Joop Elderhorst (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) raises the subject of chess masters’ final resting places.
Below are two photographs of Capablanca’s grave in the Colón Cemetery, Havana. They were taken by Bernardo Alonso García (who owns the copyright) and sent to us in 1994, with his permission, by Armando Alonso Lorenzo (Prov. Ciego de Avila, Cuba).
Calle Erlandsson (Lund, Sweden) has sent us this postcard:
Caption on the reverse side: ‘The most interesting of New Orleans’ historic burial places, the St Louis Cemetery No. 1 – there are three – has been in use for 175 years, with some of the inscriptions still decipherable dated 1800. Here lie the bodies of Paul Morphy, the famous chessplayer; Gayarre, the historian; Etienne de Boré, who first made granulated sugar; Charles LaSalle, brother of the famous explorer.’
We have received from Gordon W. Gribble (Hanover, NH, USA) a number of photographs taken by him in New Orleans in August 2002, including the following of Paul Morphy’s tomb:
See also the photograph on page 161 of the June 1950 Chess Review.
Marek Lada (Warsaw) sends us a photograph which he took in August 2005 of Adolf Anderssen’s grave at the Osobowicki Cemetery in Wrocław:
Below is the report by ‘J.A.S.’ (Jakob Adolf Seitz) on page 220 of CHESS, 28 April 1956:
‘In memory of the tenth anniversary of the death of the late world champion Alexander Alekhine, several hundred people – more than one would have expected on an icy cold day – gathered outside the main entrance to Paris’s famous Montparnasse cemetery, just before eleven in the morning of 25 March 1956.
Folke Rogard, President of the International Chess Federation, was one of the first to arrive. Soon there came a strong delegation from the USSR led by grandmaster Ragozin. Some unkind tongues suggested that the Russian chessplayers were the main attraction of the ceremony to many locals; and certainly Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, Geller, Petrosian and others were energetically pestered for autographs.
At 11 a.m., which was said to have been the hour of Alekhine’s death, the crowd moved to the monument.
We found that Abraham Baratz, a gifted sculptor, many times chess champion of Paris in his younger days, had chiselled a statue of Alekhine in his youth sitting at a chess board. All in white marble; and it was to be noted that his chessmen were not Staunton, but French, in type.
The base of the tumulus was a huge chessboard itself, though few noticed it at the time, so completely was it covered by wreaths, of which the Soviet delegation’s was the biggest. Beneath the sculpture appeared first Alekhine’s name in his native Russian characters, then the inscription “Alexandre Alekhine, génie des échecs de Russie et de France, 1 novembre 1891 – 25 mars 1946” and below “Grace Alekhine née Wishar 1876-1956”.
On the socle of the tumulus was an announcement that the monument had been erected on 25 March 1956 by the International Chess Federation. The names of Rogard (Sweden), Ragozin, Berman (France), Botvinnik (who was not present), Count dal Verme (Italy) and others followed.
Among French chessplayers present were Dr Bernstein, C. Boutteville (present French champion), Biscay, Halberstadt, Mme Chaudé de Silans, Muffang, Ségal and others. Edmond Lancel had come from Brussels. Rogard gave a brief address in French, Ragozin another in officially translated Russian. Alekhine’s son responded, followed by Mme Isnard, a daughter of Alekhine’s last wife. The chessplayers then repaired to a famous restaurant, where a hundred anecdotes about Alekhine were exchanged. Not one word about this impressive ceremony did I find in any of the French newspapers – a sad commentary on the place of chess in France today.’
Confusion with the dates may be noted. Firstly, the date on the tombstone was ‘1 November 1892’, not 1891 (although the correct date of Alekhine’s birth is 31 October 1892). The ‘1891’ was apparently Seitz’s error and not a misprint by CHESS, because it also occurred in a similar report by Seitz on page 83 of the April 1956 Schweizerische Schachzeitung. The latter magazine, moreover, quoted Alekhine’s death-date on the tombstone as ‘25 March 1956’, instead of 25 March 1946, although the latter too was wrong. As chronicled in C.N. 3086, Alekhine was found dead in the Hotel do Parque, Estoril on the morning of 24 March 1946.
C.N. 3398 referred to the graves of McDonnell and Labourdonnais at Kensal Green Cemetery, London. Here we add that the only photographs known to us were published on page 202 of “Our Folder” (The Good Companion Chess Problem Club) 1 May 1921:
José Angulo (Barcelona, Spain) asks about the graves of Lasker and Euwe.
