Lesser Known Games of Prince Dadian
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I have some games of Prince Andrei Dadiani of Mingrelia that one usually can't find in any database. I had published these elsewhere, but wanted to put them all in one place.
First a few words about Prince Dadian.
Today most people believe that Prince Dadian's "masterpieces" were staged, either pre-arranged or simply bought and paid for. During Dadian's life this accusation wasn't so publicly accepted nor expressed, but it's not clear whether this was so out of fear of reprisal or because it was slanderous and simply wasn't true. The public's opinions of Dadian was colored by the press, usually comprised of poor chess writers, who benefited from his "generosity." It's equally true that the ones who gave life to the accusation had personal conflicts with Dadian. So the problem is how to ascertain the truth. First it must be pointed out that there were other less damning but more provable accusations. Dadian was criticized for only sending in his more brilliant wins for publication without mentioning his losses, giving the false impression that he seldom lost or that his opponent was less adept. Secondly, some of his "brilliant" games were shown to be less sound after careful analysis.
One can also refer an article I wrote called Dadian, a Different Persective.
The following 2 games I found in Steinitz' "International Chess Magazine," Feb. and April, 1891. Since he only mentioned that the games were recently played and had been sent to him via Numa Preti of "La Strategie," I assigned them the arbitrary, but reasonable year of 1890.
Another game against de Smitten from a different source and an earlier time, "Nuova Rivista degli Scacchi," August, 1880:
This de Smitten game came from the "BCM" in 1890.
The final game here with de Smitten I found reprinted from the NY "Tribune" in the "N. Otago Times" Sept. 20, 1892.
The maiden issue of the "British Chess Magazine," January 1881 informs us:
A game with Liselle can be viewed at chessgames.com. Chessgames.com lists it as 1882, but clearly it took place in 1880. We all have heard of Prince Matchabelli perfume (in fact the originator of the perfume line, Giorgi Machabeli, was himself a Georgian prince born in 1885), but I couldn't find much about the Prince Matchabelli above. However Dadian beat him in the tourney and then slaughtered him in a match.
David Gurgenidze, President of Georgian Chess Composition Association and Grandmaster for chess composition, who has a deep interest in Dadian, informed me:
Dadian's opponent in the first game was Prince Vasil Machabeli, Giorgi Machabeli's father. He was a lawyer and he hosted that 1880 tournament in his residence in St. Petersburg. I have 8 games between Machabeli and Dadiani in my collection. The picture above depicts Vasil Machabeli (right) and famous Georgian writer Ilia Chavchavadze playing chess. (St. Petersburg, 1873)
Below is a game between the two princes -
The "Nuova Rivista degli Scacchi," Aug. 1880 gave a game between Prince Andrei Dadian and Prince Gregorio Dadian. (Mr. Gurgenidze further infomed me that Grigol Dadian was Andria's uncle. He was a poet and general of the Russian army.)
The "BCM" reported in 1899
The "Deutsche Schachzeitung" gave essentially the same report from Schirmer but with the added information:
Schirmer had the opportunity to test himself against Prince Dadian two years earlier. This game and the next one both came fron the April 1899 issue of the "Nuova Rivista degli Scacchi" :
Here is a game between Prince Dadian and Michael Sicard. I had previously published another game between the two from the same time with annotations by Tschigorin.
Chessgames.com lists one short game between Prince Dadian and F. I. Duz-Chotimirsky. Duz-Chotimirsky, the Kiev champion in 1900, 1902, 1903 and 1906, is sometimes credited with teaching Alekhine chess. Although he and Prince Dadian had some association, any friendliness ended after Prince Dadian lost a match to Duz-Chotimirsky, but only offered for publication a game he, Dadian, had won, but none that Duz-Chotimirsky had won. (On this page there's a photo from the 2nd All-Russian contest, including Duz-Chotimirsky and Tschigorin, and on this page excerpts for Duz-Chotimirsky's essay, "Memories of Tschigorin.")
from Duz-Chotimirsky's memoirs:
"Dadian as a general could not participate in official games, therefore he invited strong players to his home and played with them there. Personally I, a 23-year old fellow, was often there, and stayed to have dinner. Once we played a match of 12 games from which Dadian won only 3, losing the rest. In one game, it is true, he won beautifully. Dadian had the habit of sending a good game with his own notes to Paris, to the journal "La Strategie", where he had many friends. This game he won was, of course, immediately sent there. The magazine soon published it. I was outraged. The Mingrelian Prince himself was also dissatisfied. " I did not send it in this form ", - he said. Friends did not give me any rest, insisting that I also have published the most beautiful game won by me from the Prince in the newspaper. And so that game appeared in the press …"
I posted another win by Prince Dadian over Duz-Chotimirsky, annotated by Tschigorin, HERE -
Below is a game between Dadian and Duz-Chotimirsky, played in 1902, won by Duz-Chotimirsky originally published in the "Kievskaya Gazeta." (found by WilhelmThe2nd ).
Prince Dadian played and won a 5-game match with Albert Clerc, a middle-weight master, in Paris, 1882.
Below are games between Prince Dadian and a variety of amateurs:
And a game at Knight-odds-
While the game between Prince Dadian and M. Bitcham is very well known, the "BCM" of Nov.1897 published a second, seldom seen game in the same article. I decided to replicate the entire article below (along with annotations by Rev. Charles E. Ranken):
WE wonder how many of our readers know where Mingrelia is. It is a province of Asiatic Russia, lying between the chain of the Caucasus and the Black Sea. It has, we believe, a language of its own, and the Dadian or Prince, we understand, is the titular ruler. Obscure though his country may be, the name of the Prince is known throughout the chess world as that of an original and brilliant player. He has been good enough to send us a selection of his games, which from time to time, as space permits, we shall have much pleasure in publishing. We have also received from a correspondent some account of his Most Serene Highness' life, from which we gather the following particulars. He was born at Zondidi, the capital of Mingrelia, and from infancy displayed an extraordinary liking for various branches of science. His family used to spend the winters at Paris, and from the age of 14 the Prince began to write good French verse, and as an exercise to compose fictitious tales which astonished his Professors. Endowed with a powerful memory, he can recite an immense quantity of poetry; he speaks six modern languages, and his erudition is known throughout Europe. He has played chess from his boyhood, and at Vienna, in 1882, after the banquet which took place at the close of the International Tourney there, he played a blindfold game with such accuracy that the masters who were present applauded him heartily. Nevertheless, on account of his other occupations the Prince rarely plays chess, and is far from having the practice of other masters. His end-games are very beautiful, and will remain as chéf-d'oeuvres in the literature of chess.
Several more games:
Another game between Prince Dadian and Michael Sicard can be found above
Some games played by Prince Dadian in consultation.