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Daniel Harrwitz
Number of games in database: 164
Years covered: 1845 to 1868

Overall record: +80 -53 =28 (58.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (21) 
    C33 C39 C36 C38
 Dutch Defense (8) 
    A84 A85
 King's Pawn Game (8) 
 Queen's Gambit Declined (6) 
    D35 D30
 King's Gambit Declined (5) 
    C30 C31
 Philidor's Defense (4) 
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (16) 
    B20 B21 B30 B44
 Giuoco Piano (11) 
    C50 C54 C53
 Philidor's Defense (10) 
 King's Pawn Game (9) 
 Ruy Lopez (6) 
    C64 C65
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (4) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Mayet vs Harrwitz, 1848 0-1
   Harrwitz vs Anderssen, 1848 1-0
   E Williams vs Harrwitz, 1846 1/2-1/2
   Harrwitz vs Horwitz, 1846 1-0
   Harrwitz vs Morphy, 1858 1-0
   Morphy vs Harrwitz, 1858 0-1
   Mayet vs Harrwitz, 1847 0-1
   Harrwitz vs Morphy, 1858 1/2-1/2
   Harrwitz vs Morphy, 1858 1-0
   Harrwitz vs Loewenthal, 1853 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Harrwitz - Williams (1846)
   Harrwitz - Williams (1852)
   Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53 (1852)
   Anderssen - Harrwitz (1848)
   Morphy - Harrwitz (1858)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Blunderchecked games II by nimh
   KG(D) Classical Variation by crazedrat

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Daniel Harrwitz
Search Google for Daniel Harrwitz

(born Feb-22-1821, died Jan-02-1884, 62 years old) Germany

[what is this?]

Daniel Harrwitz was born in Breslau, Germany. During the 1850s he was among the top 3 or 4 players in the World. He played matches against Howard Staunton (+0, =0, -7) in 1846, Bernhard Horwitz (+6, =1, -5) in 1846, Adolf Anderssen (+5, =0, -5) in 1848, Horwitz (+7, =12, -6) in 1849, Jozsef Szen (+3, =1, -1) in 1852 and Johann Jacob Loewenthal (+11, =12, -8) in 1853. He played in Manchester 1857 but was knocked out by Anderssen in the 1st round and played a match against Paul Morphy (+2, =1, -5) in 1858. When his father died, he retired to Bolzano in the Austrian Alps with a small family inheritance.

Wikipedia article: Daniel Harrwitz

Last updated: 2016-10-16 12:55:42

 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 164  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Harrwitz vs Kieseritzky 1-0391845ParisB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
2. B Greville vs Harrwitz 0-1151845ParisC44 King's Pawn Game
3. Harrwitz vs Horwitz 1-0311846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
4. Horwitz vs Harrwitz 1-0201846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
5. Harrwitz vs Horwitz 1-0371846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
6. E Williams vs Harrwitz 0-1471846Harrwitz - WilliamsC50 Giuoco Piano
7. Horwitz vs Harrwitz 1-0311846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
8. Harrwitz vs Horwitz ½-½261846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
9. E Williams vs Harrwitz ½-½521846Harrwitz - WilliamsD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
10. Harrwitz vs Horwitz 0-1541846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
11. Horwitz vs Harrwitz 0-1301846London m4 ;HCL 34C50 Giuoco Piano
12. G Walker vs Harrwitz 0-1351846London mC33 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Harrwitz vs E Williams 1-0431846Harrwitz - WilliamsC38 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Horwitz vs Harrwitz 1-0451846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
15. Harrwitz vs Horwitz 1-0481846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
16. H Buckle vs Harrwitz 1-0481846LondonC50 Giuoco Piano
17. E Williams vs Harrwitz 0-1301846Harrwitz - WilliamsD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
18. Harrwitz vs Horwitz 1-0431846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
19. Staunton vs Harrwitz 1-0241846LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
20. Horwitz vs Harrwitz 0-1361846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
21. E Williams vs Harrwitz ½-½841846Harrwitz - WilliamsD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
22. Horwitz vs Harrwitz 1-0441846London m4 ;HCL 34C44 King's Pawn Game
23. Harrwitz vs Staunton 0-1381846LondonC54 Giuoco Piano
24. Staunton vs Harrwitz 1-0251846LondonC45 Scotch Game
25. Staunton vs Harrwitz 1-0381846LondonC50 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 164  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Harrwitz wins | Harrwitz loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-23-07  wolfmaster: Compared to his contemporaries,(Bird,Anderssen,Morphy etc...) Harrwitz had the lowest draw/game ratio at about 1/6. Bird had 1/7, Morphy(because he destroyed everybody)1/14, and Anderssen 1/14. Lowenthal also had a high 1/6. Others include Mayet 1/16(LOL), und Der Lasa( a bit before Harrwitz),1/6,Kieseritsky ,1/10,De Reviere 1/12, DuBois 1/9,Staunton 1/8, Von Jaenisch 1/5(because of his long fought matches with Ilya Shumov), Max Lange 1/9, Shumov 1/13, Elijah Williams 1/5,(who contested a long match with Harrwitz in 1852) Horwitz 1/8(another player with whom Harrwitz handled fairly easily in a long match called "The Battle of the Witz) Kennedy 1/13,Szen 1/11.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <wolfmaster>

