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Gunsberg 
From Hans von Minckwitz's column in Illustrirte Zeitung, 1890.
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
 
Isidor Gunsberg
Number of games in database: 384
Years covered: 1879 to 1914
Overall record: +138 -146 =97 (49.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      3 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (28) 
    C77 C65 C67 C84 C79
 Giuoco Piano (23) 
    C50 C53
 Queen's Pawn Game (22) 
    D05 D00 D02 D04 D01
 French Defense (22) 
    C01 C13 C11 C14 C10
 King's Gambit Accepted (17) 
    C39 C34 C35 C33 C38
 French (12) 
    C13 C11 C10 C12
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (41) 
    C67 C65 C83 C77 C79
 French Defense (19) 
    C11 C10 C01 C02 C12
 Queen's Pawn Game (17) 
    D00 D05 A46 A40 D04
 King's Gambit Accepted (16) 
    C33 C39 C38 C37
 French (12) 
    C11 C10 C12 C00 C13
 Four Knights (9) 
    C49 C48
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   W Paulsen vs Gunsberg, 1883 0-1
   Gunsberg vs Steinitz, 1891 1-0
   Steinitz vs Gunsberg, 1890 1/2-1/2
   Gunsberg vs Steinitz, 1891 1-0
   Gunsberg vs NN, 1879 1-0
   Chigorin vs Gunsberg, 1889 0-1
   Gunsberg vs Von Gottschall, 1887 1-0
   Steinitz vs Gunsberg, 1890 0-1
   J Mason vs Gunsberg, 1889 0-1
   Gunsberg vs Chigorin, 1890 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Steinitz - Gunsberg World Championship Match (1890)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hamburg (1885)
   Blackburne - Gunsberg (1887)
   London (1900)
   London (Vizayanagaram) (1883)
   Breslau (1889)
   Amsterdam (1889)
   Monte Carlo (1901)
   Monte Carlo (1902)
   Hastings (1895)
   13th DSB Kongress (Hanover) (1902)
   Nuremberg (1883)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   New York 1889 by suenteus po 147
   Challengers Zukertort & Gunsberg by Imohthep
   Monte Carlo 1901 by suenteus po 147
   Manchester 1890 by rookhouse
   Blackburne-Gunsberg Match, Bradford-London 1887. by Chessical
   City Club Invitational (London, 1900) by Phony Benoni

GAMES ANNOTATED BY GUNSBERG: [what is this?]
   Lasker vs Steinitz, 1895
   Von Bardeleben vs Lasker, 1895
   Tarrasch vs Bird, 1895
   Burn vs Janowski, 1895
   Steinitz vs Burn, 1895
   >> 7 GAMES ANNOTATED BY GUNSBERG

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Isidor Gunsberg
Search Google for Isidor Gunsberg


ISIDOR GUNSBERG
(born Nov-02-1854, died May-02-1930, 75 years old) Hungary (citizen of United Kingdom)
PRONUNCIATION:
[what is this?]
Isidor Arthur Gunsberg was born in Budapest. He began his chess career as the hidden operator of the chess automaton Mephisto (Automaton). In 1876 he moved to Britain, and was later granted citizenship.

His success in match play leaves no doubt that he was one of the strongest competitors of his era: he defeated Henry Edward Bird (+5 -1 =3), Joseph Henry Blackburne (+5 -2 =6), and drew with Mikhail Chigorin (+9 -9 =5). In 1890, he challenged Wilhelm Steinitz for the world championship, but lost (+4 -6 =9), see Steinitz-Gunsberg World Championship Match (1890).

