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Charles Jaffe
C Jaffe 
Jaffe's portrait from Jaffe's Chess Primer (1937) 

Number of games in database: 215
Years covered: 1904 to 1939
Overall record: +66 -102 =41 (41.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 6 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (37) 
    D02 A46 D05 A40
 Ruy Lopez (17) 
    C77 C78 C86 C87 C83
 Queen's Gambit Declined (8) 
    D37 D38 D39
 Semi-Slav (5) 
    D44 D46 D48
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (4) 
    C87 C86 C84 C89
 French Defense (4) 
    C14 C10 C01
With the Black pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (20) 
    D52 D51
 Ruy Lopez (14) 
    C84 C70 C91 C63 C68
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    D00 D02 D05 D04
 Semi-Slav (10) 
    D46 D44 D47
 Sicilian (8) 
    B40 B45 B30
 Four Knights (8) 
    C49 C48 C47
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Capablanca vs C Jaffe, 1913 0-1
   P S Leonhardt vs C Jaffe, 1911 0-1
   C Jaffe vs H Daly, 1909 1-0
   C Jaffe vs Marshall, 1909 1/2-1/2
   Janowski vs C Jaffe, 1916 0-1
   Janowski vs C Jaffe, 1917 0-1
   P Johner vs C Jaffe, 1911 0-1
   C Jaffe vs Capablanca, 1911 1/2-1/2
   C Jaffe vs Capablanca, 1913 1/2-1/2
   C Jaffe vs Capablanca, 1910 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Marshall - Jaffe (1909)
   Jaffe - Janowski (1916)
   Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18 (1917)
   22nd New York State Chess Association Championship (1909)
   American National (1913)
   New York Masters (1911)
   Havana (1913)
   7th American Chess Congress (1904)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Chicago Masters Tournament, 1926 by Phony Benoni
   1911 New York Masters by crawfb5
   Second American National Tournament (NY 1913) by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Charles Jaffe
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(born Apr-25-1879, died Jul-12-1941, 62 years old) Russia (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

Charles Jaffe was born in Dubrouna. He moved to America in 1896 and worked as a silk-mill merchant. In 1904, he took 7th out of 10 players at the St. Louis (7th American Congress) with 5/11, as Frank James Marshall won.Jaffe defeated Jacques Mieses, a leading player, by 2–0 in a mini-match at New York 1907. In 1909, Jaffe took 3rd out of 6 players with 3/5 in a small tournament at Bath Beach, Brooklyn NY (Herbert Rosenfeld won). Also in 1909, Jaffe lost a match to Frank Marshall by a score 3.5-5.5 (+2 =3 -4).

Jaffe was nicknamed "the Crown Prince of East Side Chess" by the poet and chess master Alfred Kreymborg. He often played at the Stuyvesant Chess Club, hangout of chess hustlers and interesting characters, which had many strong players, and was located on Manhattan's Lower East Side. "Jaffe was famous for his poverty", and "his style was "inimitably coffeehouse". Jaffe made much of his income through challenge games and odds games played there. The colorful atmosphere of the club in that era was outlined by in the book The Bobby Fischer I Knew And Other Stories.

He was 3rd at New York 1913 and his career included a victory over Jose Raul Capablanca and match wins over Oscar Chajes and Jacques Mieses.

In 1909-10, Jaffe began a concerted attempt to build a professional chess career. In February 1909, he challenged Marshall to a match, losing by 3.5 to 5.5 - Marshall - Jaffe (1909). He came third in the 22nd New York State Chess Association Championship (1909), July 26-30, 1909, defeating Marshall in Marshall vs C Jaffe, 1909. He was third equal behind Capablanca and Marshall Game Collection: 1911 New York Masters (January 1911), but then his deficiencies were painfully laid bare in his first taste of elite chess, at Karlsbad (1911). Having raised his fare by a public subscription, he found himself outclassed, sharing last place with (+8 -16 =1).

In October 1912, he lost a three game match against Capablanca by 0.5 to 2.5.

