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Erich Eliskases

Erich Gottlieb Eliskases was a chess Grandmaster of the 1930s and 1940s, who represented Austria, Germany and Argentina in international competition.

His college education in Innsbruck and Vienna centred on business studies; it was chess, though, that captured his imagination and he had exceptional results at the Olympiads of 1930, 1933 and 1935. After the Anschluss of March 1938, he won the German national championship at Bad Oeynhausen in 1938 and 1939. He played under the German flag at the 1939 Buenos Aires Olympiad, during which World War II began, when Eliskases (along with many other players) decided to stay in Argentina (and for a while in Brazil) rather than return to the scene of the conflict. Brazilian authorities threatened to intern and expel Eliskases as they had severed all links with Nazi Germany. Some Brazilian chess enthusiasts helped Eliskases avoid that fate by hiring him as a chess teacher. After some years in the wilderness, when he struggled to make a living, he eventually became a naturalised Argentine citizen and represented his new country at the Olympiads of 1952, 1958, 1960 and 1964.

FIDE awarded Eliskases the titles of International Master and Grandmaster in 1950 and 1952, respectively. He had many fine tournament results, including outright or joint first place at Budapest 1934 (the Hungarian Championship), Linz 1934, Zurich 1935, Milan 1937, Noordwijk 1938 , Krefeld 1938, Bad Harzburg 1939, Bad Elster 1939, Vienna 1939, Sao Paulo 1941, Sao Paulo 1947, Mar del Plata 1948, Punta del Este 1951 and Cordoba 1959. His victory in Noordwijk began a streak of eight consecutive tournaments in which he was undefeated.

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