With regard to Euwe, we are hopeful that a Dutch reader can provide full particulars. Concerning Lasker we have no photograph but can outline the facts.
Emanuel Lasker died at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York shortly before midday on 11 January 1941 (the erroneous date 13 January is sometimes seen even today); he had been in the hospital for two weeks. This information comes from page 1 of the January-February 1941 American Chess Bulletin, which also reported:
‘Many sorrowing friends and admirers gathered on Monday, 13 January at the Riverside Memorial Chapel, to attend the funeral services conducted by the Rev. Dr David de Sola Pool, rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Shearith Island, a personal friend of Dr Lasker’s and a member of his chess class. That afternoon, interment took place at the Shearith Israel Cemetery in Cypress Hills on Long Island.’
Johan Hut (Baarn, the Netherlands) and Pascal Losekoot (Soest, the Netherlands) report that pages 5-6 of the January 1982 Schakend Nederland stated that Max Euwe was cremated on 1 December 1981 in Driehuis-Westerveld, following a ceremony attended by hundreds of visitors and at least ten speakers. The Dutch magazine made no mention of a permanent memorial.
Our correspondents add, however, that on 7 May 2004 a statue
was unveiled on the Max Euweplein in Amsterdam, near the
Leidseplein. It was a
bronze bust of Euwe, 65 centimetres high, and was
created by José Fijnaut of Geverik (Limburg). The unveiling
ceremony was performed by a city councillor, Euwe’s daughters
and his grand-daughter, Esmé Lammers. (It may be recalled from
C.N. 3276 that she is the writer/director of the chess story Lang
leve de koningin.) [See also C.N. 4121.]
Page 75 of Rudolf Spielmann Portrait des Schachmeisters in Texten und Partien by M. Ehn (Koblenz, 1996) has a photograph of Spielmann’s grave in Stockholm.
Below is the early part of an article by John Keeble about Zukertort on pages 401-403 of the October 1927 BCM:
‘His ashes remain in our keeping, as he died in London on 20 June 1888 and was buried in Brompton Cemetery, to the west of the Chapel, and about half-way between it and the Chelsea Football Ground. The grave is officially known as A.F. 107 x 18. A memorial slab, known as a marble “ledger”, is laid on the grave, and bears the following inscription:“In Memory of J.H. Zukertort, the Chess Master,
Born September 7th, 1842. Died June 20th, 1888.”
The slab is in good condition and the lettering still clear, but it has sunk into the ground considerably and wants restoration in that respect.’
We also quote a passage about Harold Lommer from page 12 of Cabbage Heads and Chess Kings by Bruce Hayden (London, 1960):
‘Zukertort became his hero. So, when Harold learned that it was in London he died – he was carried from Simpson’s Divan to Charing Cross Hospital near by – Harold searched the big city for his grave.
He found it, neglected and overgrown with weeds, in a cemetery in Kensington, a genteel quarter. Shocked, he spent two afternoons in clearing and trimming the plot, and since then a fine afternoon is likely to make Harold feel restive. Before long, he is on his way to Kensington with his gardening outfit to keep the grave of the great man in shape. His task done, Harold will sit around in the sun for a while with his pocket set, and some of his best conceptions have come during these moments.’
There is a photograph of the Zukertort plot on page 170 of Der Grossmeister aus Lublin by Cezary W. Domański and Tomasz Lissowski (Berlin, 2005) with the caption, ‘Reste der Grabstätte Zukertorts auf dem Friedhof “Brompton” in London (1997)’.
The text by Hayden about Harold Lommer originally appeared on page 107 of Chess Review, April 1951.
See also the article ‘Starry, Starry Knights’ by Stuart Conquest on pages 30-32 of the October 2011 CHESS.
A 1966 photograph of Charousek’s resting place in Nagytétény, with a new tombstone and J. Hajtun, A. Földeák, R. Sallay, A. Vajda and G. Barcza in attendance, was published on the final page of volume three of Magyar Sakktörténet by Barcza and Földeák (Budapest, 1989). See also page 229 of Chess Comet Charousek by Victor A. Charuchin (Unterhaching, 1997).
