The Zurich Chess Club, 1809–2009

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About the Book

Founded in 1809, the Zurich Chess Club is the world’s oldest chess organization. Throughout its two centuries of existence it has been a meeting point for many remarkable personalities in the fields of art, literature, science, economy, politics and chess. This historical text examines how the club, a driving force behind Swiss chess, also became a major player on the international chess scene. Topics covered include the storied development of the club, its outstanding members and its memorable activities. Its historical tournaments are covered in-depth, including such competitions as those held in 1934 (Lasker, Alekhine, Euwe), 1953 (Smyslov, Bronstein, Reshevsky) and 1959 (Tal, Fischer, Keres). The tournament history culminates in the spectacular bicentenary celebrations in summer 2009, featuring the world champions Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand and Topalov.

About the Author(s)

Richard Forster holds a doctorate in computational linguistics and the international master title in chess. He works as a technical writer in information technology and is also the chess columnist of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He has participated in four chess Olympiads, and in 2010 he won third prize in the strongest Swiss championship to date, scoring his second grandmaster norm. He is the co-editor of the monumental German monograph Emanuel Lasker: Denker, Weltenbürger, Schachweltmeister (Exzelsior Verlag, 2009).

Bibliographic Details

Richard Forster
Format: library binding (7 x 10)
Pages: 448
Bibliographic Info: 280 photos, 361 diagrams (349 games and positions), 68 tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6064-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Foreword by Vladimir Kramnik 1

Preface 3

Part I: History of the Zurich Chess Club

1. The Old Zurich Chess Club (1809–1842) 7

2. Reformation and Growth (1842–1887) 18

3. Two Prominent Presidents (1887–1922) 33

4. Change (1922–1953) 49

5. The Nagler Era (1953–1985) 71

6. Departing for New Shores (1985–2009) 90

Part II: Biographical Sketches of Notable Members 99

Part III: Selected Games and Compositions Games 159

Compositions 242

Part IV: Zurich Chess Tournaments

Baden 1825—Switzerland’s First Chess Tournament 251

Eastern Switzerland Chess Tournaments 1868–1879 253

Künstlergütli Tournament 1887 256

Swiss Championship 1889 258

    The Swiss System 259

Swiss Championship 1895 262

Swiss Championship 1903 263

Swiss Championship 1909 265

Regional Tournament 1918 268

Swiss Championship 1925 269

    The FIDE Congress 271

International Swiss Championship 1934 273

Easter Tournament 1936 282

Fritz Widmann Memorial 1938 284

Match Johner vs. Grob 1940 285

Swiss Extra Championship 1941-42 286

Training Tournament 1946 288

Clare Benedict Nations Cups 1952–1979 289

International Swiss Championship 1952 301

World Championship Candidates’ Tournament 1953 308

Clare Benedict Grandmasters Tournament 1954 315

Jubilee Tournament 1959 319

Grandmasters Tournament 1961 330

Frascati Seniors Tournament 1962 334

Seniors Tournament 1966 335

Jubilee Tournament 1969 337

Fourth Agnes Litzenberger Young Masters Tournament 1970 339

International Swiss Championship 1975 340

Dr. Robert Blass Memorial 1979 345

Jubilee Tournament 1984 348

Hans Johner Memorial 1989 356

Young Masters Tournament 1991 357

Alois Nagler Memorial 1998 358

Jules Ehrat Memorial 1999 363

Korchnoi Birthday Rapid Tournament 2001 367

Chess Champions Day 2006 370

Jubilee Open Tournament 2009 372

World Champions Simultaneous Exhibition and Rapid Tournament 2009 385

Appendix A. Honor Role

Club Presidents 399

Honorary Members 399

Club Champions 400

Appendix B. Statistics and Achievements

Simultaneous Exhibitions 402

Club Matches 406

Swiss Team Championship 408

Other Team Events 409

Notes 411

Bibliography 419

Index 429

Book Reviews & Awards

“the superbly researched The Zurich Chess Club, 1809–2009 offers something for everyone…this book can be recommended without reservation to all lovers of chess literature”—IM John Donaldson (JeremySilman.com); “this is a dream book…beautiful photos…no recent book has brought this reviewer more pleasure”—British Chess Magazine.