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Augustus Zerega
Number of games in database: 26
Years covered: 1845 to 1871
Overall record: +10 -15 =1 (40.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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C51 Evans Gambit (7 games)
C33 King's Gambit Accepted (5 games)
C02 French, Advance (2 games)
000 Chess variants (2 games)
C42 Petrov Defense (2 games)

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(born Dec-04-1803, died Dec-23-1888, 85 years old) United States of America

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Augustus Zerega was born December 4, 1803, in Martinique, where his father was a wealthy shipowner. After finishing his education in England and France he was sent on a number of voyages as supercargo, and at the age of 17 bought a ship and went into business for himself. While lying desperately ill on board his own boat in the harbor of St. Thomas, he was found and cured by Baron von Bretton, a physician, whose 15-year-old daughter, Baroness Eliza M. von Bretton, he married. Subsequently he led a venturesome and romantic career as Captain of sailing vessels, plying the Spanish Main when it was scoured by countless pirates and buccaneers.

When married, at the age of 21, he was worth $25,000, and before giving up the sea he had accumulated and lost three fortunes in the West India and South American trade. He won a wide acquaintanceship, and was an intimate friend of Simon Bolivar and other Spanish American patriots, for whom he filled large contracts in munitions of war. Philadelphia and New-Orleans were his trading centres until 1835.

After 1835 he established himself in New York as a coffee merchant, but soon went into the shipping business, owning and managing the Z line of general ships until 1855, when the boats were disposed of. He was a highly educated man, of cultured habits, a fine linguist, and had achieved more than a national reputation as a great merchant and ship owner. Among his thirty boats were the Queen of Clippers, the Arctic, Baltic, Antarctic, and other famous sailing vessels. The rescue of 300 United States soldiers from the foundering San Francisco, by Capt. Stouffer of the Antarctic, made a great stir when Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War. From 1855 to 1863 Mr. Zerega lived at Thogg's Neck, engaging in no business.

Mr. Zerega was intimately connected with the history of chess in New Orleans during one of its most brilliant epochs. A resident of New Orleans during at least a part of the year, he, with his partner, a Mr. Bernier, were members of the original New Orleans Chess Club which included on its roll the names of Eugene Rousseau, Ernest Morphy, C. Le Carpentier, John Slidell, Judah P. Benjamin, W. A. Gasquet, C. W. Horner, and others only a trifle below the two first named chess masters in strength. It was mainly through the efforts of Mr. Zerega that the famous match between Stanley and Rousseau in 1845 was arranged. He and Mr. Bernier were Stanley's seconds in that encounter.

He was also one of the founders of the New York Chess Cub, where he played a good second to Charles Stanley and later to Capt. Mackenzie. In 1845 he won a six game match against James Thompson while receiving time-odds. Thompson playing one move per minute and Zerega playing at one move every two minutes. Zerega won the match with three wins to two losses and one draw.

Mr. Zerega, as an older man, played a very strong game, indeed far better than he did in earlier life, thus affording an almost unique example of improvement in chess strength during old age. He was, in 1866 and 1867, a frequent opponent of Capt. Mackenzie and other leading New York players and was most dangerous for the best of them. He was especially partial to the Evans Gambit attack, which he conducted with great skill, and against even so powerful an adversary as T. Lichtenhein, his wins were achieved in a style that would have done credit to a far more celebrated player.

He died December 23, 1888, at the residence of his son-in-law, Horace Barnard, of pneumonia and heart failure after an illness of 10 days. He left an estate valued at more than $1,000,000. Eliza and nine children survived him.

New York Spirit of the Times, 1845.06.07
New York Times, 1888.12.24, p5
New Orleans Times-Democrat, 1888.12.30, p16

Last updated: 2020-05-23 19:15:31

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 26  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Zerega vs James Thompson  ½-½321845New York Chess Club MatchC02 French, Advance
2. A Zerega vs James Thompson  1-0141845New York Chess Club MatchC33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. A Zerega vs James Thompson  1-0371845New York Chess Club MatchB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
4. C Stanley vs A Zerega 1-0301845New York Chess ClubC33 King's Gambit Accepted
5. A Zerega vs C Stanley 0-1391845New York Chess ClubC33 King's Gambit Accepted
6. James Thompson vs A Zerega 1-0261845New York Chess ClubC33 King's Gambit Accepted
7. The Turk vs A Zerega 1-0351845Private Exhibition, New YorkC42 Petrov Defense
8. A Zerega vs C Stanley 0-1211846Carlton HouseC54 Giuoco Piano
9. F Perrin vs A Zerega 1-0511861New York Chess ClubC41 Philidor Defense
10. A Zerega vs Mackenzie 0-1201863New York Chess ClubC58 Two Knights
11. F H Elder vs A Zerega  1-0321864New York Chess ClubC51 Evans Gambit
12. A Zerega vs F E Brenzinger 1-0221866New York Chess ClubC51 Evans Gambit
13. A Zerega vs P Richardson  0-1281866New York Chess ClubC50 Giuoco Piano
14. A Zerega vs T Lichtenhein  1-0341866New York Chess ClubC51 Evans Gambit
15. A Zerega vs T Lichtenhein  1-0271866New York Chess ClubC51 Evans Gambit
16. A Zerega vs T Lichtenhein  1-0261866New York Chess ClubC51 Evans Gambit
17. A Zerega vs T Lichtenhein  1-0451866New York Chess ClubC51 Evans Gambit
18. A Zerega vs James Thompson 1-0251867New York Chess Club TournamentC02 French, Advance
19. A Zerega vs F Perrin  1-0311867New York Chess Club TournamentC42 Petrov Defense
20. A Zerega vs Otis Field  0-1301868New York Chess ClubC45 Scotch Game
21. James Alexander Ruthven vs A Zerega 1-0461868New York Chess ClubC39 King's Gambit Accepted
22. A Zerega vs E Delmar  1-0431870Cafe EuropaC51 Evans Gambit
23. E Delmar vs A Zerega  1-0261870Cafe InternationalC55 Two Knights Defense
24. A Zerega vs Mackenzie  0-1291870Cafe InternationalC33 King's Gambit Accepted
25. Mackenzie vs A Zerega  1-0191871Cafe International (Odds Ng1)000 Chess variants
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 26  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Zerega wins | Zerega loses  

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