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The Polish–Soviet War (February 1919 – March 1921) was an armed conflict that pitted Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine against the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic over the control of an area equivalent to today's Ukraine and parts of modern-day Belarus. At some points the war also threatened Poland's existence as an independent state. It followed on from the Soviet westward offensive of 1918–19.
Gersz Rotlewi, a Polish Jew, shares the fate of Jean Dufresne and Lionel Kieseritzky, who, in spite of their fine accomplishments, are mainly known for their loss of an immortal game. From his famous game against Rubinstein, it may appear that Rotlewi, who handled the opening badly, was a weak player, but this is far from the truth.
We know little about Rotlewi. He was born and died in Lodz, but according to the historian Edward Winter, who knows a lot, the exact dates are unknown. Also nothing seems to be known about his life before he entered the chess scene of Lodz in 1905.
In 1910 he won a match against Salwe and shared first place with Rubinstein in a tournament in Warsaw in which he also won the beauty prize for his victory over Bogoljubow. But his greatest tournament was Carlsbad 1911. It would also be his last tournament, nine years before his early death