Saturday, July 20, 2013

Who was Rev. Cohn of Chicago?

Lost to Rabbi Cohn? Credit: wikipedia.

In The Occident, on Nov. 15th, 1860, (p. 6), the Jewish-American newspaper, appears a note that "Rev. Mr. Cohn" was chosen as a Rabbi for the Chicago congregation. This is relevant to Jewish chess since the article continues to note that he is a celebrated chess player who "vanquished the celebrated Paulsen."

The problem is that I can find no game which Paulsen lost to Cohn, nor a tournament (using Jeremy Gaige's Chess Tournament Crosstables) finds any player named "Cohn" who played in America in that time period in strong tournaments.

Is this mere puffing by the newspaper -- e.g., perhaps Cohn once won a game in a simultaneous display or the like -- or was there really a strong player named Cohn from 1860s Chicago? I shall re-check using Gaige's Chess Personalia, but I doubt I will find anything. Does any reader know more?

Edited to add: I checked, and, as expected, found no Cohn or Cohen who could fit the bill in Chess Personalia.

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