sailor returns Chess
of an international masters tournament in California, 1972,
were greatly surprised when an old man appeared at their office
and wanted to play in that strong event. It was meant for
grandmasters and masters only, and there was no room for an
unknown elderly gentleman. The stranger introduced himself
as William Arthur Dake. Even that did not work, for no organiser
could instantly work out who this man could be. Dake then
divulged the most startling truth about his chess life, "
I'm Arthur Dake who defeated world champion Alexander Alekhine
in Pasadena, 1932." That struck the men in front of him
like a thunderbolt. All of them had heard about Arthur Dake,
but nobody had seen him. The organisers felt honoured to invite
Dake to play in the tournament.
was indeed a mysterious character. A sailor by profession,
he was a gifted player too. After all, it wasn't easy to beat
Alekhine in 1932, when the great master was at the peak of
his form. Alekhine was on a tour of North America and played
in a tournament in Pasadena before he went to Mexico City.
He never wasted his time in any pursuit other than chess.
On the train to Mexico, he made the best use of the long journey
studying a variation of the Scotch Opening. And that was about
the only thing he did during the journey!
not known why Dake did not play after his fine showing in
Pasadena. Perhaps chess players in those days didn't have
a professional attitude. Dake was perhaps not an ambitious
man who would like to develop a career in chess. Nobody knows
what he was doing during those 40 years, except sailing from
one place to another. He preferred the beauty of a vast expanse
of water to the infinite charm of chess which captivated,
and still captivates, many a great mind.
in 1972 was no doubt a memorable event. Chess fans were delighted
to learn that he was still alive.
is Dake's great victory against Alekhine.
Black-Alexander Alekhine [B13]
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Be6 7.c5
g6 8.Bb5 Bg7 9.Ne5 Qc8 10.Qa4 Bd7 11.00 00 12.Bf4 a6 13.Bxc6
bxc6 14.Rfe1 Nh5 15.Bd2 Ra7 16.Re2 Be8 17.Rae1 f5 18.Nf3 Nf6
19.Rxe7 Rxe7 20.Rxe7 f4 21.Bxf4 Ne4 22.Be5 Bh6 23.Nxe4 dxe4
24.Ng5 Qf5 25.Qb3+ Bf7 26.Nxf7 Rxf7 27.Rxf7 Qxf7 28.Qb8+ Qf8
29.d5 e3 30.f4 Qxb8 31.Bxb8 Kf7 32.dxc6 Ke8 33.b4 g5 34.g3
gxf4 35.gxf4 Kd8 36.a4 Kc8 37.Bd6 Bg7 38.Kf1 1-0.