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George Henry Mackenzie

Number of games in database: 368
Years covered: 1857 to 1890
Overall record: +188 -80 =79 (65.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 21 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (45) 
    C77 C67 C70 C65 C78
 French Defense (35) 
    C02 C01 C13 C00 C11
 French (15) 
    C13 C11 C00 C10
 Sicilian (10) 
    B25 B73 B27 B45 B46
 English (9) 
    A13 A10
 Vienna Opening (9) 
    C28 C25 C29 C27
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (38) 
    C77 C65 C67 C80 C63
 Giuoco Piano (16) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Scotch Game (13) 
 Sicilian (13) 
    B45 B25 B46 B24 B23
 Evans Gambit (11) 
    C51 C52
 Four Knights (9) 
    C49 C48
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Mackenzie vs J Mason, 1878 1-0
   Blackburne vs Mackenzie, 1882 0-1
   J Thompson vs Mackenzie, 1864 0-1
   Mackenzie vs F Perrin, 1866 1-0
   Mackenzie vs Tarrasch, 1885 1-0
   Mackenzie vs Steinitz, 1883 1-0
   Mackenzie vs J Mason, 1882 1/2-1/2
   Mackenzie vs P Ware, 1871 1-0
   Mackenzie vs Paulsen, 1861 1-0
   Mackenzie vs G Hammond, 1864 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63 (1862)
   Mackenzie - Reichhelm 2nd US Championship Match (1867)
   Mackenzie - Reichhelm 1st US Championship Match (1866)
   2nd American Chess Congress, Cleveland (1871)
   3rd American Chess Congress, Chicago (1874)
   Judd - Mackenzie (1881)
   5th American Chess Congress, New York (1880)
   5th DSB Congress, Frankfurt (1887)
   Mackenzie - Lipschutz (1886)
   Manchester (1890)
   Vienna (1882)
   Paris (1878)
   London (1883)
   4th DSB Congress, Hamburg (1885)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 26 by 0ZeR0
   London 1883 by suenteus po 147
   London 1883 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Vienna 1882 by suenteus po 147
   New York 1880 by suenteus po 147
   Paris 1878 by suenteus po 147
   Cleveland 1871 by crawfb5
   Judd - Mackenzie by Chessical
   Manchester 1890 by
   Manchester 1890 by Tabanus
   My Short Notes II (2014) by Knight13
   Chicago 1874 by suenteus po 147
   MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63 (1862) by Chessical
   Mackenzie - Burn (1886) by MissScarlett

   D Starbuck vs M Judd, 1881

Search Sacrifice Explorer for George Henry Mackenzie
Search Google for George Henry Mackenzie

(born Mar-24-1837, died Apr-14-1891, 54 years old) United Kingdom (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

George Henry Mackenzie was born in North Kessock, Scotland. He won all 13 tournaments and all 7 matches that he played in the United States.

In 1861, Mackenzie resigned his army commission in the British King's Royal Rifle Corps to become a professional chess player. In 1862, he won a handicap tournament in London, defeating Adolf Anderssen. In 1862, he defeated unknown player in a match - Game Collection: MacDonnell - Mackenzie 1862/63 (1862) (+6-3=1). In 1863, he emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the Union Army. After 15 weeks as a private, he earned the rank of Captain in charge of a Black regiment. Mackenzie later deserted and was discharged from the Union Army. In 1864, he rejoined the Army and fought with distinction in three battles. However, he was arrested again on the previous desertion charges and imprisoned. He was released in May, 1865 and moved to New York, where he resumed chess competition.

In 1866, Mackenzie defeated unknown player in New York in a match (+5-0=1) (1). By April, he was reporting news about Washington Square and the NYU chess activity to the New York Albion. The year following, Mackenzie again defeated Reichhelm in Philadelphia (+7-0=2) for the title of U.S. Chess Champion. He and Charles Henry Stanley (the founding columnist of the New York Albion until 1866, when Mackenzie revived it) met for a match in 1868. In 1869 at New York he won 82 games and lost 8 in the longest master tournament ever held (48 players and double round robin), winning the event.

The New York Turf, Field & Farm approached him in 1870 to edit a chess column for 8 years. In 1871, he won the 2nd American Chess Congress (2), held in Cleveland, Ohio, scoring 14 points and earning $100 for 1st prize. In 1874, he won the 3rd American Chess Congress (3), held in Chicago (+8-1=1). In August 1876, he won the Café International Tournament in New York (+23-5=2). In 1878, he took 4th place at the Paris International Tournament.

