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 specialist in artificial intelligence. He was chess columnist of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung for over 20 years and has participated in six chess Olympiads.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Forster

Foreword by Vladimir Kramnik

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

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