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Janowski vs. Showalter Matches
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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Jackson Whipps Showalter must have been a congenial opponent to play as many matches as he did. Maybe it was the cigars, which even Steinitz liked. Maybe it was because he was an upright fellow who never threw his opponents a curve ball. Maybe he provided good competition and entertainment for the spectators.

Maybe he had a lot of friends at the Manhattan Chess Club who could be counted upon to put up worthwhile stakes. Who knows?

At any rate, David Janowski and Showalter faced off in four different matches, three during a visit by Janowski to New York in 1898-1899 and a fourth in 1916 when the war left Janowski stuck in the States with nothing else to do. Janowski dominated the first and last of these, while Showalter prevailed in the two shorter matches in the middle.

Match 1 was played at the Manhattan Chess Club in New York from November 18, 1898 through January 12, 1899. The stakes were $750 a side. Seven games were to be played each fortnight, witn a time limit of one hour for the first 15 moves, two hours for the next 25 moves, then 15 moves per hour afterwards.

The match was to be played to seven wins for either player, draws not counting. However, if there were a tie at six games each, then they were to play till one achieved ten wins. Further however, if the match were tied at 9 wins each, it would be declared a draw and Fischer would retain his title.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Janowski 1 1 = 1 = 0 0 = 1 = 1 1 1 9.0 Showalter 0 0 = 0 = 1 1 = 0 = 0 0 0 4.0

The match was postponed after the ninth game on December 10th, with Janowski leading by 4-2, when Showalter received home to Georgetown, Kentucky, after receiving news of the death of his brother, Judge John W. Showalter of Chicago. After resumption on January 6, 1899 only four more games were required, Janowski winning the final three in a row.

Sources: Match and game details were contained in reports from the "Pawtucket Evening Times" and "New York Literary Digest" in November and December, 1898; match summary in the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle", January 13, 1899 and "American Chess Magazine", February, 1899, p.359.

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The second match was originally meant to be a series of five games played at the Manhattan Chess Club from March 15-20, 1899, but the players agreed to add a sixth game when the score was tied 2-2. The stakes were $125 per side, with a $60 purse put up by the club and split between the two players.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Showalter 0 0 1 1 1 1 4.0 Janowski 1 1 0 0 0 0 2.0

This was an outstanding comeback by Showalter after a slow start.

Source: "American Chess Magazine", April, 1899.

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After the Manhattan Chess Club had hosted two Janowski-Showalter matches, the Brooklyn Chess Club joined in the fun by bringing the fellows on over for a seven-game set held from March 29 through April 7, 1899. The stakes were $250 a side, with the Club tossing in an extra $100 to be divided equally between the players.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Showalter 1 = 1 0 1 0 1 4.5 Janowski 0 = 0 1 0 1 0 2.5

This time it was Showalter getting off to the fast start, with Janowski unable to catch up.

Source: "American Chess Magazine", April 1899.

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Although there was talk of another match following the three played in 1898-1899, Janowski and Showalter did not get together again until late 1916. Their fourth match, played December 8-29, began and ended at the Elks' Club in Lexington, Kentucky, with games 6-10 in Showalter's home town of Georgetown. Perhaps he wanted to be home for Christmas. The stakes were $750 a side, with Janowski's travel and living expenses being paid. The time control was 15 moves an hour.

Both players were past their peak, but while Janowski had stayed active while the older Showalter had been semi-retired for some time. He had recently returned to win at Game Collection: US Open 1915, Excelsior = 16th Western Champ. and finish a strong second at Game Collection: US Open 1916, Chicago = 17th Western Champ., in addition to crushing Norman T. Whitaker in a June, 1916 match by a score of 6-1. Showalter also tried to arrange matches in Kentucky with Abraham Kupchik and Boris Kostic. Those fell through, but his old adversary Janowski was willing to make the trip from New York.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Janowski 1 = 0 1 1 = 0 1 1 1 1 8.0 Showalter 0 = 1 0 0 = 1 0 0 0 0 3.0

Apparently, either JWS nogged a few too many eggs or perhaps Janowski was peeved at having to work during the holidays. At any rate, it was Janowski growing stronger as the match went on, clinching matters by winning the last four games in a row.