The next decade saw him take 1st place at the 5th American Chess Congress (4) in New York (+11-2=5), defeating James Glover Grundy in the decisive match of 1880. In 1881, he defeated Max Judd in a match in St. Louis (+7-5=1). In 1882, he took 4th-5th at Vienna. At Vienna, he drew with Wilhelm Steinitz, breaking Steinitz's 25 game winning streak. In 1882, he lost a match against James Mason in London (+0-1=2), then won a match against Joseph Henry Blackburne (+2-1=0). In 1883, he took 3rd in the 5th Manhattan Chess Club Championship, won by Gustave Simonson. In 1883, he lost a match to Wilhelm Steinitz in New York (+1-3=2). In 1885, he took 4th in the 20th British Counties Chess Association Congress in Hereford, England. In 1885, he took 4th in the 7th Manhattan Chess Club Championship. In 1886, he defeated Samuel Lipschutz in a match in New York (+5-3=5) (5). In the same year, he tied for 2nd-3rd in the 9th Manhattan Chess Club Championship, and drew a match with Amos Burn (+4-4=2). In 1887, he won the Fifth German Chess Congress of the Deutschen Schachbund 5th DSB Congress, Frankfurt (1887) (+13-3=4) (6). He, thus, became the first American chess player to win an international event. In 1888 he won the 5th Scottish Chess Championship in Glasgow (+4-0=2) (7). In 1888, he took 2nd in the 4th British Chess Federation Championship, held in Bradford, England. The event was won by Isidor Gunsberg. In 1888, he defeated Celso Golmayo Zupide in a match (7.5-4.5) in Havana. In 1890, he took 3rd-4th in the 6th British Chess Federation Congress, held in Manchester England (Siegbert Tarrasch won).

Mckenzie had a high positional understanding that approached Steinitz's, but more dynamic. He died of tuberculosis in a New York hotel on April 14, 1891 at the age of 54. He was inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame in 1992.

Wikipedia article: George Henry Mackenzie








Last updated: 2023-12-07 22:17:03

 page 1 of 15; games 1-25 of 370  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Mackenzie vs Mohishunder 1-0241857InformalC51 Evans Gambit
2. Mackenzie vs S Boden  0-1241861Casual gameC30 King's Gambit Declined
3. Mackenzie vs Anderssen  0-1171861Odds game000 Chess variants
4. Paulsen vs Mackenzie 1-0251861Casual gameC51 Evans Gambit
5. Mackenzie vs Paulsen 1-0231861Casual gameC51 Evans Gambit
6. Paulsen vs Mackenzie  ½-½391861Casual gameC77 Ruy Lopez
7. Paulsen vs Mackenzie 1-0251861Casual gameC55 Two Knights Defense
8. Mackenzie vs Paulsen 0-1201861Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
9. Paulsen vs Mackenzie 1-0251861Blindfold simul, 10bC51 Evans Gambit
10. Mackenzie vs G W Medley 1-0311862B.C.A. Handicap tB06 Robatsch
11. Mackenzie vs G W Medley  1-0311862B.C.A. Handicap tC42 Petrov Defense
12. Mackenzie vs G W Medley 0-1421862B.C.A. Handicap tC01 French, Exchange
13. Mackenzie vs S Boden 1-0251862Casual gameC55 Two Knights Defense
14. Mackenzie vs Anderssen  1-0451862B.C.A. Handicap t000 Chess variants
15. S Boden vs Mackenzie 1-0231862Casual gameC55 Two Knights Defense
16. A Cole vs Mackenzie  0-1271862B.C.A. Handicap tC42 Petrov Defense
17. A Cole vs Mackenzie  0-1491862B.C.A. Handicap tC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
18. S Solomons vs Mackenzie 0-1331862B.C.A. Handicap tA10 English
19. S Solomons vs Mackenzie  0-1341862B.C.A. Handicap tA10 English
20. Mackenzie vs Anderssen  1-0231862B.C.A. Handicap t000 Chess variants
21. S Solomons vs Mackenzie  1-0291862B.C.A. Handicap tA13 English
22. Mackenzie vs F Deacon  1-0441862B.C.A. Handicap tB27 Sicilian
23. Mackenzie vs F Deacon  ½-½481862B.C.A. Handicap tB27 Sicilian
24. Mackenzie vs F Deacon  1-0411862B.C.A. Handicap tC55 Two Knights Defense
25. Mackenzie vs F Deacon  ½-½331862B.C.A. Handicap tB01 Scandinavian
 page 1 of 15; games 1-25 of 370  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Mackenzie wins | Mackenzie loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-17-13  TheFocus: <thomastonk> Thank you for that clarification. I added the following to my collection:

<thomastonk> pointed out that these games may not be considered a match: From the BCM, 1883, p. 105: <"The program included a series of six game (not to be called a match) with Captain Mackenzie - score at finish, Steinitz 3 ; Mackenzie 1 ; drawn 2 - (the prizes being 15 dols. per game to the winner, 5 dols. to the loser).>

<thomastonk> adds: Regarding this 6 games, I found also American newspapers that spoke only about a series of games. The program, to which the BCM refers, was that of Steinitz' engagement at the Manhattan Chess Club, which lasted 10 days and included blindfold and simultaneous exhibitions as well as other individual games. The general description of the conditions of such an engagement were described in the "Cleveland Herald", March 25, 1883: "The terms demanded by Herr Steinitz, the chess champion, are $200 for an engagement, and, in addition, the winner of each game the champion plays shall receive $15 and the loser $5. The St.Louis Chess Club voted a visit from Mr Steinitz too expensive a luxury, and his offer has been declined."