Wikipedia article: Isidor Gunsberg


 page 1 of 16; games 1-25 of 384  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Gunsberg vs G Mclennan 0-116 1879 LondonC38 King's Gambit Accepted
2. Gunsberg vs J Ascher 1-019 1879 LondonC30 King's Gambit Declined
3. Gunsberg vs NN 1-020 1879 LondonC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
4. Blackburne vs Gunsberg  1-056 1881 London m2C11 French
5. Gunsberg vs Blackburne  0-135 1881 London m2B45 Sicilian, Taimanov
6. Blackburne vs Gunsberg 1-058 1881 London m2C45 Scotch Game
7. Gunsberg vs Blackburne 0-113 1881 London m2B45 Sicilian, Taimanov
8. Gunsberg vs Bird ½-½50 1883 NurembergB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
9. G MacDonnell vs Gunsberg  1-066 1883 London (Vizayanagaram)C37 King's Gambit Accepted
10. W Paulsen vs Gunsberg 0-151 1883 NurembergC22 Center Game
11. Gunsberg vs Von Bardeleben  0-155 1883 NurembergC53 Giuoco Piano
12. F S Ensor vs Gunsberg  0-130 1883 London (Vizayanagaram)C44 King's Pawn Game
13. J S West vs Gunsberg 0-136 1883 London (Vizayanagaram)C49 Four Knights
14. Gunsberg vs M Lange 0-197 1883 NurembergD05 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Blackburne vs Gunsberg 1-045 1883 NurembergC45 Scotch Game
16. Gunsberg vs T H Piper  1-033 1883 London (Vizayanagaram)D05 Queen's Pawn Game
17. Gunsberg vs F Riemann  0-137 1883 NurembergC25 Vienna
18. M Bier vs Gunsberg  1-065 1883 NurembergC49 Four Knights
19. C E Ranken vs Gunsberg  ½-½55 1883 London (Vizayanagaram)C49 Four Knights
20. J Mason vs Gunsberg 1-040 1883 NurembergA40 Queen's Pawn Game
21. V Hruby vs Gunsberg  1-038 1883 NurembergD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Gunsberg vs F Hunter  1-027 1883 London (Vizayanagaram)A84 Dutch
23. Paulsen vs Gunsberg 1-061 1883 NurembergC02 French, Advance
24. E Thorold vs Gunsberg  0-126 1883 ?C39 King's Gambit Accepted
25. J Schwarz vs Gunsberg  ½-½39 1883 NurembergC49 Four Knights
 page 1 of 16; games 1-25 of 384  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Gunsberg wins | Gunsberg loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Reminiscence of Problemist S G Luckcock:
<“I was playing with several others against Mr Blackburne in simultaneous chess one evening. We had our score sheets by our side, when a gentleman tapped me on the shoulder saying he would like a word. He asked me if I was S.G. Luckcock, the problemist. I said that no-one had called me that until now but that I had published a few. He said, ‘I am glad to know you for I am the Chess Editor you submit them to’, and it was I. Gunsberg speaking. He introduced me to his son Alfred, a lad about my own age, who afterwards married my eldest sister: through this connection I met Mason, Dr Lasker, Lee, Marshall, Pillsbury, Teichmann and many others famous in those days and at the Divan Café played singly against Gunsberg and Marshall, losing both my games, of course, but this gave me a great enthusiasm for the game and, as I got to play better, I lost my power to compose problems.”’> http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...
Apr-19-08  Knight13: A great player definitely NOT appreciated by today's chess players. This guy's not that much worse than giants like Chigorin and he even sniped out Blackburne, yet Blackburne remains more famous.
May-16-08  Knight13: Chessmetrics Player Profile: Isidor Gunsberg

Born: 1854-Nov

Died: 1930-May

Best World Rank: #1 (on the February 1889 rating list)

Highest Rating: 2744 on the July 1889 rating list, #2 in world, age 34y8m

Best Individual Performance: 2784 in Blackburne-Gunsberg II (Bradford), 1887, scoring 8/13 (62%) vs 2744-rated opposition

Aug-22-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

" Carl Schlechter also showed us the generous side of his nature by declining to compete for any of the brilliancy prizes, for which he undoubtedly would have had the best chance. <I have won enough>, he said. <Let others get something too.> "

-- Gunsberg

Aug-22-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <vonKrolock < - A little curiosity: Gunsberg composed himself some Chess Problems or Studies?! - Currently I cannot find any example...>>

Here you are:

<The Westminster Papers, 1876>


click for larger view

White to move mates in three

. . .

