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Erich Eliskases
E Eliskases 
Number of games in database: 872
Years covered: 1928 to 1976
Highest rating achieved in database: 2430

Overall record: +339 -116 =417 (62.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (53) 
    E67 E69 E60 E95 E62
 English (43) 
    A15 A14 A10 A13 A18
 Nimzo Indian (35) 
    E34 E44 E23 E38 E24
 Reti System (32) 
    A04 A06 A05
 Orthodox Defense (26) 
    D51 D55 D63 D50 D61
 Queen's Pawn Game (25) 
    A46 D05 D04 A40 E00
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (60) 
    B80 B40 B50 B84 B21
 Nimzo Indian (51) 
    E33 E54 E52 E21 E24
 King's Indian (45) 
    E67 E80 E72 E94 E64
 Orthodox Defense (38) 
    D56 D57 D63 D51 D55
 Ruy Lopez (36) 
    C99 C84 C67 C77 C86
 French Defense (24) 
    C07 C14 C10 C18 C00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   E Eliskases vs Gruenfeld, 1933 1-0
   Keres vs E Eliskases, 1938 1/2-1/2
   Spielmann vs E Eliskases, 1932 0-1
   E Eliskases vs Capablanca, 1937 1-0
   E Eliskases vs F Hoelzl, 1929 1-0
   Kozelek vs E Eliskases, 1928 0-1
   E Eliskases vs L Laurine, 1935 1-0
   E Eliskases vs Fischer, 1960 1-0
   E Eliskases vs Bogoljubov, 1939 1/2-1/2
   C Canoba vs E Eliskases, 1957 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Spielmann - Eliskases (1932)
   German Championship (1938)
   Bogoljubov - Eliskases (1939)
   Spielmann - Eliskases (1937)
   Noordwijk (1938)
   German Championship (1939)
   Rosario (1939)
   Hastings 1936/37 (1936)
   Mar del Plata (1941)
   Hastings 1933/34 (1933)
   Semmering/Baden (1937)
   Podebrady (1936)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   Buenos Aires (1960)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Eliskases and Book: The Forgotten by Runemaster
   Bogoljubov - Eliskases 1939 by Chessical
   Bogoljubov - Eliskases 1939 by Pawn and Two
   Mar del Plata 1947 by ozmikey
   German Championship 1939 by Tabanus
   5th German Championship - Bad Oeynhausen 1938 by Pawn and Two
   German Championship 1938 by chesshistoryinterest
   6th German Championship - Bad Oeynhausen 1939 by Pawn and Two
   Lodz 1938 by jessicafischerqueen
   German Championship 1938 by Tabanus
   Moravska Ostrava 1933 by jessicafischerqueen

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Erich Eliskases
Search Google for Erich Eliskases

(born Feb-15-1913, died Feb-02-1997, 83 years old) Austria (federation/nationality Argentina)

[what is this?]
Erich Gottlieb Eliskases was born in Innsbruck, Austria. Awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1952, he was joint Austrian Champion in 1929, Hungarian Champion in 1934 and German Champion in 1938 and 1939. He was stranded in South America following the outbreak of the Second World War.

He did not fare well at Moscow (1936), nor at Semmering/Baden (1937) but he did defeat both Paul Keres and Jose Raul Capablanca in the second round robin of the latter tournament, and he had a good win at Noordwijk (1938). He was also 1st at Sao Paulo 1941, 1st at Sao Paulo 1947, 1st at Mar del Plata 1948, 2nd at Mar del Plata 1948, 2nd= at Mar del Plata 1949, 1st at Punta del Este 1951, 1st= at the 1951 South American Zonal (jointly) and 1st= at Cordoba 1959. Sub-champion of Argentina in 1957 behind Raul Sanguineti and 2nd at Wijk aan Zee, 1966 behind Fridrik Olafsson.

In Olympiads he played for Austria in 1930, 1933 and 1935, for Germany in 1939 and for Argentina in 1952, 1958, 1960 and 1964.

In matches he beat Rudolf Spielmann three times, in 1932 (+3, =5, -2), in 1936 (+2, =7, -1), in 1937 (+2, =8, -0) and Efim Bogoljubov (+6, =11, -3) in 1939.

