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Johannes Minckwitz
J Minckwitz 
Number of games in database: 182
Years covered: 1865 to 1892

Overall record: +66 -71 =44 (48.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (24) 
    C80 C77 C67 C66 C61
 French Defense (13) 
    C15 C01 C11 C14 C13
 Ruy Lopez, Open (7) 
 Queen's Gambit Declined (7) 
    D30 D37 D35
 Center Game (7) 
 Giuoco Piano (6) 
    C50 C54
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (31) 
    C77 C67 C80 C63 C83
 Sicilian (10) 
    B45 B46 B44 B40
 Ruy Lopez, Open (9) 
    C80 C83
 Evans Gambit (8) 
    C51 C52
 Four Knights (8) 
    C49 C48
 Sicilian Taimanov (7) 
    B45 B46
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Steinitz vs J Minckwitz, 1870 0-1
   C T Goering vs J Minckwitz, 1871 0-1
   J Minckwitz vs S Mieses, 1872 1-0
   Tarrasch vs J Minckwitz, 1885 0-1
   J Minckwitz vs J Noa, 1881 1-0
   Tarrasch vs J Minckwitz, 1889 1/2-1/2
   J Minckwitz vs Alapin, 1889 1-0
   R Gottschall vs J Minckwitz, 1865 0-1
   J Minckwitz vs A Stern, 1870 1-0
   J Minckwitz vs Anderssen, 1866 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Berlin (1881)
   Baden-Baden (1870)
   Hamburg (1885)
   Leipzig (1879)
   Breslau (1889)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1872 Minckwitz - Mieses by gauer
   Crefeld 1871 by thomastonk

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Johannes Minckwitz
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(born Apr-11-1843, died May-20-1901, 58 years old) Germany

[what is this?]

Johannes Minckwitz was a German player and author of IM strength. He edited "Deutsche Schachzeitung", had a chess column in "Leipziger Illustrirte Zeitung" and wrote and edited many books on chess.

In 1869, Minckwitz shared the third prize with Emil Schallopp and Johannes Zukertort in the Hamburg <Meisterturnier>. He won the second prize at Barmen (1869). He came 8-9th at the very strong Baden-Baden (1870). He took the third prize at the 9th WDSB–Congress in Krefeld (1871). He won the fourth prize at Frankfurt (1878), the fifth prize at Brunswick (1880) and the second prize at Graz Congress (1880). That was to be his last tournament victory and he played more infrequently until 1890.

On the 17th of May 1901, he threw himself underneath an electric train and lost both arms. He died three days later. (1)

(1). "Chicago Daily Tribune", May 19, 1901, page 20

Wikipedia article: Johannes Minckwitz

Last updated: 2023-02-21 20:42:35

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 184  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E von Schmidt vs J Minckwitz  1-0261865LeipzigC01 French, Exchange
2. R Gottschall vs J Minckwitz 0-1211865LeipzigC20 King's Pawn Game
3. G Neumann vs J Minckwitz 1-0441865BerlinC51 Evans Gambit
4. J Minckwitz vs E von Schmidt  ½-½281865Leipzig simC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
5. J Minckwitz vs R Schurig  1-0521865LeipzigC58 Two Knights
6. E von Schmidt vs J Minckwitz 1-0591866von Schmidt - MinckwitzC67 Ruy Lopez
7. J Minckwitz vs E von Schmidt 0-1371866von Schmidt - MinckwitzC51 Evans Gambit
8. J Minckwitz vs E von Schmidt ½-½431866von Schmidt - MinckwitzC15 French, Winawer
9. E von Schmidt vs J Minckwitz 0-1301866von Schmidt - MinckwitzC44 King's Pawn Game
10. J Minckwitz vs E von Schmidt 0-1401866von Schmidt - MinckwitzD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. E von Schmidt vs J Minckwitz 1-0441866von Schmidt - MinckwitzC44 King's Pawn Game
12. J Minckwitz vs Anderssen 1-0241866BerlinC54 Giuoco Piano
13. E von Schmidt vs J Minckwitz 0-1381866von Schmidt - MinckwitzB40 Sicilian
14. J Minckwitz vs E von Schmidt 0-1501866von Schmidt - MinckwitzC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
15. Anderssen vs J Minckwitz 1-0491866BerlinC30 King's Gambit Declined
16. Anderssen vs J Minckwitz 0-1331866BerlinB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
17. J Minckwitz vs Anderssen 1-0611866BerlinC67 Ruy Lopez
18. J Minckwitz vs Anderssen 0-1191866BerlinC54 Giuoco Piano
19. Zukertort / Hoffer vs J Minckwitz ½-½441869LeipzigC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
20. J Minckwitz vs Lange 1-0271869LeipzigC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
21. S Mieses vs J Minckwitz  1-0461869LeipzigC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
22. Zukertort vs J Minckwitz  1-0341869BerlinC42 Petrov Defense
23. S Mieses vs J Minckwitz  0-1361869LeipzigC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
24. Anderssen vs J Minckwitz  1-03918692nd NSB Congress, HamburgC77 Ruy Lopez
25. Zukertort vs J Minckwitz  1-04218692nd NSB Congress, HamburgB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 184  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Minckwitz wins | Minckwitz loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-23-11  zydeco: There's a nice tribute to Minckwitz in Checkmate Magazine, Vol 1, calling him a first-rate theorist and problemist but with very bad nerves. "Frequently Minckwitz gained a great superiority in the opening, middlegame, and even endgame, only to lose by a complete and sudden collapse - not a blunder but seemingly a relaxation of mental powers."