<The Westminster Papers, 1877>


click for larger view

White to move mates in three

. . .

For solutions: http://www.bstephen.me.uk/cgi-bin/m...

A very fine database, neatly arranged, easy to handle!

Aug-28-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Gunsberg is the only world championship challenger who has not yet been the subject of a games collection.
Sep-02-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Source: CN 2082 Edward Winter, "Kings, Commoners and Knaves", Russell Enterprises, 1999
Sep-07-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: In 1915 Gunsberg successfully sued the "Evening News" newspaper in the High Court, which accused Gunsberg of "making blunders", after 15 of the 104 problems that were printed in Gunsberg's column in the "Daily Telegraph" were found to be unsound.

Source: David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, "Oxford Companion to Chess", 2nd edition, OUP, 1992

Jan-17-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Phony Benoni: Possibly Gunsber's best game: J Mason vs Gunsberg, 1889>

Here is another nice game against the same opponent.

Gunsberg vs J Mason, 1895

Feb-20-09  FHBradley: Isidor, stick to your guns!
Apr-05-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: Here is Gunsberg best international tournament win: Game Collection: Hamburg 1885
Jul-15-09  corwin2: Instead of a picture of Gunsberg I see a picture of Maria Carrie... Special reason?
Nov-02-10  drnooo: Not sure how chessmetrics goes about its ratings or that it matters: however this guys record is so damned good he might even be better that its 2744
Nov-02-10  rapidcitychess: Vote for Gunsberg!

:)

Mar-29-11  Penguincw: Quote of the Day:

< "Schlechter also showed us the generous side of his nature by declining to compete for any of the brilliancy prizes, for which he undoubtedly would have had the best chance. "I have won enough", he said. "Let others get something too." >

Jan-24-12  Penguincw: Same quote as Mar-29-11. :-\
Mar-09-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <AlexanderMorphy: well this guy should at least be as famous as chigorin! wow looking at his games he is a very good player, and i especially like his win against chigorin when he was operating the mephisto!>

Looking for one of Gunsberg's game a minute ago, I discovered (not really to much, if any, surprise) that his name is <not> included in the drop-down menu in the Advanced Search window on the CG home page. I wonder how many other players who played a World Chess Championship match are similarly omitted?

Gunsberg definitely doesn't get the respect he deserves.

Jul-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: A bit of information on the gigantic Ostende 1906 tournament which Isidor Gunsberg organized.

All of this comes from the (Neue) Wiener Schachzeitung, June 1906 (and supplementary material. The final standings from Uncrowned King)

36 players started and during five stages, the winner was determined.

It began with 4 groups (A, B, C and D) with A facing B and C facing D.

Group A: Von Balla, Bernstein, Blackburne, Burn, Duras, Gattie, Janowski, Leonhardt and Oskam (he replaced Sherrard who deceased prior to tournament begin).

Group B: Cohn, Fahrni, Forgacs, John, Johner, Marco, Maroczy, Rubinstein and Saburov (replacing Von Bardeleben).

Group C: Dr. Lewitt, Maljutin, Marshall, Mieses, Dr. Perlis, Post, Spielmann, Suechting and Teichmann (replacing Caro).

Group D: Reggio, Salwe, Schlechter, Znosko-Borowski, Sournin, Swiderski, Taubenhaus, Chigorin and Wolf.

They play 9 rounds first and then the last three players of every group are eliminated.

Then Group A faces C and B faces D. Another 6 rounds are played and the last 2 players of every group are eliminated.

This is followed by A facing D and B facing C and takes 4 days. Afterwards, every group plays a tournament of its own which lasts 3 days.

