Johannes Zukertort


Johannes Zukertort

Infobox chess player
playername=Johannes Zukertort


caption=Zukertort, early 1880s
birthname=Johannes Hermann Zukertort
country= POL flagicon|German Empire German Empire
GBR
datebirth=birth date|1842|9|7
placebirth=Lublin, Congress Poland
datedeath=death date and age|1888|6|20|1842|9|7
placedeath=London, England
title=
worldchampion=
womensworldchampion=
rating=
peakrating=

Johannes Hermann Zukertort (7 September 1842 – 20 June 1888) was a leading chess master of German-Polish-Jewish origin. He was the "world number two" for most of the 1870s and 1880s behind Wilhelm Steinitz, who won both of the matches they played (1872 and 1886). Their 1886 contest is often described as the first recognized World Chess Championship match, but it simply resolved competing claims to a title that was already in use.

Zukertort filled his relatively short life with a wide range of other achievements as a soldier, musician, linguist, journalist and political activist.

Early life and non-chess achievements

Zukertort was born 7 September, 1842 in Lublin, Congress Poland. His father was a Christian Protestant missionary of Jewish origin. The Christian mission among the Jewish population in Russian-occupied Poland was considered an illegal activity. Therefore, the Zukertort family emigrated to Prussia. In 1861, he enrolled at the University of Breslau to study medicine; he later claimed that he completed his degree, but this has been disputed. In any case he met Adolf Anderssen while in Breslau and fell in love with chess.

This new passion did not prevent Zukertort from distinguishing himself in other ways. He became fluent in a wide range of languages (perhaps as many as 14). He fought for Prussia against Austria, Denmark, and France; was once left for dead on the battlefield; and was decorated for gallantry 9 times; and he was noted as a swordsman and marksman. He was an accomplished pianist and, for a while, a music critic. He even found time for political activity, as editor of a political paper, a writer for Bismark's newspaper, the "Allgemeine Zeitung", and as a leading spokesman for prison reform.

Chess career

In Breslau Zukertort met the leading chess player Adolf Anderssen and studied with him. Among many other notable matches he played with Anderssen, he defeated him in 1866, lost in 1868 by a score of eight wins, three losses, one draw, and finally defeated him convincingly (5-2; no draws) in a match in 1871. cite web | url=http://www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/lab/7378/andersse.htm | title=Bill Wall's Chess Master Profiles: Adolf Anderssen (1818-1879) ] cite web | url=http://www.endgame.nl/match.htm | title=Chess Matches: from Lopez to Kramnik ] In 1867 he moved to Berlin and in 1872 to London. In that year, he played Wilhelm Steinitz in London, losing 9-3 (7 losses, 1 win, 4 draws).

Although Zukertort lost both his matches against Steinitz, he proved that he was superior to other opponents throughout the late 1870s and early 1880s. cite web | url=http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/PlayerProfile.asp?Params=199510SSSSS3S147051000000111000000000036010100 | title=Chessmetrics Player Profile: Johannes Zukertort ] During this period top-class tournaments were rare and Zukertort's best performances were mostly in matches, notably against Anderssen in 1871 and Joseph Henry Blackburne in 1881 (6 wins, 2 losses, 5 draws). cite web | url=http://www.chessarch.com/excavations/0010_bla_zuk/1881blzu.shtml | title=The Blackburne-Zukertort Match,London 1881 ] Nonetheless Zukertort was one of the most successful tournament players of his time: 3rd behind Steinitz and Blackburne at London, 1872; 1st at Cologne and 2nd at Leipzig in 1877; tied for 1st with Simon Winawer at the Paris International Chess Congress in 1878 and beat Winawer in the play-off; 2nd at Berlin in 1881, behind Blackburne; tied for 4th at Vienna in 1882; 1st at London in 1883, 3 points ahead of Steinitz. cite web | url=http://www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/lab/7378/zuk.htm | title=Johannes Zukertort by Bill Wall ]

Zukertort's win in the 1883 London tournament was his most significant success, since: it was at that time the strongest tournament ever held; he won his games against most of the world's leading players, scoring 22/26; he finished 3 points ahead of Steinitz, who was second with 19/26.Mark Weeks' Chess Pages: cite web | url=http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/y3lon-ix.htm 1883 | title=1883 London Tournament] This tournament established that Steinitz and Zukertort were clearly the best two players in the world, and led to the World Chess Championship match between these two. ["The Centenary Match, Kasparov-Karpov III", Raymond Keene and David Goodman, Batsford 1986, p.9] At the time the match was not regarded as creating the title of "World Chess Champion" but rather as resolving conflicting claims to the title; the term "World Chess Champion" had already been applied to Howard Staunton and then to Paul Morphy in the 1850s. cite web | title=Early Uses of ‘World Chess Champion’ | url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/champion.html | author=Winter, E. ]

The 1886 World Chess Championship match lasted from 11 January to 29 March 1886. After building up a 4-1 lead Zukertort wilted, lost 4 of the last 5 games and lost the match by 12½-7½. cite web | url=http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/y6sz$wix.htm | title=World Chess Championship: 1886 Steinitz - Zukertort Title Match ]

After this defeat, Zukertort's health suffered and he was a greatly weakened player for the remaining two years of his life. Diagnoses of his ailments include rheumatism, coronary heart disease, kidney problems, and arteriosclerosis. His results after the 1886 match declined steeply: 7th at London and 3rd at Nottingham in 1886; 15th at Frankfurt and 4th at London in 1887; lost a match in 1887 against Blackburne (1 win, 5 losses, and 8 draws); 7th at London in 1888.

