Dadian and Schiffers Fall Out



On the introduction to my pages on Prince Dadian of Mingrelia, I tries to sum up his historical interest:


"Prince Andre Dadian of Mingrelia lived from 1850 to 1910. His chess career, such as it was, began around 1867. While there are only a very limited number of recorded games, several made it into prestigious chess publications and were annotated by such men as Steinitz and Tschigorin. Some of his recorded games teetered on brilliant; some were wild and undaunted; all of them deviously ingenious. Not just a player, Prince Dadian helped sponsor tournaments, most notably in Monte Carlo. Yet rumors and insinuations of irregularities plagued him. Though nothing has ever been proven definitively, he has been accused of creating some of his games, or of having them created, beforehand and paying his opponents to follow the script. Much of the criticism was possibly muted and diffused by the media which was the recipient of Dadian's generosity. But things reached a head at the 1903 tournament at Monte Carlo where Prince Dadian and Mikhail Tschigorin had an altercation."


While it seems fairly certain that Dadian greased some palms to have games of his published in chess columns, there seems to be little evidence that he ever engineered any of his games.  Any doubt about his creativity should be dispelled by the factual recounting of his brief falling out with Emanuel Schiffers.


It was during a party that Dadian was throwing for the participants of the All-Russian tournament in 1903. Dadian and Schiffers were playing against two tournament players, Lebedew and Jurewitsch in a consultation games. Everything was going fine until move nine.  Dadian proposed what Schiffers believed to be a ridiculous move. But Dadian wasn't used to being contradicted and insisted on the move. Schiffers refused to participate any longer. So Dadian continued on his own, producing this remarkable brilliancy.

(notes are in the move list)