Now, 16 players are left and the 7 lowest placed ones are eliminated with the rest playing for the prize money (4000, 2500, 1500, 1000, 800, 700, 600, 500 and 450 Francs). Consolation prizes are 800 Francs for the 12 competitors eliminated after 9 days, 1400 Francs for the 8 players eliminated after 9+6 days, and finally 3000 Francs for the 10 players surviving 9+6+7 days.

Preliminary results after 5 rounds (i think that '+H' refers to an adjourned game):

Group A:
Janowski 4.5
Burn 4.0
Leonhardt 4.0
Bernstein 3.5
Von Balla 3.0
Duras 3.0
Blackburne 2.0+H
Oskam 1.5
Gattie 0.0

Group B:
Fahrni 3.0
Johner 3.0
Maroczy 3.0
John 2.5
Marco 2.5
Rubinstein 2.0+H
Forgacs 1.5
Cohn 1.0
Saburov 0.0

Group C:
Marshall 4.0
Dr. Perlis 4.0
Mieses 3.5
Spielmann 3.5
Suechting 3.5
Teichmann 3.0
Dr. Lewitt 2.0
Maljutin 2.0
Post 2.0

Group D:
Znosko-Borowski 3.5
Schlechter 3.0
Wolf 3.0
Salwe 2.5
Swiderski 2.0
Taubenhaus 2.0
Sournin 1.5
Reggio 0.5
Chigorin 0.5

Standings after the first stage (9 rounds):

Group A:
Janowski 7.0
Burn 7.0
Leonhardt 6.0
Bernstein 5.5
Blackburne 5.5
Von Balla 5.0
Duras 5.0
Oskam 2.0
Gattie 1.0

Overall: 44.0 points

Group B:
Johner 6.0
Maroczy 6.0
Fahrni 5.5
Rubinstein 5.5
John 4.5
Marco 3.5
Forgacs 3.0
Cohn 3.0
Saburov 0.0

Overall: 37.0 points

Group C:
Dr. Perlis 6.5
Marshall 6.0
Teichmann 6.0
Mieses 5.5
Suechting 5.0
Spielmann 4.5
Post 4.0
Dr. Lewitt 3.0
Maljutin 3.0

Overall: 43.5 points

Group D:
Znosko-Borowski 6.0
Schlechter 6.0
Salwe 5.5
Swiderski 4.5
Chigorin 4.0
Wolf 3.5
Taubenhaus 3.5
Sournin 2.5
Reggio 2.0

Overall: 37.5 points

Janowski's performance is being hailed but it is also mentioned that he had losing positions in five of his games. Burn is also praised (especially his games against Forgacs and Johner and the save against Maroczy). Notable is also Chigorin's comeback after a disastrous start.

Eliminated were Von Balla (despite scoring 5.0 points!), Oskam, Gattie, Cohn, Forgacs, Saburov, Post, Dr. Lewitt, Maljutin, Sournin and Reggio.

Jul-15-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: The 2nd stage (always the accumulated scores of all rounds played up to that point of time):

Group A:
Burn 10.5
Leonhardt: 10.0
Janowski 9.5
Bernstein 9.0
Blackburne 9.0
Duras 8.0

Group B:
Maroczy 10.0
Rubinstein 9.5
Johner 8.0
Fahrni 7.0
John 7.0
Marco 5.5

Group C
Marshall 10.0
Teichmann 9.0
Dr. Perlis 8.5
Mieses 8.0
Spielmann 8.0
Suechting 6.0

Group D:
Schlechter 10.5
Salwe 9.5
Znosko-Borowski 9.0
Swiderski 7.5
Chigorin 6.5
Wolf 6.5

Eliminated were: Blackburne (despite accumulating 9.0 points!), Duras, John, Marco, Suechting, Chigorin and Wolf. Spielmann would have been eliminated but Mieses left due to health issues.