Capablanca later made a public allegation that at the Havana (1913) tournament Jaffe had thrown a game against Marshall enabling the latter to win the tournament. Capablanca and his powerful supporters in the East Coast American chess establishment, Hartwig Cassel and Hermann Helms, concerted this damaging embargo on Jaffe.

Jaffe became involved in a 1916 court battle against 'American Chess Bulletin' co-editor Hartwig Cassel, involving the non-inclusion for publication of some of his chess analysis of the King's Gambit, Rice Gambit, but he lost the case, despite being supported by witnesses who included U.S. champion Frank Marshall. This was apparently the first American case where chess matters made it to the courts. While seemingly frivolous, this case should be viewed from the perspective of Jaffe making much of his living from writing articles on chess for Jewish periodicals, so his professional reputation was at stake.

Jaffe played Janowski in a match twice. Game Collection: Jaffe - Janowski where he lost narrowly by 6-7, then in a return match November 1917 to January 1918 he lost by 8-10. At the Rye Beach Tournament (July 1918) he was equal third behind perennial rivals Chajes and Kupchik.

Although he won the 1920 Rice Progressive Chess Club Championship ahead of Chajes and Kupchik, then took second place to Marshall at the Atlantic City Tournament (July 1920), he was never a rival to Marshall. In the late 1920s Jaffe stopped playing regularly in tournaments.

*Wikipedia article: Dubroŭna

Wikipedia article: Charles Jaffe

Last updated: 2022-03-11 14:55:38

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 215  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. L Eisenberg vs C Jaffe 1-03719047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisB30 Sicilian
2. E Kemeny vs C Jaffe 1-03119047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
3. C Jaffe vs Marshall 0-13519047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
4. E Shrader vs C Jaffe  0-13219047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
5. S Mlotkowski vs C Jaffe  0-15219047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisC25 Vienna
6. C Jaffe vs E F Schrader  0-14019047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. G Schwietzer vs C Jaffe  ½-½4719047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisD02 Queen's Pawn Game
8. C Jaffe vs G Schwietzer  1-04719047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisC14 French, Classical
9. C Jaffe vs M Judd  ½-½5319047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisA84 Dutch
10. M Judd vs C Jaffe  1-04019047th American Chess Congress, St. LouisA07 King's Indian Attack
11. J Mieses vs C Jaffe  ½-½621907New York exgC27 Vienna Game
12. C Jaffe vs J Mieses 1-0361907New York mD02 Queen's Pawn Game
13. J Mieses vs C Jaffe 0-1501907New York mC28 Vienna Game
14. C Jaffe vs Marshall  ½-½361909Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Marshall vs C Jaffe 1-0451909Marshall - JaffeA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
16. C Jaffe vs Marshall ½-½281909Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
17. Marshall vs C Jaffe  0-1451909Marshall - JaffeD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. C Jaffe vs Marshall 0-1551909Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Marshall vs C Jaffe 1-0521909Marshall - JaffeA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
20. C Jaffe vs Marshall 1-0451909Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Marshall vs C Jaffe  ½-½471909Marshall - JaffeA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
22. C Jaffe vs Marshall 0-1531909Marshall - JaffeD02 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Capablanca vs C Jaffe 1-0401909Exhibition gameC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. W Moorman vs C Jaffe 1-050190922nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipB40 Sicilian
25. C Jaffe vs H Daly 1-021190922nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipA40 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 215  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Jaffe wins | Jaffe loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-18-06  Calli: A reasonable guess for S. Capablanca would be his brother Salvador (1885-1940). Capablanca was one of eight children.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Thanks <Calli>.
Aug-18-07  Karpova: <1916: Charles Jaffe v Hartwig Cassel (C.N. 1105)

From the BCM, June 1916, page 200:

