After conclusion of the Vienna Tournament 1882, during return trip to his native St. Petersburg, Russian grandmaster Mikhail Chigorin made a break in Warsaw – it was the only railway marshroute linking the capitol of the Russian Empire with Western Europe. In the local chess resort the famous guest, still tired after one of the longest and strongest chess events ever played, tested the skills of Warsaw’s matadores. The following score of one off-hand game was published in three 1 as a minimum serious works dedicated to the history of chess.
1 Two books by N. I. Grekov: M. I. Chigorin – vielikij russkij shakhmatist, (Moscow 1949), p. 62-63, and Sto dvadtsat’ izbrannykh partij M. I. Chigorina, (Moscow 1952), p. 308, also: A. Khalifman, S. Soloviov, Mikhail Chigorin, The first Russian Grandmaster, (Sofia 1999), p. 49-50.
Winawer – Chigorin [C51]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Bc5 6.0–0 d6 7.d4
exd4 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.d5 Na5 10.Nc3 Nxc4 11.Qa4+ Bd7 12.Qxc4 f6 13.Re1 Ne7
14.e5 fxe5 15.Nxe5 0–0 16.Nf3 Ng6 17.Ne4 Ne5 18.Qc3? 18.Nxe5
18...Nxf3+ 19.gxf3 Qh4 20.Bb2 Rf7 21.Kh1 Qh5 22.Rg1
22...Bd4! 23.Qxd4 Qxf3+ 24.Rg2 Bh3 25.Rag1 Re8 0–1
And Grekov, and Khalifman with Soloviov claimed it was Simon Winawer
who was defeated in this short skirmish. Attention, mistake!
Many years ago Tadeusz Wolsza discovered, that not Simon himself, but his nephew Marcin Winawer commanded the white pieces. T. Wolsza mentioned:
”En passant it should be mentioned (what could serve as an excuse of Grekov’s error) that at the end of XIX century in Warsaw chess cafeterias used to play ... six Winawers – the most famous Szymon, and less known Bernard, Dawid, Marcin, Józef and Feliks. In the twenties of XX century the next two joined them: one Winawer from Cracow, the second from Lodz. Therefore, it was not that difficult to make a 2 mistake...”
2 „Szachy” 1991, vol. 7, p. 207, article „Has he played or not?”. Tadeusz Wolsza (born 1956) has the title of the professor of history, gives lectures at the University of Bydgoszcz. He published several books on the modern history of Poland; in chess circles widely known as the author of five volumes of „Biographical Dictionary of Polish Chessplayers”
Marcin Winawer participated the II Warsaw Tournament in 1883; he scored 10 points from 22 and was eight, behind Józef Śabiński, Artur Popławski, Jan Kleczyński and others. Marcin composed also some clever two- and three-movers.
Tygodnik Ilustrowany 1895
Mate in 2 moves
1. Honorary Mention
1...Rxc5 2.Bxc7#; 1...Kf4+ (check, but...)
2.Qd4 counter check and mate, because Bf6 is pinned.
„One of the finest works in his input” – wrote Marian Wróbel in the book „100 lat polskiej kompozycji szachowej”, Warszawa 1956, p. 26.
In order to show the readers the level of chess skills of the „other Winawers”, here is the score of the old game played in the very first chess tournament on Polish soil.
Jan Kleczyński (senior) – Dawid Winawer [C45]
(Actually Kleczyński played with black pieces, but made the first
I Warsaw tournament, 1868
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qf6 5.Be3 Bc5 6.c3 Bb6 7.Be2 d6 8.0–0 Nge7 9.Nb5 0–0 10.Bxb6 cxb6 11.Qxd6 Be6 12.Nc7 Rad8 13.Qg3 Ng6 14.f4 Bc8 15.Nd5 Qd6 16.Na3 f5 17.Rad1 fxe4 18.Kh1 Kh8 19.Nxb6 Qe6 20.Nxc8 Rxd1 21.Bxd1 Qxc8 22.Nc4 Qc7 23.Bc2
23...Nd4 „Very well conceived” – wrote the editor of „The Chess World”, but stronger would have been 23...Nb4 24.Bb3 Nd3.
