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Harry Nelson Pillsbury
Pillsbury 
 
Number of games in database: 546
Years covered: 1890 to 1905

Overall record: +213 -92 =104 (64.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 137 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (59) 
    C67 C80 C78 C71 C62
 Orthodox Defense (50) 
    D60 D50 D63 D55 D51
 French Defense (36) 
    C14 C13 C11 C12 C10
 Queen's Gambit Declined (24) 
    D31 D37 D06 D30
 French (23) 
    C13 C11 C10 C12 C00
 Vienna Opening (21) 
    C29 C25 C27 C28 C26
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (56) 
    C67 C65 C60 C79 C78
 Petrov (22) 
    C42 C43
 Queen's Pawn Game (14) 
    D00 D02 D04 A41
 Sicilian (13) 
    B73 B32 B30 B58 B56
 King's Gambit Declined (11) 
    C31 C30 C32
 Four Knights (11) 
    C49 C48
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Pillsbury vs Lasker, 1896 1-0
   Pillsbury vs Gunsberg, 1895 1-0
   Pillsbury vs Tarrasch, 1895 1-0
   Pillsbury vs Lasker, 1904 1-0
   Pillsbury vs Fernandez, 1900 1-0
   Pillsbury vs G Marco, 1900 1-0
   Pillsbury vs Maroczy, 1900 1-0
   Pillsbury vs Winawer, 1896 1-0
   Pillsbury vs NN, 1899 1-0
   Lasker vs Pillsbury, 1895 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   1st City Chess Club Tournament (1893)
   Munich (1900)
   Hastings (1895)
   Pillsbury - Showalter US Championship (1898)
   Pillsbury - Showalter US Championship (1897)
   Buffalo (1901)
   13th DSB Kongress (Hanover) (1902)
   Monte Carlo (1902)
   Vienna (1898)
   Paris (1900)
   Budapest (1896)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   London (1899)
   Monte Carlo (1903)
   Vienna (1903)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   pillsbury's best games of chess by bengalcat47
   Pillsbury vs World Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
   Ideas by LaBourdonnaisdeux
   N O P Players by fredthebear
   HNP: "A Genuis Ahead of His Time" by chocobonbon
   Vienna 1898 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Vienna 1898 by suenteus po 147
   Pillsbury, the Extraordinary by StuporMundi
   Noteworthy Games by BAJones
   Pillsbury winning on f5. by nikolaas
   London 1899 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   London 1899 by suenteus po 147
   Monte Carlo 1903 by suenteus po 147
   Pillsbury miniatures. by CoryLetain

GAMES ANNOTATED BY PILLSBURY: [what is this?]
   Schlechter vs Lasker, 1895
   Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1895
   Janowski vs Steinitz, 1895
   Burn vs Lasker, 1895
   Steinitz vs B Vergani, 1895
   >> 18 GAMES ANNOTATED BY PILLSBURY


Search Sacrifice Explorer for Harry Nelson Pillsbury
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HARRY NELSON PILLSBURY
(born Dec-05-1872, died Jun-17-1906, 33 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Harry Nelson Pillsbury was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, the Boston Chess Club being not far to the south of town. He learned to play chess at the age of sixteen, when he was encouraged by family to study chess as a distraction after his mother died. Within four years Pillsbury had improved to the point of winning a three-game match from Wilhelm Steinitz in 1892 by the score of 2-1 at the odds of pawn and move. He also scored one of two wins against Steinitz in the World Champion's 20-board simultaneous exhibition. In 1893, he won a close match against John Finan Barry (+5 -4 =1) that earned him entry into his first international tournament in New York as Boston's representative. Although the congress fell through, most likely due to problems in the financial world, the so-called “Impromptu” 1893 tournament was organized in its place. Playing in his first tournament with European masters, Pillsbury barely managed a plus score and finished seventh. Pillsbury returned to New York a few months later and finished clear first in the 1893 New York Masters (sometimes called the “Manhattan Cafe”) tournament ahead of a number of American masters. Pillsbury then moved to New York and began working for the Eden Musee as the operator of Ajeeb (Automaton), a chess- and checkers-playing automaton. He held this job with periodic leaves of absence until 1898 when he moved to Philadelphia and married. In 1894, Pillsbury finished second to Jackson Whipps Showalter in a small tournament in Buffalo (Staats-Zeitung Cup) and had a poor result of =5th in a master's tournament in New York. Nevertheless, he still made a sufficiently good impression for the Brooklyn Chess Club to sponsor his trip to the 1895 chess congress in Hastings.

