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Savielly Tartakower
Number of games in database: 1,327
Years covered: 1905 to 1955
Overall record: +520 -256 =537 (60.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      14 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (68) 
    A46 A45 D01 D02 A40
 Sicilian (56) 
    B20 B21 B30 B22 B40
 French Defense (55) 
    C00 C01 C11 C13 C15
 Bird's Opening (37) 
    A03 A02
 French (36) 
    C00 C11 C13 C12 C10
 English (36) 
    A15 A13 A18 A16 A14
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (80) 
    B29 B40 B43 B41 B28
 Caro-Kann (54) 
    B15 B13 B12 B10 B14
 Queen's Pawn Game (53) 
    A46 D02 A40 A50 D00
 Dutch Defense (48) 
    A84 A90 A81 A95 A92
 French Defense (47) 
    C11 C01 C13 C10 C04
 Orthodox Defense (46) 
    D58 D55 D63 D59 D52
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Maroczy vs Tartakower, 1922 0-1
   Tartakower vs Schlechter, 1909 1-0
   M Lowcki vs Tartakower, 1937 0-1
   Spielmann vs Tartakower, 1923 0-1
   Tartakower vs Rubinstein, 1925 1-0
   Tartakower vs R Domenech, 1934 1-0
   Alekhine vs Tartakower, 1933 0-1
   Tartakower vs R Frentz, 1933 1-0
   Tartakower vs Mieses, 1925 1-0
   R P Michell vs Tartakower, 1925 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Vienna (1923)
   Liege (1930)
   Hastings 1945/46 (1945)
   Baden-bei-Wien (1914)
   Vienna (1922)
   Scarborough (1929)
   London A (1946)
   1st Trebitsch Memorial (1907)
   Semmering (1926)
   Moscow (1925)
   Baden-Baden (1925)
   Vienna (1908)
   London (1922)
   Karlsbad (1911)
   Karlsbad (1907)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   My Best Games of Chess, 1905-1954 by Tartakower by suenteus po 147
   sk.sen's favorite games .. by sk.sen
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1920-1939 (Part 3) by Anatoly21
   Bled 1931 international tournament by cuendillar
   Bled 1931 by Benzol

   Alekhine vs Rubinstein, 1912
   Rubinstein vs Spielmann, 1912
   Bogoljubov vs Rubinstein, 1920
   Mieses vs Rubinstein, 1912
   Rubinstein vs O Bernstein, 1911

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Savielly Tartakower
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(born Feb-21-1887, died Feb-05-1956, 68 years old) Russia

[what is this?]
Savielly Grigoriewitsch Tartakower was born in Russia and later moved to Vienna, Austria. He grew up in Vienna, a city fortified with chess, and in the 1920s he became a Pole by citizenship and then moved to Paris, giving him four different nationalities.

Tartakower is regarded as one of the founders of the Hypermodern School of Chess, alongside Richard Reti, Aron Nimzowitsch, and the lesser-known Gyula Breyer. He wrote several books, including "The Hypermodern Game of Chess", and "Modern Chess Strategy". He has made many impressions on modern opening theory; his name is attached to variations in the Caro-Kann Defense, the French Defense, the Dutch Defense, the Scotch Game, the Sicillian Defense, the Queen's Gambit Declined, and the Torre Attack, and he created the Polish Opening, a.k.a. the Orangutan Opening, 1.b4. He is also one of the 27 original grandmasters that were appointed by FIDE in 1950.

Tartakower is also remembered by his sense of humor and his speaking ability. One of his most famous maxims is "The winner of a game is the one who has made the next to last blunder".

notes: He & Julius Du Mont wrote 500 Master Games of Chess.

