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1st Australian Championship, Adelaide Tournament

Henry Charlick7.5/9(+6 -0 =3)[games]
Frederick Karl Esling7/9(+6 -1 =2)[games]
George Hatfeild Gossip6.5/9(+6 -2 =1)[games]
David Heiman6/9(+6 -3 =0)[games]
George B Hall4/9(+4 -5 =0)[games]
William Tullidge4/9(+4 -5 =0)[games]
Henry Hookham3/9(+2 -5 =2)[games]
Joseph E Crewe3/9(+3 -6 =0)[games]
Joseph George Witton2/9(+2 -7 =0)[games]
Patrick Eiffe2/9(+2 -7 =0)[games]
* Chess Event Description
1st Australian Championship, Adelaide (1887)

Adelaide, Australia; 17 August 1887—26 August 1887

1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Score Place/Prize ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 1 Charlick • ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 7½ 1st £50 2 Esling ½ • 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 7 2nd £30 3 Gossip ½ 1 • 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 6½ 3rd £20 4 Heiman 0 0 1 • 1 1 1 1 1 0 6 4th £10 5 Hall 0 0 0 0 • 0 1 1 1 1 4 5th-6th £2 10s. 6 Tullidge 0 0 0 0 1 • 1 0 1 1 4 5th-6th £2 10s. 7 Hookham ½ ½ 1 0 0 0 • 0 1 0 3 8 Crewe 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 • 0 1 3 9 Witton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 • 1 2 10 Eiffe 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 • 2 ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

"THE JUBILEE CHESS CONGRESS. - The entries for this important event to the chess world of Australia closed in Adelaide on the 10th inst., with 10 nominations for the major tournament, and the same number for the local or minor tournament. The majority of the competitors in this event will secure prizes, as these are seven in number. Although in the major tournament a larger number of competitors was hoped for, the committee may be congratulated on the success of their efforts in bringing together the best chess players in the Australian colonies, New South Wales, Victoria, New Zealand, and South Australia being represented.

For the first prize, carrying with it the championship of Australia, Mr. Charlick's chance is most esteemed here, and his zeal and services for many years to the cause of chess render him worthy of it. The play of Mr. Esling (the Victorian crack, as the papers here have christened him) is highly thought of, and Messrs. Gossip and Heiman are next in favor. The last-named gentleman has been playing remarkably well of late, and will be very dangerous. It was not to be expected that all the finest players in the colonies would find it possible to take part in the tournament, but the absence of Messrs. Chamier, Crane, and Russell, of New South Wales, and Messrs. Fisher, Burns, and Stanley, of Victoria, so well-known in intercolonial contests, is much regretted, although it is to be hoped that the competitors will not allow this feeling to influence them to the extent of injuriously affecting the play. Messrs. Heiman, Gossip, and Tullidge have already arrived from their respective colonies, and the rest of the Victorian contingent are expected on Monday.

All the arrangements for play, which commences on Wednesday next, are completed. A large room has been secured in the town-hall, which, however, has this drawback, that it is not well lighted in the day-time. The Governor, Sir William Robinson, will open the proceedings by making the first move at board No. 1.- Argus."(2)

The Australian Championship (1888) was the next national championship.

(1) Adelaide South Australian Register, 1887.08.27, p6
(2) Mount Gambier Border Watch, 20 August 1887.

Original collection: Game Collection: 1887 Australian Championship by User: optimal play.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. G B Hall vs H Charlick 0-13518871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC42 Petrov Defense
2. F K Esling vs W Tullidge 1-04018871st Australian Championship, AdelaideA03 Bird's Opening
3. J G Witton vs D Heiman 0-12318871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC45 Scotch Game
4. P Eiffe vs H Hookham 1-02518871st Australian Championship, AdelaideB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
5. Gossip vs J E Crewe 1-02118871st Australian Championship, AdelaideB25 Sicilian, Closed
6. H Hookham vs Gossip 1-04718871st Australian Championship, AdelaideA13 English
7. W Tullidge vs J G Witton 1-07418871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC50 Giuoco Piano
8. D Heiman vs G B Hall 1-05818871st Australian Championship, AdelaideD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. H Charlick vs P Eiffe 1-02318871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
10. J E Crewe vs F K Esling 0-12918871st Australian Championship, AdelaideD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Gossip vs P Eiffe 1-03818871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC28 Vienna Game
12. J G Witton vs J E Crewe 1-03118871st Australian Championship, AdelaideB32 Sicilian
13. G B Hall vs W Tullidge 0-15518871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC77 Ruy Lopez
14. F K Esling vs H Hookham ½-½4718871st Australian Championship, AdelaideA03 Bird's Opening
15. D Heiman vs H Charlick 0-11918871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC42 Petrov Defense
16. H Hookham vs J G Witton 1-02618871st Australian Championship, AdelaideD05 Queen's Pawn Game
17. J E Crewe vs G B Hall 0-18018871st Australian Championship, AdelaideD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
18. P Eiffe vs F K Esling 0-13618871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC77 Ruy Lopez
19. H Charlick vs Gossip ½-½3518871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC00 French Defense
20. W Tullidge vs D Heiman 0-14618871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC29 Vienna Gambit
21. G B Hall vs H Hookham 1-04618871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC41 Philidor Defense
22. H Charlick vs W Tullidge 1-07018871st Australian Championship, AdelaideB20 Sicilian
23. J G Witton vs P Eiffe 1-04218871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC45 Scotch Game
24. Gossip vs F K Esling 1-04318871st Australian Championship, AdelaideC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. D Heiman vs J E Crewe 1-03818871st Australian Championship, AdelaideB25 Sicilian, Closed
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner


<This competition — the first of its kind ever held in Australia — was opened by His Excellency the Governor in the Town Hall Exchange-room on Wednesday.

There was a large attendance of players and visitors. The committee and officers of the Adelaide Chess Club were assembled on the platform to receive His Excellency.

There were also present on the platform — The Premier (Hon, T. Playford), the Chief Secretary (Hon. J. G. Ramsay), the Commissioner of Crown Lands (Hon. J. Coles), the Chief Justice (Hon. S. J. Way), the Mayor of Adelaide (Mr. E. T. Smith, M.P.), the Hon. A. M. Simpson, Messrs. Lempriere, J. Mann, Melvin, &c.

On the arrival of His Excellency, the President of the Chess Club Mr. C. J. Shuttleworth, welcomed him in a felicitous address.

On behalf of the Congress Committee he expressed their gratification at the interest which His Excellency had taken in the competition, and for his patronage and presence. They also most cordially welcomed the representatives from the other colonies, Mr. Hookham from New Zealand, Messrs. Gossip and Heiman from New South Wales, and Messrs. Crewe, Esling, Tullidge, and Witton from Victoria.

To those who had so liberally contributed the necessary funds for the prizes and expenses they also added their warmest thanks, and also to Mr. H Charlick for his valuable aid.

The donations (exclusive of entrance fees) amounted to £195 2s 5d of which sum £17 13s had been subscribed in Victoria, £13 6s 5d in New South Wales, £12 18s in New Zealand, and £151 5s in South Australia.

Many present would remember that in May, 1885, they witnessed in that room exhibitions of blindfold and simultaneous play by the English champion, Mr. Blackburne, who was one of the most brilliant players of the day. That was an important event in the history of chess, not only in the colony but in Australasia.

The Adelaide Chess Club was formed in 1865, and was therefore now in its 22nd year. On looking over the records of the club, he had found that the question of an Intercolonial Chess Congress was first discussed at the annual meeting in 1883, when Mr, Charlick moved a resolution — "That it was desirable to hold an Intercolonial Congress during the Exhibition year 1886-7." No action, however, was taken in the matter until the Hon. Secretary, Mr. Machin brought the subject before the annual meeting last year with a most successful result.

Two important factors in this success have been the opening up of communication by rail with Melbourne and Sydney and the Jubilee Exhibition.

They recently learned that the Melbourne Chess Clubs were already considering a Chess Congress, the next year in connection with the Centennial Exhibition. They trusted that these Congresses would serve as a preliminary to an International Congress at no distant date.

As chess players, they claimed for chess the kingship of all intellectual games and a pastime affording scope for the employment of strategy without a rival. It was a mental disciplinarian of the highest order. It was a game which had been played from time immemorial in every civilized community. Its resources were practically innumerable, as witness the thousands of published games and problems. As a game 'Age cannot wither, nor custom stale its infinite variety.'

The committee relied on the combatants to cheerfully assist the director of play, and that each would, as in honour bound, strictly adhere to the code and regulations. Also that visitors would not make audible remarks on games in progress.

It was their desire to make the first Intercolonial Chess Congress an unqualified success.>


Jul-29-13  optimal play: ...continued...

