Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Monte Carlo Tournament

Siegbert Tarrasch20/26(+17 -3 =6)[games]
Geza Maroczy19/26(+15 -3 =8)[games]
Harry Nelson Pillsbury18.5/26(+14 -3 =9)[games]
Carl Schlechter17/26(+12 -4 =10)[games]
Richard Teichmann16.5/26(+12 -5 =9)[games]
Georg Marco15.5/26(+12 -7 =7)[games]
Heinrich Wolf14/26(+11 -9 =6)[games]
Jacques Mieses13/26(+11 -11 =4)[games]
Frank James Marshall12/26(+10 -12 =4)[games]
Jean Taubenhaus10.5/26(+8 -13 =5)[games]
James Mason10.5/26(+6 -11 =9)[games]
Adolf Albin8/26(+6 -16 =4)[games]
Arturo Reggio7.5/26(+6 -17 =3)[games]
Colonel Moreau0/26(+0 -26 =0)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Monte Carlo (1903)

In 1903 the quarter of Monte Carlo in the principality of Monaco hosted the third of four chess master tournaments designed to help bolster tourism during the winter season. Previously, the Monte Carlo (1902) event saw more invited players turn up to contest the prizes, but 1903 saw only 14 masters participating in the double round robin event. Mikhail Chigorin was turned away for his criticism of games won by Prince Andrey Dadian of Mingrelia, and Semion Alapin, Isidor Gunsberg and David Janowski had to decline due to the invitations being sent last minute.

Games were played between February 10th and March 17th in the Monte Carlo Casino, (1) and when the players complained of the noise to tournament director Jules Arnous de Riviere, he told them they would just have to get used to it. Siegbert Tarrasch won the tournament after several losses in the opening rounds. Geza Maroczy, who had won the tournament the previous year, came in second. Harry Nelson Pillsbury, whose health in the last few years had been steadily declining, managed only third place in what would be his penultimate international tournament. For Richard Teichmann, this was also another tournament that would contribute to the nickname of "Richard the Fifth", as he placed fifth in the standings, just behind Carl Schlechter. Despite the absence of the alternate scoring for draws or replayed games (rules in place in the previous two installments), all of the games were hard fought each round of the event. (2)

Monte Carlo (1904) repeated the tradition the next year by featuring a themed event, starting with a King's Gambit Accepted (C39) position.

The final standings and crosstable:

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 Pts 1 Tarrasch ** ½½ ½1 0½ 0½ 01 11 11 11 11 1½ 11 11 11 20 2 Maróczy ½½ ** ½½ ½½ ½½ 11 01 11 01 01 11 11 11 11 19 3 Pillsbury ½0 ½½ ** 11 11 1½ 1½ 01 0½ ½1 1½ 1½ 11 11 18½ 4 Schlechter 1½ ½½ 00 ** ½½ ½1 1½ ½1 01 ½0 1½ 11 11 11 17 5 Teichmann 1½ ½½ 00 ½½ ** 10 ½½ 1½ ½1 10 01 11 11 11 16½ 6 Marco 10 00 0½ ½0 01 ** 1½ 11 1½ 1½ ½1 ½0 11 11 15½ 7 Wolf 00 10 0½ 0½ ½½ 0½ ** 01 1½ 11 11 01 01 11 14 8 Mieses 00 00 10 ½0 0½ 00 10 ** 11 11 1½ 01 ½1 11 13 9 Marshall 00 10 1½ 10 ½0 0½ 0½ 00 ** 11 01 01 10 11 12 =10 Taubenhaus 00 10 ½0 ½1 01 0½ 00 00 00 ** ½½ 11 10 11 10½ =10 Mason 0½ 00 0½ 0½ 10 ½0 00 0½ 10 ½½ ** ½1 1½ 11 10½ 12 Albin 00 00 0½ 00 00 ½1 10 10 10 00 ½0 ** 0½ 11 8 13 Reggio 00 00 00 00 00 00 10 ½0 01 01 0½ 1½ ** 11 7½ 14 Moreau 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ** 0

