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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
6th American Chess Congress Tournament

Max Weiss34.5/49(+24 -4 =21)[games]
Mikhail Chigorin33/46(+27 -7 =12)[games]
Isidor Gunsberg31/43(+26 -7 =10)[games]
Joseph Henry Blackburne29.5/43(+26 -10 =7)[games]
Amos Burn28/42(+24 -10 =8)[games]
Samuel Lipschutz28/43(+22 -9 =12)[games]
James Mason26.5/47(+17 -11 =19)[games]
Jean Taubenhaus19.5/43(+13 -17 =13)[games]
Eugene Delmar19.5/42(+16 -19 =7)[games]
Max Judd19.5/38(+17 -16 =5)[games]
David Graham Baird19/44(+15 -21 =8)[games]
William Henry Krause Pollock19/41(+15 -18 =8)[games]
Jackson Whipps Showalter19/39(+15 -16 =8)[games]
James Moore Hanham18/46(+11 -21 =14)[games]
Constant Ferdinand Burille17.5/43(+12 -20 =11)[games]
Henry Edward Bird17.5/38(+14 -17 =7)[games]
George Hatfeild Gossip17/45(+11 -22 =12)[games]
Dionisio M Martinez16/43(+11 -22 =10)[games]
John Washington Baird9.5/43(+5 -29 =9)[games]
Nicholas MacLeod7.5/40(+6 -31 =3)[games]

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
6th American Chess Congress (1889)

Chess was on the rise in the United States during the 1880s, and the imagination of the world was captured in the form of a new individual: the World Chess Champion. Wilhelm Steinitz had claimed the title for himself after defeating Johannes Zukertort in a match in 1886, and in the following years in his new adopted home of the USA Steinitz would be a positive promotional force.

W. W. Ellsworth and Constantine Schubert, with the urging and support of Steinitz, prepared a proposal for the Sixth American Chess Congress. The main event would be a double round robin tournament of twenty players. A world championship match would then follow on the results. When the required sum of $5000 became available in 1888, the tournament was scheduled for the following year. It was during this period that Steinitz and Mikhail Chigorin played their first world championship match in Havana from January 20th until February 24th 1889. Steinitz won 10½-6½. New York 1889 started a month later. Steinitz withdrew as a participant, much to the horror of the organizing committee, but he remained available for administrative tasks and as journalist to report on the games each day. He would also later author the tournament book. Participants included ten Europeans: Henry Bird, Joseph Blackburne, Amos Burn, Mikhail Chigorin, George Gossip, Isidor Gunsberg, James Mason, William Pollock, Jean Taubenhaus, and Max Weiss; and ten players from the Americas: D. G. Baird, J. W. Baird, Constant Burille, Eugene Delmar, James Hanham, Max Judd, Samuel Lipschütz, Nicholas MacLeod, Dionisio Martinez, and Jackson Showalter. The schedule called for six games played per week at 8 Union Square. Play began at 1pm and continued until 5pm with a break for dinner and then resumed as necessary at 7pm with games adjourned at 11pm. Adjourned games were completed on rest days. A time limit of 15 moves per hour was regulated by stop-clocks. Draws counted as half a point in the first cycle of nineteen rounds, but had to be replayed once during the second cycle, with the second result standing. The tournament lasted from March 25th until May 27th 1889.

The 6th Chess Congress consisted of 38 normal rounds, 8 replay rounds, and 4 playoff rounds, for a grand total of 50 rounds. A $50 cash prize donated by Frank Rudd and Fred Wehle was awarded to Gunsberg for the best game of the tournament for his win against Mason in the first cycle of rounds. A second $50 cash prize donated by Isaac Rice was awarded to Pollock for his brilliant win over Weiss in their game from the second cycle of rounds. The star of the event was Max Weiss. He won sixteen and drew seven games before the first replay round during the second cycle. That day started with a win in 68 moves. Thereafter the game against DG Baird was replayed. Weiss achieved a won endgame but lost in 113 moves eventually. His accuracy was gone and he lost against Blackburne in 57 moves the next day. At the end Weiss shared the first prize with Chigorin after the world vice-champion bounded up in the standings. A four game play-off was intended to determine a clear winner to face Steinitz for the world crown, but the two men, no doubt exhausted from the colossal tournament, drew all their games. Lipschütz, as the highest placing American, lobbied to be considered the American champion that year, but was unable to generate unanimous support. Jackson Showalter, "The Kentucky Lion", was also making a name for himself in the Midwest at this time, winning at Cincinnati 1888, and at Saint Louis, in February 1890 (The 3rd Congress of the US Chess Association). The rivalry between the two culminated in a short match in 1890, won by Showalter, who claimed the National Title.

