|1st American Chess Congress (1857)|
The first American Chess Congress (1) was held in New York City from October 6th to November 10th, 1857. Daniel Fiske and Thomas Frere were the organizers, and the tournament was designed with similarities to the London (1851) format, with the provision that draws did not count and had to be replayed. The first prize was $300. The 16 best American masters were invited to participate in the event, including Paul Morphy and Louis Paulsen. Morphy dominated the event, sweeping each of his opponents until Paulsen in the final. Despite dropping one game in the final match, Morphy finished the tournament with an astounding 14 wins, 3 draws, and 1 loss. |
Not one to accept money for chess, Morphy turned down the cash prize in exchange for a silver tray, pitcher, and four goblets in its place. His victory cemented him as one of the best players in the world (if not the best), and prompted his tour across the Atlantic where he faced the best Europe had to offer in a series of matches, winning each and every one of them. Not long after his return to America, Morphy would retire from chess.
New York, 6 October - 10 November 1857
+Morphy 3/3 1 1 1
-Thompson 0/3 0 0 0
+Meek 3/5 1 1 0 0 1
-Fuller 2/5 0 0 1 1 0
-Knott 3/7 1 0 ˝ 1 ˝ 0 0
+Perrin 4/7 0 1 ˝ 0 ˝ 1 1
+Lichtenhein 3/5 1 0 0 1 1
-Stanley 2/5 0 1 1 0 0
+Raphael 3˝/6 0 1 ˝ 0 1 1
-Kennicott 2˝/6 1 0 ˝ 1 0 0
-Fiske 2/5 1 1 0 0 0
+Marache 3/5 0 0 1 1 1
-Calthrop 0/3 0 0 0
+Paulsen 3/3 1 1 1
-Allison 1/4 0 1 0 0
+Montgomery 3/4 1 0 1 1
+Morphy 3/3 1 1 1
-Meek 0/3 0 0 0
-Perrin 0/3 0 0 0
+Lichtenhein 3/3 1 1 1
+Raphael 3˝/6 1 ˝ 1 0 0 1
-Marache 2˝/6 0 ˝ 0 1 1 0
+Paulsen 2/2 1 1
-Montgomery 0/2 0 0
Third place playoff:
+Morphy 3˝/4 1 1 ˝ 1
-Lichtenhein ˝/4 0 0 ˝ 0
-Raphael ˝/3 0 ˝ 0
+Paulsen 2˝/3 1 ˝ 1
3rd Lichtenhein 3/3 1 1 1
4th Raphael 0/3 0 0 0
Missing information: First eight games in list do not have full dates. Photo: http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/...
1st Morphy 6/8 1 ˝ 0 ˝ 1 1 1 1
2nd Paulsen 2/8 0 ˝ 1 ˝ 0 0 0 0
Fourteen years later, the 2nd American Chess Congress (1871) was held.
Original collection: Game Collection: New York 1857, by User: suenteus po 147. (1) Wikipedia article: American Chess Congress.
| page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 68
| page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 68
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·
|Jul-09-15|| ||zanzibar: Sorry to complain, but I don't like the intro's description of the tournament format:|
<designed with similarities to the London (1851) format, with the provision that draws did not count and had to be replayed.>
Yes, both tournaments had a KO structure where draws didn't count. But the <London (1851)> tournament was originally designed to have 32-players, not 16. And the first round at London was a best-of-3 match, not a best-of-5.
And the final match between Morphy and Paulsen needs some explanation. The tournament book specifies this match is determined by the first to win five games.
(Thus, Morphy's 6/8 scoring is also misleading - after all, draws don't count)
|Jul-09-15|| ||zanzibar: Another difference from London, was an attempt to compensate for early eliminations due to first round pairings. |
Since the pairings were done by lot, two top contenders might face each other. In London, the loser was completely disqualified from prizes, whereas the American Congress divided the players into two pools after the first round. The A-section would compete for 1st and 2nd prize, the B-section for 3rd and 4th prize.
Thus, a first round loser could continue on for subsequent prizes.
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: I'd like to know how the dates were determined for the games which have specific dates.|
Most likely from the tournament book, but perhaps there were supplementary sources.
