LEOPOLD TREBITSCH MEMORIAL 1909-1938
Leopold Trebitsch (1842-1906) was an Austrian silk producer. Chess was his hobby. His family donated the large sum of 100,000 Kronen to the Wiener Schachklub for a series of tournaments. He died a month before the first tournament began. Nine events were played from 1907 until 1918. Twelve events followed from 1920 until 1938.
The Trebitsch Memorial was a great event in Wien for Austrian-Hungarian and German players. Schlechter took part in eight installments and won six times. This great player was shown in his best and worst times.
Everything went wrong after the ninth event. The Wiener Schachklub invested 75,000 Kronen of the Trebitsch Fund in war bonds. This property lost its value and no tournament could be organised after the Great War. Furthermore, Carl Schlechter died in December 1918.
Oskar Trebitsch, the son of Leopold, had already played an important role in the Trebitsch Fund. He made a another sum available in 1926. Only players from Vienna participated in the new events. Spielmann, Grünfeld, Becker and Müller became main players.
Schachklub Hietzing became the main organizer in 1932. Felix Klein and Oskar Trebitsch sponsored. It remained a chess tournament for players of Vienna. Eliskases and Leopold Steiner were the new talents. Membership decreased due to the economic depression.
The "Anschluss" (unification of Germany and Austria) in 1938 led to the end of the chess clubs, because the Trebitsch family, Spielmann and many other members were Jewish. They migrated or were persecuted.
Winners of the tournament