Chess in 1910

By Bill Wall


In 1910, Jovanka Velimirovic, Jovanka (1910-1972) was born in Serbia.  She was Yugoslavia's first woman chess champion.  She is the mother of GM Dragoljub Velimirovic.


In 1910, Princeton played Penn State in a wireless chess match, which may be the first intercollegiate wireless chess match.


In 1910, the Zealandia was the first Australian owned ship to be fitted with wireless telegraphy.  Soon after Zealandia began operating across the Pacific, the wireless operator began engaging in a long-range chess match with the Union Line passenger steamer Makura as the two liners were crossing the Pacific in opposite directions.


On January 27, 1910, Fred Reinfeld (1910-1964) was born in New York.  He was an American master best known as a chess writer. He won the New York State Championship twice (Rome 1931 and Syracuse 1933) and played in several national level tournaments, but gradually abandoned play for writing. He tied for 1st with Sidney Norman Bernstein in the Manhattan Chess Club championship in 1942.  He was an editor for Chess Review. He wrote over 100 books on chess and other topics.

On January 29, 1910, Ernst Ludwig Klein (1910-1990) was born in Vienna.  He was British chess champion in 1951.


On February 3, 1910, Moshe Czerniak (1910-1984) was born in Warsaw.  He was awarded the IM title in 1952.   He emigrated to Palestine about 1934. He was Palestinian champion in 1936 and 1938 and played for the British Mandate of Palestine in the Olympiads at Warsaw (1935) and Buenos Aires (1939). He stayed in Argentina when the Second World War began and remained there until 1950. He then settled in Israel and was Israeli champion in 1955. He played for Israel in nine consecutive Olympiads from 1952-68.


On February 9, 1910, Eero Einar Böök (1910-1990) was born in Helsinki.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and an Onorary GM title in 1984. He won the Finnish Championship six times from 1931 to 1963 and he was also joint Nordic Champion in 1947. He was an engineer by profession.  Böök was the author of several books.


In Jan-Feb 1910, Lasker played Carl Schlechter in a match of 10 games. It was supposed to be a match of 30 games, but lack of funds kept it shorter. Lasker won 1 game (the 10th and final game), drew 8 games, and lost one game to tie the match. Schlechter needed only a draw in the last round to win the match. During that last game, he was winning, but eventually lost the game in 71 moves and the match. The match was held in Vienna and Berlin. Lasker received 1,000 marks for each game played. After the match, the public decided to call this match a world chess championship match. There is little evidence that Lasker considered this a world championship match where he would lose his title if he lost this short match.   No contract has ever been found to prove this was a world championship match.  The American Chess Bulletin of 1910 stated that the two players agreed to play a series of games, but the result would not affect the world championship title.  However, The New York Times reported that Lasker retained the title of chess champion of the world after the match.  It stated that Schlechter had challenged Lasker for the world championship title, and that the final game decided the championship.  If the game had been drawn, Schlechter would have been the world champion. (source: The New York Times, Feb 11, 1910)


On February 10, 1910, Mario Napolitano (1910-1995) was born in Acquaviva delle Fonto, Italy.  He finished tied for 2nd place with Harald Malmgren behind Cecil John Seddon Purdy in the 1st World Correspondence Chess Championshi (1950-1956).  He was awarded the Grandmaster in Correspondence Chess title in 19543.


On February 19, 1910, Alexander Konstantinopolsky (1910-1990) was born in Zhitomir, Ukraine.  He was USSR Correspondence Champion in 1951.  He was awarded the titles of IM in 1950, IM in Correspondence in 1966 and honorary (emeritus) GM in 1983. He finished in the top six of the Soviet Championship four times.


On February 19, 1910, Geza Fuster (1910-1990) was born in Budapest.  He was Hungarian champion in 1941.  In 1943-44, he won the Hungarian correspondence championship  He was awarded the IM title in 1969. He won his first of many Budapest Championships in 1936.  He emigrated to Canada in 1953. In 1955, he was Canadian Speed Champion. In 1957, he won the US Speed Championship. He took 2nd in the 1957 Canadian Championship and played in the Interzonal at Portoroz in 1958.


On February 24, 1910, Cenek Kottnauer (1910-1996) was born in Prague. He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and became an International Arbiter in 1951. He defected from Czechoslovakia in 1953 and later moved to England.


On February 26, 1910,  Jose Capablanca won the New York state chess association championship.


On February 27, 1910, Genrikh Moiseyevich Kasparian (1910-1995) was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. He was awarded the International Master (IM) title in 1950, International Judge of Chess Compositions title in 1956 and Grandmaster of Chess Compositions title in 1972.  He won the Armenian championship 10 times.


On February 28, 1910, Nicolas Rossolimo (1910-1975) was born in Kiev.  He was Paris champion 5 times.  He was French champion in 1948.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1953.


On March 5, 1910, Eileen Betsy Tranmer (1910-1983) was born in Scarborough, England.  She was British Women's Champion in 1947, 1949 (11-0), 1953 and 1961. She was Women's World Championship Challenger in 1949-50. She was awarded the WIM title in 1950. 


In March, 1910, Britain defeated the USA in the 12th cable match.


On April 8, 1910, Arthur William Dake (Darkowski) (1910-2000) was born in Portland, Oregon.  He was awarded the IM title in 1954 and the Honorary GM title in 1986.


On April 15, 1910, Moishe Mendel (Mieczyslaw) Najdorf (1910-1997) was born in Warsaw.  In 1930, he was a Polish National Master.  He played for Poland in the Chess Olympiads of 1935, 1937, and 1939.  In 1943, he set the record for simultaneous games played. He played 202 players (+182-8=12). In 1944, he became an Argentine citizen and changed his first name to Miguel.  In 1947, he conducted a simultaneous exhibition in which he played a record 45 games blindfolded (+39 -2 =4).  He won the Argentinian championship eight times (1949, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1960, 1964, 1967, 1975).  He was awarded the GM title in 1950.


On April 17, 1910, Vladas Jonovich Mikenas (1910-1992) was born in Tallinn, Estonia. He won the Lithuanian championship in 1936, 1947, 1948, and 1961.  He  was awarded the IM title in 1950 and an honorary GM title in 1987.


On May 1, 1910, Alexander Tolush (1910-1969) was born in St. Petersburg.  He was Leningrad Champion in 1937 (jointly), 1938, 1946 and 1947 (jointly).  He was awarded the IM title in 1950, the GM title in 1953 and the IM in Correspondence title in 1965.


On July 8, 1910, Sergey Vsevolodovich  Belavenets (1910-1942) was born in Leningrad.  He was joint Moscow Champion in 1932, 1937 with Vladimir Alatortsev and 1938 with Vasily Smyslov. He also was Russian Champion of 1934.   His best over the board result was 3rd in the 1939 USSR Championship. Fighting for the Soviet army in the Second World War he was killed in battle in Novgorod in 1942.


On August 6, 1910, Carl Schlechter won the 17th German Chess Federation Ch in Hamburg, followed by Duras, Nimzovich, Spielmann, and Marshall.


On August 24, 1910. George Wolbrecht won the 11th Western Chess Association Open (US Open) in Chicago.


On August 27, 1910 Henry Atkins won the 7th British Chess Federation Championship in Oxford.


On August 31, 1910, Petar Trifunovic (1910-1980) was born in Dubrovnik, Croatia.  He was Yugoslav Champion in 1945, 1946, 1947 (jointly), 1952 and 1961.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1953.


On October 25, 1910, Adolf Schwarz (1836-1910) died in Vienna.  He was an Austrian-Hungarian chess master.


On December 8, 1910, Emanuel Lasker defeated David Janowski with 8 wins, 3 draws, and no losses in the world championship match in Berlin. He had defended his world championship title 6 times in 4 years.   Lasker would not play serious chess for another 3 ½ years.