|Dec-12-05|| ||Resignation Trap: Nicolai Jasnogrodsky was born in Lubny (present-day Ukraine) on August 17, 1859 (modern-day calendar).|
He was one of the best American players in the 1890's, and was an early influence on the young Frank James Marshall . He was the New York state champion in 1896.
There is a variation of the King's Gambit which bears his name: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd5 Bd6 8.0-0 Bxe5 9.Re1 Qe7 10.c3 Nh5.
Jasnogrodsky died in New York on April 23, 1914.
|Sep-08-10|| ||GrahamClayton: Jasnogrosky was arrested in 1906 for swindling $10,000 from several prominent residents of Bay City, Michigan, in order to pay for his wedding to Anna Landau.|
|Sep-08-10|| ||HeMateMe: ten large was a lot of money, in those days. Still, you have to admire a fellow with ambition...|
|Apr-21-11|| ||GrahamClayton: A brief biography from the New York newspaper "The Sun", dated September 24, 1893:|
N. Jasnogrodsky, the Polish expert, arrived in this city on Monday. He was born at Poltawa, Russia on Aug 17, 1859, but it was only eight years ago when he commenced playing the game of chess at Vienna.
At that time Albin used to allow him the odds of a queen. From Vienna he went to Paris, where he played at the
Cafe de la Regence.
A few years ago he made his appearance at the famous London resort, Simpson's Divan, on the Strand. After some practice with London masters he played several little matches, of which he won those against Cook of Synopsis fame, Loman, and Kaiser, the well known Liverpool amateur; the veteran Bird, however, drew a match with the Pole.
Jasnogrodsky's forte however, lies in blindfold and simultaneous play. At Brighton, England, he once
played twenty-six games simultaneously of which six were conducted blindfolded. He won twenty games over the board, won three blindfold games, lost two and drew one. The Polish expert exhibited his skill during the last few years at all the principal clubs of England and Scotland, and achieved considerable success.
Appended is one or ten games played while blindfold:
[Event "Simultaneous blindfold exhibition"]
[White "Lengbeer, W"]
[Black "Jasnogrodsky, Nicolai"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 d5 7.Bb5 Ne4 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.cxd4 Ba6 10. Be3 0-0 11. Nxc6 Bxe3 12. Qf3 Bxf2+ 13. Qxf2 Qg5 1-0
|Mar-24-14|| ||offramp: It sounds like one of those made-up names from a spy-thriller in the 1970s.|
|Aug-09-15|| ||MissScarlett: <Jasnogrosky was arrested in 1906 for swindling $10,000 from several prominent residents of Bay City, Michigan, in order to pay for his wedding to Anna Landau.>|
More about this case, but nothing on the outcome, is here:
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: An obituary for Nicholai Jasnogrodsky was published in The New York Times on April 25, 1914. The entry in an index lists (24:4) -- presumably page 24, column 4. |
The obituary, entitled "N. Jasnogrodsky, Chess Player, Dies," reads:
"Nicholai Jasnogrodsky, a chess player, who had played in several international matches, died at the Montefiore Home on Thursday, and was buried yesterday in Union Field Cemetery. Mr. Jasnogrodsky, who was born in Lubny, Russia, in 1859, had spent many years in this country. In the eighties he made a name for himself as a master of chess in England. In 1896 he won the New York State championship. He invented the Jasnogrodsky defense against the Rice gambit."
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: An article special to The New York Times reported from Monte Carlo on March 1, 1904 and published on March 2, 1904 states in pertinent part that "[i]n the eighth round of the international Rice gambit tournament, played here to-day, Marshall, with the black pieces, won from Mieses by means of the <Jasnogrodsky defense of 10 Kt - R4, the play continuing 11 P - Q4, castles; 12 RxB, QxP; 13 RxKt>, &c."|
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: A subsequent article special to The New York Times reported from Monte Carlo on March 3 and published on March 4 states in pertinent part that "[t]he final round of the international Rice gambit chess tournament was played in this city to-day, and when the results became known Fleischmann had gone down before Marshall, Marco before Mieses, and Scheve before Swiderski, <the three winners having played the Jasnogrodsky variation, namely, 11--Castles; 12--RxB, QxP; 13--RxKt.>, &c."|
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: The front-page article helpfully linked by <MissScarlett>, published in the New-York Tribune on December 3, 1906 (about which in other regards more soon), closes with this paragraph:|
"About a year ago, in this city, Jasnogrodsky, it is said, rescued his wife from a burning building, the woman dying, however, a few days later from her injuries."
