Johann Jacob L÷wenthal (July 15, 1810 – July 24, 1876) was a 19th century professional chess master.
He was born in Budapest, the son of a merchant.
In his visit to New Orleans, L÷wenthal played Paul Morphy on two separate occasions, losing a total of three games straight.
He was one of the first masters to play a match against Morphy after the latter┤s arrival in England in 1858. Morphy won with a score of nine wins, three losses and two draws. "...I am convinced that I was vanquished by superior strength," L÷wenthal said about the match, as reported by the Englishman Frederick Edge. No doubt aware that chess was L÷wenthal┤s only source of livelihood, and conscious to not be considered a professional player himself, Morphy after winning the match stakes of £100, presented L÷wenthal with a gift of furniture valued at £120 for his new house.
Just days after being defeated by Morphy, L÷wenthal had his greatest success by winning the British Chess Association Congress knockout tournament in Birmingham, England, August 27, 1858. His prize was £63.
In 1860 L÷wenthal took advantage of Morphy┤s extreme popularity to create a collection of the American master┤s games titled Morphy┤s Games of Chess. According to Morphy┤s biographer David Lawson, Morphy was friendly to L÷wenthal and therefore agreed to sign his name to material in the book, that was purported to be written by Morphy but in fact was not.
For a time, L÷wenthal served as club secretary of the St. George┤s Chess Club in London. He taught chess, and invented the first demonstration board. He helped organize an international tournament in 1862, and then published a tournament book.
L÷wenthal lived into his sixties. When became ill in 1874 and could no longer financially support himself, a collection was taken up for him. Lord Randolph Churchill and many others contributed to the charity fund. L÷wenthal died on July 24, 1876 at St. Leonards-on-Sea, near Hastings at the age of sixty-six.
British Chess Magazine, 1926, pages 345-8, and 1976, pages 308-14