Wikipedia article: Savielly Tartakower

 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,327  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. D M Schapiro vs Tartakower 0-123 1905 Barmen Main B, GERC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
2. Tartakower vs G Schories 0-130 1905 Barmen Main B, GERD00 Queen's Pawn Game
3. P Fiebig vs Tartakower ½-½60 1905 Barmen Main B, GERB27 Sicilian
4. Tartakower vs Haertel 1-026 1905 Barmen Main B, GERC50 Giuoco Piano
5. Tartakower vs Vidmar 1-029 1905 ViennaB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
6. M Schaefer vs Tartakower 0-129 1905 Barmen Main B, GERA84 Dutch
7. Tartakower vs Von Scheve 1-033 1905 Barmen Main B, GERC24 Bishop's Opening
8. H Appunn vs Tartakower 0-131 1905 Barmen Main B, GERB01 Scandinavian
9. Tartakower vs Creyghton  1-042 1905 Barmen Main B, GERC50 Giuoco Piano
10. B Yankovich vs Tartakower  ½-½49 1905 Barmen Main B, GERA03 Bird's Opening
11. Tartakower vs J Schenkein 1-032 1905 Barmen Main B, GERB20 Sicilian
12. G Schories vs Tartakower  ½-½53 1905 Barmen Main B, GERB01 Scandinavian
13. Tartakower vs G Schories 0-134 1905 Barmen Main B, GERC24 Bishop's Opening
14. D Hoelken vs Tartakower 0-130 1905 Barmen Main B, GERA80 Dutch
15. Tartakower vs J Schenkein  1-028 1905 Barmen Main B, GERC58 Two Knights
16. G Schories vs Tartakower 0-150 1905 Barmen Main B, GERC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
17. Tartakower vs O Wegemund  1-049 1905 Barmen Main B, GERB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
18. B Gregory vs Tartakower 0-164 1905 Barmen Main B, GERD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
19. Tartakower vs A Keller 1-026 1905 Barmen Main B, GERB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
20. L Mayer vs Tartakower 0-126 1906 DSB-15.Kongress-BC25 Vienna
21. Tartakower vs Z Barasz  ½-½36 1906 DSB-15.Kongress-BD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. J Krejcik vs Tartakower ½-½33 1906 2nd Neumann TrophyC46 Three Knights
23. Tartakower vs P F Johner  1-030 1906 DSB-15.Kongress mB01 Scandinavian
24. Tartakower vs P F Johner  1-029 1906 DSB-15.Kongress mC11 French
25. Mieses vs Tartakower 1-025 1907 KarlsbadB01 Scandinavian
 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,327  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Tartakower wins | Tartakower loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: On January 28, 1914, Dr. Tartakower had a grave accident:

<Am 28. Januar ist Dr. Tartakower von einem schweren Unfall betroffen worden. Die Morgenblätter vom 29. Januar brachten darüber folgende Notiz:

"Dr. Tartakower wollte gestern um 6 Uhr abends in der Feldapotheke auf dem Stephansplatz einen Einkauf besorgen. Er ging jedoch nicht beim Haupteingang vom Stephansplatz in die Aptheke, sondern wollte durch die Tür von der Brandstätte aus eintreten. Er kam an eine Tür, die zum Lastenaufzug der Apotheke führt, nach außen mit einem Knopf verschloseen ist und für gewöhnlich auch versperrt zu sein pflegt. Gestern um 3 Uhr nachmittags hat nun ein Arbeiter einer in diesem Haus befindlichen Speditionsfirma von dem Aufzug mehrere Kolli genommen. Wahrscheinlich hat er vergessen, nach der Arbeit die Tür zu schließen. Dr. Tartakower öffnete die Tür und stürzte in den ungefähr acht Meter tiefen Aufzugsschacht. Er erlitt schwere Verletzungen: Bruch der Schädelbasis, Quetschung des Auges und des Nasenbeins. Bewußtlos wurde er ins Garnisonsspital Nr. 2 gebracht."

Diese Nachricht hat inzwischen auch in der Schachpresse Verbreitung gefunden. Glücklicherweise hat aber der böse Sturz für Dr. Tartakower keine üblen Folgen gehabt. Schon nach acht Tagen war er völlig wiederhergestellt.>

From page 274 of the 1914 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

(Dr. Tartakower wanted to buy something at a chemist's shop but did not enter through the main entrance but a side door instead - this was the door to the freight elevator which had accidently been left open. So Dr. Tartakower fell down the lift shaft, about 8 metres deep. He suffered a basal skull fracture and contusion of the eye and nasal bone. He was unconscious while they brought him to hospital. It took him 8 days to recover.)

Aug-26-12  Cibator: Not the only time he suffered a head injury, according to his friend Harry Golombek. On another occasion he was in a car accident. The driver broke an arm and some ribs, but Tartakower, in a letter to HG, said "I was injured in a less vital part of the human frame, to wit, the head, and, as you know, we chess masters don't have to use that much".
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: The stand-up comic of the chess world.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: "Take my bad bishop-- please!"
Oct-07-13  Penguincw: ♔ Quote of the Day ♔

< "Chess is a fairy tale of 1001 blunders." >


He sure makes a lot of quotes on blunders.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Dr. Tartakower visited Denmark at the beginning of 1923 (he arrived on January 5), to work as a chess instructor in the "Industrieforeningens Kampklub" in Copenhagen for the first 3 months of the year.

Among his activities was playing <Uhrenpartien> (clock games) against the best club players every week and this game belongs to them: Tartakower vs A Holte, 1923

He attacked so furiously out of instinct of self-preservation as he had seen Holte doing this A Cruisberg vs A Holte, 1923 the day before in the club championship tournament.

