The Old Club (1809 - 1842)
1809 The Chess Club is founded by
Johann Escher (a grocer at St. Peter's Hofstatt),
Sigmund Spöndli (State Treasurer and later State Councilor),
Heinrich Maurer (painter and first club president),
Leonhard Ziegler (paper manufacturer and cultural promoter),
Carl Schulthess (painter and art teacher), and
Heinrich Schulthess (painter).
Portrait: Heinrich Maurer, first president
1814 The "Schwarzengarten", the shearers' and barbers' house at the Stüssihofstatt, is named as the first club house.
1821 A chess board is broken in two on an outing to Wädenswil
1822 The Club competes against the old Winterthur Chess Club at Baltenswil, marking the first ever Swiss club match. Zurich emerges victorious with a score of 41:35 and five draws. Several such competitions follow in the years up to 1826.
1825 At the suggestion of Heinrich Meister, a language teacher at the Lindenhof, the Schachgesellschaft organizes the first ever "Swiss Federal Chess Tournament" in Baden. Plans to use the tournament as a springboard to founding a chess federation fail to materialize.
1828 A correspondence chess game against Winterthur players headed up by landscape painter Emanuel Steiner ends in defeat.
1830 Two young men from Berlin make an appearance at the Chess Club during the traditional «Knabenschiessen» event (boys' shooting competition) and wreak the most dreadful havoc among the Zurich chess players. They turn out to be the soon-to-be-famous players Wilhelm Hanstein and Carl Mayet. "Papa Escher" was urgently drafted in to provide support, but even he and Heinrich Meister were no match for the young visitors.
  The Saffran Guild House is voted the club house for the first time and - with the exception of a few interruptions - remains as such for almost a hundred years.
1836 Heinrich Meister, the faithful club president of many years, dies and the presidency passes to founding member Johann Escher
1840 1840 Professor Conrad von Orelli, a club member since 1835 and later president, publishes his "Schachbüchlein", a «beginners' guide to the rules of chess and useful moves made by famous players.»
  Image: Schachbüchlein by Conrad von Orelli
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