Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

🏆 Pillsbury - Showalter US Championship (1897) Chess Event Description
For links to other game collections of US championship matches, see ... [more]

Player: Jackson Whipps Showalter

 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Pillsbury vs Showalter ½-½351897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC71 Ruy Lopez
2. Showalter vs Pillsbury ½-½771897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipD00 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Pillsbury vs Showalter 1-0401897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC50 Giuoco Piano
4. Showalter vs Pillsbury 0-1391897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC67 Ruy Lopez
5. Pillsbury vs Showalter 1-0531897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC71 Ruy Lopez
6. Showalter vs Pillsbury 1-0701897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC67 Ruy Lopez
7. Pillsbury vs Showalter 0-1331897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC67 Ruy Lopez
8. Showalter vs Pillsbury 1-0231897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC67 Ruy Lopez
9. Pillsbury vs Showalter 1-0471897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Showalter vs Pillsbury 1-0671897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC44 King's Pawn Game
11. Pillsbury vs Showalter 1-0661897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
12. Showalter vs Pillsbury 1-0581897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC44 King's Pawn Game
13. Pillsbury vs Showalter 0-1531897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipD66 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line
14. Showalter vs Pillsbury 0-1601897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC44 King's Pawn Game
15. Pillsbury vs Showalter ½-½471897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
16. Showalter vs Pillsbury 0-1281897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC67 Ruy Lopez
17. Pillsbury vs Showalter 0-1911897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipD68 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Classical
18. Showalter vs Pillsbury 0-1401897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC67 Ruy Lopez
19. Pillsbury vs Showalter 0-1721897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipC67 Ruy Lopez
20. Showalter vs Pillsbury 0-1471897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipD00 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Pillsbury vs Showalter 1-0401897Pillsbury - Showalter US ChampionshipD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Showalter wins | Showalter loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-21-13  RookFile: Showalter did well against a Pillsbury in his prime.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Many thanks to User: crawfb5 for the intro, and to <Pawn and Two> for taking the time to add Pillsbury's own comments to each game from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

This match must have been a shock for Pillsbury. He was thinking of challenging Lasker for the World Championship, and here he is only barely beating Showalter. Showalter was rated, according to, about 2550 in 1897. Pillsbury was rated about 2635 (world number 3) and Lasker was a whopping 2745.

So Pillsbury should have won easily. In fact the match was neck-and-neck for the first 19 games.

Dec-14-16  steinitzfan: I've never quite understood this. It seems that in light of Pillsbury's record against the world's elite he would have demonstrated a clear superiority against his main rivals for the national championship. It didn't happen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: It's a puzzle. My own theory is that Pillsbury's international success made it difficult for him to get motivated.

Alekhine had much the same trouble with Euwe. He knew Euwe was capable from playing him before the match with Capablanca Alekhine - Euwe Training Match (1926) but when he played the WC match with him in 1935 he relaxed after gaining an early crushing lead.

Pillsbury was similarly up 3-0 after 5 games, and I believe he checked out mentally.

Dec-14-16  RookFile: Yep. Meanwhile, Showalter gave it everything he had. Good for him.
Aug-15-18  ughaibu: My impression, from replaying games 6, 7 and 8, is that Pillsbury was suffering from shock, in the latter two, because he hadn't realised that Showalter could outplay him as he did in the first.

Those are the only games I've looked at, but I see no indication that Pillsbury lacked motivation.

Aug-15-18  RookFile: I think Showalter was a tough, practical player who got everything he could out of the talent he was given. If I were him I'd be frustrated at a guy like Pillsbury who had such ridiculous talent.
Aug-15-18  ughaibu: So, RookFile, what's your impression of the match overall, do you think Pillsbury played below par or do you think the closeness of the result accurately reflects the players' strengths?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: At least Pillsbury got it right in the next match with Showalter.

Pillsbury - Showalter US Championship (1898)

Aug-15-18  RookFile: Yeah, I think TheFocus has the right take on this. I was going to answer the question in a different way. You always hear Pillsbury mentioned as a man who might have been able to defeat Lasker in a world championship match. So, it is interesting to look at what happened when Lasker played Showalter in a match:

Lasker - Showalter (1893)

There too, Showalter aquitted himself well: he was certainly more than competitive before Lasker showed his true strength in the 2nd half of the match.

So yes, certainly Pillsbury played below his strength in this match. That being said, the games were interesting. As you may remember, I've always thought that win, lose, or draw, Pillsbury is probably the most interesting player who has ever played the game. Pillsbury didn't make the same mistake in the next match against Showalter.

NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific tournament and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC