KEG: This first round game decided first place, since Maroczy finished first a quarter of a point (see <wwall> for the scoring system used in this tournament).
This game hardly showed Pillsbury at his best; in some portions, his play was feeble. But he had not played in a major international tournament since Munich 1900. But I cannot agree with the claim by the usually reliable <Calli> that Pillsbury "was in decline from 1896 on."
Let's look at Pillsbury's record.
Hastings 1895--Pillsbury's greatest triumph, first ahead of Tchigorin, Lasker, Tarrasch, and Steinitz among many others. This was indeed the best result of Pillsbury's career. But he had no other great triumphs before 1896, and a bevy of fine results thereafter.
St. Petersburg 1895-1896" A poor result, Pillsbury finishing 3rd out of 4 at this super tournament despite having a winning record in his six games against Lasker.
Nuremberg 1896: Pillsbury tied for third with Tarrasch behind Lasker and Maroczy but ahead of Janowski, Steinitz, Schlechter, Tchigorin, Blackburne, etc.
Budapest 1896: Third behind Tchigorin and Charousek but ahead of Schlechter, Janowski, Tarrasch, and Maroczy.
Vienna 1898: Tied for first with Tarrasch ahead of Janowski, Steinitz, Schlechter, Tchigorin, Maroczy, and others. Tarrasch then won a close four-game play-off match for 1st place:
London 1899: Tied for second with Maroczy and Janowski behind only Lasker but ahead of Schlechter, Tchigorin, Steinitz, etc.
Paris 1900: Second behind Lasker but ahead of Maroczy, Marshall, Tchigorin, Schlechter, Janowski, etc.
Munich: Tied for first with Schlechter and Maroczy ahead of Janowski, Marco, etc. Pillsbury defeated Maroczy in the play-off for first place and then played a tied play-off match against Schlechter.
Buffalo 1901: First place with eight wins, and two draws in ten games ahead of Marshall, Napier, Delmar, and two others.
Monte Carlo 1902: Second place behind Maroczy but ahead of Janowski, Teichmann, Schlechter, Tarrasch, Tchigorin, and Marshall.
Hanover 1902: Second place behind Janowski but ahead of Atkins, Mieses, Napier, Tchigorin, Marshall, and others.
Monte Carlo 1903: Third place behind Tarrasch and Maroczy but ahead of Schlechter, Teichmann, Marshall, and others.
Only at Cambridge Springs did Pillsbury's play weaken considerably.
Looking at the period after Hastings 1895 through Monte Carlo 1903, Pillsbury had--with the notable exception of Lasker (who finished ahead of him in all three tournaments during this period), Pillsbury's record against the other top players speaks for itself;
Tarrasch: Pillsbury finished ahead of Tarrasch twice, finished behind him twice, and finished equal with him once (Nuremburg 1896).
Janowski: Pillsbury finished ahead of him five times, finished equal with Janowski at London 1899, the Janowski finished ahead of Pillsbury twice.
Maroczy: Pillsbury finished ahead of Maroczy three times, was equal with him at London 1899, and finished behind Maroczy twice.
Tchigorin: Pillsbury finished ahead of Tchigorin six times and behind him only once.
Steinitz: Pillsbury finished ahead of Steinitz three times and behind him once.
Marshall: Pillsbury finished ahead of Marshall in all six tournaments in which they both competed prior to Cambridge Springs 1904.
As is obvious, Pillsbury had a world-class record between 1896 and 1903, ranking only behind Lasker. Among all of the other top players, only Tarrasch had as good a record during this period. Given that Lasker was idle from 1900 to 1904, Pillsbury was--along with Tarrasch--the top active player for most of this period. Pillsbury and Tarrasch were the only players during this time who would have had even a fighting chance against Lasker in a match. Sadly, Lasker never played a match against Pillsbury, and only played against Tarrasch in 1908 by which time Tarrasch was no longer at his peak.
This period can therefore not fairly be described as one of "decline" for PIllsbury.
Having said all this, let's turn to the first round game between Maroczy and Pillsbury at Monte Carlo 1902.