Johannes Zukertort

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Johannes Zukertort

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Johannes Hermann Zukertort (7 September 1842 – 20 June 1888) was a leading British chess master. He was one of the leading world players for most of the 1870s and 1880s, and lost to Wilhelm Steinitz in the World Chess Championship 1886, generally regarded as the first World Chess Championship match. He was also defeated by Steinitz in 1872 in an unofficial championship; both were the world's best players.

Zukertort filled his relatively short life with a wide range of other achievements as a soldier, musician, linguist, journalist and political activist. He became a naturalised citizen of the United Kingdom in 1878.

Zukertort's win in the London 1883 chess tournament was his most significant success: he won his games against most of the world's leading players, scoring 22/26, and he finished 3 points ahead of Steinitz, who was second with 19/26. This tournament established that Steinitz and Zukertort were clearly the best two players in the world, and led to the World Chess Championship match between these two.

The 1886 World Chess Championship match lasted from 11 January to 29 March 1886. After building up a 4–1 lead Zukertort wilted, lost four of the last five games and lost the match by 12½–7½.

 

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