|7th American Chess Congress (1904)|
St. Louis was a busy place in 1904. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition (known informally as the 1904 World's Fair) was held there from 30 April to 1 December 1904. The Summer Olympic games were also held in St. Louis from 1 July to 23 November 1904. Although originally scheduled to be held in Chicago, the St. Louis group played hardball and threatened to hold their own international athletic competition unless the games were moved to St. Louis. (1) Poorly run and with relatively few foreign athletes (only about a tenth of the competitors were from outside the US), the games were largely overshadowed by the fair itself.|
With the fair and the Olympics as a backdrop, the 7th American Chess Congress was held at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis 11-26 October 1904. The MAC was founded just before the fair and the original building was lost to fire in 1914. (2) Max Judd, who was head of the organizing committee, wanted to name the winner US champion, but Harry Nelson Pillsbury, both directly and by proxy through his friend Walter Penn Shipley, objected strenuously to the idea. (3) This, along with his poor heath, was probably responsible for Pillsbury's absence from St. Louis. Despite Pillsbury's objections, Marshall was awarded a gold medal recognizing him as US "champion" for winning the tournament.
Draws were replayed with colors reversed, and if the second game was also drawn the result was scored as one draw. The sequence of rounds was determined by lot each day. Games were played 1-6 PM and 8-11 PM with time controls of 30 moves in 2 hours and 15 moves an hour thereafter.
There are two games missing.
1) Eisenberg-Shrader 1-0 from Round 9 was a forfeit. Helms wrote in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle coverage for 26 October 1904 that <Eisenberg added another point to his total, scoring by default against Dr. Shrader, who was called home.>
2) Jaffe-Uedemann 1-0 from Round 8 is a bit murkier. The game collection sources I have consulted give either no game at all or present it as a forfeit in favor of Jaffe. However, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 22 October 1904 reported that <C. Jaffe of Brooklyn strengthened his position considerably by winning from L. Uedemann of Chicago, the Western champion.> So, the game collections imply a forfeit, but the Eagle coverage implies a played game. In either event, no game score seems to be available, and all sources agree it was a win for Jaffe.
Uedemann finished second to Mlotkowski in the "minor" tournament (Western Chess Championship) held just before the congress. As the highest-scoring eligible player (Uedemann was from Chicago), he was named 'Western Champion'. The biggest surprise of the tournament was the poor showing of Mlotkowski. In the "minor" tournament, he had finished clear first, by 2.5 points (+11 -0 =2). Kemeny, Schrader, Shrader and Uedemann also played in both the minor and major events, and why Mlotkowski did so well in the minor and so poorly in the major is a mystery. Playing two games per day for a week in the minor apparently took a lot out of him. The coverage in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for 16 October 1904 speculated <Fatigue, coupled with his fondness for the Evans and Greco counter gambits, which yielded poor results in this contest, no doubt are the factors responsible for his lack of success.>
There wasn't much of a race for first. Marshall easily ran through the field and only gave up a pair of draws (scored as one draw) to Mlotkowski in the last round. By that point Marshall was assured of first place as long as he did not lose to Mlotkowski. Judd lost an endgame to Uedemann in Round 2 (L Uedemann vs M Judd, 1904), which put him a point behind Marshall. Then when they met in Round 7, Judd completely collapsed against Marshall in less than 20 moves (Marshall vs M Judd, 1904), leaving Marshall in complete control with a 2-point lead over the field with two rounds to play. Uedemann lost in Round 1 to Marshall (Marshall vs L Uedemann, 1904), but might have stayed in the race for second had he not lost to Schweitzer in Round 5 (L Uedemann vs G Schwietzer, 1904) - in one of Schweitzer's three wins in the tournament. A loss to Jaffe in Round 8 (either played or forfeited) relegated Uedemann to third.
A draw in the crosstable indicates both the initial and the replay game were drawn. If only the initial game was drawn, the result from the replay game was used.
References: (1) Wikipedia article: American Chess Congress , (2) http://www.flickr.com/photos/mohist..., (3) http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skitt..., (4) Original collection: Game Collection: St. Louis 1904, by User: crawfb5.
M J U K S E J S M S Pts
Marshall x 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 = 1 8.5
Judd 0 x 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.0
Uedemann 0 1 x 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 6.0
Kemeny 0 0 0 x 1 1 1 0 1 1 5.0
Schrader 0 0 0 0 x = 1 1 1 1 4.5
Eisenberg 0 0 0 0 = x 1 1 1 1 4.5
Jaffe 0 0 1 0 0 0 x 1 1 1 4.0
Schwietzer 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 x 0 1 3.0
Mlotkowski = 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 1 2.5
Shrader 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 0.0
| page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 53
| page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 53
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