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Budapest Tournament

Mikhail Chigorin11.5/16(+10 -3 =3)[games]
Rudolf Rezso Charousek9.5/16(+8 -5 =3)[games]
Harry Nelson Pillsbury7.5/12(+6 -3 =3)[games]
Carl Schlechter7/12(+4 -2 =6)[games]
David Janowski7/12(+6 -4 =2)[games]
Karl August Walbrodt6.5/12(+5 -4 =3)[games]
Simon Winawer6.5/12(+6 -5 =1)[games]
Siegbert Tarrasch6/12(+4 -4 =4)[games]
Adolf Albin5/12(+4 -6 =2)[games]
Geza Maroczy5/12(+4 -6 =2)[games]
Georg Marco4.5/12(+3 -6 =3)[games]
Josef Noa4/12(+2 -6 =4)[games]
Ignatz von Popiel2/12(+2 -10 =0)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Budapest (1896)

In October 1896, the Budapest Chess Club, led by the efforts of Geza Maróczy, organized a chess tournament as part of the Budapest Millennial Exhibition, intended to mark the 1000 years since the Magyar conquest of Hungary by the legendary King Įrpįd in 896.1 Among the participants were established masters such as Siegbert Tarrasch, Mikhail Chigorin, and David Janowski, as well as young chess stars such as Harry Nelson Pillsbury and Carl Schlechter. Hungary was represented by Rudolf Charousek, Josef Noa, and Géza Maróczy. Maróczy had planned to act solely as tournament director until Semion Alapin withdrew at the last minute, and Maróczy stepped in as a replacement to preserve the original organization.2 Since Maróczy was now playing in the event, Hungarian master Kornel Havasi took over the duties of chief arbiter.3 Maróczy managed to secure a fine venue and excellent funding for the event. Emperor Franz Joseph donated the rent for the venue: the monumental restaurant-hall of the fabulous Pest Vigadó, Budapest's premiere entertainment building, although the Budapest Chess Club had usually met in one of the smaller and more affordable back rooms.2 The Emperor also donated a 12 kilogram solid silver trophy, a statue of "Winged Victory." Baron Albert von Rothschild provided 1000 Kronen and famed explorer Count Jenő Zichy provided 600 kronen towards the prize fund.4

Picture of the Pest Vigadó:

Budapest, Austria-Hungary, 4-28 October 18965

C C P S J W W T A M M N P =1st Charousek * 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 0 1 1 8½ =1st Chigorin 0 * ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 8½ 3rd Pillsbury 0 ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 7½ =4th Schlechter ½ 1 ½ * 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 7 =4th Janowski 1 0 ½ 0 * 0 1 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 7 =6th Walbrodt ½ 0 0 ½ 1 * 1 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 6½ =6th Winawer 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 6½ 8th Tarrasch ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 0 * ½ 0 0 ½ 1 6 =9th Albin 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 ½ * 0 1 ½ 1 5 =9th Maróczy 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 0 1 1 * ½ 0 1 5 11th Marco 1 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 0 ½ * 1 0 4½ 12th Noa 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 * 1 4 13th von Popiel 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 * 2

Playoff match:

1 Chigorin 1 1 0 1 3 2 Charousek 0 0 1 0 1

Tarrasch was awarded first brilliancy prize (beauty prize) for his Queen sac game against von Popiel in round six. Charousek tied Chigorin for first at the end of the tournament, and at first, Maróczy insisted that there be no playoff - he argued that since Charousek had won his tournament game against Chigorin, the Hungarian master should be given clear first.6 Chigorin, however, insisted on a playoff mini-match, and Charousek was keen to participate in the showdown. Chigorin, a veteran match player, soundly defeated the young Charousek 3-1 in the playoff. After winning it, Chigorin was given a choice: the silver Winged Victory trophy or 2,500 kronen.7 He took the money, and the trophy sat at the Budapest Chess Club until the advent of World War I, after which the trophy mysteriously was "lost."4 Charousek received 2000 kronen for second place.7 The result made Charousek a national hero in Austria Hungary, and he was invited by the nobility of Budapest and Vienna to lecture and to play simultaneous exhibitions.8 To this day, Budapest 1896 is the strongest chess tournament ever held in Hungary.


1 Victor Charuchin, "Chess Comet Rudolf Charousek 1873-1900" (Schachfirma Fruth 1997), p. 117.
2 Charuchin, p. 118.
3 Charuchin, p. 119.
4 Charuchin, p. 125.
5 Rod Edwards, EDO chess "Budapest 1896",
6 Charuchin, p. 148.
7 "One Hundred Years Ago Budapest 1896". Sakkelet 10-12, 1996, pp. 372-376. In Charuchin, Appendix D.
8 Charuchin, p. 153.

Original Collection: Game Collection: Budapest 1896, by User: suenteus po 147. Special thanks go to <jessicafischerqueen> for the superb historical details.

