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Ignatz Kolisch

Country Hungary, Austria
Born 6 April 1837
Pressburg, Austrian Empire (today Bratislava, Slovakia

Baron Ignatz von Kolisch (6 April 1837 - 30 April 1889), also Baron Ignaz von Kolisch (German) or báró Kolisch Ignác (Hungarian), was a merchant, journalist and chess master with Jewish roots.

Kolisch was born into a Jewish family in Pressburg. Both in business and as a chess player he was eminently successful. In his early years he was the private secretary of the Russian Prince Urusov. Later he moved to Vienna and met Albert Salomon von Rothschild in 1868. He became involved in banking and became a millionaire and chess patron, organizing and sponsoring many chess tournaments in the 1870s and 1880s. He founded the Wiener Börse-Syndikatskasse in 1869, and in 1873 established a commission house in Paris; and by prudent management he acquired considerable wealth. In 1881 he received the title of baron from Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.

As a chess player, Kolisch soon became known for his brilliant and aggressive style, but he was not a frequent participant in tournaments. In 1860 he won the first prize at the international tournament held at Cambridge, England. In 1861 he lost a match to Adolf Anderssen, the strongest player of the day, by a score of 5-4. The same year, he drew a match with Louis Paulsen. In 1867 at the Paris tournament he secured first place, defeating both Szymon Winawer and Wilhelm Steinitz.

Kolisch was the founder and editor-in-chief of the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung, to which, under the pseudonym "Ideka", he contributed many feuilletons. The protagonist in the short story "The chessbaron" (A sakkbáró) by Ferenc Móra is based on him. He died of kidney failure in 1889.