Moisei Elyashiv (Elyashov, Eljaschoff) was born in Kaunas, Lithuania on 6 April, 1869. He was one of 10 children in a well established Jewish family. His father Zalkind Shlomo Kalman Elyashiv was a tradesman in Kaunas. The other nine children raised by his mother Khaia Sora Elyashiv were: Rachel Berlin, Khiena Shteinberg, Aron Elyashiv, Israel Isidor Elyashiv, Sheyna Fridman, Yirmiya Elyashiv, Yudel Marcus Elyashiv, Dr. Ester (Esfir) Gurliand Veiskorth, and Baruch Elyashiv. Moisei was the older brother of Dr. Israel Isidor Elyashiv, the first Yiddish literary critic, born in Kaunas, Lithuania on 31 August, 1871. (1)
In 1894, Moisei moved from Kaunas to Dvinsk, Russian Empire (since 1920: Daugavpils, Latvia). He became a member of the city chess club (founded in 1891), and shortly, together with local player Abelman, became one of its two best players. He took part in the Daugavpils telegraph match against the Riga chess club. (2) Later, Moisei Elyashiv moved to Switzerland and studied at the University of Bern. He participated in the Swiss championship in Basel (1898), and ended 7th. (3) On 4-7 February, 1898, in Davos, Switzerland held an International chess tournament. Eighteen players participated in three semifinal groups, two players from each advancing to a final 6-player tournament, which Elyashiv won with 4.5/5. Second was Dr. Karl Karstens (Kiel) (4/5), and 3rd was Leon Pasternak from Zürich (3/5). (3, 4) In the Swiss championship in Lausanne (1899), Elyashiv was 3rd. (3) In August 1900, Elyashiv won the Nebenturnier A of the 12th DSB (German Chess Federation) Congress in Munich. (5) On 8-9 June 1901, in the 11th Swiss championship in St. Gallen, he was 5th with 3/5. Max Pestalozzi, Dr. Eugen Meyer, Hans Duhm, and Andreas Duhm shared 1st place (3.5/6). (6) In March 1902, Elyashiv won a tournament in Munich, after defeating Kullmann in the tie-break. (7) In 1902, in Berlin, he won a match against Carl Johan Margot Carls (+3 -1 =0). (8) The 13th DSB Congress was held in Hanover, 21 July to 11 August 1902. Elyashiv had now already settled in Munich. The 28 players in Hauptturnier B were divided in four groups. Elyashiv played in Group 4, and was 1st with 5.5/6. The two best in each group then played in a Siegergruppe (winners group), which was won by Leo Fleischmann Forgacs (5/7), ahead of Max Lange (4/5). Elyashiv shared 3rd place with Johannes Esser, Paul Fiebig and Alfred Ehrhardt Post (3.5/7). (9) In the Swiss championship in Zürich (1903), he took a shared 2nd place. (3) The 14th DSB Congress was held in Coburg, 18 July - 1 August 1904. Elyashiv played in Hauptturnier B, and was 2nd with 8/10, behind Hans Fahrni. (9) On 7-28 November 1904, a double-round 4-player tournament was held in Munich. Rudolf Spielmann won (7/9), Friedrich Koehnlein was 2nd (5.5/9), and Elyashiv was 3rd (4/9). (10) In June 1906, at the 16th Swiss Chess Federation congress in Basel (Hauptturnier A), 1st place was shared between Walter Henneberger and Moriz Henneberger (4 pts). Elyashiv shared 3rd, with Walter Preiswerk (3 pts). (11) In June/July 1906 in Ostend (Hauptturnier B), Elyashiv was 1st with 13/17. (12) On 6-24 November 1906, the Altmunchen chess club held a 6-player masters tournament in Munich. First was Aron Nimzowitsch (8.5/10), 2nd was Rudolf Spielmann (6.5/10), and Elyashiv shared 3rd with Erich Cohn and David Przepiorka (5/10). (13) In the Ostend International Amateur tournament, 30 March - 13 April 1907, Elyashiv was 13th with 9/19. Georg Schories won with 14.5/19. (14) In 1908, Elyashiv participated in the Prague International tournament (18 May - 12 June). The 32 players in the Hauptturnier played in three sections, eight players in each. Elyashiv shared 5th place in section C with J. Musil (3.5/7). The win was shared between Jaroslav Engler and Bernhard Kagan (5/7). (15) At the 16th DSB Congress, Düsseldorf 3-19 August 1908, Elyashiv was 2nd in Hauptturnier B (10.5/13), after Kurt Moll (12/13). (16)
Elyashiv returned to Kaunas in 1909. He represented Kaunas in the All Russian Amateur tournament in St. Petersburg (15 February - 12 March), sharing 4th place with Dawid Daniuszewski and Boris Evgenievich Maliutin (9.5/16). The winner was 16-year-old Alexander Alekhine (13/16). (17) The year after, Elyashiv participated in the 17th DSB (German Chess Federation) Congress in Hamburg (18 July - 6 August). He played in Hauptturnier B, which consisted of 60 players in six groups (10 players in each), and came 2nd in Group 3 (6/9), advancing to Siegergruppe 2 (which consisted of the six 2nd place takers). Hans Johner won this (3.5/5), and Elyashiv shared 5th with Rudolf Duhrssen (1.5/5). (18) In 1911, at the All Russian Amateur tournament in St. Petersburg (October/November), Elyashiv represented Kovno (Kaunas), as one of the 22 players from 13 cities of the Russian Empire. The winner was Stefan Levitsky (16.5/21). Elyashiv was ill and had to undergo an operation after the tournament ended. He scored 6.5/20 and finished 20th. (19) In 1912, the 18th German Chess Federation Congress was held in Breslau (14 July to 7 August). Elyashiv played in Hauptturnier A, sharing 7th place with Lajos Asztalos (9/16). The winner was Bernhard Gregory (11.5/16). (20) Shortly after, in the All-Russian Masters tournament in Vilnius (19 August to 17 September), he was 17th in the International Main tournament (5.5/19). The winner was Karel Hromadka (15/19). (21) In 1913/1914, Elyashiv tied for 17th with Bernhard Gregory (3.5/17) at the All-Russian Masters Tournament in St. Petersburg (8th Russian championship). Alexander Alekhine and Aron Nimzowitsch shared 1st place with 13.5/17. (22)
