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Ferenc Erkel
F Erkel 
Painting by Alajos Györgyi Giergl (1850s)
Hungarian National Museum
Number of games in database: 2
Years covered: 1845 to 1858

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(born Nov-07-1810, died Jun-15-1893, 82 years old) Hungary

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Ferenc Erkel was born on the 7th of November 1810 in the town of Gyula, in Hungary. He was the vice president of the first officially registered Hungarian chess organization in 1864, the Pesti Sakk-kör then the president of the same from 1865 till his death.

Erkel was a composer of musics, conductor of orchestra, virtuous pianist and musical leader. He created the foundations of Hungarian opera playing and his own composed operas are the classical works of art of Hungarian art of music. Erkel composed the music of Himnusz, the Hungarian National Anthem, in 1844. In 1853 he founded the Hungarian Philharmonic Society. Between 1875-1886 he was the director and piano tutor of the Music Academy of Budapest founded by Ferenc Liszt. He was the first musical director of the Opera House of Budapest opened in 1884.

His memories are preserved by a museum in his town of birth and all over in the country there are musical institutions named after him, as well as, the highest musical award, Erkel Ferenc Díj.

His chess playing and chess life organizing activities are remembered by the Erkel Ferenc Sakk Emlékverseny (Erkel Ferenc Chess Memorial Tourney) organized annually in Hungary giving wide opportunity to school aged chess talents.

Wikipedia article: Ferenc Erkel

 page 1 of 1; 2 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. F Erkel vs Szen 1-0331845BudapestC51 Evans Gambit
2. F Erkel vs L Spitzer ½-½391858BudapestC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Erkel wins | Erkel loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: <> If we have such a beautiful picture of him, why don't you put it up here?
Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: Born Gyula (Békés), November 7,1810. Died Budapest, June 15, 1893. Composer and director. Considered founder of national Hungarian opera. See
Nov-07-16  TheFocus: Steve's grandfather.
Jun-02-18  zanzibar: @submit


[Event "?"]
[Site "Budapest HUN"]
[Date "1853.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Erkel, Ferenc"]
[Black "Szen, Jozsef"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C51"]
[EventDate "1853.??.??"]
[Source "Allgemeine Sport-Zeitung 1893-09-03 G186 p923"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Bc5 6.O-O d6 7.d4 exd4 8. cxd4 Bb6 9.Bb2 Nf6 10.Nbd2 d5 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Ba3 Be6 13.Ne4 f6 14. Re1 Kf7 15.Nd6+ cxd6 16.Rxe6 Kxe6 17.Bxd5+ Kd7 18.Rc1 Rc8 19.Qa4 g6 20.Bxc6+ bxc6 21.d5 Re8 22.dxc6+ Kc7 23.Nd4 Re5 24.Nb5+ Rxb5 25.Qxb5 Qe7 26.Rd1 Rd8 27.Qa6 Kb8 28.Kf1 and White eventually wins 1-0


Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: Last week I did a little search and now it is time to trash my notes or to to post a few observations here. 'Few' is maybe the wrong word, because it is getting a long post, and I hate long posts very much. But I hope it is partly funny, too. Let's go.

<About the new Erkel vs Szen game>

I briefly checked Whitehead's db for the game, because a newspaper of 1893 as source for a game from 1853 can give some surprises. And I was not disappointed, quite the contrary!

Whitehead gave the year 1856. With this year as a hint I found it in "Schachzeitung" (DSZ), January 1857, p 23. No date, unfortunately. The game belongs there to a couple of games which were recently submitted by a Dr. Recsi from Pesth (see p 19). But were the recently played, too? (Szen died that month, but the obituary games appeared later in 1857.)

Was DSZ Whitehead's source? The game is no. 04283 in his db, and no. 989 in DSZ. The games Wh 04281-04285 appear in the same order as DSZ 987-991 (compared only by player names, results and number of moves). Preliminary working hypothesis: Whitehead used DSZ for the game, and estimated 1856 from the publishing date.

But DSZ adds also some uncertainty to that game! There the final move is 28.♖xd6 (instead of 28.♔f1 in Wh's db and "Allgemeine Sport-Zeitung"). This move would be a heavy blunder and would lose by mate. Therefore, already the editor asked the correspondent for a correction. But I didn't find it. (Found only a correction of Wh 04285/DSZ 991 on page 70). Break.

What about Hungarian sources? There is a book "A sakkjáték tankönyve [...]" by István Márki (Gyula, 1872, see Not just a primary source, but at least it has 28.♔f1 (see page 273). And one line below it states "(Pest, 1855)". Every source adds some ambiguity!

Of course, I leave it to the experts to decide about the 28th move and the year. And while they're at it, maybe they could explain to me, if the final phrases mean that the game ended immediately or continued for some moves. Thanks in advance.

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