Der Sharfrichter Von Berlin

I’ve recently been putting together a games collection for players under 1500 level having felt a need for such a book. Many games collections feature truly brilliant games, but they are very difficult for players making their early steps to grasp. Sometimes I barely understand what’s happening despite over 40 years intense chess experience.

Accordingly some lesser known names have been thrown forward, those whose chess has a welcome directness to it and whose opponents were not always of the highest class. And one player I’ve been taking a particular interest in is Kurt Richter, nicely nicknamed ‘Der Sharfrichter Von Berlin’ (the executioner of Berlin).

Richter had an exceptionally sharp style of play and just loved combination and attacking play. But what makes his games particularly suitable for for the less experienced is the directness of his approach involving fast development and heading straight for his opponent’s king. These are vital basic skills that everyone needs to master, there’s time enough for other aspects later on.

Here’s Richter in action in a game played in his native Berlin. Starting out with the Richter-Veresov Opening (1.d4 followed by 2.Nc3) the game transposes into a French Defence. And Richter, true to form, heads straight for his opponent’s king.

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.