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Manchester Tournament

Siegbert Tarrasch15/18(+12 -0 =6)[games]
Joseph Henry Blackburne9.5/15(+9 -5 =1)[games]
George Henry Mackenzie8.5/13(+7 -3 =3)[games]
Samuel Tinsley8/12(+7 -3 =2)[games]
Emil Schallopp7.5/13(+6 -4 =3)[games]
Isidor Gunsberg7.5/14(+6 -5 =3)[games]
James Mason7/11(+6 -3 =2)[games]
Jean Taubenhaus6/9(+5 -2 =2)[games]
Oscar Conrad Mueller5.5/13(+4 -6 =3)[games]
Theodor von Scheve5/11(+4 -5 =2)[games]
William Hewison Gunston4/11(+3 -6 =2)[games]
Charles Locock2.5/11(+2 -8 =1)[games]
Edmund Thorold2.5/9(+2 -6 =1)[games]
Henry Bird2.5/4(+2 -1 =1)[games]
Francis Joseph Lee2/7(+0 -3 =4)[games]
John Owen2/6(+2 -4 =0)[games]
Semion Alapin2/6(+1 -3 =2)[games]
Louis van Vliet1.5/6(+1 -4 =1)[games]
James Mortimer1.5/6(+1 -4 =1)[games]
George Hatfeild Gossip0/5(+0 -5 =0)[games] Chess Event Description
Manchester (1890)

The Manchester Chess Club in England had been a prominent club since the 1850s and was the scene in 1890 for the formation of a larger chess organization that consisted of 24 Cheshire and Lancashire chess clubs. In the early part of 1890, the recently reformed British Chess Association was reportedly speculating on having their Sixth Chess Congress in conjunction with the Manchester Chess Club. Debates ensued over each entity putting up half of whatever prize money was to be awarded.

On July 27th a meeting of the British Chess Association council was held at the British Chess Club. At this meeting, it was officially decided (under the presidency of Sir George Newnes) to have the tournament at the halls of the Manchester Athenaeum. The total prize money was to be £300 (pounds), with each organization contributing half of the sum. Manchester Chess Club president J. B. Reyner would host the event and would also chair the Executive Committee for the tournament. The tournament was slated to take place Monday, August 25th through Monday, September 8th and to consist of eighteen players. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, several names were rumored to have committed to playing in Manchester, but did not make the trip for various reasons. This list of known masters included Jackson Whipps Showalter, Mikhail Chigorin, Jacques Mieses, Emanuel Lasker, Amos Burn, Curt von Bardeleben, Max Harmonist, Johann Hermann Bauer, Max Weiss, and Alphonse Goetz.

World champion Wilhelm Steinitz was retired from tournament play in 1890, so he would not be making an appearance. Joseph Henry Blackburne had been ill with bronchitis, but still committed to play. Henry Bird was fighting old age and a serious case of gout, yet was still rumored to attend. The American champion, Captain George Henry Mackenzie, had been ill with cancer for quite some time and had not played competitively since taking second at Bradford in 1888. He even missed the Sixth American Chess Congress in his hometown New York the previous year. Word was getting around that Mackenzie was feeling better and that he would be leaving New York for Manchester at the end of July. The overwhelming responses of players wanting to compete at Manchester forced the Tournament Executive Committee to eventually expand the field to twenty players. The final roster of competitors was as follows: Semion Alapin (St. Petersburg), Isidor Gunsberg (London), William Hewison Gunston (Cambridge), Francis Joseph Lee (London), Charles Locock (London), James Mason (London), James Mortimer (London), Oscar Conrad Mueller (London), John Owen (Liverpool), Emil Schallopp (Berlin), Theodor von Scheve (Berlin), Jean Taubenhaus (Paris), Siegbert Tarrasch (Nuremberg), Edmund Thorold (Bath), Samuel Tinsley (London), Louis van Vliet (London), George Hatfeild Gossip (London), plus the aforementioned Joseph Henry Blackburne (Manchester), George Henry Mackenzie (New York), and Henry Edward Bird (London).

