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David Janowski
Photograph Getty Images.  
Number of games in database: 854
Years covered: 1891 to 1926

Overall record: +377 -286 =175 (55.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 16 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (85) 
    D02 D00 A46 D05 A40
 Ruy Lopez (69) 
    C67 C66 C65 C82 C71
 Queen's Gambit Declined (45) 
    D30 D35 D37 D31 D06
 Orthodox Defense (43) 
    D60 D53 D52 D51 D55
 Four Knights (40) 
    C49 C48 C47
 French Defense (20) 
    C11 C12 C10 C14 C00
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (97) 
    C87 C79 C77 C67 C78
 Orthodox Defense (34) 
    D63 D60 D51 D55 D62
 Four Knights (34) 
    C49 C48 C47
 Queen's Pawn Game (34) 
    A46 D04 D00 D05 D02
 Sicilian (32) 
    B40 B45 B23 B32 B25
 Queen's Gambit Declined (31) 
    D31 D37 D39 D30 D35
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Janowski vs Ed. Lasker, 1924 1/2-1/2
   Janowski vs Saemisch, 1925 1-0
   Janowski vs NN, 1895 1-0
   Janowski vs Alapin, 1905 1-0
   Janowski vs Gruenfeld, 1925 1/2-1/2
   Janowski vs E Schallopp, 1896 1-0
   Janowski vs Schlechter, 1899 1-0
   Janowski vs Tarrasch, 1905 1-0
   Janowski vs O Chajes, 1913 1-0
   Janowski vs Steel, 1893 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   13th DSB Kongress (Hanover) (1902)
   Janowski Exhibition Series at Manhattan Chess Club (1899)
   Barmen Meisterturnier A (1905)
   Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18 (1917)
   London (1899)
   Ostend (1905)
   Cambridge Springs (1904)
   Scheveningen (1913)
   Vienna (1898)
   Monte Carlo (1902)
   Monte Carlo (1901)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   9th DSB Kongress, Leipzig (1894)
   Prague (1908)
   Paris (1900)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Challenger Janowski by Gottschalk
   Janowski vs. Showalter Matches by Phony Benoni
   Vienna 1898 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Vienna 1898 by suenteus po 147
   Ostend 1905 by suenteus po 147
   London 1899 by suenteus po 147
   London 1899 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Janowski's "Jans" by capanegra

   Janowski vs Steel, 1893

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(born Jun-07-1868, died Jan-15-1927, 58 years old) Poland (federation/nationality France)

[what is this?]
David (Dawid) Markelowicz Janowski was born in 1868 in Wolkowysk, Poland, and circa 1890 he relocated to France. His chess career began in Paris when he won the city championship, and in the late 1890s he started receiving a steady stream of invitations to international events. Janowski finished in third place in the Vienna tournament of 1898 and second at London the following year. In 1905, he was second with Tarrash at the huge master tournament Game Collection: Ostend 1905

In 1902, Janowski succeeded S. Rosenthal as chess editor of “Le Monde Illustre.”

For the next twenty years he was a consistent participant in major tournaments, and, backed by Leo Nardus (with support from friend and past challenger Frank James Marshall to the champion) in 1909, he played a ten-game training match with World Champion Emanuel Lasker. Janowski had drawn a shorter exhibition match with Lasker just months before, but in the ten-game match (see Lasker - Janowski (1909) for further details of those two matches) he lost by the score of +1 =2 -7. He managed to secure enough financial backing for a Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910) less than two years later, but lost this one also.

Janowski was invited as a leading player to the elite "Grandmaster" event St Petersburg (1914) . He did badly, however, being knocked out in the preliminary cycle (-5+2+2) sharing 9-10th place with the veteran Blackburne.

After being interned as a Russian subject by the German authorities at Mannheim (1914), Janowski managed to make his way to Lausanne, Switzerland in September 1914. Seeing no future in war-torn Europe, he was able to secure papers and a passage to New York disembarking on 11th January 1916. He almost immediately played (17th January 1916) in the Rice Memorial (1916)

He had to rebuild his career which he did with energy also supplementing his income with Bridge. On the 25th February 1916, he began a match with Jaffe at Marshall's Chess Divan which he narrowly won by 7 to 6 - Jaffe - Janowski (1916) . He also wrote to Capablanca offering him to name his terms for a match. Nothing came of this.

He was defeated by 5.5 to 2.5 in Janowski - Marshall, Match 5 (1916) June 1-15 1916 at the Manhattan Chess Club in New York City

He defeated Showalter in a match Janowski - Showalter Match 4 (1916) in December 1916 and then drew up a challenge, addressed to F.J.Marshall, the United States champion, for a match of twenty games, draws not counting, for a purse of not less than $500.

The match did not come to fruition. Instead in January 1917, Janowski once again took on Jaffe. Janowski, agreed to concede his opponent odds of four games up in a match of ten but still overwhelmed Jaffe by 11 to 5.