At Hastings, Pillsbury stunned the chess world by taking clear first in perhaps the greatest tournament of the 19th Century, ahead of a field that included Mikhail Chigorin, Emanuel Lasker, Siegbert Tarrasch, Wilhelm Steinitz, Joseph Henry Blackburne, Amos Burn, Richard Teichmann and others. On the basis of this result, Pillsbury was invited to an elite four-player tournament in St. Petersburg, with Lasker, Steinitz, and Chigorin. Pillsbury was leading by a full game halfway through the tournament (+5 -1 =3), but fell ill during the second half, with catastrophic results (+0 -6 =3). Had Pillsbury managed to win or finish a close second he might well have secured the world championship match that eluded him. Nevertheless, this was the start of a successful tournament career that included 1st at Buffalo 1901, =1st at Vienna 1898 and Munich 1900, 2nd at Paris 1900, Monte Carlo 1902, and Hanover 1902, =2nd at London 1899, 3rd at St. Petersburg 1895-6, Budapest 1896, and Monte Carlo 1903, =3rd at Nuremberg 1896, and 4th at the Vienna Gambit tournament 1903. Pillsbury only seriously faltered at the very end, finishing =8th with a minus score at Cambridge Springs 1904, in his last tournament.

Pillsbury negotiated the final terms of the first Anglo-American cable match with Sir George Newnes, president of the London Chess Club. Sir George donated the Newnes Cup, held by the winning team each year until the next match. Pillsbury played on the first board for the US team in the first eight cable matches (+1 -2 =5). Pillsbury also helped prepare the US House of Representatives team for their 1897 cable match against the House of Commons.

Pillsbury was considered the strongest player in the US. He played two matches for the US championship against Showalter, winning both of the Pillsbury - Showalter (1897) (+10-8=3) and Pillsbury - Showalter (1898) (+7-3=2) matches. However Pillsbury was not especially eager to be named US champion: “I was not seeking the match, and even if I should win I shall leave Showalter in possession of the title; I am not in search of any title but one.” The “one” title was, of course, World Champion. Pillsbury wrote to New York following his success at Hastings that there had been some talk of arranging a title match with Lasker, but, as with so many proposed world championship matches over the years, nothing came of it. Pillsbury's inability to obtain a title match against Lasker was most likely due to Pillsbury's failure to secure enough financial backing to induce Lakser to agree to a match.

Pillsbury was accomplished at blindfold chess and often playing mutiple games blindfolded in his exhibitions. He set an early world record for number of simultaneous blindfold games, playing 20 games at Philadelphia in 1900. He was also a skilled checkers player, and would sometimes include checkers and whist games in his exhibitions. Pillsbury's exhibitions were quite impressive for the day. Jose Raul Capablanca wrote: “The effect of Pillsbury's displays was immediate. They electrified me, and with the consent of my parents I began to visit the Havana Chess Club.”

Pillsbury played a number of consultation games over the years. Such games were sometimes played on off days of tournaments between players with no adjourned games. Pillsbury played with or against masters such as Henry Edward Bird, Blackburne, Chigorin, David Janowski, Lasker, William Ewart Napier, Georg Marco, Frank James Marshall, Carl Schlechter, Showalter, Tarrasch, Teichmann, and others.

While there is general agreement that Pillsbury died of syphilis, it is unknown when he contracted the disease. Syphilis shows great variability in its time course across patients and can easily mimic symptoms of other diseases, so a definitive answer is unlikely. Pillsbury was ill during the second half of the St. Petersburg tournament, which was attributed to influenza at the time. He was also quite ill during the Nuremberg tournament, and, of course, during Cambridge Springs. He suffered two strokes during the last year and a half of his life.

Pillsbury wrote no chess books. He wrote occasional newspaper reports on tournaments and matches and wrote a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Although there are few known correspondence games played by Pillsbury, one of the early correspondence chess organizations in the US was named in his honor (Pillsbury National Correspondence Chess Association).

