Kohn Stanisław

Stanisław Kohn - Personal data
Date of birth: 1895
Place of birth: Warszawa
Date of death: 1940
Place of death: Palmiry
Related towns: Warsaw, Palmiry

Kohn Stanisław (1895 Warsaw - 1940, Palmiry) - doctor, chess player

Stanisław Kohn was born in Warsaw's Praga district, but in 1901 he moved to left-bank Warsaw with his parents and two brothers. He was a sickly child, so learning at home was very slow. It was only at the age of 11 that he entered the 3rd Russian Philological Gymnasium in Warsaw, which was located at 3 Krakowskie Przedmieście. Today it houses the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Warsaw. It was a men's school and Kohn attended it for over 9 years. In 1915, he passed his matriculation examination and was admitted to the Medical Faculty of the University of Warsaw.

Unfortunately, the military operations thwarted his educational plans, because in August 1915, German troops entered Warsaw, and the Kohn family followed the Russian army to the east as far as Ekaterinoslavia on the Dnieper (now Dnipro). It was there that 20-year-old Stanisław made his debut in the chess tournament arena and actively participated in the activities of the local chess club.

In 1918, the Kohn family returned to Poland and Stanisław began his medical studies, which he graduated in 1927 as "doctor of all medical sciences". Simultaneously with medical studies, he also studied pedagogy and during the war with the Bolsheviks he served in the sanitary corps at the front.

Most likely, in 1919, he joined the Warsaw Chess Society, and at the same time was a member of the Academic Chess Association.At the turn of 1921 and 1922, he won the title of the academic champion of Warsaw, defeating Karol Piltz 3:1 in the game deciding on the title.

Soon after, Kohn represented the University of Warsaw in a winning match against the University of Technology. The press emphasized the "intuitive momentum" of his game. Kohn also took part in the victorious match between Warsaw and Łódź, and in March 1923 he shared the second prize in the WTZGSz tournament. In the same year, he triumphed in the qualifying rounds for the Paris Chess Olympiad in Warsaw, scoring 10 points in 11 games. Unfortunately, in Paris he was not so successful and ended up in the third ten of the tournament table.

After returning to Warsaw, he won the WTZGSz tournament, beating all the leading chess players in the capital. This gave him promotion to the 1st Polish Championships in 1926, which took place in Warsaw. Stanisław Kohn took the third and seventh place in them. Only Dawid Przepiórka and Paulin Frydman were ahead of him. At the same time, he started to edit the chess section of "Nowy Przegląd”, collaborated with "Świat Szachowy”, and even briefly hosted chess broadcasts on Polish Radio.

In 1927, he fared slightly worse in the 2nd Polish Championships in Łódź (split 5th-7th place), but soon afterwards he won the "tournament of four" organized in Warsaw by WTZGSz. Among the defeated were Akiba Rubinstein and Ksawery Tartakower, two of the strongest Polish players of that period. In the following years, however, he played chess only sporadically, mainly giving simultaneous shows. It was related to the medical work he performed in the provinces. Kohn then lived successively in Łowicz, Kolno, Pułtusk, Mława and in Eastern Lesser Poland, among others in Borysław.

In the early 1930s, he took 3rd-5th place in the tournament in Sopot, and then won the side Olympic tournament in Prague. Unfortunately, he never played in the Olympic team. In 1928 he was to play on the fourth board, but others competed in the end, in 1931 he only played in the above-mentioned individual side tournament. In 1933 he resigned from the qualifying round, and during the Warsaw Olympics in 1935 he was the competition doctor.

In turn, in 1936 he could take part in the Munich Olympics, but, like Isaac Appel, Jakub Kolski and Achilles, Frydman refused to participate in the event organized by the Nazis and, as a sign of protest, skipped these games maintaining complete silence in the chess column he edited in "Nasz Przegląd ".

He returned to Warsaw in the mid-1930s. In 1935 he played in the Polish championship, but had to withdraw from the tournament due to illness. The last time he played in the WTZGSz championship in 1939, he was promoted to the championship of the capital city. Unfortunately, the tournament scheduled for autumn did not take place due to the war.

After the outbreak of the war, Stanisława Kohn remained in Warsaw. He was arrested in January 1940 in the Kwieciński chess cafe. During his detention, the Germans beat him for not having a Jewish armband. One of them broke Kohn's arm. Over 30 detained players were taken to prison on Daniłowiczowska Street. Here, thanks to bribing the guards, chess was smuggled in and a tournament for the "Daniłowiczowska" prison championship was organized. The Polish players were released after a few days, so only the masters of the royal game of Jewish descent ended the tournament. To this day, it cannot be fully decided whether the competition was won by Mojżesz Łowcki or Dr. Stanisław Kohn. Unfortunately, they were all murdered by the Germans in Palmiry near Warsaw between January and March 1940.

Stefan Gawlikowski



  • Wolsza T., Słownik biograficzny szachistów polskich 4, Warsaw 2003
  • Gawlikowski S. Arcymistrzowie, Warsaw 2016
  • Dudziński P., Szachy wojenne 1939-1945, Ostrów Wielkopolski 2013
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