<Horwitz 1/8(another player with whom Harrwitz handled fairly easily in a long match called "The Battle of the Witz)>

As you can see by looking at the bio above, Harrwitz played two matches with Horwitz, and both were extremely close.

Given that we have nowhere near a complete record for any mid-19th century player, and the games we do have are a mix of match games, tournament games, and casual games, drawing ratios don't mean much.

Apr-23-07  elLocoEvans: In that engraving Harrwitz has some resemblance to a sleepy Poe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Harrwitz was renowned for taking "vacations" in the middle of matches.

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

Oct-24-08  Karpova: From Jeremy P. Spinrad's "Chess Journalism: Old and New", May 2007:

Page 4: <The first part of the magazine is devoted to discussing the recent match between Harrwitz and Löwenthal, which to Staunton's dismay was won by Harrwitz. How did Staunton congratulate the victor?

"We cannot resist recording our conviction that in no Chess match of importance ever played, was the truth of the familiar proverb which tells us 'the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,' so forcefully exemplified as in this.">

From "The Chess Player's Chronicle", 1854

Oct-28-08  wolfmaster: <keypusher> You are as wrong as wrong can be.
Oct-28-08  Nietzowitsch: <wolfmaster> Statistics are the triumph of the quantitative method, and the quantitative method is the victory of sterility and death. You are as wrong as wrong can be!
Oct-29-08  wolfmaster: <Nietzowitsch> What?
Apr-26-09  myschkin: . . .

<< Lehrbuch des Schachspiels> (1862) >

+.pdf download

Apr-29-09  WhiteRook48: what a weird player
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Some interesting biographical information about Harrwitz's date of birth and death can be found at:
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is an excellent description of Harrwitz playing two blindfold games simultaneously, taken from the Hobart, Courier, dated 26 June 1857:

The Cafe de la Regence, Paris, on Friday night was the scene of an extraordinary display of chess power, contending without seeing the board, in two games at the same time against two players of the Paris Chess Club.

Prince Antoine Bonaparte, the Duke of
Brunswick, the Marquis do Carraciola, Count Issoire, and a great number of amateurs and members of the club, wore present, and followed with unflagging interest to the close the wonderful feat of mental abstraction and chess memory which M. Harrwitz presented on the occasion without, to all appearance, any harassing effect.

To better understand how the matches wee conducted, it may be as well to state that the Cafe de la Régence consists of two large salles on the ground floor; one fitted up as a cafe, properly so called, and the other provided with billiard tables and arranged as an estaminet, in which smoking is allowed. In both of these rooms, which are open to all, and in which chess is going on nearly all day long, the amateur is sure at all times to find someone willing to play a game. But above is situated a range of rooms appropriated to the use of the Paris Chess Club, and in these it was that the wonderful display took place on the occasion of which we speak.

