Neumann, Hirschfeld and Suhle

19th Century Berlin Chess Biographies with 711 Games

Paperback Edition


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About the Book

Around 1860 a wave of talented youth intensified the Berlin chess scene. Within a short time Berthold Suhle, Philipp Hirschfeld and Gustav Neumann ranked among the best players in the world. After a few years, Suhle went on to become an authority in ancient Greek, and Hirschfeld proved a successful businessman (while remaining a sparring partner of Johannes Hermann Zukertort). Neumann retained a fascination for the game and grew into one of the world’s strongest players. Despite their achievements little has been known about their lives and games. Drawing on a range of sources, the authors fill this gap, providing games with both old and new analyses. An introductory chapter on Berlin chess before 1860 and an appendix on Bernhard von Guretzky-Cornitz complete the book.

About the Author(s)

Historian Hans Renette is FIDE master in chess (with 2 IM norms). He lives in Bierbeek, Belgium.

Fabrizio Zavatarelli is a teacher of applied mathematics and the author of several articles concerning chess history. He lives in Milan, Italy.

Bibliographic Details

Hans Renette and Fabrizio Zavatarelli

Foreword by Michael Negele

Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 384
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2020 [2018]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7944-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Michael Negele  1
Introduction  3
A tale of cities  3
The genesis of this book  3
Two personal notes  3
General notes  4
Thanks to  4

Part I. Chess in Berlin Until 1860  5
Philidor’s stay  6
Deschapelles’ two visits  6
The Schachclub  7
Julius Mendheim  8
The Berliner Schachgesellschaft  9
Ludwig Bledow  13
The Pleiades  16
Carl Mayet  17
Wilhelm Hanstein  18
Bernhard Horwitz  19
Tassilo von der Lasa  20
Paul Bilguer  22
Karl Schorn  24
After the Pleiades  24
The second Berlin school  26

Part II. Carl Friedrich Berthold Suhle  27
Private and professional life  28
Chess life: A promising youngster (1858–spring 1859)  29
Out of Bonn (spring–summer 1859)  37
The Berlin years commence (summer 1859–1860)  50
The last playing years (1862–1869)  56

Part III. Philipp Martin Hirschfeld  75
Private and professional life  76
Chess life and games  78
The beginning (1859–1860)  79
The Schachzeitung (1861–autumn 1863)  88
Traveling (December 1863–1871)  106
A London resident (1872–1891)  125
Definitively back in Berlin (1892–1894)  154

Part IV. Gustav Richard Ludwig Neumann  157
Introduction  158
Youth (1838–1860)  159
A first visit to the Berliner Schachgesellschaft  162
Anderssen in Berlin (July 1860)  164
Student years (1860–1863)  165
A fresh start (September 1863–April 1864)  170
A visit to Breslau (April 1864)  182
Paulsen’s visit to Berlin (May 1864)  187
Anderssen in Berlin (July 1864)  194
A bet of six months  199
The tournament of the Berliner Schachgesellschaft 1865  213
Anderssen’s visit (April 1865)  215
Summer chess  225
Elberfeld (August 1865)  232
The season 1865-1866  233
The tournament of the Berliner Schachgesellschaft 1866  236
Anderssen in Berlin (April 1866)  238
A cruel summer (July–August 1866)  248
A challenge  250
Last months in Berlin (September 1866–May 1867)  251
Paris (June–July 1867)  262
Three matches (July–August 1867)  277
Dundee (September 1867)  287
A controversy with Kolisch  298
Paris 1867–1868  299
Matches with Rosenthal (January–February 1869)  306
The final year in Paris (1869)  312
Breakdown  318
Back to Germany  321
Baden-Baden (July–August 1870)  323
Altona (July 1872)  336
Neumann’s purgatory and demise (1872–1881)  338

Appendix I: Bernhard von ­Guretzky-Cornitz  343
Private and professional life  343
Chess life, games and problems  343
Appendix II: Suhle’s Theoretical Contributions to Opening Theory  354
Appendix III: Texts by Suhle Not Concerning Himself  354
Appendix IV: Suhle’s Teaching Career  355
Appendix V: Hirschfeld’s Theoretical Contributions to Opening Theory  356
Appendix VI: Documents Related to Neumann  357

Bibliography  361
Monographs on other players  361
Tournament books  361
Anthologies  361
Textbooks and handbooks  361
Chess history and reference  362
Other books  362
Chess periodicals  363
Chess columns in periodicals  363
Databases  363
Websites  363

Players Index (to game numbers)  365
Index of Openings—Traditional Names (to game numbers)  367
Index of Openings—ECO Codes (to game numbers)  368
Annotators Index (to game numbers)  369
General Index (to page numbers)  370

Book Reviews & Awards

• “The two authors of this volume are both respected chess historians…[you] won’t be disappointed…outstanding historical research.”—British Chess News
• “Important…impressive variety of sources…a wonderful achievement”—American Chess Magazine
• “Renette and Zavatarelli have not only created wonderful written biographies on the players, but above all created an excellent coverage of a unique insight into Berlin chess life from 1830 until 1890. One of the most interesting written chessbooks of this time”—
• “Impressive…extremely interesting…An enthralling mix of social history and interesting and frequently obscure chess…A rich study of nineteenth-century chess…This book is a shining example of accurate and assiduous research on three intriguing chess masters, who deserve far greater recognition than they have thus far received…very highly recommended”—Kingpin Chess Magazine
• “Magnificent clothbound gem…Renette and Zavatarelli have done a remarkable amount of digging with all sorts of artifact reproductions. Chock full of gambits, it’s also a handbook of attacking chess amidst all the history. Lot’s of fun.”—ArcaMax Publishing
• “The book does a nice job of combining the chess culture of the area and time with players who best represented that era. The games, are lively and engaging…full of fun…an interesting and enjoyable read”—Mind’s Eye Press.