Once, when his opponent (Wilfried Paulsen) overstepped the time limit, Minckwitz wanted to keep playing and eventually lost "by the usual collapse." The tournament director solomonically ruled the game a loss for both players.

The eulogy in Checkmate concludes discreetly by saying that "some years ago it became necessary to refuse his entry to all public tournaments" - which means, I assume, that he's completely loony.

Minckwitz wrote a book called Humor in Chess, which looks like it might be interesting (the chapters are titled things like 'A terrible vision of H. Lehner'/'Sufferings and joys of a problem composer') but available only in German.

British Chess Magazine, in 1886, speculates that he may be the strongest player in Germany (along with Bardeleben). BCM mentions that his father was a noted classics professor and that Minckwitz emerged as a strong player when he was young (he became editor of Schachzeitung at 22).

Apr-11-12  brankat: R.I.P. master Minckwitz.
Aug-17-12  Karpova: <Der bekannte Schachmeister Hans Minckwitz wurde am Abend des 15.Mai in Biebrich von der elektrischen Bahn überfahren und ist, nachdem ihm beide Arme amputirt wurden, am 20. Mai im Krankenhaus zu Biebrich gestorben. Minckwitz litt in den letzten Jahren an Wahnvorstellungen und hat sich vermuthlich in einem Anfall von Geistesstörung in selbstmörderischer Absicht überfahren lassen. Er war als Sohn des ehemaligen Leipziger Professors Johannes Minckwitz am 11. April zu Leipzig geboren und hatte sich in früheren Jahren durch seine Thätigkeit als Schachredacteur, sowie durch seine rege Betheiligung an Schachturnieren in weiteren Kreisen bekannt gemacht.>

From page 100 of the 1901 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Aug-18-12  Karpova: On pages 338 to 342 of the 1906 'Wiener Schachzeitung', Dr. W. Ahrens from Magdeburg under the heading <Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch als Historiker und Pathograph> tores to shreds Dr. Tarrasch's article on Pillsbury but concentrates on the part where Dr. Tarrasch discusses Minckwitz (see <keypusher>'s post from 2010.04.13).

The first anecdote about Minckwitz Sr. claiming to be the greatest German poet together with Von Goethe and Schiller, is most likely apocryphal and this kind of saying has been assigned to others before (e. g. Konrad Büchell). Dr. Ahrens devotes a lot of attention to this part and points e. g. out that Minckwitz Sr. was a great admirer of Count August von Platen-Hallermünde and translated his odes into greek (so he would rather be Minckwitz's Nr. 3). Apparently, the only actual case of this form of joke (with two people instead of three) was that of Dr. Tarrasch saying that there were only two chessmasters - and the other one was living in New York.

The second one, about Napoleon and the pickled egg, Dr. Ahrens claims that Minckwitz did not write it. That he actually did not even write an epic called 'Die Befreiungskriege' and that the verses were just a parody by Paul Lindau.

Aug-18-12  Calli: <Karpova> You might also enjoy Game Collection: Deutsche Schachzeitung
Oct-19-14  Karpova: Source: Deutsches Wochenschach, 6 July 1890, issue 27, pp. 221-223

Part I:

Editor of the 'Deutsche Schachzeitung' from 1864 to 31 December 1886, with short breaks.