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: From The New York Times, December 16, 1905, an article entitled "STAYED AT BEDSIDE IN FIRE. Husband Refused to Desert Dying Wife -- Flames Spared Both.":|
"Believing that his sick wife must be a victim of the flames in case they reached her room, Maurice Jasnogrodsky chose to stay with her rather than escape to safety when the apartment hous in which they live at 101 West 114th Street caught fire last night. Mrs. Jasnogrodsky's physicians told her a week ago that she had only a few more days to live.
"The firemen were late in reaching the scene and there was wild excitement as the flames gained headway. Jasnogrodsky sat through it all at the bedside.
"'Get out! Get out! his neighbors cried. 'If you don't get out quick you'll be caught.'
"Jasnogrodsky told them that his wife couldn't be removed, and rather than leave he would burn with her. When the firemen arrived they threw up ladders and helped several screaming persons out of windows. After half an hour's hard work the fire was put out, with about $5,000 damage. The Jasnogrodskys were safe."
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: This may account for the name of the player with the white pieces from this game: Jasnogrodsky / Moriau C E.|
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: Of course the front-page article from the New-York Tribune published on December 3, 1906 begins this way:|
"Naum Jasnogrodsky, the Polish chess player, . . . , was sent to the Tombs yesterday by Magistrate Whitman without bail on a charge of being a fugitive from justice."
The article later reports that "[i]n speaking about himself he [Jasnogrodsky] said he had been a general agent of the Mutual Life Insurance Company in Canada and had been so successful that he was authorized to write up 'high policies.'"
This is at least facially consistent with Naum Jasnogrodsky's membership in the Class of 1900, Eastern Department, of the Two Hundred Thousand Dollar Club of the New York Life Insurance Company, comprising "[o]ver two hundred agents of the company who had won membership in this distinguished coterie of producers by writing $200,000 or more of life insurance during the last year, . . . ." The Weekly Underwriter (New York: Underwriter Printing and Pub. Co.), Vol. LXIII, No. 12, Sept. 22, 1900, 206.
However, towards the end of the aforequoted front-page article from December 3, 1906, the New-York Tribune dutifully reported:
"Mutual Life officials said last night that Jasnogrodsky had never been the company's general agent in Canada."
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: The New-York Tribune's description of Naum Jasnogrodsky as a Polish chess player comports with the description of "N. Jasnogrodsky, the Polish expert," quoted above by <GrahamClayton> (Nicolai Jasnogrodsky (kibitz #4)), that appeared in The Sun, a New York newspaper, on September 24, 1893.|
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: The New York Times article reporting the Jasnogrodsky arrest, likewise published on December 3, 1906, under the headline "Chess Expert Jailed for Honeymoon Debt," begins:|
"N. Jasnogrodsky, expert chess player and Mutual Life insurance agent, who says he has been the General Representative of that company in Canada, and who says that he taught President Roosevelt and District Attorney Jerome to play chess, is in from the Tombs charged with being a fugitive from justice. He is alleged to have swindled ten citizens of Bay City, Mich., out of $10,000, which he borrowed to defray his wedding expenses when he married Anna Landau, daughter of a prominent Jewish rabbi of that city."
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: An article by chess historian Olimpiu G. Urcan, entitled "Chess Expert Jailed: Jasnogrodsky's Troubles in America," appears to have been published in Chess Life Magazine on July 1, 2007. I would be grateful if anyone who has the magazine, or who can read it online, would relate whether Mr. Urcan addresses the issue of Mr. Jasnogrodsky's first name or names, including whether Mr. J. used, or was known by or under, any aliases or pseudonyms.|
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: Apparently, Naum Jasnogrodsky filed a naturalization petition, witnessed by one Samuel S. Doroff, in the Superior Court for New York County, for a reference thereto, viz. Roll 121, Publication Number/NARA M1674, appears in a Soundex Index.|
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: Recent and unsubstantiated rumors to the contrary, there is no conclusive proof that Mr. Jasnogrodsky inspired the line "Some people call me Maurice" from "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band (the title track to that group's 1973 LP and 8-track release on Capitol Records), or that the ten contributors to his cause hailing from Bay City, Michigan were later collectively commemorated by the Seventies' Scottish musical group "The Bay City Rollers."|
|Apr-16-16|| ||luftforlife: I wrap this sheaf of The Jasnogrodsky Papers with the following excerpts, which are drawn from pieces recommended for further reading. |
Three published pieces on Jasnogrodsky are repoduced under "Jasnogrodsky in Canada," the lead article in the "Chess in Canada" column appearing in American Chess Magazine, Vol. 1, Nos. 11 & 12, April-May 1898, at 633.
