Tarrasch, Siegbert

BORN 5 Mar 1862, Breslau (now: Wroclaw) - DIED 17 Feb 1934, München, Bayern
GRAVE LOCATION München, Bayern: Nordfriedhof, Ungererstrasse 130 (128-3-73)

Siebert Tarrasch was born in Breslau, the home town of the chess players Anderssen (whom he met once) and Zukertort. The young Siegbert learned to play chess when he was 15 years old. He studied chess and medicine at the same time and moved to Berlin in 1880 for further studies. His free time he spent playing chess in cafes.

In 1883 he became a chess master after he won the Haupttournier at Nürnberg. He had finished his studies by 1885 and was a medical doctor now. He also did well in the chess tournament at Hamburg that year. Tarrasch started winning tournaments and became German champion in 1890. In the winter of 1890/1891 he was even offered a match for the world championship against Steinitz by the Havana Chess Club. He refused because of his medical practice, but it's also possible that he didn't want to travel to Cuba. Lasker took his place, won and would be world champion for 27 years.

Tarrasch kept playing in tournaments, but he gradually changed his focus to writing chess books. In 1908 he did play a match against Lasker for the world championship in Düsseldorf and Munich, but he lost.

During the First World War he lost three sons (He had five children from his first marriage). In 1928 he played his last tournament in Berlin, where he had to withdraw due to an illness. During the last years of his life he lived in Munich, where he witnessed the rise of the nazis. He was a Jew himself and tried to assimilate as good as possible, misunderstanding the intentions of the nazis.

He died in Munich and was buried there. His grave at the Nordfriedhof was only rediscovered in recent years and a new stone was placed there.


The grave of Siegbert Tarrasch at the Nordfriedhof, Munich.
Picture by Androom (26 Aug 2003)


The grave of Siegbert Tarrasch at the Nordfriedhof, Munich.
Picture by Androom (26 Aug 2003)


• Scheibmayr, Erich, Wer? Wann? Wo?, Persönlichkeiten in Münchner Friedhöfen, Verlag Erich Scheibmayr, München, 1989
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909

Tasnady, Maria von

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 15 Jan 2023