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Adolf Albin
Number of games in database: 275
Years covered: 1890 to 1914
Overall record: +79 -133 =63 (40.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Giuoco Piano (34) 
    C50 C53 C54
 Ruy Lopez (24) 
    C65 C77 C68 C67 C64
 French Defense (13) 
    C01 C11 C02 C13 C10
 King's Gambit Declined (10) 
 Sicilian (10) 
    B23 B34 B22 B73 B45
 Queen's Pawn Game (9) 
    D05 D02 D00 A40 A46
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (33) 
    C13 C01 C14 C11 C00
 Ruy Lopez (30) 
    C82 C77 C70 C65 C78
 French (20) 
    C13 C11 C00 C10 C12
 Ruy Lopez, Open (10) 
    C82 C80 C83
 King's Gambit Declined (8) 
 Dutch Defense (7) 
    A84 A81
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Albin vs Csank, 1890 1/2-1/2
   A Schwarz vs Albin, 1899 0-1
   Albin vs Tarrasch, 1892 1-0
   D G Baird vs Albin, 1894 0-1
   Albin vs F J Lee, 1893 1-0
   Albin vs Von Bardeleben, 1895 1/2-1/2
   Albin vs J Mieses, 1895 1-0
   Teichmann vs Albin, 1902 1/2-1/2
   Albin vs Janowski, 1896 1/2-1/2
   J C Halpern vs Albin, 1893 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   2nd City Chess Club Tournament (1894)
   Showalter - Albin (1894)
   Buffalo (1894)
   1st City Chess Club Tournament (1893)
   Kolisch Memorial (1890)
   Budapest (1896)
   Monte Carlo (1902)
   Monte Carlo (1903)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   Hastings (1895)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   New York 1893, The Impromtu Tournament by Calli
   1894 2nd City Chess Club Tournament by TheFocus
   1893 1st City Chess Club Tournament by TheFocus
   New York 1893 Masters Tournament by crawfb5

   Bird vs B Vergani, 1895
   Blackburne vs Pillsbury, 1895
   Gunsberg vs W Pollock, 1895
   Bird vs Chigorin, 1895
   Teichmann vs K A Walbrodt, 1895

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(born Sep-14-1848, died Feb-01-1920, 71 years old) Romania (federation/nationality Austria)

[what is this?]

Adolf Albin, born in 1848 in Romania, was successful in Dresden 1892 and finished 2nd to Emanuel Lasker in New York in 1893 and 2nd to Wilhelm Steinitz in New York 1894. But in the events of the subsequent decade (Hastings 1895, Nuremberg and Budapest 1896, Berlin 1897, Cologne 1898, Monte Carlo 1902 and 1903) he was not so successful. He is primarily known for the Albin Counter Gambit* 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 when he played against Lasker at New York (see Lasker vs Albin, 1893) although it had been known earlier. In 1872, he authored the first chess book in Romanian, Amiculu Jocului de Schach. He played in his first international tournament at the age of 43 (Vienna 1891).

Albin spent much of his early career as a translator/assistant to Dr. Bethel Henry Baron von Stroussberg described in the Hastings Tournament Book as "the German Railway King". He lost this job with the latter's bankruptcy in 1875.

He died of tuberculosis in Vienna on 1 February 1920.

*Wikipedia article: Albin Countergambit

Wikipedia article: Adolf Albin

Last updated: 2016-07-28 12:52:29

 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 275  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Albin vs Csank ½-½89 1890 Kolisch MemorialC13 French
2. Csank vs Albin 1-016 1890 Kolisch MemorialC00 French Defense
3. J Schwarz vs Albin  ½-½50 1890 Kolisch MemorialC00 French Defense
4. Albin vs Von Popiel  1-021 1890 Kolisch MemorialC27 Vienna Game
5. Albin vs Max Weiss 0-175 1890 Kolisch MemorialC29 Vienna Gambit
6. Albin vs B Fleissig  0-121 1890 Kolisch MemorialC44 King's Pawn Game
7. Albin vs J Bauer  0-127 1890 Kolisch MemorialC42 Petrov Defense
8. Englisch vs Albin 1-031 1890 Kolisch MemorialC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
9. Albin vs G Marco  1-018 1890 Kolisch MemorialB12 Caro-Kann Defense
10. J Bauer vs Albin 1-051 1890 Kolisch MemorialB06 Robatsch
11. G Marco vs Albin  ½-½66 1890 Kolisch MemorialC01 French, Exchange
12. Albin vs Englisch ½-½53 1890 Kolisch MemorialC51 Evans Gambit
13. B Fleissig vs Albin  1-028 1890 Kolisch MemorialC41 Philidor Defense
14. Max Weiss vs Albin 1-048 1890 Kolisch MemorialC67 Ruy Lopez
15. Meitner vs Albin  0-141 1890 Kolisch MemorialC10 French
16. J Holzwarth vs Albin  0-128 1890 Kolisch MemorialD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
17. Albin vs J Schwarz  0-141 1890 Kolisch MemorialC51 Evans Gambit
18. S Pollak vs Albin  0-196 1892 ViennaC29 Vienna Gambit
19. A Schottlaender vs Albin  0-128 1892 DresdenC50 Giuoco Piano
20. M Porges vs Albin 1-047 1892 DSB-07.KongressC14 French, Classical
21. G Makovetz vs Albin  1-051 1892 DresdenC10 French
22. Albin vs J Noa  0-160 1892 DSB-07.KongressA46 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Albin vs Tarrasch 1-035 1892 7th DSB CongressC54 Giuoco Piano
24. Albin vs K A Walbrodt  ½-½16 1892 DresdenC55 Two Knights Defense
25. Albin vs W Paulsen 1-054 1892 DSB-07.KongressB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 275  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Albin wins | Albin loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-11-04  Kean: He defeated also Tarrasch in Dresden 1892, and seems there was much talk in the time. Maybe that game could be added to his list of notable games. This is from the chescafe article:

