Vienna, Austria; 2 May 1903—26 May 1903
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Score Place/Prize
1 Chigorin •• 10 1½ ½1 01 10 1+ 10 11 11 13 1st 956.25K
2 Marshall 01 •• 00 11 11 11 00 1½ ½½ 11 11½ 2nd 573.75K
3 Marco 0½ 11 •• ½0 01 01 ½1 ½1 10 11 11 3rd 382.50K
4 Pillsbury ½0 00 d1 •• ½½ 1½ ½0 1½ 1½ 11 10
5 Maroczy 10 00 10 ½½ •• ½1 01 ½½ ½1 ½½ 9
6 Mieses 01 00 10 0½ ½0 •• 11 11 01 10 9
7 Teichmann 0- 11 ½0 ½1 10 00 •• 01 10 11 9
8 Swiderski 01 0½ ½0 0½ ½½ 00 10 •• 11 11 8½
9 Schlechter 00 ½½ 01 0½ ½0 10 01 00 •• 11 7
10 Gunsberg 00 00 00 00 ½½ 01 00 00 00 •• 2 Last 87.50K*
Unplayed games: + for a win, = for a draw, - for a loss.
* Gunsberg won a guarenteed last place prize.
"The once-lively enthusiasm for romantic gambit play had virtually disappeared by the end of the 19th century. To revive the flagging interest, the Vienna Chess Club sponsored a King's Gambit tournament in which the moves 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 were prescribed.
An immediate excitement arose among the various European chess bodies, which would welcome the reappearance of such heroic debuts as the Salvio, Allgaier, Kieseritzky and Muzio Gambits. The idea found a positive echo in tsarist Russia where chess associations in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Kiev sent telegrams of enthusiastic support to their innovative Viennese colleagues.
With the generous financial support of Albert Rothschild and Leopold Trebitsch, the Vienna Chess Club invited ten masters from the United States, Germany, England, Austria, Hungary and Russia to match skills in a double-round event featuring a 8,000-kroner prize purse.
Once the tournament was underway, the masters who favored positional play found themselves at the mercy of the aggressive gambiteers. Such prominent figures as Schlechter, Maroczy and Teichmann finished outside the prize list. The wild combinational storms unleashed by the hoary King's Gambit proved too formidable for Schlechter, who was forced to give up nine of his 18 games! Maroczy's five losses, exceeded by Teichmann's eight, confirmed the fact that one must be well prepared analytically (and psychologically!) to do battle with adroit gamblers like Tschigorin and Marshall.
Tschigorin, acclaimed as "King of the Gambiteers," outstripped the field with 12 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws to win first prize, 956.25 kroner. The runner-up spot and 573.75 kroner went to a kindred spirit, Marshall (+10-5=3), who was not displeased with his showing:
<…coming second to Tschigorin was no disgrace, for the old Russian had made a lifelong study of the King's Gambit and had a deeper knowledge of this intricate opening than has ever been possessed by any other man." – Frank Marshall in My Fifty Years of Chess.
The action-loving Marshall, who had been in a "slump" after his initial success at Paris (1900), dropped his opening game to Marco but then proceeded to out-gambit Maroczy (in 16 moves), Pillsbury, Swiderski, Gunsberg and Mieses to take the lead after six rounds. Successive losses, however, to Tschigorin (Salvio Gambit) and Teichmann in the 7th and 8th rounds enabled the swarthy Russian champion to inherit the top place, an advantage he resolutely forged into a two-point lead by the end of the 15th round.
The 16th round saw Marshall gain his revenge against Tschigorin on the Black side of a Bishop Gambit – a game admired by Marco "as one of Marshall's best… a classic from A to Z." In the next round, Mieses administered a second shock to the age's foremost gambiteer – but Tschigorin was unexpectedly presented with a "gift point" in the final 18th round when the health-plagued Teichmann failed to appear in the playing hall. The Wiener Schachzeitung dutifully pointed out that had Tschigorin lost this game (he won their nineteenth round encounter), and Marshall won from Schlechter, a play-off between these two fighting masters would have crowned Vienna's valiant attempt to bring about a renaissance of the King's Gambit.
In third place came Marco (+9 -5 =4), who skillfully combined play with his journalistic duties. He overcame a dismal start (2.5 in the first six rounds) to delight the Viennese onlookers with a stirring finish of 8.5 out of 12 points. Included in his point production were two triumphs over Marshall, 1.5 points against Teichmann and a win apiece from Maroczy and Schlechter.
Fourth prize in the gambit feast fell to Pillsbury who, in what was to be his last European tournament, "gave little indication that his career was approaching its end." - Pillsbury's Chess Career. "Two losses to fellow Yankee, Marshall, compromised Pillsbury's chance for a higher placing." – Warren Goldman in Carl Schlechter! Life and Times of the Austrian Chess Wizard.
1st Brilliancy prize, 200K to Maroczy for Maroczy vs Chigorin, 1903 (Rotschild)
2nd Brilliancy prize, 200K to Marco for J Mieses vs G Marco, 1903 (Rothschild)
3rd Brilliancy prize, 100K each for J Mieses vs Pillsbury, 1903 (Rothschild)
Performance bonuses were also distributed in the following amounts: Chigorin 937.50K, Marshall 806.25K, Marco 750K, Pillsbury 600K, Maroczy 525K, Mieses 637.50K, Teichmann 637.50K, Swiderski 543.75K, Schlechter 450K, and Gunsberg 112.50K.
Based on an original collection by User: TheFocus.