Wikipedia article: Erich Eliskases

 page 1 of 35; games 1-25 of 872  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kozelek vs E Eliskases 0-1171928CorrespondenceC40 King's Knight Opening
2. E Eliskases vs F Hoelzl 1-0431929InnsbruckD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
3. E Eliskases vs Flohr  0-1491930Stubnanske TepliceA00 Uncommon Opening
4. E Eliskases vs S Gruber  1-0321930EbenseeA00 Uncommon Opening
5. F Kunert vs E Eliskases  0-1331930EbenseeC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
6. R Dyckhoff vs E Eliskases  0-1851930EbenseeE21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
7. J Engel vs E Eliskases  0-1521930Stubnianske TepliceA47 Queen's Indian
8. E Eliskases vs A Becker  1-0301930EbenseeA00 Uncommon Opening
9. E Eliskases vs R Duehrssen 0-1631930EbenseeA00 Uncommon Opening
10. Flohr vs E Eliskases 1-0641930Hamburg OlympiadA46 Queen's Pawn Game
11. E Eliskases vs I Rahm  1-0401930Hamburg OlympiadE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
12. Przepiorka vs E Eliskases 0-1401930Hamburg OlympiadA46 Queen's Pawn Game
13. E Eliskases vs I Vistaneckis  1-0261930Hamburg OlympiadD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Vladimir Petrov vs E Eliskases  ½-½421930Hamburg OlympiadA47 Queen's Indian
15. P Lob vs E Eliskases 1-0151932corrC40 King's Knight Opening
16. Spielmann vs E Eliskases ½-½661932Spielmann - EliskasesC77 Ruy Lopez
17. E Eliskases vs Spielmann 1-0361932Spielmann - EliskasesD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Spielmann vs E Eliskases ½-½321932Spielmann - EliskasesC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
19. E Eliskases vs Spielmann  ½-½221932Spielmann - EliskasesA40 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Spielmann vs E Eliskases 1-0371932Spielmann - EliskasesD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
21. E Eliskases vs Spielmann ½-½521932Spielmann - EliskasesC01 French, Exchange
22. Spielmann vs E Eliskases 0-1321932Spielmann - EliskasesD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. E Eliskases vs Spielmann ½-½391932Spielmann - EliskasesE12 Queen's Indian
24. Spielmann vs E Eliskases 0-1531932Spielmann - EliskasesC26 Vienna
25. E Eliskases vs Spielmann 0-1311932Spielmann - EliskasesE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
 page 1 of 35; games 1-25 of 872  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Eliskases wins | Eliskases loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-23-14  zanzibar: <> stats for him:

Places him in #6-#10 in 1938-1942, and from 1948-1949.

Nov-23-14  zanzibar: And what seems to be the very best site, certainly for its selection of photographs, is here: (in Spanish) (in English)

Nov-24-14  zanzibar: The last site I cited:

<Written by: Diego Marchiori | October 16, 2010 [...]>

Has a great selection of photographs, and an apparent interview with Eliskases. But I'm not sure if the interview is a work of fiction to make a more interesting narrative.

A native Spanish speaker will have to help.

But one fact is reported, at odds with all other mentioned I've seen made, and so I'll quote from the interview (which may not be a real interview):

<D) How many years has started to play chess?

R) I started to play chess at age 13. Even before I had learned the moves and played with an uncle but without knowing the rules and this is not to play chess. Incidentally my first chess book I read at that age.>

All other sources say 12.

A little more...

<D) When he made his debut in an international tournament?

R) at age 17 team tournament in Hamburg in 1930. Out of curiosity I will say that I was the youngest participant. My first international tournament individual played it in the same year to Stubianske Teplice.

D) She has a long experience in the tournament, which were his strongest opponents?

