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 Post subject: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Horatio Caro died in London, 15 December, 1920. Does any Forum member know his place of burial ?


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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:53 pm 
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No idea, I'm afraid. Please do post details here if you or someone else find this out.


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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Caro-Kann* ?

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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Caro-Canning Town?

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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:35 pm 
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Interesting question.

Horatio Caro was born in Newcastle on Tyne on 5 July 1862.

He spent most of his life in Germany. Page 353 of the Jubiläums-Ausgabe (1926) of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten (yes, I also read Edward Winter's Chess Notes) claims that he lived in Frankfurt up to his 22nd year and in Berlin from 1882 onwards (arithmetic fail). Some sources claim, incorrectly, that he died in Berlin.

His death was registered in Mile End Old Town. In the 1911 census there are a lot of Caros in St George in the East, just the other side of the Commercial Road from Mile End Old Town, from their first names clearly Jewish. There's also Blanche Caro, a 65-year-old Polish born widow, described as a furrier, in hospital in Mile End Old Town.

It seems possible that Horatio was visiting relations in London when he died, and may well have been buried in Berlin not in London. The name Horatio doesn't sound very Jewish, though. Does anyone else know anything about his background, and indeed why he was born in Newcastle? I'll see what else I can find and post again later unless anyone more knowledgeable beats me to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:10 pm 
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The next stop was the 1861 census.

In Jesmond, Newcastle we find Jacob Caro, aged 29, a merchant, exporter and shop owner, born in Prussia but a naturalised British subject, his 23 year old wife Mathilde, also born in Prussia, and their young sons 2-year-old Edmund and 1-year-old Lionel, along with two servants. This would seem to be Horatio's family, and at this point I assumed they moved to Frankfurt shortly after he was born.

Intriguingly, elsewhere in Newcastle we find Sarah Caro, born in nearby Tynemouth, aged 25, living as a boarder with a young couple by the name of Gee. There's a W in the occupation column which may indicate that she was a widow. Any relation? If so, why weren't Jake and Tilly, who could afford to employ two servants, putting her up?

I then looked up the birth records and it seems that they stayed in Newcastle longer than I assumed. Four more boys: Francis in 1863, Arthur in 1864, Richard in 1866 and Benjamin in 1867 (Tynemouth, not Newcastle), followed at last by a girl, Josephine Edith C Caro, in 1869. There was also the sad news that Edmund (now spelt Edmond) died in 1867.

There's no sign of any of them in the 1871 census so one would imagine they actually moved to Frankfurt in about 1870.

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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:15 pm 
You might have the wrong family, as Lionel and Francis Caro were still in Newcastle in 1881:
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/ ... _name=Caro

Records of Horatio Caro's birth and death can be found on www.freebmd.org.uk and the certificates for these could easily be obtained (for around £7 each). The birth certificate would hopefully show who his parents were.


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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:21 pm 
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Possibly, or possibly not. In 1881 Lionel and Francis were both working as coal merchants and living in a boarding house. No sign of them in 1871, 1891 or anything later, nor of either of them marrying or dying. (I did, however, come across someone called Francisco Caro Lopez, who must have been very confused about what opening he was playing.)

I suppose it's quite possible that Jacob still had contacts in Newcastle and had sent Lionel and Francis back to get some sort of business experience in the coal industry.

We'd need, as you say, to see all the birth certificates to confirm this.

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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:44 am 
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Your extensive research is welcome Richard. You may be astonished to know that Wikipedia describes Horatio Caro as an English chess master. Suspect that his name is missing from official lists. Caro could be a derivative of Cardozo. Note your suspicion that he could be buried in Berlin, and so our investigation moves to Germany.


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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Yes - I had noticed that. I have no idea whether he was a German or a British citizen. As he played all his chess in Germany you might prefer to describe him as a German chess master who just happened to be born and die in England.

A very intersting thread about the Jewish/German Caro family:

http://boards.ancestry.com/thread.aspx? ... names.caro

There's also this, but I suspect it's just a coincidence:

http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive ... 00254.html

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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Have managed to trace his grave online. His funeral took place on 17 December, 1920. He was laid to rest at East Ham Jewish Cemetery, entrance by Marlow Road, London E6, London Borough of Newham. Grave location: Section E Row 18 Plot 14
He did represent England in the 1897 Berlin International Tournament, along with Blackburne, Burn, and Teichmann.
He must be recognised as an English master who spent most of his active playing life in Berlin.


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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:31 pm 
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Congratulations on finding that! So how long had he been in London? He doesn't seem to have been there in the 1911 census. And why did he move there if he had spent most of his adult life in Germany and had been born in Newcastle?

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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:45 am 
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According to Tony Gillam, Horatio Caro represented Great Britain against the USA., in the 1898 cable match. He was placed above H.E. Atkins, playing on board.3.
His place on the team was strongly criticized in the BCM., with very unpleasant racist comment. This must have caused him great distress, and was the probable reason why he moved to Germany.
With the onset of the Great War, he was living in Berlin with a United Kingdom Passport. Facing the prospect of internment, he returned to England.
He would have discovered that he was also facing internment in the land of his birth, and so he went into hiding, amongst the Sephardic community of Mile End, East London. This is all supposition, but I believe the likely explanation for his disappearance from the chess scene, and his subsequent tragic demise.


Last edited by Gordon Cadden on Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:03 am 
Tony Gillam asked me to post a message here. I'll forward any replies to him.
Tony Gillam wrote:
Caro disappears from the German chess magazines in spring 1911 and nothing is known about him until his death. Where was he for 9½ years and why wasn't he playing chess?

If he was in Germany 1914-18, was he interned and if so, where? There was a big internment camp for British citizens at Ruhleben. There is an online list of the inmates and there are some Caros, but I couldn't find Horatio.

Someone mentions the many Caros living in the Bow/Poplar area in 1920 when Caro died. Were any of them his siblings? Do we have an address (we could then look things up on the electoral registers). I established today that Horatio did not have a will in probate 1920-23, so I suspect he may have died penniless and that increases the chances that he may have been living with a brother or sister, or other relative.

The earliest reference I can find to Caro in print, is in an article by Cordel on the Knight's Gambit in the August 1883 issue of the Deutsche Schachzeitung. At that time he was already "our young Berlin chess friend". Caro is credited with some analysis. The reason his name is associated with the Caro-Kann Defence (Kann was a Viennese who is said to have first played the defence, or perhaps we should say the first to be credited with it) is because of an article in the chess column of a Berlin newspaper called the Taegliche Rundschau in 1886. This article remains to be located (I believe the newspaper, for that year, is currently "lost").

Tony Gillam


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 Post subject: Re: Caro-Khan Defence
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Brüderschaft, 30 October 1886, described Caro as one of the strongest players in Berlin. The Jubiläums-Ausgabe (1926) of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten tells us that he moved from Frankfurt to Berlin in 1882. Presumably then he moved from Newcastle to Frankfurt in the 1870s, possibly towards the end of the decade as two of his brothers were still there in 1881.

One could imagine that the selection of someone who had lived in Germany for 20 years to represent Great Britain might well lead to some criticism.

I've checked the names of the Caros living in St George in the East (and in the rest of the UK) in the 1911 census and there are no matches with any of Horatio's siblings. They are very much the sort of names you'd expect to find in the Jewish community at that time. I can provide you with the addresses if you want.

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