Occupations of Chess Players

By Bill Wall

Here are some occupations of some chess masters and well-known chess players.

Accountants and chess masters include Henry Bird (1830-1908), Samuel Reshevsky (1911-1992), and Frederick Yates (1834-1932).Bird also wrote a book entitled An Analysis of Railways in the United Kingdom.Reshevsky graduated from the University of Chicago in 1934 with a degree in accounting and was an accountant for a Manhattan engineering and construction firm.

Chess players who knew how to fly airplanes include Ed Edmundson (1920-1982), Max Euwe (1901-1981), Harry Golombek (1911-1995), and Carol Jarecki (1935- ).Edmondson was an air Force Lieutenant Colonel and a navigator on tanker aircraft.

Samuel Boden (1826-1882) was an art critic and amateur landscape painter.He was also the chess editor of the Field from 1858 until 1873.He started as a railway clerk.

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was a renowned artist and one of the founders of Dadaism, surrealism, and cubism.

Dr. Nathan Divinksy (1925- ) served as assistant dean of science at the University of British Columbia. His wife was the 19th Prime Minister of Canada, Kim Campbell.Divinksy received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and became a mathematics teacher.He is now an alderman on the Vancouver, BC city council.

Gosta Stoltz (1904-1963) was an automobile mechanic as well as Swedish chess grandmaster.

Elliot Winslow (1952) gave up serious chess (he was an International Master) to become a professional backgammon player and poker player.Bill Robertie is another chess player who became a professional backgammon player.Robertie graduated from Harvard and is a systems analyst.

Sir George Thomas (1881-1972) was a professional badminton and tennis player (he once played at Wimbledon).He won the British chess championship twice and the All-England Badminton championship 7 times.In 1911, he played in the semi-finals of the menís tennis double at Wimbledon.

Max Harmonist (1864-1907) was a ballet dancer for the Royal Ballet in Berlin, performing at the Imperial Opera House.

Bankers and chess masters include Bill Addison (1933-2008), Ossip Bernstein (1882-1962), Ignatz Kolisch (1837-1889), Ken Rogoff (1953- ), and Max Weiss (1857-1927).Addison gave up chess (he was an International Master) to work at the Bank of America in San Francisco.Addison was also considered one of the best Go players in the U.S.Bernstein was a financial lawyer and earned a doctorate in Law at Heidelberg in 1906.Kolisch started out as a private secretary of the Russian Prince Urusov, then moved to Vienna and met Albert Rothschild, who got him involved in banking.Kolisch became a millionaire from banking and later became a chess patron.Rogoff served as an economist at the International Monetary Fund and was on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.He is currently a Professor of Economics at Harvard University.Weiss was a banker for the Rothschild bank in Vienna.He also studied mathematics and physics in Vienna and later taught those subjects.

Esther Epstein is a Systems Manager for the Bio-Molecular Engineering Research Center (BMERC) at Boston University.She is a Woman International Master (WIM).She is married to GM Alex Ivanov.

Larry Evans (1932- ) is considered the best blackjack player of any Grandmaster.He is also a journalist.He has written over 50 chess books.

Lothar Schmid (1928- ) is a book publisher.He is the owner of the largest known private chess library and a chess collector.

Boxers include Arnold Denker (1914-2005) and Max Euwe (1901-1981).Denker was aGolden Gloves boxing quarterfinalist in New York and won three Golden Gloves bouts by knockouts in the welterweight division.He was also a promising young baseball player who later got a job at a meat-packing company.Euwe was an amateur boxer and won the amateur heavyweight boxing championship of Europe.

Irina Levitina (1954- ) gave up serious chess and became a professional bridge player.In chess, she was a world championship Candidate and was a Woman Grandmaster.In contract bridge, she has been World champion four times.She ranks 2nd among World Bridge Federation Women Grand Masters in terms of master points.Alekhine was a bridge player, but not a very good one.Emanuel Lasker was also a bridge player and wrote a book on bridge.

Arthur Dake (1910-2000) was director of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).He started out as a merchant seaman.He then sold insurance and telephone directories.

Amos Burn (1848-1925) was a cotton broker and sugar broker from Liverpool.He was a chess journalist and from 1913 until his death, Burn edited the chess column of The Field.

Viacheslav Ragozin (1908-1962) was a civil engineer and had a career in the construction industry.

Arnold Denker was a businessman in the meat packing industry and became a millionaire.

Theo Van Scheltinga (1914-1994) worked as a carpenter at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Jonathan Tisdall (1958- ) is a chef and works as a freelance journalist.

Edmar Mednis (1937-2002) was a chemical engineer, then a stock broker.

British civil servants and chess masters include Oldrich Duras (1882-1957), Wilhelm Hanstein (1811-1850), Stuart Milner-Barry (1906-1995), and Edward Sergeant (1881-1961).

Members of the clergy include Bill Lombardy (1937- ), George MacDonnell (1830-1899), Ruy Lopez (1540-1580), John Owen (1827-1901), Domenico Ponziani (1719-1796), Charles Ranken (1828-1905), Arthur Skipworth (1830-1898), and William Wayte (1829-1898).Lombardy is a former Roman Catholic priest.Ruy Lopez was a Spanish priest and later bishop in Segura.Owen was an English vicar.Ponziani was a law professor and priest who became a canon in the Modena Cathedral, then Vicar General.Ranken was a Church of England clergyman.He and Lord Randolph Churchill (Winston Churchillís father) founded the Oxford University Chess Club.Wayte was a Church of England clergyman.

In his earlier years, Arthur Bisguier was a computer programmer at IBM and gave that up to become a professional chess player.

Klaus Darga works as a computer programmer.

Diane Savereide retired from chess to become a computer programmer for NASA. She is now a software developer in Los Angeles.

Cryptographers included C.H.O'D Alexander, Reuben Fine, Harry Golombek, and Stuart Milner-Barry.

Vincenzo Castaldi was a dentist.

George Koltanowski was a diamond cutter.

Diplomats include Jose Capablanca (Cuba), Max Judd (consul-general in Vienna), James Mortimer, and Tassilo von Lasa (Prussia).

Jaroslav Sajtor worked for the diplomatic service in Czechoslovakia.

Nikola Karaklajic was a disc jockey for Belgrade radio.

Louis Paulsen established a distillery and was a tobacco farmer.

Elijah Williams worked as a druggist.

Economists and chess masters include Igor Bondarevsky, Ivan Farago, Gyozo Forintos, Aivars Gipslis, Yair Kraidman, and Ken Rogoff (chief economist at the world bank).

Electrical engineers and masters include Mikhail Botvinnik and Vladimir Liberzon. John Watson has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

Donald Byrne was an associate professor of English at Penn State.

Grigory Levenfish (1889-1961) was an engineer in the glass industry.He had a degree in chemical engineering.

Julio Granda-Zuniga is a farmer in Peru.

Alexy Troitsky was a forester in Siberia.

Bukhuti Gurgenidze is a geologist.

Johann Berger was an Austrian high school administrator.

Henry Buckle was a British historian and writer.

Insurance salesmen include Al Horowitz, Issac Kashdan, Miguel Najdorf, and William Napier (vice-president of Scranton Life Insurance).

Journalists and chess masters include Lajos Asztalos, Robert Byrne, Emil Diemer, Isaac Kashdan, Lubomir Kavalek, George Koltanowski, Mario Monticelli, Andy Soltis, and Boris Spassky.

Richard Teichmann was a language teacher.

Lawyers and chess masters include Gerald Abrahams, Alexander Alekhine, Rosendo Balinas, Curt von Bardeleben, Ossip Bernstein, Miroslav Filip, Johann Hjartarson, Paul Lipke, Paul Morphy (never practiced), Bill Martz (never practiced and became a car salesman instead), Meindert Niemeijer, Fredrik Olafsson, Julius Perlis, Harold Phillips, Domenico Ponziani, Folke Rogard, Alexander Rueb, James Sherwin, Saviely Tartakower, Karel Treybal (judge), Mijo Udovcic, and Daniel Yanofsky (mayor of a suburb of Winnipeg).

James Tarjan gave up chess to become a librarian.

Carl Ahlhausen was a librarian for the Berlin Chess Association.

I.S. Turover founded a lumber and millwork company and became a millionaire.

Paul Keres was once a professor of mathematics in Tallinn, Estonia.

Mathematicians and chess players include C.H.O'D Alexander, Adolf Anderssen, Magdy Assem, George Atwood, Christoph Bandelow, John Beasley, Otto Blathy, Hans Boumeester, Nathan Divinsky, Noam Elkies, Arpad Elo, Max Euwe, Ed Formanek, William Hartston, Paul Keres, Martin Kreuzer, Emanuel Lasker, Anatoly Lein, Lev Loshinksi, Vladimir Makogonov, Geza Maroczy, Vania Mascioni, J. Mauldon, Jonathan Mestel, Walter Morris, John Nunn, Nick Patterson, Miodrag Petkovic, Ken Regan, Hans-Peter Rehm, Ken Rogoff, and Duncan Suttles.

Mechanical engineers and chess masters include Kotov and Edward Lasker.

Medical doctors and chess masters include Jana Bellin, Fedor Bogatirchuk (also professor of radiological anatomy), Karl Burger, Ricardo Calvo, Yona Kosashvili, Ariel Mengarini (psychiatrist), Joseph Platz, Helmut Pfleger, Christine Rosenfeld, Anthony Saidy (specializing in tuberculosis), Siegbert Tarrasch, and Johannes Zukertort.

