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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Rothschilds and Chess

     Jacqueline Piatigorsky (November 6, 1911 – July 15, 2012), the French-born American chess and tennis player, author, sculptor, philanthropist, and arts patron, was a member of the Rothschild banking family of France. 
     The Rothschild family is a wealthy family descending from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a court Jew to the German Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel, in Frankfurt, who established his banking business in the 1760s. Unlike most previous court Jews, Rothschild managed to bequeath his wealth and established an international banking family through his five sons, who established themselves in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Naples. 
     During the 19th century, the Rothschild family possessed the largest private fortune in the world. The family's wealth was divided among various descendants and today their interests cover a diverse range of fields, including financial services, real estate, mining, energy, farming, wine and charities. The Rothschild family has been the subject of conspiracy theories that claim world governments and economies are secretly controlled by the family. 
     It is not generally known but the Rothschilds were very able chess players. Anselm Meyer Rothschild, the founder of the house, was the strongest player in Frankfort-on-the-Main during his time and it was through his proficiency that he became acquainted with the Prince of Hesse, who during his term of Napoleon entrusted Rothschild with his money.
     Anselm's grandson, Albert Salomon Anselm Freiherr von Rothschild (October 29, 1844 – February 11, 1911) was a banker in Austria-Hungary and a member of the Rothschild banking family of Austria. Businesses that he owned included Creditanstalt and the Northern Railway. 
     Born in Vienna and educated in Vienna and Brno, he was known in the family as "Salbert." On his father's death in 1874, brothers Nathaniel and Ferdinand inherited most of their parents real estate and art collection, but the family business went to Albert, including the S M von Rothschild bank and the shares in the Northern Railway. 
     Albert was a chess patron who helped to finance the Vienna tournaments of 1873, 1882, 1898, 1903 (Gambit) and 1908. He was also President of the Vienna Chess Association 1872-1883 and a strong amateur player.

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