Sarah's Chess Journal

         my journal, blog, web log, blog.....about

         The History and The Culture of Chess

Andrei Davidovich Dadiani

ანდრია დადიანი

This page owes it's existence to WilhelmThe2nd  from who not only did most of the research, but provided translations and transcriptions as well as rational interpretations to the historical data.

Chess has been called the "Game of Kings." Throughout time chess has been played by Kings (Alphonse X), Queens (Victoria), Presidents (Jefferson, Lincoln), Dictators (Castro, Stalin) and a vast array of noblemen and titled aristocracy. Of all these privileged players, none displayed the talent and panache for the game as did Prince Dadian of Mingrelia.

Prince Andre Dadian of Mingrelia lived from 1850 to 1910. His chess career, such as it was, began around 1867. While there are only a very limited number of recorded games, several made it into prestigious chess publications and were annotated by such men as Steinitz and Tschigorin. Some of his recorded games teetered on brilliant; some were wild and undaunted; all of them deviously ingenious. Not just a player, Prince Dadian helped sponsor tournaments, most notably in Monte Carlo. Yet rumors and insinuations of irregularities plagued him. Though nothing has ever been proven definitively, he has been accused of creating some of his games, or of having them created, beforehand and paying his opponents to follow the script. Much of the criticism was possibly muted and diffused by the media which was the recipient of Dadian's generosity. But things reached a head at the 1903 tournament at Monte Carlo where Prince Dadian and Mikhail Tschigorin had an altercation.

This page doesn't claim to find the answers to the controversy that surrounded Prince Dadian, but rather to offer some accurate information for a better understanding of one of the most interesting figures in the history of chess.

           A Bit of Background
A little bit of information about the House of Dadiani and the country of Mingrelia.

           Biographies of Prince Dadian
Information on the personal life of Prince Dadian is scant. What little bit that seems to be known about him comes indirectly. Even his public and chess life were poorly recorded and has led to uncertainty and controversy.

         Cast of Characters
In this discussion of Dadian, several names will crop up. For convenience, here is a brief introduction to these main characters, including some biographical material on Tschigorin, Schiffers, Hoffer, Arnous de Rivière, Vasily Panov and Duz-Khotimirsky. 

         The Dadian Controversy
Explores the who, what, where and why of the issues surrounding Dadian.

          Monte Carlo 1903
The event that centered attention on Dadian and for which there is the most information.

          Dadian: A Different Perspective
A Ukrainian article that attempts to put Dadian in proper historical context

         Michael Sicard - Prince Dadian of Mingrelia
         Prince Dadian of Mingrelia/G. Gelbak - Ritzdin Von-Buellov/V. K. Brjeski
         Prince Dadian of Mingrelia - F. Duz-Khotimirsky
Tschigorin Annotates Prince Dadian (from Tschigorin's chess column in the Russian newspaper,  Novoe Vremya )

        Dadian &  Schiffers vs. Lebedev & Yurevich - 1903
Dadian and Schiffers have a falling out

        Dadian of Mingrelia, Prince - Alexander Vladimirovich Solovtsov
Wilhelm Steinitz Annotates (from International Chess Magazine August, 1885; Vol. 1, page 249 )

        Tarrasch & Hoffer vs. Pillsbury & Dadian
Consultation Game Monte Carlo, August 2, 1902        

         Chigorin at the Kiev Tournament of 1903
by M.S. Evenson   

         Memories of Chigorin
by F. Duz-Chotimirsky   

        Tengiz Giorgadze's  "Play Andrey Dadiani"       

         27 Games of Prince Dadian of Mingrelia

My Original Dadian page


Note: The Russian names are given acceptable English transliterations, hopefully consistent throughout except where exact quotes dictate otherwise. Tschigorin is the German spelling of the more common Chigorin.

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