Stamma 1734 is an article written by our 1994 Kenya National Champion Lothar Nikolaiczuk. Those who missed the story can find it here – Lothar Nikolaiczuk.
We now bring you his second article which he wrote almost 20 years ago!
THE SPIRIT’S VICTORY OVER MATTER OR THE PROBLEM WITH ONES’S PREDECESSORS BY LOTHAR NIKOLAICZUK
Back in the eighties I worked as a professional chess teacher in Germany, giving thousands of training lessons to talented and ambitious chess club youngsters, many of whom became Masters and even Grandmasters. The groups spent most of their time with in-depth analysis of Grandmaster games.
Once, to demonstrate something of a philosophical nature [that means not true in reality], I invented a simple appearing position. Yet, the solution was far from simple. I introduced my creation to the group saying, “I have imagined this tricky problem for the benefit of those among you who think that materialism is the main principle of chess. Watch out for the spirit’s victory over matter!” Even the brightest students needed some time to finally spot the key move.
Some time later, I visited Grandmaster Robert Huebner, the best German player of all time and one of the greatest geniuses in the history of the game. Looking at different games and positions, I remembered my tiny invention and put it on the board.
What frustrated me was not that the key move was executed after a fraction of a second, this was no surprise from Huebner who had played for the world championship more than once.
It was the name he uttered without emotion: ‘Stamma‘. After a moment he added, “Egypt-17th century.” And out came one of his 20,000 chess books [sic!] showing the diagram of almost exactly the same position that was not mine anymore, but Stamma’s for two centuries.
Later, I thought about this creative coincidence and came to the following conclusion. As I had not stolen the position from my predecessor, he would certainly agree that we might as well share the merits of its creation.
By the way, what is the solution to our problem?