A Remarkable Man

A Remarkable Man

kenytiger
Aug 6, 2008, 12:00 AM |
5 | Amazing Games

Johannes Zukertort (1842-1888), was a remarkable man. Born in Riga and educated in Germany, he was the all-time Renaissance man of chess. A linguist, he spoke eleven languages fluently and had, in addition, a working knowledge of Arabic, Turkish and Sanskrit. He was a phisician, with an M.D. from Breslau University in 1865 after studies in Chemistry and Physiology. He served as a phisician with the Prussian army through several campaigns, was a swordsman and a crack shot, and was decorated for gallantry. A fine pianist, he had studied with the renowned Ignaz Moscheles, the composer, conductor and teacher of Mendelssohn.

Zukertort learned chess late, at the age of eighteen, and then took lessons with Anderssen. His career went up fast. In 1871 he defeated Anderssen in a match and amazed everyone with his blinfold exhibitions (up to sixteen boards). He and Steinitz were automatic enemies, the world wasn't big enough for the both of them; these two chess titans developed a rivalry with historic proportions, they insulted each other in print and magnificent were their verbal battles.

Zukertort played one of his most famous games against Blackburne in London in 1883. White's 28.Qb4!! was so amazing that even Steinitz was impressed. "Really a glorious move," he wrote.

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