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 82  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Charousek vs Schlechter  ½-½441896BudapestC33 King's Gambit Accepted
2. Chigorin vs Von Popiel 1-0511896BudapestC51 Evans Gambit
3. Janowski vs J Noa 1-0411896BudapestD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. Pillsbury vs Albin 0-1341896BudapestC11 French
5. K A Walbrodt vs Maroczy 0-1361896BudapestC11 French
6. Winawer vs Tarrasch 1-0891896BudapestC26 Vienna
7. Schlechter vs Pillsbury ½-½331896BudapestC49 Four Knights
8. Von Popiel vs K A Walbrodt 0-1661896BudapestB30 Sicilian
9. J Noa vs Chigorin ½-½651896BudapestC50 Giuoco Piano
10. Maroczy vs Charousek 0-1341896BudapestA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
11. G Marco vs Janowski ½-½691896BudapestC77 Ruy Lopez
12. Albin vs Winawer 0-1471896BudapestC50 Giuoco Piano
13. Pillsbury vs Maroczy 1-0471896BudapestD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Winawer vs Schlechter 0-1341896BudapestC13 French
15. K A Walbrodt vs J Noa 1-0321896BudapestC15 French, Winawer
16. Tarrasch vs Albin ½-½441896BudapestA84 Dutch
17. Chigorin vs G Marco 1-0561896BudapestC50 Giuoco Piano
18. Charousek vs Von Popiel 1-0251896BudapestC45 Scotch Game
19. Schlechter vs Tarrasch  ½-½451896BudapestC24 Bishop's Opening
20. Von Popiel vs Pillsbury 0-1621896BudapestC23 Bishop's Opening
21. J Noa vs Charousek 0-1561896BudapestC48 Four Knights
22. Maroczy vs Winawer 0-1391896BudapestA07 King's Indian Attack
23. G Marco vs K A Walbrodt  ½-½351896BudapestC67 Ruy Lopez
24. Janowski vs Chigorin 0-1421896BudapestD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
25. Winawer vs Von Popiel 1-0551896BudapestC00 French Defense
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 82  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-23-12  Mrs. Alekhine: This game collections was created by User: suenteus po 147.
Jan-13-14  YoungEd: Not too many draws in this tournament!
Jan-13-14  waustad: I suspect that this: "and one hour for each 15 minutes after that," should read, "and one hour for each 15 moves after that." In any case this is an interesting tournament with many of the best players of the day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Another great tournament page appears. Almost an embarrassment of riches on chessgames these days.

I agree with <Mrs Alekhine> that pioneers in game collection like suenteus po 147 deserve our thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I think the intro needs a review,

<Semyon Alapin withdrew at the last minute and Maróczy stepped in as replacement to preserve the orginal organization, and new star Rudolf Charousek who had made his international debut the year before at Nuremberg. Maróczy was quick to secure a venue and funding- >

First, <CG> uses <Semion> and so the intro should be consistent. Now, with trivialities aside...

How can Maróczy step in as a last-minute replacement and then be "quick to secure" venue/funding... certainly the tournament had to be adequately organized before Alapin's withdrawal.

Then I have this contemporaneous reporting:

<The first round of the International Chess Masters' tournament was played in this city today. Owing to Alapin's withdrawal from the contest a new ballot for a second) schedule had to be made, which resulted as follows: [...] >

October 6, 1896
Los Angeles Herald from Los Angeles, California · Page 3

There is no mention of Maroczy stepping in to replace Alapin. Moreover, why would the tournament organizers recruit another player when it would result in an odd number of players? Typically, the idea is to have a RR with even number of players. And if Maroczy were a direct sub then there would be no need to draw a new schedule.

So, is there some need for further review?

(I came across this looking for tournaments Alapin dropped out from, there's this one and <Dresden (1892)> that I know of)

Feb-20-15  suenteus po 147: <zanzibar: I think the intro needs a review> I'll level with you: they all need review. When I first started putting these tournament collections together, I never actually conceived that they would be the basis for tournament pages, let alone that many people would look at them. I cobbled together as much info as I could from various sources, usually relying on the kindness and generosity of other users to provide history, round details, and links to helpful webpages to get them into some kind of "presentable" format. I use the quotation marks because my standard was very low, and certainly not up to the scrutiny of serious historical acumen. There was a user on the Biographer Bistro during my absence, <thomastonk> was his handle, I think. He posted that any tournament page built from one of my collections sent up a red flag with him, and he was right to say so. I'm a very poor historian. I hardly cite my sources, and I did little to no fact checking with this work. I basically just spent a lot of time submitting games and making collections. I'm actually embarrassed by some of my writing that got preserved and perpetuated here. I'm grateful to everyone who has supported me over the years in the collecting of these tournaments, but the work that you and <jessicafischerqueen> and <Tabanus> and <Phony Benoni> and <crawfb5> and everyone else who contributes regularly to the Biographer Bistro are the real historians and deserve the lion's share of the credit. Please edit, revise, and correct these tournament pages extensively, as much as needed. I promise you that everyone will thank you for it, myself included.
Premium Chessgames Member

<Peter> I've always thought so, but you are one classy gentleman. It's you and <Benzol> and <Phony Benoni> who put in over 20 million man hours to dig up the information and create the first real tournament record online, anywhere.

