Samuel Lipschütz

A Life in Chess

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About the Book

Samuel Lipschütz was born in Hungary in 1863 and emigrated to New York in 1880. He joined the Manhattan and New York chess clubs, and soon became champion of the latter, representing it at the British Chess Association Congress in London in 1886. Naturalized in 1888, he was the highest-placed American in the Sixth American Chess Congress the following year. In 1892 he defeated Jackson Showalter to become American champion. Suffering from tuberculosis in 1895, he lost a championship match to Showalter. Searching for a cure, he went to Germany in 1904 and died there late the following year. This book gives an account of Lipschütz’s chess career, life and milieu and addresses questions surrounding his first name, his periods away from New York and misconceptions concerning the American championship. There are 249 games included.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Davies has played club chess for several decades. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Bibliographic Details

Stephen Davies

Format: library binding (7 x 10)
Pages: 408
Bibliographic Info: 42 illustrations, 249 games, appendices, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9596-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1885-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Young Samuel 5
2. Club Champion 16
3. Second British Chess Association Congress, London, 1886 27
4. State Champion 46
5. Sixth American Chess Congress, New York, 1889 88
6. The Active Player 143
7. An Excursion to the Midwest 154
8. “Lipschütz, the Chess Player” 171
9. American Champion 196
10. The Health Tourist 230
11. Return to New York 247
12. Return Match with Showalter 261
13. The Past Master 281
14. The Staats-Zeitung Cup 310
15. Twilight 337
16. Endgame 362
Appendix A. Samuel Lipschütz’s Chess Writing 369
Appendix B. Samuel Lipschütz’s Match and Tournament Record 374
Appendix C. The Chess Games of Philip Lipschütz 376
Appendix D. Solutions to Problems 380
Bibliography 382
Index of Opponents 387
Index of Opening—ECO Codess 390
General Index 391

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Stephen Davies wrote a wonderful and incredibly informative book about an interesting chessplayer and his time”—Chess News
  • “a very good chess book, valuable collectors’ item and detailed history…beautifully printed…history at its best”—British Chess Magazine
  • “first-rate work”—Chess Life
  • “first rate”—
  • “one of the finest chess biographies around. The book is very accurate. It is one of the first books to examine the struggle for hegemony in American chess that took place after Mackenzies’s death in 1891, and Davies does it with great skill”—Kingpin Chess Magazine
  • “epitomizes the expression ‘labour of love’…meticulously researched…heartily recommended…remarkable detailed…valuable”—50 Moves Magazine
  • “a gem”—Chess Express
  • “this handsomely produced book is the first comprehensive look at Lipschutz…. Davies has uncovered much new material in this work…fills an important gap in chess literature and makes for interesting reading for those interested in American chess history pre–1900. Highly recommended”—IM John Donaldson (
  • “amazing…a great discovery of an entertaining player”—Huffington Post