Janowski unexpectedly lost a match to Oscar Chajes, March-May 1918 - (Chajes, 7; Janowski, 5; drawn, 10) - Chajes - Janowski (1918).

He participated in New York (1918) , but came a disappointing fifth of seven. He did considerably better at the eighth American Chess Congress (Atlantic City, 1921) which he won.

His form was patchy, however, he divided the bottom prize with Jacob Bernstein, Horace Bigelow, and a ten-year-old Samuel Reshevsky (to whom he lost - Janowski vs Reshevsky, 1922) at Chess Club International in New York City in October 1922. Yet, at the strong 9th American Chess Congress (1923) (Lake Hopatcong, August 1923), he came a very close third a mere half point behind Marshall and Kupchik.

In his final international tournaments his results were poor. He was last at New York (1924) (+3 -13 =4) ; 14th out of 16 at Marienbad (1925) (+3 -7 =5); 7th out of 10 at Hastings (1925/26) (+1 -4 =1) and 10th out of 18 at Semmering (1926) (+7 -7 =3).

Janowski died in a nursing home in Hyeres, France of tuberculosis.

The Janowski Indian opening is: 1. d4 ♘f6 2. c4 d6 3. ♘c3 ♗f5.

Wikipedia article: Dawid Janowski

 page 1 of 35; games 1-25 of 854  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Janowski vs A Goetz 1-0311891ParisC54 Giuoco Piano
2. S Sittenfeld vs Janowski 0-1341892Paris itD02 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Janowski vs Steel 1-0261893Paris,D37 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. Janowski vs F Malthan 0-1441894CC Int TtC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
5. Janowski vs Lipke 0-13718949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC47 Four Knights
6. Schlechter vs Janowski ½-½7218949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC72 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O
7. Janowski vs J N Berger  1-03618949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC67 Ruy Lopez
8. A Zinkl vs Janowski 0-14618949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC72 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O
9. Von Scheve vs Janowski  0-13318949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC30 King's Gambit Declined
10. Janowski vs Teichmann 1-03118949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC14 French, Classical
11. Janowski vs K De Weydlich 1-02918949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC10 French
12. K A Walbrodt vs Janowski  1-06818949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC71 Ruy Lopez
13. Janowski vs J Mieses 1-02618949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigB06 Robatsch
14. Janowski vs P K Seuffert 1-02218949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
15. H Suechting vs Janowski 1-05418949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. Tarrasch vs Janowski 1-03318949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. Janowski vs J Mason 1-05518949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC67 Ruy Lopez
18. Janowski vs Blackburne 1-04518949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
19. J W Baird vs Janowski  1-06118949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC76 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation
20. G Marco vs Janowski 0-14718949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC49 Four Knights
21. Janowski vs Schiffers  0-14318949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigB40 Sicilian
22. Janowski vs NN 1-0211895Paris000 Chess variants
23. Janowski vs J Mieses  1-0461895Janowski - MiesesC77 Ruy Lopez
24. J Mieses vs Janowski 0-1211895Janowski - MiesesC20 King's Pawn Game
25. Janowski vs J Mieses 0-1271895Janowski - MiesesD00 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 35; games 1-25 of 854  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Janowski wins | Janowski loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: A gambler, a dandy, not well educated, a good sized ego, but unlike so many chess players with these same traits, he had talent! No, not world class, but clever enough to get sponsorship for matches against Lasker despite not being in the champions' class.

Janowski made the most of his talent (for chess only), and then regularly threw away tournament winnings money on the roulette wheel, which was known even then to be dramatically in the houses' favor compared to other games.

It would be interesting to see if Tal ever wrote anything about him.

Though of clearly different talent levels, they both loved to attack and they both loved to party. I like to picture the two of them playing speed chess. With Tal raising the stakes while lowering the time control, and Janowski, offering to go closer to the edge by dropping two minutes in return for an extra bishop!

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: He did have some interesting encounters with W.Steinitz, also with Burn, Chigorin...

R.I.P. master Janowski.

Nov-13-13  Karpova: After 8 years absence, Paris became Janowski's residence again in 1924.

