Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Aron Nimzowitsch in Chicago 1927

The April 4, 1927 issue of the Chicago Tribune carried the brief notice that:

"Aaron [sic] Niemzowitsch [sic] of Copenhagen, Denmark will play simultaneously against thirty-five chess players in the club rooms of the Chicago Chess and Checker club, 35 South Dearborn street, at 8 o'clock tonight."

This notice, is all the coverage Nimzowitsch would have during his visit to Chicago, the Tribune no longer had a chess column, and I have so far found no coverage of Nimzowitsch's visit in the pages of the Chicago Daily News.

Nimzowitsch had come the United States to compete in the international chess master's tournament that was to take place in New York City at the Jade Ballroom of the Hotel Manhattan Square.

 (New York Times: February 17, 1927)

Nimzowitsch would finish in third place in the chess master's tournament (10 1/2 points), behind Capablanca (14 points) and Alekhine (11 1/2 points), but ahead of Vidmar (10 points), Spielmann (8 points) and Marshall (6 points).

After the tournament, Nimzowitsch made a mini tour of the American mid-west, stopping besides Chicago, in St. Louis and Cincinnati. After tour the New York Times reported that Nimzowitsch had played ninety-five games, winning seventy-nine, drawing eleven, and losing but five games.

(Chicago Tribune:April 4, 1927)

It is thanks to the efforts Olimpiu G.Urcan, that we have the score of two games that Nimzowitsch played on his Chicago visit, both are consultation games against some of Chicago's finest players of the time. The ChessCafe article where these games appeared can be found here .These games were found in the April 5, 1928, edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, that these were published almost a year after they were played and in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle gives hope that other games may be found.

In the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Herman Helms  noted that Nimzowitsch had "encountered exceptionally strong opposition" in Chicago. In a twenty-three-board simultaneous there Nimzowitsch scored +16 –3 =4. The discrepancy between the Tribune report of 35 players taking part before the event and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle report 23 boards may be due in some part to the number consultation games played .

On April 21st, Nimzowitsch returned to Copenhagen aboard the steamship Hellig Olav of the Scandinavian- American Line, the New York Times noted that hoped to return in the fall to begin a exhibition tour, but sadly for American chess Nimzowitsch did not return.

(New York Times: April 22, 1927)

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