Carl Schlechter! Life and times of the Austrian Chess Wizard

Author: Goldman, Warren (?-1992)

Publisher: Caissa Edition

Location: Yorklyn, DE

Year: 1994

$300.00


Description:

xiv+537 pages with diagrams, plates, tables, indexes and bibliography. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 6 1/4") issued in red cloth with gilt lettering. Publisher's preface by Dale Bradreth. First edition.

Carl Adalbert Hermann Schlechter was born in Vienna, Austria in 1874.(1) He learned the rules of chess when about 13 years old,(1) probably under the influence of problem composer Samuel Gold. Schlechter visited a business school (Handelsschule) and worked for a short time, before concentrating on chess.(1). Berthold Englisch recognized his talent and introduced him to the Viennese chess life in 1892. Already in early 1893, Schlechter won a tournament in Vienna ahead of Georg Marco. He further established himself among Vienna's strongest players with a shared 3rd place in the Winter tournament 1893/1894. At 9th DSB Kongress, Leipzig (1894) he finished only 11th out of 18. In 1895, he finished only 3rd in the Vienna Championship, but put up a solid performance at the great Hastings (1895) tournament with place 9/22 and a win over the tournament winner Harry Nelson Pillsbury in their individual encounter. The year 1896 was busy and successful for him, as it began with a shared 1st place at the Vienna Championship 1896, followed by a second place in the Vienna Chess Club tournament. After a good +3 score at the great Nuremberg (1896) tournament, Schlechter finished equal fourth at Budapest (1896). In November 1896, he came in 2nd in a Vienna tournament behind David Janowski, but ahead of Simon Winawer and Jacques Mieses. Schlechter dominated the Vienna tournament 1897 and had a solid result at Berlin (1897). The year 1898 began with a slightly disappointing result at the Vienna Chess Club tournament, but then he came in 5th at Vienna (1898) and shared 6th place at 11th DSB Kongress, Cologne (1898). The strong London (1899) tournament saw him coming in 5th again. Schlechter shared 2nd place at the second Kolisch Memorial in Vienna (1899/1900). At Paris (1900) he shared 7th place, but he followed up with a shared 1st place at Munich (1900) drawing Pillsbury in the final tie-break match (+1 -1 =2). He dominated the Master Group of the Vienna Winter tournament 1900. This was followed in 1901 by a 2nd place at Monte Carlo (1901). One year later, he had to satisfy himself with a shared 5th place at Monte Carlo (1902) and a 50% score in a Vienna tournament though. After a 4th place at Monte Carlo (1903), Schlechter disappointed at Vienna (1903). The King's Gambit Accepted tournament at Vienna 1903, was also not a success for him. Despite these discouraging results, Schlechter had a good year 1904. Unbeaten, he came in 2nd at Monte Carlo (1904), followed by a shared 6th place at Cambridge Springs (1904). In the USA, he also competed successfully in a team match. Schlechter shared 1st place at Coburg (Meisterturnier) (1904) before winning the Vienna (1904) King's Gambit Declined tournament, which extended into 1905. The year 1905 continued to be a successful one for Schlechter with his triumph at the Austro-Hungarian Championship in Vienna, followed by a 4th place at Ostend (1905) and a shared 4th place at the Barmen Meisterturnier A (1905). Schlechter did not slow down and turned 1906 into a banner year for him. First, he shared 1st place at Stockholm (1906) together with Dr. Ossip Bernstein. He then went on to win the huge Ostende 1906 tournament, followed by 3rd place at Stockholm (1906). Schlechter only reached 6th place at 1st Trebitsch Memorial (1907). This was followed by a 2nd place at Ostend (Championship) (1907) and a shared 2nd place at Copenhagen (1907). The strong Karlsbad (1907) tournament saw him sharing 4th place together with Aron Nimzowitsch. 1908 turned out to be another banner year for Schlechter, who shared 1st place at Vienna (1908) together with Geza Maroczy and Oldrich Duras, and shared 1st place again with Duras at Prague (1908). The great St Petersburg (1909) tournament was a disappointment for him, but the next year he won Hamburg (1910). Schlechter continued successfully by sharing 1st place at the 3rd Trebitsch Memorial in Vienna, 1910 to 1911, together with Rudolf Spielmann. He suffered a slight setback at San Sebastian (1911) with a shared 5th place, but bounced back by sharing 2nd place at Karlsbad (1911) together with Akiba Rubinstein. In 1912, he started successfully with a win at the 4th Trebitsch Memorial in Vienna,(19) but only shared 8th place at San Sebastian (1912). He recovered and shared 4th place at Bad Pistyan (1912), and shared 1st place at the Budapest (1912) Queen's Gambit Declined tournament with Frank James Marshall. He shared 4th place again at the 18th DSB Kongress (1912) in Breslau (today Wroc³aw). After a disappointing Club tournament in Vienna, he went on to win the 5th Trebitsch Memorial in Vienna (1913). At Baden-bei-Wien (1914) he came in 3rd but remained undefeated, and he won the 6th Trebitsch Memorial in Vienna (1914). In 1908, he challenged Dr. Emanuel Lasker for a WC match in 1909, considering his contemporaneous tournament successes. Yet, he had to wait another year before Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910), wherein he came within a whisker of winning the title of World Chess Champion: going into the final game leading by one point, he disdained a possible draw and ultimately lost. The drawn match meant that Lasker retained his crown. In match play, he drew Marco in the spring of 1893 in a 10-game match at the age of 19. In 1894, he drew 11-games matches against Marco, and Adolf Julius Zinkl. In 1896, Schlechter drew a 7-games match against David Janowski, and in 1899 he drew a 6-games match against Semion Alapin. In Carlsbad, June 1902, Schlechter clearly defeated Janowski in a match by the score of +6 -1 =3.(30) Shortly afterward in 1902, he allegedly played an 8-games match against Samuel Mikulka in Olomouc, but the final score is not known.(31) He beat the young Richard Reti in a short casual match in Vienna in 1903, and played a short match against Richard Teichmann in 1904 of which the score was +1 -1 =1, but possibly a 4th game was played. In 1909, Schlechter lost a blindfold match against Mieses in Stuttgart by +0 -2 =1. He drew Siegbert Tarrasch in Tarrasch - Schlechter (1911). At the beginning of 1918, Schlechter lost the match Rubinstein - Schlechter (1918). The outbreak of World War I put an end to international tournament play for the duration. In 1915, Schlechter convincingly won the 7th Trebitsch Memorial in Vienna. In 1918, Schlechter competed again internationally with a second-place finish at Berlin Four Masters (1918) and a 3rd place at Berlin Grandmasters (1918). He played one further tournament in Budapest. The Budapest Chess Club arranged a Simul for him, but a few days after it, he had to be admitted to the local Rochus hospital. There he died on December 27, 1918. Possible causes of his death are a lung disease aggravated by lack of proper nutrition, tuberculosis, pneumonia and the Spanish flu epidemic.

Condition:

Fine without jacket as issued.