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Philadelphia Tournament

James Mason12/15(+10 -1 =4)[view games]
Harry Davidson9/16(+6 -4 =6)[view games]
Max Judd9/13(+8 -3 =2)[view games]
Henry Edward Bird8.5/14(+6 -3 =5)[view games]
Jacob Elson8/14(+5 -3 =6)[view games]
Albert Roberts5.5/14(+3 -6 =5)[view games]
Preston Ware4/14(+2 -8 =4)[view games]
Lorenzo D Barbour2/14(+0 -10 =4)[view games]
Dionisio M Martinez1/4(+0 -2 =2)[view games] Chess Event Description
Philadelphia (1876)
At the occasion of the World's Fair held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States of America, a number of exhibitions and events were organized to take place during the fair in order to attract foreign interests and representatives to American soil. In addition to many wondrous inventions debuted at the fair, including such curiosities as the telegraph, the telephone, and the typewriter, the 4th American Chess Congress was held. It was the perfect opportunity, not only to attract foreign chess masters but also to celebrate the US centennial.

Nine American chess players, some of whom had only taken up residence in the United States only recently, participated in the tournament through registering the $20 entrance fee. The complete list of participants included L. D. Barbour, Henry Edward Bird (originally from England), Harry Davidson, Jacob Elson, Max Judd, Dion Martinez (originally from Cuba), James Mason (originally from Ireland and Great Britain), Albert Roberts, and Preston Ware. Martinez played two of his opponents in both double rounds, but was called back to Cuba when an illness in his family became known to him. His early exit caused his participation from the tournament to be cancelled and his results and games were expunged from the final record. His four games are included in the collection for historical accuracy and completeness.

The organization of games and format for timing and pairing were still unstandardized at this time, so players often ended up completing and playing additional games in their pairings on the same day. While the format below does not follow any clear separation of rounds, the dates for each game's completion is discriminating. Play had been scheduled to begin on August 15th, but was delayed to August 16th. All games were played through to August 31st, 1876, with Sundays reserved as rest days.

James Mason won the $300 grand prize, as well as the Governor Garland Silver Cup for placing first with ten points out of thirteen. His second game with Judd was left unplayed due to Judd's illness. The other prizes went to Judd, who received $200 for second place, Bird, who received $150 for third place, Elson, who received $100 for fourth place, Davidson, who received $50 for fifth place, and Roberts, who received $8 for sixth place. Each place to receive money aside from also a gold medal to commemorate their participation.

Philadelphia, 16-31 August 1876

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1st Mason 10.0/13 xx 1- 1 1 10 1 11 1 2nd Judd 9.0/13 0- xx 10 1 0 11 11 11 3rd Bird 8.5/14 0 01 xx 0 1 11 1 1 4th Elson 8.0/14 0 0 1 xx 1 10 11 5th Davidson 8.0/14 01 1 0 0 xx 1 01 11 6th Roberts 5.5/14 0 00 00 0 xx 1 11 7th Ware 4.0/14 00 00 0 01 10 0 xx 8th Barbour 2.0/14 0 00 0 00 00 00 xx --- Martinez 1.0/ 4 00 -- -- -- -- -- -- (withdrawn)

The 3rd American Chess Congress (1874) and 5th American Chess Congress (1880) were the previous and next in the series of chess congresses in the United States. M Martinez & allies vs Mackenzie / Ware / Bird, 1876 was also played at this event.

Original collection: Game Collection: Philadelphia 1876, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 59  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. M Judd vs L D Barbour  1-028 1876 PhiladelphiaA10 English
2. L D Barbour vs M Judd  0-134 1876 PhiladelphiaA00 Uncommon Opening
3. J Elson vs P Ware  1-039 1876 PhiladelphiaB01 Scandinavian
4. Bird vs J Mason 0-198 1876 PhiladelphiaA02 Bird's Opening
5. H Davidson vs D M Martinez  ½-½61 1876 PhiladelphiaC01 French, Exchange
6. D M Martinez vs H Davidson ½-½72 1876 PhiladelphiaA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
7. J Mason vs Bird ½-½38 1876 PhiladelphiaC33 King's Gambit Accepted
8. L D Barbour vs A Roberts  0-140 1876 PhiladelphiaC78 Ruy Lopez
9. A Roberts vs L D Barbour  1-026 1876 PhiladelphiaC42 Petrov Defense
10. P Ware vs J Elson  1-069 1876 PhiladelphiaA80 Dutch
11. H Davidson vs M Judd 1-051 1876 PhiladelphiaB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
12. P Ware vs Bird 0-162 1876 PhiladelphiaA80 Dutch
13. L D Barbour vs J Mason ½-½91 1876 PhiladelphiaC66 Ruy Lopez
14. J Elson vs A Roberts  ½-½38 1876 PhiladelphiaC77 Ruy Lopez
15. M Judd vs H Davidson ½-½48 1876 PhiladelphiaA10 English
16. Bird vs P Ware ½-½87 1876 PhiladelphiaB01 Scandinavian
17. A Roberts vs J Elson  ½-½38 1876 PhiladelphiaC01 French, Exchange
18. D M Martinez vs J Mason 0-142 1876 PhiladelphiaA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
19. J Mason vs L D Barbour  1-027 1876 PhiladelphiaB42 Sicilian, Kan
20. J Mason vs D M Martinez 1-027 1876 PhiladelphiaC01 French, Exchange
21. Bird vs A Roberts 1-038 1876 PhiladelphiaC45 Scotch Game
22. L D Barbour vs H Davidson 0-145 1876 PhiladelphiaC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
23. A Roberts vs Bird 0-120 1876 PhiladelphiaC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
24. H Davidson vs L D Barbour 1-015 1876 PhiladelphiaC42 Petrov Defense
25. M Judd vs P Ware  1-043 1876 PhiladelphiaB01 Scandinavian
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 59  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: From "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle", September 7, 1876:

<The Philadelphia tournament has ended in favor of the American chess champion, Mr. Mason, of New York, who won the first prize, a silver goblet and $300; Max Judd, the Swedish player of St. Louis, being second, and Mr. Bird of London, third on the list. The former winning a gold medal and $200, and the latter a gold medal and $150. The fourth prize has yet to be awarded, as Messrs. Elson and Davidson tied on the record. Mr. Martinez, the Spaniard, retired. Mr. Barbour was barbarously whipped, as the appended score shows:>


<The tourney, like the stingy old lady's coffee, was wery good, what there was of it, but it was not a "grand international tourney," or a meeting worthy the occasion.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: From St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Sept. 10, 1876:

<Mr. Mason's final score in Philadelphia was 10 won, 3 loss. Mr. Judd's was nine won, four lost. The last game between these gentlemen was left unplayed, owing to Mr. Judd's illness. Had it been played and won by Mr. Mason, Mr. Judd still took the second prize, while if won by the latter, the result would have been a tie. Mr. Bird (third) won eight and one-half, lost five and one-half.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: From The American Chess Journal vol. X no. 3, September 1876, p. 69:

<Philadelphia, Sept. 2, '76.
The veteran Jacob Elson and young Harry Davidson, tied for the 4th and fifth prizes, $150 and two gold medals, which they divided and will hereafter play for position.>

<Max Judd, of St. Louis, though not in good form, being ill the greater portion of the time, sustained his reputation ...>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <"Nine American chess players, some of whom had only taken up residence in the United States only recently, participated in the tournament ... The complete list of participants included ... Henry Edward Bird (originally from England)...">

Interesting. Did Bird have to be considered an American resident to be included in the tournament?

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