Chess World Mourns Death of Isidor Gunsberg, a Master Player
(Unfortunately, I had to truncate the full headline, from NY Sun 1930-05-23 p37)
(Click on image to enlarge)
Famous Chess Master Dies Isidor Gunsberg of London, Expert and Writer, Was Last of Victorians.
Surviving by but a few months the celebration of his seventy-fifth birthday when he was made thf recipient of a substantial testimonial, Isidor Gunsberg is dead in London, according to tha latest British reports. Thus passes one ot the outstanding figures of the Victorian chess era, who, in the heyday of his powers, loomed large enough to command attention in world championship circles. In fact, he was one of the last to engage Wilhelm Steinitz before tha “grand old man” yielded the title he had held for twenty-eight years to Emanuel Lasker. Gunsberg made a brave fight, but lost by 6—4.
Although born in Hungary, November 2, 1854, Gunsberg spent most of his life in England, where he made his permanent residence since 1876. In the eighties he was actively identified with the British Chess Association and the leading London chess clubs. In those days he was a familiar figure at the international congresses, carrying off many prizes.
His chief successes were at London, 1885; Hamburg, 1885; London, 1887, and Bradford, 1888, where he was placed first. However, his third prize in the memorable Sixth American Chess Congress, New York, 1889, half a point below Tschigorin and Weiss, who divided the first and second prizes, was perhaps his finest tournament effort.
The conditions were exceptionally onerous, as two rounds were contested and draws in the second round were invariably replayed. His final score was 28½—8½. There were giants in those days. Lipschuetz and Bird figured in a draw lasting 159 moves. Of the twenty competitors only J. W. Showalter of Kentucky and, possibly, JJ. MacLeod of Canada survive now.
A memorable match he engaged in was with Tschigorin of Russia at Havana in 1890. It ended in a tie with the store at 9—9, with 6 drawn. In other matches he had defeated Bird, Blackburne, Lee and Mortimer. For upward of forty years, Gunsberg wrote on chess for newspapers and magazines, reporting most of the International meetings. In addition, he was the author of a book on the openings.
The following specimens of his skill include the prize-winning game in the sixth American tournament and an off-hand brilliancy played by him as “Mephisto” in the Automaton In London: