The Catalan opening

… should be renamed “the Austro-Hungarian”

Poor old Joan, commenting over at Iberian Notes, has got his knickers in a twist about the Catalan contribution to world chess. Joan, it’s not exactly clear who invented the Catalan Opening, but it certainly wasn’t a Catalan. It’s often said that it was first used by Tartakower during a tournament organised in Barcelona in 1929 to promote the international exposition, and that he gave it the name in return for a brown envelope from the organisers. However, this page says (I’m dubious, and it’s not clear which game they’re referring to) that the variant was actually first employed by Richard Réti during a game with Bogoljubov in New York in 1924. Since there’s already an opening named after Reti, I guess justice might be best served if the Catalan were to be renamed “the Austro-Hungarian”, or something.

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