The word "apocrypha" means, according to the Dictionary of Foreign Words by Wladyslaw Kopalinski (Warsaw 1995), early Christian writings, not included in the canon of the Old or New Testament. More general significance - it is a production of dubious authorship, published under the name of the author who died long before now, or which allegedly came to the surface and was published as an authentic record old literary output. The word originates from the Greek "apokryphos" what means "confidential".
Apocryphal production may be observed in chess, too. Issues are silent about books or articles, whose authors pretended to be, let's say, Emanuel Lasker or Aron Nimzowitsch. It is, I presume, thanks to the gulf separating the amount of labour necessary for creation and the expected financial income or non-pecuniary advantage. On the other hand, apocryphal games are not a rarity in the chess literature, Napoleon's games to mention the most famous, or those allegedly played on the Kamchatka by the Count Maurycy (Morris) Benyovsky, Hungaro-Polono- Slovakian adventurer from the turn of XVIII century. Some of most famous combinations, for example Adams - Torre, New Orlean 1920, are of a very dubious authenticity as well (see the entry "Spurious Games" in the Oxford Companion to Chess by D. Hooper and K. Whyld).
One from the most diffused, the most frequently published apocryphal games from the second half of XX century infiltrated the Third volume of the Quarterly for Chess History. I mean the game played, allegedly, by Karol Wojtyla (today Pope of the Roman-Catholic Church) in 1946. I would like to announce for all times: games and problems (five of them are printed below) imputed to Karol Wojtyla are not authentic, they were ascribed to this great man by the forger and impostor.
My interest in the subject was caused by the GM Larry Evans' column from The Washington Post (3rd December 1994). The renowned author reprinted following problem:
Karol Wojtyla 
White mates in 2 moves
...and wrote:
Karol Wojtyla, an avid player now better known as Pope John Paul II composed today's study. In this game, after errors from both sides, Wojtyla defeats the wife of the ambassador of the Malta Knight during her visit to Poland in 1946.
It followed the score, which began from 1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 Nbd7 4.Nf3 e6 5.e4?! (assessment of GM Evans) 5. ... h6 6.Bh4 g5 7.Bg3 Nxe4 etc. The (female) player in charge of the White pieces was called "Wanda Zartobliwy".
Stimulated by the publication, I resolved to send the Holy Father a letter in the name of Polish chessplayers! Please, do not think it's easy. First I visited my own parish, later the seat of Catholic Episcopacy in Warsaw, and finally I was received by the priest "employed" in the papal nunciature in Warsaw and handed him a letter addressed to the Holy Father in Rome, which was signed by Mr Jacek Zemantowski, president of the Polish Chess Federation at that time.
I was soon beset by doubts. Firstly - the name of the female player given by GM Evans: Wanda Zartobliwy. Sure, there are names in Polish language (and in other languages - too), which sound strange or comical, but why should only the ambassador of Malta Knights be called "Zartobliwy"; that is "Jokose", "Facetious", "Waggish"? Could it be a coded message: attention, this is a joke!?
Secondly - in the year 1946 Karol Wojtyla was a seminary in a training college for priests, outstanding, extremely promising, but only a seminary. Why should this young seminary, and not someone with a much higher position in the ecclesiastic hierarchy, be visited by the honourable ambassador?
In order to check my suspicions I decided to make some phone-calls to Krakow, where they know a good deal about Pope John Paul II.
I contacted the editorial office of the Tygodnik Powszechny (catholioc weekly) and asked whether in their daily reports from 1946 the visit of the Ambassador of the Malta Knights was registered. The reply arrived after a week saying no information is available on that visit.