‘When chessplayers go to law on some matter connected with the game, there is usually a touch of the ridiculous. In the Bronx Municipal Court, on 4 April, a case came up in which Charles Jaffe sued Hartwig Cassel, one of the editors of the American Chess Bulletin, for $700 – over £140 – for work alleged to have been done in analysing the Rice Gambit. Last year Professor Isaac J. [sic – L. would be correct] Rice invited a number of strong American players to Utica to test his gambit once more, and it was agreed that their investigations should be continued. Jaffe, however, broke away from the rest and decided to analyse by himself. The others concluded their joint work, which is to appear in a book entitled Twenty Years of the Rice Gambit, while Mr Julius Finn, who was appointed referee in the matter, declared Jaffe’s work not acceptable. Hence the lawsuit, Mr Cassel being brought in as having acted in an advisory capacity for the late professor in chess matters. The witnesses at the trial included Marshall (who considered Jaffe’s claim not unreasonable), Julius Finn, Albert B. Hodges, and J. Rosenthal. The verdict was in favour of Mr Cassel. The chief amusement seems to have been when Jaffe was in the witness-box on his own behalf, and expressed his opinion of the chess strength of a number of noted players in the court – not unqualified by their attitude towards him in the case.’

A detailed account of the case appeared on pages 124-125 of the May-June 1916 American Chess Bulletin.>

Nov-06-07  Karpova: A three-cornered tournament almost nothing is known about:

<Dan Scoones (Coquitlam, BC, Canada) sends the following extract from a report on page 19 of the New York Times, 20 July 1919:

‘By invitation of the I.L. Rice Progressive Chess Club, Metropolitan League champions, Oscar Chajes, Charles Jaffe and Boris Kostić started a short three-cornered tournament at that club yesterday. The pairings brought together Jaffe and Kostić in the first round, Kostić winning the toss for move and selecting the Ruy López. The Serbian brought about an early exchange of queens, Jaffe being left in possession of two bishops. The latter won a pawn at his 24th turn, and playing in excellent style thereafter, brought about Kostić’s resignation after 48 moves had been recorded. Jaffe will play against Chajes in the next round.’>

There is another game Jaffe-Kostic, New York 1919 but it doesn't fit the description and it's unclear so I won't submit it until further information appear. But that's the game:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.c3 h6 10.Ne4 Nxe4 11.Bxe4 O-O 12.d4 f5 13.dxe5 fxe4 14.Qxd6 Qh4 15.Be3 Ba6 16.Nd2 Rad8 17.Qb4 Rxd2 18.Kxd2 Rxf2+ 19.Kc1 Rxg2 20.Qxa5 Bc8 21.Rd1 Qh3 22.Qd8+ Kh7 23.Qd4 Qf3 24.Re1 c5 25.Qd5 Rxh2 26.Bd2 Bf5 27.e6 e3 28.Qxf3 exd2+ 29.Kd1 Bc2+ 30.Kxc2 dxe1(Q)+ 31.Kb3 Qxe6+ 32.c4 Qb6+ 33.Kc3 Qxb2+ 34.Kd3 Qd4# 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Jaffe and Chajes were like ... have you ever read The Castle by Franz Kafka? They were like Arthur and Jeremiah. K said that it was impossible to tell them apart and he could not be bothered to remember which one was which - so he called them both by one name.
Jan-08-09  myschkin: . . .

"The Crown Prince of East Side Chess"

"Jaffe was famous for his poverty", and "his style was "inimitably coffeehouse".*

*The World of Chess, by Anthony Saidy and Norman Lessing, 1974, New York, Random House, pp. 190-191

May-17-11  Imposter: He was once mugged by thieves who demanded money. Apparently he shrugged and invited them to search him and to let him know if they found anything, cause he sure couldn't. Apparently the would be thieves were charmed by the guy and took him to a tavern and treated him to a beer.

Not sure if it's true, but this story has been around for a while and it adds to the legend of the man.

May-17-11  MaxxLange: I had only known of him as the person who lost this miniature:

Capablanca vs C Jaffe, 1910

He sounds like quite a colorful character.