You are most certainly a "real" historian- a pioneering historian.

Feb-20-15  Nosnibor: <suenteus po 147> Thankyou for your magnificient work in compiling this event. With regard to the introduction it should be mentioned that Charousek made his international debut in the same year,Nuremberg 1896 and this event followed on within two months of that.
Feb-20-15  suenteus po 147: <Nosnibor> I appreciate your great compliment. I have made the requested change to the write-up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <sp147> Funny you should mention <thomastonk>, he also took me to task a couple of time. I miss him and hope he's doing well.

I'm fairly new to <CG> (certainly when compared to some of the "lifers"), and so I'm unfamiliar with all of your efforts. But I certainly concur with <jfq>'s sentiments about you, <Benzol>, <phony> and others who pioneered the effort.

At the time when I first came on board, you weren't active on <CG> - so <suenteus_po_147> was more of a legend to me, a legend of heroic proportion that only grew as I discovered more and more of your work.

You brought order out of chaos.

Having done a few collections myself, I fully realize the tremendous effort involved. It's not easy putting together a substantial collection on <CG>, and it gets even hard if trying to fill out the missing games while keeping it organized.

Your prodigious efforts are certainly appreciated by many of us.

Of course, like Odysseus, you've returned to Ithaca. And perhaps your welcome was a little lacking - ha!

But the work continues...

I'm glad you acknowledge the need for this continued work, and express your appreciation in return.

* * * * *

Now, do you have any idea of where the bio info about Maróczy as organizer came from?

I'm digging a little bit more into this tournament, and after reading the BCM report still haven't found any leads.

Feb-20-15  suenteus po 147: <zanzibar> I'm afraid that whatever the sources were that I consulted for this tournament, I've forgotten them. My laptop was stolen last spring and it was the singular storage space for all my PGNs, bookmarks, and links for all the online research I did for these tournament collections. Perhaps <jess> knows? When I credit someone in the intro, it's because they've usually provided critical print sources to which I do not have access. All I do know is that a detail like Maróczy as organizer was something I read <somewhere> or something that <someone> told me at some point. I wouldn't have included it otherwise.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <sp> I understand. And sorry about the laptop - they become much more valuable than the mere cost of replacing the equipment.

Of course, a hard-disk failure could also amount to the same.

I try to use a thumb-drive to back up every month or more (when I'm being responsible).

Premium Chessgames Member

<Z>, <Peter>

Good Heavens- I do remember a source for some of the information in this bio- It's <Charushin's> biography of <Charousek>.

I have this book "in theory", meaning that I have to find it. I haven't looked at it for almost three years.

I have more than a thousand chess history books, and they are generally organized in piles around my bed, in boxes, on the floor, in non-alphabetical order on external hard drives, and in the pockets of old coats. Once I couldn't locate my copy of Cafferty and Taimanov's history of the USSR Championships for several days.

And no wonder! I had been using it as a mouse pad.

I will hunt down the Charousek biography, and then I can footnote the parts of the bio that came from this work.

Premium Chessgames Member

Aha- now it's coming back to me. I had been reading the Charousek biography in order to construct this video slide show, "Charousek- the new Morphy":

<Annie K> contributed a great deal of material for this video, and did research on Hungarian chess too. We passed Peter information for the Budapest (1896) intro at the same time I made the video, so Annie might remember or even have some sources for some of the information in the intro.

Peter do you remember? You offered Annie and I a "gift games collection" to thank us for helping with the <Budapest> intro. We chose Bucharest (1954), and you indeed created that tournament collection.

I also passed you information for that intro from two books I have on Rashid Nezhmetdinov.

If I can also locate those two books, then I can footnote and source some of the information in that intro.

Feb-20-15  suenteus po 147: <jessicafischerqueen> I won't soon forget putting together Bucharest (1954) for you and <Annie>. It was a big one, but very enjoyable work, especially because you gave me the resources to turn it into an interesting story. I wish all the tournament collections I made turned out as well as that one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: An important post about the history of this tournament:

Tarrasch vs Albin, 1896 (kibitz #4)

Feb-08-18  mifralu: <zanzibar>
<<Semyon Alapin withdrew at the last minute....> and Gyula Makovetz Source: Neue Hamburger Zeitung / 07 Oct 1896/ Page 6
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