R) My toughest opponents were world champions. The carry my achievements against them: Lasker -1 = 1, Capablanca +1 -1 = 2, -2 = 2 Alekhine, Euwe +3 -2; Botvinnik = 3 -1 = 2 Smyslov, Petrosian -1, -1 Spassky, Fischer +1 -1. >


Nov-24-14  zanzibar: <He clearly enjoyed playing the role of "upright German man" who wanted the "German battle chess" gain worldwide recognition and championed especially for the "purity" of the German language (a goal that he pursued the way up to his death - see, eg, his translation of the biography of David Bronstein of Roman Toran in 1962 from Spanish into German).>

Nov-24-14  zanzibar: From the above ref, pictures of Eliskases' grave:


<"Estaras siempre en el corazon de tu esposa, tu hijo e hija">

<"Always'll be in the heart of your wife, your son and daughter">


Nov-24-14  zanzibar: One last note - the <soloscacchi> site is also in Italian:

It has a picture of Eliskases and Alekhine:

Maybe the first one is too, I just fed it straight to Google translate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <zanzibar> <A native Spanish speaker will have to help.> Actually, as you noted in your later post, the site is in Italian. I suspect Google Translate will be better to translate to Spanish than to English, because Spanish and Italian are closer to each other than Italian and English. And I can understand some Italian. For example, it says he got married in 1954 to Maria Esther after obtaining Argentine citizen. They had a son together.

Is there a particular fact or event you would like me to check by using the Italian-to-Spanish translation? The article is rather long... :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <zanzibar> BTW, the tomb stone clearly refers to a son and a daughter, but both the Italian site and one of sites in Portuguese you quoted earlier (they were in Portuguese, not Spanish) mention a son and no daughter. I wonder if the daughter on the tomb stone inscription is a daughter in law...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: His Wikipedia entry also mentions a son and no daughter.
Nov-26-14  zanzibar: Hi <Fusilli>, yes, I was going quickly through and should have slowed down to double-check the languages.

Thanks for looking in, and offering to help. But if you have to use Google translator then there's no reason I can't as well.

The main idea was to provide pointers for additional information for interested readers, and eventually maybe, an improved biography.

OK, thanks again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <zanzibar> oh no, thank *you*! Your attention to Eliskases made me go on a binge of Eliskases games this evening. What a terrific player he was!
Dec-15-14  Abdel Irada: <MissScarlett: <I suspect he had some either Jewish or Slavic ancestry...>

Transylvanian would be my guess. He looked like Bela Lugosi's brother.>

By this reasoning, he might have been Egyptian. He was a dead ringer for Hosni Mubarak.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Obituary with selection of tournaments and games, published 1997 in the <Wiener Zeitung> (in german language): <>
Jan-21-15  zanzibar: I may have (or somebody else might have) posted this before, but it's good enough for a repeat:

<Alekhine + Siamese cat -- Eliskases>

Jan-21-15  zanzibar: This site also notes the omission of Eliskases as analyst for Euwe in his first match with Alekhine:

The followign site duplicates my earlier Spanish ref on this, but is signed by an author - Raśl Grosso

Feb-18-15  Andrijadj: Eliskases probably makes top 5 endgame players of all times. Together with Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov and Carlsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Andrijadj: Eliskases probably makes top 5 endgame players of all times. Together with Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov and Carlsen.>

Akiba Rubinstein just crawled out of the grave and brained you with a rook. Not to mention Lasker, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Kramnik...the latter two aren't even dead.

All such lists are pointless anyway. Here, I'll quote myself.

Jose Raul Capablanca

<I can never take these sorts of lists seriously, because there are no common criteria.

Endgames are even more cumulative than other aspects of chess; every great endgame player owes a debt to his predecessors. Assuming that, say, Kramnik makes fewer endgame errors than Rubinstein, how do we judge between the two?

Also, do we make an adjustment for players before 1990 because they had adjournments to help them analyze?

Selection bias is an even bigger problem in these kind of lists than it usually is. Anyone who has an endgame book has seen endings by Lasker and Capablanca, but how much do most of us know about the endgames of players in the past 20 years, or the past 50? This endgame blew me away when I saw it unfold (Topalov vs Kasimdzhanov, 2005) it seemed equal or better than any classic. But for all I know Topalov, Anand, Kramnik etc. have 50 endgames each that good.

