  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C Carls vs F Gutmayer 1-0241898GER corrC44 King's Pawn Game
2. A Zinkl vs C Carls ½-½451898corrC38 King's Gambit Accepted
3. C Carls vs P Fiebig  1-0471899corrC14 French, Classical
4. C Schultz vs C Carls 0-1281900HannoverC45 Scotch Game
5. C Carls vs Bernstein  1-0431902match HannoverC44 King's Pawn Game
6. C Carls vs H Suechting  0-1331903Championship Niederelbe CAC44 King's Pawn Game
7. Schallopp vs C Carls  0-1361904HannoverB25 Sicilian, Closed
8. M Bier vs C Carls  0-1301905HamburgB32 Sicilian
9. C Carls vs Sohège  1-0481905HamburgC44 King's Pawn Game
10. C Carls vs Teichmann 1-065190575 years Jubilee TtB24 Sicilian, Closed
11. M Gladig vs C Carls 1-0401910Hauptturnier-AD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. A G Conde vs C Carls  1-0451910Hauptturnier-AB15 Caro-Kann
13. E Prante vs C Carls  1-0371911Cologne Congress - Hauptturnier B1B15 Caro-Kann
14. C Carls vs A Bauer  0-1271911Cologne Congress - Hauptturnier B1A22 English
15. C Carls vs M Rausch  1-0271911Cologne Congress - Hauptturnier B1D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
16. Z von Balla vs C Carls 0-151191218th DSB KongressB16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation
17. C Carls vs Spielmann 1-027191218th DSB KongressA25 English
18. M Lowcki vs C Carls  ½-½48191218th DSB KongressD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
19. S Levitsky vs C Carls  1-056191218th DSB KongressB12 Caro-Kann Defense
20. C Carls vs Marshall 0-163191218th DSB KongressA13 English
21. Teichmann vs C Carls ½-½55191218th DSB KongressB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
22. C Carls vs Z Barasz  ½-½72191218th DSB KongressA25 English
23. Burn vs C Carls  ½-½69191218th DSB KongressD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. C Carls vs Breyer  0-142191218th DSB KongressA10 English
25. Schlechter vs C Carls 1-044191218th DSB KongressD02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 193  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Carls wins | Carls loses  

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Carl Johan Margot Carls
Born 16th September 1880 in Varel
Died 11th September 1958 in Bremen
An IM in 1951 he was German Champion in 1934.
Sep-21-05  Eastfrisian: <Kaspy2> It seems, that we don't live far from each other as you can see in my Nickname.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here is a little collection of puzzles from Carls' games:
Oct-29-05  rochade18: <Kaspy2> saying goes he never played anything but <1.c4>. One time they glued the <c2-pawn> to the board, so he shattered the stuff all over the place...
Jan-15-06  BIDMONFA: Carl Johan Margot Carls

CARLS, Carl Johan Margot

Oct-20-07  Karpova: Famous game:

[Event "Weekend tournament"]
[Site "Oldenburg, Germany"]
[Date "1914.03.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Schuster"]
[Black "Carls, Carl Johan Margot"]
[ECO "B15"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Ng3 h5 6.Bg5 h4 7.Bxf6 hxg3 8.Be5 Rxh2 9.Rxh2 Qa5+ 10.c3 Qxe5+ 11.dxe5 gxh2 0-1

A similar game exists:
NN vs Carlos Torre, 1928

Nov-04-07  Karpova: More on the Schuster--Carls game:
Nov-04-07  vonKrolock: Interesting - it seems that Emil Gelenczei refers to Carlos Torre as merely analising the Schuster-Carls game, and overlooking the variation 11.♕d2 gxf2!! as others did too. Curious, that I used to have the Martinez Roca Spanish edition of the Gelenczei work originally publihed in Hungary in 1958, but was not recalling immediatelly that it showed the featured game...
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Some more biographical details about him (in German)
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the Day

Obligatory bio link:

"A photograph of Carl Carls watching a game in Mannheim in 1914 between Ehrhardt Post and Savielly Tartakower":, which is of course 'posed' as Post had White in their game --> E Post vs Tartakower, 1914

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: This guy must have been a pretty decent player. The problem of the day, (C F Schultz vs Carls, 1900); features one his games.

