Weird Chess Trivia
Truth is Stranger than Fiction
- The US master Weaver Adams wrote a book called White to Play and Win in 1939. During a tournament after its publication, he lost all his games as White and won all his games as Black. Adams went on to win the US Open tournament in 1948.
- The Norwegian Grandmaster Simen Agdestein also played soccer for his national team.
- A British cabinet-maker built Ajeeb, a chess automaton in 1865. During its long career, it was operated by many well-known chess masters and won almost all its games. It was even shot by a sore loser. Ajeeb was destroyed by fire at Coney Island in 1929.
- The first Chess Academy was opened in Fontainebleau, outside Paris, France during the reign of King Louis XIV in 1680.
- The Beatles played a concert at the 1966 American Open tournament. Screaming fans assumed the pop stars were behind the on-stage curtain. They were somewhat surprised when the curtain finally went up to reveal a chess match! Ringo Starr and John Lennon both played chess, as does Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono