Jacques Mieses

by Bill Wall

Jacques (Jakob) Mieses was born on February 27, 1865 in Leipzig, Germany.  He was the son of wealthy parents.

Mieses studied at Leipzig University and later in Berlin.

He won the chess championship of Berlin in 1882, at the age of 17.

In 1888, at the age of 23, he tied for 2nd place at Nuremberg and took 3rd place at an international tournament in Leipzig.

He played in the Hastings 1895 event, but ended up in 20th place (out of 22).

In 1900 he played in a Paris tournament and won the brilliancy prize, defeating Janowski.

In 1901 he wrote Chess Endings from Master Play.

In 1903, Mieses toured the United States and held several simultaneous exhibitions.

In 1907, he took 1st place in the first Trebitsch Memorial held in Vienna,  with 9 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses.

In 1907 he took 3rd at Ostend.

In 1909 he defeated Schlechter in a match with 2 wins and a draw.

In 1911 he organized the San Sebastian. Master tournament, won by Jose Capablanca.

In 1915 he defeated Tarrasch in a match, with 7 wins, 2 losses, and 4 draws.

In 1921 he published a supplement to the 8th edition of Bilguer's Handbuch.

In 1937, Mieses suffered a grave accident in Kemeri.  He suffered an exceptionally grave bone fracture.  The injury had caused rumors that Mieses had died, but he recovered and returned to Leipzig.

In 1938 he wrote "Instructive Positions from Master Chess."

In 1938 he escaped the Nazi persecution of Jews and fled to England with only 15 Marks in his wallet. He eventually became a naturalized British citizen in the late 1940s.

In 1944, Mieses made a 3-day tour of the British midlands, playing 99 games.  He won 71, drew 28, and lost none.

In 1945-46, at the age of 80, he took a brilliancy prize at Hastings. He had played in Hastings 50 years earlier.

In February-March 1949, Mieses, at the age of 84, gave multiple simultaneous exhibitions in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

In 1949, at the age of 84, Mieses played a game against the Dutch master, Dirk van Foreest, who was 86. Mieses won and said after the game, "Youth has been victorious."

In 1949/50, Mieses played in the annual Hastings tournament.  He was the only survivor of the first Hastings tournament in 1895.

In 1950, he became the 1st British player to be awarded the International Grandmaster title. He was the oldest player to be granted the GM title in 1950, at the age of 85.

He died in London on Feb 23, 1954, just 4 days before his 89th birthday.   At the time, he was known as the “grand old man” of chess.

His historical Elo rating is 2490 and peaked to about 2595 in 1905 when he was one of the top 10 players in the world.

Here are some of his shorter games.

Mieses - Oehquist, Nuremberg 1895 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.d4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.d5 Ne5 7.Nxe5 Bxd1 8.Bb5+ c6 9.dxc6 1-0

Mieses - Unknown, Germany 1900 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Be7 6.d3 O-O 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Ng5 h6 9.h4 Ne8 10.Nd5 Nf6 11.Qg6 1-0

Mieses - Euwe, The Hague 1921 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Bd3 d5 7.e5 Ng4 8.O-O Bc5 9.Bf4 g5 10.Bd2 Qe7 11.Bc3 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 1-0

Mieses - Chigorin, Ostend 1906 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Qg4 Qf6 5.Nd5 Qxf2+ 6.Kd1 Kf8 7.Nh3 Qd4 8.d3 d6 9.Qh4 Bxh3 10.Qxh3 Na5 11.Rf1 Nxc4 12.Qd7 f6 13.Nxf6 1-0

Mieses - Forgacs, St Petersburg 1909 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 d5 5.exd5 Qxd5 6.cxd4 Bg4 7.Be2 O-O-O 8.Nc3 Qa5 9.Be3 Bb4 10.O-O Nf6 11.Qb3 Nd5 12.Nxd5 Rxd5 13.a3 1-0

Mieses - Bogoljubow, Goteborg 1920 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be2 d6 7.Bd2 Nf6 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.exd5 Nd4 10.Bd1 Qc7 11.c3 Nf5 12.Qd3 O-O 13.g4 Nh6 14.Qh3 Qc4 15.Bxh6 1-0

Tartakower - Mieses, Baden Baden 1925 1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g4 d5 5.g5 Ng8 6.f3 exf3 7.Qxf3 e6 8.Bd3 g6 9.Nge2 Qe7 10.Bf4 c6 11.Be5 Bg7 12.Qg3 Na6 13.O-O Bd7 14.Bd6 Qd8 15.Qf4 1-0

Saemisch - Mieses, Baden Baden 1925 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Nf3 Bd7 7.Be2 Bc6 8.O-O Rg8 9.c4 Bd6 10.Qc2 f5 11.d5 exd5 12.Qxf5 Qd7 13.Qxh7 Qg4 14.Ng5 Qxg5 15.Bxg5 Rxg5 16.Bh5 dxc4 17.Rfe1+ 1-0

Mieses - Gunsberg, Vienna 1903 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 Bg7 5.O-O d6 6.c3 Qe7 7.d4 Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.Qb3 c6 10.Nxg5 Qxg5 11.Qxb7 Qe7 12.Qxa8 Qc7 13.Bxf4 Ne7 14.Bxd6 Qxd6 15.Qxa7 e5 16.Nd2 exd4 17.Nc4 Qd8 18.e5 1-0