IM Herbert Bastian turns 70 years old
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.
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: