Sunday, September 18, 2011

Diemer and simultaneous exhibitions

Diemer, Fussback, Rebstock 1980E. J. Diemer wrote that although he learned chess at the age of nine from a schoolmate, he was in his twenties before he experienced the two events which most shaped his chess development. The first was his discovery (in 1931) of the games of Paul Morphy. The second was his introduction to Alekhine at Baden-Baden in 1934, and their association while Diemer was assisting with the organization for the world champion's second match with Bogoljubov.

Diemer played in several Hastings Chess Congresses, winning the Major A tourney two years running (1935/36 and 1936/37). A complimentary remark on Diemer's strength in combinations, made by Alekhine at one Hastings Congress, still made Diemer as happy as a child, even as an old man. This was particularly true since he so admired Alekhine, whom he had come to know well in Baden Baden.

During this period Diemer took the opportunity to play in simultaneous exhibitions given by both Bogoljubov and Alekhine, and in each case came away with a win. The games are disappointing because of weak play by the grandmasters—but they were simuls, after all.

Or maybe Diemer was casting spells?

[Photograph by Tom Purser at Fussbach, Germany, 1980]