The prize money was to be divided accordingly: 1st Place (£80), 2nd Place (£60), 3rd Place (£50), 4th Place (£40), 5th Place (£30), 6th Place (£20), 7th Place (£10). The Manchester Examiner & Times offered up £10 for the "best game played" and Mr. Edward Nathan Frankenstein (a well-known British player and chess problem composer) contributed £5 for the "most brilliant game" of the tournament. The format for the tournament was not for the weak of heart. Daily game times would be 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, with Sundays being an off day. Three games would be played every two days, with the evening session of the second day being reserved for the completion of adjourned games. Each player would play everyone once, for a total of nineteen games in thirteen days of play.

The Manchester Athenaeum was an impressive building, housing several different types of organizations and managed by a board of directors. Chess contests previously held there included the 1882 Counties Chess Congress and the matches between Yorkshire & Lancashire in both 1884 and 1889. The opening ceremony of the tournament took place on the same day as Round 1 was to begin, Monday, August 25th. Nearly all of the players were present at an early hour in the concert room of the Manchester Athenaeum, as well as several spectators. The drawing of numbers commenced at 11:30 am and subsequent pairings were announced. Shortly after this, Mr. Bird arrived at the room to a thunderous applause. Bird was the well-known veteran and a definite crowd favorite. Opening play would begin later than planned (at approximately 12:30 pm), due to lengthy speeches and the drawing of numbers.

After the first four rounds, Mason and Bird were the leaders at 3½ points and scheduled to face each other in Round 5. Tarrasch, Mackenzie, and Blackburne were all close behind with 3 points each. Mason would eventually prevail over Bird in their Round 5 matchup against his opponent's Sicilian Defence, leaving him in sole possession of first place. The loss was the start of a three game losing streak for the elderly Bird, who quickly fell off the lead. Mason would not suffer his first defeat until Round 8, at the hands of the also unbeaten Tarrasch. At the halfway point of the tournament, Tarrasch and Mackenzie would have a memorable showdown of tournament leaders that ultimately led to an 80-move draw. This allowed Mason, with his Round 10 win over Mortimer, to sneak back into a tie with the leaders. Blackburne would suffer a loss at the hands of Bird to drop back into fourth place by himself. The tournament standings (notwithstanding the timing of adjourned games and their completions) after Round 10 were as follows:

1 Mason, Mackenzie, Tarrasch 8 4 Blackburne 7 5 Bird, Gunsberg 6 7 Schallopp, Von Scheve 5½ 9 Taubenhaus, Tinsley 5 11 Alapin, Mortimer, Mueller 4½ 14 Owen 4 15 Gunston, Lee, Locock, Thorold 3½ 19 Gossip 2½ 20 Van Vliet 2

Just past the midway mark, Tarrasch quickly took sole possession of the lead with victories in four of the next five rounds and started to distance himself from the field. Mason losses to Von Scheve (Round 13) and Gunsberg (Round 15), coupled with a Blackburne loss to Taubenhaus (Round 14) would contribute to the German having a full two and half point lead after 15 rounds. In addition to all of this, the strain of the tournament schedule seemed to finally catch up with the ailing Mackenzie. After being amongst the leaders for the first half of the tournament, he would suffer uncharacteristic losses to Lee (Round 11), Tinsley (Round 13) and the cellar dwelling Van Vliet (Round 14). A Tarrasch win over Blackburne (Round 16), combined with a Mason loss to Owen (Round 17), clinched the tournament victory for Tarrasch, giving him a three point lead over the field with two rounds remaining. The final tournament standings played out as follows:

Manchester, England, 25 August - 8 September 1890

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 01 Tarrasch * 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 15½ 02 Blackburne 0 * 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 1 12½ =03 Mackenzie ½ 1 * 1 0 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 0 0 1 12 =03 Bird ½ 1 0 * 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 12 =05 Mason 0 ½ 1 1 * 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 11½ =05 Gunsberg 0 ½ ½ 0 1 * 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 11½ =07 Von Scheve ½ 0 0 1 1 0 * 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 ½ 11 =07 Tinsley ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 * 0 0 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 11 =07 Alapin ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 * 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 11 10 Taubenhaus 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 * 0 0 1 1 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 10½ 11 Schallopp 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 0 0 1 1 * ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 10 =12 Lee ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ * ½ 0 0 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 9 =12 Gunston 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 9 14 Mortimer 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 * 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 8½ 15 Owen 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 * 0 0 1 1 0 7½ 16 Mueller 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 * 1 ½ 1 ½ 7 17 Thorold 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 * 0 ½ ½ 6 18 Locock 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 ½ 1 * 0 1 5½ 19 Van Vliet ½ 0 1 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 * 1 5 20 Gossip 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0 * 4

A special prize for brilliancy, presented by Mr. Frankenstein, was awarded to Gunston for Gunsberg vs W H Gunston, 1890 (Round 18). Another special prize, offered by the Manchester Evening News, for the best game in the tournament, was awarded to Owen for Owen vs Gunsberg, 1890 (Round 13).

After the conclusion of the tournament, Steinitz wrote an article in the October 1890 issue of The International Chess Magazine called Ground Swell from the Manchester Congress. He wrote of the conditions of the playing hall at the Manchester Athenaeum:

"For one thing, many of the players complain of the unfavorable climatic conditions of Cottonopolis* and the bad ventilation and awkward situation of the place of play."

"It is true that Manchester is too often covered with a black pall of clouds and a drizzly rain falls, and it is certain that seventy-five weary steps had to be climbed in order to reach the tournament room, and that when it was reached, the atmosphere was hot and too often stifling."

It is entirely possible that these playing conditions affected the aforementioned players with certain illnesses (Bird, Blackburne, Mackenzie).

*The term "Cottonopolis" is often used for the city of Manchester, England in reference to its metropolis of cotton and cotton mills.

Summary sources

Morgan's Shilling Chess Library. Book 7. A Selection of Games from the International Tournament Played at Manchester (25th August to 8th September 1890)
British Chess Magazine (1890, 1891, 1892)
The Chess Player's Chronicle (1890, 1891)
The International Chess Magazine (September, October 1890)
Deutsches Wochenschach (1890)

Games & Notes (too many individual dates to list)

Manchester Guardian Observer / The Daily News / Hamshire Telegraph & Sussex Chronicle / Evening News and Post / Bristol Times / Bristol Mercury and Daily Post / Manchester Times / Leeds Mercury / Modern Chess Brilliancies / Knowledge 1890, 1891 (Gunsberg chess columns) / The (London) Times / The Belfast New Letter / The Scotsman / The Field / Baltimore Sunday News / Chicago Times / Cincinnati Commercial Gazette / The (New Orleans) Times-Democrat / Daily (New Orleans) Picayune / The (Philadelphia) Times / Baltimore Sunday News / Chicago Times / New York Sun / New York Times / New York Daily Tribune.

This text and collection of games by User: rookhouse. Crosstable added by User: Tabanus and User: zanzibar.

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 100  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Gunsberg vs Bird 0-1391890ManchesterB25 Sicilian, Closed
2. Blackburne vs E Schallopp  1-0221890ManchesterC29 Vienna Gambit
3. J Mortimer vs Blackburne 0-1331890ManchesterC50 Giuoco Piano
4. Gossip vs Gunsberg  0-1391890ManchesterC28 Vienna Game
5. L Van Vliet vs Tarrasch ½-½311890ManchesterC46 Three Knights
6. J Mason vs E Schallopp ½-½561890ManchesterD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
7. Alapin vs Mackenzie 0-1351890ManchesterC20 King's Pawn Game
8. Tarrasch vs Von Scheve ½-½401890ManchesterC03 French, Tarrasch
9. E Schallopp vs Mackenzie  0-1351890ManchesterC29 Vienna Gambit
10. Blackburne vs Tinsley 1-0351890ManchesterC14 French, Classical
11. Gunsberg vs Taubenhaus  ½-½301890ManchesterC58 Two Knights
12. Von Scheve vs F J Lee ½-½631890ManchesterD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. J Mason vs W H Gunston  1-0441890ManchesterC77 Ruy Lopez
14. Alapin vs E Thorold  ½-½321890ManchesterC14 French, Classical
15. O C Mueller vs Tarrasch 0-1751890ManchesterD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. O C Mueller vs J Mortimer  ½-½241890ManchesterD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. Mackenzie vs Blackburne 1-0441890ManchesterC13 French
18. Tarrasch vs Gunsberg 1-0121890ManchesterC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
19. J Mortimer vs Von Scheve 0-1271890ManchesterC14 French, Classical
20. E Schallopp vs E Thorold  1-0301890ManchesterC22 Center Game
21. Mackenzie vs W H Gunston  1-0551890ManchesterC25 Vienna
22. W H Gunston vs E Schallopp  ½-½371890ManchesterC77 Ruy Lopez
23. F J Lee vs O C Mueller  ½-½411890ManchesterC46 Three Knights
24. E Thorold vs J Mason  0-1321890ManchesterD05 Queen's Pawn Game
25. Tinsley vs L Van Vliet  1-0591890ManchesterA80 Dutch
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 100  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Another event where two rounds were sometimes played on a single day. It'd be nice to have the facility to allow games sharing the same date (whether at the level of day, month or year) to be ordered chronologically and/or sequentially, where known.