Wikipedia article: Harry Nelson Pillsbury


 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 547  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Pillsbury vs F Young 1-0201890Offhand gameA02 Bird's Opening
2. Pillsbury vs Burille  1-0291891Odds Match vs. Burille, -92000 Chess variants
3. Pillsbury vs Burille  ½-½701891Odds Match vs. Burille, -92000 Chess variants
4. Pillsbury vs Burille 1-0351891Odds Match vs. Burille, -92000 Chess variants
5. Pillsbury vs Burille  0-1451891Odds Match vs. Burille, -92000 Chess variants
6. Pillsbury vs Burille 1-0531891Odds Match vs. Burille, -92000 Chess variants
7. Steinitz vs Pillsbury 1-0371892BostonC51 Evans Gambit
8. Pillsbury vs Steinitz 1-0661892Odds match (pawn and move)000 Chess variants
9. Pillsbury vs Steinitz 1-0311892Odds match (pawn and move)000 Chess variants
10. Pillsbury vs Steinitz 0-1361892Odds match (pawn and move)000 Chess variants
11. Steinitz vs Pillsbury 0-1301892Steinitz 20 board simultaneousC30 King's Gambit Declined
12. Pillsbury vs J W Young 0-1491893SimulC14 French, Classical
13. Pillsbury vs W P Shipley 0-1101893PhiladelphiaA07 King's Indian Attack
14. F Young vs Pillsbury 1-0161893BostonC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
15. Pillsbury vs K A Walbrodt  ½-½641893Pillsbury -- Walbrodt Informal MatchA07 King's Indian Attack
16. K A Walbrodt vs Pillsbury  0-1371893Pillsbury -- Walbrodt Informal MatchC30 King's Gambit Declined
17. Pillsbury vs K A Walbrodt 1-0291893Pillsbury -- Walbrodt Informal MatchC25 Vienna
18. Pillsbury vs Gossip 1-0471893New YorkA07 King's Indian Attack
19. J M Hanham vs Pillsbury  1-0521893New YorkC55 Two Knights Defense
20. Pillsbury vs J S Ryan 1-0541893New YorkA40 Queen's Pawn Game
21. E Delmar vs Pillsbury 1-0251893New YorkC46 Three Knights
22. Pillsbury vs Louis Schmidt 1-0411893New YorkD04 Queen's Pawn Game
23. E N Olly vs Pillsbury  0-1451893New YorkA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
24. Pillsbury vs F J Lee 0-1601893New YorkB01 Scandinavian
25. Lasker vs Pillsbury 1-0551893New YorkC60 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 547  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Pillsbury wins | Pillsbury loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 39 OF 39 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-16-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Pope>, you're taking liberties. Where's your @#$%* book?
Jul-16-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Perhaps, while we wait, someone could put out an algebraic version of <Pillsbury's Chess Career> by Sergeant and Watts?

I'd like to see that book.

Jul-24-18  Telemus: [Event "18-board simul Franklin CC"]
[Site "Philadelphia"]
[Date "1899.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Pillsbury, Harry Nelson"]
[Black "Stuart, David"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Source "The Weekly News and Courier 1899-12-20, page 8 ('contested recently')"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 4. Qe2 fxe4 5. Bxc6 bxc6 6. Nxe5 Bd6 7. Qxe4 Qe7 8. d4 Ba6 9. f4 Rb8 10. Nc3 Nf6 11. Qe3 O-O 12. h3 c5 13. Ne2 cxd4 14. Nxd4 Nd5 15. Qg3 Bc5 16. Nb3 d6 17. Qf3 Nb4 18. Nxc5 dxc5 19. Kd1 Bb7 20. Qe2 Rbd8+ 21. Bd2 Rxf4 22. Nf3 Re4 23. Qf2 Qe6 24. a3 Nxc2 25. Kxc2 Re2 26. Qxc5 Be4+ 27. Kc1 Bxf3 28. gxf3 Rdxd2 29. Qb4 Qc6+ 30. Qc3 Rc2+ 0-1

Pillsbury chose a very rare line, possibly inspired by K A Walbrodt vs Lipke, 1898.

Black is probably David Stuart Robinson, see the discussion at D Stuart 's page.

Jul-24-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

<Telemus> ...Pillsbury logically enough began his late 1899 chess tour in the United States with a stay in Philadelphia, by then his home.

On Saturday night, October 7, 1899, Pillsbury opened the season for the Franklin Chess Club with a simultaneous exhibition of eighteen boards, winning fifteen, losing two, and drawing one.

Walter Penn Shipley earned his draw at board nine, while the exhibitioner lost to D. Stuart Robinson on board ten and George H. Stout on board two...

Source: John S. Hilbert - More Recovered Chess Games (http://www.chessarch.com/archive/00...)

...

Jan-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

.

<Question solved - how to beat the 'Brentano's Defense'>

.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln) 14 Mar 1901, p. 3:

Harry N. Plllsbury entertained the local chess experts yesterday afternoon and last evening. He played better chess than he ever before played in Lincoln and came through the ordeal with fewer games charged against him than usual.

... Mr. Pillsbury showed the players a new turn in the attack against Brentano's Defense to the Ruy Lopes. C. Q. De France, secretary of the Nebraska chess association, asked Mr. Pillsbury to play the Lopez in order that the new defense might be tried. Following is the record:

.

[Event "Exhibition Game"]
[Site "Lincoln"]
[Date "1901.03.13"]
[White "Pillsbury, Harry Nelson"]
[Black "De France, C Q"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C60"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g5 4. d4 Nxd4 5. Nxd4 exd4 6. O-O Bg7 7. c3 Nh6 8. cxd4 c6 9. Bc4 d6 10. Nc3 Bg4 11. f3 Bh5 12. Be3 f5 13. Qd2 f4 14. Bf2 Rf8 15. Rfe1 Qd7 16. d5 O-O-O 17. dxc6 bxc6 18. a4 g4 19. Ra3 gxf3 20. Ba6+ Kc7 21. Nd5+ cxd5 22. Qa5+ 1-0


click for larger view

The position having reached a three-mover.

Source: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/253...

...

Chessgames.com donated generously 'C. Q. De France' a new first name - see: Lincoln C Q DeFrance

...

Jan-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Harry Nelson Pillsbury would destroy anything in front of him with internet and chessbase access.
Jan-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Harry Nelson Pillsbury was the internet in chess before the internet in chess. Discuss.
Jan-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Hazz>, enough already. Go to bed.
Jan-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <MissScarlett: <Hazz>, enough already. Go to bed.>

You laying down the law here <MissS> ?? lol

Jan-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Joseph Henry Blackburne beat Harry Nelson Pillsbury 5 to 3, with 4 draws.>

Confute.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Jan-09-19  Violin sonata: I don't know whether this has been mentioned or not, but I just want to add it. He once jumped from a hospital window on the fourth floor to commit suicide when he had a high fever, where he was treated for a mental disorder. A very tragic story for the genius Here is the source:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Jan-09-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <He once jumped from a hospital window on the fourth floor to commit suicide>

Did he succeed?

Jan-10-19  Otoy: <Did he succeed?> It was a stalemate.
Jan-10-19  zanzibar: <<VS> He once jumped from a hospital window on the fourth floor ...>

I believe the article cited in the link never makes the claim that he actually did jump from the 4th floor. He attempted to, but was prevented.

That's how I read it.

Jan-10-19  zanzibar: I guess I should include this quote from the article:

<Only the arrival of reinforcements prevented a tragedy.>

Jan-11-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

Soltis - 'Chess Lists':

<Pillsbury's Farewell>

Harry Pillsbury's final game was a 44, move victory in a Queen's Gambit Declined over Edward Hymes in May 1905 in a match between the Franklin Chess Club of Philadelphia and the Manhattan Chess Club. He died a little more than a year later. (p.175)

Pillsbury vs E Hymes, 1905 (Philadelphia, 30. May 1905)

Pillsbury died in 1906 at age 33 of syphilis he had contracted more than 10 years before. (p.132)

.

<Was this really Pillsbury's last recorded game?> So his 33 move defeat against the talented Philadelphian player Stasch Mlotkowski happened before the Hymes game?

...

Jan-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

<A midsummer game>

C.N. 1954 - On page 10 of the November 1992 'Chess Life' A. Soltis said that Pillsbury's last published game was against Marshall in 1904<*>. Not so. C.N. 1673 gave the score of Pillsbury v Hymes, Philadelphia, May 1905, which had been printed in the New Orleans Times-Democrat of l5 June 1905 and the June 1905 American Chess Bulletin (page 226). Mr Soltis was therefore also wrong to suggest on page 50 of his 1990 book on Pillsbury, written with Ken Smith, that the Hymes game 'has apparently been lost'.

.

Mr Soltis failed also the 3rd time with 'Pillsbury's last play' (Chess Lists, p.175) ... a 7 move miniature published in Pillsbury's chess column in the Philadelphia Inquirer (6 Aug 1905 on page 34), with the short description - <A midsummer game at Atlantic City>:

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/257...

Looks more romantic - a final win in 7 moves, but I suspect someone will find a 'younger' game ...

...

<*> Surprisingly, writes Soltis also in 'Chess Lists (2nd ed. 2002)' on p.66:

... '<Pillsbury's international career also ended with a mate.> At his final tournament, Cambridge Springs 1904, he was mated by his younger rival, Frank Marshall, on the 23d move.'