The 19th DSB Chess Congress started in Mannheim on Sunday 19 July 1914. About 100 players participated, and Elyashiv attended as a correspondent for Russian newspapers. During Round 11, there was the Russian-German declaration of war, and trouble had started for the Russian nationals. On Friday 31 July, Elyashiv was arrested while swimmimg in the Rhine near the railway bridge. The bridge was of strategic importance, being on the main line connecting Strasburg and Metz (France). Elyashiv was suspected of espionage, and brought by four soldiers to the main guard of the Castle where he spent the Friday and Saturday nights. It was not until Sunday morning that Peter Saburov, the president of St. Petersburg Chess Club convinced the Germans to release him. Next evening he was brought to the headquarters of the chess congress by two security agents. Elyashiv was then sent to Baden-Baden in a good hotel, as the Germans still believed he was a Russian general playing the role of a chess correspondent (due to the strange figures in his telegrams). Eventually, the intervention of the American consul led to the liberation of all the Russian masters, and of Elyashiv, who was able to make the journey to Zürich, Switzerland. (23)
2) Chess history of Dinaburg (since 1993: Dvinsk) - article of Wolf Rubinchik at http://www.chessds.lv/index.php?opt... and http://www.grani.lv/daugavpils/3773...
3) Article of Dmitry Gorodin, History of International chess tournaments in Swiss, at http://www.e3e5.com/article.php?id=....
4) Allgemeine Sport-Zeitung, 27 February 1898, p. 203. Dr. Karl Karstens, oceanographer, was a member of of the Imperial-Royal Geographical Society. Source: Dr. J. M. Juttner in Mittheilungen der kaiserlich-königlichen Geographischen Gesellschaft, Vienna, p. 604.
5) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, August/September 1900, Nr. 8/9, p. 180, and Wikipedia article: Swiss Chess Championship.
6) Neue Hamburger Zeitung, 6 July 1901, p. 18, and Wikipedia article: Swiss Chess Championship.
7) Neue Hamburger Zeitung, 29 March 1902, p. 14.
8) Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 23, and Feenstra Kuiper, 100 Jahre Schachzweikämpfe, p. 32.
9) Altonaer Nachrichten, 1 August 1902, p. 7, Neue Hamburger Zeitung, 2 August 1902, Wiener Schach-Zeitung, September 1902, p. 185, and Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 16.
10) Neue Hamburger Zeitung, 17 December 1904, p. 20, and Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 43.
11) Neue Hamburger Zeitung, 30 June 1906, p. 18, and Wikipedia article: Swiss Chess Championship.
12) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, September 1906, p. 309, Gaige, Chess Tournament Crosstables II, p. 263, and Sergeant, Century of British Chess, p. 247.
13) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, Nr. 11/12, November/December 1906, p. 373, Neue Hamburger Zeitung, 15 December 1906, p. 22, and Allgemeine Sport-Zeitung, 8 December 1906, p. 1505.
14) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, Nr. 5/6, May/July 1907, p. 164, and Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 96.
15) Prager Tagblatt, Nr. 142, 23 May 1908, p. 7, Neues Wiener Tagblatt, 28 May 1908, p. 11, and Wiener Schach-Zeitung, Nr. 5/6, May/June 1908, p. 180.
16) Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 105.
17) All Russian Amateur (1909), and Wiener Schach-Zeitung, Nr. 11/12, June 1909, pp. 193-194.
18) Allgemeine Sport-Zeitung, 21 August 1910, p. 1123, Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, pp. 140-141, and Wiener Schach-Zeitung, Nr. 14/16, July/August 1910, p. 338.
19) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, Nr. 21/24, November/December 1911, p. 351, and Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 164.
20) Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 172.
21) Wiener Schach-Zeitung, February/May 1914, p. 129, and Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 184.
22) Game Collection: St Petersburg 1914 All-Russian Championship, and Di Felice, Chess Results 1901-1920, p. 217.
23) Schweizerische Schachzeitung, Nr. 2, February 1915, p. 17, and article of Sergei Voronkov, Russian Sphinx, at http://chesspro.ru/_events/2008/vor....