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Carl Schlechter

Carl Schlechter
Country  Austria
Born March 2, 1874(1874-03-02)
Died December 27, 1918 (aged 44)

Carl Schlechter (March 2, 1874 - December 27, 1918) was a leading Austrian chess master and theoretician at the turn of the 20th century. He is best known for drawing a World Chess Championship match with Emanuel Lasker.


[edit] Early life

Schlechter was born into a Catholic family in Vienna. He is sometimes deemed to be Jewish,[1][2][3][4] though others dispute this.[5] He began playing chess at the age of 13. His first and only teacher was an Austria-Hungarian chess problemist, Dr. Samuel Gold.

From 1893 onwards he played in over 50 international chess tournaments. He won or shared first at Munich 1900 (the 12th DSB Congress), Coburg 1904 (the 14th DSB Congress), Ostend 1906, Stockholm 1906, in the Vienna 1908 chess tournament, in the Prague 1908 chess tournament, in the Hamburg 1910 chess tournament (the 17th DSB Congress), and thrice in the Trebitsch Memorial in Vienna (1911, 1912, 1913).

He played several matches; drew with Georg Marco (+0 -0 =10) in 1893, drew with Marco and Adolf Zinkl, both (+4 -4 =3) in 1894, drew with Dawid Janowski (+2 -2 =3) in 1896, drew with Simon Alapin (+1 -1 =4) in 1899, beat Janowski (+6 -1 =3) in 1902, drew with Richard Teichmann (+1 -1 =1) in 1904, and drew with Siegbert Tarrasch (+3 -3 =10) in 1911.

[edit] Lasker-Schlechter match

In 1910 Schlechter played a match against Emanuel Lasker for the World Chess Championship (in Vienna and Berlin). It is now generally accepted that Schlechter needed to score +2 win the match and thus he needed to win the tenth game. But, in the tenth game, tragedy struck: after first achieving a won game, he blundered into a clearly drawn position, and then blundered again which led to the loss of the game for him. The match ended tied at 5-5 (+1 -1 =8) and Lasker retained his title. For details on the match, see World Chess Championship 1910 (Lasker-Schlechter). In any case, Schlechter distinguished himself by being the first person in 16 years to seriously threaten to claim Lasker's world title.

[edit] Later life

During World War I, he thrice won Trebitsch Memorial in Vienna. In the last year of his life, he took third in Vienna, lost a match to Akiba Rubinstein (+1 -2 =3), took second place in Berlin (Quadrangular, Milan Vidmar won), tied for third place in Kaschau, and took third place in Berlin (Quadrangular, Emanuel Lasker won). Schlechter died of pneumonia and starvation on 27 December 1918, and was buried in Budapest on 31 December 1918.[6]

[edit] Assessment

The Carl Schlechter'Arthur Kaufmann'Hugo Fähndrich trio propagated the Viennese chess school, founded by Max Weiss in the 19th century.

Schlechter prepared the eighth and final edition of the famous Handbuch des Schachspiels openings treatise. Published in eleven parts between 1912 and 1916, it totaled 1,040 pages and included contributions by Rudolf Spielmann, Siegbert Tarrasch, and Richard Teichmann. International Master William Hartston called it "a superb work, perhaps the last to encase successfully the whole of chess knowledge within a single volume."[7]

He was a typical example of a gentleman chess player of old, offering courteous draws to opponents who felt unwell. If his opponent arrived late for a game, Schlechter would inconspicuously subtract an equal amount of time from his own clock. He also mentored many of his rivals, including Old�ich Duras.

[edit] List of opening variations named after Schlechter

There are several "Schlechter Variations" in the chess openings:[8]

  • Schlechter Gambit of the Bird's Opening 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6
  • Schlechter Variation of the French Defence 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3
  • Schlechter Variation of the Slav Defence 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 (or via a Grünfeld move-order, 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 c6)
  • Schlechter Variation of the Danish Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.d4 dxe5 3.c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 d5

[edit] Notable chess games

[edit] References

  1. ^ Harold U. Ribalow & Meir Z. Ribalow, The Great Jewish Chess Champions
  2. ^ Joseph Jacobs & A. Porter, Chess
  3. ^ 10 Great Jewish Chess Masters
  4. ^ Gustavo Daniel Perednik, Judaism and Chess
  5. ^ Chess and Jews, Edward Winter, 2007
  6. ^ Verkhovsky, Leonid Solomonovich (1984). Karl Schlechter. Fizkultura i sport. pp. 57 (Russian edition). 
  7. ^ Hartston, William (1985). The Kings of Chess. Harper & Row. pp. 87. ISBN 0-06-015358-X. 
  8. ^ Bill Wall's list of chess opening names

[edit] External links

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