Die Immergrüne Partie, Part I

Sep 5, 2009, 7:26 AM |

Dr. Hermann von Gottschall (1862-1933) was a reputable German chessplayer. He also edited the German periodical Deutsche Schachzeitung from 1892-96 (having co-edited with Curt von Bardeleben from 1887-1891) and authored several books on chess, among which was his famous 1912 treatise on Adolf Anderssen, Adolf Anderssen, der Altmeister deutscher Schachspielkunst, Sein Leben und Schaffen.



Jean Dufresne was born in Berlin in 1829 on Valentine's Day. His father, Jacob Ephraim Dufresne, was a well-to-do Jewish merchant and Jean reaped all the benefits of a priveleged lifestyle, a good education and an easy life. But he was bright and seemed to possess a natural talent for chess. In 1848, Dufresne beat Daniel Harrwitz in an Evans Gambit (coincidentally, Harrwitz drew a match with Anderssen that same year). 



As a 21 year old law student, Dufresne joined the Berlin Chess Club were he met Adolf Anderssen. Throughout the years they played many games. Two years later, his father lost his fortune. Jean ended up in journalism and publishing. This was his bread and butter until he lost his hearing in 1874 and simply freelanced his writings. But during his stint in publishing he wrote Die Spiele des Calabresen Greco for Schachzeitung in 1857, a short story, Verlorne Seelen in 1860,  his Theoretisch-praktisches handbuch des schachspiels in 1863, Der praktische Schachmeister in 1865 and Philidoria: unterrichtsbriefe zur selbsterlernung des schachspieles in 1871.

Anderssen and Dufresne even collaborated on an important production:
"A most interesting work has just made its appearance in Germany, the joint production of Dufresne and Anderssen. It is entitled the Anthologis der Shochaufgoben, and without entering into any review of this important work for the present we may briefly state that the problems, 364 in number, are selected from the productions of the leading European masters. Besides a number of well-annotated games—a feature especially worth noticing—there are treatises by Professor Anderssen on the King's Knight's Gambit, the Evan's Gambit, and the Ruy Lopez."
     -The Chess player's magazine, Volume 2 By Johann Jacob Löwenthal, 1864

 Later, Dufresne published such works as his most famous Kleines Lehrbuch des Schachspiels in 1881, his Schachturnierbuch in 1884, Schachfibel;  oder Grundregeln des Schachspiels in 1888 and Neuester Leitfaden fyr Schachspieler in 1890.

Although Drufresne's relevance lies more in his writing than his chess-play, it should be noted that he did beat Anderssen in their informal match in 1868 with a score of 3½ - 2½.

The British Chess Magazine translated his obituary in 1893:
On April 13th, the well known chess master and author, Jean Dufresne, died at Berlin, after a long illness. He was born in 1829, and was an honorary member of the Berlin Club. After finishing his earlier education, he studied law and finance till 1852, at Berlin and Breslau ; but when his father had lost all his property he devoted himself to journalism, and finally, in 1874, was editor of the Berlin Post. Being compelled to give up this vocation by the complete loss of his hearing, he betook himself entirely to chess, and his love for it made him, though still young, one of the strongest Berlin players. He played a good deal with Anderssen, and for several years edited jointly with him the Berlin Schachzeitung. Among his numerous chess works the most important are the large Handbook of Chess, edited in common with Zukertort, and the " Kleine Lehrbuch des Schachspiels." Dufresne's name has become generally known through his editorship of a series of chess columns. The chess world loses in him a talented chess player and a most industrious man of letters.—[originally published in the Deutsche Schachzeitung ]

Jean Drufresne, who, in spite of his incredible catalogue of work, is best remembered for being on the losing side of Anderssen's Evergreen Game (Immergrüne Partie), is buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Berlin-Weißensee.

 Below is a glimpse of the Evergreen Game from the pages of Dr. Gottschall's great book: