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Louis R Eisenberg vs Harry Nelson Pillsbury
Monte Carlo (1902), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 11, Feb-20
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Mason Variation (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-21-06  percyblakeney: With this win Eisenberg stopped Pillsbury from winning Monte Carlo 1902 (Maroczy took first place). It was a big tournament with 20 players, apart from the top two among others Janowski, Schlechter, Tarrasch, Chigorin and Marshall. Eisenberg only won one more game, against second to last Reggio.
Jan-21-07  SBC: <percyblakeney>

Thanks for this posting. It encourage me to look a bit into the 1902 Monte Carlo tournament. While there's not much information available, Tim Harding made an excellent presentation in the 1902 edition of his year-by-year series - .

It seems that while it's true that Eisenberg's win did effectively keep Pillsbury out of first place, there were other reasons in this strong, but unusual tournament that affected the results.

Here is a quote from Harding's article that emphasizes the peculiarity of this tournament:

"Pillsbury ... had to settle for second prize by the smallest possible margin, a quarter of a point, behind the Hungarian Geza Maroczy. The quarter of a point arose because of the system of scoring draws. These were replayed, as in many former tournaments, but with the difference that the first game was scored - with the second game deciding the second half point.

This made for a tough schedule if you had several draws. However, as the event was spread over five weeks this was perhaps not too arduous. With 20 players, there were 19 rounds but one of the back-markers, L. Eisenberg, had to play 23 games. With a draw and then a loss against Marshall, Eisenberg would have scored -pt and Marshall -pt under the rules of the event. In all, Eisenberg had four first-round draws of which he lost three replays (for -pt apiece) and won one replay (for -pt), and his total score for these four mini-matches was 1 points. He scored 3/15 in the matches that were concluded by the first game.

Tournament winner Geza Maroczy (Hungary) had an even more arduous time, playing 24 games. With Janowski, Mason, Chigorin and Tarrasch all very tough opponents he not only began with a draw but also the replays were a draw, so it took him 8 games to score 2 points against them! His other draw was against Mieses but he managed to win the return game with Black to score three quarters of a point in this mini-match. Against the other fourteen players in the tournament, he made 12 wins and 2 losses at the first attempt, including the decisive win against Pillsbury. His losses were to Gunsberg and Schlechter."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <SBC> As you have noted, the draw replay rule made Monte Carlo 1902, a tough tournament for several of the competitors.

The Eisenberg - Pillsbury game was played in the 11th round of this tournament. While Eisenberg's win was an unexpected setback, Pillsbury still almost won the tournament. After the 17th round, Pillsbury was in the lead by 1/2 point.

For a round by round account of the final 4 rounds and replays at Monte Carlo 1902, please see my notes for the following game; J Mason vs Janowski, 1901.

Some additional information regarding Monte Carlo 1902, may be found in my note for this game; Von Popiel vs Schlechter, 1902.

Jan-21-07  SBC: <Pawn and Two>

Thanks. Those two pages offer a wealth of information and insight. You performed a very kind service in presenting it.

As I mentioned of the Eisengerg page, I may decide to attempt a posting on both Eisengerg and the 1902 M.C. tournament using information provided by youself and, from those pages, also by <Resignation Trap> if that's ok?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Does 25...Re7 hold?

For example, 25...Re7 26. Qxe6 fxe6 27. Rxe7 Kxe7 28. a3 Kd6 etc. looks okay for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <SBC> I am glad that you found the information that I provided to be interesting. Feel free to use it. I hope that you can set up a posting for the 1902 Monte Carlo tournament. It was an important and very interesting tournament that has been largely forgotten.

I will submit additional game scores that are missing from the Chessgames database and will provide additional information and analysis for the individual games.

Jan-22-07  SBC: <Pawn and Two>


I don't know if my idea will come to fruition, but I'll be working on it nonetheless.

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