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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Albert Einstein vs Robert Oppenheimer 1933

    Not exactly the strongest of chess players

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    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1261614
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  2. #2
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Is there any confidence that the game is genuine?
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
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    If the game is genuine...the Einstein was a decent player.
    Interested in Chess Lessons?
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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter04.html See Entry 3533.

    My take...

    The providence seems questionable although it does date back to being published at least as early as 1959. This is after Einstein's death but still within Oppenheimer's lifetime. Note that the original publications did not include site and year and so these were likely made up. Princeton in 1933 seems unlikely anyway as Oppenheimer was still not a full-professor in 1933 and working at Berkeley. Einstein did take up a position at Princeton in October 1933. Although of course perhaps game could be genuine without the Site and Year being correct. Earlier in 1933 Einstein was touring around the US and so UC Berkeley would be a more likely venue for a game in 1933. Although this is all conjecture.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    If the game is genuine...the Einstein was a decent player.
    Well he was one of Dr Em. Lasker's close buddies. He must have gotten some tips here and there! Don't forget that this Spanish
    opening was one of the ex world champion's basic concepts in teaching his students to become "masters" in an x amount of lessons or something!
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  6. #6
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    I don't think Einstein was greatly acquainted with Lasker in Germany and so did not become friends until 1937 when Lasker emigrated to the US.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    I don't think Einstein was greatly acquainted with Lasker in Germany and so did not become friends until 1937 when Lasker emigrated to the US.
    In 1927 Einstein met Emanuel Lasker in Berlin and they became good friends.

    http://www.geocities.com/siliconvall...8/einstein.htm

    On the same page some reference to the particular game and some other aspects
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  8. #8
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott Renzies View Post
    In 1927 Einstein met Emanuel Lasker in Berlin and they became good friends.

    http://www.geocities.com/siliconvall...8/einstein.htm

    On the same page some reference to the particular game and some other aspects
    That may be true that they met in 1927 while they were both in Berlin but both were still busy (for example Einstein was absent from Germany for a couple of years in the period 1927-1933) so there is not a lot of time learning chess.

    I note though that Bill Wall's has some other theories on the game in question including perhaps that the Einstein is not Albert.
    This reminds me of a guy who once informed me his Einstein Number was 1. The Einstein wasn't Albert.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter04.html See Entry 3533.

    My take...

    The providence seems questionable although it does date back to being published at least as early as 1959. This is after Einstein's death but still within Oppenheimer's lifetime. Note that the original publications did not include site and year and so these were likely made up. Princeton in 1933 seems unlikely anyway as Oppenheimer was still not a full-professor in 1933 and working at Berkeley. Einstein did take up a position at Princeton in October 1933. Although of course perhaps game could be genuine without the Site and Year being correct. Earlier in 1933 Einstein was touring around the US and so UC Berkeley would be a more likely venue for a game in 1933. Although this is all conjecture.
    Interesting thanks!

    If it was made up it would have been trivial to make up stronger moves.
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  10. #10
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by road runner View Post
    If it was made up it would have been trivial to make up stronger moves.
    True but if you were making it up then you might avoid doing that to make it appear more genuine.

    I don't find it hard to believe that Oppenheimer and Einstein played chess at some point. What does seem unlikely is that any sort of record would exist and survive. The game is of no particular theoretical value and neither player has much form as having more than a passing interest in chess. People like this still play chess all the time but prior to playing on the internet the recording of these games almost never happens. So I think the null hypothesis is someone made up the game and said it was Einstein and Oppenheimer. If the record was genuine and verifiable I think there would be a more detailed providence as to how the record was taken and survived long enough to have been published in 1959.

    Like a lot of legends the story also seems to have grown in the retelling. The early publications don't have the site and year and are worded in a way which leaves open the question of authenticity. Later publications leave less room for doubt and include a place and year (although this varies by as much as 7 years).

    So my money is on the actual game not being authentic.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Another theory:

    Here is a game attributed to Albert Einstein. The game was first published in Freude am Schach (The Pleasure of Chess) by Gerhard Henschel in 1959.

    Albert Einstein - J. Robert Oppenheimer, Princeton 1933
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.O-O Nxe4 7.Re1 d5 8.a4?! [8.d3] b4?! [8...Bc5] 9.d3 Nc5?! [9...Nf6] 10.Nxe5 Ne7 11.Qf3 [threatening 12.Qxf7 mate] f6? [11...Be6] 12.Qh5+! g6 13.Nxg6! hxg6 [13...Rg8 14.Nxe7+ Kd7 15.Qxd5+ Ke8 16.Qxg8] 14.Qxh8 Nxb3 15.cxb3 Qd6? [15...Kf7] 16.Bh6 Kd7 17.Bxf8 Bb7 18.Qg7 Re8 19.Nd2 c5 20.Rad1 [or 20.Re2] a5 21.Nc4! dxc4 [21...Qc7 22.Bxe7] 22.dxc4 Qxd1 23.Rxd1+ Kc8 24.Bxe7 1-0

    Some (Dennis Holding and Andy Soltis) have attributed the above game to Albert Einstein's son, Hans Albert (1904-1969), and played at Berkeley in 1945 where Hans taught. But Hans Albert did not play chess. There is no indication that Oppenheimer was in Berkeley in 1945. He was either at Los Alamos, New Mexico or Princeton, New Jersey in 1945. He was at Berkeley from 1929 to 1933.

    Andy Soltis, writing in the July, 1979 issue of Chess Life on page 372 in an article called "Science at Play" says this game was apparently played in the late 1940s when Hans Albert Einstein, son of Albert Einstein, and Robert Oppenheimer were both on the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley.
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  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    sorry to be pedantic but do we know the difference between providence and provenance ?

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
    sorry to be pedantic but do we know the difference between providence and provenance ?
    Sir, sir, here, here! Providence is the capital of Rhode Island, I was there June 2012 and I know first hand!!!

    LOL joking aside providence is a kind of blessed service provided by the Almighty or nature to make our lives easier of more liveable!!!

    Provenance is like the place of origin or birth of some great event which can be known (Athens the cradle of Democracy, MCC as cradle of Australian Chess) personality (Tasmania as place of birth of GM Ian Rogers) or unknown (Adam and Eve's first residence area code, Homer's place of birth, Einstein vs Oppenheimer chess encounter etc)
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  14. #14
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
    sorry to be pedantic but do we know the difference between providence and provenance ?
    Thanks for the correction. I apologise unreservedly.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott Renzies View Post
    Sir, sir, here, here! Providence is the capital of Rhode Island, I was there June 2012 and I know first hand!!!

    LOL joking aside providence is a kind of blessed service provided by the Almighty or nature to make our lives easier of more liveable!!!

    Provenance is like the place of origin or birth of some great event which can be known (Athens the cradle of Democracy, MCC as cradle of Australian Chess) personality (Tasmania as place of birth of GM Ian Rogers) or unknown (Adam and Eve's first residence area code, Homer's place of birth, Einstein vs Oppenheimer chess encounter etc)
    So if someone was born in the capital of Rhode Island, there provenance would be Providence?
    "On my chess set, all the pawns are Hamburglers" ~ Homer Simpson.

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