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Prince Andrey Dadian of Mingrelia
Prince Dadian 
Number of games in database: 41
Years covered: 1867 to 1905

Overall record: +39 -0 =0 (100.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (11) 
    C37 C38 C33 C34
 Vienna Opening (6) 
    C27 C26 C25
With the Black pieces:
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Prince Dadian vs M Bitcham, 1892 1-0
   Smitten vs Prince Dadian, 1896 0-1
   Prince Dadian vs Boulitchoff, 1882 1-0
   Prince Dadian vs Doubrava, 1896 1-0
   Prince Dadian vs Kolisch, 1885 1-0
   Prince Dadian vs Kolisch, 1867 1-0
   Von Marlozan vs Prince Dadian, 1876 0-1
   Prince Dadian vs Boutourlin, 1883 1-0
   Prince Dadian vs Doubrava, 1895 1-0
   Prince Dadian vs Kreutzahler, 1891 1-0

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(born Oct-24-1850, died Jun-12-1910, 59 years old) Georgia

[what is this?]
Prince Andria Dadiani of Mingrelia (a lowland province of Georgia, bordering the Black Sea) was born in 1850. Member of a Mingrelian (Western Georgia) princely family of Svan descent, son of David Dadiani and his wife Ekaterine, Andria Dadiani was born in Zugdidi, W. Georgia. He graduated from Heidelberg University Faculty of Law in 1873. Later, he served as a lieutenant-general of the Russian army.(1)

His chess career began around 1867. While there are only a few dozen recorded games, several made it into prestigious chess publications and were annotated by such luminaries as Wilhelm Steinitz and Mikhail Chigorin.

Prince Andrei Dadiani was also a chess sponsor and organizer. He sponsored and played in the first Kiev chess tournament of 1900, attaining 2nd place behind Nikolaev and sponsored the 2nd (1902) and 3rd (1903) all-Russian tournaments in Kiev. He helped sponsor or organize the Belle Epoch chess tournaments at Monte Carlo in 1901, 1902 and 1903 and Barmen in 1905.

Due to his position, Dadiani participated in very few tournaments. Besides winning amateur tournament Homberg in 1864 and placing second in Kiev 1900, he came in 1st in St. Petersburg 1881-82.(1)

Some of his recorded games teetered on brilliant; some were wild and undaunted; all of them deviously ingenious. Though nothing has ever been proven, most modern historians regard his games skeptically: they may be have been staged, or pure compositions. We can at least note that he only published his most stunning victories.

(1) Wikipedia article: Andria Dadiani

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 41  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Prince Dadian vs Kolisch 1-0231867HombergC37 King's Gambit Accepted
2. Von Marlozan vs Prince Dadian 0-1171876KievC40 King's Knight Opening
3. Prince Dadian vs Dubois  1-0381879RomeC27 Vienna Game
4. Prince Dadian vs Prince G Dadian 1-0371880St. PetersburgC41 Philidor Defense
5. Prince Matchabelli vs Prince Dadian 0-1341880St. PetersburgC23 Bishop's Opening
6. Smitten vs Prince Dadian 0-1331880TbilisiC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
7. Prince Dadian vs M Liselle 1-0181880St PetersburgC40 King's Knight Opening
8. Baron Krudner vs Prince Dadian 0-1151881St. PetersburgC24 Bishop's Opening
9. Prince Dadian vs Pouchkine 1-0221881St. PetersburgC30 King's Gambit Declined
10. Prince Dadian vs M Pushkin 1-0221881St. PetersburgC30 King's Gambit Declined
11. Prince Dadian vs Boulitchoff 1-0191882St. PetersburgC51 Evans Gambit
12. Prince Dadian vs Boutourlin 1-0221883St. PetersburgC37 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Prince Dadian vs Kolisch 1-0251885(Wenman)C27 Vienna Game
14. Prince Dadian vs Boulitchoff 1-0201885St. PetersburgC33 King's Gambit Accepted
15. Prince Dadian vs A Fadeeff  1-0181887St. PetersburgC37 King's Gambit Accepted
16. Prince Dadian vs A Fadeeff 1-0211887St. PetersburgC14 French, Classical
17. Prince Dadian vs NN 1-0201890Odds game (W gives QR)000 Chess variants
18. Smitten vs Prince Dadian 0-1201890?C37 King's Gambit Accepted
19. Prince Dadian vs Kreutzahler 1-0141891St PetersburgC37 King's Gambit Accepted
20. Prince Dadian vs Count Kreutz 1-0161891St. PetersburgC37 King's Gambit Accepted
21. Prince Dadian vs L Maczuski 1-0141892?C27 Vienna Game
22. Prince Dadian vs M Bitcham 1-0201892ZugdidiC56 Two Knights
23. Prince Dadian vs Doubrava 1-051895KievB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
24. Prince Dadian vs S Kostrovitsky 1-0241896KievC38 King's Gambit Accepted
25. Smitten vs Prince Dadian 0-1211896TiflisC37 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 41  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Prince Dadian wins | Prince Dadian loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-25-14  john barleycorn: Makes me wonder how much he paid Kolisch

Prince Dadian vs Kolisch, 1867

Prince Dadian vs Kolisch, 1885

Oct-25-14  zanzibar: zanzibar: I can't help help myself....

