Aron Nimzowitsch

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Aron Nimzowitsch or Aron Isaevich Nimtsovich (Latvian: Ārons Ņimcovičs, Russian: Аро́н Иса́евич Нимцо́вич; born Aron Niemzowitsch[2] and also known as Aaron Nimzovich) (7 November 1886 – 16 March 1935) was a Latvian-born Danish unofficial chess grandmaster[1] and a very influential chess writer. He was the foremost figure amongst the hypermoderns.



Born in Riga in Livonia, then part of the Russian empire, the Jewish German-speaking Nimzowitsch came from a wealthy family, where he learned chess from his father, who was a merchant. In 1904, he traveled to Berlin to study philosophy, but set aside his studies soon and began a career as a professional chess player that same year. He won his first international tournament at Munich 1906.[3] Then, he tied for first with Alexander Alekhine at St. Petersburg 1913/14 (the eighth All-Russian Masters' Tournament).

During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Nimzowitsch was in the Baltic war zone. He escaped being drafted into one of the armies by feigning madness, insisting that a fly was on his head. He then escaped to Berlin, and gave his first name as Arnold, possibly to avoid anti-Semitic persecution.[4]

Nimzowitsch eventually moved to Copenhagen in 1922[5], which coincided with his rise to the world chess elite, where he lived for the rest of his life in one small rented room.[6] In Copenhagen, he won twice Nordic Chess Championship in 1924 and 1934. He obtained Danish citizenship and lived in Denmark, until his death in 1935. Although he had long suffered from heart trouble, his early death was unexpected, taken ill suddenly at the end of 1934, he lay bedridden for three months before dying of pneumonia.[7] He is buried in Bispebjerg Cemetery in Copenhagen.

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