New York 1889 can be regarded as the first candidates’ tournament. The winner had the obligation to start a match against Steinitz within a month. Neither Weiss nor Chigorn wished to be compelled to play a championship match against Steinitz. As a result, the Committee decided to cancel the event. Weiss returned to Austria. He went on to win the Kolisch Memorial in Vienna in 1890, doing so without a loss. Thereafter he concentrated on his work for the Rothschild Bank. His solid chess can be seen to precede the style of Georg Marco, Carl Schlechter and Geza Maróczy.

The third prize winner Gunsberg was interested in a match against Steinitz in New York. First Gunsberg drew a match against Chigorin in Havana at the beginning of 1890 (11½-11½). Upon the strength of that result his challenge was accepted by Steinitz. They played a match at the Manhattan Club later that year. Steinitz won with 10½-8½.

Steinitz extensively wrote about New York 1889 in the International Chess Magazine and The Book of the Sixth American Chess Congress, New York 1891. His publications showed profound positional insights. A match between Steinitz and Weiss would have brought together the best positional players of 1889.

New York, 25 March - 27 May 1889

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Scores 01 Weiss ** ½0 ½1 10 ½½ ½1 1½ 11 11 11 10 ½½ ½1 10 11 11 ½1 11 11 11 29 /38 02 Chigorin ½1 ** 00 ½1 11 10 00 11 01 ½1 11 11 ½1 11 10 11 11 11 11 11 29 /38 03 Gunsberg ½0 11 ** 01 ½0 ½0 1½ 10 11 11 ½1 11 01 11 01 11 11 11 11 11 28½/38 04 Blackburne 01 ½0 10 ** 01 10 10 01 11 10 11 11 11 11 11 10 11 ½1 11 10 27 /38 05 Burn ½½ 00 ½1 10 ** 1½ 00 11 11 10 11 11 01 00 11 01 11 11 11 11 26 /38 06 Lipschütz ½0 01 ½1 01 0½ ** ½1 00 11 ½1 10 ½0 ½1 11 11 11 10 11 11 11 25½/38 07 Mason 0½ 11 0½ 01 11 ½0 ** ½0 00 11 ½0 10 01 01 ½1 1½ ½1 ½½ 11 11 22 /38 08 Judd 00 00 01 10 00 11 ½1 ** 10 11 01 00 11 00 ½1 ½0 10 ½1 11 11 20 /38 09 Delmar 00 10 00 00 00 00 11 01 ** ½0 10 11 0½ 10 01 11 10 11 11 01 18 /38 10 Showalter 00 ½0 00 01 01 ½0 00 00 ½1 ** ½1 10 10 10 11 ½0 01 ½1 11 11 18 /38 11 Pollock 01 00 ½0 00 00 01 ½1 10 01 ½0 ** 01 ½1 ½1 01 11 00 00 11 11 17½/38 12 Bird ½½ 00 00 00 00 ½1 01 11 00 01 10 ** ½0 11 ½1 11 00 10 ½0 11 17 /38 13 Taubenhaus ½0 ½0 10 00 10 ½0 10 00 1½ 01 ½0 ½1 ** 01 00 0½ ½1 10 11 11 17 /38 14 Baird, D 01 00 00 00 11 00 10 11 01 01 ½0 00 10 ** 10 00 01 11 10 ½1 16 /38 15 Burille 00 01 10 00 00 00 ½0 ½0 10 00 10 ½0 11 01 ** ½1 1½ 00 ½1 11 15 /38 16 Hanham 00 00 00 01 10 00 0½ ½1 00 ½1 00 00 1½ 11 ½0 ** 10 01 0½ 11 14 /38 17 Gossip ½0 00 00 00 00 01 ½0 01 01 10 11 11 ½0 10 0½ 01 ** 00 1½ 00 13½/38 18 Martinez 00 00 00 ½0 00 00 ½½ ½0 00 ½0 11 01 01 00 11 10 11 ** 01 01 13½/38 19 Baird, J 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ½1 00 01 ½0 1½ 0½ 10 ** 10 7 /38 20 MacLeod 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 10 00 00 00 00 ½0 00 00 11 10 01 ** 6½/38

