THE LIFE AND CHESS OF PAUL MORPHY                                                                                                                                       DANIEL HARRWITZ






Daniel  Harrwitz

Daniel Harrwitz was born in Breslau, Germany (which is now Wroclaw, Poland )  on April 29, 1823 - just 5 years after Herr Anderssen, another Breslau native. When he was 22, he moved to Paris and became a regular at the Café de la Régence where he secured a good reputation as a chess player, particularly as a blindfold player. Then in 1846 he and Lionel Kieseritzky moved together to London.

He was able to arrange a match with Howard Staunton, then the recognized champion of England. The terms called for 21 game, not counting draws, in three separate sections of 7 games each. The first 7 were played at Pawn & two; the next 7 were played at Pawn & one; and the final 7 were played on even terms. As strange as the match term might seem, the results were even stranger. Staunton won the first section (Pawn & two) 4-3; Harrwitz won the second section (Pawn & one) 6-1; and Staunton won the final (even) section 7-0.

Clearly, Staunton was the superior player at this time, but Staunton was at the height of his career while Harrwitz was really just beginning his.

In 1848 Harrwitz returned the Breslau for a visit. He played a relatively unknown chess problemist named Adolf Anderssen. The match called for the best out of eleven but when it reached 5 -5, they mutually agreed to end it.

Since Anderssen was invited to the London 1851 tournament partly based on his draw with Harrwitz, it seems evident that Harrwitz was generally considered a very strong player at this time, despite his loss to Staunton. Harrwitz , for some reason, didn't play in that tournament. It may have been the because the tournament was sponsored by the St. George Chess Club, Howard Staunton's club, that club rivalry influenced Harrwitz's decision not to participate.

But the next year, 1852, Harrwitz played two matches against one of the strongest London players, Elijah Williams. The terms of both matches dictated the winner would be the first to score 7 wins and in the second match it required that every game had to begin with 1.e4. Held at the London Chess Club, the club offered a prize of which three-fourths went to the winner and one-fourth went to the loser. Harrwitz beat Williams 7-0 in the first match. The second match spanned 1852-53 and Harrwitz won that one 7-2. It was during the second match that Harrwitz took a job as editor of the British Chess Review.

1853 proved to be an interesting year for Harrwitz. Johann Löwenthal challenged him to a match. But part of Löwenthal's terms for the match sought the games to be public property. Harrwitz wouldn't agree to those terms and the negotiations ceased. Then Harrwitz challenged Staunton to a match. Staunton declined the offer in such a way as to publicly humiliate Harrwitz. This started a war of sorts in their respective chess columns. Meanwhile Löwenthal, who also received some scars from Harrwitz's  pen, came to terms with Harrwitz and their match commenced. The match with Löwenthal featured one of the greatest come-backs in chess history. The match terms declared the winner as the first side to win 11 games, draws not counting and that the moves were to be timed, allowing a maximum of 20 minutes per move - either player exceeding the 20 minutes would be fined 10 shillings for each 10 minute block.. Löwenthal lost the first 2, but after 9 conclusive games, the score stood 7-2 in Löwenthal's favor. Harrwitz took off for Brighton for a few days, citing poor health, but forfeited two more games in doing so. Now the score stood at 9-2 in favor of Löwenthal. The rest must have done Harrwitz a world of good since, after he returned, in the 19 games that followed, Harrwitz scored 9 wins to Löwenthal's 1, winning the match 11-10. Also in 1853 Harrwitz beat Joséf Szén in a small match 3-1-1. Staunton continued to refuse to play Harrwitz, but in all likelihood, Harrwitz was London's strongest player.

In 1856 Harrwitz moved to Paris and settled in as the club professional at the Café de la Régence. He beat Jules Arnous De Rivičre in a match 5-2. Then came Morphy who seemed to have been Harrwitz's bad luck charm. After losing to Morphy, during which match Morphy gave his blindfold exhibition at the Café de la Régence, Harrwitz, also a noted blindfold player, attempted his own blindfold simul. His opponents were either very weak or the games were rigged and the entire affair was an utter failure.

In 1860, he lost a match to Ignaz Kolisch.

His treatment of Morphy eventually cost Harrwitz his place at the Café de la Régence.

Harrwitz retired to Bozen, Tyrol, in the Austrian Alps, living off his inheritance until he died in 1884.

G. A. MacDonnell's characterization of Harrwitz
Frederick Edge's impression of Harrwitz




Harrwitz vs. Anderssen, Breslau 1848