JACOB BILLIKOPF, a
Russian, of about fifteen years of age, who is already
an apt and brilliant player, and who bids fair to
develop into a phenomenal chess player, was introduced
in the Richmond Chess Club a few months ago. In
the first two games he played with Dr. Otto Meyer, the
president of the club and the champion chess player of
Virginia, Jacob exhibited wonderful tact and strategy.
of Hebrew extraction, and is a child of the steppes.
He came to Richmond with his parents two years ago,
speaking only his native tongue -- Russian. His
father entered him in one of the public schools of the
city, where he was assigned to the primary class.
But Jacob did remain long in that class, for after being
a few days at school he astonished his teachers by
demonstrating a difficult geometric problem. It
was then developed that he was chiefly put to school
that he might learn English, and that in many respects
he was more proficient than the average American boy of
Young Billikopf come of good Slavic stock. One of
his brothers is a professor in a university in the city
of Minsk, and it was from him that the boy drew his
stock of learning.
Mr. Macfarlane, Mr. Wallace and Prof. Kass, and the
other gentlemen who have seen young Billikopf play think
that he will develop into a great player, and perhaps
may some day rival his fellow countryman, Tchigorin.