Rob Bijpost (Middenmeer, the Netherlands) informs us that the Dutch chess collectors’ society Motiefgroep Schaken is searching for graves with a chess motif:
‘So far, we have found 30 specimens of well-identified graves, such as those of Alekhine, Nimzowitsch, Staunton, Steinitz and Tarrasch, but we are particularly interested in elegant chess motifs, and not only the graves of well-known players.’
Walter B. Hart (Burra Creek, Australia) writes:
‘Pillsbury’s gravestone (in four-sided obelisk form) can be viewed at the ‘Find A Grave’ website. Only two sides are visible in the photograph supplied, with one side inscribed Harry N. Pillsbury 1872-1906 and the other with three names and dates which seem to read: Edwin B. Pillsbury 1860?-1941; his wife M. Eva 1865?-1937; and May F. Pillsbury 1870-1941.’
Michael Negele (Wuppertal, Germany) has sent us a photograph taken by him of the Nimzowitsch-Enevoldsen ‘double grave’ in Copenhagen:
Rob Bijpost (Middenmeer, the Netherlands) sends us a photograph taken by him of Daniël Noteboom’s grave in the public cemetery in Noordwijk:
We recall in this connection the following item on page 239 of the August-September 1933 Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond:
From Norman Pillsbury (Atascadero, CA, USA):
‘I can shed a little light on the inscriptions, based on the 1898 book The Pillsbury Family by David B. Pilsbury and Emily A. Getchell. Page 162 gives the following information:
“Luther B. (Caleb, Caleb), b. 23 Nov. 1832; m. 14 Aug 1863, Mary A. Leath, of Lynnfield, Mass., who d. in Somerville, 20 Nov. 1888, aged 50. Children:i. Edwin B., b. in Hopkinton, N.H., 30 Aug. 1866
ii. Ernest D., b. in Hopkinton, N.H., 19 May 1868
iii. May F., b. in Bridgewater, 15 May 1870
iv. Harry N., b. in Somerville, 5 Dec. 1872.”’
Rob Bijpost writes:
‘The Dutch chess collectors’ group “Motiefgroep Schaken” has issued a 44-page booklet in Dutch with information on about 44 chess graves and illustrated with 39 photographs.
One of the pictures shows the resting-place of the Dutch chessplayer Jacques Davidson, which has a problem engraved on it. It is mate in one. The solution is Kc9 or Kd9; the king goes to heaven, and his rival is mated.
We use the term “chess grave” for any chess-related text or image, so they are not necessarily all graves of famous chessplayers. There must be more chess graves still to be traced, and we should be interested to hear from anyone with information to offer.A small number of copies of the booklet are still available in case any readers of Chess Notes inform you of their interest in acquiring one.’
Tomasz Lissowski (Warsaw) submits two photographs which he took at the Jewish Cemetery, Okopowa str., Warsaw. He reports that there are three graves of Winawer family members: Szymon (shown on the left), his wife, Adela née Kerner (on the right) and their son, Rafał.
Michael Lorenz (Vienna) has discovered information about Adolf Zinkl’s death:
‘At the time of his death on 3 June 1944, at the age of almost 73, Adolf Zinkl was a retired employee of the postal service (Reichspost). His last address, as recorded on his Todfallsaufnahme, was Erdbergstraße 53/2 in Vienna’s third district. He was survived by his widow Rosina Zinkl née Raith (aged 79) and left no children or other relatives.
Zinkl was buried on 9 June 1944 in Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof (group 41/F, row 13, no. 15). The existence of his grave is guaranteed “auf Friedhofsdauer” (i.e. as long as the cemetery exists).’
Jan Kalendovský (Brno, Czech Republic) submits a photograph of Karel Treybal’s gravestone in Prague:
The exact location is Prague 5 – U Smíchovského hřbitova 1, Malvazinky. For information about Treybal’s death (by execution on 2 October 1941) see C.N.s 3729 and 3733.
Michael Lorenz has submitted a photograph which he took at Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof. Grünfeld was buried there on 9 April 1962.
In C.N. 4307 (see above) Michael Negele presented a photograph taken by him of the Nimzowitsch-Enevoldsen ‘double grave’ in Copenhagen.
Phil Bourke (Blayney, NSW, Australia) asks why the two masters share the same resting place.