Johannes G. E. L. von Minckwitz ("Hans"), son of Prof. Dr. Johannes Minckwitz of Leipzig (author, poet and translator. <Verewigt> in Heidelberg, Germany on 29 December 1885) and his wife Ernestine (née Schuchardt) of Magdeburg, Germany. Hans was born on 11 April 1843 in Leipzig, Germany. His chess career has been spanning 36 years now (i. e. in July 1890). His father, a <starker Naturspieler>, i. e. no formal chess education but very hard to beat, taught him the game of chess. He also played against Graf Vitzthum von Eckstädt, Otto Wigand, H. Hirschbach and others as a boy, because they were all acquaintances of his father. Very important were also the problems in the Leipzig 'Illustrirten Zeitung', whose chess column he would later edit.

Hans went to school at the <Moderne Gesamtgymnasium> in Leipzig, and Friedrich Spielhagen was one of his teachers. At the age of 15, he joined a Leipzig wholesale firm and stayed there for 9 years. Still, he found time to visit the Leipzig <Hochschule>, studying macroeconomics under Roscher. He also advanced rapidly in chess theory and practice. In 1863, he already published chess problems. In 1864, he won 1st prize in the problem tournament of the West-German Chess Federation (help-mate). Further prizes for problems: 1867 2nd prize ('Neue Berliner Schachzeitung'), 1868 1st prize (West-German Chess Federation), 1869 3rd prize (North-German Chess Federation), 1874 1st prize (Westminster Papers) and 1876 2nd prize (German Chess Federation).

In 1869, Hans shared 3rd prize with Schallopp and Zukertort in the Hamburg <Meisterturnier>. He won 2nd prize at Barmen (1869). He shared 1st prize with Anderssen and Paulsen at Krefeld (1871). He won 4th prize at Frankfurt (1878), 5th prize at Brunswick (1880) and 2nd prize at Graz (1880). He couldn't repeat his success of 1871, because he usually didn't play serious games afterwards, and so went to tournaments unprepared. At the latest Hamburg tournament, he was a contender for 1st prize for a long time, but he couldn't show his best and didn't win a prize (perhaps Hamburg 1885 - - is meant).

In 1865, Hans became chess editor of the (Leipzig) 'Schachzeitung' together with Dr. E. v. Schmidt (who has been working as a journalist in Moscow for many years now (probably July 1890 is meant by "now"). The 'Schachzeitung' was renamed 'Deutsche Schachzeitung' in 1871 (Why it said that Hans was an editor from 1864 onwards in the first paragraph, but now gives 1865, I don't know). From 1868 onwards, Hans was its sole editor, except for 1876 to 1879, when someone else had to do the job, since Hans was absent from Leipzig at that time. He also edited the chess columns of the 'Illustrirten Zeitung', the 'Leipziger Tageblatt' and others. His chess literary career is still not finished yet (as of July 1890). He contributed to the advance of theory and he instigated the foundation of a German Chess Federation.

Oct-19-14  Karpova: Source: Deutsches Wochenschach, 6 July 1890, issue 27, pp. 221-223

Part II:

Hans published the following works he authored himself: 'Der Schachkongress zu Krefeld 1871', 'Das ABC des Schachspiels', 'Der Schachkongress zu Frankfurt a. M. 1878', 'Der Schachkongress zu Hamburg 1885', 'Humor im Schachspiel' (1885), 'Der Entscheidungskampf zwischen W. Steinitz und J. H. Zukertort um die Schachmeisterschaft der Welt' (1886), 'Der Schachmatador' (1886), 'Der kleine Schachkönig' (1888). He was awarded the honorary membership of many Chess Societies, e. g. Chess Society Augustea of Leipzig, Academic Chess Club of Leipzig, Chess Club of Frankfurt on the Main, Nuremberg Chess Club, Dresden Chess Club, Chess Club Carola of Leipzig, <Gymnasiasten-Schachchklub Germania> of Bremen, <Gymnasiasten-Schachchklub Germania> of Göttingen, Charlottenburg Chess Society, and so on.

Hans joined a Leipzig bank as <Hauptbuchhalter> (main accounting clerk) in 1872 and soon rose to the rank of a <Bankbevollmächtigter> (bank commissioner perhaps). In 1876, he believed to be entitled to become director, and the <Verwaltungsrat> (board of administration) made him the manager of <Kohlewerke> (coal plants) and brick manufactures in Silesia. This proved to be a mistake in two regards: Han didn't like his new post and the one who was chosen as a director instead, Winkelmann and his co-director Dr. Jerusalem didn't keep house to the best of the institute. The institute went suddenly bankrupt in 1887, both directors fled and were wanted. Dr. Jerusalem committed suicide in Munich.

Ten years earlier, Hans had given up the post and he went back to Leipzig, also because of his chess literary work. He had been publishing chess poems in the 'Schachzeitung' since 1863. In 1870, he published 'Deutschlands Traum, Kampf und Sieg' with sonnets and <Königsliedern> (King's songs). The author notes that the content demonstrated considerable talent and thereby differed positively from the <Kriegsdichtung> (war poetry) of that time. He is now working on larger epics. His patriotic enthusiasm he already demonstrated when joining the <deutsche Burschenschaft> (German fraternity) in 1864, which did a lot to heighten the patriotic mind.

He had been a critic of epics and lyric for Brockhaus' 'Blätter für Literarische Unterhaltung' since 1883, in which he successfully fought for the Lessing-Platen-Minckwitz point of view. Hans is also author of the political-financial <Flugschrift> (pamphlet) 'Jungdeutschland' (Leipzig 1887, pseudonym Arminius) and other works. He has been living in Berlin from 1887 to 1889, but now he moved (withdrew, <zurückgezogen>) to the pleasant <Gartengrundstück> (garden estate) in Belgern on the Elbe. Apart from literary work and research (chess, poetry, historical, macroeconomical), he is also conducting heraldic studies, to support his entitlement to a <Freiherrntitel> (Baron), he himself tracing back his ancestry to von Minckwitzburg and even later back to <Fürst> (prince, sovereign) Inkwi.

Mar-19-15  zanzibar: I know this player from <NDSC-2e Hamburg (1869)>, and while research Mordecai's "most splendid and complete work of the kind that has ever been published" on openings, came across this obituary:



It is our painful duty to record the death of Herr von Minckwitz, by his own hand. For a long time past his mental condition has been such as to cause the greatest anxiety to his friends, but for some reason or other he seems not to have been placed under control, and the "eccentricities" which had been noticed developed suddenly into suicidal mania, whereof the end came by his stepping in front of an electric car near Biebrich.

Herr v. Minckwitz was born at Leipsic in 1843, and was taught chess by his father. Like many other enthusiasts, he began by studying, and then composing problems, and in this art he achieved so much success that he obtained prizes in various problem competitions. He then devoted his attention to the practice of the game, and rapidly came to the front as a first-class player,-so that in the Hamburg Tourney of 1869 he divided the first three prizes with Schallopp and Zukertort. In the same year he won the second prize at Barmen, in the West German Association Congress, and at Crefeld, in 1871, he tied with Anderssen and L. Paulsen for the chief honours. The last time when he distinguished himself was in 1880, by winning the second prize at Gratz, and the fifth at Brunswick. Since then his nervous affection increased, and though he competed in several important tourneys, it was without success. His last entry was at Leipsic, in 1894, when he withdrew at the beginning of the contest. The present writer saw him for the first and last time at the Hastings Tourney of 1896, and thought him looking very strange. He came there to compete, but was too late. Herr v Minckwitz did good work for chess in former years as a writer. He was for a long time editor of the German Schachzeitung and of the chess column in the Leipsic Ilhcstrite Zeitnng. He published also many books of the German Congresses, and several smaller works on the game. >

BCM v21 (July 1901) p281

Mar-19-15  zanzibar: By the way, the BCM is being a little generous in describing M's performance in Hamburg, 1869. Andersson took 1st, L. Paulsen 2nd, and so M and others split 3-5 out of a 6-player tournament.
Mar-24-15  Paarhufer: Poor Minckwitz. The following is from a newspaper report published two days after the event happened.

On 25.September 1893, two 'Kaisers' met early in the morning in Hetzendorf (Vienna): <the Emporer of Austria and King of Hungary Franz Joseph I> welcomed <the last German Emporer Wilhelm II>. Already before the Kaisers came to Schönbrunn Palace, a man with a ginger beard caught there the attention of the police by his murky behaviour and worn clothing. So he was asked about his intentions. He showed some cards, which introduced him as 'Fürst Minckwitz', and he said he came on command of the German Emperor. He smiled constantly, but in contrast his strange dead eyes rolled nervously. So he was brought to a high police officer within the palace. Again he showed cards which introduced him as <Johann (Hans) G.E.L. Minckwitz, Reichsgraf von Minckwitzburg, Fürst Jekwi[sic]>. He told that he was 48[sic] years old and a privy Saxon chamberlain.

His true identity was easily determined and it turned out that he had been already two times in psychological therapy. Then he was send to a psychiatric hospital.

Oct-20-15  zanzibar: Could some editor please correct the bio - apparently he wrote three books on chess.

According to the wiki article:

<In 1865–1876 and 1879–1886, he was an editor of the Deutsche Schachzeitung and author of Das ABC des Schachspiels (Leipzig 1879), Humor in Schachspiel (Leipzig 1885) and Der kleine Schachkönig (Leipzig 1889).[3]>

Can anyone comment on the contents/quality of any of these?