Next I phoned a Krakow priest, Mieczyslaw Malinski, who had studied in the Krakow Seminary at the same time as The Pope. Mieczyslaw Malinski was (and still is) a good friend of Karol Wojtyla and despite his advanced age he had a vivid recollection of the student years. I asked Father Malinski whether the young seminary Karol Wojtyla had been playing chess there and whether His knowledge of chess was such that he could compose two-move problems. This is the answer I received: Karol Wojtyla, as most other young people, played chess but did not let it distract him from his spiritual studies and it is not known whether he composed any chess problems. After this talk I was even more convinced that Larry Evans had become a victim of mystification. Soon afterwards, thanks to a talk with experts in chess history, among them with Mr Jerzy Gizycki, the author of the wonderful book Z szachami przez wieki i kraje, (Through Countries and Centuries with Chess) I was able to uncover the whole (?) historical background to the "games and chess problems by Karol Wojtyla".
Soon after the election of the Polish cardinal to the Pope's office (October 1978), some joking chess lover decided to outwit the editors of the French chess journal Europe Echecs. Playing roles of Pawel Zartobliwy from Malta and Michal Rodzaj from Portugal ("old, good friends of Karola Wojtyla from his student days"), he sent to the editor the record of the game Wanda Zartobliwy vs Karol Wojtyla (Cracow 1946), together with three problems, two-movers and three-movers. Two of them were allegedly published in the "RSK" - the weekly for cracowian students. Young Wojtyla's interest in composing chess problem was explained by the fact he had been a relative of Marian Wrobel (1907-1960), the well-known Polish author of chess studies.
The editors of Europe Echecs, believing the truth of this information, published the game and problems in the January 1979 issue. A little later the same author made one more effort. This time he pretended to be the Holy Father himself (!) and on faked stationary of the Holy See he sent a personal letter to the editor of Europe Echecs, enclosed another problem, "not published until now". Also this correspondence failed to arouse any suspicion in the editorial office and was reprinted in the April issue of the journal in 1979.
As it often happens, many people, pure amateurs and GMs, read the sensational report in Europe Echecs, and it never occurred to anyone to check the truthfulness of the sources. Problems and the game score were promptly reprinted by Polish chess magazine Szachy but none from the readers asked/checked whether the "RSK" weekly had ever existed.
In 1987 English The Problemist has got another "letter from Rome". Again hoaxed editors or ... editor's hoax? Well, who from us mortal can understand the famous English sense of humour. Anyway, this remarkable event gave in effect following specimen of chess composition.
"Karol Wojtyla"
The Problemist, 1987
Karol Wojtyla 
White mates in 2 moves.
Solution: 1. Bb5!
As a rule, dementi after articles like these are printed in small type on the last page or are not printed at all. The game by "Wanda Zartobliwy" and the problems by "Karol Wojtyla" started their journey around the world and continue doing so to these days. In doubt that the present article can once for all stop the further spreading of these falsehoods, I enclose four problems, ascribed to young Karol Wojtyla and published in Europe Echecs of 1979.
"RSK", April 1946
See problem given by Evans
Mate in 2
Solution: 1. Qa7.
"RSK", May 1946
RSK 1946
Mate in 3
Solution: 1.Nf3 (threatening 2.Nf4).
"Composed in 4th March 1946 and unpublished until now"
Mate in 2
Solution: 1. Nd2!
"Composed in 4th March 1946 and unpublished until now"
Mate in 3
Solution: 1.c8N Ka3 2.Nb6 a:b6 3.a:b6 X.
When I learnt the truth about Wanda Zartobliwy's visit to Krakow in 1946, I became sure that no reply to the letter I had sent to Vatican might be expected. More, I was very angry for my simple-mindedness which caused the undiplomatic and injudicious sending.
It was a surprise then, when in the early 1995 a letter from Rome reached the seat of the Polish Chess Union. The letter contained a picture postcard, a fine print of a Madonna from the Vatican collection, and on it, in the Holy Father's own hand (in a fine handwriting) a short reply in Latin and Polish was written, showing the Pope's understanding and sense of humour. The copy of the papal letter follows:
Tomasz Lissowski
(Quarterly for Chess History, vol 4/2000)