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Szen, Joseph

Joseph Szen (1800-1857) was a Hungarian master born in Pesth in 1800.  He learned chess from his uncle.  He was an archivist for the city of Pesth.  He was given the nickname of the Hungarian Philidor.  In 1836, Szen beat La Bourdonnais with 13 wins and 12 losses, no draws in Paris.  La Bourdonnais gave odds of pawn and two moves.  In 1839, he founded the Budapest Chess Club.  In Berlin in 1839, Szen lost a match to Mayet with 2 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw.  Between 1842 and 1846, he headed a team of correspondence players that beat a Paris team with 2 wons and no losses.  The Hungarian team introduced the Hungarian Defense, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Be7.  In the 1851 London International tournament, Szen defeated W. Newham with two wins in the first round.  In the 2nd round, he and Adolf Anderssen agreed that the winner of the match between the two, if he eventually won first place, give 1/3 of his winnings to the loser.  Anderssen beat Szen in the second round with 4 wins and 2 losses.  In the 3rd round, Szen defeated Horwitz with 4 wins.  Anderssen took first place and paid Szen 1/3 of his winnings.  In the 4th round, Szen defeated Kennedy with 4 wins and 1 draw.  Szen took 5th place (behind Anderssen, Wyvill, Williams and Staunton).  In London in 1853, he lost a match with Daniel Harrwitz with 1 win, 3 losses, and 1 draw.  He died in Hungary on January 13, 1857.

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