<His Excellency said — “Mr. President and Gentlemen — I am very glad indeed to be with you this morning, not only on account of the intrinsic merits of the game, but because it gives me an opportunity of welcoming cordially those visitors from the other colonies who have paid us the compliment of being present on this occasion.

The jubilee year of our Queen, which has been so appropriately selected for this first Intercolonial Chess Congress, reminds us that the late Prince Consort took a very great interest in this fine and ancient game. (Applause).

We find it recorded in his life that he used in the evening very often to play two games of chess at the same time blindfolded, so expert a player was he, and it is also recorded that he found in this mental exercise very much refreshment, so to speak, after his other labours of the day. It is, indeed, as the President has well said, a very fine and noble game. (Applause).

I used to play myself in former years with a lady member of my family. We played many games after dinner on many occasions. Finally we gave it up. I used to find that if I won three or four games in the course of the evening, all the indifferent qualities which I am so unfortunate as to possess seemed to be brought very prominently before her eyes — (Applause and laughter) — and I also thought that if she won from me, whatever defects she had, were also brought before my eyes; so that at the end of the evening we found that the game did not tend to provoke mutual admiration, and so we at last gave it up. (Laughter).

This may at first sight appear an argument against rather than in favour of chess, but it only shows that the game is one of such absorbing interest, and possesses such a subtle fascination for those who engage in it, that it fully occupies their minds. (Hear, hear).

It is the only game that possesses so great an interest in itself that it can be played without a money stake at all. (Applause).

Your President has so well spoken on the merits of the game that I, who am a very indifferent player, could ill speak to you in any further language than he has used on the subject.

I am very proud that I have the opportunity of joining with you in opening this Congress, and I hope it will be a success and tend to draw in closer union the intellectual as well as the social aspects of these great colonies. (Applause).

I am very glad to think that this jubilee year in which we hold our Exhibition has brought so many gentlemen from other colonies here, and done so much to further that federal spirit which we all desire to see existing between these colonies. (Applause).

I shall now have great pleasure in making the first move, and I trust that the recollection that my fingers may yet retain of this game may ensure for the players on the side of this table that I shall play from a win in this game, at all events.” (Applause).

His Excellency descended to the arena and played P King's 4 for White's first move at Board No. 1.>


Jul-29-13  optimal play: ...continued...

<The room was gaily decorated with bunting.

The players in the major tourney were seated at the tables near the windows in the following order :—

Board No. 1, Hall v. Charlick;
No. 2, Witton v. Heiman;
No. 3, Esling v. Tullidge;
No. 4, Gossip v. Crewe;
No. 5, Eiffe v. Hookham.

The toss for the right of first move was won by Messrs. Hall, Esling, Eiffe, Witton, and Gossip. These will have also the right of first move in four more of the remaining games by arrangement of the committee.

The players in the minor tourney will assemble this evening, as the pairs all include evening players.

Score-sheets were hung upon the walls to show the result of each game in both tourneys.

Each table bore a distinguishing number, and placards were placed about cautioning visitors not to disturb the players.

Not the least interesting feature is the time-keeping apparatus.

The combatants at each board are furnished with two Yale clocks, 3 inches by 2. These are balanced on a triangular wooden block, and when a player makes his move he pulls his clock from the horizontal position to a slope, and the same motion brings his opponent's clock up on the other side to a level and starts it going. The contrivance is the ingenious idea of Mr. Shuttleworth, and has been effectively carried out by Mr. C. Brailey, of Rundle-place. At the Sydney Chess Club, where these clocks are in use, they are only used in the ordinary manner.>

< - South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA) issue Thursday 18 August 1887>

Aug-30-13  TheFocus: Cleaned up this cross-table.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <TheFocus> Do you do windows, besides table?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Was that beside table?


Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <TheFocus> <Cleaned up this cross-table.>

Still might need more work. Did Hookham beat Esling or draw with him?

Aug-31-13  TheFocus: <Benzol> You are right. More work needed, but I might not be able to edit until Monday.
Aug-31-13  TheFocus: Only because I am limited to a smartphone.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <TheFocus> No worries matey. I just had a quick glance at the cross-table and couldn't figure it out.
Aug-31-13  optimal play: Also, Hall vs Tullidge?

