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2nd DSB Congress, Berlin Tournament

Joseph Henry Blackburne14/16(+13 -1 =2)[games]
Johannes Zukertort11/16(+9 -3 =4)[games]
Simon Winawer10.5/16(+9 -4 =3)[games]
Mikhail Chigorin10.5/16(+10 -5 =1)[games]
James Mason9.5/16(+7 -4 =5)[games]
Alexander Wittek9.5/16(+7 -4 =5)[games]
Johannes Minckwitz8.5/16(+6 -5 =5)[games]
Jacques Schwarz8.5/16(+6 -5 =5)[games]
Johann Nepomuk Berger8/16(+5 -5 =6)[games]
Louis Paulsen8/16(+6 -6 =4)[games]
Wilfried Paulsen7.5/16(+5 -6 =5)[games]
Emil Schallopp7/16(+7 -9 =0)[games]
Fritz Riemann6.5/16(+4 -7 =5)[games]
Carl Wemmers6.5/16(+5 -8 =3)[games]
Josef Noa5.5/16(+4 -9 =3)[games]
Carl Friedrich Schmid3.5/16(+1 -10 =5)[games]
H von Schuetz1.5/16(+1 -14 =1)[games]
Karl Pitschel0/3(+0 -3 =0)[games]
* Chess Event Description
2nd DSB Congress, Berlin (1881)

Berlin, Germany; 29 August 1881—17 September 1881

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Score Place/Prizes ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 1 Blackburne • 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 + 1 1 14 1st 1200ℳ 2 Zukertort 0 • ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 0 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 11 2nd 600ℳ 3 Winawer 0 ½ • 0 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 10½ 3rd-4th 350ℳ 4 Chigorin 0 0 1 • 0 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10½ 3rd-4th 350ℳ 5 Mason 1 ½ 0 1 • ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 0 1 0 1 1 ½ 1 9½* 5th 200ℳ 6 Wittek ½ 0 1 1 ½ • ½ 1 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 1 0 1 1 9½ 6th 150ℳ 7 von Minckwitz 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ • 1 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 8½ 8 Schwarz 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 • 1 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 8½ 9 Berger ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 • 0 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 8 10 Paulsen, L 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 • ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 8 11 Paulsen, W 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 ½ 1 ½ • 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 7½ 12 Schallopp 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 • 1 0 1 0 1 7 13 Riemann 0 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 0 • 0 1 ½ 1 6½ 14 Wemmers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 • 1 1 1 6½ 15 Noa - ½ ½ 0 0 1 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 • 1 1 5½ 16 Schmid 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 0 • 0 3½ 17 von Schuetz 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 • 1½ ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 18 Pitschel - - 0 0 - - - - 0 - - - - - - - - Withdrew ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Unplayed games: + for a win, = for a draw, - for a loss. Format: Single round-robin. Time Control: 20 moves per hour. * With Committe approval Chigorin and Winawer agreed to split their prizes.(1) Wittek left Berlin before a scheduled play-off with Mason, thus Mason placed higher by default.(1)

The 2nd Deutscher Schachkongress ("German chess congress") was organised by Hermann Zwanzig and Emil Schallopp, and took place in Berlin from August to September 1881. It included the 2nd Meisterturnier (master's tournament) organized by the Deutscher Schachbund (DSB) in the two years since Berthold Englisch won the first at Leipzig (1879). A large field of German masters shared the board with many of the best that Europe had to offer. The brightest lights among the German participants were Louis Paulsen and his brother Wilfried, and Johannes Minckwitz. Great Britain was represented by Joseph Henry Blackburne and James Mason. Mikhail Chigorin travelled over from Russia, and two great masters from Poland, Simon Winawer and Johannes Zukertort, also participated. The 18 collected masters was a field of strength that had not been seen since Baden-Baden (1870). The games were fiercely fought, as few draws were recorded, and a formula from this event would serve as a template for all future chess congresses in Germany before the Great War.

The last round game Blackburne - Noa was not played (the latter was sick and forfeited the game). Pitschel played in the first three rounds and withdrew from the tournament. His games did not count in the official tournament record, but are included in this collection. This was the best tournament result of Blackburne's career. He dominated the field with an amazing final score of 14/16, losing only one game to his countryman Mason, and earning wins against some of the best chess masters of the day.

The Berlin Hauptturnier (1881) was won by Curt von Bardeleben, qualifying him for DSB's 3rd Meisterturnier at Nuremberg (1883).

