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Adolf Albin

Number of games in database: 335
Years covered: 1886 to 1914
Overall record: +101 -160 =72 (41.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Giuoco Piano (43) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Ruy Lopez (26) 
    C65 C77 C68 C67 C70
 French Defense (18) 
    C01 C11 C13 C02 C00
 Sicilian (12) 
    B25 B23 B43 B73 B27
 King's Gambit Declined (10) 
 Queen's Pawn Game (10) 
    D00 D05 D02 A46 A40
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (36) 
    C77 C82 C70 C80 C65
 French Defense (35) 
    C13 C01 C14 C00 C10
 French (22) 
    C13 C00 C11 C10 C12
 Ruy Lopez, Open (11) 
    C82 C80 C83
 Queen's Pawn Game (10) 
    A40 D00 D02 D05 D04
 Dutch Defense (8) 
    A84 A81
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Albin vs A Csank, 1890 1/2-1/2
   Albin vs Tarrasch, 1892 1-0
   A Schwarz vs Albin, 1899 0-1
   Albin vs Janowski, 1896 1/2-1/2
   Albin vs J Mieses, 1903 1-0
   Teichmann vs Albin, 1902 1/2-1/2
   D G Baird vs Albin, 1894 0-1
   Albin vs J Mieses, 1895 1-0
   Albin vs Steinitz, 1896 1-0
   Teichmann vs Albin, 1895 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Albin - Delmar (1894)
   2nd City Chess Club Tournament (1894)
   Albin - Hodges (1893)
   Showalter - Albin (1894)
   Impromptu International Congress, New York (1893)
   1st City Chess Club Tournament (1893)
   Kolisch Memorial (1890)
   Vienna Chess Society Winter 1895/96 (1895)
   Budapest (1896)
   Kolisch Memorial 1899/00 (1899)
   7th DSB Congress, Dresden (1892)
   Monte Carlo (1903)
   Monte Carlo (1902)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   Hastings (1895)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   New York 1893, The Impromtu Tournament by Calli
   "New York 1893, The Impromtu Tournament" /Cali by Littlejohn

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

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(born Sep-14-1848, died Mar-22-1920, 71 years old) Romania (federation/nationality Austria)

[what is this?]

Adolf Albin, born in 1848 in Romania, was successful in Dresden 1892 and finished second to Emanuel Lasker in New York in 1893 and second to Wilhelm Steinitz in New York 1894. In the events of the subsequent decade, however, (Hastings 1895, Nuremberg and Budapest 1896, Berlin 1897, Cologne 1898, Monte Carlo 1902 and 1903) his results declined.

Albin is primarily known for the Albin Counter Gambit* 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5, which 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. Albin 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.

Albin died of tuberculosis in Vienna on 22 March 1920.

*Wikipedia article: Albin Countergambit

Wikipedia article: Adolf Albin

Last updated: 2022-08-02 05:10:19

 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 335  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Albin vs L Horwitz  1-0441886ViennaB30 Sicilian
2. Albin vs Von Popiel 1-0211890Kolisch MemorialC27 Vienna Game
3. Meitner vs Albin 0-1411890Kolisch MemorialC10 French
4. Albin vs Englisch ½-½531890Kolisch MemorialC51 Evans Gambit
5. J Bauer vs Albin 1-0511890Kolisch MemorialA00 Uncommon Opening
6. Albin vs M Weiss 0-1751890Kolisch MemorialC29 Vienna Gambit
7. J Holzwarth vs Albin 0-1281890Kolisch MemorialD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. Albin vs A Csank ½-½891890Kolisch MemorialC13 French
9. B Fleissig vs Albin  1-0281890Kolisch MemorialC41 Philidor Defense
10. Albin vs G Marco  1-0181890Kolisch MemorialB12 Caro-Kann Defense
11. J Schwarz vs Albin ½-½501890Kolisch MemorialC00 French Defense
12. Englisch vs Albin 1-0311890Kolisch MemorialC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
13. Albin vs B Fleissig 0-1211890Kolisch MemorialC44 King's Pawn Game
14. G Marco vs Albin ½-½661890Kolisch MemorialC01 French, Exchange
15. Albin vs J Schwarz  0-1411890Kolisch MemorialC51 Evans Gambit
16. M Weiss vs Albin 1-0481890Kolisch MemorialC67 Ruy Lopez
17. Albin vs J Bauer  0-1271890Kolisch MemorialC27 Vienna Game
18. A Csank vs Albin 1-0161890Kolisch MemorialA00 Uncommon Opening
19. S Pollak vs Albin 0-1961892ViennaC29 Vienna Gambit
20. Albin vs A Csank ½-½331892Master Tt WSgD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. Albin vs Von Bardeleben 0-19318927th DSB Congress, DresdenB06 Robatsch
22. Blackburne vs Albin  1-07118927th DSB Congress, DresdenC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
23. A Schottlaender vs Albin  0-12818927th DSB Congress, DresdenC50 Giuoco Piano
24. Albin vs Tarrasch 1-03518927th DSB Congress, DresdenC54 Giuoco Piano
25. R Loman vs Albin 0-15718927th DSB Congress, DresdenB06 Robatsch
 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 335  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Albin wins | Albin loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-10-10  wordfunph: more info on Master Adolf Albin in the book "Adolf Albin in America" by Olimpiu Urcan..

Sep-14-10  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.

Mar-31-12  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:
Sep-14-12  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.
Jun-07-13  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.
Jun-08-13  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?
May-17-15  TheFocus: <If cunning alone were needed to excel, women would be the best chess players> - Adolf Albin.
Jun-23-16  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.>

Sep-14-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Adolf Albin.
Sep-14-16  TheFocus: Hmmm, and Player of the Day?

I don't have that book about you yet, but I will.

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Adolf? Not a very popular name these days, for some reason.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: C.N. 11752. <The death of Adolf Albin

From Michael Lorenz (Vienna):

‘Adolf Albin died on 22 March 1920 (and not 1 February 1920, as commonly stated) in the Rothschild-Spital in Vienna (where his wife Caroline, née Samueli, had died on 21 February 1887 of tuberculosis, and where Georg Marco also died, in 1923).>

Feb-01-21  BIDMONFA: Adolf Albin

ALBIN, Adolf

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: He didn't have a great record with his eponymous gambit, although it's true that he mostly played it against world-class opposition:
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