Author: Victor A Charuchin (1932- )
Publisher: Schachfirma Fruth
276+ pages with portrait photograph, diagrams, tables, appendices and indices. Octavo (8 1/4" x 6") bound in original pictorial boards. First edition.
Rudolf Charousek (1873-1900) was a Czech born Hungarian chess player. One of the top ten players in the world during the 1890s, he had a short career, dying at the age of 26 from tuberculosis. Reuben Fine wrote of him "Playing over his early games is like reading Keats's poetry: you cannot help feeling a grievous, oppressive sense of loss, of promise unfulfilled". The games of Charousek's student period only differ little from the ones of his schooldays. As before he only concentrated on his opponent's king and attacked it. His fantastic combinations demonstrate that his tactical talent had reached the highest level. But there were also endgames. And even uncomplicated endings panicked Rudolf. He drew two won endgames in his match with Makovetz. It was time to work at the technical stages of the game and especially his endgame skills needed substantial improvement. In the September and the October of 1895 Charousek played a lot of games at the Budapest Chess Club; mainly with Makovetz and Maroczy. Makovetz was the weakest and Maroczy the strongest of this triumvirate. A match had to be staged in order to determine the strongest.
In July and August 1896, in the surroundings of the Bavarian exposition, a grand tournament of the strongest chess players in the world was planned in the home town of Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch, Nuremberg. The organizers had worked perfectly: A fantastic tournament site (the "Club Museum"), fantastic prices (3000 marks and a huge silver trophy for the winner, 2000 marks for the second place...) and finally fantastic names could be presented to the public. Almost all of the chess greats of that time should participate: Pillsbury, Showalter and Steinitz from America; Schiffers and Chigorin from Russia; Burn and Blackburne from England; Em. Lasker, Schallopp, Tarrasch and Walbrodt from Germany; Albin, Marco, Maroczy, Porges and Schlechter from Austria-Hungary; Janowski and Winawer from the today so-called Poland. All of Maroczy's attempts to make Charousek's participation in the masters' tournament possible were rejected. In the end Rudolf was accepted as the first reserve. And because the Englishman Bird could not participate Charousek was officially invited to play in the tournament. Emanuel Lasker was the winner of the tournament (13.5 points out of 18 games). A powerful finish enabled Maroczy to take the second prize (12.5 points), the sensation of the tournament ! Pillsbury and Tarrasch with 12 points shared ranks three and four. Charousek was placed twelfth. 8.5 points were a good result for a player making his international début and additionally he received a chess book as a prize.
Corners bumped, light edge wear else very good.