In the centre of the largest of those rooms were placed two tables, at which were seated, each with a board and chessmen before him, M. Lecrivain and M. P-, the gentlemen with whom
M. Harrwitz was to engage in peaceful conflict. The room beyond, the last of the suite, was set apart for the mental player, all its fitting-up consisting merely of three or four chairs, and a table in one corner, on which were placed wine, sugar, and water, and other refreshments, as well as writing materials, to enable the gentleman who acted as secretary to mark down the moves when decided on.

The door of communication between the two rooms was kept open the whole time, so that every one could see that not only M. Harrwitz had no means of aiding his memory by any extraneous or tangible object, but that all intercourse with other persons was absolutely impossible. All round the other rooms were arranged chess-tables, on which the amateurs invited to be present followed the moves as they were played. Everything being declared in readiness, at about half-past nine the play commenced.

The manner in which the moves were
announced was this :- M. Lequesne, who had kindly consented to act as secretary, after having received instructions from M. Harrwitz wrote down the moves for both games, and then entering the other room and saying ' First game,' specified tho move fixed for it; next saying 'Second game', he acted in the same way for it. The moves, thus named, were then played on the board, and the two adversaries studied the reply to be given. When both gentlemen had decided M. Lequense marked down the moves as before, and then in turn announced aloud to M. Harrwitz, exactly in the same manner, the advance so given in each case.

The longest game, in which there was remark of fine play by both sides, lasted three hours and a half, and from the beginning to the end of that long space of time, during which the strain on the memory must havo been enormous, Mr. Harrwitz (says Galignani) never for a moment appeared in the slightest degree embarrassed, nor did he delay longer in his moves than he probably would have done in an ordinary game, when looking at the board. The replies certainly came more rapidly from him than from the other room, M. Lecrivain taking a considerable time to examine each position and playing with great caution; M. P-, on the other hand, moved at once, and, being naturally a quick player, soon got somewhat fatigued by the great length of time which he was obliged to remain unoccupied while waiting for the decisions of M. Lecrivain.

It is most probably to this circumstance that must be attributed the fact that he by no means equalled his usual game. It was after one o'clock when M. Harrwitz came into thie general room after winning in both games. He declared himself to be but little fatigued, and, in answer to observations made to him, proceeded at once to explain various points of his play."

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Really a nice description of this exhibition,

Mr.certainly was one of the strongest masters of the 1850s.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Harrwitz.
Apr-29-12  Llawdogg: Thanks, Graham Clayton, for that wonderful description of the blindfold play of Harrwitz.
Apr-29-12  parisattack: Apparently not the Harrwitz of the ...h6 variation of the ...e5 Sicilian but rather a player of the mid-20th century?

Anyone know details?

This Harrwitz did play a few ...e5 Sicilians before inventing the Taimanov Variation which he played in quite modern fashion!

Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <<<Mr. Blackburne tells a good story of Harrwitz, the celebrated chess player, recently deceased.>

The latter was playing a game at a London club, and his opponent had just attacked a Knight with a Pawn. Harrwitz saw that if the Knight were captured he could force a mate in four moves, but feared that if he openly abandoned the Knight, suspicion would be aroused and his little scheme frustrated.

How was his opponent to be thrown off his guard?

He hit upon the ingenious expedient of making a false move with the attacked Knight. His opponent of course claimed the usual penalty of compelling him to move the King. Remonstrances were vain ; the laws of the game must be adhered to, and with well-simulated disgust at his own stupidity, Harrwitz replaced the Knight and moved his King.

