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
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.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1st Mason 10.0/13 xx 1- 1½ ½1 10 1½ 11 ½1
2nd Judd 9.0/13 0- xx 10 1½ 0½ 11 11 11
3rd Bird 8.5/14 0½ 01 xx 0½ ½1 11 ½1 ½1
4th Elson 8.0/14 ½0 0½ 1½ xx 1½ ½½ 10 11
5th Davidson 8.0/14 01 1½ ½0 0½ xx ½1 01 11
6th Roberts 5.5/14 0½ 00 00 ½½ ½0 xx 1½ 11
7th Ware 4.0/14 00 00 ½0 01 10 0½ xx ½½
8th Barbour 2.0/14 ½0 00 ½0 00 00 00 ½½ xx
--- Martinez 1.0/ 4 00 -- -- -- ½½ -- -- -- (withdrawn)
Original collection: Game Collection: Philadelphia 1876, by User: suenteus po 147.
| page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 59
| page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 59
|Mar-18-13|| ||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.>
|Mar-18-13|| ||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.>
|Mar-18-13|| ||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 ...>
|Dec-07-13|| ||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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