From page 349 of the December 1924 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Mar-09-14  Karpova: Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Berlin, January 9:

<Janowski ist trotz seines Mißgeschickes in Turnieren und Matchen ungebrochenen Mutes. Und man muß ihm zugestehen, daß sein Stil weit besser ist als das geringe Maß seines Erfolges vermuten läßt. Der französische Kämpe spürt Feinheiten heraus, mit denen er geringe Vorteile meisterlich zu erreichen weiß. Nur scheint ihm die Fähigkeit der Konsequenz in etwas zu mangeln. Vielleicht erschrickt er zu sehr vor der Verwicklung. Zum mindesten vermeidet er es gar zu ängstlich, sich Blößen zu geben. Dadurch aber verliert sein Angriff naturgemäß die Wucht. Hin und wieder jeder jedoch führt seine Strategie zum Siege, und dann ist der ästhetische Eindruck stark.>

(Janowski is despite his misfortunes in tournaments and matches of unbroken courage. And one has to concede to him that his style is much better than the little success gives reason to believe. The French competitor senses finesses, with which he knows to reach small advantages masterfully. But he seems to lack the ability of being consequent in something (another possibility is: But he seems to somewhat lack the ability of being consequent). Perhaps he is too frightened by complications. At least, he tries too anxiously to avoid lowering his guard. But thereby his attack naturally loses its impact. Every now and then, his strategy leads to success and then the aesthetic impression is strong.)

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1913.01.12, p. 8

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <I detest the endgame. A well-played game should be practically decided in the middle game> - David Janowski.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <… he could be tremendously stubborn. Janowski could follow the wrong path with more determination than any man I met! He was also something of a dandy and quite vain about his appearance> - Frank Marshall.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Dawid Janowski.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Dawid Janowski.
Jun-07-16  posoo: DIS man oaned a traveling circus dat i once went to when i lived in Tuppeka! He was very good with da elafants and very nice to da old posoo's younger cugine!

He had a big red sportcoat with tails and a BLAK CANE

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Needs double checking but I recently read a claim that Janowski was the only player to have beaten Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine. Approx 80 Years of World Chess Champions.

I've found a win against each player.

Any another player have these four notches on their C.V.

Janowski vs Steinitz, 1895

Janowski vs Lasker, 1896

Janowski vs Capablanca, 1913

Janowski vs Alekhine, 1913

Aug-04-17  Straclonoor: <Needs double checking but I recently read a claim that Janowski was the only player to have beaten Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine. > Definitely not - Tarrasch also beat them all.
But Janowski was the only player, who beat Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine and Euwe!

Tarrasch also beat Euwe, but it was not in regular game - it was thematic game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Jacques Mieses holds the more common record of those who played all 4, and never recorded a win against any!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Thanks Straclonoor,

Sorry the source did say apart from Tarrasch. But I could not find a Janowski-Euwe game.

Aug-04-17  Retireborn: I can't find a Janowski-Euwe game either; I suppose it's possible that they played some informal games. Of course Janowski did play (and lose!) a famous game with Reshevsky.

Having Steinitz in the list of four naturally makes it rather short. Schlechter almost qualifies, but he drew the only game he played with Capa.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Retireborn,

it may be one of those jokes: Where he beat Euwe at Ping-Pong or another game.

Najdorf joked he played all the World Champions including Lasker. His game v Lasker was bridge.

Aug-04-17  Straclonoor: <I can't find a Janowski-Euwe game either;> I saw it in Russian book 'David Janowski' (published in 1987). I'll find it in few day and post result here.
Aug-04-17  Retireborn: <Straclonoor> Thanks. I'd certainly be interested to see that.

<Geoff> Let's not talk about Ping Pong, I still haven't recovered from that Tennis thing you did the other day.

Aug-04-17  Howard: If Najdorf claimed that he played "all the WC", then what about Steinitz?

Or, maybe I shouldn't have brought this up?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Howard,

I think it was all the then living world champions. He played Bridge v Lasker I think in 1936 or 1934.

I'd like to get the Janowski book but it is pricey. I'll get a 2nd copy one day.

I was hoping Edward Winter might do a book on him. I have an inkling he does have a soft spot for him.

Aug-05-17  Howard: Some players, no doubt, do have a "soft spot" for Janowski, with one reason being that he's probably a bit underrated by chess fans.

More specifically, he's well-remembered for his dead-last finish at NY 1924...but, then he was well past his prime at that point---and he died just three years later.

Then, there were the two matches against Lasker where he was positively blown off the board---but, then, just WHO back in those days was capable of putting up a fight against Lasker ? Rubinstein could have, but few others !

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <... but, then, just WHO back in those days was capable of putting up a fight against Lasker ? >


Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910)

Aug-07-17  Straclonoor: I was wrong. In 'David Janowski' book there are no game Janowski vs. Euwe. Probably I missed it with his game vs. Saemisch... I'm sorry.
Aug-07-17  Retireborn: <Straclonoor> No worries. Many thanks just the same.
Aug-07-17  Howard: Yes, Schlechter would have been a worthy challenger---not just Rubinstein.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Howard> <Then, there were the two matches against Lasker where he was positively blown off the board---but, then, just WHO back in those days was capable of putting up a fight against Lasker ? Rubinstein could have, but few others !>

You're subtly stacking the deck here. With Janowski, the question is not who could have engaged Lasker with a hope of victory. The question is who could have played Lasker and scored better than 13%? Answer: Probably All of the other top players of the day.

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