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Johannes Zukertort vs NN
Blindfold Simul, House of Commons (1884), Ottawa, ON CAN, Jan-31
Vienna Game: Vienna Gambit (C28)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-09-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Well, <ljfyffe> we cross swords again! Just curious why you are certain this game was not "played in Canada at this or any other time". The Brooklyn Chess Chronicle, 1886, p56 cites the venue as a blindfold simul at Ottawa, 1884. BCM also cites this game, but does not give a venue or year.
Oct-09-14  ljfyffe: I did some of the research for Hilbert on Zukertort in Canada....his conclusion:<"As there is no evidence Zukertort ever played a stimultaneous exibition in Ottawa involving only eleven boards as suggested by the Brooklyn Chess Chronicle, and there is no evidence of such a game in the local record, which covered in detail Zukertort's visit, it appears likely this game was in fact not played in Canada during his 1884 stay. The final position is quite interesting, and it is especially hard to believe, given the other local coverage of Zukertort's time in Ottawa, that such a specimen would have been entirely overlooked.">WRITINGS IN CHESS HISTORY, 2012. I found no such game.
Oct-09-14  ljfyffe: Chess Monthly 1885 claims the game was played in Ottawa "with 11 others"(12?) but this may be a mistake, according to Edward Winter:A Chess Omnibus, 2003. Zukertort was one of its editors.
Oct-09-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Thanks for your feedback <ljfyffe>. I have not located the CM 1885 citation, however, I did find a fairly detailed report of Zukertort's visit in Chess Monthly 1884 (p197). It does appear the '11 game' reference in BCC is apparently wrong if the CM report is to be believed. Apparently, S.Wright's site report of his (Z) visit to Toronto and Ottawa is incorrect as well? Both he and CM reference the Railway Committee Room, so I'm still a bit confused about your earlier comment about "railroads". Are you saying that venue is also inaccurate?
Oct-09-14  ljfyffe: No, l was making the point the venue reference for the benefit of Americans is correct in-and-of itself. Canada has railways. It was somewhat tongue-in-cheek.ie we have iron rails no matter what they be called.
Oct-09-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Sorry I missed the humor <ljfyffe> :) When I saw the two statements "connected" (Nor), I missed the dry humor. It would be nice to know the correct venue for this game. I don't presume to doubt Hilbert or Winter, but it's odd this venue is repeated in more than once source. Perhaps another case of erroneous information being propagated over time - would not be the first time!
Oct-09-14  ljfyffe: As far as l know, no one knows. Ottawa isn't completely out of the question, either, despite my hyperbole. Unfortunately, my time-machine is in the garage right now. Who knows, maybe some new evidence will be uncovered as to the venue.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: <sachistu>l have not seen the 1885 report of CM 1885. The venue may NOT have been given there. So l should not have said the CM says the venue was Ottawa; l don't know what it says. Winter may have attributed the game to Ottawa because of the report in the Brooklyn newspaper......lt's starting to get confusing again.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: Zukertort, however, did play 12 boards in Ottawa on January 31. When reference is made to "11 others" does that mean there were 12 playing altogether? Semantics raises its ugly head.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: That is not the same thing as saying "one of 11"
as, I guess, the Brooklyn paper says. You see, again, l have no original documents in front of me, and so am doing a thought experiment. I do have Hilbert's book.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: <Edward Winter casts doubt on the authenticity of the citation for this game in A Chess Omnibus (Russell Enterprises 2003),p. 364, noting among other points that Chernenv's 1000 Best Short Games of Chess at p.188 gives the occasion as Leipzig, 1877. He also notes that the moves between 8 and 16 were given in Hoffer and Zukertort's November 1885 Chess Monthly, at p.90, and identified the game as being played 'simultaneously blindfold with 11 others in January, 1884, at Ottawa, at the meeting of the Canadian Chess Association'.> Hilbert, p.41.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: Now does Zukertort's magazine mention the "11 orhers", or is it Winter who does? Does it matter? The names of those who played on the boards are given in The Ottawa Daily Citizen, Feb. 1, 1884, reports Hilbert, but Unknown or NN might be used later on so as not to embarrass the loser. Are we on to anything or are my thoughts flawed? Do your sources point in one direction or the other, or perhaps they provide no help at all? Boy, you have opened another can of worms, haven't you? And just as I was almost recovered from the last time (lol).
Oct-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Thanks for your additional research <ljfyffe>. I'm a little behind your posts. Yes, I agree, "one of 11" is not the same as "11 others" (as Bklyn CC indicated).

Frankly, after reading the comment attributed to Winter, I'm puzzled why he doubts the authenticity of that citation (e.g. Ottawa/1884) unless he is taking issue with the "one of 11" statement.

After re-reading the Chess Monthly 1884 article, I'm a little puzzled. It apparently says (wording is a little ambiguous) Zukertort played a simul of 12 games in Toronto (in January) winning 16 losing 5 and drawing 1. Then, after arriving in Ottawa on Jan 28th, he gave a simul of 19 games winning 16, losing 3 and drawing none.

Now it gets weird... the article goes on to say "The tourneys were to commence Wednesday, the 30th ult. under Toronto Club rules. The following evening (31st?-my comment) simultaneous play was resumed, Zukertort taking ten boards on which twenty (?) games were played under strict rules, resulting in a victory for the champion in every game". I've only been in one simul (with Smyslov many yrs ago), so I have to confess my ignorance of the different between "boards" and "games". Sorry I could not 'cut/paste' the article, so I had to transcribe it. The slight editing I did for space did not alter the context of the article.

