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Chess goes to War
February 17, 2004


The first World War had a profound impact on professional chess. The great tournaments - at palacial settings with luxurious accommodations - from the decades prior to WWI were gone, as were the magnificent sponsorships - a situation that only worsened in Europe and Russia as Stalin and Hitler initiated their devilish plans.


In trying to learn about chess during the second World War, my original suppositions were based on the fact the Jews dominated the game and WWII was not friendly towards Jews. But I was surprised to find out that more chessplayers seemed to have died in Russia than in places occupied by Nazis. In fact, Salo Landeau, the second best Dutch player (after Euwe) was the only chess player I could find who died in a death camp (Auschwitz). The chief effect was that of displacement and impoverishment.


Here's pictures of various soldiers playing chess:




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