The finish is absolutely brilliant!!!!!

Nov-03-09  parisattack: Anyone know more about this player besides the German Wiki piece?

I know he wrote a few books, including one on the 'Bremer System' (English with early White finachetto).

Apparently a minor hypermodern. Lots of flank openings. His game against Ernst (not in the DB) was perhaps the first Gurgenidze-like Robatsch.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I've looked up some tournament and match results for Carls. His first major event seems to have been the <Hauptturnier> (Master Candidate) tournament at Cologne, 1898, where he tied for 3rd-4th in his preliminary section and did not qualify for the final. Considering he was not quite 18 at the time, even this modest result indicates a player with some promise.

In those days, one became a Master in Germany by winning a Hauptturnier. Carls came close with a second place finish at Hamburg 1910 (Rotlewi won), then broke through with a victory at Cologne 1911.

After this he was qualified to play in the master section of the German Chess Congress, which was equivalent to a strong international tournament. His usual finish was around 15th in an 18-20 player field, but he did score some notable individual victories, such as defeating both Spielmann and Tarrasch at Breslau, 1912.

After the war, the German congresses were generally weaker and Carls' results improved: 5th-7th at Hamburg 1921, 2nd at Oyenhaousen 1922. His major international tournament came at Baden-Baden 1925, where he finished his usual 15th in a strong 21-player field.

He had solid results playing 3rd board for Germany in the Olympiads at London 1927 (63.3%) and Hamburg 1930 (67.9%). He also competed in the Amateur Championship at Hague 1928, finishing 7th.

After this, he confined his action mostly to local tournaments for the next decade. However, he did play in the first two German Championships, finishing 4th at Bad Pyrmont 1933 (Bogoljubow 1st) and winning the title at Aachen in 1934 (though it must be said it was a very weak field). Also, in the so-called "Extra Olympiad" at Munich 1936, he played fourth board for Germany and recorded his usual solid result with 58.8%.

He was jerked back into activity for some of the Nazi-sponsored tournaments during World War II, finishing 7th-10th at Krakow 1941, 1st at Rostock 1942 (ahead of Klaus Junge, but no other important players), then withdrawing after 8 rounds at Prague, 1943. After that, the only event I can find is the German Championship at Bad Pyrmont 1949, where finished well down in the crosstable with 4.5/12.

He was not very successful in match play, losing to Bernstein (+2 -6 =2), Eljaschoff (+1 -3 =0), E. Cohn (+1 -6 =1), and Suechting (+1 -2 =0). He did win several matches from fellow Bremen player Antze in the 1930s, but these may not have been totally serious affairs.

In short, he seems to have been another one of those players who lost his best years to World War I, though he probably would not have progressed beyond the second tier of Masters.

Nov-08-09  parisattack: <Phony Benoni:>

Good work; thanks for that!

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: The obove link posted Nov-06-07 with some more biographical details about him (in German) moved to,11
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <parisattack: <Phony Benoni:> Good work; thanks for that!>

I'd like to agree about everything. Phantastic elaboration!!

Feb-14-14  Karpova: Cologne 1911

The Main tournament B consisted of 3 groups (9 players in groups I and II, 8 in group III). Carls played in Group I and shared 1st place with Arpad Bauer - both had 6.0 points (Carls scored +6 -2 =0, Bauer +5 =2 -1).

Both were allowed into the <Siegergruppe>, but while Bauer finished last (+0 -6 =2), Carls won 1st prize (+6 -0 =2). Carls got 250 <Mark> and the honorary cup of Cologne. Furthermore, he became German Champion.