24.Bxe4 Qxc4 25.Bd3 Qxa2 26.cxd4 Qxb2 27.Qh3? 27.f5! Ne7 28.Qd6 and White wins.
27...Qb6 28.f5 Qf6 29.Rf3? Ne7? 29...Qxd4!
30.g4 Rc8 31.Qh5 Qxd4 „This Pawn should have been labelled ‘dangerous’ ”.
32.f6 g6 33.Qh6 Rg8 „And White gave mate in two moves” – informed the annotator, without giving the last moves: 34.Qxh7+ Kxh7 35.Rh3# ( 1–0 )
Source: „The Chess World” (London) 1869, game LXIII, p. 256, the score also in „Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 27.06.1868, p. 310.
The Winawer family was rich not only in chess talents. I’ll mention only a few great personalities: Maxim Winawer (1862 – 1925) was a Duma (Russian parliament) member, one of the leaders of Kadet party, later, after Bolshevics revolution, on exile in France, Bruno Winawer (1883-1944) in Poland authored popular feuilletons, novels and theatre comedies, Soava Gallone (born Stanislawa Winawer, 1880-1957) was Italian actress.
It happens that never were reported chess achivements of Abraham Izaak Winawer, who as adult man used the first name Józef (Joseph, Josif) and was a national hero in the country situated very far from Warsaw and Poland. Abraham was born on 6 December 1861 in Warsaw, a son of mentioned above Dawid Winawer (1828-1884) and his first wife Perla nee Maliniak. He attended III Gimnasium, in 1880 enrolled the Medical Department of the Warsaw university. In April 1883, due to his engagment in students’ anti-Russian demonstration, with other 30 colleagues was expelled from the uni, forever. Abraham went to Cracow, then belonging to the Austrian Empire. He continued his medical studies at the Jagiellonian University, where he had several „great names” among his professors: Jan (Johann) Mikulicz – Radecki, Leon Blumenstok, Edward Korczyński, Lucjan Rydel, Tadeusz Browicz. It seems, however, he was not „the first assistent of the professor von Mikulicz – Radecki”, as was reported by Dr Rade Radomir Babič and Dr Gordana Stankovič Babič in their very informative article „Dr Avram Jozef Vinaver (186201915) – Pioneer of Radiology in Serbia” 3.
3 Med Pregl 2015; LXVIII (5-6); 204-210; Novi Sad; maj-juni.
During his studies in Cracow he was visited by the guest from Warsaw – the strongest local rival of his famous uncle Simon.
Józef Winawer – Jan Kleczyński [C51]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Bc5 6.0–0 d6 7.d4
exd4 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.Ba3 „The favourite move of the first
player. It has not, however, our applause. Soon Black will achive
In other words, the main lines 9.Nc3 and 9.d5 give better prospects – TL.
9...Bg4 „Also 9...Na5 followed by Ng8-e7 comes into consideration”.
10.Nc3 Bxf3 „Black could have played immediate 10...Nxd4”.
11.Qxf3 Nh6 11...Qf6 looks very good, too – TL.
12.e5 Nxd4 13.Qxb7 0–0 14.Qe4 Better 14.exd6 – TL.
14...Re8 15.Bd3 f5 15...Nhf5! – TL.
16.Qd5+ Kh8 17.exd6 c6 18.Qc4 Qh4 19.Na4 „Now follows the nice end-monoeuvre”.
It’s true, but after 19.d7 Re6 20.h3 White still have chances for defence – TL.
19...Ng4 Now mate is inevitable – TL.
20.h3 Qg3 21.fxg3 Ne2+ 22.Kh1 Nxg3# (0–1).
Source: „Bruderschaft” 1887, game 189, p. 7-8.