"Nearly unknown master succeeded in defeating Tarrasch. In a Ruy Lopez game, Albin playing with White came into a better position. At once the news spread in the playing hall: "Tarrasch is losing!" As in that time there was no demonstration wall boards, numerous spectators rushed toward the board on which Albin and Tarrasch struggled. Moreover, the participants of the tournament left their games to see the sensational event. Only Master Shotlender stayed seated in his place with his failing position, looking at the ceiling, as if he was expecting salvation from there. The nicely ornamented tournament room provided a warlike appearance when the struggle for the vicinity of the table with the chess game Albin - Tarrasch began. Improvised protection bands were crushed, and they quickly dragged tables onto which they piled chairs so that the audience could stand on them. In that way whole pyramids of tables and chairs were created and adorned by excited spectators. Among the mob of the several hundreds of spectators, Albin made his winning move. The opponent was left with no salvation. Tarrasch thought for a long time and made a few more moves. After that he crushed his pieces down, made a sign of capitulation, and went out through the door. The applause reverberated in the tournament hall. Somebody was found who could beat Tarrasch. The biggest daily newspapers from different parts of the world asked to receive the game by telegraph. And Emanuel Lasker, Tarrasch’s main rival, congratulated Albin by dispatch. After several days, Tarrasch, tired and a bit angry, found the occasion to give credit to the winner. The grand master wrote: "I had no bad foreboding when I played a weakly known line from Bilguer’s textbook. But, my opponent didn’t know the line at all. Owing to that fact, his moves were much stronger than the ones noted in that textbook and he came to advance. I lost the game only because of my good memory and opponent’s ignorance"

Mar-31-06  Castle In The Sky: Albin must have been an extraterrestrial player, he died in 1920 and played his last game in 1922.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Well... He played the opening named after him only in 4 games.

What about the 1922 game, he is not the only player who played after his death according to this database.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the day:


He was author of the first chess book in Romanian, <Amiculŭ Joculu de Scachu Teoreticu şi Practicu>, published in Bucharest in 1872

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the day:

Here is an interesting report about
<Adolf Albin: The Teacher of Nimzovich?>

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the day:

More findings:

a pdf:

a book review:

essay in Swedish:

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: more info on Master Adolf Albin in the book "Adolf Albin in America" by Olimpiu Urcan..

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Died in 1920, played his last game in 1922. Very common in this DBase.

Either way, R.I.P. Master Albin.

Oct-01-10  Marcelo Brasileiro: Please correct the second word of Albin's book in Rumanian: Jocului.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: According to the Swedish essay Albin (snr) died in 1913, although every other source I can find states he died in 1920.

"Adolf Albin, died in 1913, but his son Max Adolf Albin Jr who was born in 1870 in Bucharest and died 1 February 1920.

Adolf Albin's death is shrouded in mystery, but it is clear that he in 1913 went into an ever deeper depression, which seems to have had to do with his family circumstances.

Max Adolf Albin Jr. was born in 1870 in Bucharest and came at a young age with his family to Vienna. After completing studies, he served as professor of linguistics at the University of Vienna. He fell ill, however, with lung disease and left his post to devote himself entirely to playing chess.

Among the tournaments in which Max Adolf Albin participated include Vienna 1915.

He died in Vienna on 1 February 1920".

Albin appears to have spent much of his early career as a translator/assistant to Dr. Bethel Henry Baron von Stroussberg described in the Hastings Tournament Book as "the German Railway King". He lost this job with the latter's bankruptcy in 1875. Dr Stroussberg seems to have a very colourful high-fying career including a scandalous affair involving the Bank of Commerce of Moscow

Here is a translation of a Czech site with a lot of background about Albin's colourful employer:


Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <whiteshark:>

Would you have seen. I think we have have to rewrite history? It seems that Albin died in 1913, and that his son <Max Adolf Albin Jr.>, who was also a strong player, is the one who died in 1920.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Hi, <Tabanus: <I think we have have to rewrite history?>> It seems so though I'm not a biographer at all.

