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Johannes von Minckwitz
Number of games in database: 182
Years covered: 1865 to 1892
Overall record: +64 -73 =44 (47.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1 exhibition game, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (23) 
    C80 C77 C67 C66 C68
 French Defense (13) 
    C15 C01 C11 C13 C14
 Center Game (7) 
 Queen's Gambit Declined (7) 
    D30 D37 D35
 Giuoco Piano (7) 
    C50 C54
 Ruy Lopez, Open (6) 
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (31) 
    C77 C67 C80 C63 C83
 Four Knights (13) 
    C49 C47 C48
 Sicilian (10) 
    B45 B46 B44 B40
 Ruy Lopez, Open (9) 
    C80 C83
 Evans Gambit (8) 
    C51 C52
 Sicilian Taimanov (7) 
    B45 B46
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Steinitz vs J Minckwitz, 1870 0-1
   J Minckwitz vs Chigorin, 1881 1-0
   Tarrasch vs J Minckwitz, 1885 0-1
   Tarrasch vs J Minckwitz, 1889 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Berlin (1881)
   Baden-Baden (1870)
   Hamburg (1885)
   Leipzig (1879)
   Breslau (1889)

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(born Apr-11-1843, died May-20-1901, 58 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Johannes Minckwitz was a German player and author of IM strength. He edited 'Deutsche Schachzeitung', had a chess column in 'Leipziger Illustrirte Zeitung' and wrote two books on chess. In tournaments he was 2nd at Barmen 1869, 1st= at Krefeld 1871 and 2nd at Graz 1880. On the 17th of May 1901 he threw himself underneath an electric train and lost both arms. He died three days later.

source: Chicago Daily Tribune, May 19,1901, page 20

Wikipedia article: Johannes Minckwitz

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 182  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. E Schmidt vs J Minckwitz  1-026 1865 LeipzigC01 French, Exchange
2. J Minckwitz vs R Schurig  1-052 1865 LeipzigC58 Two Knights
3. R Gottschall vs J Minckwitz 0-121 1865 LeipzigC23 Bishop's Opening
4. J Minckwitz vs E Schmidt  ½-½28 1865 Leipzig simC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
5. G Neumann vs J Minckwitz 1-044 1865 Berlin (Germany)C51 Evans Gambit
6. J Minckwitz vs E Schmidt  0-137 1866 Leipzig mC51 Evans Gambit
7. E Schmidt vs J Minckwitz  0-130 1866 Leipzig mC44 King's Pawn Game
8. E Schmidt vs J Minckwitz  1-059 1866 Leipzig mC67 Ruy Lopez
9. Anderssen vs J Minckwitz  1-049 1866 BerlinC30 King's Gambit Declined
10. J Minckwitz vs Anderssen  1-024 1866 BerlinC54 Giuoco Piano
11. J Minckwitz vs E Schmidt 0-150 1866 Leipzig mC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
12. J Minckwitz vs Anderssen 1-061 1866 BerlinC67 Ruy Lopez
13. J Minckwitz vs Anderssen  0-119 1866 BerlinC54 Giuoco Piano
14. J Minckwitz vs E Schmidt  0-140 1866 Leipzig mD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. E Schmidt vs J Minckwitz  0-138 1866 Leipzig mB40 Sicilian
16. Anderssen vs J Minckwitz  0-133 1866 BerlinB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
17. E Schmidt vs J Minckwitz  1-044 1866 Leipzig mC44 King's Pawn Game
18. J Minckwitz vs E Schmidt  ½-½43 1866 Leipzig mC15 French, Winawer
19. J Minckwitz vs Anderssen  0-147 1869 WSB-08.KongressC77 Ruy Lopez
20. Zukertort vs J Minckwitz  1-034 1869 BerlinC42 Petrov Defense
21. Anderssen vs J Minckwitz  1-039 1869 NSB-02.KongressC77 Ruy Lopez
22. J Minckwitz vs Zukertort  ½-½52 1869 WSB-08.Kongress+C77 Ruy Lopez
23. E Schallopp vs J Minckwitz 1-022 1869 WSB-08.KongressA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
24. A Alexander vs J Minckwitz 0-139 1869 NSB-02.KongressC50 Giuoco Piano
25. J Minckwitz vs Zukertort / Hoffer 1-055 1869 BarmenC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 182  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Minckwitz wins | Minckwitz loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-19-05  Skylark: 1865 to 1892

That's 27 years. You could have checked the first game and the last game and seen if there was an error... or something. That is, if it ever did say 1865 to 1992.