Abraham Winawer, in opposition to Jan Herman Zukertor and Wilhelm Steinitz, finished his studies and obtained the title of the medicine doctor, what was reported by the newspaper „Kurjer Lwowski” in a brief note on 1. February 1887. In 1887 and 1888, thanks to chess media, we can confirm the presence of young Dr. Josef (sic!) Winawer in Vienna.
Józef Winawer – Kazimierz Piotr Miłkowski
Warsaw, prior 1884
1.Qg7 Be4 2.Qxh6+ Kg4 3.Qe6+ Kh5 4.Qe8+ Bg6 5.Qe5+ Kg4 6.Qf4+ Kh5 7.Qh6+ Kg4 8.Qxg6+ Qg5 9.Qxg5# (1–0)
Source: „Wiener Schachzeitung” 1887, p. 139.
Józef Winawer – NN
Warsaw, prior 1884
„From one of the games played in ‘Cafe Bourse’ in Warsaw. It is White’s move; could he win?” – asked the editor of „Wiener Schachzeitung” 1888, vol 1, Endspiel 24.
The proposed solution was: 1.Qf8+ Kh7 2.d6 f1Q 3.Qxf1 Rxf1 4.d7 d3+! („This move saves the game, after 4...Rf8 wins 5.Nc7”) 5.Kd2 Rf2+ 6.Kc3 Rf8 7.Nc7 d2 „And here Black will make a draw on a following way” 8.Ne6! Rd8! 9.Nxd8 d1Q 10.Ne6, Remis.
Unfortunately the analyse isn’t perfect. After 6.Kc3? Rf8 7.Nc7 d2 8.Ne6 Black could have played simple 8...d1Q 9.Nxf8+ Kg8, winning easily. Instead of 6.Kc3? White could have played 6.Kxd3! Rf8 7.Kd4 Rd8 8.Nb8! (tempo!) 8...Rxb8 9.Kd5 and Black would be forced to sacrifice the Rook for d-pawn, with hopeless pawn ending.
And one correction more: there was never „Cafe Bourse” in Warsaw; the lovers of chess (with flood traders from the Warsaw bourse among them) in the 1880s used to gather in „Cafe Lourse”, located in the Saxon Garden (Ogród Saski).
On 1 March 1888 the „Neue Wiener Schachclub”, Parkring 10, began his services for chess. The managers of the new resort tried to attract as many new members as possible. On 13 March the „Simultan-Turnier” was held – five players played in one time the games with each other, 10 games alltogether. The winner was Ladislaus von Kochanowski – 3 points, J. Bauer, A.Albin and N. Ornstein – 2 points each, Dr. J. Winawer was the last with 1 point. The newspaper „Die Presse” stated on 17 March that „doctor Winawer played again below expectations”.
Our hero was married with Rosa nee Rosenberg, the pianist educated in Warsaw. Perhaps Vienna was a difficult “market” for a young doctor from abroad, therefore on March 1889 the couple had looked for a new homeland and found it in the Kingdom of Serbia.
Doctor Avram Josif Vinaver (sic!) was employed by the General State Hospital in Belgrade, but after 8 months moved to Šabac on Sava river. In 1900 he imported the X-rays machine from Austria – it was the foundation of radiology in Serbia. In 1905 Dr. Winawer created a chess club in Šabac – he was a pioneer on this field, too. Soon members of the club began the correspondence match with the Belgrade team, only the first moves are known: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bb4), but when the position of the players from the capitol was much inferior, they stopped sending letters to Šabac...
The history of the Warsaw-born phisician in Serbia was without happy-end. As a member of medical corps of Serbian Army he took part in Balkan Wars (1912-13) and the I World War, was decorated with a medal „for bravery”. He served in the Military Hospital in Valjevo, but later, in 1915, when Serbia was fighting with the typhus in epidemic scale, his unit was moved to Gevgelia (today in Macedonia – FYROM). There Dr. Avram Josif Vinaver, weakened already by typhus, contracted malaria and died on 24 August; he was buried in a common grave with his comrades in arms and patients.
In 2008 Serbian Post put into circulation a stamp with picture of the Brave Doctor.
Vistula Chess Monthly