(1) Der Erste und Zweite Kongress des Deutschen Schachbundes, Schallopp, Leipzig 1883, p35

Original collection: Game Collection: Berlin 1881 by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 138  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Blackburne vs J Mason 0-17818812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC11 French
2. Chigorin vs Wittek 0-14118812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC44 King's Pawn Game
3. Winawer vs Wemmers 1-02818812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC30 King's Gambit Declined
4. C F Schmid vs E Schallopp 1-03218812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC33 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Zukertort vs W Paulsen 0-12418812nd DSB Congress, BerlinB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
6. H Von Schuetz vs F Riemann 0-12818812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
7. Paulsen vs J Minckwitz 1-04018812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC45 Scotch Game
8. J Schwarz vs J Noa 1-03618812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC49 Four Knights
9. J N Berger vs K Pitschel 1-02618812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC77 Ruy Lopez
10. J N Berger vs Blackburne ½-½2718812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC11 French
11. Chigorin vs K Pitschel 1-03118812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC34 King's Gambit Accepted
12. Winawer vs Zukertort ½-½4518812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC37 King's Gambit Accepted
13. W Paulsen vs F Riemann ½-½3818812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC22 Center Game
14. Wemmers vs J Minckwitz 0-15318812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC67 Ruy Lopez
15. Paulsen vs J Noa ½-½6418812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC02 French, Advance
16. Wittek vs E Schallopp 0-13418812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC49 Four Knights
17. J Schwarz vs H Von Schuetz 1-03918812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC49 Four Knights
18. C F Schmid vs J Mason ½-½10218812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC11 French
19. H Von Schuetz vs Blackburne 0-12518812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC01 French, Exchange
20. Chigorin vs C F Schmid 1-02818812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC38 King's Gambit Accepted
21. Winawer vs K Pitschel 1-03918812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC34 King's Gambit Accepted
22. Zukertort vs J Noa ½-½4618812nd DSB Congress, BerlinA35 English, Symmetrical
23. F Riemann vs E Schallopp 0-14118812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC25 Vienna
24. Wittek vs W Paulsen 1-04018812nd DSB Congress, BerlinD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. J Schwarz vs J Minckwitz 0-16218812nd DSB Congress, BerlinC49 Four Knights
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 138  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Shams> Chigorin, Winawer and Berger were the only ones who played Pitschel.
Nov-03-12  Shams: <Benzol> I see, thank you. But where is Blackburne's missing game? From the crosstable, he played 16 games, and there's no mention of a forfeit in the tournament summary.
Nov-03-12  Shams: has a link to the missing game Blackburne - Noa, but the PGN is empty.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Shams> The empty PGN indicates the score is not available. It's just 365's way of filling out the tournament table.
Nov-03-12  twinlark: Shame about the missing game scores, but it's amazing so many actually survived through to the present day.
Nov-03-12  twinlark: Not literally, but long enough to be recorded for posterity.

Having been involved in the transcription of tournament scores for online publication, I know what an incredibly tedious job it to decipher hundreds of score sheets.

Nov-03-12  Calli: <twinlark> added a footnote to explain the missing game. I did the Rd/Dates for this one and dimly recalled something about. Editor Hermann Zwanzig wrote "Die Partie Blackburne - Dr Noa wurde nicht gespielt, the letzterer sich unwohl fühlte und deshalb auf das Spiel verzichtete."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <waustad> <Thanks cg!> Whilst I want to thank <chessgames> too, I also want to thank <suenteus po 147> for creating the collection in the first place and <Calli> for the work he put in to make it possible for this "live" page to become a reality.

Cheers Guys!


Feb-10-13  optimal play: Amazing to compare Blackburne’s superb performance at this tournament with his relatively poor showing just a month or so earlier in his match with Zukertort in London. In that match, Blackburne was roundly beaten by Zukertort by 7 wins to 2, yet in this tournament he scored 12 wins out of 15 (including Zukertort) only losing the one game (against Mason) and finishing a clear 1st.

Interesting to consider Wilhelm Steinitz’s assessment of Blackburne’s playing style and how it was more suitable to tournaments rather than a one-on-one match: <<Mr Blackburne’s anti-drawing inclination makes him one of the most dangerous rivals in tournaments where the draws count half ; but the same characteristic places him at great disadvantage in a single-handed match, more especially when he stands already behind in the score. In such a case it is most dangerous policy to try to force a win at some hazard, for this amounts actually to giving the large odds of the draw, which, in the opinion of some authorities, is equivalent to pawn and move, while it is clearly the wiser plan for the party who stands at a disadvantage in the score to take such odds for himself by keeping on the defensive, and watching for more positive opportunities of increasing his score.> The Field, London, 1881.07.16>

Steinitz wrote that comment during Blackburne’s match with Zukertort and before the Berlin tournament, so his rivals should have been well aware not to underestimate him.

Mar-28-13  suenteus po 147: Wow, A guy disappears on walkabout for roughly a year and suddenly he comes back to find the whole world has gone crazy! When did this happen? And why are people reading my terrible tournament introductions???
Mar-28-13  Jim Bartle: He's like Moses returning from the Mountain.
Mar-28-13  suenteus po 147: <Jim Bartle> I do feel like I have horns growing out of my forehead.
Mar-28-13  Shams: <suenteus po 147> Welcome back! Any shamanic visions to share with us?
Mar-28-13  suenteus po 147: <Shams> Yes! Stop taking out student loans, don't go for that extra graduate degree! Work hard, but live well. Doing for others is doing for yourself. Etc.
Mar-28-13  Shams: I was hoping for mystical fireworks, but ça marche.
Apr-04-16  zanzibar: At the time of the tournament Zukertort was viewed as representing Britain, and not Poland:

<Thankful as we are to Dr. Zukertort for the able manner in which he has represented this country as a naturalised Englishman in several tourneys, we cannot of course disguise our satisfaction that an Englishman by birth has succeeded in wresting the first prize at Berlin from so many other doughty champions.>

BCM v1 (Oct 1882) p317/326

And it should be mentioned that Winawer's Poland was part of the Russian Empire at the time, and so he was often referred to as representing Russia in the press.

Apr-04-16  zanzibar: Some important parameters of the tournament found here:

<BCM v1 (Aug/Sep 1881) p292/301


Germany. We have received a copy of the Programme of the Second Congress of the German Chess Association, which will commence at the Germania Restaurant, 34, Taubenstrasse, Berlin, on the 29th inst. These will be, as usual, a Masters' Tourney, and three other game tourneys, besides the Tombola and Problem tourneys. Also the proceedings are intended to include blindfold play, consultation games, and a solution tourney, and they will be diversified with a banquet and two excursions. For the Masters' tourney the entrance fee is 30 marks, and there will be four prizes of 1200, 600, 400, and 300 marks respectively. The time limit is 15 moves an hour. Some admirable rules, which we cannot notice in detail, with regard to "private agreements," "interruptions," and the appointment of a "Decision Court" for cases not contemplated by the rules, conclude the programme of this tourney. In the chief of the inferior tourneys, the entrance fee is 10 marks, and the play will be in groups, the winners of each group afterwards contending for the prizes, of which there will be four, valued at 200, 120, 80, and 50 marks. In this, as well as the two other minor tourneys, the time limit is 20 moves an hour. All entries must be sent in by Aug. 20th to Herr E. Schallopp, Berlin W., Reichstag.

Important notes: time control = 20 moves/hr

Prizes: 1200, 600, 400, and 300 ℳ

(Note later notice discusses tiebreak for 5th/6th where Wittek resigned contest to Mason without any games being played. Also, with the approval of the committee Winawer and Chigorin shared 3rd/4th prize).

Apr-04-16  zanzibar: <For the third and fourth prizes there was a tie between Messrs. Tschigorin and Winawer, who scored 10½ games each, and for the fifth and sixth prizes, which were additionally presented by the Committee, there were also equal scores of 9½ games each made by Messrs. Mason and Wittek.>

BCM v1 (Oct 1882) p317/326

Apr-04-16  zanzibar: Does anyone know what this statement is about:

<a formula from this event would serve as a template for all future chess congresses in Germany before the Great War>

at the end of the intro?

Apr-04-16  zanzibar: Can somebody please supply me with a quotable ref for the Blackburne--Noa forfeit?

I.e. a ref from one of the contemporaneous periodicals, or the tb.


Apr-04-16  zanzibar: An exact ref for Calli's post is what I had in mind:

Berlin (1881) (kibitz #20)

<The game Blackburne - Dr Noa was not played, the latter felt uneasy and therefore renounced the game>

<Die Partie Blackburne - Dr Noa wurde nicht gespielt, the letzterer sich unwohl fühlte und deshalb auf das Spiel verzichtete>

Jul-08-17  zanzibar: Was it really organized by Zwanzig?

IZ v77 N1984 (Jul 9, 1881) p43 has


Das Comité

E. Schallopp- Borfizender.
Georg Behrend, Schriftführer.


So Schallopp and Behrend look to be the organizers at that point.


Mar-30-19  ughaibu: <<For the Masters' tourney the entrance fee is 30 marks>>

No appearance fees, they payed to play.

<<there will be four prizes>>

Why on Earth, in contemporary chess, do the most likely prize winners get the highest appearance fees?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: <zanzibar: Does anyone know what this statement is about: <a formula from this event would serve as a template for all future chess congresses in Germany before the Great War>

at the end of the intro?>

The Wiki on Berlin 1881 also mentions a 'formula' without giving details. The source is a web page written by Jan van Reek, on his now-archived website. Here's all that Jan had to say about it:

"When foreign players were invited for Berlin 1881, an important and successful formulae was completed: 1. A master tournament was organised every second year, in a time when few international events took place. 2. Germans could partake in many groups and their talents qualified for master tournaments by a master title in the Hauptturnier. "

Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: Adding to my previous. The context of Jan's page (currently on Wayback Machine) was a history of the German Chess Congress' organization and events; there's quite a lot there! I assume Jan was not a 'native' English speaker, but his English is quite readable.

I was expecting "formula" to refer to some new point system or tiebreak method. Having read Jan's page a bit, the following splice / re-write might be clearer:

The games were fiercely fought, as few draws were recorded. The organizers put forth plans to host a biennial Congress, maintaining the two large Masters and 'Master Title' events, which attracted world-class players consistently until 1914 and the outbreak of World War I.

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