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Max Harmonist
Number of games in database: 44
Years covered: 1885 to 1898

Overall record: +11 -24 =8 (34.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (6) 
    C65 C67
 French Defense (4) 
    C14 C01 C02
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C67 C77 C69 C60
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Gunsberg vs Harmonist, 1887 0-1
   Harmonist vs NN, 1897 1-0
   Harmonist vs Tarrasch, 1888 1-0
   Harmonist vs Paulsen, 1889 1-0
   Tarrasch vs Harmonist, 1888 1/2-1/2
   Harmonist vs Blackburne, 1887 1-0
   E Schallopp vs Harmonist, 1887 0-1
   H Stutzkowski vs Harmonist, 1898 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Breslau (1889)
   Frankfurt (1887)

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Max Harmonist
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(born Feb-10-1864, died Oct-16-1907, 43 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Max Harmonist was a professional ballet dancer. His tournament results were humble with his best result being 4th= with Louis Paulsen at Nuremberg 1888, but he won the brilliancy prize at Frankfurt 1887 for his game with Isidor Gunsberg.

Wikipedia article: Max Harmonist

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 44  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Harmonist vs A Flad  0-1371885Hamburg IIC02 French, Advance
2. Harmonist vs Mackenzie 0-1401887FrankfurtC45 Scotch Game
3. E Schallopp vs Harmonist 0-1281887FrankfurtC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
4. Alapin vs Harmonist 1-0231887FrankfurtC44 King's Pawn Game
5. Paulsen vs Harmonist 1-0281887FrankfurtC49 Four Knights
6. Harmonist vs J N Berger 0-1501887FrankfurtC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
7. Harmonist vs Englisch 0-1151887FrankfurtC47 Four Knights
8. Von Bardeleben vs Harmonist 1-0311887FrankfurtD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Harmonist vs Blackburne 1-0361887FrankfurtB30 Sicilian
10. Gunsberg vs Harmonist 0-1261887FrankfurtC50 Giuoco Piano
11. Schiffers vs Harmonist 1-0281887FrankfurtC54 Giuoco Piano
12. Harmonist vs A Fritz ½-½281887FrankfurtC41 Philidor Defense
13. Harmonist vs Metger  ½-½251887FrankfurtC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
14. Max Weiss vs Harmonist 1-0411887FrankfurtC77 Ruy Lopez
15. Harmonist vs Burn 0-1181887FrankfurtC14 French, Classical
16. Taubenhaus vs Harmonist 0-1501887FrankfurtC25 Vienna
17. Harmonist vs Von Gottschall 0-1221887FrankfurtC45 Scotch Game
18. Zukertort vs Harmonist 1-0271887FrankfurtC30 King's Gambit Declined
19. Harmonist vs Tarrasch 0-1381887FrankfurtC14 French, Classical
20. H Caro vs Harmonist  1-0481888BerlinC29 Vienna Gambit
21. Harmonist vs Tarrasch 1-04318882-BSB CongressC01 French, Exchange
22. Tarrasch vs Harmonist  ½-½2518882-BSB CongressD05 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Burn vs Harmonist  ½-½401889BreslauC67 Ruy Lopez
24. Harmonist vs Schiffers 1-0411889BreslauB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
25. Harmonist vs Tarrasch 0-1461889BreslauC67 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 44  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Harmonist wins | Harmonist loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-07-04  percyblakeney: Max Harmonist (1864-1907) was a Royal Ballet Dancer who beat both Blackburne and Gunsberg in Frankfurt 1887. There is a photo of Harmonist at
Feb-10-06  BIDMONFA: Max Harmonist


Feb-10-06  McCool: <pawntificator: Max was a ballet dancer by profession!! > Really? I would have thought he was a harmonist.(someone who creates harmonies)
Sep-12-06  guitar2001: McCool: <pawntificator: Max was a ballet dancer by profession!! > Really? I would have thought he was a harmonist.(someone who creates harmonies)

You're a McLoser.

Feb-10-08  brankat: Mr.Harmonist had a talent for the game, but never saw it as a profession.

He did beat Gunsberg, Blackburne, Tarrasch, Mieses, Paulsen, drew a game against A.Burn.

No small feat for an amateur.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the Day

Bio: !

The game:Gunsberg vs Harmonist, 1887

Feb-10-09  brankat: Thanks Sharky. A beautiful game indeed.
Feb-10-09  ILikeFruits: players wanna play...
ballers wanna ball...
rollers wanna roll...
Feb-10-09  brankat: Fruits are good for all of them!
Feb-10-09  ILikeFruits: indeed...
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I have been looking for a second picture from M. Harmonist but so far no success. The photograph above was published on page 356 of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten, 1926

--> CN 3885

Feb-10-09  WhiteRook48: let's have him play music
Apr-13-09  Dredge Rivers: Ballet? Fooey!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday!
Feb-10-12  Llawdogg: Cool name!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: From the Berlinerschachverband item, it appears that although he was a professional ballet dancer at the Royal Opera, "he suffered from the lingering illness of Cerebal Palsy"
Sep-16-12  Karpova: He won the Jubilee Tournament of the Berlin Chess Society which began on August 15, 1887. The other participants were Caro, Cordel, Kirdorf, Dr. Lasker (Berthold or Emanuel?), Rothlšnder, Schallopp and von Scheve. 2nd place went to von Scheve (200 Mark) and 3rd to Schallopp (150 Mark). Max received 300 Mark.

From page 16 of the September 1887 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <From the Berlinerschachverband item, it appears that although he was a professional ballet dancer at the Royal Opera, "he suffered from the lingering illness of Cerebal Palsy">

I wonder which symptoms of CP he showed if he could professionally dance. I know there are some "mild" forms of CP, but mild enough to dance?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Really too bad that Harmonist wasn't a musician or conductor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He is mentioned in Fischer's 60MG.
Feb-10-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Max Harmonist.
May-03-16  zanzibar: From the intro...

<...but he won the brilliancy prize at Frankfurt 1887 for his game with Isidor Gunsberg.>

I think this statement is wrong.

Although his game with Gunsberg may have been brilliant, I don't think it won the Brilliancy Prize. Does anybody have a ref that it did?

<whiteshark> posted a link to a German writeup on Harmonist, which does mention the game, but it only offers this:

<One of his finest games was brought on the occasion of its centenary the chess friends in memory. It was played in 1887 in Frankfurt Master Tournament.>

The original link is stale, here's an archived version:

* * * * *

The game which did win the Brilliancy Prize did indeed involve Harmonist, but on the losing side of the board:

<Schiffers--Harmonist (1887)>

See Reinfeld's <Great Brilliancy Prize Games of the Chess Masters>, p17

Also, several mentions in BCM, e.g. v25 (1905) p57-8:

where it says:

<The Deutsche Schachzeitung, from which the notes to this game are taken, remarks: "For this game, which the 'Chess Monthly' calls the pearl of the tourney, Herr Schiffers received the special brilliancy prize of 100 marks, given by Mr. Lewis, of London.>

Batgirl mentions the Schiffers--Harmonist game as well, citing an earlier BCM ref which got the tournaments confused:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marcelo Bruno: <Karpova> I admit almost certain that the Dr. Lasker was Berthold, Emanuel's brother.
Mar-07-18  zanzibar: Tarrasch talks extensively about Harmonist here:


Yes, Tarrasch confirms he died from CP:


After a prolonged illness, cerebral palsy, Max Harmonist died at the age of 42 years. Those of us who were his friends always remember his creative personality.


Feb-10-19  JimNorCal: He died relatively young
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