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Samuel Rosenthal
Number of games in database: 191
Years covered: 1864 to 1888
Overall record: +52 -62 =60 (47.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      17 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (23) 
    C65 C77 C67 C80 C60
 French Defense (17) 
    C01 C11 C00
 King's Gambit Accepted (8) 
    C33 C34 C37
 Scotch Game (7) 
 Three Knights (7) 
 Sicilian (7) 
    B21 B23 B45 B24
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (21) 
    C65 C77 C67 C80 C68
 King's Gambit Accepted (10) 
    C33 C39
 Evans Gambit (8) 
    C51 C52
 English, 1 c4 e5 (7) 
    A20 A28
 Scotch Game (7) 
 Giuoco Piano (7) 
    C53 C50 C54
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   S Rosenthal vs Allies, 1887 1-0
   Winawer vs S Rosenthal, 1883 1/2-1/2
   S Rosenthal vs J Mortimer, 1883 1-0
   S Rosenthal vs Count Isouard, 1871 1-0
   S Rosenthal vs Steinitz, 1870 1-0
   S Rosenthal vs Anderssen, 1873 1-0
   S Rosenthal vs Zukertort, 1880 1-0
   Blackburne vs S Rosenthal, 1870 1/2-1/2
   S Rosenthal vs Chigorin, 1883 1-0
   S Rosenthal vs M Fleissig, 1873 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Vienna (1873)
   Paris (1878)
   Paris (1867)
   Baden-Baden (1870)
   London (1883)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   London 1883 by suenteus po 147
   Vienna 1873 by suenteus po 147
   Paris 1878 by suenteus po 147
   Samuel Rosenthal - A Forgotten Showman by marekg248

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(born Sep-07-1837, died Sep-12-1902, 65 years old) Poland (federation/nationality France)

[what is this?]
Samuel Rosenthal was born in Suwalki*. He became a law student and moved from Warsaw to Paris, France in 1864 during the Polish revolution. He settled there as a chess professional and writer. He won the Cafe de la Regence championship in 1865, 1866, and 1867. He won the first unofficial French chess championship in 1880. A player of master strength, his results were affected by his journalistic activities and bad health. His best performance was at Vienna in 1873 where he finished 4th. He contributed to many journals and chess magazines and edited a chess column in the 'Monde Illustre' from 1885 to 1902. In 1898, he successfully sued one of his chess students, Prince Balaschoff, when his contract was terminated. The First Chamber of the Civil Tribunal at Paris awarded Rosenthal 15,000 francs. The Prince had been paying Rosenthal 500 francs a month, and 1,000 francs when Rosenthal accompanied the Prince in travel.

*Wikipedia article: Suwa%C5%82ki

Wikipedia article: Samuel Rosenthal

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 191  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. S Rosenthal vs Kolisch 0-141 1864 Paris m2C53 Giuoco Piano
2. Kolisch vs S Rosenthal 1-022 1864 Paris m2C33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Kolisch vs S Rosenthal 1-086 1864 Parijs mC51 Evans Gambit
4. E P Duclos vs S Rosenthal 0-130 1865 Paris000 Chess variants
5. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal  1-021 1865 Cafe de la RegenceC51 Evans Gambit
6. S Rosenthal vs E Schmidt 1-029 1865 Leipzig simC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
7. S Rosenthal vs M S From  1-044 1867 ParisC33 King's Gambit Accepted
8. S Rosenthal vs J Mortimer ½-½50 1867 Paris mC45 Scotch Game
9. Kolisch vs S Rosenthal ½-½29 1867 ParisC42 Petrov Defense
10. G Neumann vs S Rosenthal  ½-½39 1867 Paris m1C55 Two Knights Defense
11. S Rosenthal vs G Neumann ½-½39 1867 Paris m1C45 Scotch Game
12. S Rosenthal vs E Rousseau  1-039 1867 ParisB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
13. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal  1-050 1867 Paris mC50 Giuoco Piano
14. S Rosenthal vs De Vere 0-132 1867 ParisC00 French Defense
15. M S From vs S Rosenthal 0-148 1867 ParisC21 Center Game
16. G Neumann vs S Rosenthal ½-½41 1867 Paris m1C59 Two Knights
17. S Rosenthal vs G Neumann 0-145 1867 Paris m1B21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
18. S Rosenthal vs G Neumann  ½-½28 1867 ParisC45 Scotch Game
19. S Rosenthal vs de Riviere 0-132 1867 ParisC33 King's Gambit Accepted
20. Winawer vs S Rosenthal 1-033 1867 ParisC67 Ruy Lopez
21. De Vere vs S Rosenthal 0-123 1867 ParisA20 English
22. J Mortimer vs S Rosenthal  0-144 1867 Paris mC44 King's Pawn Game
23. S Rosenthal vs Loyd  ½-½51 1867 ParisC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
24. S Rosenthal vs G Neumann ½-½48 1867 Paris m1C67 Ruy Lopez
25. G Neumann vs S Rosenthal 0-133 1867 ParisC51 Evans Gambit
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 191  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Rosenthal wins | Rosenthal loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: All I can say about this player is this: "He was a strong player who competed against the world's strongest players."
Dec-10-05  aw1988: Was it said of him "His greatest weakness is not studying the modern game", or am I thinking of somebody else?
Sep-07-06  BIDMONFA: Samuel Rosenthal


Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Rosenthal and Zukertort shared a birthday, the former being five years older. Wonder if they ever played on September 7th?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Rosenthal is great-great-grandfather of David Shenk, author of the new book "The Immortal Game" :
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: He has an interesting overall record. Can't get more even than that!
Jun-17-07  Karpova: Here's a nice article on the "Showman" Rosenthal:

He was called a showman because of giving a lot of simultaneous exhibition and blindfold sessions. The article provides a lot of pictures and games from simuls with beautiful combinations.