Finally, Morphy? I can think of two good endgames he played, against Harrwitz. If that is enough to get him on the all-time list, then we are just wasting our time.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Stepping down from the WC and near WCs...why is Eliskases on your list and not Ulf Andersson?
Feb-19-15  Andrijadj: I am a bit biased towards Eliskases probably-my first chess trainer, when I was a kid, was a big fan of his play because he knew him personally (the trainer is now 80+ if he is alive) and always told us kids that Eliskases' endgames were a model of correct endgame play. Therefore I analysed a lot of his games when I was young and a lot of it stuck. Eliskazes was really brilliant endgame player. Of course, all the people you mentioned were/are too. I mean, you cannot become a WC or a WC challenger without comprehensive endgame mastery. But Eliskases had an uncanny ability to conjure wins in endgames out of nothing and draws out of completely lost positions (I am not referring just to famous game vs Keres). In addition, he was commended by his peers (that included Rubinstein, Lasker, Capablanca, Botvinnik, Flohr...) precisely for his endgame play, as well as for ability to reach&switch to favourable endgame from middlegame. That is why I put him up there.

Other players you mentioned-of course, all of them were/are great endgame players. I would not put Smyslov and Kramnik there though-I think they are more of an universal positional players than endgame players. Opening preparation plays a great role with Kramnik too-he excells in endgames that he analyses out of openings, but he is not into deliberately switching into endgames in order to outplay opponent there, like Carlsen or Karpov do or like Eliskases or Capablanca did. That is why I put him there-of course, it is valid only for endgame play-Kramnik or Smyslov are overall better players than Eliskases, of course.

Korchnoi wasn't that famous for endgame mastery, was he? Complicated middlegames and tenacious defending were his forte. Same goes for Lasker- As for Ulf Andersson, I must admit I don't know much about the guy. I never studied his games that much. I know he made lots of draws and beat Karpov with a hedgehog and that's it, really.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Andrijadj> Thank you for that very interesting reply! I think if you look into it you will find that many rate Korchnoi and Lasker as among the greatest at the endgame, and that Andersson played many beautiful endings. I see I need to learn more about Eliskases.
Mar-06-15  Dr.Vulcan: Eliskases, when he had lived in Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul (the same state where Mecking was born) - Brasil, told to my old friends, that his name came from the Basque Language (or Basque Tongue) of the Basque Country, at the north of Spain, from where came his ancestry to Tyrol (state) of Austria.This Basque Language is a derivation, like the Hungarian, of the old Celtic Language.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: One of 4 players who beat both Capablanca and Fischer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: From Wikipedia entry:

<However, Eliskases' defection to South America was badly timed, as documentary evidence later showed that the Nazi regime had scheduled him a 1941 match with the World Champion, but due to circumstances, had subsequently abandoned the idea.>

This relies on a <NIC> article:

<One cannot simply dismiss these statements as an attempt by Alekhine to please the Nazi regime, since several documents prove that as early as 1939 the plan of staging a world championship match between Alekhine and Eliskases in 1941 was being entertained by German chess circles.>

Anyone know anything about these documents? It'd also be interesting to learn how 'German chess circles' reacted to Eliskases and the other German players' decision to remain in South America. Presumably, their success in the Olympiad was celebrated in the media, but it can't exactly have gone unnoticed when none of the players took part in the 1940 German championship or other events. Did German chess magazines scrupulously avoid any politically sensitive topics?

Something else I didn't know: after the Olympiad, Capablanca was all set to employ Eliskases as a second for a return match with Alekhine:

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, GM Erich Eliskases.
Apr-06-16  john barleycorn: "Die besten Anmerkungen macht Eliskases"
(Eliskases makes the best annotations)
Dr. Em. Lasker said to Kmoch.

Kmoch also mentions that Alekhine chose Eliskases as his second for the 1937 rematch with Euwe. The grateful Alekhine winning back the title awarded a golden cigarette case to Eliskases.

Kmoch who was Alekhine's second in the 1934 match with Bogolyubov received a goulash in the "Cafe Vaterland" from the equally grateful Alekhine.

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