"Prince Dadian, the best chessplayer money can buy."

Couldn't pass the chance to make a joke.

But playing over the first game I can see how Kolisch could have stumbled. White was throwing all his pieces into the attack, sacrificing right and left.

For example consider this position:

click for larger view

(Black to move and defend)

Kolisch played the natural looking 14...d6, which loses.

Then comes 15.Re1 Bd7 16.Rxd7+ Kxd7 17.Bb5+ Of course, not playing 17...Nc6 was a little suspect, but overlooking 17...c6 18.Qe7+ Kc8 19.Nd5! isn't totally obvious.

Nov-09-14  andrewjsacks: <Lashab> Mingrelia was a historical state in the current nation of Georgia, according to the Wikipedia.
Nov-09-14  andrewjsacks: Mingrelia, of course, hosted a famous visit by the Miffentiff of Boffindale, an Indian Potentate, who valued the salutary health effects of the rare mineral deposits found on the banks of the Black Sea.
Nov-09-14  andrewjsacks: Every school child in Georgia knows that story.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Greatest. Player. Ever.
May-03-15  thomastonk: A published loss!*

From Steinitz' International Chess Magazine, June 1886, pages 181-182 (with thorough comments not reproduced here):

[Event "?"]
[Site "St. Petersburg"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Prince Andrey Dadian of Mingrelia"]
[Black "Alexander Vladimirovich Solovtsov"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C51"]
[PlyCount "92"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bb6 5. a4 a6 6. a5 Ba7 7. c3 Nf6 8. d3 d6 9. Be3 Ne7 10. Bxa7 Rxa7 11. Nbd2 Ng6 12. Qb3 O-O 13. Ng5 Qe7 14. h4 h6 15. Ngf3 c6 16. O-O-O Qd8 17. d4 d5 18. Bd3 exd4 19. Nxd4 Nf4 20. Qc2 c5 21. Ne2 Nxd3+ 22. Qxd3 cxb4 23. cxb4 b5 24. e5 Ng4 25. Qd4 Rc7+ 26. Kb2 Qe7 (26... Nxe5!) 27. Nf4 Rc4 28. Nxd5 Rxd4 29. Nxe7+ Kh7 30. Nc6 Rf4 31. g3 Rxf2 32. Rhe1 Bb7 33. Nd4 Rd8 34. Kc3 Rg2 35. Nf5 Nf2 36. Rb1 Rd3+ 37. Kc2 Ra3 38. Kb2 Ra4 39. Kc3 g6 40. Ne3 Rxg3 41. Rb2 Rxe3+ 42. Rxe3 Nd1+ 43. Kd4 Nxb2 44. Kc5 Bc8 45. Rb3 Nc4 46. Nf3 Be6 0-1 ("And after a few moves White resigned.")

Not a brilliancy, but no bad game either. And for Prince Dadian a very long game, though it is even incomplete.

About the date. Steinitz wrote: "The following toughly contested game was played, some time back, at St. Petersburg between ..." Furthermore, in the International Chess Magazine, August 1885, pages 249-250, Steinitz published another game** between the same opponents and stated that it was played recently. So, 1885 is one possible guess for the year of the game above.

*: Not the first one. <WilhelmThe2nd> found and <batgirl> republished another loss against Fyodor Ivanovich Dus Chotimirsky, played in 1902, in an article called "Lesser Known Games of Prince Dadian", see .

**: Already found by <Calli> and also republished by <batgirl> here: . That game is also present in the "Lesser Known ..." article, but I couldn't find there references to <Calli> for finding and to <Steinitz> for the comments.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Sacha Baron Cohen could play him in the movie version, and people would suppose that Prince Dadian and the kingdom of Mingrelia were wild inventions.
Nov-29-15  offramp: I went to Mingrelia when I was young.

Really wacky place.

The only thing I remember clearly is that all the cars went backwards.

Nov-30-15  Karposian: Mingrelia.. they say in this guy's bio that it's a province of Georgia, of all places!

Rather unknown. It must be up in that remote northern Georgia wilderness, you know? Where 'Deliverance' took place?

That banjo-playing inbred in the film, he must have been a so-called "mingrel" (not to be confused with a "mongrel" who is mixed-breed, i.e. the exact opposite of "mingrel").

Man, one learns new things every day..!

