Friedrich Sämisch

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Friedrich (Fritz) Sämisch (September 20, 1896, Charlottenburg – August 16, 1975, Berlin) was a German chess grandmaster (1950).

Main results[edit]

In 1922 he won a match in Berlin against Réti (+4−1=3).

Perhaps his most famous game is his loss to Nimzowitsch at Copenhagen 1923 in the Immortal Zugzwang Game. He also played many beautiful games though, one of them being his win against Grünfeld at Carlsbad 1929, which won a brilliancy prize. In the same tournament he also won against Capablanca. The former World Champion lost a piece in the opening but did not resign, which usually happens in such cases in grandmaster games, but to no avail, this disadvantage being too much even for a player of his class.

At the age of 73, in 1969, Sämisch played a tournament in memoriam of Adolf Anderssen in Büsum, Germany, and another tournament in Linköping, Sweden, but lost all games in both events (fifteen in the former and thirteen in the latter) on time control.

Contributions to opening theory[edit]

Sämisch is today remembered primarily for his contributions to opening theory. Two major opening lines are named after him:

  • a variation of the King's Indian: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3
  • a variation of the Nimzo-Indian: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3


  • Adriano Chicco, Giorgio Porreca, Dizionario enciclopedico degli scacchi, Mursia, Milan 1971

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