The first is an undated piece from the Montreal Herald describing the simultaneous exhibition, featuring nineteen sighted games and five more blindfold games, given by "N. Jasnogrodsky" at the Natural History Society. The piece is understandably laudatory in tone, and contains the following representation:
"The chess masters who have visited Montreal on previous occasions have given blindfold and simultaneous exhibitions, but never combined both, so that to Jasnogrodsky must be given the credit of being the first to do so." The conjoined exhibition had been preliminarily described therein as "[o]ne of the greatest exhibitions of chess playing ever seen in Montreal . . . ."
The second is an undated piece from The Montreal Gazette describing the visit of "Mr. Jasnogrodsky" to the Ladies' Chess Club, where he played five female chess players. Notably, "[h]e played against Mrs. [Pilon} Stevenson blindfolded, and at the same time played against Miss Power, in both of which [games] the expert was victorious." The piece closes as follows: "The Professor expresses great pleasure with the proficiency of the ladies he met."
The third is a piece from the Orillia Packet, dated March 31st, describing the unexpected and untimely appearance in Orillia of "Monsieur N. Jasnogrodsky," occasioned by the suggestion of the Toronto Club. "[T]hough the [Orillia] club could not give him a match, the K.P. Corner entertained the visitor, and sent him off no poorer for his jaunt to Orillia."
|Apr-17-16|| ||luftforlife: Courtesy of <ljfyffe>, whose historical research is deeply appreciated, we have the following selected excerpts from the St. John Globe, New Brunswick, Canada:|
Thursday, June 8, 1899:
"A reception was given on Wednesday evening by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Green in honor of Naum Jasnogrodsky, the well known chess expert. . . . Mr. Jasnogrodsky declaimed a song in pure Hebrew besides reciting anecdotes of his adventures during travels in different parts of the world."
"It is expected that E. Saunders [ Ernest Saunders ], a Toronto player, who has distinguished himself in Canadian Chess Association tourneys, and who on occasion raises to the highest requirements of brillant chess play, will be at the chess club in company with Mr. N. Jasnogrodsky, this evening, where the two fine players will contest games for the entertainment of the city amateurs."
Friday, June 9, 1899, from the chess column of Charles F. Stubbs:
"The announcement in the Globe on Thursday that Mr. E. Saunders was in the city, and would be at the club on the evening of that day, brought together quite a few of its members and some visitors. The visiting player expressed his willingness to engage in simultaneous play . . . . After the simultaneous contest was finished Mr. Jasnogrodsky and Mr. Saunders played three or four rapid games with no great advantage for either player." (Reprinted also in American Chess Magazine (New York: American Chess Co., L.D. Broughton Jr., ed.), Vol. III, No. 1, July 1899, at 28.)
|May-25-16|| ||zanzibar: <Jasnogrodsky is a recent importation, and is known as " The
Russian Pole," I suppose because he is a Russian for one thing,
and probably also because no one knows or cares to pronounce
BCM v11 (May 1891) p232/257
|Jun-04-16|| ||zanzibar: And the <1892.04.09 Brooklyn Daily Standard Union> quoting the Leeds Mercury:|
<Jasnagrodsky is significally (?) a stolid man. His face is square cut, and his features somewhat heavy, and he speaks in monosyllables as a rule. He has been trying for the last two years to Anglicise his name, but he has not yet succeeded to his perfect satisfaction. As it is, it is a mouthful, so his friends indifferently call him 'Jas', or the 'Russian-Pole.' He answers cheerfully to either appellation. He is a stead all-round player, and a thoroughly decent fellow.>