Round 1
Played on Wednesday 17th August 1887
Gossip vs Crewe 1-0
Witton vs Heiman 0-1
Esling vs Tullidge 1-0
Hall vs Charlick 0-1
Eiffe vs Hookham 1-0

Round 2
Played on Thursday 18th August 1887
Charlick vs Eiffe 1-0
Hookham vs Gossip 1-0
Crewe vs Esling 0-1
Heiman vs Hall 1-0
Tullidge vs Witton 1-0

Round 3
Played on Friday 19th August 1887
Heiman vs Charlick 0-1
Esling vs Hookham 1/2-1/2
Gossip vs Eiffe 1-0
Hall vs Tullidge 0-1
Witton vs Crewe 1-0

Round 4
Played on Saturday 20th August 1887
Charlick vs Gossip 1/2-1/2
Tullidge vs Heiman 0-1
Eiffe vs Esling 0-1
Hookham vs Witton 1-0
Crewe vs Hall 0-1

Round 5
Played on Monday 22nd August 1887
Gossip vs Esling 1-0
Charlick vs Tullidge 1-0
Hall vs Hookham 1-0
Heiman vs Crewe 1-0
Witton vs Eiffe 1-0

Round 6
Played on Tuesday 23rd August 1887
Esling vs Charlick 1/2-1/2
Hookham vs Heiman 0-1
Gossip vs Witton 1-0
Eiffe vs Hall 0-1
Crewe vs Tullidge 1-0

Round 7
Played on Wednesday 24th August 1887
Hall vs Gossip 0-1
Eiffe vs Heiman 1-0
Crewe vs Charlick 0-1
Witton vs Esling 0-1
Tullidge vs Hookham 1-0

Round 8
Played on Thursday 25th August 1887
Heiman vs Gossip 1-0
Charlick vs Witton 1-0
Esling vs Hall 1-0
Tullidge vs Eiffe 1-0
Hookham vs Crewe 0-1

Round 9
Played on Friday 26th August 1887
Esling vs Heiman 1-0
Hookham vs Charlick 1/2-1/2
Gossip vs Tullidge 1-0
Hall vs Witton 1-0
Eiffe vs Crewe 0-1

Sep-01-13  optimal play: If it helps, a cross-table of the final results (in alphabetical order) can be found on page 9 of 'The Argus' (Saturday 27 August 1887)

(It can't be copied and pasted and I don't know how to do a respectable-looking cross-table on this site).

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It must have been a logistical nightmare dragging these players to and from the jug every day.
Feb-18-14  optimal play: <offramp> huh??

What does that mean?

Also I notice the cross-table is still wrong :(

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: That paper's cross table is sorted/listed by last name, where as modern day tables are sorted/listed by total points, it may take some time and effort to get this correct...
Feb-19-14  optimal play: I had previously compiled a cross-table sorted by total points when I collated the tournament games...

Cross-Table 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total 01.Henry Charlick X = = 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 7½
02.Frederick Karl Esling = X 0 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 7
03.George Hatfeild Gossip = 1 X 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 6½
04.David Heiman 0 0 1 X 1 1 1 1 1 0 6
05.George B Hall 0 0 0 0 X 0 1 1 1 1 4
06.William Tullidge 0 0 0 0 1 X 1 0 1 1 4
07.Henry Hookham = = 1 0 0 0 X 0 1 0 3
08.John E Crewe 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 X 0 1 3
09.Joseph George Witton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 X 1 2
10.Patrick Eiffe 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 X 2

If one of the editors just wants to check it and post it above.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Interesting to see this: Hookham won a NZ Champs once. I played more or less the same line as in Heiman-Crewe (last night), the game transposed in my case into a more or less main (sub) line of the Closed Sicilian. (And I didn't realise what opening line I was in for a while.) I also lost as Black - not perhaps due to the opening - but Crewe blundered a piece. That line in the Closed doesn't seem as good as an early e5 for Black. In my case I made an error in what was possibly a drawn position (and I was mated by 12 year old Daniel Gong (NZ)). So I was curious to see this opening.

The tournament is good history and it is interesting to see the way they talk about the players, I wonder if it would be even reported in the news media these days.?

Good history for Chess players though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <If one of the editors just wants to check it and post it above.>

I just did. It seems the crosstable was correct from the start, but that someone messed it up. Hope it's fine now.

Apr-01-16  optimal play: <Tabanus> Yep, thanks!
Mar-06-23  stone free or die: A good final recap of the play for this tournament can be found here:

< South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900)
Sat 27 Aug 1887 Page 6\

It contains the cash amounts for the 6 prize winners.

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