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Charles Jaffe
Number of games in database: 199
Years covered: 1904 to 1939
Overall record: +62 -95 =38 (41.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      4 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (35) 
    D02 A46 D05 A40
 Ruy Lopez (13) 
    C77 C87 C86 C70 C83
 Queen's Gambit Declined (8) 
    D37 D38
 Semi-Slav (4) 
    D44 D46
 French Defense (4) 
    C14 C10 C01
With the Black pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (18) 
    D51 D52
 Ruy Lopez (13) 
    C70 C88 C84 C68 C63
 Queen's Pawn Game (12) 
    D02 D00 D04 D05
 Semi-Slav (10) 
    D46 D44 D47
 Sicilian (8) 
    B40 B45 B30
 Four Knights (7) 
    C49 C48 C47
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Capablanca vs C Jaffe, 1913 0-1
   Leonhardt vs C Jaffe, 1911 0-1
   C Jaffe vs H Daly, 1909 1-0
   P F Johner vs C Jaffe, 1911 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Marshall - Jaffe (1909)
   New York Masters (1911)
   American National (1913)
   22nd New York State Chess Association Championship (1909)
   Havana (1913)
   7th American Chess Congress (1904)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Second American National Tournament (NY 1913) by Phony Benoni
   1911 New York Masters by crawfb5
   Chicago Masters Tournament, 1926 by Phony Benoni
   Atlantic City 1921 by crawfb5
   Bath Beach 1909 by Phony Benoni
   000 --- Reshevsky's first tournament by crawfb5

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(born Apr-25-1879, died Jul-12-1941, 62 years old) Russia (citizen of United States of America)

[what is this?]
Charles Jaffe was born in Dubrouna*. He moved to America in 1896 and worked as a silk-mill merchant until he became a professional chess player in 1910. He was 3rd at New York 1913 and his career included a victory over Jose Raul Capablanca and match wins over Oscar Chajes and Jacques Mieses.

*Wikipedia article: Dubro%C5%ADna

Wikipedia article: Charles Jaffe

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 199  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. C Jaffe vs M Judd  ½-½53 1904 7th American Chess CongressA84 Dutch
2. C Jaffe vs Marshall 0-135 1904 7th American Chess CongressD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
3. M Judd vs C Jaffe  1-040 1904 7th American Chess CongressA07 King's Indian Attack
4. C Jaffe vs E Schrader  0-140 1904 7th American Chess CongressD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. C Jaffe vs G Schwietzer  1-047 1904 7th American Chess CongressC14 French, Classical
6. E Shrader vs C Jaffe  0-132 1904 7th American Chess CongressB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
7. E Kemeny vs C Jaffe  1-031 1904 7th American Chess CongressB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
8. G Schwietzer vs C Jaffe  ½-½47 1904 7th American Chess CongressD02 Queen's Pawn Game
9. S Mlotkowski vs C Jaffe  0-152 1904 7th American Chess CongressC25 Vienna
10. L R Eisenberg vs C Jaffe  1-037 1904 7th American Chess CongressB30 Sicilian
11. C Jaffe vs Mieses 1-036 1907 New York mD02 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Mieses vs C Jaffe  0-150 1907 New York mC28 Vienna Game
13. Mieses vs C Jaffe  ½-½62 1907 New York exgC27 Vienna Game
14. Marshall vs C Jaffe  0-145 1909 Marshall - JaffeD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. C Jaffe vs O Roething 1-031 1909 22nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipD05 Queen's Pawn Game
16. Marshall vs C Jaffe  ½-½47 1909 Marshall - JaffeA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
17. C Jaffe vs Marshall  ½-½28 1909 Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
18. H Rosenfeld vs C Jaffe 1-046 1909 22nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. C Jaffe vs Marshall 1-045 1909 Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Marshall vs C Jaffe  1-045 1909 Marshall - JaffeA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
21. C Jaffe vs H Daly 1-021 1909 22nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipA40 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Marshall vs C Jaffe  1-052 1909 Marshall - JaffeA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
23. C Jaffe vs Marshall  ½-½36 1909 Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
24. W Moorman vs C Jaffe 1-050 1909 22nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipB40 Sicilian
25. C Jaffe vs Marshall  0-155 1909 Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 199  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Jaffe wins | Jaffe loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Was there any truth in Capablanca's charges that Jaffe threw his game against Marshall at Havana 1913 so that the American would win the tournament?
May-08-05  Resignation Trap: Use your own judgement and come to your own conclusions! From round one, here is Marshall vs C Jaffe, 1913 . And from round eight, here is C Jaffe vs Marshall, 1913.

