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By Hans Mueller, Adolf Pawelczak

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Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch, perhaps the most scholarly of all Grandmasters, was taken with the romance of chess. ’ He writes: “This author [the Baghdad poet Firdansi] relates that ‘once upon a time an ambassador came from the Sovereign of Hindustan to the Persian monarch, Kisra Naushirawan, bearing costly presents, and, above all, a magnificent chessboard. The ambassador presented a letter also, which stated that if Nausirawan could in seven days discover the principles and practice of the game, the Hindoo monarch would pay him tribute, but, if he failed to do so, tribute would be demanded on the other side.

Yet Staunton was a respected Shakespearean scholar in addition to taking on a heavy load in chess journalism and promotion: the first English-language chess magazine, in 1841; a long-running chess column beginning in 1845; two major instructional books, in 1847 and 1849. Finally, he created the first chess tournament, London, 1851, whose extraordinary success launched the next century of tournament chess at the top levels. Modern chess, here we come. The London tournament gave an extraordinary man the opportunity to show what romantic chess was all about.

Champions and Chess Clocks The vacuum left by Morphy was filled by talent from Germany and Eastern Europe for the last half of the nineteenth century. From Prague came Wilhelm Steinitz, from Poland Johann Zukertort, pupil of Anderssen, and, in a second wave, Isidor Gunsberg from Budapest, Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch from Breslau and Dr. Emanuel Lasker from Berlin. Chessplayers often overlook the fact that these men were exceptionally talented beyond chess. All could write effectively in a variety of fields and had careers outside chess.

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Aljechin Mensch.und.Werk by Hans Mueller, Adolf Pawelczak


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