IM Herbert Bastian turns 70 years old

Herbert Bastian, 2012
Herbert Bastian, 2012

Our member, the former President of the German Chess Federation and passionate chess historian Herbert Bastian turned 70 years on 10 December 2022. Born 1952 in Emmersweiler, a small town in the German region of Saarland, near the Franco-German border, Herbert developed his great chess talent in the local chess club since 1966 and became several times champion of his native Saarland. In 1972, he participated at federal level and won the Dähne-Cup in 1976. Although being among the German elite players, Herbert chose a civil career and became a school teacher for mathematics. But even as an amateur he out-calculated Viktor Korchnoi in a memorable game from the GM tournament of Baden-Baden in 1981 (see below). He became shared second at the German championship a year later and represented German colours at the European team championship in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) 1983. He also played in the Bundesliga and scored his 20th(!) title as champion of Saarland in 1992. His constant successes earned him the IM title in 2005. As recent as 2020, he still participated in the federal championships with a remarkable performance of 4/9 at 2300 ELO level.

Herbert Bastian, Kórnik 2014
Herbert Bastian, Kórnik 2014

For our society, Herbert’s achievements in the domain of chess history and literature are even more breathtaking. As President of the German Chess Federation (2011-2017), he put an emphasis on the historical research and encouraged Michael Negele to write several important pieces for the website about German chess history. Herbert himself also put pen to paper and published numerous contributions in several German chess journals. In 2021, he co-edited together with the two of us the high-level book about the 100-year jubilee of the French Chess Association. Therein, he presented his latest research about the “Chapais manuscript”, written in the late 18th century by an unknown author, who signed the foreword with “Chapais, commercant à Paris”. Herbert is convinced that Gaspard Monge was hiding behind this pseudonym and is about to publish a modern transcript of the manuscript in German next year. This will certainly constitute a milestone for the study of endgame knowledge in that century.

Privately, Herbert was married and is the proud father of four sons. He is a constant driver for education and dissemination of chess as a cultural means of forging trans-bounder connections and mutual trust. His wide network of chess friends in FIDE and beyond is amazing. Not surprisingly, he recently received a public reward for his life-long achievements for chess from the President of Germany (“Bundesverdienstkreuz”).

On behalf of the CH&LS, let me warmly congratulate Herbert for his round birthday and express the hope that this scientific work will continue unabated. In the meantime, we also hope that the readers will enjoy Herbert’s most famous win from 1981, i.e. more than 40 years ago!

Frank Hoffmeister / Jean–Olivier Leconte


Here the game of Herbert Bastian against the reigning Vice World Champion Kortchnoi:

[Event "Baden-Baden"] [Site "Baden-Baden FRG"] [Date "1981.07.??"] [Round "4"] [White "Bastian, Herbert"] [Black "Kortchnoi, Viktor"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C02"] [WhiteElo "2320"] [BlackElo "2695"] [PlyCount "108"] [EventDate "1981.??.??"] {[%evp 0,77,25,16,41,30,36,-6,2,10,7,7,7,-3,6,5,-7,11,2,2,-3,2,-9,-7,-5,10,10, 6,12,6,12,13,25,16,37,20,28,33,18,39,44,56,66,70,101,103,98,89,89,61,68,49,96, 80,94,2,20,38,28,39,65,63,63,-15,-13,-24,0,0,85,87,100,119,132,142,227,117,146, 103,190,117]} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 {A memorable victory for Herbert in July 1981 at the Baden-Baden tournament. A few months later Viktor Kortchnoi faced Anatoly Karpov in Merano, Italy. Kortchnoi was then probably not far from his top form. } d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. Be2 Rc8 7. O-O Nge7 8. dxc5 Ng6 9. Be3 Ncxe5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. b4 Be7 12. f4 Nc6 13. Nd2 Bf6 14. Rc1 O-O 15. Nf3 { By simple moves White has obtained a small advantage after the opening. He has a moving majority on the queenside, while Black's centre is a bit blocked.} Qc7 16. Qd2 Rcd8 17. Bd4 Be7 18. Qe3 f6 19. Bd3 Rf7 20. Rce1 Rdf8 21. a3 Bd8 22. c4 b6 23. cxb6 axb6 24. cxd5 exd5 25. Rc1 {White has improved his position position, while Black is looking for a counterplay.} Re7 26. Qd2 Qd6 27. Bc3 b5 28. Kh1 Bb6 29. Qc2 Kh8 30. Bxb5 {A pawn is a pawn. Usually it was Kortchnoi who ate the pawns...} Rc8 31. Bxc6 ({Stockfish does not like White's last move and prefers the following beautiful variation which gives White a near winning position.} 31. Qa4 Bf5 32. Be5 fxe5 33. Rxc6 Rxc6 34. fxe5 Rxe5 (34... Qc7 35. Bxc6) 35. Nxe5) 31... Rxc6 32. Qb2 Be3 33. Rce1 Qc7 (33... Rc8 {was the right move to maintain a dynamic equality according to the silicon monster.}) 34. Bd4 Bxd4 35. Qxd4 Rxe1 36. Rxe1 Be6 37. f5 Bf7 38. Qe3 h6 39. h3 Rc3 40. Qe7 Qxe7 41. Rxe7 Bh5 42. Nd4 Rxa3 43. Rd7 Ra8 44. b5 Rb8 45. b6 Rxb6 46. g4 Bxg4 47. hxg4 h5 48. gxh5 Rb4 49. Rxd5 Kh7 50. Kg2 Kh6 51. Ne6 Rb7 52. Rd3 Kxh5 53. Rg3 Kh4 54. Rg6 Rb3 {The Lion fought to the end. A remarkable game played by by Herbert. Congratulations!} 1-0

Go back