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Tartakower, Saviely

Saviely Tartakower (1887-1956) was a Grandmaster from France (1950) who played for Poland in six consecutive Olympiads although he never lived there nor could speak the language (he could speak Russian, German, French, and English, and knew Latin and Greek).  He once lost five games in a row and was asked why.  He replied, "I had a toothache during the first game.  In the second game I had a headache.  In the third game it was an attack of rheumatism.  In the fourth game, I wasn't feeling well.  And in the fifth game?  Well, must one have to win every game?"  He received a Doctor of Law degree in 1909. During World War I he was a Lieutenant in the Austrian army and was shot in the stomach.  During World War II he changed his name and was a Lieutenant (Lt. Georges Cartier) in the Free French Army, serving under de Gaulle.  In 1929 he gave the first simultaneous chess exhibition on an airplane.

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