|Mir Sultan Khan|
Mir Sultan Khan
|Full name||Malik Mir Sultan Khan|
Punjab, British India
|Died||April 25, 1966 (Aged c. 61)|
The story of the Indian Sultan Khan turned out to be a most unusual one. The "Sultan" was not the term of status that we supposed it to be; it was merely a first name. In fact, Sultan Khan was actually a kind of serf on the estate of a maharajah when his chess genius was discovered. He spoke English poorly, and kept score in Hindustani. It was said that he could not even read the European notations.
After the tournament [the 1933 Folkestone Olympiad] the American team was invited to the home of Sultan Khan's master in London. When we were ushered in we were greeted by the maharajah with the remark, "It is an honor for you to be here; ordinarily I converse only with my greyhounds." Although he was a Mohammedan, the maharajah had been granted special permission to drink intoxicating beverages, and he made liberal use of this dispensation. He presented us with a four-page printed biography telling of his life and exploits; so far as we could see his greatest achievement was to have been born a maharajah. In the meantime Sultan Khan, who was our real entrée to his presence, was treated as a servant by the maharajah (which in fact he was according to Indian law), and we found ourselves in the peculiar position of being waited on at table by a chess grand master.
When Sultan Khan first travelled to Europe his English was so rudimentary that he needed an interpreter. Unable to read or write, he never studied any books on the game, and he was put into the hands of trainers who were also his rivals in play. He never mastered openingswhich, by nature empirical, cannot be learned by the application of common sense alone. Under these adverse circumstances, and having known international chess for a mere seven years, only half of which was spent in Europe, Sultan Khan nevertheless had few peers in themiddlegame, was among the world's best two or three endgame players, and one of the world's best ten players. This achievement brought admiration from Capablanca who called him a genius, an accolade he rarely bestowed.
|This section uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
- 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 b6 3.c4 Bb7 4.Nc3 e6 5.a3 d5 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bg5 Be7 8.e3 0-0 9.Bd3 Ne4 10.Bf4 Nd7 11.Qc2 f5 12.Nb5 Bd6 13.Nxd6 cxd6 14.h4 Rc8 15.Qb3 Qe7 16.Nd2 Ndf6 17.Nxe4 fxe4 18.Be2 Rc6 19.g4 Rfc8 20.g5 Ne8 21.Bg4 Rc1+ 22.Kd2 R8c2+ 23.Qxc2 Rxc2+ 24.Kxc2 Qc7+ 25.Kd2 Qc4 26.Be2 Qb3 27.Rab1 Kf7 28.Rhc1 Ke7 29.Rc3 Qa4 30.b4 Qd7 31.Rbc1 a6 32.Rg1 Qa4 33.Rgc1 Qd7 34.h5 Kd8 35.R1c2 Qh3 36.Kc1 Qh4 37.Kb2 Qh3 38.Rc1 Qh4 39.R3c2 Qh3 40.a4 Qh4 41.Ka3 Qh3 42.Bg3 Qf5 43.Bh4 g6 44.h6 Qd7 45.b5 a5 46.Bg3 Qf5 47.Bf4 Qh3 48.Kb2 Qg2 49.Kb1 Qh3 50.Ka1 Qg2 51.Kb2 Qh3 52.Rg1 Bc8 53.Rc6 Qh4 54.Rgc1 Bg4 55.Bf1 Qh5 56.Re1 Qh1 57.Rec1 Qh5 58.Kc3 Qh4 59.Bg3 Qxg5 60.Kd2 Qh5 61.Rxb6 Ke7 62.Rb7+ Ke6 63.b6 Nf6 64.Bb5 Qh3 65.Rb8 1–0
- 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Nbxd2 0-0 8.0-0 c5 9.Qc2 Nc6 10.dxc5 bxc5 11.e4 Qc7 12.Rfe1 d6 13.Rac1 h6 14.a3 Nd7 15.Qc3 a5 16.Nh4 g5 17.Qe3 Qd8 18.Nhf3 Qe7 19.h3 Rab8 20.b3 Ba8 21.Nb1 Nde5 22.a4 Nxf3+ 23.Bxf3 Nd4 24.Bd1 f5 25.exf5 Rxf5 26.Rc3 Rbf8 27.Rf1 Rf3! 28.Bxf3 Rxf3 0–1