The matter was discussed on page 11 of Schaakgraven (the booklet mentioned in C.N. 4452 above). That publication relates that Nimzowitsch described Enevoldsen as ‘the hope of Danish chess’ after losing to him in the Copenhagen, 1933 tournament. Enevoldsen died in 1980, and in his will he expressed a wish to be buried alongside Nimzowitsch. The Danish Chess Union, the owner of the plot, acceded.
Per Skjoldager (Fredericia, Denmark) informs us:
‘Enevoldsen’s obituary by Poul Hage in Skakbladet, July 1980, pages 99-102 does not mention the matter, but I have checked the facts with Steen Juul Mortensen, who was the President of the Danish Chess Union in 1980. He confirms that Enevoldsen wanted to be buried alongside Nimzowitsch. His family made a contribution to the fund.
Nimzowitsch, for his part, had no family in Denmark when he died, in 1935. A number of chess friends created a fund to care for his grave, and the fund still exists today, administered by the Danish Chess Union.
As noted by Hage in the above-mentioned obituary in Skakbladet, Enevoldsen was a great admirer of Nimzowitsch, and they became friends in 1933. On page 150 of his autobiography 30 år ved skakbrættet (Copenhagen, 1952) Enevoldsen wrote about his victory over Nimzowitsch at Copenhagen, 1933 (my translation from the Danish):
“As you can imagine, the waves rose high when Nimzowitsch turned over his king. The master removed his glasses and wiped away the perspiration from his brow, stood up and disappeared. From all sides people shook hands with me and slapped me on the back. My elderly mother, who was a spectator that particular day, was as moved as when she became a grandmother ...
A few minutes later Nimzowitsch came back as calm and composed as would be expected. As a good sportsman he offered me his hand and thanked me for the game.
From that day on, he had tremendous respect for my play and never again regarded me with the usual lack of interest. In fact, we began to appreciate each other. Unfortunately, this lasted for only the two years that he had still to live. I am sure that he would have been happy to see the many games that I have played since then in his spirit and in accordance with his principles.”’
The above photograph of Fernando Saavedra’s gravestone has been sent to us by Harrie Grondijs (Rijswijk, the Netherlands). It was among the papers of John Selman, whose son Frank gave it to our correspondent.
Yakov Zusmanovich (Pleasanton, CA, USA) sends this photograph, taken by Irene Ben-Tchavtchavadze, of the grave of Fedor Bohatirchuk:
Luca D’Ambrosio (Bolzano, Italy) informs us that on 2 November 2008 he took two photographs of the grave of Esteban Canal and his wife Anna Klupacs in Cocquio Trevisago, Italy:
Canal’s year of birth is given as 1893, whereas standard reference books (e.g. Chess Personalia and the Dizionario enciclopedico degli scacchi) state that he was born on 19 April 1896, in Chiclayo, Peru.
Our correspondent mentions that doubts as to the facts were expressed by Alvise Zichichi on page 2 of his book Esteban Canal (Brescia, 1991). According to Zichichi, Canal sometimes said in private that he was born before 1896 and in Spain, not Peru. The book also noted Giancarlo dal Verme’s statement in L’Italia Scacchistica, April 1981, pages 106-107, that Canal was born in Santander, Spain of a Spanish mother and a Peruvian father.
Yakov Zusmanovich has sent us, courtesy of Sergei Voronkov, a photograph of David Bronstein’s grave, located in a cemetery (Чижовскоe) in Minsk, Belarus.
The photograph was taken by Bronstein’s widow, Tatiana Boleslavsky, who is the daughter of Isaac Boleslavsky.
Marc Hébert (Charny, Canada) notes on page 192 of the 14/2007 Quarterly for Chess History a reference to ‘Aleksander (actually – Avrohom) Flamberg’ and asks for further information on the forename.
The writer of the article, Tomasz Lissowski (Warsaw), tells us:
‘Flamberg used the “modern” form of his forename, Aleksander, but the inscription on his grave at the Jewish Cemetery, Okopowa Str., Warsaw states that his first name was Avrohom.’
A photograph has been supplied by Mr Lissowski:
From Avital Pilpel (Haifa, Israel):
‘Flamberg, like many European Jews, had two forenames – one “Jewish” (Avrohom) and one “Gentile” (Aleksander). The point of such double names (usually beginning with the same letter) was to make assimilation easier. One would use the Jewish name within the Jewish community, especially for religious purposes, and the Gentile one within the larger, Gentile world.
