Max Lange (publisher)

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Max Lange

Max Lange (born August 7, 1832 in Magdeburg , † December 8, 1899 in Leipzig ) was a German chess player , publisher , writer and chess official.

Life path

Max Lange studied (in addition to a number of other subjects) law and philosophy and received a doctorate in both subjects. From 1864 he was co-owner of the Otto Spamer publishing house in Leipzig. Lange, who married a daughter of the well-known publisher, later became the sole owner of the publishing bookstore after the death of his father-in-law (1886). After 1891 he lived in Leipzig as a private citizen.

In addition to publishing, Lange was a prolific author. He wrote popular life pictures about Abraham Lincoln (1866) and Kaiser Wilhelm I ("Wilhelm the Great", 1888) and a number of other writings, which mostly dealt with chess topics.

Chess author

As a schoolboy he edited the Magdeburg chess newspaper in 1849 , of which only one year appeared. Another magazine he founded, the Sonntags-Blatt for Chess Friends , was published from January to September 1861 in Leipzig. His textbook on chess saw two editions in 1856 and 1865 and was translated into several languages. He wrote other chess books, including the first biography of the American master Paul Morphy . Three editions and an English translation (1860) of this work were published between 1859 and 1894.

From 1858 on, Max Lange was editor and editor of the Berlin (later German) chess newspaper for several years .

Chess master

In the 1860s he was one of the strongest German chess masters. In 1862 he won the first major German chess tournament in Düsseldorf . He also emerged victorious from the following two West German Chess Federation tournaments in Düsseldorf in 1863 and 1864. In 1868 he won the tournament of the North German Chess Federation in Hamburg and the Aachen Congress of the West German Chess Federation after a playoff with Adolf Anderssen .

Lange was involved in the founding and development of these earliest German chess associations. He repeatedly showed interest in organizational terms (as early as 1848 as a high school student, Lange had founded a chess club in Magdeburg ). From 1894 until his death, Lange was the federal administrator of the German Chess Federation (DSB), founded in 1877 . During his tenure , however , disputes, including with Siegbert Tarrasch , resulted in several clubs leaving the DSB.

He has also enriched the opening theory . In the two-knight game in the aftermath , the involved Max Lange attack is named after him and can be found in all thematic theory books to this day. It arises from the move sequence 1. e2 – e4 e7 – e5 2. Ng1 – f3 Nb8 – c6 3. Bf1 – c4 Ng8 – f6 4. d2 – d4 e5xd4 5. 0–0 Bf8 – c5 6. e4 – e5.

A brilliant combination has gone down in chess history , which was ascribed to a game Langes actually played. The alleged course of the game only "occasionally [in] an analytical investigation between Anderssen (Weiss) and M. Lange (Schwarz) zu Breslau 1859" appeared as a conceivable line, so it arose from an analysis of Anderssen and Lange.


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8th Chess rdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess kdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess rdt45.svg 8th
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5 Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess bdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess rlt45.svg Chess qdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg 5
4th Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess --t45.svg 4th
3 Chess --t45.svg Chess blt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess --t45.svg 3
2 Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess --t45.svg 2
1 Chess rlt45.svg Chess nlt45.svg Chess blt45.svg Chess qlt45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess klt45.svg 1
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After 13.… h7 – h5 !!

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Analysis: Adolf Anderssen and Max Lange, Breslau 1859

1. e2-e4 e7-e5 2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6 3. Bf1-b5 Nc6-d4
The Bird Defense of the Spanish Game
4. Nf3xd4 e5xd4 5. Bb5 – c4 Ng8 – f6 6. e4 – e5 ?! d7 – d5 7. Bc4 – b3 Bc8 – g4 8. f2 – f3 Nf6 – e4!
The bishop may not be captured because of 9 ... Qh4 +. Against Queen's Chess White should now move 9. g3.
9. 0–0 d4 – d3!
Inhibition victim (the runner on c1 is “frozen”) and eviction victim (exposing the diagonal a7 – g1) at the same time.
10. f3xg4?
10. Qe1! would have disproved the combination.
10.… Bf8 – c5 + 11. Kg1 – h1 Ne4 – g3 +!
A standard motif: The h-line is opened under knight sacrifice, after which a heavy piece on this line immediately mates .
12. h2xg3 Qd8-g5
Threatening Dh6 #
13. Rf1 – f5 h7 – h5 !! (see diagram)
After Rf5 averts the checkmate of the queen on h6 (Th5), the rook is switched on in the attack on h8, there is a threat of hxg4 checkmate, which is why the black queen cannot be captured.
14. g4xh5 Qg5xf5 15. g3-g4 Qf5-f2
White can give up, there is no reasonable defense against Qh4 + (16.g3 Qxg3 17. Qf1 (otherwise Qh3 #) Qh4 + 18. Kg2 Qxg4 + including Rxh5 + and mate).

Chess composer

As the author of the “Handbook for Chess Tasks”, Max Lange was also active in the field of chess composition . As a new idea, he developed the auxiliary mat .


Individual evidence

  1. Quoted from E. Winter : Chess Note 3888. An Anderssen loss (CNs 954, 3412 & 3885) (English)


Web links

Wikisource: Max Lange  - Sources and full texts