The fate of famous old chess Grandmasters is not always a happy one, so it is heartwarming to learn of the rededication of the grave of Polish-born Grandmaster Johannes Zukertort (1842-1888).
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Dr Marek Stella-Sawicki, Chairman of the Polish Heritage Society and English GM Stuart Conquest, the previously forgotten and overgrown grave of Johannes Zukertort in Brompton Cemetery in London was given a handsome new headstone.
On 26 June the grave was rededicated in a ceremony conducted by Rt. Rev. Walter Jagucki, Bishop Emeritus of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain, and Father Wladyslaw Wyszowacki, Rector of the Polish Catholic parish of Balham in south-west London.
At last there is a fitting memorial for this great player of the 19th Century who passed away at the young age of 45.
Zukertort was a leading chess player in the 1870s and 1880s, his biggest triumph being victory at the London tournament of 1883, ahead of all the best players in the world, including Wilhelm Steinitz.
Zukertort lost an early lead to Wilhelm Steinitz in a match in 1886 which is generally recognized as the first official World Chess Championship match.
Zukertort settled in London in the 1870s and died there on 20 June 1888.
GM Stuart Conquest lays flowers at the new gravestone
The Rt. Rev. Walter Jagucki and Father Wladyslaw Wyszowacki conduct the rededication
The new headstone for the great Johannes Zukertort. R.I.P.
Photos: Ray Morris-Hill. Zukertort Portrait: Wikipedia. Read more at John Saunders' chess blog.