Ignatz Kolisch

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Baron Ignatz von Kolisch
CountryHungary, Austria
Born(1837-04-06)6 April 1837
Pressburg, Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire (today Bratislava, Slovakia
Died30 April 1889(1889-04-30) (aged 52)
Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire (today Austria)

Baron Ignatz von Kolisch (6 April 1837 – 30 April 1889), also Baron Ignaz von Kolisch (German) or báró Kolisch Ignác (Hungarian), was a merchant, journalist and chess master with Jewish roots.

Kolisch was born into a Jewish family in Pressburg. Both in business and as a chess player he was eminently successful. In his early years he moved to Vienna, then spent a year in Italy. In 1859 he arrived in Paris and in 1860-62 mostly sojourned in London. In summer 1862 he accompanied the Russian Count Kushelev-Bezborodko to St. Petersburg, where he won a match against Ilya Shumov. Later he moved to Paris and in 1869 to Vienna. He became involved in banking and became a millionaire and chess patron, organizing and sponsoring important chess tournaments in the 1870s and 1880s. He founded the Wiener Börse-Syndikatskasse in 1869, and in 1873 established a commission house in Paris; and by prudent management he acquired considerable wealth. In 1881 he received the title of baron from Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.

As a chess player, Kolisch soon became known for his brilliant and aggressive style, but he was not a frequent participant in tournaments. In 1860 he won the first prize at the international tournament held at Cambridge, England. In 1861 he lost a match to Adolf Anderssen, the strongest player of the day, by a score of 5–4.[1] The same year, he drew a match with Louis Paulsen. In 1867 at the Paris tournament he secured first place, defeating both Szymon Winawer and Wilhelm Steinitz.

Kolisch was the founder and editor-in-chief of the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung, to which, under the pseudonym "Ideka",[2] he contributed many feuilletons. The protagonist in the short story "The chessbaron" (A sakkbáró) by Ferenc Móra is based on him. He died of kidney failure in 1889.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1861 Anderssen-Kolisch, London Match Chess Archaeology Accessed 01 December 2014
  2. ^ Székely Dávid: Magyak irók álnevei a multban és jelenben [1] p.18 (Budapest, 1904)
  • E. T. Blanchard, Examples of Chess Master-Play, 1st series (transl. from the German of Jean Dufresne), Index, New Barnet, 1893.
  • Singer, Isidore; Porter, A. (1901–1906), "Kolisch, Baron Ignaz Von", Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 7, p. 547
  • F. Zavatarelli, Ignaz Kolisch. The Life and Chess Career, McFarland, 2015.

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