Oct-20-15  thomastonk: <z> I've replaced "wrote two books" by "wrote and edited many books". The three books mentioned in the English Wikipedia are probably his most insignificant ones. His importance for German chess is neglected anyway, probably because of his long lasting mental problems.
Oct-20-15  zanzibar: Thanks <thomastonk>, that edit improves the accuracy.

I found only these entries for him on

minckwitz+schach&qt=results_page"> ...

https :// +minckwitz+schach&qt=results_page

(remove the spaces)

Aside -
<CG> is it necessary to make = + into inside url's?

Oct-20-15  zanzibar: This is probably a better listing of titles (using author="johannes minckwitz", keyword="chess"):

Mar-10-16  zanzibar: Maybe this is one of the "short" breaks from editing referenced in the above...

<We regret to announce the retirement of Herr Minckwitz from the post of Editor of the Deutsche Zeitung, the office he has so ably filled for a period of eleven years. His successor is Dr. C. Schwede, a problem composer of merit.>

Westminster Papers v10 (2nd Oct 1876) p102.

Not sure how long his "retirement" lasted, or what prompted it.

Apr-11-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Johannes Minckwitz.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < On the 17th of May 1901 he threw himself underneath an electric train and lost both arms. He died three days later.

source: Chicago Daily Tribune, May 19,1901, page 20>

The Chicago Tribune report, echoing notices that appeared in the British papers, dates the accident to the 17th, says Minckwitz was 'cut to pieces', imlying he died instantly.

That he lost both arms and died later, apparently relies on the <Wiener Schachzeitung> piece posted by <Karpova> above: Johannes Minckwitz

But that claims the accident occurred on May 15th.

Nov-27-16  Paarhufer: Michael Negele wrote an article about Minckwitz in "Karl" 4/2015. Long excerpts can be found here:

At the end of that article there is Bachmann's description of Minckwitz's last days, which is more extensive than WSZ.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: That too claims the attempted suicide took place on the 15th.
Dec-02-16  Paarhufer: There are several newspapers at ANNO of 17 May 1901 confirming the 15th May as the day of the suicide attempt.

See or , for example.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <he threw himself underneath an electric train..>

Train or tram? Didn't he, in fact, just sit on the line?

May-26-18  zanzibar: What's in a name?

<J.B. — We understand that Herr Hans von Minckwitz at present at Belgern a. d. Elbe, whose complete name is Johannes G. E. L. von Minckwitz, has inherited "von" from his ancestor, the Freiherr Ehrenfried von Minckwitzburg, who died about 1625, and belonged to ancient Lusatia—Bohemian nobility. Besides several works on chess, he has lately published a pamphlet on "Jungdeutschland.">

<TBOP v13 N619 (Nov 22, 1890) p127/147 (3)>

Feb-13-19  Jean Defuse: ...


Der Schachmatador Johannes Minckwitz

Von Michael Negele


[Event "Leipzig"]
[Date "1885.06.03"]
[White "Zukertort, Johannes Hermann"]
[Black "Minckwitz, Johannes"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C30"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 Bc5 4. Nf3 d6 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Na4 Bb6 7. Nxb6 axb6 8. O-O Nge7 9. d3 exf4 10. Bxf4 Ng6 11. Bg3 O-O 12. Qe2 Bg4 13. c3 Bxf3 14. gxf3 f5 15. Kh1 f4 16. Bf2 Qg5 17. Bc4+ Kh8 18. d4 Nce7 19. Bb3 Rae8 20. Rg1 Qh5 21. Rg4 d5 22. e5 c6 23. Rag1 Nf5 24. Bc2 Re6 25. Qd3 Qh3 26. Rg5 Ne3 27. Bxe3 Qxf3+ 28. R1g2 fxe3 29. R5g3 Qf1+ 30. Rg1 e2 31. Qe3 Rf2 32. Bd3 Nf4 33. Bf5 e1=Q 34. Qxe1 Rxh2+ 35. Kxh2 Rh6+ 0-1

Source: Deutsche Schachzeitung 1885, p. 373-374.


May-28-21  Nosnibor: <Jean Defuse> Was the win against Zukertort a casual game? I can find no record of an international tournament being held in Leipzig in 1885 and there is no reference to it in Adams collection.
May-29-21  Jean Defuse: ...

<Nosnibor: ... a casual game?>

Probably yes - original source was the 'Deutsche Illustierte Zeitung' - see:


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