References: (1) Wikipedia article: Monte Carlo casino, (2) Wikipedia article: Monte Carlo chess tournament, (3), (4) Original collection: Game Collection: Monte Carlo 1903, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 65  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Marshall vs J Mieses 0-1481903Monte CarloB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
2. Tarrasch vs Teichmann 0-1381903Monte CarloD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Maroczy vs Taubenhaus 0-1461903Monte CarloC87 Ruy Lopez
4. Albin vs Taubenhaus  0-1451903Monte CarloD00 Queen's Pawn Game
5. Schlechter vs Pillsbury 0-1231903Monte CarloB06 Robatsch
6. H Wolf vs G Marco  0-1571903Monte CarloC78 Ruy Lopez
7. J Mason vs Tarrasch 0-1231903Monte CarloA06 Reti Opening
8. Moreau vs Maroczy  0-1501903Monte CarloB40 Sicilian
9. Marshall vs J Mason  0-1621903Monte CarloB06 Robatsch
10. Reggio vs Teichmann 0-1371903Monte CarloC42 Petrov Defense
11. Moreau vs J Mieses 0-1481903Monte CarloB40 Sicilian
12. Taubenhaus vs Teichmann  0-1321903Monte CarloC88 Ruy Lopez
13. Pillsbury vs Marshall 0-1631903Monte CarloD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. Taubenhaus vs H Wolf  0-1341903Monte CarloC67 Ruy Lopez
15. Moreau vs J Mason 0-1701903Monte CarloC50 Giuoco Piano
16. J Mieses vs Teichmann 0-1551903Monte CarloC23 Bishop's Opening
17. Marshall vs G Marco  0-1511903Monte CarloD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Reggio vs Pillsbury 0-1301903Monte CarloD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. J Mason vs J Mieses  0-1411903Monte CarloB23 Sicilian, Closed
20. Albin vs Teichmann 0-1321903Monte CarloB23 Sicilian, Closed
21. Teichmann vs J Mason  0-1531903Monte CarloC14 French, Classical
22. Reggio vs Tarrasch 0-1471903Monte CarloC50 Giuoco Piano
23. Marshall vs Albin  0-1561903Monte CarloA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
24. Moreau vs Schlechter  0-1341903Monte CarloC00 French Defense
25. Maroczy vs Marshall 0-1631903Monte CarloA00 Uncommon Opening
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 65  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
May-12-13  thomastonk: From Emil Kemeny's tournament book, which appeared some months after the tournament as "The American Chess Weekly, Special Series No.1, The Monte Carlo Tournament of 1903".

"The committee invited Dr. E. Lasker, Blackburne, Burn, Napier and Schieffers (sic), and others, but they were unable to participate. Janowski as is known was not invited ; Mr. de Riviere informed the writer that Janowski publicly stated if invited he would decline on account of de Riviere managing the contest. Gunsberg received no invitation and Mr. de Riviere states that this was due to an article in a London paper." See pages 2-3.

"Alapin was last year on the persona non grata list and he remained so this time." See page 3.

These two quotes contradict the introduction above, where it is stated that "Semion Alapin, Isidor Gunsberg, and David Janowski were forced to decline due to their invitations being sent last minute."

May-12-13  thomastonk: From the same source (s. page 1):

"First and second prize were fixed at 4.500 and 2.250 francs respectively, while the other prizes to be gotten up in proportion of games won ; a sliding scale was adopted, each for third prize amounting to 68 frcs., for fourth prize 64, then 60, 56 and gradually reduced by 4 frcs. to 24 frcs., which was to be remuneration for each game won by the least successful one. Drawn games to count half a point, but the contestants to receive for such a point but half their share in money, the other half to go towards a fund, to be divided equally among all competitors (except the first and second prize winners)."

The resulting prizes are listed here:

Maybe it is remarkable that Chigorin got 1.500 francs for being excluded, but Pillsbury got 1180 francs for the third place (and 250 francs for one of the two brillancy prizes - s. Kemeny's book, p. 111).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: "Baron Rothschild's special prizes for the best announced mates in recent Monte Carlo tourney have been awarded to Maroczy for his wins against Albin and Marshall and to Mieses for his game with Albin".

Source: <Exeter and Plymouth Gazette>, Tuesday 11th August 1903, p.3.

Jan-21-16  zanzibar: <Notes by the Way.

Prince Dadian of Mingrelia has abundantly proved his reality. He is no myth, but a very active, even formidable personage. If the extraordinary story told in the Field is correct, he will be reckoned among the Tyrants— in fact chess players will have to plan a revolution if the free worship of Caissa is to continue. We are told that His Serene Highness, on arriving at Monaco, declared that Tschigorin must be excluded from the tournament, on account of some alleged offensive references to the Prince in chess periodicals. In default of such exclusion the Prince would resign his presidency and depart. And Tschigorin, the most distinguished player—with the exception of Tarrasch—from his long standing among masters, was ignominiously turned out!

