Franz Kafka, «Bauer eines Bauern»

Von Sergio Ernesto Negri

Es ist allgemein nicht sehr bekannt, dass Franz Kafka Schach gespielt hat. In Kafkas Schachbibliothek wurden u.a. folgende Bücher gefunden: «Das Endspiel im Schach» von Hans Fahrni; «300 Endspiele» von Henri Rinck; «Bilguers Schachhandbuch» (8. Auflage, überarbeitet von Carl Schlechter); «15 ausgewählte Partien aus Jacques Mieses Karschau-Turnier 1918». In seinen Tagebüchern finden sich jedoch keine Hinweise darauf. Im Oktober 1911 nahm Kafka in Prag an einer Simultanvorstellung teil, die von dem jungen Jose Raul Capablanca gegeben wurde.

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One more step in the recognition of the transfer of the FIDE headquarters to Buenos Aires and the appointment of the Argentine Augusto de Muro as President of FIDE (1939-1946)

By Sergio Negri & Juan Morgado

We have just received importants news on a topic that we have been investigating and proposing for some time in the interest of respect for the historical truth.

In this process we have always counted on the invaluable institutional support of the President of the FADA Mr. Mario Petrucci and that of all those who, like the beloved historian José Copié, once put the focus of attention on those FIDE decisions of 1939 that are still pending recognition.

We refer to what was done by the FIDE Congress of 1939, which decided to appoint the Argentine Augusto de Muro as President of the world body and the transfer of its headquarters to Buenos Aires, by virtue of the start of the Second World War with the idea of its preservation.

All of this was resolved in the face of the threat to the normal functioning of FIDE in the context of war that broke out in Europe on September 1, 1939, when unbridled Nazism occupied the city of Warsaw by order of Hitler in an act that had multiple and horrific derivations.

In this context, we share with the chess community two important novelties. On the one hand, FADA formally presented to FIDE the request for inclusion in the agenda of the next Assembly of the world entity of this historical recognition, the one that was hidden in the folds of time.

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Gideon Ståhlberg, A Swedish Lion in Argentina

Por Peter Holmgren

Juan S. Morgado asked me to write a few words about Gideon Ståhlberg to be published on the date of his death, May 26. Having been working on his biography for more than four years, my first thought was to select one chapter but found that to be too detailed and not to give the right view of Ståhlberg’s fascinating career. Instead I hope you will enjoy reading about some highlights from his career.

When Gideon Ståhlberg arrived in Buenos Aires in 1939 on board the Piriápolis, the Noah’s Ark of chess players, he was already a well-known grandmaster but still improving. Ståhlberg was now the undisputed leader of the Swedish national team, one of the strongest in the world. Unfortunately Gösta Stoltz was not able to join for Argentina and the stand-in Nils Bergkvist was not of the same caliber. Still Sweden finished on an honorable fourth place.

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Francesco Colonna and the first literary reference to human chess

By Sergio Negri

«Poliphilo’s Strife of Love in a Dream» or «The Dream of Poliphilus» is a work of early printing which recounts the story of a man pursuing his beloved through a dreamlike landscape. The book is said to have been written by Francesco Colonna and, as SERGIO NEGRI notes, it is also the first publication to include the depiction of a ‘human chess’ game.

Thanks to Mr. Carlos Colodro by translating this work, published in ChessBase at

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Lewis Carroll envisioned his Alice playing chess

By Sergio Negri

Thanks to Carlos Colodro (ChessBase) for translating this work

If we were to create a list of notable writers who made significant contributions to chess, along with Alfonso X of Castile — also known as «the Wise» — Stefan Zweig, Vladimir Nabokov and Jorge Luis Borges, we would have to include Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), that is to say Lewis Carroll, the pseudonym chosen by the Briton to present his literary work. | Photo: Carroll’s historical self-portrait

Nota publicada en el sitio en idioma inglés de ChessBase, en traducción de Carlos Colodro. En 

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Edgar Allan Poe vs The Turk (Part I)

By Sergio Negri

Thanks to Mr. Carlos Colodro (ChessBase) for translating this work

On this All Hallows Eve, we examine the chess connections of one of literature’s great spooky storytellers, the American author Edgar Allen Poe, beginning with his relationship to an original «chess costume» — The Turk. Poe discovered the chess-playing automaton during its American tour in the 1820s, and quickly became suspicious of its authenticity. He set about to unravel the mystery, which to this day offers a lesson in rationality and morality.

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Edgar Allen Poe’s diatribe against chess (Part II)

By Sergio Negri

Thanks to Mr. Carlos Colodro (ChessBase) for translating this work

On this All Hallows Eve, we examine the chess connections of one of literature’s great spooky storytellers, the American author Edgar Allen Poe. (See part one!) Poe was curiously dismissive of chess, comparing it unfavourably to both draughts and the classic English card game Whist. In the process, he attempted to weigh the relative importance of calculation and analysis, and while he clearly misunderstood the game by our modern estimation, his work carries tremendous literary weight and influenced generations, including writers who would also use chess for its metaphorical powers in their stories.

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Chess Encounter for Concord in Jerusalem

By Sergio Negri

Under the auspices of the IOC, FIDE and UNESCO, it is proposed to establish the Space «Chess Encounter for Concord» in the city of Jerusalem, in which people of any belief or idea come together to learn, practice and perfect the game.

It is also conceivable, following the model of the West-East Divan Orchestra created by the universal musician (born in Argentina) Daniel Barenboim, that a representative team of the Space be selected, its members being nominated for their chess talent, regardless of any other consideration.

Within this framework, specialized classes will be offered, tournaments will be organized, learning lines will be promoted, a chess school will be forged and activities will be proposed in which the game operates as a therapeutic and social tool.

Children and adults of all genders, of all races, of all religions will live there, for the simple fact of being united by curiosity and passion towards an ancient game that is a civilizing product in whose creation and evolution various cultures contributed.

Today, in a 21st century in which efforts must be redoubled for the sake of Peace and Harmony among peoples, it is possible, it is desirable, it is necessary that, from the city of Jerusalem, lighthouse of Humanity and the epicenter of three of the most important religions of the world, a clear signal can be given that chess can contribute, with its grain of sand, to the brotherhood of peoples that must coexist in absolute respect for cultural diversity and under the flag of peace.

[1] Idea presented by the author to Eng. Petrucci, President of FADA, on November 17, 2021, for the purpose of submitting it to the authorities of FIDE and the Argentine Olympic Committee. 


The day FIDE temporarily moved to Buenos Aires and Mr. Augusto De Muro was elected its President: Closer to the recognition by the world entity of a historical truth

By Sergio E. Negri & Juan S. Morgado

When we originally wrote in 2018 in Spanish an article (later revised and expanded) on a historical episode that was at the bottom of the chest of memories, pertaining to the day that FIDE decided to move its headquarters to Buenos Aires and elect Argentine Mr. Augusto de Muro as President of the world federative entity (as a result of the start of hostilities that gave rise to what will immediately be called World War II), of course we intended to reflect a forgotten factual truth.

But, additionally, we had the hope that institutionally it would be operated to recognize some facts that had fallen within the framework of what we call, somewhat bitterly, as the product of a “historical surgery”.

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