First Place Playoff:

1 2 3 4 01 Weiss ½ ½ ½ ½ 2/4 02 Chigorin ½ ½ ½ ½ 2/4

The historical material used in this introduction is edited from the work of Jan van Reek and others, and is used in acknowledgment.

 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 429  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Gossip vs J Mason ½-½4718896th American Chess CongressC29 Vienna Gambit
2. D G Baird vs D M Martinez 1-03818896th American Chess CongressC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
3. Bird vs J W Baird ½-½5218896th American Chess CongressC30 King's Gambit Declined
4. Chigorin vs E Delmar 0-113518896th American Chess CongressC11 French
5. Blackburne vs J M Hanham 1-02618896th American Chess CongressC25 Vienna
6. Gunsberg vs Burn ½-½2718896th American Chess CongressC24 Bishop's Opening
7. Lipschutz vs W Pollock 1-03018896th American Chess CongressC29 Vienna Gambit
8. N MacLeod vs Taubenhaus 0-14718896th American Chess CongressC44 King's Pawn Game
9. Max Weiss vs Burille 1-03318896th American Chess CongressC67 Ruy Lopez
10. J W Baird vs N MacLeod 1-02418896th American Chess CongressC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
11. Burn vs Chigorin 0-16818896th American Chess CongressA04 Reti Opening
12. J M Hanham vs Gunsberg 0-13418896th American Chess CongressC20 King's Pawn Game
13. Burille vs Gossip 1-03718896th American Chess CongressD04 Queen's Pawn Game
14. D M Martinez vs Lipschutz 0-15018896th American Chess CongressD05 Queen's Pawn Game
15. J Mason vs Showalter 1-03118896th American Chess CongressC50 Giuoco Piano
16. W Pollock vs Blackburne 0-14918896th American Chess CongressC53 Giuoco Piano
17. Taubenhaus vs Max Weiss ½-½3818896th American Chess CongressC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
18. M Judd vs D G Baird 0-18218896th American Chess CongressC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. D G Baird vs J Mason 1-0818896th American Chess CongressC01 French, Exchange
20. Bird vs Burn 0-12118896th American Chess CongressC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
21. Blackburne vs D M Martinez ½-½8618896th American Chess CongressC27 Vienna Game
22. Chigorin vs J M Hanham 1-05018896th American Chess CongressC51 Evans Gambit
23. Gossip vs Max Weiss ½-½3018896th American Chess CongressC49 Four Knights
24. Gunsberg vs W Pollock ½-½5018896th American Chess CongressC77 Ruy Lopez
25. Lipschutz vs M Judd 0-15818896th American Chess CongressC11 French
 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 429  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-30-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: At last! One of the biggest and most difficult of all tournaments is up for all to view. There is a huge amount of work here and I, for one, am very grateful. Eighteen pages of games, lawdy miss claudy!
Aug-30-18  zanzibar: The interested reader may also like to consult the following:

<New York (1889) - A comparison of database versions> https://zanchess.wordpress.com/2016...

<New York (1889) - Working notes> https://zanchess.wordpress.com/2016...

<New York (1889) - First Look> https://zanchess.wordpress.com/2016...

Steinitz's tournament book provides the authoritative reference for the tournament:

https://books.google.com/books?id=C...

.

Aug-30-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Shouldn't this be titled the <6th American Chess Congress>, such as how this one was the 5th?

5th American Chess Congress (1880)

Sep-01-18  nok: <Shouldn't this be titled the <6th American Chess Congress>, such as how this one was the 5th?>

No. This is universally known as New York 1889 and the fact it was organized as an ACC is totally peripheral to its significance. (Notwithstanding CG's recent revisionist trend to name everything after organizers and sponsors.)

