Rosanes v Anderssen, Breslau, 1863

Edward Winter



Adolf Anderssen

From Fabrizio Zavatarelli (Milan, Italy):

‘Well-known classics can be surprisingly mysterious. A particular case is the game between J. Rosanes and A. Anderssen (Breslau, 1863), which seems to have appeared in books before it was published in magazines:

1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 h4 g4 5 Ne5 Nf6 6 Bc4 d5 7 exd5 Bd6 8 d4 Nh5 9 Bb5+ c6 10 dxc6 bxc6 11 Nxc6 Nxc6 12 Bxc6+ Kf8 13 Bxa8 Ng3 14 Rh2 Bf5 15 Bd5 Kg7 16 Nc3 Re8+ 17 Kf2 Qb6 18 Na4 Qa6 19 Nc3 Be5 20 a4


20...Qf1+ 21 Qxf1 Bxd4+ 22 Be3 Rxe3 23 Kg1 Re1 mate.

The essential information came out in at least two stages. As far as I know, the game’s first appearance is on pages 717-718 of Dufresne’s Theoretisch-praktisches Handbuch des Schachspiels (Berlin, 1863) with no occasion mentioned and “Mises” named as White:



Rosanes” and “Breslau, 1863” were later additions, and the first instance that I have found is on page 106 of J.G. Schultz’s Undervisning i schackspelet (Stockholm, 1869).

Both “Rosanes” and the occasion also appear on page 495 of Dufresne and Zukertort’s Grosses Schach-Handbuch, (second edition, Berlin, 1873). I wonder whether the game is also present in the first edition, which was published in 1863 with only Dufresne named as author, as listed by van der Linde in volume two of his Geschichte und Litteratur des Schachspiels (Berlin, 1874), page 23.

Can a more precise date for the game be found? Why was White identified as “Mises” (probably Samuel Mieses) at first? Today, can we be sure that Anderssen’s opponent was Rosanes? Is there a documented explanation as to why the game appeared in books but not in the Deutsche Schachzeitung or the Neue Berliner Schachzeitung?’


Jerry Spinrad (Nashville, TN, USA) mentions an earlier (i.e. pre-1869) appearance of Rosanes’s name in connection with the Anderssen game: the New York Albion of 23 June 1866. The reference in note (a) ‘According to Anderssen’s Analysis ...’ may be a significant clue.

Among the nineteenth-century books which identified White as (Samuel) Mieses we were particularly interested to note Chess Exemplified by William John Greenwell (London, 1890) because of a comment on page 41:


So now, not only Rosanes and Mieses but a third name, Minckwitz. The book referred to is Chess Openings, Ancient and Modern by E. Freeborough and C.E. Ranken (London, 1889), and the relevant page is shown below, courtesy of Michael Clapham (Ipswich, England):


From the second edition onwards, Anderssen’s opponent was named as Mieses. For example, below is page 180 of the fourth edition (London, 1910):



From Peter Anderberg (Harmstorf, Germany):

‘The first publication of Anderssen’s win was probably on page 366 of Dufresne’s column in Ueber Land und Meer in March 1863:



Anderssen himself contributed a section to Dufresne’s Anthologie der Schachaufgaben (published in 1864 according to the title page, and with a preface dated September 1863) under the title “Analytische Glossen zu verschiedenen Eröffnungen mit Belegen aus wirklich gespielten Partieen” (pages 186-204).

rosanes anderssen

rosanes anderssen

On pages 197-199 Anderssen gave the score of the game in question, but not his opponent’s name. The following comes from the bottom of page 198:

“die hier zunächst eingeschaltete Partie, in welcher der Verfasser im Kampfe mit dem nämlichen Gegner, wie in der zuvor mitgetheilten, wiederum die Vertheidigung leitete ...”

rosanes anderssen

This refers to another game, on page 193, where Anderssen called his opponent “einen Matador des akademischen Schachzirkels zu Breslau”. (The academic chess club was mentioned on page 68 of the January 1861 Deutsche Schachzeitung, where S. Mieses and Rosanes were named as members of the board.)

The first appearance of Rosanes’s name in connection with the game seems to be in G.R. Neumann’s Leitfaden für Anfänger im Schachspiel. The book was published in Berlin in 1865 according to the title page but had already been mentioned on page 304 of the Neue Berliner Schachzeitung, October 1864. The score was given on pages 64-65 under the heading “Rosanes-Anderssen”.

rosanes anderssen

Neumann confirmed this in the Neue Berliner Schachzeitung, October 1865, page 319, with an explanation of Dufresne’s mistake.

rosanes anderssen

In short, there is no doubt that Rosanes was Anderssen’s opponent.’


Latest update: 25 May 2022.

To the Chess Notes main page.

To the Archives for other feature articles.

Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.