John Wisker
Number of games in database: 78
Years covered: 1866 to 1883
Overall record: +27 -37 =14 (43.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
C77 Ruy Lopez (11 games)
C45 Scotch Game (7 games)
A00 Uncommon Opening (5 games)
C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed (5 games)
A02 Bird's Opening (4 games)
C51 Evans Gambit (4 games)
C39 King's Gambit Accepted (3 games)
C35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham (3 games)
C44 King's Pawn Game (3 games)
C01 French, Exchange (3 games)

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(born May-30-1846, died Jan-18-1884) United Kingdom (citizen of Australia)

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John Wisker was born in Hull, England. He was British Champion in 1870 and 1872 (after play-offs on both occasions). In 1873 he played three matches with Henry Edward Bird, drawing the first (+6, =1, -6), losing the second (+4, =2, -6) and winning the third (+10, =3, -8). In 1877 he learned that he had tuberculosis, and emigrated to Australia at the advice of his doctor. He passed away in Melbourne in 1884.

Wikipedia article: John Wisker

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 78  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J Wisker vs Owen  1-032 1866 Counties Chess AssociationC39 King's Gambit Accepted
2. R Wormald vs J Wisker 1-024 1868 BCA-02.Challenge CupC77 Ruy Lopez
3. De Vere vs J Wisker  1-057 1868 BCA-02.Challenge CupC88 Ruy Lopez
4. Bird vs J Wisker ½-½38 1868 BCA-02.Challenge Cup+C77 Ruy Lopez
5. Blackburne vs J Wisker  1-023 1868 BCA-02.Challenge CupC77 Ruy Lopez
6. J Lord vs J Wisker  0-125 1868 BCA-02.Challenge CupC44 King's Pawn Game
7. J Wisker vs Blackburne  ½-½38 1868 BCA-02.Challenge Cup+C01 French, Exchange
8. J Wisker vs Bird 0-148 1868 BCA-02.Challenge CupC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
9. J Wisker vs Steinitz 0-129 1868 LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
10. Owen vs J Wisker 1-033 1868 BCA-02.Challenge CupA00 Uncommon Opening
11. J Wisker vs G MacDonnell 1-034 1868 BCA-02.Challenge CupC41 Philidor Defense
12. G MacDonnell vs J Wisker  1-041 1869 GlowwormA02 Bird's Opening
13. J Wisker vs Steinitz  0-129 1869 London (England)C44 King's Pawn Game
14. S Rosenthal vs J Wisker  ½-½48 1870 London m1C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
15. Blackburne vs J Wisker 1-023 1870 ?C77 Ruy Lopez
16. S Rosenthal vs J Wisker  0-141 1870 London m1C51 Evans Gambit
17. J Wisker vs S Rosenthal  0-128 1870 London m1C33 King's Gambit Accepted
18. J Wisker vs S Rosenthal  ½-½26 1870 London m1C33 King's Gambit Accepted
19. S Rosenthal vs J Wisker  ½-½36 1870 London m1C47 Four Knights
20. J Wisker vs Owen  1-031 1870 BCA-03.Challenge CupC01 French, Exchange
21. S Rosenthal vs J Wisker 0-146 1870 London m1C46 Three Knights
22. J Wisker vs S Rosenthal  ½-½37 1870 London m1A02 Bird's Opening
23. J Wisker vs Blackburne 1-044 1870 BCA-03.Challenge CupC15 French, Winawer
24. J Wisker vs S Rosenthal 0-148 1870 London m1C45 Scotch Game
25. S Rosenthal vs J Wisker  1-047 1870 London m1C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 78  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Wisker wins | Wisker loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Wisker is a great might have been (more) of British chess.

In 1868 at the British Chess Association Handicap he came second to Steinitz.

He was British champion for two championships (Challenge Cups) running in 1870 and 1872.

In the third BCA Challenge Cup in 1870, Wisker defeated the up and coming Owen, Blackburne, and Gossip, and then defeated Burn in a play-off match.

He also played matches with Bird (1873).

"In 1873, Wisker was holder of the British Chess Association Challenge Cup, but had never seen or played with Bird, who had been for six years out of chess. An accidental meeting by them, and the presence and intervention of Lowenthal and Boden, led to the Wisker and Bird four matches, the first for 5 pounds, and the other for credit of victory only".(Bird)

Wisker had a further match with MacDonnell (1874).

Wisker co-edited The City of London Chess Magazine, (published from February 1875 to January 1876) with William Norwood Potter (1840-1895)and The Field (London).

Wisker also wrote a novel, "The Machinations of Detherby Yarke".

There was also a chess editor of The Sportsman (London) called John Wisker and it seems probable that this was him.

Elo calculated his rating in the period 1846 to 1884 to be 2420. In comparison (on this scale): Bird was 2440, Blackburne 2570, and Wyvill 2460.

Sep-20-04  Knight13: John Wisker, who lost to Bird.
May-30-06  BIDMONFA: John Wisker


Aug-10-06  sneaky pete: Deviating from the biography here, Feenstra Kuiper lists 4 matches with Bird in 1873:

1. W 6 B 6 draw 0
2. W 4 B 6 draw 2
3. W 3 B 5 draw 1
4. W 10 B 8 draw 3

<In 1873, Wisker ... had never seen or played with Bird ... > except maybe for the 2 games from the 1868 BCA Congress.

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: While still in his twenties John Wisker showed a considerable talent for Chess.

On his "resume" Wisker had a number of wins against some leading European masters of the 1879s: Burn, Bird, Blackbourne, S.rosenthal, De Vere, G.MacDonnel!

A pity he died young.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I always associate cat's food with his name. Wonder why ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Wisker was a journalist by profession,and wrote chess columns that were featured in publications such as "Chess Players' Quarterly Chronicle", "City of London Chess Magazine", "Westminster Papers" and "The Popular Recreator". After he emigrated to Australia he was the chess editor for the "Australasian"

Source: Gareth Williams "John Wisker (1846-1884)- 'The English Champion', "CHESS", January 2008

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: In 1877 Wisker gave a blindfold simul in Sydney, scoring +2, -4, en route to Brisbane. After moving to Melbourne in 1880, Wisker lost a match to Andrew Burns (+0, -3, =4). He then played Frederick Esling in a match where the winner was the first to achieve 6 wins. The match was abandoned with Wisker leading (+5, -4, =2) due to Esling moving to Bendigo to take up an engineering appointment.

Source: Anthony Wright "Australian Chess to 1914", Melbourne 1995

May-30-09  WhiteRook48: think I've heard of him!
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: As well as being a chess journalist, Wisker also wrote general articles as well. Here is discussion of an article that he wrote for the British magazine "Fortnightly Review" in 1879:

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Wisker's article called "The Coloured Man in Australia" can be read here in the "Fortnightly Review":

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