Poor health and lack of physical stamina appeared to be one of Zukertort's two long-term weaknesses: some commentators attributed to illness the severity of his defeat in the 1872 match against Steinitz; in the 1883 London tournament he won 22 of his first 23 games, enough to give him an uncatchable lead, but lost his last 3 games; and he initially built up a 4-1 lead against Steinitz in 1886, but then his performance sharply deteriorated. cite web | url=http://www.chesscorner.com/worldchamps/steinitz/steinitz.htm | title=World Chess Champions: Wilhelm Steinitz ] His other weakness was that, while no-one had greater attacking flair, Zukertort never approached Steinitz' understanding of positional play and Steinitz often out-maneuvered him fairly simply. cite book | author=Fine, R. | title=The World's Great Chess Games | year=1952 | publisher=Andre Deutsch (now as paperback from Dover) ]

Unlike the majority of attacking players, Zukertort preferred openings such as 1. c4 and 1. Nf3 that were closed or semi-closed and offered the possibility of transpositions - in fact in the early 1880s 1. Nf3 was known as "Zukertort’s Opening", 40 years before it became known as the Réti Opening. cite book | title=Transpo Tricks in Chess | author=Soltis, A. | publisher=Batsford | year=2007 | isbn=0713490519 See review at cite web | url=http://www.chessville.com/reviews/TranspoTricks.htm | title=Transpo Tricks in Chess - review | publisher=chessville.com ]

In his prime Zukertort also excelled at playing while blindfolded. In 1876, he played sixteen games simultaneously while blindfolded, winning twelve and losing only one.

Later life

Zukertort died 20 June, 1888, in London from a cerebral hemorrhage after playing a game in a tournament Simpson's Divan, which he was leading at the time. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery in London.

Trivia

It is said that Steinitz and Zukertort, present at the same dinner party, both rose in response to a toast to the "greatest chess-player in the world". Research by Edward G. Winter suggests that this story has been embellished. [ [http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter22.html Chess Notes 4360] , by Edward G. Winter, 13 May 2006]

Notable chess games

* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1152032 Johannes Zukertort vs NN, Leipzig - 1877, Vienna Game: Vienna Gambit (C26), 1-0] White sacrifices the queen and hunts the black king to death. In the final position, "17. Bf4 mate" is unavoidable.
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1001802 Mikhail Chigorin vs Johannes Zukertort, Tnmt, London 1883, Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio de Janeiro Variation (C67), 0-1] Two strong central pawns against the white king
* [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1001854 Zukertort's Immortal: Johannes Zukertort vs Joseph Henry Blackburne, London, 1883] Zukertort sacrifices his Queen but Blackburne cannot accept, Zukertort sacrifices a rook which Blackburne declines, soon Zukertort forces Blackburne to take the rook and resign 3 moves later. Steinitz described this as "one of the most brilliant games on record."

References

External links

*


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Johannes Zukertort — Johannes Hermann Zukertort est un phénomène du monde échiquéen, né le 7 septembre 1842 à Lublin et décédé le 20 juin 1888 à Londres. Cet homme, qui devint tout d abord docteur en médecine, était un …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Johannes Zukertort — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • Johannes Zukertort — Zukertort in den 1880er Jahren Johannes Hermann Zukertort (* 7. September 1842 in Lublin; † 20. Juni 1888 in London) war ein polnisch deutscher Schachmeister. Als Berufsspieler verbrachte er den Großteil seiner Karriere in England. Im Jahr 1886… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johannes Hermann Zukertort — Johannes Zukertort Johannes Zukertort Johannes Hermann Zukertort est un phénomène du monde échiquéen, né le 7 septembre 1842 à Lublin et décédé le 20 juin 1888 à Londres. Cet homme, qui devint tout d abord docteur en …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ZUKERTORT, JOHANNES — (1842–1888), chess grandmaster, chiefly in Britain. Zukertort was born in Lublin in 1842. He shrouded his early life in obscurity, but he was probably the son of a Jew who had been converted to Protestantism and acted as a conversionist… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Johannes Metger — (15 December 1850, Groothusen 24 January 1926, Kiel) was a German chess master.He tied for 2nd 4th at Cologne 1877 (the 11th WDSB Congress, Johannes Zukertort won), took 9th at Leipzig 1877 (the 3rd MDSB Congress, Louis Paulsen won), took 7th at… …   Wikipedia

  • Johannes Hermann Zukertort — Zukertort in den 1880er Jahren Johannes Hermann Zukertort (* 7. September 1842 in Lublin, Russisches Kaiserreich ; † 20. Juni 1888 in London) war ein polnisch deutscher Schachmeister. Als Berufsspieler verbrachte er den Großteil seiner… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zukertort - Blackburne, London 1883 — Zukertort – Blackburne, London 1883 ist eine der faszinierendsten und schönsten Schachpartien in der Geschichte des Schachs. Sie lenkte durch die tiefe Spielanlage ihres Gewinners, Johannes Hermann Zukertort, die Aufmerksamkeit von Generationen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zukertort – Blackburne, London 1883 — ist eine der faszinierendsten und schönsten Schachpartien in der Geschichte des Schachs. Sie lenkte durch die tiefe Spielanlage ihres Gewinners, Johannes Hermann Zukertort, die Aufmerksamkeit von Generationen von Schachspielern auf sich. Auch der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zukertort — – Blackburne, London 1883 ist eine der faszinierendsten und schönsten Schachpartien in der Geschichte des Schachs. Sie lenkte durch die tiefe Spielanlage ihres Gewinners, Johannes Hermann Zukertort, die Aufmerksamkeit von Generationen von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.