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. Thirteen matches in all were played, and to say the results were even is an understatement: each side won 6 matches (with one match drawn) and each side scored exactly 64 points in the 13 matches. This was a competitive and hard-fought series all the way, with very 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 an one-hour interval between, starting at 3:00 PM (London time) or 10:00 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 throughout the series, but they remained fairly consistent throughout.
In general, 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 http://www.rookhouse.com/blog/index...(scroll down a bit; thanks to <The Focus> for pointing this out).
Match 1, March 13-14, 1896: United States 4½ Great Britain 3½
(USA White on the odd-numbered boards)
The first match proved a pattern for what was to come, as the lead seesawed back and forth. Lawrence 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.
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 ½ Locock ½
6 Hodges ½ Mills ½
7 Delmar ½ Atkins ½
8 Baird 0 Jackson 1
The 2nd Anglo-American Cable Match (1897) repeated the contest for the newly minted Newnes cup.
Original collection: Game Collection: Anglo-American Cable Matches, 1896-1911, by User: Phony Benoni