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MATCH STANDINGS
MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63 Match

George Henry Mackenzie6.5/10(+6 -3 =1)[view games]
George Alcock MacDonnell3.5/10(+3 -6 =1)[view games]

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63

Introduction

This was the second of two matches played between these two players within a year, and was played during December 1862 and January 1863.

“A match of four games, with a <time limit of twenty-four moves an hour>, has been arranged to come off between Mr. Macdonnell and Mr. Mackenzie. These gentlemen are old antagonists in the Royal game, and the friends of the latter are now hopeful of success, since he so ably proved his powers by carrying off first prize in the recent Handicap Tourney; but it must be remembered that the President of the Dublin Chess Club did not enter into that contest, and we are confident that Mr. Macdonnell, in this match, will maintain his own position with his able adversary”. (1)

“The President” being - Mr. Macdonnell (2)

Mackenzie had lost the first match in the summer of 1862. The exact score of that match is not clear. The Illustrated London News quotes a letter from MacDonnell giving his combined result against Mackenzie (after the second match) as +10 -10 =4, in which case Mackenzie's score for the first match was +4 -7 =3.

Mackenzie gained his revenge by defeating MacDonnell by +6 -3 =1. The Illustrated London News of 20 December 1862 (p. 654) states this match took place at the Grand Cigar Divan in London (now known as Simpson's in the Strand). At the time, the establishment was also known as “’(Samuel) Ries's Grand Cigar Divan’, Strand, opposite Exeter Hall” (3)

Conditions

“At the Cigar Divan a spirited contest is now pending. The players are Mr Macdonnell and Captain Mackenzie, the conditions being that the winner or the first six games shall be declared victor. Present score:- Mr Macdonnell, I; Capt. Mackenzie. I; Drawn, 0.” (4)

The match

When this match was played, it represented a very high-level encounter indeed. The players were of similar strength and in their prime, Mackenzie being 25 years old and his opponent 32. They were both in a group of elite players whose strength at the time was just under that of the leading masters: Paulsen, Anderssen, Kolisch, Steinitz. Chessmetrics has MacDonnell as 6th and Mackenzie as 13th in the world at the time. Mackenzie's rated strength, however, was to increase significantly with regular tournament practice as a professional player in the USA, whilst MacDonnell, who was a priest, did not match his erstwhile opponent's improvement.

Character

This was a strongly fought match, and featured interesting new ideas. MacDonnell's defence in game 8 and 10 prefigured Chigorin and the Hyper-Moderns.

Progress of the match:

MacDonnell led 3-2 after 5 games but then could make only one draw in the remainder of the match. Of the two players, he made the most egregious blunders, but also played more inventively in defence.

Mackenzie 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 6.5 MacDonnell 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 3.5

The chronology of the match as given in “The Era” is:

14th December 1862: MacDonnell 1, Mackenzie 1, draws 0.

21st December 1862: MacDonnell 3, Mackenzie 3, draws 0.

4th January 1863: MacDonnell 3, Mackenzie 5, draws 1.

And the “Nottinghamshire Guardian” provides the conclusion:

16 January 1863: MacDonnell 3, Mackenzie 6, draws 1.

“The chess match at the Grand Cigar Divan, Lon-don, between the Rev. Mr. Macdonnell (formerly of Nottingham) and Mr. Mackenzie, has terminated in favour of the latter. The score at the finish was as follows: — Mackenzie, 6 ; Macdonnell, 3 ; drawn, 1.” (5)

notes

(1) “Belfast News-Letter”, Saturday 20th December 1862, p.4.

(2) See “Dublin Daily Express”, Friday 27th June 1862, p.3.

(3) See “Chelmsford Chronicle”, Friday 20 September 1861 p.6.

(4) According to The Era”, Sunday 14 December 1862, p.5.

(5) “Nottinghamshire Guardian” - Friday 16 January 1863”, p.5.

Original collection and text: Game Collection: MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63 (1862) by User: Chessical.

Missing information: No exact days available for any game. Month/year uncertain for games 8-9.

 page 1 of 1; 10 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. G MacDonnell vs Mackenzie ½-½37 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63A10 English
2. Mackenzie vs G MacDonnell 1-048 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63B06 Robatsch
3. G MacDonnell vs Mackenzie 1-049 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63C50 Giuoco Piano
4. G MacDonnell vs Mackenzie 0-127 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63C01 French, Exchange
5. Mackenzie vs G MacDonnell 1-047 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63C41 Philidor Defense
6. G MacDonnell vs Mackenzie 1-047 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63C50 Giuoco Piano
7. Mackenzie vs G MacDonnell 0-164 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63C41 Philidor Defense
8. G MacDonnell vs Mackenzie 0-128 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63C42 Petrov Defense
9. Mackenzie vs G MacDonnell 1-047 1862 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63C41 Philidor Defense
10. Mackenzie vs G MacDonnell 1-036 1863 MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63B06 Robatsch
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

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