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Hermanis Karlovich Mattison
Number of games in database: 64
Years covered: 1924 to 1932
Overall record: +26 -24 =14 (51.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange (4 games)
C14 French, Classical (3 games)
E11 Bogo-Indian Defense (3 games)
C48 Four Knights (3 games)
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E21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights (2 games)
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C46 Three Knights (2 games)
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(born Dec-28-1894, died Nov-16-1932, 37 years old) Latvia

[what is this?]
Born Hermanis Matisons in Riga, Latvia. He won the first Latvian Championship in 1924 and later that same year in the first World Amateur Championship organized in connection with the Olympic Games Wikipedia article: 1st unofficial Chess Olympiad in Paris he was 1st ahead of Edgar Colle and Max Euwe. In play he excelled at the endgame and at the Prague Olympiad in 1931 he defeated both Alexander Alekhine and Akiba Rubinstein in the ending. He also composed over 60 excellent studies and it is probably this that he is best remembered for. He died of tuberculosis in Riga in 1932.

Wikipedia article: Hermanis Matisons

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 64  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. H K Mattison vs Euwe 0-1501924ParisD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
2. Hromadka vs H K Mattison  0-1601924OlympiadC29 Vienna Gambit
3. H K Mattison vs A Vajda  ½-½461924Paris ol (Men) f-AC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
4. F Apsenieks vs H K Mattison  ½-½351924Paris f-AC48 Four Knights
5. H K Mattison vs G Nagy 0-1231925DebrecenC15 French, Winawer
6. H K Mattison vs V Vukovic 0-1201925DebrecenC13 French
7. Kmoch vs H K Mattison 1-0621925DebrecenD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. P F Johner vs H K Mattison 0-1351925DebrecenE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
9. H K Mattison vs Tartakower 0-1251925DebrecenA50 Queen's Pawn Game
10. K Havasi vs H K Mattison  1-0401925DebrecenA50 Queen's Pawn Game
11. H K Mattison vs J A Seitz  1-0561925DebrecenB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
12. L Steiner vs H K Mattison  0-1381925DebrecenC42 Petrov Defense
13. F Apsenieks vs H K Mattison  0-1311925Bromley Premier-AC55 Two Knights Defense
14. Gruenfeld vs H K Mattison  1-0471925DebrecenA53 Old Indian
15. H K Mattison vs Przepiorka  1-0701925DebrecenC46 Three Knights
16. Prokes vs H K Mattison  1-0641925DebrecenB10 Caro-Kann
17. L Asztalos vs H K Mattison  ½-½191925DebrecenD14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
18. H K Mattison vs M Romi  1-0291925Bromley Prelim AC49 Four Knights
19. H K Mattison vs H G Wright 1-0301925Bromley prel AC14 French, Classical
20. H K Mattison vs A Vajda 0-1441925DebrecenA45 Queen's Pawn Game
21. H K Mattison vs R Millers 1-0141926KavalavciB20 Sicilian
22. H K Mattison vs Vladimir Petrov  ½-½441926Incognito Match Riga Ch.Club - Latvian Univ.B44 Sicilian
23. Znosko-Borovsky vs H K Mattison 1-0421926BudapestD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
24. Prokes vs H K Mattison  ½-½211926BudapestC54 Giuoco Piano
25. Prokes vs H K Mattison ½-½301926BardejovC40 King's Knight Opening
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 64  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Mattison wins | Mattison loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Chessmetrics Player Profile: Hermanis Matisons (*1894, +1932). Highest Rating: 2631, September 1929 rating list, #12 in world, age 34y9m. Best Individual Performance: 2669 in Prague ol (Men), 1931.

I find Mattison's play tenacious -- no umbrela theory to yield profound game concepts, but lots of natural tallent to find good moves. It seems that Mattison was capable of beating just about anybody: M-Rubinstein +1 -1; M-Alekhine +1; M-Tartakover +2 -1; M-Maroczy +1, M-Saemish +1, M-Gruenfend +1 =1, M-Colle +1. This and drawing reccords with Bogolubov, Vidmar, Spielmann, are then offset by losing records in M-Capablanca -1, M-Euwe -2 =1, and M-Nimzowich -1. Though Mattison did not realy distinguish himself from yourneymen IM/GMs (he had a losing score against Sultan Khan, K. Treybal, Prokes, Becker, Kmoch, Carls, Canal, Gilg), quite impressive overall reccord for the amateur WC!

Dec-02-05  Eatman: Sadly he lived in poverty (as many chess pros tended and still tend to do) and died from TB (no penicillin had been found yet).
Jul-09-07  sanyas: He lost two brilliancies in the same tournament! Very lucky... or not.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Hermann Mattison (in Latvian Hermanis Mattisons) lived but a short life - he died of consumption when he was only 37 years old - but he has written his name into chess history both as practical player and as a study composer.

During the best years of his chess career, following the turmoil of WWI and upto his death in 1932, he was Latvia's leading player. Even internationally he gained a considerable reputation on account of his results in individual and team tournaments.

These included

- Paris 1924, first in the world amateur championship;

- Bad Bartfeld 1926, first equal with Tartakower in a field of 13;

- The Hague 1928, third in the world amateur championship, behind Euwe and Przepiorka;

- Carlsbad 1929, tenth equal with canal, ahead of Colle, Maroczy and tartakower in a strong field of 22;

- Prague Olympiad 1931; seven points out of 14 on Latvia's top board, with wins against Alekhin, Rubinstein and Vidmar.

Mattison made his debut as study composer in 1911, and over the years he produced some 60 studies.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Photo:

source: (--> 4078. ‘Thornton castling trap’)

Dec-28-09  BIDMONFA: Hermanis Karlovich Mattison

MATTISON, Hermanis

Dec-28-09  capanegra: Happy birthday Mr. Mattison, creator of some very nice studies. The following (not my favourite, but the only one I have now disposable) was composed in 1921.

White to play and win.

click for larger view

Dec-29-09  capanegra: SOLUTION: It starts with a Knight crusade: 1.Nf4+ (1.Be4? Ke5) Ke4 (the ♔ must permanently guard the e4 square) 2.Ng6+ Kd5 3.Ne7+ Ke5 4.Nc6+ Kd5 5.Nxb4+ (first phase which is to eliminate the b4 ♙ is completed) Ke5 6.Nc6+ Kd5 7.Ne7+ Ke5 8.Ng6+ Kd5 9.Ba6! Kc6 10.Be2! h1=Q 11.Bf3+ Qxf3 12.Ne5+ Kd5 13.Nxf3 Ke4 14.Kd2 Kxf3 15.Kd3 and wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <sanyas: He lost two brilliancies in the same tournament! Very lucky... or not.>

Try saying Mattison without saying Mmmm...

Feb-11-10  capanegra: Another beautiful study by Mattison, from "Latvia Sport" 1924.

I like this especially because at first glance looks like White is totally lost. The solution is rather straight forward, though of course there is a key move.

White to play and draw.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: A biography, games and studies can be found at:

Dec-28-12  Kikoman: Rest In Peace Sir Hermanis Karlovich Mattison.
Dec-28-12  gars: To win endgames from Alekhine and Rubinstein is far from trivial! Mattison earns our praise with flying colours!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I have tried saying Mattisons without saying Mmmm but I have so far been unsuccessful.
Sep-23-14  Amarande: Another victim of 1932 ... Terrible, terrible year for chess genius.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Was it? You need to give us some more.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: such as Daniel Noteboom and Edgar Colle
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <capanegra> never provided the solution to that endgame problem. I looked at it for a little bit and didn't figure it out. Laziness, had I probed one more move or one more minute... ;)

So, I asked Stockfish.

click for larger view

1.Kd5 Kd7 2.a4 a5 3.Kc4 Kc6 4.Nc7!! (I missed this) Kxc7 5.Kb5 Bb6 6.Ka6 and black has to chose between letting the a-pawn go or stalemating white with 6...Kc6. What a beauty.

Jan-01-16  john barleycorn: One of Mattison's finest.

white to move. draw

click for larger view

the idea to draw for white is not obvious at all

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Hermanis Mattison.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The game Mattison (or Mattisons) won a few days before his 19th birthday against Capablanca in a simultaneous display at Riga in 1913 is not here.

Hooper & Brandreth confirm Capa gave two simuls in Riga December 1913 (see 'Unknown Capablanca'.)

25th December W.21 L.1 D.6.
26th December W 18 L.1 D4

Tim Harding supplied further details and the full score of the game in the 'The Best of 1996-2001' (page 210)

And the game was posted in full here in 2014.

Capablanca vs H K Mattison, 1929 (kibitz #26)

Harding uses 'Mattisons' claiming it is correct way to spell the name adding all Latvian masculine names end in 'S'.

Premium Chessgames Member

<Sally Simpson>

<Harding uses <<<'Mattisons'>>> claiming it is correct way to spell the name adding all Latvian masculine names end in 'S'.>


Harding uses the correct form 'Matisons' as you can see from his actual text:

<The Kibitzer by Tim Harding

"He could have been a contender..."

I VISITED RIGA, home town of Mikhail Tal, in September for the annual Congress of ICCF, the International Correspondence Chess Federation. While I was there I learned a lot about some of the great Latvian players who helped to build up the tradition from which Tal benefitted. I was especially pleased to receive as a present the handsome little book "Pari Savam Laikmetam" (by V. Kirilovs, published by Sahs of Riga in 1994). This deals with the tragically short career of <<<Hermanis K. Matisons,>>> the first FIDE Champion who died of tuberculosis in 1932, shortly before his 38th birthday.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Just the one 't' Matisons and not Mattisons.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

An outstanding research on Mattison:

<Hermanis Matisons, a great Latvian master>

<Two instructive twin endgame studies by Matisons>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...


<'Chess is a small but independent republic.'>

Hermanis Matisons


[Event "Casual Game"]
[Site "Riga Chess Club"]
[Date "1913.11.16"]
[White "Capablanca, Jose Raul"]
[Black "Matisons, Hermanis"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Be7 5. Nc3 d6 6. d4 exd4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8. Nde2 O-O 9. Ng3 Re8 10. Re1 Bf8 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. Nd5 Qd8 14. Qh5 g6 15. Qd1 Bg7 16. c3 Ne5 17. Bxd7 Nxd7 18. f4 c6 19. Ne3 Nc5 20. Nc4 d5 21. exd5 Rxe1+ 22. Qxe1 cxd5 23. Ne5 Qb6 24. Qf2 Re8 25. Nf3 Qb5 26. Re1 Nd3 27. Rxe8+ Qxe8 28. Qd2 Qb5 29. b4 Qb6+ 30. Kf1 Qb5 31. Ne2 a5 32. bxa5 Qb1+ 33. Ne1 Nxe1 34. Qxe1 Qxa2 35. Nd4 Bxd4 36. cxd4 Qc4+ 37. Kf2 Qxd4+ 38. Qe3 Qb2+ 39. Kg3 d4 40. Qe8+ Kg7 41. Qe5+ Kh7 42. f5 Qb3+ 43. Kg4 Qd1+ 44. Kh4 Qh5+ 45. Kg3 d3 46. Qd5 Qxf5 47. Qxf5 gxf5 48. Kf2 f4 49. Ke1 Kg6 50. Kd2 Kf5 51. Kxd3 Kg4 52. Kc4 h5 53. Kb5 h4 54. Kb6 h3 55. gxh3+ Kxh3 56. Kxb7 f3 57. a6 f2 58. a7 f1=Q 0-1


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