<Max Adolf Albin Jr.>'s Swedish simultan as 'replacement for his father' is indeed somehow whimsical. I have no doubt that <Sthig Jonasson> research is trustable.

So <Max Adolf Albin Jr.> needs a players page, for the three '1914' games at least.

He also played a mini-match against Reti in 1918 (1-1) - so enough work for the wiki-pages to correct it, too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <I have no doubt that <Sthig Jonasson> research is trustable.> Neither have I. He gives no sources except this piece by Rolf Littorin: in which it becomes clear (by reference to original sources) that the simul round trip in Sweden January 1914 was by Albin Jr.

Hopefully the picture here is of Albin Sr. I'll not be the one to rewrite!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Picture of Albin Jr. in Stockholm 1914:
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: R.I.P. master Albin.
Jun-07-13  Karpova: I don't think that Adolf Albin died in 1913. I find no obituary in the 'Wiener Schachzeitung' of that time, furthermore he participated in the VI. Leopold Trebitsch Memorial held from 1914.11.12 to 1914.12.31 and he is called <Altmeister Albin> two times on page 216 of the 1914 'Wiener Schachzeitung' and it was also said that he fought with <bewunderungswürdiger Rüstigkeit> (Rüstigkeit = lustiness) which are all indications of his old age so that it is most likely Adolf Albin and not his son Max Adolf Albin Junior.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Wikipedia: <He was born in Bucharest to a wealthy family. His forefathers, however, sprang from Hamburg, Germany and settled in Zhitomir, Ukraine in the 19th century, but later moved to Romania.[1] After completing his studies in Vienna, he went back to Romania, where he ran the Frothier Printing House in Bucharest. Soon he became associated with Dr. Bethel Henry Baron von Stroussberg, working as a translator for the influential railroad tycoon who was nicknamed "The King of Railways." Stroussberg's financial bankruptcy in 1875 led to Albin's exile in Vienna once again, together with his wife and 3 children. He died at age 72 in a Vienna sanatorium.>

Death date is February 1, 1920.

Jun-08-13  Karpova: Jeremy Gaige also has 1920.02.01.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <American Chess Bulletin> has the date as 1920.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P Albin.
Jan-07-14  Karpova: 14-board Simul in the Vienna Chess Club on October 28, 1914, against single opponents and consulting teams. Score after 2 hours: +10 -0 =4.

Source: Page 233 of the September-November 1914 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Jan-29-14  Karpova: Simul in the Vienna Chess Club on January 21, 1911.

He faced 14 opponents: V Schiffer, S Steiner, Alfred Pink, O Strobl, k. Rat Viktor Harpner, Heinrich Kuhn, Dr. Konstantin Mandrila, Dr. Albert Mittler, Carl Schoham, Martin Kirschen, Erwin Kaufmann, Seidenstein, Otto Sternberg and Rittmeister Baron Döry von Jobahaza.

Already after one hour, Albin had checkmated an enemy ♔ on e4. Then he forced Steiner's resignation. Even Baron Döry, wo so far had managed to draw every Simul game (even one against Dr. Lasker), couldn't hold the game after his daring sacrifice had been refuted. Only Dr. Konstantin Mandrila managed to draw, despite being down a piece. Martin Kirschen even managed to win due to a sacrificial combination Albin didn't parry in time, or else the game would also have ended drawn. The last game was the one against Seidenstein, who finally resigned after a lively ♖ endgame.

So the final score is +12 -1 =1.

Source: Pages 44-45 of the February 1911 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus:, him?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <If cunning alone were needed to excel, women would be the best chess players> - Adolf Albin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: This page must have the greatest number of stale links of almost any on <CG>.

<Tab>'s find-a-grave link is good, although it's too bad there isn't an actual photograph of his gravestone (assuming he has one).

* * * * *

Albin wrote a book, which gave rise to a June/July 1903 set of articles entitled: <Albin's Aphorisms>

Here's a few well-known sayings which we can credit to him:

<Chess-masters hope in vain to be admired (bewundert) by their colleagues. For the true master possesses the sense of beauty and greatness, nothing is new to him : he admires little, he only approves.>

<Oh, the Herr Doctor! [Tarrasch]. He is less deep than methodical ; he depends on his memory, and writes condescendingly of other players. If you show him one of your best games, he will speak to you of his own.>

<Those who play for drawn games are great lovers of nature ; they delight in the sound of falling wood.>

<The chess-master often has this experience, that the move which he has sought for long without finding, when he finally discovers it, is just the simplest and most obvious, and had been suggested to him at the very first.>

And perhaps the most famous:

<Nothing is harder than to win—a won game.>

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