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Sultan Khan, Mir

Mir Sultan Khan (1905-1966) was the winner of the All-Indian championship and in five years he was the winner of the Championship of the British Empire three times and played on top board for England in three Olympiads.   He was born in Mittha (Pinjab).  He was illiterate and had to learn the rules of chess in Europe, which were different than Eastern chess (pawns could only move one square at a time, for example). He couldn't speak English and had to have an attendant write down his score.  He was a servant in the household of Colonel Umar Hayat Khan Tiwano, an army officer in charge of the horses for King George V.  He defeated Capablanca, Nimzovich, Rubinstein and other top players.  He returned to India with his master, living the rest of his life as a farmer.  He died of tuberculosis in Pakistan.  In 1933 the U.S. chess team from the Olympiad was invited to the home of Sultan Khan's master in London.  Sultan Khan was required to wait on everyone as a servant the entire evening.  Sultan Khan was invited to play at Moscow 1936, but was too poor to attend.

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