The Hebrew on the gravestone says:“Here is buried
The bachelor Avrohom Alexander
Son of David Flamberg
Died on the tenth of the month of Shvat 5686
Aged 45 years
[mourned by] His parents and sisters.”
Avrohom, Avraham, Abraham, etc. are all variant spellings (or pronunciations) of the same Hebrew name אברהם – i.e. the name of the biblical patriarch.’
From Luca D’Ambrosio (Bolzano, Italy):
‘Standard reference works, such as Gaige’s Chess Personalia (page 163) and Chicco and Porreca’s Dizionario enciclopedico degli scacchi (page 266), give 9 January 1884 and Bolzano/Bozen as the date and place of Daniel Harrwitz’s death.
In July 2009 I checked the Totenbuch Number 12, 1884-1895 (Dompfarre M. Himmelfahrt, Bozen), page 1. It reported that Harrwitz died at 5 a.m. on 2 January 1884, at the age of 63, the cause of death being “lung paralysis” (“Lungenlähmung”). Under “Religion” it was stated “Israelit”, and his last address was “Zollstange 173” in Bolzano.
Following on from this information, I managed to find Harrwitz’s grave in the Jewish Cemetery in Bolzano. My photographs were taken on 17 July 2009, with the kind permission of the Jewish Community of Meran/Merano.
The gravestone has the following inscription:“Hier ruhet
unser guter Bruder u. Onkel
geb. in Breslau d. 22.2.1821
gest. in Bozen d. 2.1.1884.”
The death-date on the gravestone is the same as that given in the Totenbuch. Any remaining doubts about its correctness are removed by verification of what was published on page 4 of the Bozner Zeitung of 4 January 1884:“Verstorbene im Bezirke Bozen.
2. Jänner. Dr. Harwitz [sic], led. Professor aus Breslau, 63 J. alt, an Lungenlähmung.”
It is therefore certain that his widely-reported date of death, 9 January 1884, is wrong.
Now I turn to his date of birth. The Totenbuch and the gravestone are significantly at variance with the information commonly given in such works as those by Gaige and Chicco/Porreca referred to above, i.e. 29 April 1823, in Breslau. The day, month and year are all different from what appears on the gravestone (22 February 1821). If the gravestone and the Totenbuch are correct, Harrwitz was born over two years earlier than was previously believed, and he died at the age of nearly 63.
The inscription on the gravestone indicates that Harrwitz was survived by relatives (“unser guter Bruder und Onkel”), which to me is a strong argument in favour of the correctness of the gravestone date.
It would be interesting to know whether any documentation in Breslau/Wrocław (Poland) confirms the birth-date on the gravestone.
For assistance with my research I should like to thank Pater Plazidus (Benediktinerkloster Muri-Gries, Bolzano/Bozen), Mrs Streiter (Dompfarre Maria Himmelfahrt, Bolzano/Bozen) and the Jewish Community of Merano/Meran.’
Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) sends us, courtesy of Peter Michael Braunwarth (Vienna), photographs of Adolf Zinkl’s grave in the Zentralfriedhof Wien (door 2, group 41F, row 13, number 15):
Yakov Zusmanovich (Pleasanton, CA, USA) sends us, courtesy of Denis Shabalin and Sergei Voronkov, a photograph of Salo Flohr’s grave at the Vagankovo Cemetery in Moscow, shared with his second wife, Tatiana Flohr-Esenina:
This photograph, taken by Miloslav Salomounek, has been sent to us by Jan Kalendovský:
We have also received a photograph from Stanislav Vlček (Bratislava, Slovakia):
The location is the Jewish part of the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna (Section T1, Group 51, Row 5, Grave 34), and Mr Kalendovský draws attention to an article about Réti’s grave.
Regarding Walter Grimshaw, see C.N. 7271.
Alexander Rietema (Fort Lee, NJ, USA) has forwarded some photographs, which he took in late September/early October 2006, of the graves of Steinitz (Brooklyn, NY) and Lasker (Queens, NY):
It will be noted that the year of birth is incorrect.
Photographs of the grave of Henry Michael Temple, the inventor of Kriegspiel, were shown in C.N. 9727.
Jan Hessel (Rättvik, Sweden) reports that earlier this month he took these photographs in the Žale cemetery in Ljubljana:
To the Chess Notes main page.
To the Archives for other feature articles.
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.