david Markelowicz Janowski
By Bill Wall
david (David) Markelowicz Janowski (pronounced yanofsky) was born in Wolkowysk, Russian Empire (now Belarus) on June 7, 1868. He learned to play chess as a child but did not make a serious study of the game until about 1886.
He moved to Paris in 1890 and began to play in chess matches and tournaments.
In 1891, Janowski defeated Stanislaus Sittenfeld in a match held in Paris, winning 3, drawing 1, and losing 1.
In 1892, he took 2nd place, behind Alphonse Goetz, at the Café de la Regance championship in Paris.
In 1894 at age 26, he became a professional chess player.
In November 1894, he played in the 9th German Chess Federation in Leipzig and took 6th-7th place. The event was won by Siegbert Tarrasch.
In 1902, he succeeded S. Rosenthal as chess editor of “Le Monde Illustre.”
Janowski was playing in Mannheim in 1914 when World War I broke out. After a short internment he was allowed to travel to Geneva, Switzerland. The Russian consul issued him a passport, and in December 1915 he went to the USA. He stayed in New York for nine years before returning to Paris.
In 1921, he won the Atlantic City Masters Tournament.
In December 1926 he travelled to Hyeres, France to play in a chess tournament, but died of tuberculosis on January 15, 1927, a night before he was to start play in the tournament. He was 59.
A fund was raised to meet his funeral expenses. He died in poverty.
Janowski may have peaked to an ELO rating of 2600 in 1905 and has an ELO historical rating of 2570.
Janowski was an addicted gambler. At a tournament in Monte Carlo, he gave all his money to a friend and made him promise not to return the money until after the chess tournament. However, the lure of gambling was too much and he asked his friend to return his money to go gambling. His friend refused. Janowski later sued his friend over the incident.
Janowski had a chess patron, the Dutch painter Leo Nardus, who supported him in chess for many years. One day Nardus suggested an alternate move during a postmortem of one of Janowski's games. Janowski called Nardus an idiot in front of a crowd of people. Nardus never gave Janowski any financial support after that.
tournaments: Place wins draws losses
Vienna 1898 3rd 22 07 07
London 1899 2nd 15 04 07
Monte Carlo 1901 1st 10 03 02
Vienna 1902 1st
Monte Carlo 1902 3rd 14 04 04
Hanover 1902 1st 11 05 01 (German champion)
Cambridge Springs 1904 2nd 10 02 03
Ostend 1905 2nd 15 06 05
Barmen 1905 1st 09 03 03
Em Lasker May 1909 drew 02 00 02
Em Lasker Oct 1909 lost 01 02 07
Em Lasker 1910 lost 00 03 08 (World Ch Match, Berlin)
Janowski once said, “I detest the endgame. A well-played game should be practically decided in the middlegame.”
Janowski was famous for his complaints which served as alibis when he lost. At one tournament every one of his requests was granted and for the first he had nothing to complain about. When he lost the tournament he said, "You have deprived me of any alibi. How did you expect me to play good chess?"
Ettlinger - Janowski, New York 1898
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nxe5 dxe4 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.Nxf7 Qe7 8.Nxh8 Nd4 9.Qd1 Nf3+ 10.Ke2 Bg4 11.h3 Nd4+ 12.Ke1 Bxd1 0-1