What's more, the description text is totally wrong. The tournament was a full blown World championship, and the winner did NOT have to play Steinitz. The players had made very clear they were against any form of Steinitz privilege, and he could not claim the title if he didn't play in the tournament.

Rather <the first two winners had to play a match against each other> in the tradition of Game Collection: London 1862, Leipzig (1877) and, well, London (1883). And that, people, is actually a sensible WC format, in line with other sports.

Sep-01-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: This tournament was originally to allow a fresh challenger for the world championship to emerge.

<"It is the purpose of the Committee to make the Tournament a contest for the real championship of the world, thus avoiding the controversies and disputes that have so often arisen at the end of tournaments, which, owing to the absence of a regulation providing for a match, have rendered them fallacious tests of superiority. In addition to the First Prize which will be $1,000, minimum, a trophy representing such championship will be provided and held subject to challenge under fair and equitable conditions, thus combining the advantages of a tournament and a championship match, to consist of at least seven games up, forming part of the tournament, and to be incorporated in the Book of the Congress."> [1]

"The winner of the Tournament shall be bound to play the Championship Match if duly challenged. He shall not be obliged to play for stakes, but may insist upon a maximum of $1,500 a side. To ensure compliance with this rule, one-fourth of the amount of the First Prize shall be held as a forfeit until the Championship Match is completed or the time for challenge has expired." [2]

Whilst Steinitz edited the tournament book and had been one of the principal organizers, he did not choose to play: "In that connection it is due to mention that the non-participation of Mr. Steinitz was a great disappointment to the majority of Chess amateurs. The Committee beg to say on this subject that they would have been highly gratified if Mr. Steinitz had been one of the contestants." [3]

Steinitz’s explanation was: "I was one of the chief organizers and therefore could not well compete..." [4]

Mikhail Chigorin and Max Weiss tied for first with a score of 29. Chigorin defeated Weiss in their individual game. They then drew all four games of a playoff. "At the end of the tournament there was a tie between M. Chigorin, of St. Petersburg, and Herr Max Weiss, of Vienna. Both these masters expressed a desire not to be compelled to play a championship match, as provided by the rules, and as there was no other challenge for the title and the prizes offered for the purpose, the Committee decided that this contest should not take place." [5]

The Committee gave way, probably influenced by the fact that the congress had lost money. Subscribers had not paid, and spectators were fewer than anticipated. Although Weiss was not interested in playing a championship match, Gunsberg, as the third place finisher, exercised his right and challenged Chigorin.

"7. The right of challenge shall belong to the prize winners in the order of their score." [6]

[1] [[The book of the Sixth American Chess Congress: containing the games of the international chess tournament held at New York in 1889.]] Edited by W. Steinitz (1891), Committee report page, xii.

[2] [[The book of the Sixth American Chess Congress: containing the games of the international chess tournament held at New York in 1889.]] Edited by W. Steinitz (1891), Committee report page, xx.

[3] [[The book of the Sixth American Chess Congress: containing the games of the international chess tournament held at New York in 1889.]] Edited by W. Steinitz (1891), Committee report page, xxi.

[4] Letter from Steinitz to the publishers George Routledge and Son, April 3rd 1890. Quoted in [[The Steinitz Papers: Letters and Documents of the First World Chess Champion]], p. 115.

[5] [[The book of the Sixth American Chess Congress: containing the games of the international chess tournament held at New York in 1889.]] Edited by W. Steinitz (1891), Committee report page, xxiii.

[6] [[The book of the Sixth American Chess Congress: containing the games of the international chess tournament held at New York in 1889.]] Edited by W. Steinitz (1891), Committee report page, xx.

See Chigorin - Gunsberg (1890) for futher information.

Sep-01-18  nok: <This tournament was originally to allow a fresh challenger for the world championship to emerge.> Two, actually.

<The Committee beg to say on this subject that they would have been highly gratified if Mr. Steinitz had been one of the contestants.>

Exactly. But Steinitz inaugurated a strategy of hiding in the bushes until the dust settles. A practice Carlsen was supposed to end, but he didn't have the balls after all.

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