Source: Pages 379-381 of the November-December 1911 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Mar-07-14  Karpova: Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Berlin, August 20, 1912:

<Das Turnier zu Breslau hat nur einen bisher unbekannten deutschen Meister an die Oeffentlichkeit gebracht, Carls aus Hamburg. Die übrigen deutschen Teilnehmer, Cohn, Mieses, Dr. Tarrasch und Teichmann, sind längst erprobt. An den Leistungen des neuen Kämpen kann man sich eine ungefähre Vorstellung von der Stärke der jungen Schachgeneration machen. Danach zu urteilen verspricht sie nicht Genies zu produzieren, hat aber Sinn für Kraft und packt das Erreichbare mit fester Hand. Carls zeigte sich im besten Lichte gegen Spielmann und Dr. Tarrasch.>

(The Breslau tournament made only one so far unknown German master public, Carls of Hamburg. The rest of the German participants, Cohn, Mieses, Dr. Tarrasch and Teichmann, are time-tested. From the efforts of the new comptetitor, one can gather an approximate assessment of the strength of the new chess generation. Judging by that, she doesn't promise to produce geniuses, but has a sense for force and grabs the accessible with a firm hand. Carls was at his best against Spielmann and Dr. Tarrasch.)

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1912.09.01, p. 8

Sep-16-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Carl Carls.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Nimzowitsch had a copy of Carls' book on the English.

About 8-9 years ago, some items from Nimzowitsch's personal library were offered for sale by auction in Sweden, this among them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Another photo here:

Nov-29-18  Jean Defuse: ...

<Andreas Calic: Der romantische Antiromantiker aus Bremen> (Chess magazine Karl 1-2016, S. 29–33):

... Auf den ersten Blick ist die Entstehung der Bremer Partie schnell erzählt, zumal sie Carls selbst berichtet: spätestens mit dem Turnier in Ostende 1906 wird dem Amateur deutlich, dass seine Eröffnungen auf dem professionellen Niveau nicht ausreichen. Aus Zeitmangel sucht er sich zu spezialisieren, und zwar derart, dass seine Gegner nicht ausweichen können. Da seine ersten Versuche mit 1.g3 dem Schwarzen ein zu starkes Zentrum erlauben, schaltet er den Zug 1.c4 vor.

Am 18. Juli 1909 in der ersten Runde des Meisterturniers des 13. Niederelbischen Schach-kongresses in Harburg ist es soweit: Carls eröffnet gegen Dimer mit 1.c4 und 2.g3 – es ist die Geburtsstunde der Bremer Partie...

<Exist the score of this stem game??>


Nov-29-18  Jean Defuse: ...


[Event "NESB Kongress \[13\] Meisterturnier"]
[Site "Harburg"]
[Date "1909.06.12"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Carls, Carl Johan Margot"]
[Black "Dimer, Julius"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A30"]

1. c4 c5 2. g3 e6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. d3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Nc6 7. Qb3 Nf6 8. Nf3 d5 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bf4 g5 11. Be3 b6 12. O-O O-O 13. h4 Nh7 14. Nh2 Na5 15. Qb2 Bb7 16. Ng4 dxc4 17. Nxh6+ Kg7 18. hxg5 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Qd5+ 20. f3 Nxg5 21. Rh1 Rh8 22. Qd2 f6 23. Ng4 cxd3 24. Bxg5 fxg5 25. e4 Nc4 26. exd5 Nxd2 27. dxe6 Rxh1 28. Rxh1 Nc4 29. Kf2 Re8 30. Rd1 d2 31. Ne3 Nxe3 32. Kxe3 Rxe6+ 33. Kxd2 Kf6 1/2-1/2

13th Congress of the 'Lower Elbe Chess Federation' (12. - 14. June)

Result Master Tournament: 1. Dimer 2.5, 2. Carls 1,5, 3.-4. Süchting & Bergmann 1,0.

Source: Heino Keller - Chronik der BSG 1877-1945 (Manuscript), p. 101.


Apr-26-22  Mathematicar: Did he invent the Botvinnik-Carls Variation of the Caro-kann?
Oct-17-22  Ninas Husband: Carl Carls. So nice they named him twice!
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