Apr-25-13  brankat: R.I.P. Master Jaffe.
Mar-09-14  Karpova: Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Berlin, January 24:

<Sein Gegner zwar ist nicht von erstem Range. Es ist derselbe Jaffe, der vor einigen Jahren sich erfolglos in einem europäischen Meisterturniere, ich glaube Karlsbad versucht hat. Aber die schachliche Persönlichkeit des Kubaners ist von solchem Interesse, daß, in Ermangelung von etwas Besserem, auch diese Partien Aufmerksamkeit erregen. Enthüllen sie doch, wenigstens von seiner Seite, einen Stil.>

(His opponent indeed is not of first rank. It is the same Jaffe who unsuccessfully dabbled in a European master tournament, I believe it was Karlsbad, a few years ago. But the chess personality of the Cuban is of such interest, that also games like these create interest. They reveal, at least from his side, a style.)

Source: 'Pester Lloyd', 1913.01.26, p. 11

The context: Dr. Lasker annotates C Jaffe vs Capablanca, 1912 as there had been few games of Capablanca, thereby providing this short assessment of Jaffe.

Mar-09-14  sakredkow: <It is the same Jaffe who unsuccessfully dabbled in a European master tournament>

Early version of "chess tourist."

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Jaffe was the American equivalent of Janowski, only with less talent, and more personality. Thanks for the stories Charlie!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Charles Jaffe turns 50 (more or less): C Jaffe vs Kashdan, 1933
Nov-11-15  Avun Jahei: ‘Apropos is the story of the game between the invincible Capablanca and Charles Jaffe, pride of the East Side. Capa forgot he was invincible: he lost. A reporter who was present asked the Cuban, “How far do you see ahead?” Capa replied impressively, “About ten moves”. Then the reporter went over to Jaffe: “How far do you see ahead?” Much to everyone’s surprise, the reply was, “Only one move”. This didn’t make sense. “How could a player who can see only one move ahead defeat another who can delve so deeply?” Here Jaffe explained: “I see only one move ahead, but always the best move.” That is sufficient.’

Al Horowitz

Apr-25-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Charles Jaffe.
Apr-26-16  Hodor: Hodor!
Apr-26-16  AlicesKnight: Perhaps the strangest game he played is <Kostic-Jaffe, Karlsbad 1911> - the ending, though one-sided, presents a curious picture.
Aug-20-16  zanzibar: <Frank J. Marshall has a number of local engagements, beginning with a lecture at the rooms of the Jaffa Chess Club, 123 Essex Street, this evening. Next Saturday, the same evening on which the Manhattan Chess Club dinner will be held at the Hotel Brevoort, he will give a simultaneous exhibition at the Brooklyn Institute Chess Club, and on April 13, he is scheduled for a similar performance at the New York City Chess Club.

The Jaffe Chess Club, with Charles Jaffe as director and Instructor, was opened at Kotlitzki's Conditorel, 123 Essex Street, last Saturday, when Jaffe played nine, consultation games simultaneously, in which nearly 70 players took part. The expert won 7, drew 1, and lost 1, which latter was to members of the Brownsville Chess Club to whom prizes were awarded.>

<Evening Post, Sat. 1917-03-17 p14(?)>

Jan-19-17  zanzibar: <damagingembargo> must need a space. Also <enableing>.

The controversy between Capablanca and Jaffe (discussed early in the forum) was real - but it's unreferenced in wiki, and therefore unreferenced here.

Of course, I would like to see this stuff properly backed up... or, if speculative, relegated to the comments.

I think Winter's book, p48, has some mention. Of course, contemporaneous sources would be even better.

Jan-20-17  zanzibar: <Whole paragraph is poorly sourced (a forum at is definitely not good enough). Material which reflects negatively on a player (Capa in this case) must be properly sourced)>

Remember, <CG>, wiki is watching.

Jan-20-17  zanzibar: Or rather, was watching...
Premium Chessgames Member
  mifralu: Details of the case Charles Jaffe v Hartwig Cassel

Apr-25-19  YoungEd: A relatively low percentage of draws for such a strong player, no?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: (New York) Daily News, April 7th 1926, p.37:

<A blind rapid transit chess match will be played by Frank J. Marshall, American chess champion, and Charles Jaffe, international chess master, at the Prospect theatre, Bronx, tonight. The moves of the game will be shown simultaneously on the screen.>

Of which nothing more was heard!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Had never read that anecdote posted by <Imposter>, but it is hilarious.
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