In the comments to “The trials of Aibhistín de Búrca” Paul Brown raises the issue of which player played A. Dake at Warsaw (de Burca or Cranston). At IRLchess we have plumped for de Búrca.
De Búrca, in his 1960 article “International Team Tournament Warsaw 1935”, tantalisingly refers to both Dake and the Ireland -v- U.S.A. match; however the two separate passages do not provide an answer.
The victorious U.S.A. team were very even in strength, and consisted of Fine, the brilliant veteran Marshall, Kupchik, Dake and Horowitz. Arthur Dake, playing on fourth board, mowed down the cannon-fodder opposed to him mercilessly and had the best personal score of the tournament (86%).
The Irish team was regarded as a push-over by the Americans, who made no secret of their opinion by arriving twenty minutes after the clocks had been started. On three boards, this opinion was speedily justified. This was one of the matches in which I was given my “opportunity”, and played like a terrified rabbit fascinated into immobility by a dangerous snake.
When contemporary sources differ, it can be very difficult to find a definitive solution. However, I believe I’ve found something that goes to the heart of the matter.
In the very first issue of B.H. Wood’s “Chess” magazine, dated 14th September 1935, on page 12 the diagrammed position is given as Exercise No.2. On page 40 of the same issue the following solution is given:
“By Q x Pch, K x Q; P x P double check and mate. Dake v. Cranston at Warsaw.
So far this is just one more contemporary source but in the 14th November issue (at page 83) there was this correction:
“Exercise No.2 in our September number accused Mr Cranston of courting sudden death at the hands of Dake at Warsaw. Actually it was de Burca, reserve for Ireland, who suffered this fate. Our apologies, Mr. Cranston!
All the same, we feel justified in being a little aggrieved ourselves when no less an authority than the Warsaw daily bulletin errs.”
Unfortunately no source is given for the information, but we might guess it was Cranston himself. However it does provide both a 1935 solution as to which Irish player Dake played and an explanation as to how the confusion arose; probably as definitive as it gets. It might be more difficult to determine with certainty whether the game ended with the queen sacrifice or the checkmate.