Source: "American Chess Bulletin", February 1917, p.28

In all, Janowski and Showalter played 37 match games, with the final tally being +18 -12 =7 in Janowski's favor.

Match 1: Game 1 (Friday, November 18, 1898)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1898 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 0-1

Match 1: Game 2 (Tuesday, November 22, 1898)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1898
(C49) Four Knights, 62 moves, 1-0

Match 1: Game 3 (Thursday, November 24, 1898)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1898
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Match 1: Game 4 (Saturday, November 26, 1898)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1898 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 38 moves, 1-0

Match 1: Game 5 (Wednesday, Novermber 30, 1898)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1898
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Match 1: Game 6 (Friday, December 2, 1898)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1898 
(C28) Vienna Game, 47 moves, 0-1

Match 1: Game 7 (Sunday, December 4, 1898)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1898
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 39 moves, 1-0

Match 1: Game 8 (Tuesday, December 6, 1898)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1898
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 71 moves, 1/2-1/2

Match 1: Game 9 (Saturday, December 10, 1898)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1898 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 23 moves, 0-1

Match 1: Game 10 (Wednesday, January 6, 1899)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1899
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Match 1: Game 11 (Friday, January 8, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899
(D39) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation, 26 moves, 0-1

Match 1: Game 12 (Sunday, January 10, 1899)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1899 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 36 moves, 1-0

Match 1: Game 13 (Tuesday, January 12, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899 
(D39) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation, 79 moves, 0-1

Match 2: Game 1 (Wednesday, March 15, 1899)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1899
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 33 moves, 1-0

Match 2: Game 2 (Thursday, March 16, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899
(B40) Sicilian, 54 moves, 0-1

Match 2: Game 3 (Friday, March 17, 1899)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1899 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 39 moves, 0-1

Match 2: Game 4 (Saturday, March 18, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 54 moves, 1-0

Match 2: Game 5 (Sunday, March 19, 1899)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1899 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 41 moves, 0-1

Match 2: Game 6 (Monday, March 20, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 1-0

Match 3: Game 1 (Wednesday, March 29, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899 
(B40) Sicilian, 65 moves, 1-0

Match 3: Game 2 (Thursday, March 30, 1899)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1899
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 85 moves, 1/2-1/2

Match 3: Game 3 (Saturday, April 1, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 44 moves, 1-0

Match 3: Game 4 (Sunday, April 2, 1899)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1899
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 44 moves, 1-0

Match 3: Game 5 (Tuesday, April 4, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 33 moves, 1-0

Match 3: Game 6 (Wednesday, April 5, 1899)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1899
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 61 moves, 1-0

Match 3: Game 7 (Friday, April 7, 1899)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1899
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 1-0

Match 4: Game 1 (Friday, December 8, 1916)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1916
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 56 moves, 1-0

Match 4: Game 2 (Monday, December 11, 1916)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1916
(A53) Old Indian, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Match 4: Game 3 (Tuesday, December 12, 1916)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1916 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 39 moves, 0-1

Match 4: Game 4 (Wednesday, December 13, 1916)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1916 
(D24) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 41 moves, 0-1

Match 4: Game 5 (Thursday, December 14, 1916)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1916
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 1-0

Match 4: Game 6 (Saturday, December 16, 1916)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1916
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Match 4: Game 7 ( Wednesday, December 20, 1916)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1916
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 67 moves, 0-1

Match 4: Game 8 (Friday, December 22, 1916)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1916 
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 42 moves, 0-1

Match 4: Game 9 (Tuesday, December 26, 1916)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1916
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 73 moves, 1-0

Match 4: Game 10 (Thursday, December 28, 1916)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1916 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 44 moves, 0-1

Match 4: Game 11 (Friday, December 29, 1916)
Janowski vs Showalter, 1916 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 49 moves, 1-0

37 games

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