So, in this case, round 1 games would automatically be listed before round 2 games although both took place on the same day.

I leave the technical implementation to others.

Sep-30-18  zanzibar: <Riffing on a stub>

<Telemus> I wanted to come up with a standard (of sorts) in a collaborative fashion between the <CG> editors, but few seemed interested.

Z-base therefore uses a "de facto standard" (again, of sorts):

1) Every stub PGN has a <Stub> tag to indicate it, and various (semi-)standardized values (i.e. ~ missing game, missing ending, missing opening, partial fragment, position).

2) Since the PGN tags are hidden (and hopefully don't get stripped out) there is also a comment at the beginning of the game to help users see the stub status, using the <@stub> keyword.

Etc. etc.

I've also used stubs to create xtabs for tournaments with non-standard scoring (e.g. one of the Vienna tournaments (?)). I'm just now going to publish my version of the Olympiad tournament, where I created another version of the tournament using team stubs to track the actual scoring in the PGN.


Sep-30-18  zanzibar: <Telemus> I'm not sure about the number of games <Z-Base> has for <Manchester (1890)>, but I'm pretty sure it's less than 118. Let me check...

I think I only have 99 non-stub games (yep, searching on <Stub> vs. <ply >= 20 agrees).


1) Is there anyway we can update <Z-base> (and maybe <CG>) with the <ChessBase> games?

2) Does <ChessBase> provide <Source> tags for the games?



Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: FWIW.

These *are* the 15 (=113-98) games in the Chessbase db, having more than 10 moves and which are not here:

Mortimer - Blackburne
Blackburne - Schallopp
Taubenhaus - Mueller
Tinsley - van Vliet
van Vliet - von Scheve
Mason - Taubenhaus
Lee - Alapin
Tinsley - Locock
Alapin - Mortimer
Thorold - Bird
Schallopp - Mueller
Mortimer - Gossip
Tinsley - Bird
Taubenhaus - van Vliet
Thorold - Gunsberg

Sep-30-18  sudoplatov: Pretty good showing for S. Tinsley. His grandson or great grandson was world checker champion a few years ago.
Sep-30-18  zanzibar: RE: Sorting.

<MissS> - I've thought, and commented to <CG> a few times, that the tournament games should be "Rsorted"(*).

Consider how misplaced a tournament game can become if it's played on a make-up day.

* * * * *

* Rsorted - more Z-base terminology. Basically sort on Round number and then White player name. If Round number isn't available, then sort by Date and White. That kind of stuff, etc. etc.

Generally, I try to organize the games in the PGN by tournament, with each tournament Rsorted. It's very helpful, especially when hand-editing the PGN for small, quick fixes.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <z: .. but few seemed interested.> Hmm.

<z: 1) Is there anyway we can update <Z-base> (and maybe <CG>) with the <ChessBase> games?> Yes, of course. I will think about it.

<z: 2) Does <ChessBase> provide <Source> tags for the games?> Yes! But unfortunately, it is always [Source "ChessBase"]. :-(

(There is also [SourceDate "2013.11.20"], which at least could be useful to detect changes?!)

Sep-30-18  zanzibar: <Telemus> do you have a google account?

