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George Hatfeild Gossip vs Charles Marshall Fisher
"Gossip Column" (game of the day Aug-03-2015)
Melbourne Chess Club Handicap Tournament (1885), Melbourne AUS
Colle System (D05)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hey, congrats to Gossip for being Fisher! (not to confused with, "Fischer"). :)
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  scutigera: "Being", "beating", whatever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ...And Marshall.
Aug-03-15  SeanAzarin: Not quite as spectacular as this Gossip win:

Showalter vs Gossip, 1889

But very nice nonetheless.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It is good to see that has gone back to channelling its vibe for late-Victorian Australian tournaments.

Last week two GsOTD came from the star-spangled and epochal Australian Championship (1887).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A bunch of pieces hounding a lone queen. If this was set to music it would have to be this:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Can we "gossip" about Marshall and Fis(C)her both losing to the winner?
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: And if one asks "Which column is the gossip column?" I would reply, "Why it is the e-file, of course!"
Aug-03-15  morfishine: <Penguincw: Hey, congrats to Gossip for being Fisher! (not to confused with, "Fischer")> Congrats now? LOL

The game was played 130 years ago

Aug-03-15  optimal play: <offramp: It is good to see that has gone back to channelling its vibe for late-Victorian Australian tournaments.> +1

<kevin86: Can we "gossip" about Marshall and Fis(C)her both losing to the winner?> Charles Marshall Fisher sounds like such a great chess name almost presaging the future genius of Frank & Bobby on the other side of the world many years later.

He was arguably the best chess player in Australia in the 1870's but by the mid 1880's was past his prime.

This win flatters Gossip who would not have beaten the C. M. Fisher of ten years earlier.

Aug-03-15  denopac: <This win flatters Gossip who would not have beaten the C. M. Fisher of ten years earlier.> Based on what, exactly? According to chessmetrics, ten years earlier (1875) Gossip was a top 25 player; Fisher's peak, in 1886 (right after this game was played), was #45. Chessmetrics has no results for Fisher in the 1870s so it's hard to see on what basis we can have him beating top 25s.

< the mid 1880's was past his prime.>

Gossip was four years older than Fisher, so by this time was even further past his own prime.

Aug-03-15  optimal play: Fisher was a genuine amateur who successfully contested two prominent matches in the 1870's against two of Australia's most accomplished players.

Gossip was a blowhard who arrived in Australia in the mid 1880's and arrogantly considered himself so superior to all the colonials that he issued a challenge to the local chess players for a match to determine the champion of Australia, as if he somehow automatically qualified as a contender just by coming from England!

Fisher was no longer playing seriously by this time, however a 25 year old Frederick Karl Esling accepted the challenge, and kicked Gossip's arse so bad in their first game that midway through their second game, when it was clear he was going to be humiliated, Gossip feigned illness and refused to continue the match.

Esling's strength as a chess player in 1885 (his mid 20's) was probably not that of Fisher's in 1875 (his mid 30's).

Gossip was four years older than Fisher, but was still active, and it may have been because he managed to beat Fisher in this game that he had the audacity to issue his silly challenge.

Aug-03-15  denopac: <OP>

Thanks for the history lesson, but I still don't buy the premise that 1870's Fisher was stronger than 1870's Gossip based on a game and half Gossip played ten years later, when Gossip was past his prime as well, against a third party. But thank you for bringing Fisher's story to our attention. He was obviously a strong player and deserves to be better known.

Aug-04-15  optimal play: <denopac> Of course it's only my humble opinion.

I don't speak with any definitive authority on the relative abilities of chess players in colonial Australia.

Maybe it's just the name "Fisher" - however it's spelt - that elicits arguments about who was best? ;)

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