Aug-18-07  Karpova: <1898-99: Samuel Rosenthal v Prince Balaschoff (C.N. 1483)

‘From the Stratégie we learn that a curious lawsuit has just been brought before the First Chamber of the Civil Tribunal at Paris. A dozen years ago Prince Balaschoff engaged Mr Rosenthal as a teacher of chess, at a salary of 500 fr. per month, and 1,000 fr. when M. Rosenthal accompanied his pupil in travel. Pupil and teacher were on the best of terms, and they laboured together hard at a work on chess. But one gets tired of everything, and some months ago M. Balaschoff got rid of his instructor. The latter brought an action to recover 15,000 fr. arrears of pay according to agreements, 1,000 fr. for the last journey to Stuttgard [sic], and 25,000 fr. indemnity for sudden dismissal, and for loss of profits by non-publication of the chess work on which they had been engaged. The tribunal awarded M. Rosenthal 15,000 fr. for salary according to agreements, but rejected all his other demands.’

Source: BCM, March 1899, page 112. The French magazine’s report appeared on pages 20-21 of its 15 January 1899 issue.>

Sep-07-08  brankat: <Karpova> A very fine article indeed. Thanks for the link.

S.Rosenthal was both, a talented master and writer.

R.I.P. Mr.Rosenthal.

Sep-07-08  artyom2008: happy bday
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: According to Steinitz, Rosenthal was the only chess professional of the era who made a good living, averaging an income of approximately 20,000 francs a year from the early 1870's up to his death in 1902.

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

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Some more information on Rosenthal. He was the player most affected by the rule for the London 1883 tournament which stated that all drawn games had to be replayed. Rosenthal had to play 45 games in the space of 2 months because of all of his original drawn games. He finished 8th with a score of 14/26.
Feb-12-09  marekg248: Hello, I've made a collection of games from Edward Winter's feature article "A Forgotten Showman" (it was already mentioned above). All of them are a lot of fun to watch.

Thanks for uploading all of them.

Feb-13-09  marekg248: Here is the link to the collection:

Game Collection: Samuel Rosenthal - A Forgotten Showman

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: marekg248 - Great job with that. Thanks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  mike1: According to Elo he had a rating of 2470 is his best days- impressive for a "coffee house"-player. I am impressed by his games too. Interesting list regarding historical ratings anyway:
Sep-07-10  Jambow: <mike1> agreed this mans games show a tactical brilliance over both Steinitz and Chigorin the dominant players of that era. If he is a coffee house player poor me a cup.

I think Elo inflation, though it wasn't in use then will show itself doing the calculations in either direction timewise.

Jan-07-11  vonKrolock: <born in Poland> in Suwałki
Premium Chessgames Member
  thomastonk: His date of death here is Sep-19-1902, but I've found a death notice already in "Le Temps" of September 13. Other online source give September 12, and so I'll change the date.
Oct-05-13  Karpova: <thomastonk>

The November 1902 'Wiener Schachzeitung' reports on p. 230 also that he died on September 12, in Neuilly near Paris.

Oct-23-13  Karpova: <M. Rosenthal has transferred his weekly Chess column from 'La Revue Illustre' to 'La Vie Moderne', to which we wish not only a modern, or a moderate, but a very long life.>

From page 99 of the March 1882 'British Chess Magazine'

Nov-02-13  redwhitechess: The Montgomery County Times re-phrase a report of curious case between Samuel Rosenthal vs Prince Balaschoff chess lesson

<A curious chess law-suit before the first Chamber of the Civil Tribunal of Paris has just ended. Rosenthal, the well-known Polish chess master, resident in Paris since 1867, was engaged about ten years ago by Prince Balaschoff as his professor of chess at £ 25 per month, to be increased to £40 per month whenever the Professor travelled with his pupil. Pupil and Professor, according to La Strategie, were on the best of terms for many years, they were even engaged in collaboration on a grand chess treatise, when, suddenly, a few months ago, Professor Rosenthal received a somewhat unceremonious dismissal. He sued, in response, for £ 750 back salary fixed under the written agreement, £50 for a final journey to Stuttgart, and £1,250 for his unjustifiable dismissal and loss of profits on the projected treatise. The Civil Tribunal allowed the first demand, but rejected the two latter. We believe that this is the first time that compensation for chess services has figured so definitely in a court of law.>

scanned link:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Samuel Rosenthal.
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