But whatever. This guy's win percentage was less than 50% which is... well, you want to win more than half of your games, don't you?

Jul-27-05  Knight13: <On the 15th of May 1901 he threw himself underneath an electric train and lost both arms.> Why did he do that!!? Pain suicide?
Jul-27-05  athyn: Sounds like a sore loser to me.
May-01-06  EmperorAtahualpa: He finished last in the important Baden-Baden 1870 tournament.

May-19-06  BIDMONFA: Johannes von Minckwitz

MINCKWITZ, Johannes Von

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here is another picture of <Johannes von Minckwitz> :
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: J.Minckwitz was a strong master of the period. Baden-Baden, 1870 was really the first "super-tournament". Just to be invited to participate tells about a players strength.

A writer on chess theory, and a magazine editor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Bio:
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the Day

<Knight13> You'll find the answer in the German Bio. :((

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here is a nice endame study from Minckwitz, published in <The Westminster Papers, 1871> White to move mates in four.

click for larger view

Apr-11-09  WhiteRook48: happy birthday
Apr-11-09  Octal: <whiteshark>: Is the first move 1 Bb4? Then to be followed by moving the rook and 3 Bf8#? But it won't take 3 moves because Black can play ...Nc5, forcing another move via Bxc5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Octal> Sorry, after <1.Bb4> Black will play <1...h1=Q> with threats of 2...Qc6+ or ...Qa1+.

You may like to try it again. I've posted the solution in my forum. :D

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <whiteshark>: 1. Bh4.

A) 1...h1=Q 2. Bxg5#.

B) 1...gxh4 2. Re5 Bg6 (if any other move, then Rh5# will follow) 3. Rh5+ Bxh5 4. g5#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Knight13><On the 15th of May 1901 he threw himself underneath an electric train and lost both arms.> Why did he do that!!? Pain suicide?

According to the Oxford Companion of Chess, Minckwitz was suffered mental and psychological problems, and probably decided life was not worth living any more.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <al wazir> Bravo! :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: From Tarrasch's 1906 article on Pillsbury, which also discussed other cases of insanity among chess masters. The full article as well as the German original is on the Tarrasch page.

<For Minckwitz chess has not the slightest to do with his mental illness, which in my opinion must be ascribed to “primary hallucinatory madness” <”primare halluzinatorische Verrucktheit”>. Minckwitz was unfortunately placed, such that he was at great risk of mental illness. Of his father, a professor at Leipzig University, it is recounted (not as a funny story, but as truth) that he used to say in his lectures: “There are only three great German writers: Schiller, Goethe, and the third modesty forbids me to name.” <This reads exactly like Janowski’s alleged statement about the great chessmasters of his own time – perhaps Janowski's quote is spurious?> This was the era in which Paul Lindau went eagerly on the hunt for Sunday poets <Sonntagdichtern> and, when he found one, tore him to pieces to the delight of the public. He came upon Minckwitz’s epic “The War for Liberation” <”Die Befreiungskriege”> and quoted the following verse describing the Battle of Leipzig:

Napoleon was yellow like a pickled egg <Solei>, Anyone who saw him knew good health he must beg.

<Napoleon war gelb wie ein Solei, Man sah ihm an, dass ihm nicht wohl sei.>

<Obviously I warped the meaning for the sake of getting a rhyme.>

Such a dreadful verse speaks volumes. With such an inheritance, we can rule out chess from the etiology of Minkwitz’s mental illness; surely it did him less harm than alcohol, to which he was strongly attached.>

Apr-13-10  FHBradley: Witty but bad taste, Dr. Tarrasch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <FHBradley: Witty but bad taste, Dr. Tarrasch.>

Hard to disagree.

