Łowcki Mojżesz

Mojżesz Łowcki - Personal data
Date of birth: 1881
Place of birth: Kijów
Date of death: 1940
Place of death: Palmiry
Occupation: chess player
Related towns: Kiev, Palmiry, Warsaw

Łowcki Mojżesz (1881 – 1940 Palmiry) – chess player

Łowcki spent his childhood and school years in Kiev. Here he graduated from gymnasium and began his studies at the university. He also made his debut here in 1903 at the 3rd All-Russian tournament, which was played in his hometown. Akiba Rubinstein and Henryk Salwe made their debuts there with Łowcki. Łowcki fared perfectly, he took 6th-7th place among 19 contestants, and in direct games he defeated, among others, Rubinstein and Fyodor Duz-Chotimirski.

Shortly after this tournament, at the age of 22, Łowcki left for Germany, where he resumed his interrupted studies. However, he did not give up chess, but only played in amateur tournaments. A series of successes (2nd place in Koburg in 1904, 2nd place in Hamburg in 1910, 1st-3rd place in Leipzig in the same year, 1st place in Cologne in 1911 brought him the championship title and the right to start in the strongest chess tournaments in Europe.

Before World War I, Łowcki had varied results in the toughest tournaments. In addition to poor performances in 1912 in Piszczany (12th place out of 18 contenders) and Wrocław (16th place out of 18), there were also successes - mainly the fourth place in the all-Russian tournament in St. Petersburg in 1914, the winners of which were Alexander Alekhin and Aron Nimzowitsch.

From 1913, Mojżesz Łowcki lived in Warsaw and represented the Warsaw Chess Society. Twice during the war (1916 and 1917) he participated in the club championship, and in 1916 he shared the first place with Akiba Rubinstein, who was then considered the greatest competitor of the world champion Emanuel Lasker. In the play-off match, Łowcki lost 2.5: 0.5 to Rubinstein. A year later, he won the second place - only second to Rubinstein.

In the fall of 1919, in the independent Republic of Poland, Łowcki appeared in another WTZGSz tournament and suffered a painful defeat, taking the last place. However, he was overtaken by players with a very high reputation, including Akiba Rubinstein, Dawid Przepiórka, and Aleksander Flamberg.

In the 1920s, Łowcki played for the club in matches with the Lodz Society of Chess Supporters. He also played two matches - with he tied Dawid Daniuszewski 3:3, and he won with Aleksander Flamberg 4.5:3.5. The crowning achievement of the series of good starts was the performance in the 1st Polish Championships, which took place in Warsaw in 1926. Łowcki shared the 3rd-7th prize. Only Dawid Przepiórka and Paulin Frydman were ahead of him. The only game the newly created Polish champion lost was to Łowcki. Unfortunately, a year later, in the next Polish championships played in Łódź, Łowcki only took 12th place. In 1932, Łowcki won the 2nd-3rd prize in the Warsaw championship and then withdrew from the tournament for a few years. He played "for stakes" in the club, gave simultaneous shows and played "blind" games.

Łowcki's appearances in the 1920s were commented on by Dawid Przepiórka:

"It is a pity that such a great chess player as Łowcki has not had the opportunity to participate in great international tournaments since the war”.

Another tournament start of Łowcki took place in 1937, at the 4th Polish Championships in Jurata. Ksawery Tartakower securely won the title, while Łowcki only took the 18th place. His next start was to be the Warsaw championship in 1939, but due to the outbreak of the war, the tournament did not take place.
After September 1939, Łowcki continued to live in Warsaw and played chess in Leżański and Kwieciński's cafés. In the latter, at the beginning of January, he was arrested together with about 30 chess players, including a few more of Jewish origin – Dawid Przepiórka, Dr. Stanisław Kohn, Achilles Frydman, and Henryk Młynek.

The arrested were transported to the prison on Daniłowiczowska Street. In prison, chess players gave Polish guards a bribe, thanks to which they got their hands on several sets of chess and organized a tournament for the prison championship. Looking at the starting list, one can risk a statement that the Olympic team composed of prisoners from Daniłowiczowska could fight any Olympic team in the world. During the tournament, Poles were released from prison, while the Jews remained and finished the tournament.

Mojżesz Łowcki became Daniłowiczowska's prison champion (some sources indicate it was Dr. Stanisław Kohn). A few weeks after the tournament ended, all Jewish participants were murdered in Palmiry near Warsaw.

Stefan Gawlikowski

Bibliography

• Wolsza T., Słownik biograficzny szachistów polskich t. 2, Warsaw 1996
• Gawlikowski S., 100 zwycięstw polskich szachistów, Warsaw 1997
• Gawlikowski S., Arcymistrzowie. Złota era polskich szachów, Warsaw 2016
• Dudziński P., Szachy wojenne 1939-1945, Ostrów Wielkopolski 2013

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