28 January 2014

Database Problem

This position occurs in a game found in the collection at Chessgames.com.

White to move

The position is from the game Charousek -- Engländer, Košice 1894. This game is not in the ChessBase Online database, which I suspect contains the same 104 games of Rudolf Charousek (1873-1900) as in Big Database (plus seven consultation games). 365Chess.com contains even fewer games by the short-lived Hungarian master--100. ChessTempo has a much larger collection with 138, but lacks the one containing the brilliant attack that follows from this position. Chessgames.com contains 184 games played by Charousek.

Two of the Charousek games in ChessBase's Big Database have dates that precede his birth--1853, 1856. There are other egregious errors that have been known for a long time (see Edward Winter's "FatBase 2000" 2003).

Massive databases raise questions concerning the authenticity and accuracy of the games contained therein. They are suspect sources for historical research, and yet this blog employs them with regularity.

Who was Engländer? Chessgames.com contain four games by this player--all against Charousek, all losses. No first name is given.

What print sources exist for this game?

Possibly it appears in Victor A. Charuchin, Chess Comet Charousek, trans. Andreas Dengler, Manuel Fruth, and Gregori Maksheev (Schachfirma Fruth, 1996)* or Philip W. Sergeant, Charousek's Games of Chess: With Annotations and Biographical Introduction (Dover, 1989). At present I lack access to both of these books.
Edward Winter offers an older source for the diagram position above: G. Négyesy and J. Hegyi, Combination in Chess (Budapest, 1970), 32 (see "Long Calculation" 11 July 2010).
Likely there are Hungarian sources yet to be tapped by those producing databases. Chessgames.com, which has far fewer games in my experience than ChessBase at least seems to be ahead of others with respect to Charousek. But the authenticity of the game score and its source remain uncertain. Moreover, some important information is lacking.

*Charuchin is reviewed at www.chesscafe.com/text/charousek.txt.

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