After the 3rd stage (actually, 3rd stage (i. e. A vs D and B vs C) and the 4th stage (i. e. members of the same group playing each other) have been taken together - that's why it looks like a 4-stage tournament here though it was a 5-stage tournament):

Group A:
Bernstein 14.5
Burn 14.0
Janowski 13.0
Leonhardt 11.5

Group B:
Maroczy 15.5
Rubinstein 14.0
Fahrni 10.5
Johner 9.0

Group C:
Marshall 13.0
Teichmann 13.0
Dr. Perlis 12.5
Spielmann 10.5

Group D:
Schlechter 15.0
Znosko-Borowski 12.0
Swiderski 12.0
Salwe 11.5

The final Standings were:
1. Schlechter 21.0
2. Maroczy 20.0
3. Rubinstein 19.0
4-6. Bernstein 18.0
4-6. Burn 18.0
4-6. Teichmann 18.0
7. Marshall 16.5
8. Janowski 16.0
9. Dr. Perlis 14.0

Dec-15-12  thomastonk: Who is afraid of Captain Hawksworth?!

[Event "Unknown"]
[Site "Purssell's Rooms, Cornhill"]
[Date "1881.02.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Captain Hawksworth"]
[Black "Gunsberg"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C52"]
[PlyCount "39"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. O-O Nf6 7. d4 O-O 8. Nxe5 Nxe4 9. Nxf7 Rxf7 10. Bxf7+ Kxf7 11. d5 Ne7 12. Qa4 Bxc3 13. Nxc3 Nxc3 14. Qc4 Ncxd5 15. Bg5 c6 16. Rfe1 Kf8 17. Rxe7 Nxe7 18. Re1 d5 19. Qh4 Ng6 20. Qb4+ 1-0

Source: CPC 1881, p 111. According to the comments, both players followed at least until 15. Bg5 an analysis of James Mason from the Dubuque Chess Journal and the New York Spirit, 1873-74. Moreover, 15.. Kg6 is suggested in the CPC with some advantage.

I think, 16.. Kf8 is a serious error, but 17.Bxe7+ would have been the right way to secure the advantage. The final is weird. The position after 18.. d5 is about equal, and 19.Qf4+, 19.Qc5, 19.Qb4 and 19.Qc3 look all fine. But after the text 19.Qh4? Black has a nice response (mentioned already in the CPC): 19.. Nf5! :


click for larger view

The difference compared to 19.. Ng6? is the control of d6 in the line 20.Qb4+ Qd6.

Jun-30-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <"Mr. Gunsberg's play throughout, though not without flaws, has been marked by that coolness and patience so characteristic of his style.

"At all times he is a dangerous opponent, but never more so than when his game seems to have gotten into some little confusion. Then he will sit with half-closed eyes and a dreamy, far-away look in his face, as if thinking of anything rather than the game before him, and with just the ghost of a smile flitting across his lips.

"Then he will make some move which, to the bystander, seems to be half mechanical, barely touching, it may be a pawn which he pushes up a square; or his hand slightly laid upon his queen, as he moves her majesty with an almost imperceptible motion a little to the right or the left.

"But then let his opponent beware! From beneath these drooping eyelids a lightning glance has shot forth that has pieced the game through and through, and the dreamy-looking face is but the mask that conceals intense concentration of thought. That little pawn's advance or that queen's move is the beginning of mischief and the harbinger of woe.">

-- W. N. Potter, "Land and Water" quoted in the "Baltimore American", July 26, 1885. Gunsberg had just won the British Chess Association Congress.

http://www.chessarch.com/excavation...

Nov-02-13  Kikoman: <Player of the Day>

Rest In Peace Sir Isidor Gunsberg.

Nov-02-13  Llawdogg: The beginning of mischief and the harbinger of woe!
Nov-02-13  Penguincw: R.I.P. <POTD>: World championship challenger Isidor Gunsberg.
Dec-29-13  Penguincw: K Quote of the Day K

< "Schlechter also showed us the generous side of his nature by declining to compete for any of the brilliancy prizes, for which he undoubtedly would have had the best chance. 'I have won enough', he said. 'Let others get something too.'" >

-Gunsberg

I guess that's why they call Schlechter "the draw master".

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