Neumann, Hirschfeld and Suhle

19th Century Berlin Chess Biographies with 711 Games

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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 Dr. Michael Negele
Format: library binding (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 384
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7379-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3385-5
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”—
  • “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
  • “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.

Additional information

Additional information


Limited Hardcover Edition