Marshall and Capablanca were leading this 8-player double round robin after eight rounds with 6/8 each, and Janowski a close third with 5.5.

Capablanca lost to Marshall in round ten Capablanca vs Marshall, 1913 , which left the American champion a full point ahead of the field, a margin he maintained until the start of the 14th and final round.

Marshall then blew the endgame and lost to Janowski in the last round Janowski vs Marshall, 1913 . This gave Capablanca the opportunity to tie for first: all he had to do was to defeat Kupchik. But the Cuban was held to a draw by his young opponent Kupchik vs Capablanca, 1913 , and had to be content with second place. He seemed disappointed by not winning first prize in his hometown.

The organizers of this tournament were also the ones who organized most of the tournaments in New York during this period. Afterwards, Capablanca used his clout to dissuade furture invitations to Jaffe at events in which the Cuban was invited.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Resignation Trap> Thanks for that. Very interesting stuff. Anybody can have an off-day but maybe Capablanca did have grounds for complaint. However, he shouldn't have tried to influence who got invitations and who didn't in subsequent events.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: According to Edward Lasker, when he was playing in the New York City championship in 1915, he went into the last round half a point behind Roy Black. Jaffe, who was Black's opponent in the last round, then suggested to Lasker that he offer Jaffe a special prize for defeating Black. Lasker, who thought this was pretty funny, in fact did so after getting the approval of the tournament director. He then became New York City champion when both he and Jaffe won their last round games.

I wouldn't be surprised if Jaffe made a similar "suggestion" to Capablanca prior to his second game with Marshall.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Jaffe seems to have been basically a hustler rather than a "serious" tournament player. Albert Kreymbourg paints a memorable picture of him in his wonderful memoir "Chess Reclaims a Devotee", which was reprinted in The Fireside Book of Chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Did anyone ever track down the game against Chajes, in which Kreymbourg claimed to have messed up an 18-move combination?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Yes, I remember that Andy Soltis published it in Chess Life some years ago. I think it was about 1990, but can't be more specific than that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Caissanist> Capablanca was angry about something that Jaffe did. I doubt it was just the games with Marshall. He had knowledge of a deal being offered. Whether it was to Capa himself or to another player, we will probably never know.

Also, the bio claims 2 wins over Capablanca. I only know of one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Calli> I believe you're right so I've corrected the bio accordingly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I always thought of Jaffe as a hustler as described in Kreymbourg's article (mentioned by Cassianist above). Does anyone know how he came to participate in the Karlsbad 1911 tournament?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Does anyone know how he came to participate in the Karlsbad 1911 tournament?> Jaffe was of Polish origin in the era when Pan-Slavism was a popular concept in the land that felt to be under German (Habsburk) opression for close to 300 years. That may have gotten him the nod. Just a guess, but the same pedigree (American master of Polish origin) holds also for Chajes who also trailed together with Jaffe, Alapin, and Fahrni the tournament table at Karlsbad, 1911 .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Edward Winter on Jaffe:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I've never seen that picture of the players at Havana 1913 before. Is S Capablanca a relation of J R?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: A reasonable guess for S. Capablanca would be his brother Salvador (1885-1940). Capablanca was one of eight children.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Thanks <Calli>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <1916: Charles Jaffe v Hartwig Cassel (C.N. 1105)

From the BCM, June 1916, page 200:

‘When chessplayers go to law on some matter connected with the game, there is usually a touch of the ridiculous. In the Bronx Municipal Court, on 4 April, a case came up in which Charles Jaffe sued Hartwig Cassel, one of the editors of the American Chess Bulletin, for $700 – over £140 – for work alleged to have been done in analysing the Rice Gambit. Last year Professor Isaac J. [sic – L. would be correct] Rice invited a number of strong American players to Utica to test his gambit once more, and it was agreed that their investigations should be continued. Jaffe, however, broke away from the rest and decided to analyse by himself. The others concluded their joint work, which is to appear in a book entitled Twenty Years of the Rice Gambit, while Mr Julius Finn, who was appointed referee in the matter, declared Jaffe’s work not acceptable. Hence the lawsuit, Mr Cassel being brought in as having acted in an advisory capacity for the late professor in chess matters. The witnesses at the trial included Marshall (who considered Jaffe’s claim not unreasonable), Julius Finn, Albert B. Hodges, and J. Rosenthal. The verdict was in favour of Mr Cassel. The chief amusement seems to have been when Jaffe was in the witness-box on his own behalf, and expressed his opinion of the chess strength of a number of noted players in the court – not unqualified by their attitude towards him in the case.’