Source: Report by Dr. Savielly Tartakower on pp. 3-6 of the March 1923 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Chess at the front:

White: Lieutenant P

Black: Tartakower (Blindfolded)

click for larger view

24.fxe6 Re8 25.c3 Rf8+ 26.Kg2 dxc3 27.bxc3 Bxf2 28.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 29.Kxf2 Kf8 30.Kf3 Ke7 31.Kf4 Kxe6 32.h4 g6 33.a4 b6 34.c4 h6

click for larger view

White resigns.

Source: Page 109 of the May-June 1915 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: 5-board Blindfold-Simul in the Vienna Chess Club on October 18, 1914, against Lanz, Dr. Heinrich Viktor Klein, F. Hagen, Emmerich Wellisch and Leopold Zuckerbäcker: Score after 2.5 hours fight was +2 -2 =1 with Lanz and Dr. Klein being the winners.

Source: Page 233 of the September-November 1914 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Match against Rudolf Spielmann in the Vienna Chess Club, winter season 1913. The winner was the first to gain 5 points, with the first 4 draws not counting.

Dr. Tartakower won 5.5-2.5. In the overall 12 games, he used up 20 hours and 34 minutes, while Spielmann consumed 29 hours and 34 minuts.

Source: Page 288 of the August-September 1913 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Match between Dr. Tartakower and Richard Reti in the <Ersten Wiener Schach- und Billard-Klub "Jungwien"> (First Vienna Chess and Billards Club "Young Vienna"), Alserbachstraße Nr. 41, Cafe "zur Brigittabrücke" (president is Erich Dezort, an architect).

The 6-games match commenced on February 23, 1913. Both players were in a separate room, so there were messengers who reported their moves and the audience followed their games on pocket chess sets and the gigantic chessboard.

First game: Dr. Tartakower chooses the Sicilian Defense and plays very fast and confidently (<er spielt in rapidem Tempo mit absoluter Sicherheit.>). Reti wins a ♙ but his position becomes critical. After 5 hours, Reti appears to be lost, but he finds a fabulous combination and Dr. Tartakower's apparently decisive advantage fades away. The game ends in a draw.

Dr. Tartakower won games 2, 3 and 4. Reti won game 5.

Source: Page 326 of the October-November 1913 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: The games from the aforementioned blindfold Simul - see Savielly Tartakower - are now in the database. They are all from pages 138-139 of the May-June 1915 'Wiener Schachzeitung':

Tartakower vs H V Klein, 1914

Tartakower vs E Wellisch, 1914

Tartakower vs K Hagen, 1914

Tartakower vs H Lanz, 1914

Tartakower vs L Zuckerbaecker, 1914

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: 5-board blindfold Simul in the Vienna Amateur Chess Club on December 6, 1910. The score after 2 hours was +3 -1 =1.

Source: Page 24 of the January 1911 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: A great writer, also. His '500 Games' is a classic and the two volumes (combined I believe in a paperback now) of his own games, 1905-1930/1931-1954 are immensely interesting and instructive. Great explorer in 1. d4 games without an early c4.

A serious biography of him would be nice to see. How about it, <TheFocus>?;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan: <When it comes to annotations, Tartakower is virtually in a class by himself. If the title of GM were to be awarded for a lifetime of chess work, chess writing and annotations of chess games, then he might be in the ten best who ever commented on a single game ... and one could make a serious case for him being the #1 chess annotator of all time! I don't think that most people even realize just how many games that he actually annotated.)>

I read this about Tartakower (I thought he was that guy from the police academy films, lol) from a well known chess video creators webpage, and just cracked up, lol. It's David Brent meets Monty python! Brilliant, just brilliant 😃

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: " A great writer, also. His '500 Games' is a classic."

It is important to remember his 500 games was co-written with Du Mont who was himself was a very instructive writer on the game.

Du Mont's comments are mingled in with the games and it is this uncredited 'mingling' that makes this such a great book to read and enjoy.

Du Mont's notes with a fairly large dose of Tartakower and you have a collection of 500 short stories for you to play over again and again. It's a beautiful double act.

Tartakower's instructive and thought provoking comments, often just one-liners' hit you out of the blue, like a comedian using a straight man to deliver the punchline.

It is your desert island book. A collection of the best and most instrucitve games from the year dot to the 1950's.

The games are put into openings, then into their relevant variations and then placed in chronicle order so you can actually witness the progress and research done on each opening.

One of the best chess book ever written.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: On November 15, 1910, Dr. Tartakower and Richard Reti played 2 games blindfolded against each other simultaneously in the Vienna Chess Club. Both games ended drawn.

Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', December 1910, p. 419

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <Dr. Tartakower hat sich erst vor einigen Tagen seine akademische Würde erworben, [...].> (Dr. Tartakower earned his academic honours just a few days ago).

The report begins with the date <14. Juni>, the beginning of the 4-Master tournament in Munich.

So Dr. Tartakower graduated in law at the beginning of June 1909.

Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', August and Supplement 1909, p. 247

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <It is your desert island book. A collection of the best and most instrucitve games from the year dot to the 1950's.>

Definitely a desert island chess book!

The hardback has multiple editions. Bell did it in two volumes and as a single quite impressive looking tome. There is also a Dover HB (embossed, tho someone said there is a DJ version) with the cover shown here:

(I've seen very few of these over the years. Dover HB'ed several of its early books, including their famous Botvinnik 100. That volume definitely both emobssed and DJ versions.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I have the two copies split into the Open and Semi-Closed and Closed Games.

I also have the follow up '100 Master Games Modern Chess' by the same authors. Printed 1954. Another collection of instructive games noted up just right.

Jun-22-14  stst: Knowing my taste, my son unexpectedly got me a copy of Tartakower's My Best Games. Though it's only the first part (1905-1930,) I enjoyed it very much. The translation by the noted British commentary H. Golombek adds some funny remarks to the games. Not all doctors got the same chess ability, so myself a no comparison to Tartakower, whom also not comparable to Alekhine. Still why/how Tartakower couldn't climb to the top is quite an interesting topic. Also something worth mention of this copy - it's an abandoned book from the library of Cooper Union, a famous non-profit academic institution in NY, from which my son graduates just then. Why they procured this book in the first place, and then now forgo it, quite a topic for discussion, eh? (Surely there are natural and easy answers...) Anyway it's a product of G. Bell & Sons, Ltd. in London, year mark 1953. I mention this because in my teenage years, I used to study books in Arithmetic, Geomety, and Algebra, etc published by this company... interesting to see a totally different issue from them again....
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <stst> The Bell so-called 'Knight DJs' [dust jacket] are an awesome series of chess books.

The two Tarks are among the best of them, but 25 or so in the series, all excellent. Tark's 500 games (issued both single and double volume by Bell) also wonderful reading. You son has good taste in chess books! :)

Jul-22-14  Xeroxx: Yul Brynner-esque.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: His biography, by Stephen King, is highly romanticized.

Sep-02-14  posoo: CLEVR PUN uffrump! LOL I get It! DARK TOWER sounds like TARTKOWER.

i'll send a note to da pollitzer committee!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Dr. Wotawa reports on the match between Tartakower and Ernst Gruenfeld:

Right after coming back from Bad Pistyan (1922), Grünfeld stated that he wanted to play a match. Tartakower immediately declared his willingness to contest a 6-games match in case of a 180,000 Kronen prize fund.

The Austrian Chess Federation financed 2 games, the Landstrasser Chess Federation, Hakoah and the Deutsche Schachverein financed 3 further games. In addition, von Döry and and Godai financed the last two games.* Gerbec donated a Brilliancy prize.

The match took place from 25 June to 1 July 1922.

Game 1: Tartakower chose the Orthodox defense in the Queen's Gambit. Grünfeld soon had the better position, but he missed the winning continuation. Tartakower went on to win a beautiful endgame.

Game 2: A Queen's Pawn game, which was drawn after 19 moves, since Grünfeld couldn't maintain his small positional plus.

Game 3: A Dutch defense with Grünfeld strengthening his somewhat freer position, after hazardous play by Tartakower. Yet, Tarakower switched to defense in time and the game ended drawn after 35 moves.

Game 4: Tartakower opened 1.c4 and Grünfeld first got the better position, then won a pawn. He played for the win of a second pawn and allowed Tartakower to save the game with excellent endgame play.

Game 5: The longest and most dramatic game. The opening was a Queen's pawn game in the style of Bogoljubov. Grünfeld handled the opening better and got an advantage. Tartakower managed to neutralise it after 48 moves and the position was drawn. Grünfeld sacrificed a piece, trying to win and catch up with Tartakower. However, Tartakower refuted the sacrifice and got a winning endgame. He missed the winning continuation and got a worse position. In the end, he missed the chance to draw and lost on move 80.

Game 6: Again a better position for Grünfeld, but the position was drawn even though Grünfeld had the opportunity to win a useless pawn.

The match ended drawn, +1 -1 =4.

Source: 'Österreichische Schachrundschau', July 1922, issue 5, pp. 33-34

*I don't know why it adds up to 7 games, and if this was intentional or a printing error.

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