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Monte Carlo Tournament

Geza Maroczy7.5/10(+5 -0 =5)[games]
Carl Schlechter7/10(+4 -0 =6)[games]
Frank Marshall6.5/10(+4 -1 =5)[games]
Isidor Gunsberg4/10(+1 -3 =6)[games]
Georg Marco3/10(+1 -5 =4)[games]
Rudolf Swiderski2/10(+1 -7 =2)[games] Chess Event Description
Monte Carlo (1904)

Monte Carlo, Monaco; 8 February 1904—18 February 1904

1 2 3 4 5 6 Score Place/Prize ——————————————————————————————————————————————————— 1 Maróczy •• ½½ ½1 1½ ½1 11 7½ 1st 5000₣ 2 Schlechter ½½ •• ½½ ½½ 11 11 7 3 Marshall ½0 ½½ •• 1½ 1½ 11 6½ 4 Gunsberg 0½ ½½ 0½ •• 0½ ½1 4 5 Marco ½0 00 0½ 1½ •• 0½ 3 6 Swiderski 00 00 00 ½0 1½ •• 2 ——————————————————————————————————————————————————— Time Control: 16 moves per hour.

The last of the series (the Monte Carlo (1903) event preceded it) of chess tournaments held in the quarter of Monte Carlo(1) in the principality of Monaco occurred in 1904. In this year, two events were held; a masters tournament(2) and a thematic tournament, Monte Carlo Rice Gambit (1904). Nine players were invited to participate, with three of them, Frank Marshall, Georg Marco, and Rudolf Swiderski, playing in both events. The masters tournament was a double round robin of six players held from February 8th until the 18th. The time control for the tournament was 16 moves every hour. Rather than distribute the traveling expenses at the end of the event, the organizers conspired to disperse the guaranteed 500frs. to each of the participants upon their arrival so that they would be more likely to spend that money at the casino during the tournament. Marco not only participated in both events, but he also reported on the tournament in the Wiener Schachzeitung.

"The table of the final score was given last week. Maroczy being first, his name will be inscribed on the challenge cup. He has to win it twice more—not necessarily successively—to become its possessor. In the meantime he has the consolation of 5000fr. The other players received, in addition to the 500fr. for expenses, at the rate of 40fr. for each game won. A fair proportion of special prizes have still to be awarded, and the residue of the 1000fr. consolation money may be allotted to good drawn games."(3)

Additional Prizes
Brilliancy prize, 300 francs to Marco for Gunsberg vs G Marco, 1904 (Dadian prize)
Brilliancy prize, 300 francs to Schlechter for Schlechter vs G Marco, 1904 (Dadian prize)
Best Endgame prize, 200 francs to Marshall for Marshall vs G Marco, 1904 (Trebitsch prize)
200 francs to Schlechter for G Marco vs Schlechter, 1904 (Rothschild prize)
100 francs to Swiderski for Swiderski vs G Marco, 1904 (Rothschild prize)
100 francs to Maroczy for Maroczy vs Gunsberg, 1904 (Rothschild prize)
100 francs to Marco for Gunsberg vs G Marco, 1904 (Rothschild prize)

Mr. F. G. Naumann's prize is being held over for the next Monte Carlo tournament at the request of M. de Riviere.(5)

(1) Wikipedia article: Monte Carlo casino
(2) Wikipedia article: Monte Carlo chess tournament
(3) London Field, 1904.02.27, p350.
(4) American Chess Bulletin, v1 n4, September 1904, p78.
(5) London Field, 1904.07.16, p127.
(6) Wiener Schachzeitung, v7 n10/11, October/November 1904, p344.

Original collection: Game Collection: Monte Carlo 1904 by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Swiderski vs G Marco 1-0561904Monte CarloC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
2. Schlechter vs Marshall ½-½371904Monte CarloC48 Four Knights
3. Maroczy vs Gunsberg 1-0471904Monte CarloC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
4. Schlechter vs Swiderski 1-0291904Monte CarloD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. Marshall vs Gunsberg 1-0191904Monte CarloD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. G Marco vs Maroczy  ½-½321904Monte CarloC42 Petrov Defense
7. Swiderski vs Marshall 0-1481904Monte CarloC01 French, Exchange
8. Gunsberg vs G Marco 0-1231904Monte CarloC55 Two Knights Defense
9. Maroczy vs Schlechter  ½-½241904Monte CarloC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
10. Schlechter vs Gunsberg  ½-½291904Monte CarloD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
11. Marshall vs G Marco 1-0761904Monte CarloC45 Scotch Game
12. Swiderski vs Maroczy 0-1481904Monte CarloB20 Sicilian
13. G Marco vs Schlechter 0-1261904Monte CarloC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
14. Maroczy vs Marshall ½-½431904Monte CarloC48 Four Knights
15. Gunsberg vs Swiderski  ½-½361904Monte CarloC66 Ruy Lopez
16. Gunsberg vs Maroczy  ½-½311904Monte CarloB20 Sicilian
17. G Marco vs Swiderski  ½-½241904Monte CarloC00 French Defense
18. Marshall vs Schlechter ½-½501904Monte CarloD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
19. Gunsberg vs Marshall ½-½611904Monte CarloC55 Two Knights Defense
20. Maroczy vs G Marco 1-0381904Monte CarloC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
21. Swiderski vs Schlechter 0-1401904Monte CarloD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
22. Marshall vs Swiderski 1-0321904Monte CarloC01 French, Exchange
23. G Marco vs Gunsberg ½-½461904Monte CarloC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
24. Schlechter vs Maroczy  ½-½321904Monte CarloD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
25. Gunsberg vs Schlechter  ½-½441904Monte CarloC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-16-12  zoren: White won the majority of the Rice Gambit themed games.

In modern theory, it looks like after 8...Bxe5 9.Re1 Qe7 10.c3 (to prepare d4) f3 11.d4 Ne4! 12.Rxe4 Bh2+! and black is handily ahead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <zoren> Ah, yes, the Vienna Variation of Simonson's Defense, first pointed out by Gustave Simonson, librarian of the Manhattan Chess Club. Yes, we're everywhere. It's extensively analyzed in "Twenty Years of the Rice Gambit."

I didn't know there was modern theory.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: This whole Rice Gambit thing is one of the most bizarre chapters in chess history. So many great minds spent analyzing what is just a silly footnote in a non-critical variation, all because some crazy rich guy became obsessed with it.

Well, I shouldn't complain. We could use an Isaac Leopold Rice today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Sneaky> Indeed it was a bit strange. There was the match at Brighton in 1903 too. See
Nov-28-12  gauer: Notice Steinitz' (still playing the white side of 8. d4 non-Nh5) score until 1873, when he switched sides (although Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1882 saw him win with a Salvio but Chigorin's pet lines never repaid much revenge to him), and was still doing well afterwards with 8 d4 Nh5. Unlike his previous match with Anderssen, Chigorin vs Steinitz, 1892 was the only King's gambit game in the Steinitz world championship matches against Chigorin the reply was not 2. f4 from Steinitz. Would he revive his old bread'n'butter variation with a test of 8. 0-0 again - or pick the other side in a Rice gambit match (had a note about an odds-game form of the non-h4 Showalter vs Taubenhaus, 1889 line, maybe implying that some of the other lines were still good enough for white to try)?

Regarding the Rice line, 1902 saw Lasker try 8. 0-0 a few times, but he didn't seem to get on the 8. d4 theory much, especially after Lasker vs S T Sharp, 1904 0-1. Marshall / Allies vs Lasker, 1904 was another line of his from that year, but Pillsbury vs Chigorin, 1903 was also tested during the year prior to this thematic tournament against a player who Lasker had paraphrased: I shall have to have a match against this player someday.

Steinitz vs J Gocher, 1864, Steinitz vs F Deacon, 1863, Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1882 might be some other games to check out.

Thanks for the info about Lasker vs Chigorin 1903 being a match starting from one of the potential so-called "Rice Gambit" lines.

Feb-06-16  TheFocus: "Frank J. Marshall has been awarded the special prize of 200 francs donated by Herr Leopoldo Trebitsch of Vienna for producing the best chess in the fourth tournament at Monte Carlo. The prize provided by Baron Albert de Rothschild of Vienna - 500 francs - was distributed as follows: 200 francs to C. Schlechter for his game against Marco; 100 francs to R. Swiderski for his game against Marco; 100 francs to G. Maroczy for his game against Gunsberg; 100 francs to G. Marco for his game against Gunsberg" - <American Chess Bulletin>, September 1904, pg. 78.
Feb-24-16  luftforlife: The Rice Gambit begins as follows:

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6. Bc4 d5 7. exd5 Bd6.

Here is the resulting position:

click for larger view

"Professor Rice, a New York amateur, had this position once and inadvertently left his Knight en prise; then later he won the game. He was so impressed with his success that he immediately interested a number of the prominent masters in the move, which was easy enough to do because he had a lot of money."

Reuben Fine, The Middle Game in Chess (New York: David McKay Co. 1952, Tartan softcover reprint, September 1972), at 190-91.

The Monte Carlo Tournament of 1904 "was one in which the Rice Gambit was put to a serious test; all the games opened with it." Id. at 190.