At the time these words are before our readers the issue of the Tournament will be known. But at the time of writing this, there seems hope that Marco, one of the most genial and unlucky of players, will attain a high place. In Vienna he is considered second to none; but when he leaves his “native heath” he never as yet has shown his full powers.>

Checkmate v2 p154 (April 1903)

Batgirl provides a few more details:

<Tournaments were held in Monte Carlo during the winters of 1901, 1902, 1903 and 1904. For the first three tournaments, the co-organizers were Jules Arnous de Rivière and Prince Dadian. According to the tournament book, one of the contestants in the 1902 tournament, David Janowski, was involved in a dispute with de Rivière and as a result refused to participate and, since he indicated that he wouldn't play if invited, he was never sent an invitation to play in the 1903 tournament. Tschigorin was invited instead but after he arrived after traveling to Monaco from Russia, Prince Dadian objected to Tschigorin playing in this tournament. Tschigorin was compensated 1500 francs, more than the value of the second prize, for his troubles while the Austrian master, Heinrich Wolf, was allowed to play in his stead.>

It would be interesting to see some of these "offensive references" referenced!

Dec-14-16  RookFile: Got to hand it to Colonel Moreau for having the resilience to play all 26 games and not give up.
Jul-17-18  TheFocus: There is a tournament book of this tournament. Kemeny provided the notes in <Chess Weekly> and copies of his magazine were incorporated to create the book. The problem was that he put the games in order of the players, such as Tarrasch's games (first place) first; then 2nd place finisher Maroczy's games; and so on. I don't like this kind of tournament book.

There really needs to be a good and proper book done on this tournament, with the rounds in order.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <<thomastonk>: The resulting prizes are listed here:>

Odd. When I do the math per Kemeny, I get a strange difference:

Reggio should be 264 francs (rate of 28 francs, 6 wins, 3 draws, 75 base, gets: 28*6+28*3/4+75=264 not 210. The only way to get 210 francs if his rate drops to 20 francs.

All the other player's totals check out fine (once I remembered to adjust both Taubenhaus and Mason to a rate of 38 francs each, i.e. split the 40 and 36 rates).

The Deutsche Schachzeitung and The Field match the Wiener Schachzeitung, so I'm a little puzzled. Albin's rate of 32 francs is correct, so Reggio's rate should be 32-4=28 francs, per Kemeny.

All I can think of is that Reggio was penalized or those totals originated from a bad Reuter's report that everyone else copied.

Does anyone have any idea what happened to Reggio's rate and share of the pool?

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Strange. I ran the numbers for Monte Carlo 1902 and I get a similar type of result. In '02 for consolation money each full point got 36 francs, ½ point got 18 francs and a ¼ got 9 francs. Each player's totals work out except for Eisenberg, who got 152 francs and not 162 francs. All the sources I checked confirmed the 152 francs: <La Stratégie>, 1902, p101; <The Field> 1902.03.15, and <British Chess Magazine>, 1902, p162.

When I totaled the consolation amounts for 1902 (with Eisenberg getting 152 francs) the result was 3500 frans, which was the amount specified for consolation prizes.

When I totaled up the 1903 amounts, with Reggio getting 210 francs, it exceeded the allotted amount of 7250 francs by 41 francs, i.e. 7291 francs. I'm not sure where the extra 41 francs came from, but they obviously didn't have an additional 54 francs to give to Reggio to hit 264.

My current theory is that Eisenberg in 1902 and Reggio in 1903, were deprived of their mathematically computed share of the consolation money because the funds were depleted. And perhaps the rule was that the lowest player above a certain minimum threshold, say 100 francs, was the player who got deprived?

Are there any historians out there familiar with the practices of early 1900s tournament prize distributions?

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Re: Alapin and Monte Carlo.

New York Tribune, 26 Jan 1902, Part II, p9:

<Of the last named, Alapin, though he took a minor prize, will not be permitted to play again, so it is said, because he sued the management for 10,000 francs on account of a change in the amounts of the prizes in the salta tournament, which made him stay out of the contest. When brought to trial the verdict was in the expert's favor.>

New York Tribune, 6 July 1903, p9:

<Janowski, of France, and Alapin, of Russia, were not invited to the third tournament, held in Monaco, this year, for they were both under the ban of the Casino management [...]>

I don't think Alapin was ever sent an invitation. I get the feeling that Alapin may have gotten bumped-off if he had ever stepped foot in Monte Carlo after 1901.

NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any gratuitous name-calling of any members—including Admin and Owners—or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific tournament and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us

Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC