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Nimzovich, Aron

Aron Nimzovich (1886-1935) was the founder of the hypermodern movement in chess and author of My System.  He would stand on his head during chess events and did exercises in the tournament room.  After losing a game against Saemisch in Berlin, he jumped up on the table and yelled, "Why must I lost to this idiot?"   He had business cards printed which read, 'A. Nimzovich: Candidate for the World Championship of Chess and Crown Prince of the Chess World."   He once broke a leg while playing chess.  He twisted his leg around the leg of his chair and then, having made his move, leaped up, only to crash to the floor in pain with a broken leg.  In 1927, Nimzovich complained to tournament director Maroczy that Vidmar (Nimzovich’s best friend) had just pulled out some cigars and put it on the chess table.  Maroczy asked why Nimzovich was so upset, since Vidmar had not started smoking anything.  Nimzovich replied, “Yes, but the threat is more important than the execution.”  He died of cancer at the age of 49.  Some sources say that he died of syphilis, like Pillsbury.  He was Russian champion in 1914 and Nordic champion in 1924 and 1934.  In 1917, he was in the Baltic war zone and escaped force service by complaining that a fly was on his head.  He then made his way to Berlin and changed his first name to Arnold as a precaution against anti-Semitism.

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