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The Polish Heritage Society

Unveiling of a plaque in memory of Jan Herman Zukertort (Cukiertort), at the Divan Bar, Simpson's-in-the-Strand, London—23 August 2012

 

Zukertort-playing-chessOn Thursday, August 23rd a plaque in memory of Jan Herman Zukertort, (1842-1888) the greatest Polish Chess Grandmaster of the 19th Century was unveiled at  the Divan Bar, Simpson's-in-the-Strand, London at a ceremony attended by members of The Polish Heritage Society UK in partnership with The Polish Cultural Institute, the English Chess Federation and the Polish Chess Association.

Zukertort was born in Lublin in 1842. His Mother was Baroness Krzyzanowska and his Father was a Christian (Lutheran) Missionary. As the Tsarists would not allow his Father to carry out Polish Christianity conversions, the family emigrated to Breslau (Wroclaw) in 1855 where Zukertort went to school and subsequently to the University where he studied medicine. He did not practice medicine but started playing chess permanently, initially in Berlin and then subsequently in London where he emigrated in 1872.
 
Zukertort is considered today as one of the greatest chess players of all time. He won numerous tournaments and was runner-up in the first World Championship in 1876. The “Zukertort Opening” is considered today to be one of the standard chess starters. He is also famous for Blindfold Chess which he achieved in 1876 (16 Blindfold games), a world record which lasted 24 years. Many books have been written about his style and his games, and there is a chess club in Amsterdam which was set up in his honour in 1884 and is still very popular today (Zukertort-Amstelveen Chess Club). Lord Randolph Churchill (father of Winston Churchill) was one of his pupils. 

 

 

Zukertort Memorial Plaque

 
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Presented by The Polish Heritage Society to
Simpson’s Divan Bar in commemoration of
the greatest Polish Chess Grandmaster
Jan Herman Zukertort, a regular at Divan Bar
 
He won the prestigious 1883
London Chess Tournament winning a record  22 out of 26 games,
beating most of the world’s leading grandmasters including
Steinitz, Blackburne and Chigorin.
————————— ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ————————

 This plaque was designed and personally funded by Marek Rencki, Director of the Polish Heritage Society.


PHS_logo_subheadPlaque unveiling