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🏆 Paris (1878) Chess Event Description
In the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war, a World's Fair was held in Paris to demonstrate France's revival. Among the novelties experienced during the exhibition were cold drinks, a giant steam hammer that stood out front of the exhibition hall, and the introduction of electricity to make Paris a city of lights for the first time. Also by way of exhibition was the first intercontinental European chess tournament, organized with twelve chess masters in attendance. Following a tradition of holding master c ... [more]

Player: Albert Clerc

 page 1 of 1; 19 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Clerc vs H Gifford  1-0381878ParisC25 Vienna
2. H Gifford vs A Clerc 1-0251878ParisC15 French, Winawer
3. A Clerc vs K Pitschel 1-0421878ParisC25 Vienna
4. K Pitschel vs A Clerc 0-1181878ParisC01 French, Exchange
5. A Clerc vs Englisch 1-0371878ParisC29 Vienna Gambit
6. A Clerc vs Mackenzie 1-0811878ParisC49 Four Knights
7. A Clerc vs Bird 0-1351878ParisB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
8. Bird vs A Clerc 0-1761878ParisA00 Uncommon Opening
9. A Clerc vs J Mason 0-1731878ParisC50 Giuoco Piano
10. J Mason vs A Clerc  0-1631878ParisC11 French
11. S Rosenthal vs A Clerc 1-0421878ParisC11 French
12. A Clerc vs S Rosenthal  1-0641878ParisC25 Vienna
13. Winawer vs A Clerc  1-0411878ParisC11 French
14. A Clerc vs Winawer ½-½621878ParisC25 Vienna
15. A Clerc vs Anderssen 0-1331878ParisB23 Sicilian, Closed
16. Anderssen vs A Clerc 1-0381878ParisC11 French
17. Blackburne vs A Clerc 1-0561878ParisD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
18. A Clerc vs Zukertort 0-1711878ParisA07 King's Indian Attack
19. Zukertort vs A Clerc 1-0261878ParisC14 French, Classical
 page 1 of 1; 19 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Clerc wins | Clerc loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: Les Français sont souvent paresseux, négligents et chicaneurs (j'en suis un, je peux donc me permettre de le dire); ainsi, beaucoup de parties de ce tournoi superbe ont été perdues parce que le responsable de la publication n'a pas pu ou voulu les transmettre à l'éditeur allemand du livre du tournoi; inutile de préciser que les Français n'ont pas été fichus d'en publier un eux-mêmes....
Mar-23-16  zanzibar: Such a paucity of comments for this tournament.

Perhaps les Français are not alone in being paresseux, négligent et chicaneurs.

Mar-23-16  Howard: Well, the tournament was held in the pre-Steintz days (Granted, Steintz had proclaimed himself WC already, but the first official WC match wasn't until 1886.), so that explains why it's always been so low-profile.
Mar-23-16  zanzibar: <Howard> Funny you should mention Steinitz.

He actually was in Paris during the tournament. But as a reporter for <The Field>, at least, according to wiki.

Let's see if I can dig out a comment or two about the tournament...

I mean besides the fact that a tb exists, edited by E. Schallopp, and should have a link in the intro.

Thanks to <calli>, the link's easy to find:

<1878 Paris Der Internationale Schachkongress by Emil Schallopp; (in German)>


Mar-23-16  zanzibar: There's a story to the missing games, and the fact that the tournament book came out in Germany and not France. I haven't fleshed it all out yet though.

However, I think Schallopp thanks the Westminster Papers as being the source of the games for his tournament book. A bit unbelievable...

<As for the content of this book itself, so have I mostly those games from the publications of "Westminster Papers, "the" removed "strategy and the" German chess magazine " and regret that it has not been possible for me, all the games without to gain exceptional; it is missing, on the total number 19 Games. Opposite 119 extensively annotated games but this number in my view hardly comes into consideration, and may result soon, when the end of the year General Report of the Committee Paris appears that the readers of my lost book anything essential by the absence of 19 games has gone.>

<Was nun den Inhalt des vorliegenden Werkes selbst betrifft, so habe ich die Partien zumeist aus den Veröffentlichungen der „Westminster Papers", der „Strategie" und der „Deutschen Schachzeitung" entnommen und bedaure, dass es mir nicht möglich gewesen ist, alle Partien ohne Ausnahme zu erlangen; es fehlen, an der Gesammtzahl 19 Partien. Gegenüber 119 ausführlich mit Anmerkungen versehenen Partien aber kommt diese Zahl meiner Ansicht nach kaum in Betracht, und möglicherweise ergibt sich demnächst, wenn gegen Ende des Jahres der Generalbericht des Pariser Komitees erscheint, dass den Lesern meines Buchs nichts wesentliches durch das Fehlen dieser 19 Partien verloren gegangen ist.>

From the tb.

Mar-23-16  zanzibar: So, I suppose we can consider the <Westminster Papers v10 (1878)> as the main source for the tournament.

Although I found the French periodical <L'Échiquier d'Aix v1 (1878)> also containing important information about the tournament.