Here's a list of games lacking dates:
1336437 1857.10.?? A84 35 (R1.4) 0-1 Fiske -- Marache
1336459 1857.10.?? B44 29 (R2.2) 0-1 Perrin -- Lichtenhein
1336443 1857.10.?? B00 30 (R2.3) 1-0 Lichtenhein -- Perrin
1295515 1857.10.?? B40 25 (R3.1) 0-1 Raphael -- Paulsen
1295516 1857.10.?? C47 47 (R3.2) = Paulsen -- Raphael
1336467 1857.??.?? C48 29 (R4.1) 1-0 Lichtenhein -- Raphael
1075580 1857.??.?? C33 32 (R4.2) 0-1 Raphael -- Lichtenhein
1321933 1857.??.?? A43 25 (R4.3) 1-0 Lichtenhein -- Raphael
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: I found this contemporaneous piece from the <Sacramento Daily Union> 1857-12-23 p4|
It's interesting in that it includes a <Paulsen--Raphael> game which it claims was a blindfold game.
It also lists Morphy as an editor to the tournament book, in addition to Friske!
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: Some popular side-events at the Congress including various blindfold sessions.|
The first mentioned in the tournament book took place on the afternoon of Sat, Oct 10th, and the main feature was that of Paulsen playing Morphy, who accepted the challenge only on the condition that he play blindfolded as well.
From p78 of the tournament book:
<Mr. Paulsen and Mr. Morphy sat back to back on the platform at the end of the hall. The four boards were arranged across the room, and besides Mr. Morphy the opponents of Mr. Paulsen were Mr. W.J.A Fuller, Mr. Denis Julien, and Mr. C.H. Schultz. The contests began at half-past four, and Mr. Paulsen's accuracy astonished the numerous lookers-on. His vast powers of memory seemed never to fail him, and he retained throughout an unerring knowledge of the positions of the pawns and pieces on each board. At twelve o'clock Mr. Morphy had won his game, having announced, at the twenty-eight move, checkmate in five moves; Mr. Schultz had resigned, and the remaining two games were adjourned, on account of the lateness of the hour, until Monday the twelfth, Mr. Paulsen calling off the positions of the men on each board in succession with almost incredible rapidity and precision.>
Of note to the dating of the games is this...
<No progress was made in the Tournament to-day, the games being suspended a little after midday to make room for the necessary arrangements in connexion with the blindfold play>
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: <p79 Oct 12>
<Playing was immediately commenced, but was partially suspended during the evening, to witness the conclusion of Mr. Paulsen's blindfold match, which terminated in his drawing the game with Mr. Julien and winning the one against Mr. Fuller>
* * * * *
<p86 Oct 21>
<In the afternoon of this day Mr. Paulsen commenced the unparalled feat of playing five games at once without seeing any of the boards. His opponets were Mr. Thomas Frere, Mr. Robert J. Dodge, and Mr. S. Heilbuth of New York, Dr. A.C. Hawes of Providence, and Mr. C Oscanyan from Constantinople. [...]
The arrangements in connexion with this affair, were the same as on the occasion when Mr. Paulsen played four games. At a late hour, the games not having been finished, it was decided to complete them the next evening. [...]>
<p87 Oct 22>
<In the evening Mr. Paulsen finished his admirable exhibition of blindfold play by winning of Mr. Frere, Mr. Heilbuth, Dr. Hawes, and Mr. Oscanyan, and by drawing the game with Mr. Dodge. This was the first authenticated instance in the hisotry of chess, of so large a number of games being simultaneously played by one man without sight of the boards.>
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: The Sacramento Daily Union game has this interesting position after Black's 16th move:|
Pre-moves: 15.Rf1-e1 Qe4-g6
click for larger view
Paulsen played the reasonable looking rook lift, 16.Re3, but the engine claims there's a different move which wins. A nice lesson.
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: Here's the published game. I couldn't match it up with any of the blindfold scores in the tournament book (though not even all the games from the simul-blindfolds were published).|
But I would like to suggest the possibility that this is the missing <Paulsen--Raphael> game.
[Site "New York USA"]
[White "Paulsen, Louis"]
[Black "Raphael, Benjamin"]
[Source "Sacramento Daily Union 1857-12-23 p4"]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Be3 Nge7 6.Bd3 d5 7.Nc3 Nxd4
8.Bxd4 Nc6 9.Bb5 a6 10.exd5 axb5 11.dxc6 bxc6 12.O-O Bd6 13.Ne4 Bxh2+
14.Kxh2 Qh4+ 15.Kg1 Qxe4 16.Re1 Qg6 17.Re3 f6 18.Rg3 Qf7 19.Bc5 e5
20.Qd6 Qd7 21.Qxd7+ Bxd7 22.Rxg7 Rb8 23.a4 bxa4 24.Rxa4 Bf5 25.Raa7
Remember, you heard it here first!
|Jul-10-15|| ||Calli: >But I would like to suggest the possibility that this is the missing <Paulsen--Raphael> game.>|
In what sense missing? Don't we have all 3 match games?
