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Max Harmonist
Number of games in database: 44
Years covered: 1885 to 1898
Overall record: +11 -24 =8 (34.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1 exhibition game, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (6) 
    C65 C67
 French Defense (4) 
    C14 C02 C01
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C67 C60 C69 C77
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Gunsberg vs Harmonist, 1887 0-1
   Harmonist vs NN, 1897 1-0
   Harmonist vs Tarrasch, 1888 1-0
   Metger vs Harmonist, 1889 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Breslau (1889)

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(born Feb-10-1864, died Oct-16-1907, 43 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Max Harmonist was a professional ballet dancer. His tournament results were humble with his best result being 4th= with Louis Paulsen at Nuremberg 1888, but he won the brilliancy prize at Frankfurt 1887 for his game with Isidor Gunsberg.

Wikipedia article: Max Harmonist

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 44  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Harmonist vs A Flad  0-137 1885 Hamburg IIC02 French, Advance
2. Zukertort vs Harmonist 1-027 1887 DSB-5 FrankfurtC30 King's Gambit Declined
3. Harmonist vs J N Berger 0-150 1887 DSB-05.KongressC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
4. Harmonist vs A Fritz  ½-½28 1887 DSB-05.KongressC41 Philidor Defense
5. Alapin vs Harmonist 1-023 1887 DSB-05.KongressC44 King's Pawn Game
6. Harmonist vs Tarrasch 0-138 1887 DSB-05.KongressC14 French, Classical
7. Harmonist vs Blackburne 1-036 1887 DSB-05.Kongress Frankfurt ;HCL 21B34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
8. Von Bardeleben vs Harmonist 1-031 1887 DSB-05.KongressD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Gunsberg vs Harmonist 0-126 1887 05.DSB-KongressC50 Giuoco Piano
10. Harmonist vs Mackenzie 0-140 1887 DSB-05.KongressC45 Scotch Game
11. Harmonist vs Von Gottschall 0-122 1887 DSB-05.KongressC44 King's Pawn Game
12. Harmonist vs Englisch 0-115 1887 DSB-05.KongressC47 Four Knights
13. E Schallopp vs Harmonist 0-128 1887 DSB-05.KongressC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
14. Max Weiss vs Harmonist 1-041 1887 DSB-05.KongressC77 Ruy Lopez
15. Taubenhaus vs Harmonist  0-150 1887 DSB-5 FrankfurtC25 Vienna
16. Paulsen vs Harmonist 1-028 1887 DSB-05.KongressC49 Four Knights
17. Harmonist vs Burn 0-118 1887 Frankfort -C14 French, Classical
18. Schiffers vs Harmonist 1-028 1887 Frankfort -C54 Giuoco Piano
19. Harmonist vs Metger  ½-½25 1887 DSB-05.KongressC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
20. H Caro vs Harmonist  1-048 1888 BerlinC29 Vienna Gambit
21. Tarrasch vs Harmonist  ½-½25 1888 2-BSB CongressD05 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Harmonist vs Tarrasch 1-043 1888 2-BSB CongressC01 French, Exchange
23. Harmonist vs A Fritz  ½-½23 1889 BreslauC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
24. Harmonist vs Schiffers  1-041 1889 BreslauB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
25. Blackburne vs Harmonist  1-042 1889 BreslauD02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 44  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Harmonist wins | Harmonist loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-08-02  pawntificator: Max was a ballet dancer by profession!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka:, I have submitted some games of Max Harmonist missing in the database.
Dec-17-03  MoonlitKnight: There seemed to be more harmony in the play of his opponents!
Aug-07-04  percyblakeney: Max Harmonist (1864-1907) was a Royal Ballet Dancer who beat both Blackburne and Gunsberg in Frankfurt 1887. There is a photo of Harmonist at
Feb-10-06  BIDMONFA: Max Harmonist


Feb-10-06  McCool: <pawntificator: Max was a ballet dancer by profession!! > Really? I would have thought he was a harmonist.(someone who creates harmonies)
Sep-12-06  guitar2001: McCool: <pawntificator: Max was a ballet dancer by profession!! > Really? I would have thought he was a harmonist.(someone who creates harmonies)

You're a McLoser.

Feb-10-08  brankat: Mr.Harmonist had a talent for the game, but never saw it as a profession.

He did beat Gunsberg, Blackburne, Tarrasch, Mieses, Paulsen, drew a game against A.Burn.

No small feat for an amateur.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the Day

Bio: !

The game:Gunsberg vs Harmonist, 1887

Feb-10-09  brankat: Thanks Sharky. A beautiful game indeed.
Feb-10-09  ILikeFruits: players wanna play...
ballers wanna ball...
rollers wanna roll...
Feb-10-09  brankat: Fruits are good for all of them!
Feb-10-09  ILikeFruits: indeed...
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I have been looking for a second picture from M. Harmonist but so far no success. The photograph above was published on page 356 of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten, 1926

--> CN 3885

Feb-10-09  WhiteRook48: let's have him play music
Apr-13-09  Dredge Rivers: Ballet? Fooey!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday!
Feb-10-12  Llawdogg: Cool name!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: From the Berlinerschachverband item, it appears that although he was a professional ballet dancer at the Royal Opera, "he suffered from the lingering illness of Cerebal Palsy"
Sep-16-12  Karpova: He won the Jubilee Tournament of the Berlin Chess Society which began on August 15, 1887. The other participants were Caro, Cordel, Kirdorf, Dr. Lasker (Berthold or Emanuel?), Rothlšnder, Schallopp and von Scheve. 2nd place went to von Scheve (200 Mark) and 3rd to Schallopp (150 Mark). Max received 300 Mark.

From page 16 of the September 1887 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <From the Berlinerschachverband item, it appears that although he was a professional ballet dancer at the Royal Opera, "he suffered from the lingering illness of Cerebal Palsy">

I wonder which symptoms of CP he showed if he could professionally dance. I know there are some "mild" forms of CP, but mild enough to dance?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Really too bad that Harmonist wasn't a musician or conductor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He is mentioned in Fischer's 60MG.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Max Harmonist.
May-03-16  zanzibar: From the intro...

<...but he won the brilliancy prize at Frankfurt 1887 for his game with Isidor Gunsberg.>

I think this statement is wrong.

Although his game with Gunsberg may have been brilliant, I don't think it won the Brilliancy Prize. Does anybody have a ref that it did?

<whiteshark> posted a link to a German writeup on Harmonist, which does mention the game, but it only offers this:

<One of his finest games was brought on the occasion of its centenary the chess friends in memory. It was played in 1887 in Frankfurt Master Tournament.>

The original link is stale, here's an archived version:

* * * * *

The game which did win the Brilliancy Prize did indeed involve Harmonist, but on the losing side of the board:

<Schiffers--Harmonist (1887)>

See Reinfeld's <Great Brilliancy Prize Games of the Chess Masters>, p17

Also, several mentions in BCM, e.g. v25 (1905) p57-8:

where it says:

<The Deutsche Schachzeitung, from which the notes to this game are taken, remarks: "For this game, which the 'Chess Monthly' calls the pearl of the tourney, Herr Schiffers received the special brilliancy prize of 100 marks, given by Mr. Lewis, of London.>

Batgirl mentions the Schiffers--Harmonist game as well, citing an earlier BCM ref which got the tournaments confused:

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