Albert Becker (chess player)

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Albert Becker (born September 5, 1896 in Vienna , † May 17, 1984 in Vicente López , Argentina) was an Austrian chess player . From 1926 he was editor of the Wiener Schachzeitung for several years .


Albert Becker got to know the game of chess at an early age in his parents' house - almost simultaneously with reading and writing. He was soon superior to his teachers and he satisfied his hunger for chess by reading chess books. “Little Dufresne ” was his first textbook that he literally devoured. He became so immersed in it that he - to his great astonishment - found errors in the theoretical treatises.

In middle school he found like-minded people with whom he practiced chess extensively. During the drawing lessons, he secretly played on an extremely simple chess board with his bench neighbor. When caught doing this and punished, the regret was so great that he began to gamble blindly . By the time he graduated from high school , he played six blind games at the same time. Without neglecting his studies, he made it to the main tournament strength. His first long-distance tournament also took place during this time.

With the outbreak of World War I , Becker's interest in chess flagged. His years in the military were filled with other worries. It wasn't until 1920 that the old love awoke. Together with friends he founded the German Chess Club Vienna , the first Aryan club, which was soon to become Austria's leading. A time full of chess enthusiasm began for Becker, which he remembered with nostalgia eighteen years later. In 1921 he won tournaments in Linz and Vienna, which brought him the championship title in the latter.

In 1922 Becker faced a difficult decision about his future life. On the one hand, he was attracted by the invitation to the Vienna Chess Congress and, on the other hand, he was about to take his final exam to become a high school teacher. He decided against chess and thus against a career as a professional player, a decision that he later never regretted.

As far as his profession allowed, Becker took part in a series of championship tournaments from 1923 on, in which he was rarely priceless. In 1925 Becker shared first place with Siegfried R. Wolf at the (unofficial) Austrian chess championship . He achieved significant success with second place in Vienna in 1927 and first places in Vienna in 1931, 1932 and 1935. In 1934 he was split first in Linz.

In 1928 he finished 8th at the FIDE Amateur World Championship with 16 participants.

At the chess tournament in Karlsbad in 1929, in view of Vera Menchik's participation, Becker is said to have mockingly proposed to found a “Menchik Club” for those players who lose to her. He himself became the first member of the 'club', which soon became legendary.

First he took in 1931 in Prague at the Chess Olympiad in 1936 in Munich for Austria at the unofficial Chess Olympiad in part. He played in Buenos Aires at the 1939 Chess Olympiad for the great German team and surprisingly won the gold medal with it. Because of the outbreak of war he stayed in Argentina with Eliskases , Engels , Michel and Reinhardt , where he lived until his death. In the mid-1950s he was offered the leadership of the chess column in the Free Press in Buenos Aires. He gave this up in 1973 for health reasons.

In 1953 FIDE awarded him the title of International Master . In January 1933, Becker achieved his highest historical rating of 2651.

Becker's enthusiasm for chess literary work was usually greater than that for chess activity. Since the Teplitz Congress Book in 1922, he worked on a number of chess books, and for around twelve years also on chess newspapers. From 1926 onwards, as the main editor of the Neue Wiener Schachzeitung, he also succeeded in other well-known master players and theorists, such as Dr. To persuade Jacques Hannak (1892–1973) to collaborate on this sheet. He held this office until June 1935. His favorite hobby was an opening card index , which recorded the first 15-18 moves of master games since 1918 on 20,000 sheets. In addition, he devoted himself to problem and correspondence chess at times . In favor of organizational activities, e.g. B. as head of the Vienna Chess Association , he stepped a little shorter in the mid-1930s.

Before the Second World War , Becker earned his living as a professor of linguistics at the University of Vienna .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Entry 3433 on
  2. Summary of the Karlovy Vary tournament 1929 on
  3. German chess newspaper January 1974, p. 28.