Milan Vukcevich was a professor of metallurgy and Chief Engineer at General Electric. He was nominated for the Nobel prize in chemistry.

Lev Aronin was a meteorologist.

Some served in the military. C.H. O'D Alexander was a British Colonel and code breaker. Tartakower was a Lieutenant in the French Underground during World War II. Johann Allgaier was a quartermaster in the Austrian army. Jose Araiza was the Mexican Champion from 1924 to 1949 and was a Lt. Colonel in the Mexican army. Paul Rudolf von Bilguer was an Army Lieutenant.  John Cochrane was a lieutenant in the British navy. Alexander Deschapelles lost his right arm fighting the Prussians. Oldrich Duras served in the Austrio-Hungarian army during World War I. Svetozar Gligoric was considered one of Yugoslavia's best war heroes during World War II. Klaus Junge was a German Lieutenant and was shot and killed during World War II. Grigory Koshnitsky was an anti-tank gunner during World War II. George Mackenzie served as Captain in the Northern Army in the American Civil War. Gavriil Veresov was a Captain in the Russian Army. Eugene Znosko-Borovsky was wounded in the Russo-Japanese war and World War I.

Musicians and chess masters include Armand Blackmar (music professor and music publisher), Hans Johner (director of the Zurich Philharmonic Orchestra), Philidor, Mark Taimanov (concert pianist), Eileen Tranmer, and Eugene Znosko-Borovsky (music critic).

Jean Dufresne was a newspaper editor in Berlin.

Painters include Samuel Boden, Marcel Duchamp, Henry Grob, Bernhard Horwitz.

Irving Chernev was employed in the paper industry.

Several chess masters have Ph.D. (doctorate) degrees. These include Lev Alburt (physics), Alexander Alekhine (law), Lajos Azstalos (philosophy), Gedeon Barcza (mathematics),Friedrich Baumbach (chemistry), Hans Berliner (computer science), Ludwig Bledow (mathematics), Viorel Bologan (physical culture?), Mikhail Botvinnik (electrical engineering), Leroy Dubeck (physics) Arpad Elo (physics), Max Euwe (mathematics), Miroslav Filip (jurisprudence), Reuben Fine (psychology), Robert Huebner (papyrology), Charles Kalme (mathematics), Danny Kopec (Machine Intelligence), Edward Lasker, Emanuel Lasker (mathematics), Neil McKelvie (chemistry), John Nunn (mathematics), Victor Palciauskas (physics), Jonathan Penrose (psychology), Ken Regan (mathematics), Ken Rogoff (economics), Alessandro Salvio, Eric Schiller (linguistics), Paul Schmidt (science), Tartakower (law), Milan Vidmar (electrical engineering), and Milan Vukcevich (chemistry).

Robert Huebner worked as a papyrologist.

Marmaduke Wyvill was a member of parliament in England.

Alexander Kevitz was a pharmacist.

Nick de Firmian (1957- ) has a degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Albert Sandrin was one of the world's best blind chess players. He was also a piano tuner.

Miguel Najdorf was a porcelain importer.

Josef Klinger gave up chess to become a professional poker player.

Ken Smith was a professional poker player.

Martin From was a prisoner inspector.

Reuben Fine, during World War II, was a translator. He gave up chess to become a psychoanalyst.

Nikolai Krogius was a sports psychologist.

Kim Commons was a real estate agent.

Henry Atkins, who won the British championship 9 times was a British schoolmaster.

Howard Staunton was a Shakespeare scholar.

Seaman included Arthur Dake and William Evans (ship captain).

For a time, Grandmaster Simen Agdestein was also a professional soccer player. He now teaches soccer and chess at a sports gymnasium in Norway.

Emil Schallopp was a stenographer.

Ilya Gurevich became a stock exchange options trader.

Ron Henley became a member of the American stock exchange.

Larry Kaufman became a successful stock broker and trader.

John Roycroft was a systems engineer for IBM for 26 years.

Taxi drivers include Victor Frias and Nicolas Rossolimo.

Teachers and chess masters include Adolf Anderssen (math), Gedeon Barcza (math), Ludwig Bledow (math), Donald Byrne (English), Robert Byrne (philosophy), Arpad Elo (physics and astronomy), Max Euwe (math), Paul Keres (math), Lionel Kieseritzky (math), Danny Kopec (computer science), Geza Maroczy (math), Stuart Rachels, Ken Regan (computer science), Ken Rogoff (economics), and Anthony Santasiere.

Vlastimil Hort worked for a general-interest magazine as a translator.

Walter Korn directed the U.N. Relief and Rehabilitation Administration after World War II, helping relocate concentration camp survivors.

Sir Philip Milner-Barry became Under-Secretary of the Treasury in England.

Geza Maroczy was a waterworks engineer.

Fred Reinfeld was a prolific writer.