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3rd American Chess Congress Tournament

George Henry Mackenzie8.5/10(+8 -1 =1)[view games]
Henry Hosmer8/10(+8 -2 =0)[view games]
Max Judd7/10(+6 -2 =2)[view games]
Frederick Bock5.5/10(+4 -3 =3)[view games]
Frederick H Elder3.5/6(+3 -2 =1)[view games]
Frederick Perrin2/12(+2 -10 =0)[view games]
James Adams Congdon1.5/10(+1 -8 =1)[view games]
Hiram Kennicott0/4(+0 -4 =0)[view games] Chess Event Description
3rd American Chess Congress (1874)
The 3rd American Chess Congress was held in Chicago, Illinois from July 7th to the 16th, 1874. Eight US players participated in the double rounds event by paying an entry fee of $20. The participants were previous congress winner George Henry Mackenzie, previous congress participants Frederic Elder, Henry Hosmer, Max Judd, Hiram Kennicott and Frederick Perrin, and newcomers Frederick Bock and James Adams Congdon. The time control was 15 moves every hour. For the first time in an organized US tournament draws were not required to be replayed. As with many tournaments from the 19th century, no official scheduling was in place, so the games are organized below according to the days in which play began.

Chicago, 7-16 July 1874

1st Mackenzie 10/12 ** 10 1 11 -- 11 11 11 2nd Hosmer 10 /12 01 ** 10 11 -- 11 11 11 3rd Judd 7 /10 0 01 ** 1 -- 11 11 -- 4th Bock 5/12 00 00 0 ** 1 11 1 -- 5th Elder 3/ 6 -- -- -- 0 ** 01 11 -- 6th Perrin 2 /12 00 00 00 00 10 ** 10 -- 7th Congdon 1/12 00 00 00 0 00 01 ** -- 8th Kennicott 0 /4 00 00 -- -- -- -- -- **

Four games were unavailable: Mackenzie - Congdon, Congdon - Mackenzie, Bock - Hosmer, and Hosmer - Bock. Elder and Kennicott withdrew early, but their games were included at the final.

Mackenzie won his second title as well as the $225 grand prize by finishing clear first with +10 -1 =1, yet just half a point ahead of Hosmer.

The previous and next congresses were 2nd American Chess Congress (1871) and 4th American Chess Congress (1876).

Original collection: Game Collection: Chicago 1874, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 36  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. H Kennicott vs H Hosmer  0-132 1874 3rd American Chess CongressB20 Sicilian
2. F Perrin vs J A Congdon 1-024 1874 3rd American Chess CongressD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. M Judd vs Mackenzie 0-151 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC50 Giuoco Piano
4. H Hosmer vs H Kennicott 1-029 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
5. F Bock vs F H Elder  ½-½57 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC01 French, Exchange
6. Mackenzie vs M Judd ½-½44 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC78 Ruy Lopez
7. J A Congdon vs F Perrin 1-047 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC78 Ruy Lopez
8. F H Elder vs F Bock  0-139 1874 3rd American Chess CongressD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
9. F Perrin vs F H Elder 1-044 1874 3rd American Chess CongressB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
10. Mackenzie vs H Kennicott  1-050 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC26 Vienna
11. J A Congdon vs F Bock  ½-½32 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC01 French, Exchange
12. H Kennicott vs Mackenzie  0-145 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC53 Giuoco Piano
13. H Hosmer vs M Judd  0-156 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC45 Scotch Game
14. F H Elder vs F Perrin  1-044 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC41 Philidor Defense
15. M Judd vs H Hosmer 0-121 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC50 Giuoco Piano
16. F Bock vs J A Congdon  1-057 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC42 Petrov Defense
17. F Perrin vs Mackenzie 0-125 1874 3rd American Chess CongressA80 Dutch
18. Mackenzie vs F Perrin  1-032 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC01 French, Exchange
19. F H Elder vs J A Congdon 1-031 1874 3rd American Chess CongressD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. F Bock vs M Judd  0-130 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC01 French, Exchange
21. J A Congdon vs F H Elder 0-128 1874 3rd American Chess CongressD00 Queen's Pawn Game
22. H Hosmer vs Mackenzie 1-047 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC33 King's Gambit Accepted
23. Mackenzie vs H Hosmer  1-030 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
24. M Judd vs F Bock ½-½62 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC78 Ruy Lopez
25. F Perrin vs F Bock  0-122 1874 3rd American Chess CongressC53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 36  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: One rarely sees such a high proportion of Fredericks in a tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <FSR> or in the comments.

(It was 100%, afraid I've just cut it in half!)

* * * * *

The missing games aren't missing at all, they're forfeits, as explained on the bottom of page 98 of the 5th American Chess Congress tournament book (which does a retrospective review of previous Chess Congresses, and so is the defacto tournament book for both the 3rd and 4th Congresses).

<Mr. Bock, who had been playing under the disadvantages attending ill-health, resigned his two games to Mr. Hosmer, and on the last day of the tournament General Congdon resigned his games to Captain Mackenzie. By cancelling the games played by Messrs. Kennicott and Elder, and computing the drawn games as half a won game to each contestant producing a drawn battle, the final score appears as follows:

Geo. H. Mackenzie, won 8.5 games.
Henry Hosmer, " 8 "
Max Judd, " 7 "
Frederick Bock, " 4 "
J. A. Congdon, " 1.5 "
Frederick Perrin, " 1 "


The rules stated that any player who dropped out before completing 2/3 of their schedule would have their results nullified.

Thus, the 3rd Congress only had six players, officially.

One more aside. The tournament book reports that the <London (1862)> rules were used. This isn't true in one important respect - the players alternated colors in the RR even if a game were drawn in a pairing match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Here's the complete list of prizes awarded for the main tournament:


George H. Mackenzie ... First Prize ... $225.00
Henry Hosmer ... ... ... Second Prize ... 150.00
Max Judd ... ... ... ... Third Prize ... 75.00


Wish <CG> preserved the formatting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The full rules were spelled out in Brownson's <Chess Journal v59-69 (1875)> in the beginning of the journal.

The distinction begin a draw and a nullified game is mentioned as concerns colors.

(I'm wondering what the primary source of the games is, as the 5th Congress Book has none of the actual games).

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: So there was a tournament book specific to the Congress issued:

but it's unavailable on google books. Lyons lists it as the "scarcest of the American Chess Congress Books".

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Again, we have a tournament where journal/newspaper coverage of the games was deliberately limited by the organizers - in an attempt to focus interest on the tournament book.

The Westminster Papers (v7 1875) went so far as to comment on this (I guess partly from the experience with London (1860) and Birmingham (1858)):

<The Chicago Committee have resolved to publish the games after the tourney in Book form. We can assure them that, in our judgment, this is not wise policy. The games should be published at once, and whilst the players are interested in the subject. We believe that those games of the Baden Tourney and the Vienna Tourney that were published by us as quickly as we could get them were more played over than all the games that have been published since. The games of the last tourney are still being published in the Continental Chess papers, but we never see any one playing over the games, nor do we see them quoted in this Country, Australia or America. (p62)


We can only repeat that when the book is published no one will read it, except those who have to do so as a matter of business; whereas, if the games had been sent to the journals at once, the whole of them would have been played over by the end of next month. (p82)>

Apr-20-16  Erkostic: I just posted on my blog, how two Chicago Newspapers covered the congress, part one can be found here.

Part two to follow.

Apr-30-16  Erkostic: Part two of my blog post on the congress

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: I have the OLMS reprint of the tournament book and can lookup any details if you wish.
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