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The Wizard of Warsaw (pb)

301 pages, paperback, Elk and Ruby, 1. edition 2023

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Szymon Winawer was a world top-10 player in the 1870s and 1880s, dueling with such titans as Steinitz, Lasker, Anderssen, Marshall, Chigorin, Zukertort, Louis Paulsen, Janowski, Maroczy, Tarrasch and others, and defeating most of the leading players of his time. He won or took prizes in major international tournaments, including Paris 1867 (second, behind Kolisch and above Steinitz), Leipzig 1877 (fourth, behind Paulsen, Anderssen and Zukertort), Paris 1878 (first equal with Zukertort, though he lost the play-off), Berlin 1881 (third equal with Chigorin, behind Blackburne and Zukertort), Vienna 1882 (first equal with Steinitz), and Nuremberg 1883 (first, ahead of Blackburne).
Winawer was a proponent of fighting chess, regularly deploying the King’s Gambit and Ruy Lopez as white, demonstrating winning combinations as well as positional sacrifices and endgame precision. He attacked the castled king with his h-pawn 150 years before Alpha-Zero. He displayed technique using Horowitz bishops and opening the g-file. At the same time, we see in the book that he also played solid positional chess. Moreover, several opening ideas are named after him, including the popular Winawer Variation of the French Defense.
The Warsaw-born player was not a chess professional and never published any annotated games of his own, but some of his concepts, both in the opening and in the middlegame, are still valid in the 21st century. Indeed, many strategic ideas (blockade, exploiting doubled pawns, maneuvering) described in the works of Nimzowitsch and other hypermodernists can be found, in embryonic form, in the games of Winawer played half a century earlier.
In the first half of this biographical work, Warsaw-based chess historian Tomasz Lissowski, who has co-written books on Kieseritzky and Zukertort among others, portrays Winawer’s life and his sporting achievements in the context of the epoch. This book delivers not only a description of the evolution of chess in Poland in the nineteenth century, but a sense through the prism of chess of the political and social history of Poland and the Austro-Hungarian, German and Russian empires in a period of war and upheaval. It is illustrated by many historical photos from the period.
In the second half of this book, International Master Grigory Bogdanovich paints Winawer’s creative portrait, as well as examining the legacy that this ingenious improviser left to chess culture. The book contains in total 132 annotated instructive games and fragments of Winawer and his contemporaries.
More Information
EAN 9785604676691
Weight 470 g
Manufacturer Elk and Ruby
Width 15.8 cm
Height 24 cm
Medium Book
Year of Publication 2023
Author Tomasz LissowskiGrigory Bogdanovich
Language English
Edition 1
ISBN-13 978-5-6046766-9-1
Pages 301
Binding paperback
005 List of Games
009 Part I: The Biography of Szymon Winawer, By Tomasz Lissowski
010 The Winawer Family Tree
011 Chapter 1 - Winawers in Warsaw
018 Chapter 2 - The Beginnings of Chess in Warsaw
032 Chapter 3 - Sensation on the Champ De Mars
046 Chapter 4 - The First Warsaw Tournament
053 Chapter 5 - The Guns of War
060 Chapter 6 - Unofficial Champion of the Russian Empire
067 Chapter 7 - The Anderssen Jubilee
072 Chapter 8 - The Lost Play-Off
081 Chapter 9 - 1880
088 Chapter 10 - Berlin 1881
092 Chapter 11 - Correspondence Play
096 Chapter 12 - Vienna 1882
106 Chapter 13 - London 1883
116 Chapter 14 - The Champion of Kaiser’s Germany
124 Chapter 15 - The ”Stock Exchange Cafe“
136 Chapter 16 - Dresden 1892
142 Chapter 17 - The Secret Match
148 Chapter 18 - Revenge for Hastings
153 Chapter 19 - In Honor of Prince Arpad
158 Chapter 20 - The New Vienna Club
162 Chapter 21 - Berlin 1897
168 Chapter 22 - The Twentieth Century
189 Part II: Selected Games, By Grigory Bogdanovich
190 Introduction
191 Chapter 1 - Winawer’s Style
200 Chapter 2 - Positional Play
234 Chapter 3 - Tactical Play
271 Chapter 4 - Subtle Endgame Play
277 Chapter 5 - Opening Play
292 Chapter 6 - ”...And Glorious Defeats“
300 Chapter 7 - The Maestro’s Last Recorded Game
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