His opponent innocently snapped up the Knight, whereupon the shockingly wily German blandly announced his mate in four.>

- South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA) issue Saturday 7 March 1885>

Mar-18-14  RookFile: I love it. Good for Harrwitz. :)
Mar-18-14  RedShield: That anecdote sounds very fishy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I was surprised to see that "Daniel Harrwitz beat Elijah Williams 17 to 2, with 8 draws." Williams was a strong player!
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: From looking at Harrwitz's results, it's safe to say that he's 1 of the most underrated chess players of all time!
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The Harrwitz bio by batgirl, previously referenced by <SBC>, now have a hopefully more permanent home here:

A photograph of the player, maybe preferred to the above pen illustration, is also available:

(Not sure the original source though)

Here is the first paragraph by Sarah:

<Daniel Harrwitz was born in Breslau, Germany (which is now Wroclaw, Poland ) on April 29, 1823 - just 5 years after Herr Anderssen, another Breslau native. When he was 22, he moved to Paris and became a regular at the Café de la Régence where he secured a good reputation as a chess player, particularly as a blindfold player. Then in 1846 he and Lionel Kieseritzky moved together to London.>

The <CG> intro is woefully shy of Harrwitz's various residencies, which are important to his development as a chess player.

Also, the match against Staunton in 1846 consisted of 21-games, 14 of which were played at odds (7 with pawn and two moves, the other 7 with pawn and move).

But, as batgirl notes:

<Staunton won the first section (Pawn & two) 4-3; Harrwitz won the second section (Pawn & one) 6-1; and Staunton won the final (even) section 7-0.

Clearly, Staunton was the superior player at this time, but Staunton was at the height of his career while Harrwitz was really just beginning his.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <jnpope> has recently posted various chess articles from <The Field>, an important early source. In them I found this:

Where Harrwitz 1853 challenge to Staunton is published. This match was never undertaken, but as batgirl notes:

<Staunton continued to refuse to play Harrwitz, but in all likelihood, Harrwitz was London's strongest player.>

Supposedly, Staunton turned down the match, but the exact reasons are very complicated. I've seen some mention it was done in insulting fashion. Some of the long story is retold on the pages of the <Chess Player's Chronicle>: (scroll down 1/2 page to begin)

and also here:

One must remember that the <Chess Player's Chronicle> was basically Staunton's mouthpiece, as he was editor (and owner).

On the other hand, Harrwitz became editor of the <British Chess Review> during the same period:

<The second match (ed- against Williams) spanned 1852-53 and Harrwitz won that one 7-2. It was during the second match that Harrwitz took a job as editor of the British Chess Review.> (from batgirl's bio)

Some people have written that Staunton only kept on at the <Chess Player's Chronicle> to maintain access to the public during the Harrwitz match debacle:

Harding's <Eminent Victorian Chess Players: Ten Biographies> p60-63

where he describes how after Staunton sold the <Chess Player's Chronicle> to Brien (penname Oxoniensis) in July 1854 the magazine began a downhill slide to its demise about two years later.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: When Morphy came to Europe in 1858, one of his goals was to play Staunton.

That match never same about, yet Morphy's trip is basically viewed as his crowning as World Chess Championship (such as it was at the time).

But who exactly did he beat to take the "crown"?

Besides Staunton, Harrwitz must be viewed as one of the strongest players at the time.

<In 1848 Harrwitz returned the Breslau for a visit. He played a relatively unknown chess problemist named Adolf Anderssen. The match called for the best out of eleven but when it reached 5 -5, they mutually agreed to end it. [...]

In 1856 Harrwitz moved to Paris and settled in as the club professional at the Café de la Régence. He beat Jules Arnous De Rivière in a match 5-2. Then came Morphy > > (batgirl again)

Edward Winter has an entire article devoted to early uses of the term WCC -

Where we find:

<(Regarding the Morphy v Harrwitz match): ‘… no man living can tell whether, or no, these two gentlemen are not now engaged in fighting for the Chess championship of the whole world!’ C.H. Stanley, Harper’s Weekly, 9 October 1858.>

Also in <The World of Chess> by Saidy and Lessing on p104:

<Morphy proceeded to Paris, the scene of his most brillant accomplishments. His most important match, held at the Cafe de la Regence, was with Daniel Harrwitz. Like Fischer in his 1972 match with Spassky, Morphy lost the first two games (some pundits have suggested that Fischer was trying to emulate Morphy when he forfeited his second game), but he went on to win the match by a score of 5 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw, when Harrwitz pleaded he could not continue because of illness. [...]>

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Daniel Harrwitz.
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