A detailed account of the case appeared on pages 124-125 of the May-June 1916 American Chess Bulletin.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: A three-cornered tournament almost nothing is known about:

<Dan Scoones (Coquitlam, BC, Canada) sends the following extract from a report on page 19 of the New York Times, 20 July 1919:

‘By invitation of the I.L. Rice Progressive Chess Club, Metropolitan League champions, Oscar Chajes, Charles Jaffe and Boris Kostić started a short three-cornered tournament at that club yesterday. The pairings brought together Jaffe and Kostić in the first round, Kostić winning the toss for move and selecting the Ruy López. The Serbian brought about an early exchange of queens, Jaffe being left in possession of two bishops. The latter won a pawn at his 24th turn, and playing in excellent style thereafter, brought about Kostić’s resignation after 48 moves had been recorded. Jaffe will play against Chajes in the next round.’>

There is another game Jaffe-Kostic, New York 1919 but it doesn't fit the description and it's unclear so I won't submit it until further information appear. But that's the game:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.c3 h6 10.Ne4 Nxe4 11.Bxe4 O-O 12.d4 f5 13.dxe5 fxe4 14.Qxd6 Qh4 15.Be3 Ba6 16.Nd2 Rad8 17.Qb4 Rxd2 18.Kxd2 Rxf2+ 19.Kc1 Rxg2 20.Qxa5 Bc8 21.Rd1 Qh3 22.Qd8+ Kh7 23.Qd4 Qf3 24.Re1 c5 25.Qd5 Rxh2 26.Bd2 Bf5 27.e6 e3 28.Qxf3 exd2+ 29.Kd1 Bc2+ 30.Kxc2 dxe1(Q)+ 31.Kb3 Qxe6+ 32.c4 Qb6+ 33.Kc3 Qxb2+ 34.Kd3 Qd4# 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Jaffe and Chajes were like ... have you ever read The Castle by Franz Kafka? They were like Arthur and Jeremiah. K said that it was impossible to tell them apart and he could not be bothered to remember which one was which - so he called them both by one name.
Jan-08-09  myschkin: . . .

"The Crown Prince of East Side Chess"

"Jaffe was famous for his poverty", and "his style was "inimitably coffeehouse".*

*The World of Chess, by Anthony Saidy and Norman Lessing, 1974, New York, Random House, pp. 190-191

May-17-11  Imposter: He was once mugged by thieves who demanded money. Apparently he shrugged and invited them to search him and to let him know if they found anything, cause he sure couldn't. Apparently the would be thieves were charmed by the guy and took him to a tavern and treated him to a beer.

Not sure if it's true, but this story has been around for a while and it adds to the legend of the man.

May-17-11  MaxxLange: I had only known of him as the person who lost this miniature:

Capablanca vs C Jaffe, 1910

He sounds like quite a colorful character.

Apr-25-13  brankat: R.I.P. Master Jaffe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Berlin, January 24:

<Sein Gegner zwar ist nicht von erstem Range. Es ist derselbe Jaffe, der vor einigen Jahren sich erfolglos in einem europäischen Meisterturniere, ich glaube Karlsbad versucht hat. Aber die schachliche Persönlichkeit des Kubaners ist von solchem Interesse, daß, in Ermangelung von etwas Besserem, auch diese Partien Aufmerksamkeit erregen. Enthüllen sie doch, wenigstens von seiner Seite, einen Stil.>

(His opponent indeed is not of first rank. It is the same Jaffe who unsuccessfully dabbled in a European master tournament, I believe it was Karlsbad, a few years ago. But the chess personality of the Cuban is of such interest, that also games like these create interest. They reveal, at least from his side, a style.)

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1913.01.26, p. 11

The context: Dr. Lasker annotates C Jaffe vs Capablanca, 1912 as there had been few games of Capablanca, thereby providing this short assessment of Jaffe.

Mar-09-14  sakredkow: <It is the same Jaffe who unsuccessfully dabbled in a European master tournament>

Early version of "chess tourist."

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