- 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Be7 Coles writes, "Sultan has unwittingly chosen one of the more hazardous openings against a master with a record of brilliancies in open games, and as will be seen Marshall is psychologically unable to resist a try for a brilliancy against this inexperienced opponent." 6.Bd2 d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Nxd5 Qxd5 9.Ne2 Bg4 10.Nf4 Qd7 11.f3 0-0-0 12.0-0-0 Avoiding the complications of 12.fxg4 Bh4+. Rhe8?! Marshall insists on a piece sacrifice rather than retreating the bishop. 13.fxg4 Bb4 14.Qf2! Not falling for 14.Qb3?? Qxd2+! 15.Rxd2 Re1+ and mate next. Bc5 15.Qf3! Allowing the queen to interpose on d1 if Black plays the queen sacrifice. Re3 16.Qd5! Not 16.Bxe3?? Bxe3+, winning. Now 16...Qxd5 17.Nxd5 Rxd5 18.Bc4! leaves White an exchange ahead. Qe7 17.Qf5+ Kb8 18.Nd3 Rdxd3 "Tantamount to resignation." 19.Bxd3 Nd4 20.Qxh7 a6 21.Bxe3 Qxe3+ 22.Kb1 Nc6 23.Qe4 Qh6 24.c3 Bd6 25.h4 Ne5 26.Bc2 Qe6 Black lost on time. 1–0
- David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed. 1992), Oxford University Press, p. 402. ISBN 0-19-866164-9.
- Anne Sunnucks, The Encyclopaedia of Chess, St. Martin's Press, 1970, p. 443.
- Raymond Keene, writing in Harry Golombek (editor), Golombek's Encyclopedia of Chess, Crown Publishing, 1977, p. 313. ISBN 0-517-53146-1.
- Sunnucks, p. 444.
- Philip W. Sergeant, A Century of British Chess, David McKay, 1934, pp. 278-79, 331-32.
- Sergeant, pp. 279-81, 331.
- Coles, pp. 42-43.
- Árpád Földeák, Chess Olympiads 1927–1968, Dover Publications, 1979, p. 50. ISBN 0-486-23733-8.
- Coles, p. 18.
- Coles, p. 67.
- Földeák, p. 72.
- Földeák, p. 92.
- Coles, pp. 18, 120.
- Coles, p. 120.
- Reuben Fine, The World's Great Chess Games, Dover, 1983, p. 181. ISBN 0-486-24512-8.
- Coles, p. 11.
- Reuben Fine, Lessons From My Games, New York, 1958, pp. 24-25, quoted in Edward Winter, Sultan Khan (2003).
- Sergeant, pp. 281, 338.
- Hooper & Whyld, pp. 402-03.
- Hooper & Whyld, p. 403.
- Coles, p. 8.
- Jeremy Gaige, Chess Personalia: A Biobibliography, McFarland, 1987, p. 412. ISBN 0-7864-2353-6.
- Arpad E. Elo, The Rating of Chessplayers, Past and Present, Arco Publishing, 1978, p. 195.
- Chessmetrics Player Profile: Mir Sultan Khan. ChessMetrics.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
- May 1933 rating list. ChessMetrics.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
- Under FIDE Regulation 1.50 (FIDE; retrieved on 2009-01-04), a player can achieve the Grandmaster title by earning two or more grandmaster norms in events covering at least 27 games, and attaining a rating of 2500 at some point.
- FIDE awarded Rubinstein the International Grandmaster title on its first title list in 1950. Elo, p. 65. It awarded Torre the International Master title in 1963 and the International Grandmaster title in 1977. Sunnucks, p. 462; Elo, p. 189. Elo lists Sultan Khan on a list of "Untitled Chessmasters". Elo, p. 195.
- Sultan Khan–Capablanca, Hastings 1930–31. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
- Soultanbeieff–Sultan Khan, Liege 1930. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
- Sultan Khan–Marshall, Liege 1930. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-06.
- R. N. Coles, Mir Sultan Khan (2nd ed. 1977), British Chess Magazine, p. 52.
- Coles, p. 51.