May-18-13  Graham1973: I've found an 1878 game between Mackenzie and Ware with extensive notations by Steinitz at the Jack O'Keefe project.

Does anyone think this one might be worthy of inclusion?

May-08-14  ljfyffe: MONTREAL SIMUL 1879 Mackenzie-Hicks, Msckenzie-Shaw, Shaw-Mackenzie: Mackenzie visitait Montreal par Larry Fyffe, AU NOM DU ROI Pp. 267-268. (Toronto Globe du fevrier 1879).
May-14-14  ljfyffe: Mackenzie-Hicks Montreal 1879 1e4 e5 2d4 d5 3Nc3 Bb4 4Bd3 Ne7 5Nf3 0-0 6e5 Ng6 70-0 Bxc3 8bxc3 b6 9Bg5 Qd8 10h4 Nh8 11Bf6 g6 12Ng5 Nd7 13Qh5 Nxf6 14exf6 1-0
Jun-10-14  ljfyffe: Also, played: Mackenzie-John Barry of Montreal, 1879, not to be confused with the more famous John F. Barry.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Did Mackenzie die of TB or from something else? The Scranton Republican, April 28, 1891, reported that Dr. S.B. Minden expressed the opinion that Captain Mackenzie died of morphine taken accidentally or with suicidal threats.
Jul-13-14  zanzibar: A nice, large, 600dpi photograph of him:

Jul-13-14  zanzibar: <wwall> Winter discusses this, CN #7772

(Scroll down two items)

Jul-13-14  zanzibar: So, the suggestion of suicide is unclear.

I would suggest it not be made here, but a link to Winter's discussion certainly could be added.

Jul-13-14  zanzibar: By the way, BCM vol 11 May, 1891 (p225, 244-248) gives this:

<The news of poor Capt. Mackenzie's death caused a very painful impression in chess circles here, not that it was altogether unexpected, but as recent news spoke of him as being considerably improved in health, people had begun to think he might be spared for some few years. What a fine genial fellow he was, and how everyone admired and respected him.


Mackenzie was found dead in his room at a New York hotel on the 14th of April, the immediate cause of death being <heart disease>[ed-!]>

So, much as we like to put store in contemporaneous sources, they too can be misleading (maybe even more so, in some cases).

Jul-25-14  ljfyffe: <zanzibar> As a researcher in chess history, l can attest to the accuracy of your comment on "contemporaneous sources".
Jul-26-15  TheFocus: In the last paragraph of the bio above, it reads <...the disease forced him to move away the games...>.

Surely this is not correct.

Mar-24-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, George Mackenzie.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The strongest British player of the 19th century!? The more you look into his record, the more impressive it becomes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Dying when he did helped cast him into obscurity; no games with Showalter, Pillsbury or Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <MissScarlett: The strongest British player of the 19th century!?>

And the most successful British player in the United States... ever?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: From the biography: "In 1887, he won the Fifth German Chess Congress of the Deutschen Schachbund Frankfurt (1887) (+13-3=4) (6). He, thus, became the first <American> chess player to win an international event."

PS: I'm also surprised about the linguistic case 'Deutschen Schachbund'.

May-29-19  Nosnibor: He certainly holds a good claim to being the strongest British player of the 19th Century with plus scores against Blackburne, Burn, Bird, Tarrasch, Zukertort,MacDonnel, Englisch to name a few and level scores against Gunsberg and L Paulsen. He had slight minus scores against Mason and Rosenthal but bigger reverses against both Steinitz and Chigorin.
Mar-27-22  Albertan: George Henry McKenzie:The Forgotten American Chess Ace (March 24 1837-April 14 1891):

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: That Chessbase article appears to have appropriated - without attribution - <cg>'s crosstable for Frankfurt (1887).
Mar-27-22  Z free or die: Permission is hereby granted for the free and unrestricted use of any xtabs found on zanchess, e.g.

(SCID and chessbase formats available)

Note: despite "our" best efforts, no guarantees or warranties of accuracy are given, nor to assert any copyright over the content provided therein.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I've already advised <Miss Susan> that <> should be converted into one huge but infinitely divisible NFT, and then the money ought to start rolling in. I'm not really sure how it works, but I imagine its like Monopoly, collecting the cash when people land on your properties. Only better, because we own the whole board.
Mar-11-23  Honest Adin Reviews: It says here he played longest round robin of 82 games,but it should say 84,probably crap taken from wiki-PEDO-ia! How come he never played u.s champ marshall?
Mar-12-23  Honest Adin Reviews: Whats link to mckanzie burn complete match? has nothing in order!
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The <International Chess Magazine> of December 1889, p.379, crediting the <BCM>, gives this position:

click for larger view

<The following splendid termination occurred in a game between Captain Mackenzie and an Amateur, played at the Manchester (Eng.) Chess Club, in the beginning of October last.>

Mackenzie (White) to play:

<1.Bd5 Ra6
2.Rxe5+ dxe5
3.Qxe5+ Qxe5
4.Bc6+ Rxc6

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