Some of the main organizers of the tournament were Bledow (who had passed away by the time the final proposals could be arranged), von der Lasa, Kennedy and Staunton(1). They wanted a congress of competitive chess players at the start of the London World's Fair that could serve as an international and recurring chess meeting for the best players in Europe and the rest of the world(2). The tournament started in May of that year and proceeded to standardize issues such as consistent time-controls, rules and notation in a knock-out style format.
Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851, the famous Immortal Game, was played at the venue but was not part of the tournament.
First Round Second Round Semi-final Final
Kieseritsky ˝ Anderssen 4
Szen 2 Szen 2
---------- Anderssen 4
Horwitz 2˝ Staunton 1
Bird 1˝ Staunton 4˝
Staunton 2 Horwitz 2˝
---------- Anderssen 4˝
Williams 2 Wyvill 2˝
Löwenthal 0 Williams 4
Mucklow 2 Mucklow 0
E Kennedy 0 Wyvill 4
---------- Williams 3
H Kennedy 2
Mayet 0 Wyvill 4˝
Wyvill 2 H Kennedy 3˝
References: (1) Wikipedia article: London 1851 chess tournament , (2) Wikipedia article: The Crystal Palace
Missing information: no dates ]
| page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 84
| page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 84
|Feb-25-13|| ||Expendable Asset: From Wyvill's biography section on chessgames.com: <Marmaduke Wyvill was an English Member of Parliament who finished 2nd to Adolf Anderssen at the London (1851) tournament.> |
And the description above shows that Anderssen defeated Wyvill in the final to claim first place, thereby placing Wyvill as second.
However, the standings at the top indicate that Wyvill came in third place.
|Feb-26-13|| ||Dionysius1: It looks like he might have come second by knockout (the tournament table) and 3rd by his score in the games he played (chessgames table).|
|Feb-26-13|| ||Expendable Asset: <Dionysius1> So that's why. Thanks for pointing it out.|
Getting second place in the 1851 International was a very impressive feat at the time. But it doesn't seem to matter at all in the long-run, since very few chess players today even know about Wyvill. He's barely mentioned in any 20-21st century chess books, yet he came ahead of Staunton, Bird, Szen, Kieseritsky, Horwitz, and others. And he got the best performance overall against the winner of the tournament, Adolf Anderssen.
|Feb-26-13|| ||keypusher: <Expendable Asset> Wyvill was a member of Parliament who didn't play a lot of chess compared to people like Staunton or Anderssen.|
He had a wonderful result in this tournament but had a relatively easy draw (Lowe, H.A. Kennedy, and Elijah Williams) before the final. If you play through the games I think you'll agree that Szen was Anderssen's toughest opponent. Szen also crushed H.A. Kennedy and Horwitz in "loser's bracket" matches -- he probably had the best overall performance after Anderssen.
|Feb-26-13|| ||Expendable Asset: <keypusher> Understood. One should blame the format of the tournament and the lucky/unlucky pairings, though, not Wyvill for going up against weaker players.|
And I meant the best result <against> the winner of the tournament, meaning XYZ vs Anderssen, not who had the best performance overall in the tournament after Anderssen. Wyvill vs Anderssen was a 2.5/4.5, while Szen vs Anderssen was 2/4, both in Anderssen's favor, but Wyvill had the best individual overall performance playing against Anderssen alone. Wyvill was not a pushover. A lot of people mention how far Staunton got in 1851 but very few bother to give Wyvill some real credit for his accomplishment here. We're talking about the 1851 International, not the games anybody played after, not the games anybody played before. Ex. just because Bird played over 50 years more of chess doesn't suddenly make him more important or notable in <1851> than Wyvill.
|Mar-26-13|| ||wordfunph: The Chess Tournament London 1851 by Howard Staunton..|
|Mar-07-14|| ||keypusher: <Expendable Asset>
<And I meant the best result <against> the winner of the tournament, meaning XYZ vs Anderssen, not who had the best performance overall in the tournament after Anderssen. Wyvill vs Anderssen was a 2.5/4.5, while Szen vs Anderssen was 2/4, both in Anderssen's favor, but Wyvill had the best individual overall performance playing against Anderssen alone. >
To quote myself, <If you play through the games I think you'll agree that Szen was Anderssen's toughest opponent. > None of Anderssen's four wins over Wyvill lasted 30 moves.
|Apr-21-14|| ||zanzibar: Adding this short piece of information from wikipedia would be quite a bit helpful here:|
< Each first-round match was a best-of-three games, draws not counting. Subsequent rounds were best-of-seven, and losers played consolation matches. The pairings were made by chance,>
|Jul-08-15|| ||zanzibar: The tournament book by Staunton is available from google books:|
|Jul-08-15|| ||zanzibar: <Anderssen seemed to be infusing a new spirit into the game as he swept several players off the board with aggressive Kingside assaults and was reported to have won the tournament in easy fashion.|
This was an impressive accomplishment, especially considering the fact that there were not yet any type of time controls in place and players could move at their own pace. Some players used this factor as a psychological tactic, which caused severe irritation amongst some of the players. Additionally, the playing conditions were reportedly bad enough to inspire the following quote from Anderssen:
Things were not particularly comfortable; tables and chairs were both small and low; the large boards stuck out over both edges of the tables; any space near the player was taken away by the person recording the moves; in short, there was not the slightest amount of free space on which one could support one’s head which might be so full of care during the hard struggles.>
|Jul-09-15|| ||zanzibar: The <CG> intro presently seen here could stand with some improvement. Especially considering the importance of this, the first truly international tournament.|
Perhaps another brief introduction, Bill Wall's, is a good starting point to compliment the above:
He at least gives the hard-to-find bracket dates (the finish date being the more difficult),
<The games were played from May 27 to July 15, 1851 at the St. George’s Chess Club at 5 Cavendish Square in London.>
and explicitly mentions the important role Staunton played in organizing the event (he was first among the organizers, I believe).
For example, it was Staunton who financially generously underwrote the travel expenses of Anderssen (in the event he were not to win), thereby ensuring his participation.
As for the <CG> intro, it could be improved by expansion. But also in some of the details. For example, given that the London tournament was played without any explicit time control, it is hard to argue that the tournament contributed much to the standardization of time controls.
Maybe insofar as precipitating discussion...
|Jul-09-15|| ||zanzibar: Some germane comments from the <1st American Chess Congress (1857)> tournament book:|
<America took no part in this world's festival of chess [i.e. <London (1851)>]. Our chess public, at that time, was, indeed, singularly apathetic. It seems to have sunk into one of those periodical fits of inaction to which every art and pursuit are subject, and from which our amusement has no right to claim an exemption.
Few or no clubs were then in existence. The magazine established by Mr. Stanley had been discontinued, and the only regular chess publication was weekly problem in the Albion newspaper. The excitement consequent upon the playing of various important matches by Mr. Stanley, Mr. Rousseau, Mr. Schulten, and Mr. Turner had died away. In the west the Kentucky Tournaments had ceased in the south the career of Paul Morphy had scarcely begun in the east Mr. Hammond played but little and in the north neither Philadelphia nor New York possessed any organized chess associations.
But in spite of the want of regular chess organs and the general lack of interest in the game, stray notices of the London Tournament crossed the Atlantic, were read, and served to revive the old enthusiasm. Several clubs soon after wards sprang into existence. Chess departments were com menced in various journals, and at length magazine exclusively devoted to the interests of the chess fraternity was established.
It is somewhat strange that no one should have conceived the idea of general meeting of American players during the period between the years 1840 and 1848 period which was distinguished by widely-manifested interest in the game. It is still more strange that, with the example of the British amateurs before them, no one should have proposed similar convention in this country, during the time which has elapsed since 1851. It was not until the beginning of 1857 that any person appears to have seen the desirableness of national tournament.>
BTW- I was wondering why there were so little notice of <London (1851)> in the O'Keefe Timeline. This excerpt explains why.
|Aug-09-15|| ||SBC: <intro presently seen here could stand with some improvement.>|
"Some of the main organizers of the tournament were Bledow (who had passed away by the time the final proposals could be arranged)"
Since Bledow died 5 years before the tournament, he probably passed away before the initial proposals could have been arranged.
|Nov-20-15|| ||thomastonk: What a horrible introduction!|
|Jan-13-16|| ||zanzibar: Here is some immediate assessments of <London (1862)>, just after it finished, whereupon they compared it to the <London (1851)> tournament:|
<Their object was to hold an International Tournament in its widest sense, to
institute contests in which all classes of players might participate, and to give prizes of value to successful competitors
in a branch of the game which has not, until lately, obtained
adequate recognition—that of problem composition. In all
these respects the programme has been faithfully carried out,
the contests have been really international, and no favour
has been shewn either to foreigner or native. The mode of
play adopted in the Grand Tournament was the fairest that
could be devised. It had been tried previously at a little
tournay at the London Club, with perfect success. The
plan was, that each player should contend a match of one
game with every other combatant, by which means all would
have a fair and thorough trial of strength, and the best
player would have the best chance of winning. The method
adopted in the Tournament of 1851, had been found so objectionable, that it was summarily rejected. The evil of
that plan is, that in contests intended to settle the relative
rank of the players, and to govern accordingly the distribution of the prizes, very absurd results are likely to
occur. In fact, this was the case in 1851, when players
such as Kiezeritzki and Lowenthal were thrown out of the
competition, while one of the combatants to whom either
could have given a Book, obtained a prize.>
Lowenthal, <London Chess Congress (1862)> p xciii-xciv
|Jan-22-16|| ||zanzibar: <<Additionally, the playing conditions were reportedly bad enough to inspire the following quote from Anderssen:>|
Things were not particularly comfortable; tables and chairs were both small and low; the large boards stuck out over both edges of the tables; any space near the player was taken away by the person recording the moves; in short, there was not the slightest amount of free space on which one could support one’s head which might be so full of care during the hard struggles.
<Anderssen received 20 pounds and a large silver cup for his victory.><<>>>
Hunting down the original reference might take a while.
|Jan-22-16|| ||zanzibar: The tournament was notable for the friction generated between the young sponsoring St. George's CC (est 1843 Cavendish) vs the older and better established London CC (est 1807 Cornhill).|
<The London Chess Club did not take part in the Tournament of 1851, because the St. George's, under the auspices of Mr. Staunton, wished to assume position derogatory to their claims nor was it proper that the oldest and most influential Club in the United Kingdom should play second-fiddle to much younger association. But they gave cup of the value of one hundred guineas to be played for by the foreign amateurs then in London, and Anderssen, Szabo. Szen. Kling, and Harrwitz were amongst the contestants. The cup was won by Herr Anderssen.
<Paul Morphy - the Chess Champion> p 51 F.M. Edge (1859)
|Jan-22-16|| ||zanzibar: 1851.05.17 NY Albion has a note about the departure of Loewenthal from the US, as representative of the Cincinnati Chess Club, aboard RMS Steam Ship Asia from NY on the 7th.|
|May-23-16|| ||Sally Simpson: " When Anderssen and Szén found they were to play each other, they agreed that, if either won the tournament, the other would receive one-third of the prize; this does not appear to have been considered in any way unethical."|
One source [Cheass Treasury of the Air - page 212] says this arrangement was made when Anderssen was trailing in his match v Szen.
Apparently Staunton notes that after this presumed mid-match agreement the Hungarian's play (that will be Szen) was unquestionably vastly inferior to his best efforts.
(Not checked the tournament book - Staunton appears to know of the agreement but whether or not it took place mid-match needs to be confirmed.)
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