<offramp: The only thing I remember clearly is that all the cars went backwards.>

LOL. You're just pulling our leg. They don't have cars in Mingrelia. You've gotta use canoes up there.

Just watch the film.

Jun-27-16  Jim Bartle: "Excellent move, Your Highness. I hadn't seen your cunning trap."
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: This fellow's chess prowess is similar to Kim Jong I'ls golfing exploits.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: Oh no - the Prince of Fake is <POTD> again! Is there really no worthy player born on October 24?
Oct-24-17  Agferna: No losses; no draws; all wins!!!

Sniff, sniff, I'm starting to smell something and fully agree with historians' concerns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  theagenbiteofinwit: Don't let this man's record of destruction otb distract us from the fact that His Majesty was rocking skinny jeans over a century before it became cool.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: Imho <Player of the day> is supposed to be an award for a venerable player. Hence the widely and rightly despised Andrey Dadian, <The Disgrace and Scandal of Chess>, does not deserve to be POTD even once, let alone every year!

If there is really no worthy player born on October 24, I propose our veteran NN instead: contrary to Prince Fake he never tried to hide his losses.

Details about the rogueries of the notorious "nobleman" can be found here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: <If there is really no worthy player born on October 24, I propose our veteran <NN> instead:>

Wouldn't Ding Liren be an obvious choice for <POTD>, namely on his 25th birthday? But for some reason cg prefers an oldtime fraudster to a contemporary Super-GM! :-(

Aug-28-18  Jean Defuse: ...

'The Mingrelia Defence' 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Qf6


Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: How can we note "he only published his most stunning victories"? Isn't that just hyperbole? Surely we have no way of knowing whether it's true. And the more I look at that sentence, the less I think it means anything. Is it meant to just mean that the games we know of are stunning victories?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The entire closing paragraph is straight out of a publicist's handbook, and no player as such is worthy of this sort of praise.
Aug-28-18  Jean Defuse: ...

Great biography in Italian:

<'La controversa figura del Principe Dadian di Mingrelia'>


British Chess Magazine 1898, Vol. 18, p. 81:


Dadian of Mingrelia v Banov

click for larger view

<White announced mate in six moves.>


Dadian of Mingrelia v Rev. T. Kochtaria

click for larger view

<White announced mate in three moves.>


Dadian of Mingrelia v Col. Veriguine, Moscow

click for larger view

<White to play and win.>


Aug-31-18  Jean Defuse: ...

Correction: <On the first diagram above - the black queen on g4 is in reality the white>:

Dadian of Mingrelia v Banov, Caucasus

click for larger view

White announced mate in six moves.

(Also published on page 345 of the November 1893 Deutsche Schachzeitung.)


1. Rf8+ Bxf8 2. Ng6+ hxg6 3. Qh4+ Nh7 4. Qxh7+ Kxh7 5. Rxh3+ etc.


Sep-04-18  Jean Defuse: ...

Further solutions for the diagrams above:

Dadian of Mingrelia v <Rev. T. Kochtaria*>

Mate in 3 - 1. Ng6+ Kg8 2. Qg7+ Rxg7 3. Nh6#


Dadian of Mingrelia v Col. Veriguine, Moscow

White wins - 1. Bc5 Bxc5 2. Rd8+ Ke7 3. Rxg8 Kd7 4. Rd1+ Bd6 5. Rxd6+ Qxd6 6. Rd8+ Kxd8 7. Qxd6+ Rd7 8. Nxe6+ and wins.


<*> A. Dadian played this game in West Georgia in 1887 at the house of a local priest, <Fedor Khoshtari>.



Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: Hooray, it's October 24, and the most infamous villain in chess history is not <POTD> again - I consider this a good omen!
Dec-18-20  WilhelmThe2nd:

Juan Corzo profiled the Prince Dadian of Mingrelia in his chess column in the Havana newspaper 'Diario de la Marina' of September 28th, 1906. After giving a couple of positions from the Prince's games and the game-scores of his wins over Kolisch, Bitcham, and Pushkin that appear in this database, he concluded:

<What does the reader think of our Prince?

Judging by these samples he is a great master. However, he does not take part in tournaments nor play serious matches.

On the occasion of one of Steinitz and Chigorin's visits to Havana, the late Vazquez praised in front of them the talent and aggressiveness of the Prince Dadian of Mingrelia and they exchanged knowing looks, smiling.

Those smiles and those looks made the champion of Mexico suspect that His Serene Highness could pass himself off as a great player, paying distinguished masters for invented games and endings which they published in their periodicals with much hype.

I dare not say so. I only know that currently the Mingrelian magnate is at odds with Chigorin and that his rival, Schiffers, has published a luxurious edition with a hundred wonderful endings of the chess Prince.

Vanitas vanitatum!


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