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: Yes <Calli>, as <crawfb5> pointed out, Raphael resigned the match, so there isn't a third win by <Paulsen>.|
Actually, I'm taking his word for it, I missed the ref in the tournament book.
This should be explicitly mentioned in the intro, with the ref, to help people like me not to get confused.
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: On, the other hand see this:
Biographer Bistro (kibitz #11914)
So, in the sense that there were four games in the match (3 wins by Paulsen + 1 draw), and <CG> only has three (2 wins + draw).
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: Also, exploring further I found another valuable source outlining the New York Tribune sources:|
<Oct 29, 1857 pg 5: Paulsen wins hard game vs Raphael who resigned 3d game of his section, will start playing Lichtenhein for 3d/4th.>
Remember, this could be the 4th game, as draws didn't count.
There's also this:
<Nov 9, 1857 pg 3: Publish 2 games, 1 by hot blood of Southern sky, other by phlegmatic Teuton blind vs Raphael. Paulsen sure could play 8 would not be surprised if someone plays 20. Many feel Paulsen better blind than OTB, he feels so himself and is curious for Morphy's opinion; self-taught. Morphy
native genius plus study; horrible wit of supporter called him "nascitur non fit, w heaps of the fit piled on the nascitur. Tnmt book to be ed well-known Scandinavian scholar and ed Chess Monthly Fiske and Morphy; has photo Morphy playing Paulsen Morphy combines brilliance McDonnell, soundness Philidor. Game Paulsen-Morphy 4N B28 2:55. 1 of 3 blind Game Paulsen-Dr BI Raphael Scotch W25 3:30; Raphael had to leave Paulsen willing to cont, Perrin came forward but decided clear win for Paulsen did not cont>
which mentions a <Paulsen--Raphael> blindfold game.
I never said this is an easy business...
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: But this post by me,
1st American Chess Congress (1857) (kibitz #9)
is just plain wrong, and should be discarded.
I'll make an excuse about being confused reading some of the debate mentioned here:
<According to the Prospectus, the contestants were to meet Monday, October 5, at 3:00 p.m. where they would be paired of by lot. The eight players who won three out of five games would proceed to the next phase, the losers would drop out. The eight winners would be paired off, then the four winners. The two who won the final phase would play a match to determine first and second place, while the two who lost would play a match to determine third and fourth place. However, at the meeting on Monday, there was some debate about whether this was a desirable format. It was finally agreed to let the stated format stand and the lottery would take place on Tuesday, October 6.>
But really, I should have double-checked before posting. Here, is a very good intro to the tournament:
Edochess chess being one of the best sites when it comes to accuracy and proper referencing. Period.
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: (Even if the actual page I just gave was written by batgirl and not Rod Edwards)|
|Jul-10-15|| ||Calli: The blindfold game was one of three given ib the NY Trib on Nov 9 http://www.chessarch.com/excavation...|
I don't know the date of the simul though.
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: Right. I covered the earlier simul/blindfolds starting with this post:|
1st American Chess Congress (1857) (kibitz #12)
Paulsen gave a 4-board blindfold on Oct 10 (one against Morphy, himself blindfolded). Then a record-breaking 5-board blindfold simul on Oct 21).
1st American Chess Congress (1857) (kibitz #13)
Both of these two sessions featured adjournments, when Paulsen was reported to accurately record the positions of all the pieces on each board at the adjournment.
* * * * *
But are we agreed that there is a missing game from the third section match between Paulsen--Raphael?
I have to check back in with <crawfb5> over on the Bistro to make sure I didn't miss a mention later in the tournament book.
|Jul-10-15|| ||Calli: I think there is no missing game. They played three and Raphael resigned the match being down 2-0-1.|
|Jul-10-15|| ||zanzibar: Yes, but I'm looking for an explicit ref... which I found as I wrote on the Bistro:|
<OK, I found the ref and notice in a footnote at the bottom of page 235 of the tournament book at the end of the third game which came at the end of the Third Section(*)
<(*) Time, seven hours and a half. The second player, although his opponent had only scored two games, resigned the match at this stage.>>
This kind of info explicitly belongs in the intro, imo.
|Sep-10-15|| ||The Kings Domain: One of the most notable and memorable tournaments.|
|Jan-13-16|| ||zanzibar: Batgirl's write-up on the various players:
(The link on the wiki page is stale)
|Jan-23-16|| ||zanzibar: RE: <Color trivia>
The lots were drawn with this:
<The Lottery - Eight white and eight yellow stubs were numbered 1 through 8 and placed in a box. The white ticket had "Choice of Chessmen and first move" written on it. Whoever chose #1 white would play whoever chose #1 yellow. Whoever picked a white stub had the choice of color and the first move.>
Since the winners of the lottery were published (p74/tb), and we have R1.1 from <CG> we can determine which players choose Black(*) to start their first round matches:
(*) Two notes:
(a) Black has contemporary meaning, i.e. gave the move to their opponent. The actual color of the pieces chosen is never recorded afaik.
(b) Julien was originally paired against Paulsen, as recorded in tb. Calthrop substituted for him.
|Jan-23-16|| ||zanzibar: Actually, Calthrop was a late arrival on the first day. Julien apparently was the substitute, he withdrew from play when Calthrop arrived (p74/tb).|
|Jan-25-16|| ||zanzibar: Louisville KY Evening Bulletin 1857-10-09 p2(?)
<[From the New York Express (1857-10-04)]
NATIONAL CHESS CONGRESS — <Extraordinary Chess Playing> — The New York Chess Club hold regular tri-weekly gatherings at the house of E. Perrin, its Secretary. On Saturday evening a sociable party, composed of distinguished chess players from all parts of the Union, was present, the occasion being a remarkable match to be played between a German and three of the best players in these parts. Mr. Louis Paulsen, a German, living at Dubuque, Iowa, who comes as a contestant in the great Chess Congress, which commences its session to-morrow, at Descombe's rooms, No. 765 Broadway, performed the wonderful feat of playing, while blindfolded, three games at once, without having any board before him, or seeing the boards of his three opponents or keeping any memorandum except in his mind. His opponents were W. J. A. Fuller, of this city, an honorary member of the N. Y. Chess Club; T. Frere, secretary of the Brooklyn Chess Club, and Dr. Raphael, who obtained a national celebrity as a chess player in Kentucky.>
At least one of the games (<Paulsen--Ralphael>) is known to exist.
|Jan-27-16|| ||zanzibar: <
So the year 1857 found us. It was some relief,
looking at tbe daily papers, to tarn from the
failure of A, B, k Co., for $150,000, and from
the suspension of specie payments by the banks,
except the glorious old Chemical, to the unruffled
proceedings of the first American Chess
Congress, then in session, admission for the
week, to lookers-on, one dollar. But that dollar?
Was it prudent, with bank account at low water,
and slim prospect of a flow, and on the edge of
a long winter, with others dependent, was it
prudent so to bestow—to throw away—a dollar?
After hearing counsel before ourself three
whole days, we held a family council with "die
frau" who at once decided that we mast go.
And "went" we did. And the officers of the
Chess Congress, with nobler instincts of gentlemen
than the New York Academy of Medicine[ff unreadable]
did not hesitate or refuse to admit a
negro, even with the high-bloods from the South
in their midst, and the danger of the dissolution
of tbe Union before their eyes.
Having seen their portraits in Frank Leslie,
-- Jame M'Cune (?) Smith
we instantly singled out Paulsen and his great
antagonist, and a little skillful elbowing found
us seated beside their board. There was Louis
Paulsen, with his vast head, sanguine temperament,
but coarse fibre, indicating his rough,
almost pure-Bersekir blood; and as we gazed
at Morphy, with his fine, open countenance,
brunette hue, marvellous delicacy of fibre,
bright, clear eyes, and elongated submaxillary
bone, a keen suspicion entered our ethnological
department that we were not the only Cartha-
ginian in the room. It might only be one drop,
perhaps two—God only knows how they got
there—but surely, beside the Tria--mulattin who
at present writes, there was also a Hekata-mu-
lattin in that room!
Washington DC National Era Sept 29, 1959 p1, quoting from the "Anglo-African Magazine for September".
Unbelievable that wiki has no page for this publication.
|Jan-27-16|| ||zanzibar: <HARD ON THE EDITOR,—Herr Lowenthal in answering a correspondent,
has dictated the following very pithy and very suggestive
paragraph:—"It was, no doubt, a source of great regret
to many American amateurs that the article on the 'Pawn and
move opening,' contributed by Herr L. to the American Chess
Congress should have been published in foreign notation. It
was, certainly, strange that the Editor of the book of the American
Congress should have taken so much trouble in translating
it from the English. To Herr L, <this was a great disappointment>,
he having bestowed much time in its preparation. <"The article, in
its present form, is utterly useless to American Chess Amateurs.">
The italicising is our own. Many reminiscences of that singular
discussion over the "German Notation" in this country are
awakened, and comments suggested by the above.<<>>> |
NY Clipper, Sat. May 30, 1863
Probably the most worthless section of Fiske's tournament book was the section on new notation. The actual games were given in the then traditional Descriptive notation.
NY Clipper May 30, 1863 p2(?)
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·
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