Author: Eliskases, Erich Gottlieb (1913-1997)
Publisher: Circulo la Regence
Place: Buenos Aires
91 pages with tables and index. Octavo (8 3/4" x 5 3/4") issued in wrappers. Limited to 242 numbered copies of which this is number 96. (Bibliotheca Van der Linde-Niemeijeriana: 5581) 1st edition.
Erich Gottlieb Eliskases (February 15, 1913 - February 2, 1997) was a leading chess player, a Grandmaster, of the 1930s and 1940s who represented Austria, Germany and Argentina in international competition.
Born in Innsbruck, Austria, he learned chess at the age of 12 and quickly showed a startling aptitude for the game, winning the Schlechter chess club championship in his first year at the club, aged just 14. At 15, he was the Tyrolean Champion and at 16, joint winner of the Austrian Championship. His college education in Innsbruck and Vienna centered on business studies. It was chess, though, that captured his imagination and he had exceptional results at the Olympiads of 1930, 1933 and 1935. When Germany and Austria merged, he twice won the German national championship at Bad Oeynhausen in 1938 and 1939. He played under the German flag at the 1939 Buenos Aires Olympiad and this coincided with the outbreak of World War II, when Eliskases (along with many other players) decided to stay in Argentina (and for a while in Brazil) rather than return to the scene of the conflict. This, of course, incurred the displeasure of the Nazi party and the wrath of the Brazilian authorities, whom had severed all links with the Germans. After some years in the wilderness, when he struggled to make a living, he eventually became a naturalized Argentine citizen and represented his new country at the Olympiads of 1952, 1958, 1960 and 1964. FIDE awarded Eliskases the titles of International Master and International Grandmaster in 1950 and 1952, respectively. He had many fine tournament results, including outright or joint first place at Budapest 1934 (the Hungarian Championship), Linz 1934, Zurich 1935, Milan 1937, Noordwijk 1938 (his greatest success, ahead of Euwe and Keres), Krefeld 1938, Bad Harzburg 1939, Bad Elster 1939, Vienna 1939, SÃ£o Paulo 1941, SÃ£o Paulo 1947, Mar del Plata 1948, Punta del Este 1951 and CÃ³rdoba 1959. His victory in Noordwijk began a streak of eight consecutive tournaments without a single loss. He won matches against Efim Bogoljubov (1939) and Rudolf Spielmann (thrice, in 1932, 1936 and 1937). Towards the end of the 1930s, along with Keres and Capablanca, Eliskases was regarded as a third potential contender for a World Championship encounter with Alexander Alekhine. Indeed, Alekhine spoke out in favor of a match with the Austrian, who had ingratiated himself as the champion's second during his title defense with Max Euwe in 1937. Alas, Eliskases' defection to South America was badly timed, as documentary evidence later showed that the Nazi regime had scheduled him a 1941 match with the World Champion, but due to circumstances, had subsequently abandoned the idea. It can nevertheless be seen that Eliskases would have made a worthy challenger; he was one of very few masters and certainly the only Austrian to have beaten three world champions (Capablanca, Euwe and Fischer). Indeed, he had a plus score against Euwe (3-2), and even scores against Capablanca (2-2) and Fischer (1-1). Eliskases' critics may have pointed to the impressive credentials of Keres, his main rival, but the Estonian too had twice fallen victim to Eliskases in tournament play. He carried on playing through the 1950s, 60s and even into the 70s but his results were less convincing. He married the Argentinian MarÃa Esther Almeda in 1954 and had a son, Carlos Enrico. In 1976 he and his wife ventured back to the Austrian Tyrol, but the couple failed to settle and returned to CÃ³rdoba. Eliskases was also a strong correspondence player and his notes showed that he scored over 75% during his most active period. He was considered an expert in the endgame - in fact it was at Semmering in 1937, that he outplayed and beat Capablanca in the endgame phase, despite this being a major forte of the Cuban ex-world champion. Dutch grandmaster Hans Ree observes that Eliskases is one of only four players (Keres, Reshevsky, and Euwe being the others) to beat both Capablanca and Fischer.
Wrappers age darken at edges, edge wear with some chips, spine chipped, some underlining else good to very good.