Or, in other words, would you be willing to upload the tournament PGN to a google drive (or somesuch)?

I can make it so all you have to do is drag-and-drop - but if you're so disposed. It would save me some time - and I'm especially still wondering if <CB> sourced the games.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Mortimer - Blackburne
Blackburne - Schallopp>

Have submitted these, courtesy of Harding's biography.

Sep-30-18  zanzibar: <Telemus> Hmmm, ... SourceDate "2013.11.20" suggests to me that I should have found those games.

Usually I scour <ChessBase Online> for missing games, but perhaps I overlooked doing so for this tournament. I'll have to look at my notes later on. I was under the impression that <CB Online> was fully complete, but perhaps it's not <Mega>-complete.

PS- Thanks in advance for your considerations!

Oct-04-18  mifralu: << Does <ChessBase> provide <Source> tags for the games?>>

CB provides Sources for several games, e.g. < Deutsches Wochenschach 1890, pp.297-298 > for Bird vs E Schallopp, 1890

< A Selection of Games from the International Tournament played at Manchester 1890 (1891), pp. 9-10 > for Blackburne vs Bird, 1890

< Dufresne: Examples of Chess Master-Play II (1894), pp.57-58 > for Gunsberg vs Tinsley, 1890

and < Tarrasch: Dreihundert Schachpartien (1925) > for most (all?) of Tarrasch's games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <mifralu: CB provides Sources for several games> Thank you.

I used Big DB 2018, and the sources are not included. But in the Mega DB 2015 they are as comments.

<z: Usually I scour <ChessBase Online> for missing games, but perhaps I overlooked doing so for this tournament. I'll have to look at my notes later on.> I tried to check CB online myself, but since Sunday my account is not working anymore (and my huge blitz rating vanished, too). It would be nice if someone could submit the missing games from CB online or elsewhere. Then I would not have to think about copyright; I could not find an explicit copyright notice in Big DB 2018, but nevertheless copying the data is not legal, I assume.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <z> For completeness: the SourceDate tags of the 15 missing games are [SourceDate "2016.10.25"] (2 times) and [SourceDate "2017.10.11"] (all remaining cases).

The [SourceDate "2013.11.20"] was copied from the very first game of the PGN export.

Oct-05-18  zanzibar: <<Telemus> copying the data is not legal, I assume.>

I don't know about your jurisdiction, but here in the USA, the PGN game data (i.e. canonical tags + movelist) is not copyright-able, at least when any annotations are stripped out. It's roughly considered the same as a set of facts, and facts are not copyright-able.

In fact, a famous case involving PGN shows up when googling <Daniel Freeman>, where <CG> was named as a litigate.

Now sure about the legalities in the many European countries that many users come from, but I would be interested.

Oct-05-18  zanzibar: PS- when I get the PGN from <CB-online>, there is no Source tag available, only the movelist + most basic info.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <z> Are the missing games I listed in <CB-Online>? (I would very much like to answer this question myself, but I cannot get my account working again.)

I searched three of these games at 365chess, but there are not there.

Oct-05-18  mifralu: < Telemus >
Are the missing games I listed in <CB-Online>?


Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <mifralu> Thank you again! So, there is a good and legal way to get the games.
Oct-05-18  zanzibar: <Telemus> just because something is published on the web, doesn't mean it goes into Public Domain (PD), legally.

(Again, for certain in the USA, but almost certainly true elsewhere).

So whatever was the issue, is still the issue.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <z> From a general point of view, you are right.

But there are some nuances that make a big difference for me. Firstly and most important: now I know that everyone can access the games without my assistance. Great relief, believe me! No damn legal issues, etc!

Secondly, the games of <CB-online> should be legal for personal use, while passing on copied data from a commercial DVD could be already a problem.

I am back to the point where I hope that someone will find my list helpful. And if not, then not.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: So where are these missing 13 games? And why was there no tournament book?
Dec-05-20  Z4all: <Missy> Don't know, you tell me.

Dec-05-20  Z4all:
Premium Chessgames Member
  wichito: Tarrasch-Lee or viceversa can't be found. The result was a draw. Maybe in the last (19) round ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Played in round 17, a French Defence.
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