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🏆 1st Anglo-American Cable Match (1896)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Joseph Henry Blackburne, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, Jackson Whipps Showalter, Constant Ferdinand Burille, David Graham Baird, John Finan Barry, Amos Burn, Henry Ernest Atkins, Samuel Tinsley, Albert Hodges, Henry Edward Bird, Eugene Delmar, Daniel Yarnton Mills, Edward Hymes, Edward Mackenzie Jackson, Charles Dealtry Locock Chess Event Description
1st Anglo-American Cable Match (1896)
From 1896 to 1911 the Anglo-American Cable Match was a highlight on the chess calendars of Great Britain and the United States, attracting some of the best players from both nations. 13 matches in all were played, and to say the result was even is an understatement: each side won six matches (with one match drawn), and each side scored 64 points in the 13 matches. This was a competitive and hard-fought series all the way, with few short draws or quick victories.

The matches were played over two days at the relatively fast time limit of 20 moves per hour, though transmission times slowed this down a bit. Two four-hour sessions were played each day with a one-hour interval between, starting at 3 PM (London time) / 10 AM (New York time). Unfinished games after the fourth session were to be adjudicated, though this was rarely necessary as the two sides could usually agree as to the results. There were some minor changes to these conditions, but they remained fairly consistent throughout the series.

The players were required to be "native-born", though this requirement was relaxed for children born to citizens who were overseas at the time - such as Hermann G Voigt or George Alan Thomas. The prize at stake was the Sir George Newnes Cup, which was to remain in the permanent possession of the first team to win three matches in a row. When Great Britain accomplished this feat in 1909-1911, the series ended. A picture of the Cup can be found at

Match 1, March 13-14, 1896: United States 4 Great Britain 3

(USA White on the odd-numbered boards)

USA 4.5 GBR 3.5 1 Pillsbury 0 Blackburne 1 2 Showalter 1 Burn 0 3 Burille 1 Bird 0 4 Barry 1 Tinsley 0 5 Hymes Locock 6 Hodges Mills 7 Delmar Atkins 8 Baird 0 Jackson 1

The first match proved a pattern for what was to come, as the lead seesawed back and forth. Jackson put the British up, but Bird evened things up by blundering his king. Showalter put the Americans ahead, Blackburne evened the match, then Barry clinched it with the last game to finish.

The 2nd Anglo-American Cable Match (1897) repeated the contest.

Original collection: Game Collection: Anglo-American Cable Matches, 1896-1911, by User: Phony Benoni.

 page 1 of 1; 8 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Burille vs Bird 1-04818961st Anglo-American Cable MatchC00 French Defense
2. Pillsbury vs Blackburne 0-16618961st Anglo-American Cable MatchD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
3. Burn vs Showalter 0-16618961st Anglo-American Cable MatchD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. D Mills vs A Hodges  ½-½4018961st Anglo-American Cable MatchC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
5. Tinsley vs J F Barry  0-16718961st Anglo-American Cable MatchD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. E Hymes vs C D Locock  ½-½4118961st Anglo-American Cable MatchC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
7. E Delmar vs H E Atkins  ½-½4118961st Anglo-American Cable MatchD05 Queen's Pawn Game
8. E M Jackson vs D G Baird  1-03318961st Anglo-American Cable MatchC50 Giuoco Piano
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
May-11-17  zanzibar: Here's a nice write-up, and line drawings of all the contestants:

<BDE 1896-03-08 p5>


Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: Thanks for sharing, Zanzibar. I love the historical stuff.
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