But we knows (after intensive research) that Pillsbury's international career ended with a draw - (W Napier vs Pillsbury, 1904).

...

Jan-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <So his 33 move defeat against the talented Philadelphian player Stasch Mlotkowski happened before the Hymes game?>

What 33 move defeat against the talented Philadelphian player Stasch Mlotkowski?

Jan-12-19  Retireborn: Is it stasched away somewhere?
Jan-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Probably this game...

Date: 1905.05.27
Event: Pillsbury Exhibition: Simultaneous
White: Pillsbury,HN
Black: Mlotkowski,S
Opening: [C90] Spanish
Site: USA Philadelphia, PA (Franklin Chess Club)

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0 0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bg4 9.c3 0-0 10.axb5 axb5 11.Rxa8 Qxa8 12.h3 Bh5 13.d3 Nd7 14.g4 Bg6 15.Be3 h5 16.Nbd2 hxg4 17.hxg4 Nf6 18.Nh2 Kh7 19.Nhf1 Rh8 20.Ng3 Kg8 21.Nf5 Qd8 22.Qf3 Nh7 23.Nf1 Ng5 24.Bxg5 Bxg5 25.N1g3 Bf4 26.Kg2 Ne7 27.Rh1 Rxh1 28.Kxh1 Bxf5 29.gxf5 Qa8 30.Kg2 Qa1 31.Qe2 Bc1 32.f6 Ng6 33.fxg7 Nf4+ 0-1

source: White Collection Scrapbook, Philadelphia Times and North American, v6, W q789.4 P53, p106 (North American column dated 1905.06.18)

Jan-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <MissScarlett>: v1 is complete (including cover art), just sitting there waiting for an ISBN.

I'm still indexing v2...

Jan-12-19  zanzibar: <jnpope> any chance of getting a sneak peek at the cover art?

Oooh, oooh, that'd be swell!

Jan-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Looking forward to the new Pillsbury volumes!!
Jan-13-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It shouldn't take longer to write a book about a chess career than the career itself.
Mar-16-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

<Pillsbury in January 1894>

A engraving of the young Pillsbury clipped from 'The Kansas City Gazette, 7 Jan 1894' by our member <paderamo> with the header:

Chess Player Harry Pillsbury - The Boston Boy Seems to Have Championship Material In Him.

The recent chessmasters' tournament in New York City demonstrated that Harry N. Pillsbury, Boston's boy chess player, is a very formidable aspirant for the championship of the land of the free and the home of the brave...

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/453...

...

<H. N. Pillsbury's fine play>

Eight Chess Games Played Blindfold and at Once.

H. N. Pillsbury the Boston chess player gave a very successful exhibition of simultaneous blindfold play at the Brooklyn Chess Club against, eight strong members of the club. The single player won five, drew two and lost one game.

The appended game was considered the best of the series by Pillsbury. The score:

[Event "8-board blindfold display"]
[Site "New York, Brooklyn CC"]
[Date "1894.01.??"]
[White "Pillsbury, Harry Nelson"]
[Black "Frere, Walter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C26"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 Bc5 4. Bg2 d6 5. d3 Nf6 6. h3 Nd4 7. Bd2 c6 8. Na4 Bb6 9. Nxb6 axb6 10. c3 Ne6 11. Ne2 h6 12. O-O Ng5 13. Kh2 g6 14. f4 Ne6 15. Ng1 exf4 16. Bxf4 Nxf4 17. Rxf4 Be6 18. d4 d5 19. e5 Nh5 20. Rf2 O-O 21. Qd2 Kh7 22. g4 Ng7 23. Rf6 Ne8 24. Rf2 Ng7 25. Raf1 Rxa2 26. Bf3 Qg5 27. Qc2 Rfa8 28. Be2 Qe7 29. Bd3 b5 30. Rf6 Qe8 31. Nf3 Ra1 32. Rxa1 Rxa1 33. Nh4 Kg8 34. Nxg6 fxg6 35. Bxg6 Qe7 36. Bh7+ Kh8 37. Qg6 Bg8 38. Bxg8 Kxg8 39. e6 Re1 40. Rf7 Qd6+ 41. Kg2 Rg1+ 42. Kxg1 Qg3+ 43. Kf1 Qxh3+ 44. Ke2 1-0

Source: New York Times 8. Jan. 1894. (see - Walter Frere)

...

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