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Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18 Match

David Janowski12/18(+10 -4 =4)[games]
Charles Jaffe6/18(+4 -10 =4)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18

A return match (November 1917 to January 1918), after Janowski's narrow and therefore embarrassing "victory" in Jaffe - Janowski (1916). Janowski was willing to suffer a hard bargain in order to restore his reputation.

"D. Janowski, pride of Paris and not exactly an outcast from the affections of D. Janowski, is having his exalted emotions sorely harassed these days by the renowned 'coffee-house' expert, Charles Jaffe .. So overwrought are the French Champion's nerves from this inexplicable defeat (sic) that he has issued a sweeping challenge to Jaffe and Kupchik, offering to play a match for $500 a side, ten games up, draws not to count, and giving the odds of five games to start with. Now, if someone will only lend Jaffe $500 the East side hero may be depended upon to give a fine exhibition of the ancient pastime of 'spoiling the Egyptian'." 1 The quoted phrase seems to refer to Exodus 12:36, in that Jaffe could be expected to take what was due to him. If so, it indicates that Janowski's reputation had suffered a considerable blow, after their first match.

"David Janowski, French chess champion, and Charles Jaffe of this city have agreed to play a match of ten games up in which the foreign master undertakes to concede four games to his opponent as a start, play to begin at the rooms of the New York City Chess Club on Nov. 11 ... The winner of the match will be the one who first has ten games to his credit, draws not counting. Under the special provision accepted by the French master Jaffe will need to win only six games to his adversary's ten. The last times these experts were opposed in a set match was in March 1916, when Janowski barely won, with the score 5 to 4 and 4 drawn." 2

Match conditions

In the end, the stake was $200 a side (about $3,400 each in 2016 value). This would either seem to have been another concession by Janowski in order to get his revenge match, or perhaps as an émigré fleeing war-torn Europe he needed the money. Sidney Rosenzweig (who played for the Manhattan Chess Club)3 was the stakeholder. The match was played at the premises of the League of Foreign Born Citizens, in New York City. 4 This is a four story brick grand Federal house at 138 Second Avenue which now appears to be occupied by the Fresco Gelateria. The League was a “non-racial, non-sectarian organization, founded in 1913, for the purpose of interesting the immigrant in civic affairs and inspiring those who had not been naturalized to take steps towards making themselves American citizens." 5 The referee was Harold Meyer Phillips, and Jacob Bernstein was the match manager. 6 The time limit was 30 moves in the first two hours and then 15 moves an hour. 7


1st game - Sunday, 11th November 1917 (estimated/planned date)
2nd game - Wednesday, 14th November 1917
3rd game - Thursday, 15th November 1917
4th game - Sunday, 18th November 1917
5th game - Tuesday, 20th November 1917 (estimated date)
6th game - Thursday, 22nd November 1917
7th game - Sunday, 25th November 1917
8th game – Wednesday, 28th November 1917
9th game - Sunday, 2nd December 1917
10th game - Wednesday, 5th December 1917
11th game - Friday, 7th December 1917
12th game - Sunday, 9th December 1917
13th game – Wednesday, 19th December 1917
14th game - Friday, 21st December 1917
15th game - Sunday, 23rd December 1917
16th game - Tuesday, 25th December 1917
17th game - Tuesday, 1st January 1918
18th game - Saturday, 6th January 1918

The 1st and 5th game dates could not be corroborated by finding relevant articles in the press.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Janowski ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 0 1 0 ½ 0 1 1 1 1 1 10 Jaffe ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 1 0 1 ½ 1 0 0 0 0 0 4

With his four game handicap, Janowski did not take the lead until his victory in Game 17, as can be seen from the progressive scores:

Janowski 0 0 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 6 7 8 9 10 Jaffe 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8

(Draws did not count towards the score.)


Game 1. Jaffe was unable to establish any advantage with the White pieces. Janowski then took unwarranted chances, and in doing so presented Jaffe with a winning combination. Jaffe missed his opportunity and the game was drawn.

Game 2. "Jaffe established two connected passed pawns in the center of the board. Janowski, however, cleverly sacrificed a piece for these pawns and forced the draw." 8

Game 3. Janowski sacrificed a Knight for three Queen-side pawns, unbalancing the position. Jaffe replied inaccurately and lost what had been an equal game. "These are sad days for custom and precedent. Even so regular an institution as Jaffe's 'goat' is no longer to be relied upon. For ten years this animal has faithfully thrown its rider in the homestretch, and in the homestretch only, but in the little East Side hero's present race with Janowksi, his emotional mount has bucked from the drop of the flag. Of the first three games played Janowski has won two and drawn one after Jaffe had established a winning position in each contest." (sic) 9

Game 6. "Honours were even at the tie of the adjournment, but Jaffe was left with a Knight against a Bishop for the ending. After resumption, Jaffe played so well that he forced the Frenchman to give up his Bishop for a pawn." 10

Game 8. "Jaffe held his own well until the ending, in which Janowski had two Bishops against a Knight and a Bishop. The French master was able to win a pawn, which gave him the victory." 11

Game 11. "After a remarkable struggle lasting nine and one-half hours and extending over 93 moves, Charles Jaffe of New York succeeded in winning another game from David Janowski of Paris in their chess match in the rooms of the New York City Chess Club yesterday ... The end was reached with Bishops of opposite colors on the board, and a draw seemed imminent, when Janowski sacrificed 'the exchange' thinking to get two pawns in return. The combination proved to be unsound and Jaffe obtained the upper hand. Janowski made a stubborn resistance, but had to yield in the end." 12

Game 12. "Missing an opportunity to establish a winning position in the ending, David Janowski ... had to be content with another draw." 13

Game 13. The game score is missing. "The players made 123 moves before David Janowski resigned the difficult Knight and Pawn ending. The opening was a Ruy Lopez." 14 "The referee Mr M. H. Phillips had to be called in to settle a point of dispute in the ending. It was merely a question of the fifty move rule, and finally the official required Jaffe who was a pawn ahead to demonstrate a win in twenty-five moves. This Jaffe succeeded in doing somewhat to the disgust of the French Champion." 15

Game 14. "As early as on the seventeenth move Jaffe's doom seemed practically sealed. Janowski continuing to play with great energy and circumspection, threatened a mate on the thirty-third move when Jaffe resigned." 16

Game 18. Jaffe equalised as Black into a Rs+Ps ending avoiding a threefold repetition, but then lack of technique led him to lose a tempo, which allowed Janowski's Rook and King to penetrate his position.

"Janowski, scoring the last five games in succession, won easily by 10 to 4, with 4 drawn. In addition, Janowski won the third, fourth, fifth, eighth and tenth games, drew the first, second, seventh and twelfth, and lost the sixth, ninth, eleventh end thirteenth after a great struggle which lasted 123 moves. It will be recalled that Janowski conceded the odds of four games to his opponent, but at no stage did he have any reason to feel perturbed concerning this odd feature of the match." 17

After the match

Janowski was challenged by another leading New York player, Oscar Chajes. According to the New York Times of 20th January, 1918, the articles were signed that day for a purse of $500 (about $8,500 in 2016). The match Chajes - Janowski (1918) took place in March to May, and once again illustrated Janowski's decline as he lost to a player who was not of grandmaster standard.

Jaffe did not progress in strength from this match. At the Rye Beach Tournament (July 1918), he was equal third behind perennial rivals Chajes and Abraham Kupchik. Although he won the 1920 Rice Progressive Chess Club Championship ahead of Chajes and Kupchik, and then took second place to Frank James Marshall at the Atlantic City Tournament (July 1920), he was never a rival to Marshall.


1 Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 1st October 1917, p. 17
2 New York Times, 21st October 1917
3 New York Times, 15th July 1920
4 New York Times, 16th November 1917
5 Six to Celebrate (#2016),
6 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 9th November 1917, p. 9
7 American Chess Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 9 (December 1917), p. 250
8 Game 2 took place on 14th November: New York Times, 15th November 1917
9 The Sunday Star (Washington, D.C), 25th November 1917, p. 5
10 Game 6 took place on 22nd November: New York Times, 23rd November 1917
11 Game 8 took place on 28th November: New York Times, 29th November 1917
12 Game 11 took place on 7th December: New York Times, 8th December 1917
13 Game 12 took place on 9th December: New York Times, 10th December 1917
14 Game 13 took place on 19th December: New York Times, 20th December 1917
15 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 20th December 1917, p. 20
16 Game 14 took place on 21st December: New York Times, 22nd December 1917
17 American Chess Bulletin, vol. 15 (1918), p. 35

Dates of the other games

Game 03 (15th November): New York Times, 16th November 1917
Game 04 (18th November): New York Herald, 19th November 1917
Game 07 (25th November): New York Times, 26th November 1917
Game 09 (2nd December): New York Times, 3rd December 1917
Game 10 (5th December): New York Sun, 6th December 1917
Game 15 (23rd December): New York Times, 24th December 1917
Game 16 (25th December): The Troy Times (New York), 26th December 1917
Game 17 (1st January): New York Times and New York Tribune, 2nd January 1918
Game 18 (6th January): New York Tribune, 7th January 1918

The 13th game was a 123 move Ruy Lopez won by Jaffe. I have been unable to locate a copy of its score, and suspect that due to its length it has never been published. If anyone can find a copy, please note it in the Biographer Bistro. Thank you.


Text by User: Chessical. The 18th game was found by User: zanzibar.

 page 1 of 1; 17 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C Jaffe vs Janowski ½-½641917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18A46 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Janowski vs C Jaffe  ½-½531917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18C48 Four Knights
3. C Jaffe vs Janowski 0-1631917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18A46 Queen's Pawn Game
4. Janowski vs C Jaffe  1-0671917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18C48 Four Knights
5. C Jaffe vs Janowski 0-1491917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18A47 Queen's Indian
6. Janowski vs C Jaffe 0-1791917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18D05 Queen's Pawn Game
7. C Jaffe vs Janowski ½-½511917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18A47 Queen's Indian
8. Janowski vs C Jaffe  1-0711917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18D37 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. C Jaffe vs Janowski  1-0661917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18C87 Ruy Lopez
10. Janowski vs C Jaffe 1-0371917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18D05 Queen's Pawn Game
11. C Jaffe vs Janowski 1-0891917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18C72 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O
12. Janowski vs C Jaffe  ½-½461917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18D00 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Janowski vs C Jaffe  1-0331917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18D00 Queen's Pawn Game
14. C Jaffe vs Janowski 0-1551917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18A47 Queen's Indian
15. Janowski vs C Jaffe 1-0361917Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18D00 Queen's Pawn Game
16. C Jaffe vs Janowski 0-1321918Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18C41 Philidor Defense
17. Janowski vs C Jaffe  1-0461918Jaffe - Janowski 1917/18D00 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 1; 17 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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