Here's the first paragraph from the <Westminster Papers> coverage of the just completed tournament,

<The interest manifested by the London Chess world during the progress of the Paris tournament was intensified when the result of the play in the eleven rounds was announced on the 24th ultimo. A tie between Winawer and Zukertort for the chief honours, Blackburne a bad third, a tie for the fourth place between Bird and Mackenzie, and the veteran Anderssen absolute last in the list of prize holders furnished ample material for comment. There was little surprise, however, for every one who had observed the play during the last two weeks of the tourney anticipated some such result. After the ninth round it was obvious "that the force and steadiness of Winawer and Zukertort, so admirably sustained, must be crowned with the success these qualities had fairly earned for their possessors. Blackburne, on the other hand, displayed throughout the struggle an inexplicable mixture of strength and weakness that accounted for while it confounded the aspirations of his admirers. It is impossible to overpraise Mr. Mackenzie's performance. Notwithstanding that for many years past he has had no opportunities for practice with players of equal force, he defeated in this tourney the winners of the chief prizes, and shows a bad score against Anderssen and Rosenthal only. His games with Winawer and Zukertort are among the great ones the tournament has produced, and entitle him to a place in the front rank of the Chess players of our time. Mr. Bird's performance is chiefly notable for the overwhelming defeats he sustained in the first few rounds and his subsequent recovery of much of the ground he had lost by them. His two games with Anderssen, both of which were won by him, are fine examples of his brilliant style of play. Every Chess player will rejoice to see the name of Anderssen among the prize winners, and many will regret that it is not higher on the list. But at sixty years of age there must, in the most gifted of mortals, be some decay of power. It must be said of Anderssen, however, that he has maintained his Chess force against his contemporaries for a longer time than any player that ever entered the Chess arena. He was thirty-three years of age when he carried off the first prize in the London tournament of 1851, and in the year of grace, 1878, his name having been rarely absent from any tourney of note in the interval, he is found a formidable adversary for the best players the world can produce. M. Rosenthal's score is something of a surprise, his capacity for match play having led us to regard him at the outset as a dangerous competitor for the principal prize. His play on this occasion has been unequal, and his total defeat by Winawer and Zukertort deprived him of all chance of retrieving his position. The score of Herr Englisch is perhaps the most remarkable in the list, for although he was defeated by no player in the tourney except Mr. Blackburne, he has failed to secure a place among the winners. He is said to be a young player, however, and can therefore afford to wait for the triumph that time must bring. Mr. Mason is another youthful competitor who, with more experience of European play, will undoubtedly be found among the winners in some future tourney. MM. Clerc, Gifford, and Pitschell are amateurs of considerable force, who entered the lists with the view of acquiring experience by practice with good players, rather than with the hope of gaining a prize. The score of M. Clerc, the strongest of the trio, is highly creditable to his Chess powers.>

WP v10 (Jul 1878) p65/83

* * * * *

Beware, the NYPL version of v10 has some damaged pages, necessitating use of the NLN copy - see <jnpope>'s site.

Mar-24-16  zanzibar: I'm interesting in provenance of games in general. Here's some commentary about the games from this tournament were preserved:

<Latterly the games have been noted by Mr. W. N. Potter. That he is honest, fair, able, painstaking, and industrious no one can deny, and the Herculean task that he set himself in noting the Paris games should be sufficient to hand his name down to posterity even after he is forgotten as one of the foremost players of our day. That he should receive little or no thanks for this enormous work, except at the hands of our friends of the City of London Club, shows either that Chess players are very taciturn or that they are very ungenerous. I might perhaps here say that I was indebted to the industry of Mr. Mason for the bulk of the games sent from Paris. We were not niggardly in giving Tourney games. On this point we beat every other paper, and to show the state of matters now and then, see the number of games we gave from America, Vienna, and Paris, and com pare our performances with Baden. This tourney took place in September, 1870, and on the ist of October, 1870, we published five games. At that time Staunton had the Illustrated, the Field, and Era; and in the month of October of that year these five games, and no others from Baden, appeared in the three papers under his control.>

I'm a little unclear who the editor of the Westminster Papers was in 1878, but between him and Potter we have the published record.

But let's not forget James Mason, who supplied the game scores in the first place.

Mar-24-16  Retireborn: <z> That's the same Potter whose misremembered game against Fenton led to the creation of the Saavedra position, as Tim Krabbe tells it.

I've not heard of the Westminster Papers before, but your quote is stylistically reminiscent of Steinitz, who was a friend of Potter's, according to Lasker.

Mar-24-16  zanzibar: <'ve not heard of the Westminster Papers before, but your quote is stylistically reminiscent of Steinitz, who was a friend of Potter's, according to Lasker.>

Wow, I had to doublecheck my PDF to be sure it really is the Westminster Papers. They're actually pretty important in the literature of the time.

Glad to introduce you both then!

Mar-24-16  zanzibar: I think Di Felice provides the identity of the <Westminster Papers> editor - it's

<Telemachus Brownsmith>

Note, he's not the editor of the chess department though, as his account in the above mentioned article reveals.

Mar-24-16  zanzibar: <L'Échequier de l'Aix v1 (1878)> ff p57/69 -

<(1) Outre les quatre prix que nous avons indiqués dans notre précédent numéro, le Comité a ajouté un 5er prix de 400 fr. et un 6er prix de 200 fr.>

(See intro note on Anderssen's prize)


Mar-26-16  zanzibar: See this comment in the Bistro Biographer Bistro (kibitz #13592)
Jun-30-16  sneaky pete: Bird vs K Pitschel, 1878 is the genuine Bird vs Pitschel game from round 13 (or round 7, first set) that should replace the phony we have there now.
Oct-13-18  micahtuhy: Do we have any links or access to Steinitz reporting on the tournament for The Field? I was curious if this would be where some of the animosities started.
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