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Philipp Hirschfeld

Number of games in database: 29
Years covered: 1860 to 1881
Overall record: +15 -11 =3 (56.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Evans Gambit (5) 
    C51 C52
 Vienna Opening (4) 
    C25 C28 C29
With the Black pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C39 C38
 Evans Gambit (4) 
    C51 C52
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Mayet vs Hirschfeld, 1861 0-1
   Hirschfeld vs Kolisch, 1864 1-0
   Hirschfeld vs Zukertort, 1881 1-0
   Kolisch vs Hirschfeld, 1864 0-1

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(born Oct-01-1840, died Oct-04-1896, 56 years old) Germany

[what is this?]

Philipp Hirschfeld was born in Königsberg, East-Prussia (today Kaliningrad, Russia). He was taught the rules of chess in early youth by his father. At the age of 17, he went to the Albertina in Königsberg to study history and law. Hirschfeld founded an Academic Chess Club, but he was too strong for his competitors. This changed when he moved to Berlin in 1859, to continue his studies. He had the opportunity to play against Karl Mayet, Berthold Suhle and other masters there. He soon became so strong, that Max Lange received him together with Suhle as an editor of the Deutsche Schachzeitung. Hirschfeld's analyses were used by Baron Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa in the 4th edition of the Handbuch. Hirschfeld left the Deutsche Schachzeitung and Berlin in 1863 to take over his father's business. He came to London in 1863, where he founded the Königsberger Thee-Gesellschaft, with branch establishments in London, Königsberg, Moscow and China. He found the time to play against the strongest masters in London and also met Ignatz von Kolisch, who invited him to Paris. Frequent business travels allowed him to play against Russian masters. In 1873, he moved to London, where he also played many games against Johannes Zukertort for analytical purposes. He never participated in tournaments, but followed them with great interest. Later, he moved back to Berlin.(1)

In match play he scored (+10, =5, -14) against Adolf Anderssen in 1861, drew with Ignatz von Kolisch (+4, =0, -4) in 1864, lost to Prince Sergey Semenovich Urusov (+1, =2, -2) in 1866 and was heavily defeated by Suhle (+0, =2, -7) in 1865.


(1) Deutsches Wochenschach, 5 January 1890, issue 1, p. 3,

Wikipedia article: Philipp Hirschfeld

Last updated: 2019-09-20 15:32:27

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 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 29  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Hirschfeld vs Anderssen 1-0331860BerlinC38 King's Gambit Accepted
2. Anderssen vs Hirschfeld 0-1241860BerlinC39 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Hirschfeld vs Anderssen 1-0231860BerlinC51 Evans Gambit
4. Anderssen vs Hirschfeld 0-1321860BerlinC39 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Hirschfeld vs Anderssen 1-0361860BerlinC52 Evans Gambit
6. Anderssen vs Hirschfeld 0-1441860BerlinC39 King's Gambit Accepted
7. Mayet vs Hirschfeld 0-1151861BerlinC38 King's Gambit Accepted
8. Hirschfeld vs O Holdheim 1-0151861MarienbadC28 Vienna Game
9. Steinitz vs Hirschfeld 1-0191863Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
10. Kolisch vs Hirschfeld 1-0281864Parijs mC51 Evans Gambit
11. Hirschfeld vs Kolisch 1-0431864ParisC59 Two Knights
12. Kolisch vs Hirschfeld 1-0311864Parijs mC51 Evans Gambit
13. Kolisch vs Hirschfeld 1-0251864Parijs mC51 Evans Gambit
14. Hirschfeld vs Kolisch 1-0251864Parijs mC51 Evans Gambit
15. Hirschfeld vs Kolisch 1-0211864Parijs mC51 Evans Gambit
16. Hirschfeld vs Kolisch 0-1201864Paris m/8C39 King's Gambit Accepted
17. Kolisch vs Hirschfeld 0-1261864Paris m/5C39 King's Gambit Accepted
18. Hirschfeld vs Kolisch 0-1361864Parijs mC59 Two Knights
19. Hirschfeld vs S Urusov 0-1221866Hirschfeld - Urusov Casual SeriesC51 Evans Gambit
20. S Urusov vs Hirschfeld  ½-½461866Hirschfeld - Urusov Casual SeriesC45 Scotch Game
21. Hirschfeld vs S Urusov 1-0161866Hirschfeld - Urusov Casual SeriesC29 Vienna Gambit
22. S Urusov vs Hirschfeld 1-0291866Hirschfeld - Urusov Casual SeriesB40 Sicilian
23. Hirschfeld vs S Urusov  ½-½441866Hirschfeld - Urusov Casual SeriesC77 Ruy Lopez
24. Hirschfeld vs De Vere 0-1231869Casual gameC25 Vienna
25. Steinitz vs Hirschfeld  0-1391869Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 29  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Hirschfeld wins | Hirschfeld loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He may have drawn some games; in some old tournaments drawn games were replayed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: The man who didn't play in tournaments.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: "The strongest player who never won anything", according to Wolfgang Heidenfeld in the "Encyclopedia of Chess" (Batsford, 1977). He lost or drew all of his matches. His performance against Adolf Anderssen in game 6 of the above list showed that he had some talent!
Jun-07-08  Karpova: Philipp Hirschfeld was born in Kaliningrad, Russia and died in Wannsee/Berlin, Germany. His historical Elo was 2410.
Oct-01-08  whiteshark: Player of the Day

<Karpova> In 1840 Königsberg (Kaliningrad) was still the capital of East Prussian territory.

Another thing in the bio needs clarification: <He was co-editor of the Deutsche Schachzeitung> and <citizen of United Kingdom> Huh?

Oct-01-08  Agent Bouncy: Does anyone know where to find the scores of the Hirschfeld-Suhle match games?
Oct-01-09  whiteshark: Player of the Day

What's new?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Biography: (in English) (in German)

Oct-01-09  WhiteRook48: anti-tournament player
Oct-01-09  whiteshark: <Tabby> Thanks for your wide-awakeness! I'm a kind of a dud researcher most recently. :D
Oct-02-12  Abdel Irada: <whiteshark>: Interesting. In German, I believe Königsberg literally means King's Town. Do you happen to know if Kaliningrad has the same meaning in Russian?
Oct-02-12  achieve: Actually it would translate to "King's Mountain", not town.

It can also mean a "large quantity", as in "a mountain of work" to be done.

I'm Dutch and German is my second Berg. I mean Deutsch, obwohl, though.

Oct-02-12  Abdel Irada: Ah, yes. Berg, not burg. My mistake.

Meanwhile, as to etymology: As I assumed, in Russian, the suffix "-grad" denotes a city or town; but the remainder does not translate as "king." Actually, according to Wiktionary (, the city was named after a Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin.

In turn, of course, this means "Michael, son of John" Kalinin, leaving only this question for native Russian speakers:

Ultimately, names almost always mean something. What, then, if anything, does "kalinin" actually mean?

Oct-03-12  achieve: <Irada> I don't know, would have to look that up. Interestingly you mention "berg instead of -burg", and it is true that in Dutch as well, names of cities very often end with "berg" or "burg", and I was curious what the latter suffix actually represents, as on its own it means nothing in present day Dutch, although it also features in words like "Burgemeester" (Mayor), and "burgerij" (citizenry). But with cities like Middelburg and Tilburg it appears to derive from "burcht" (castle, fortified mansion, often with a surrounding canal). It may be likely that in German (Regensburg) the etymology may be similar, and my guess is that the suffix -grad may mean the same. But that should be easily googled for an answer, I assume.
Oct-03-12  achieve: This seems to confirm your and my conclusions on -burg, -berg, -grad, -abad, -polis:

<Pulykamell beat me to it. I should note that the Russian for "city" is gorod and -grad as a city-name ending is based on the early Slavic from which Russian is descended, much like -bury and -boro are derived from Anglo-Saxon burh which survives as English borough.

French -ville has a similar sense, as of course does German -burg (but -berg, with almost identical English pronunciation, is different, meaning literally "mountain" and with the city-name connotation of "city that was founded as a fortified high spot"). Cognates to -bury and -burg exist in the Scandinavian languages as well.

BTW, note that the -abad suffix, with pretty much the same meaning, also exists in several of the Central Asian republics.

Charter Member
Found a little more info: "-abad" is from Farsi, and means "populated" or "settled."

"Grad" can also mean castle or city in various Slavic languages.

It's a similar ending to the German "-burg."

Similar to the Greek -polis, as used in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Metropolis, ... and no doubt many more city names.


But the "meaning" of "Kalinin" is still up for an answer.

Oct-03-12  achieve: And note that the city of Königsberg, was "renamed" to Kalinigrad, in 1946, and it appears that translation has nothing to do with the "new name."


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kalinin (Russian: Калинин), or Kalinina (feminine; Калинина), is a Russian surname, derived from the word kalina (калина, meaning "guelder rose"), = Gelderse roos, roos from Gelderland, Dutch province.

Oct-03-12  Abdel Irada: <achieve>: Thank you. That last was what I was looking for. So: Kaliningrad = city of Kalinin = city of a rose from a Dutch province.

This is what I love about etymology: Looking at the simplest words can lead you on a journey across continents and centuries. Now we can all speculate on what historical events led to Russian adopting the name of this particular flower — and we can be assured that thereby hangs a tale of intrigues: In its hand, like Allecto, it may carry death and wars.

After all, this would hardly be the first time a great conflict erupted over roses. Just ask the Plantagenets. ;-)

Oct-03-12  achieve: Hehe - actually quite a good point... I really enjoyed taking the journey there for about 30 minutes, to catch up and look a bit further... Back in the "old days" I'd go to the University/Faculty Library and could spend all day trying to clear something up, trace something, call up related faculties from other Universities, and creating a web of information, photocopies to take home, and study the material until satisfaction, or tiredness, set in... I like your style, and <Domdaniel> - who is on a hiatus the past months, would be a great partner in conversation for you, if he comes back, and a Linguistic researcher par excellence, indeed etymology is one of his many forte's -- math fanatic as well.

But nowadays we just sit down at dektop computers, or tablets even, and the information is within reach at warp speed, if you know where and how to look, efficiently.

Oct-03-12  Abdel Irada: Of course, I am a product of a time when computers were only just becoming powerful and popular, so I find that I continue to underestimate Wikipedia and other such resources. I had never imagined, for example, that there'd be a page on the name Kalinin.

All of this seems to suggest that what I recently read is literally true: A schoolchild working on a laptop in Africa now has access to more information than did the president of the United States a few decades ago.

Meanwhile, I'll keep an eye open for <Domdaniel>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <achieve: And note that the city of Königsberg, was "renamed" to Kalinigrad, in 1946, and it appears that translation has nothing to do with the "new name.">

I think it was later renamed Allen.

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