Oct-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <sachistu> They probably meant that he began play on 10 boards, but if players lost quickly they were permitted to play again, or other players were permitted to play on those boards, so 20 games in total were played on the 10 boards.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: Oh, it gets better. Hilbert quotes the Ottawa Daily
Citizen of Feb. 1 in reference to the 12-game Ottawa event: "Play was resumed shortly before 8:00, Dr, Zukertort having given a most wonderful exhibition of his powers of memory by calling over the position of evety piece on each of the eleven boards..." one player had been vanquished in the earlier session. So here we have play against 11, not 12 boards.<FDS>, much thanks for the help. There's more to come.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: Let's assume that I am not barking up the wrong tree(first, please remove any sharp objects that may be within your grasp). Demonstrated it has been done that Hilbert's assertion that there was no 11-board exhibition in Ottawa's Railway Room can be considered to be inaccurate. He shows 4 games: against Punchard, Halkett, Richie, and
Henderson. If we accept the quote from the Brooklyn newspaper that NN played "one of eleven by Dr. Zukertort in Ottawa, Canada, in 1884" , NN might then be any one of the following: Moodie, Hurlbert, Leggett, McInnes, Lambert, Larose, or Musgrove.
Oct-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Thanks <FSR> for your thoughts about the "boards". After reading it, I do recall reading something about players sometimes resuming play on a board. At the time of writing, that thought did not occur to me. Perhaps <ljfyffe> this accounts for some of the reporting discrepancies for his (and other) simuls? Did not really mean to "open a can of worms"! I'd say it was your fault for questioning the venue in the first place! :) Seriously, I don't know if we are any closer to resolution. As you say "there's more to come" so hopefully, you have unearthed something new or definitive.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: On the other hand, if you accept the other quote
that NN was "with 11 others in January, 1884, at
Ottawa, at the meeting of the Canadian Chess Association", then Casgrain can be included as possibly being NN. This is all circumstantial evidence to support your claim that the citation given for the Zukertort-NN game may indeed be correct. Some hard evidence would be more convincing, however.
Oct-12-14  ljfyffe: What we have achieved is the undermining of the assertion that the venue given is incorrect even if we have not done so in a definitive manner. I, for one, was at first convinced that the citation was not the right one. In and of itself, that is an accomplishment of sorts for us. By thd way, I'll accept part of the blame for opening the can! .Tongue-in-cheek, of course (IoI).
Feb-28-15  ljfyffe: In short, the game could well have been played on January 31, 1884 in Ottawa.
Feb-28-15  madlydeeply: Johannes Zuckertort: Johnny Sugarpie
Mar-01-15  ljfyffe: <madlydeeply>I was lucky enough to uncover a love letter Johannes' girlfriend sent to him:<Sugarpie, honey bunch/I'm weaker than a girl should be/I can't help myself/I'm a fool in love you see.> He must have had some good moves.
Mar-03-15  madlydeeply: The most delicious name in chess, although I enjoy a fine reuben at times. ..
Mar-10-15  ljfyffe: With a cup of a Sanka.
Nov-16-21  jnpope: <Yesterday at 3 p.m., champion, Dr. Zukertort, commenced his blindfold contest against 12 players, in the Railway Committee Room. The rules under which the games were conducted were: That no consultation between players was to be held, that the champion should make first move in each game, the move to be called by the teller, Prof. Cherriman, at each board in rotation, the boards being number from 1 to 12 and the answering move made by the player not later than the next arrival of the teller at this board. It was also stipulated that any player finding himself at a serious disadvantage with the loss of a piece or otherwise, should be called upon to resign, the teller acting as referee. The players at the different boards were respectively 1, Punchard; 2, Moodie; 3, Halket [sic; Halkett]; 4, Ritchie; 4 [sic; 5], Dr. Hurlbert; 6, Mr. Leggatt; 7, McInnes; 8, Henderson; 9, Lambert; 10, Larose; 11, Musgrove; 12, Casgrain.

A large number of spectators, including ladies, were present, and manifested great interest in the wonderful exhibition of mental power afforded by the champion.

At 6 p.m. play was adjourned until 8 p.m., one player, No. 12, having fallen a victim to the doctor’s science. Play was resume shortly before 8 p.m., Dr. Zukertort having given a most wonderful exhibition of his powers of memory by calling over the position of every piece on each of the eleven boards and re-announcing his last move in each game after which play proceeded the different contestants resigning in the order in which they are named: Messrs. Casgrain, Moodie, Halket, Ritchie, Leggatt, Hurlbert, Musgrove, Larose, Lambert and Hon. Mr. McInnes. Mr. Punchard, of the Ottawa Chess Club, accepted a draw at the 30th move. At within a few minutes of midnight the only remaining player was Mr. Henderson, of the Montreal Chess Club when, owing to the advanced hour, it was agreed to leave the game unfinished, the champion claiming the advantage, but stating that it would take about two hours to finish.

<Ottawa Daily Citizen, 1884.02.01, p1>>

Now according to this Casgrain and Moodie resigned before Halkett. And we know Halkett lasted 23 moves (his game is given in Chess Monthly, v5 n7, March 1884, p211).

R. Moodie was a problemist and member of the Ottawa Chess Club. However, there is also a J. Moodie. Both competed in problem tourneys (see: https://books.google.com/books?id=y... ). Which one played Zukertort? Unclear, but R. Moodie was definitely a player and competed in tournaments.

I think we are down to it being one the following people: Casgrain, R. Moodie, and a slight chance it was J. Moodie. My money is on Casgrain (and I think this is P. B. Casgrain, a member of the House of Commons which may help explain why his name wasn't given with the publication of the game; Moodie being a player would have been less embarrassed perhaps).

Also, the Railway Committee Room is in the House of Commons: https://www.ourcommons.ca/marleaumo...

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