An enthusiastic verve - "brio" some said - marked both Ignaz Kolisch's personality and his games. This book documents the life of the Hungarian chess champion (1837-1889) and successful financier, setting it in the cosmopolitan framework of mid-19th-century Europe. The text is enriched by 100 or so short biographies of his competitors (including Arnous de Riviere, Anderssen, Morphy, Mackenzie, Paulsen, Falkbeer, Rosenthal, Steinitz, Winawer and 125 others). More than 300 specimens of his play are presented - by far the largest collection ever - complete with sources and coeval annotations, translated from many languages. Several widespread and long-standing errors are corrected. A work deeply researched among sources in many languages, the book serves also as a basic record European chess in the late 1850s through the 1880s.