Best to all. ~ lufty

Feb-26-18  zanzibar: <Mr. D. Janowski gives the Bulletin the interesting information that the chess world need look for no tournament at Monte Carlo next spring, the Casino management having decided to transfer the scene of the annnal contests to Ostend in Belgium. The French champion positively states that the tournament at the latter place is a«sured. M. Arnous de Riviere, of Paris, the veteran manager of these tournaments will be in charge. It is understood he will conduct the event on an even larger basis than before.>

ACB v1 N6 (Nov 1904) p124

Feb-26-18  zanzibar: Boy, the human interest aspect seems overlooked to not mention this:

<The Monte Carlo Tourney will not begin till February 3rd, the postponement being on account of the marriage of Herr Maroczy. which was to take place on January 23rd. We heartily congratulate him on this check, as it has ended in a mate. Out of the 17 names sent in to the committee, of players wishing to compete, the following have been accepted :—Messrs. Gunsberg, Marco, Maroczy, Marshall, Schlechter, and Sviderski. This restricted entry enables the tourney to be in two rounds, so that every player will have the first move in one game with each of his opponents. Prince Dadian, of Mingrelia, the President, has offered two prizes of 300 francs. Baron A. de Rothschild and Herr Naumann give likewise each 500 francs for special prizes. After this tourney is ended there will be one at the Rice Gambit, with special prizes, in which many other masters will be invited to compete. The names of Messrs. Alapin, Mieses, Napier, Taubenhaus, Teichmann, and, in all, twelve competitors are mentioned for this, and it will certainly be equally interesting with the other.>

BCM v24 N2 (Jan 1904) p55

Feb-26-18  zanzibar: <The Strategic regrets to announce that there will be no Monte Carlo Tourney this winter, and it adds that "the sharp criticisms raised by the manner in which these tourneys were conducted must have led to this result.">

BCM v24 (1904) p468

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <two events were held simultaneously....concurrently>

According to the <OED>, this means 'at the same time'. Hardly likely that even Frank Marshall would contemplate that.

<The masters tournament was a double round robin of six players held from February 8th until the 18th.>

According to the respective game dates, the thematic tournament lasted February 22nd to March 3rd. I have corrected a couple of games incorrectly dated April 25th to February 25th.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The (London) Daily News, January 16th 1904, p.6:

<It is intended to play every day, except Sundays, and, furthermore, an effort will be made to finish the game in one sitting, viz., from 1.30 to 8 p.m. Though this is a long time to play at a stretch, the counter-balancing advantages are very great. The scandalous practice of analysing pending adjourned games during the dinner hour, which prevailed more or less openly, in previous tournaments, will thereby be prevented, and the afternoon is a very much better time to begin serious chess than the early hours of the morning. The time limit will be 16 moves per hour, a minimum of 56 moves will, therefore, have to be made before the time of adjournment can be reached.

Our hearty congratulations to M. Maroczy, whose marriage takes place on the 23rd inst. As there is some slight uncertainty as regards his movements, the tournament may have to be postponed up to the 8th of February, at the latest, but all the six competitors are requested to be at Monte Carlo on the 1st prox. If Maroczy is able to be present, too, play will begin once. In the Rice Gambit tournament, which will follow the first tournament, the entries are expected to be more numerous.>

As the tournament was indeed delayed until the 8th, I contend that Maroczy's movements were, in fact, quite predictable - he was busy doing the Hokey-Cokey.

Jul-21-18  zanzibar: Normally it's hard to distinguish British singers from American, but not when the British Council gets involved:

I swear that Hokey-Pokey sounds like Hokey-Cokey.

Here's the original version for reference: (1953)

Why the British edit? (Must be some sexual connotation of some kind).

Jul-21-18  zanzibar: Why are some of these British clips involving children so disturbing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Germanic version:

You put your left boot in
You take your left boot out
You do a lot of shouting
And you shake your fist about
You light a little smokey
And you burn down the town
That's what it's all about
Aah, Himmler Himmler Himmler—>

Jul-21-18  zanzibar: A little bit disappointed that <missy> didn't write that bit of doggerel herself.... a little bit later I hope to post a bit more about the song's origins, but being a bit off-topic here, I think it a bit better if we pokey over to the Cafe for follow-ups. Bitte.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Well, one needs to be careful with the WWII-themed humour, as this random example attests: Robert James Fischer (kibitz #38874)
Jul-21-18  zanzibar: <Missy> with usual delicacy, goose-steps around such sensitive issues.
Jul-21-18  PhilFeeley: There have been very few tournaments in Monte Carlo recently. A Small Nations Team Championship in 2013 and a Women's Grand Prix in 2015. Very little else. I wonder why.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Eastern Daily Press, December 29th 1903, p.3:

<The Brighton Open Tournament bids fair to eclipse the Monte Carlo Tournament, which takes place at the same time in February next. Two masters, Dr. Lasker and Mr. Blackburne, have already announced their intention to compete at Brighton, and have declined the invitation to Monte Carlo.>

The Sussex Congress did indeed take place, and with Lasker and Blackburne in attendance, but they didn't compete in the Open tournament, giving only simul displays.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Being secret, the work of von Neumann and Ulam required a code name.[14] A colleague of von Neumann and Ulam, Nicholas Metropolis, suggested using the name Monte Carlo, which refers to the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco where Ulam's uncle would borrow money from relatives to gamble.[12] Using lists of "truly random" random numbers was extremely slow, but von Neumann developed a way to calculate pseudorandom numbers, using the middle-square method. Though this method has been criticized as crude, von Neumann was aware of this: he justified it as being faster than any other method at his disposal, and also noted that when it went awry it did so obviously, unlike methods that could be subtly incorrect. >


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