Sep-23-11  zydeco: There's a nice tribute to Minckwitz in Checkmate Magazine, Vol 1, calling him a first-rate theorist and problemist but with very bad nerves. "Frequently Minckwitz gained a great superiority in the opening, middlegame, and even endgame, only to lose by a complete and sudden collapse - not a blunder but seemingly a relaxation of mental powers."

Once, when his opponent (Wilfried Paulsen) overstepped the time limit, Minckwitz wanted to keep playing and eventually lost "by the usual collapse." The tournament director solomonically ruled the game a loss for both players.

The eulogy in Checkmate concludes discreetly by saying that "some years ago it became necessary to refuse his entry to all public tournaments" - which means, I assume, that he's completely loony.

Minckwitz wrote a book called Humor in Chess, which looks like it might be interesting (the chapters are titled things like 'A terrible vision of H. Lehner'/'Sufferings and joys of a problem composer') but available only in German.

British Chess Magazine, in 1886, speculates that he may be the strongest player in Germany (along with Bardeleben). BCM mentions that his father was a noted classics professor and that Minckwitz emerged as a strong player when he was young (he became editor of Schachzeitung at 22).

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: R.I.P. master Minckwitz.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <Der bekannte Schachmeister Hans Minckwitz wurde am Abend des 15.Mai in Biebrich von der elektrischen Bahn überfahren und ist, nachdem ihm beide Arme amputirt wurden, am 20. Mai im Krankenhaus zu Biebrich gestorben. Minckwitz litt in den letzten Jahren an Wahnvorstellungen und hat sich vermuthlich in einem Anfall von Geistesstörung in selbstmörderischer Absicht überfahren lassen. Er war als Sohn des ehemaligen Leipziger Professors Johannes Minckwitz am 11. April zu Leipzig geboren und hatte sich in früheren Jahren durch seine Thätigkeit als Schachredacteur, sowie durch seine rege Betheiligung an Schachturnieren in weiteren Kreisen bekannt gemacht.>

From page 100 of the 1901 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: On pages 338 to 342 of the 1906 'Wiener Schachzeitung', Dr. W. Ahrens from Magdeburg under the heading <Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch als Historiker und Pathograph> tores to shreds Dr. Tarrasch's article on Pillsbury but concentrates on the part where Dr. Tarrasch discusses Minckwitz (see <keypusher>'s post from 2010.04.13).

The first anecdote about Minckwitz Sr. claiming to be the greatest German poet together with Von Goethe and Schiller, is most likely apocryphal and this kind of saying has been assigned to others before (e. g. Konrad Büchell). Dr. Ahrens devotes a lot of attention to this part and points e. g. out that Minckwitz Sr. was a great admirer of Count August von Platen-Hallermünde and translated his odes into greek (so he would rather be Minckwitz's Nr. 3). Apparently, the only actual case of this form of joke (with two people instead of three) was that of Dr. Tarrasch saying that there were only two chessmasters - and the other one was living in New York.

The second one, about Napoleon and the pickled egg, Dr. Ahrens claims that Minckwitz did not write it. That he actually did not even write an epic called 'Die Befreiungskriege' and that the verses were just a parody by Paul Lindau.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Karpova> You might also enjoy Game Collection: Deutsche Schachzeitung
May-22-13  Yopo: [Event "Berlin (Germany)"]
[Site "Berlin (Germany)"]
[Date "1877.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Johannes Minckwitz "]
[Black "Simon A Winawer "]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C84"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "1877.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 Be7 7. Qe2 f5 8. dxe5 O-O 9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. Qc4+ Kh8 11. Qxc3 b5 12. Bb3 a5 13. a3 Ra6 14. Bf4 Nb8 15. Rad1 a4 16. Bd5 c6 17. Ba2 c5 18. e6 d6 19. Ne5 Bf6 20. Qg3 c4 21. Nf7+ Rxf7 22. exf7 Be7 23. Rfe1 Bd7 24. Rxe7 Qxe7 25. Bxd6 Qxf7 26. Bxb8 Rg6 27. Qc7 Re6 28. h3 Re7 29. Rxd7 1-0

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