Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chess World Overview in 1889 - Pittsburg Dispatch

Pittsburg Dispatch 
Sunday, October 20 1889

Newspaper Pittsburg Dispatch runs a stable chess column from 1889 to 1892. At, they missed the earlier issue in year 1889. Here is the earlier retrieve issues. Some interesting history, facts and stories had been writing in it. This is one of them.

This is a chess world overview written in the year 1889. Prominent player mentioned such as George Mackenzie, Steinitz, Sam Lloyd etc.

October 20, 1889 Sunday Pittsburg Dispatch


Revival of Popular Interest in the Intricate Game of Chess
The King’s Game In The Cabinet
 Some Prominent Men and Women Who Are Experts
The Champion Player of the World

The speaker was one of two gentlemen who were playing a game of chess in a club house recently. The game had been a long one and closely fought and black had now declared that he would be the victor.
Three moves were made, but white still fought hard. Four moves, and he would not give in. Five moves, and the player of black announced:


Chess is getting to be a very popular game. It is safe to say that now there are a score of players to every one there was ten years ago. It has been estimated that there are 20,000 players residing in New York City and Brooklyn. Nearly every city in the union now has a chess club. In St. .Louis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and all the large cities there are many prominent amateurs who can hold their own with any of the professionals, and who have won prizes in State and national tournaments.

Chess players are, as a rule, great thinkers; in fact, to be successful as a chess player one has to be a deep thinker, and to be able to think ahead, as it were, to forecast the result of certain moves. A chess player has to plot, scheme and maneuver all the time the pieces are before him. Chess has become a popular game in all the colleges for several years, and so the chess players can count in their ranks many lawyers, clergymen, artists, musicians, scientists, merchants and, in fact, all the better educated classes.

It is rather a curious coincidence that all good chess players are musicians, and many of them are good linguists, some of the most prominent players being able to converse in two or three languages.

Eugene Delmar is considered to be the best amateur player in the country. He is connected with one of the leading "New York banks and lives in New York City. He is a comparatively young man, medium height and good looking. While he is very fond of the game, he does not devote all his time to it, and particularly objects to being called a chess crank. Mr. Delmar has won the championship of the New York Chess Club several years in succession. He plays a dashing, brilliant game, said by many to be the most brilliant game played by anyone in this country. He has never yet been beaten in a match.

Another player who can hold his own with any player in the country is Captain George H. McKenzie, of Brooklyn. He is now in Europe. Captain McKenzie is a veteran player. He won the world's championship at Frankfort, and took the first prize in the American Chess Congress three or four times in' succession. He has been the strongest player in America for more man 20 years.

Russell Sage is a very good player. He makes chess a hobby, and is said to dream of the chess board when his mind is not occupied with Manhattan elevated stock. After playing with the "puts and calls" on the stock exchange boards all day he goes home and solves problems. He' has been known to write several letters about problem. one Mr. Sage is a very good problemist, and after having solved them explains them to his wife. Cyrus Field is another fair player. Mr. Field has not distinguished himself in any brilliane games, but he is very fond of solving problems and takes a great deal of interest in all the tournaments. Mr. Field is a home man. He likes to play a game in the evening with some member of his family.

Secretary of State James G. Blaine is a very clever chess player. He plays a close, careful game, and is particularly fond of solving problems when the cares of his office allow him time. Mr. Emmons Blaine who was recently married to Miss Anita McCormick, follows his father's footsteps in the chess world. He has frequently given his father a good fight on the chess board. His young wifeplavs a little. Mr. Walker Blaine and James G. Blaine, Jr., are also fair players.

Secretary of the Treasury William Windom is an enthusiastic player. He keeps himself well posted on all the games played in the tournaments. He plays a close quiet game and is a hard man to beat! Postmaster General Wanamaker is also a first class player. Chess is played a great deal at the Union League Club, the New York Club and at the Knickerbocker Club. At the St. Nicholas, Kane, the brother of the society favorite, Delancey Kane, is about the best player; He plays a fine dashing game, and is particularly fond of solving problems. William C. Nye is another good player, and Chauncy M. Depew is said to be able to hold his own with a good many players of the club. He makes no boast, though, of being a chess crank.

Colonel Fellows, the District Attorney of New York, is very fond of a good game and can defend his king with his queen, castles and pawns as well as he can defend a client, and attack his opponent as brilliantly as he can prosecute a criminal offender in the law courts. Colonel Fellows is somewhat of a crank at the game. He never misses a tournament. He is member of the New York Chess Club and is very fond of wagering a bottle of wine or even a few dollars on the result of the game.

Gottschalk, the famous pianist and composer, was a very fine chess player. And prominent musicians are very expert at the King's game. Dr. Samuel Warren, the organist at Grace Church, is an expert. He finds a great deal of rest and recreation after a hard day's work with his music in a quiet game of chess. He can beat a number of good players. Dr. Arthur Sullivan, who has composed operas, songs and church music, is another good player. Theodore Thomas, Walter Damrosch, Theodore Toedt and A. H. Messitts, the organist at Trinity Church, play a great deal.

Edwin Booth is one of the best players among the actors. He is fond of every game that requires a great deal of brain work and study. He plays a brilliant dashing game. Billy Florence will very often leave off telling fish stories and practical joking to have a game of chess. He says the quiet of the game affords him a great rest alter the laborious work of thinking out some joke to play on captain Billy Conorer. The late Johu T. Raymond was a very good problemist. Mr. and Mrs. Kendal, the English actors, enjoy many a game together. Henry Irving, E. H. Sothern, Augustine Daly Joe Jefferson and Francis Wilson are experts at the game.

According to Captain McKenzie, the best women players are the Misses Worrels, of Brooklyn. They play a strong, brilliant game each, and it is hard to tell who is the better of the two. They play together a great deal and have played against some of the best amateurs in the country. Mrs. Gilbert of Hartford , is the strongest correspondence player. She has played a number of very brilliant games by letter and has beaten the best of them. She can see the result of a game a long way ahead and has successfully announced mate in 20 or 30 moves. Among the physicians, Dr. O. C. Moore stands near the head is a chess player. He plays a fine game and is first class problemist. Dr. Louis Sayre plays well and plays a good deal with his sons. Dr. Austin Flint; Dr. Doremus and Prof. Loomis can teach many professionals how to play the game.

The late Congressman, S.S. Cox, was a very fine player. He took a great deal of interest in all the tournaments. He was very proud of watching a good game, and would become so Interested in watching the different moves that he would forget everything else. He gave a number of prizes at the various tournaments.
The late General Paine, the brother of the celebrated owner of the Volunteer and other fast yachts, who died two weeks ago, was one of the best players of Boston. ,He played a very strong game, and like Mr Cox gave prizes to be played for at the tournaments. Richard H. Proctor was another chess crank. He frequently said that if he could afford it, he would do nothing else but play chess. He was very fond of making problems and of solving them.

Mr. Philip Richardson is one of the best amateurs in New York. He is a photographer and devotes a great deal of his time to the study of the game scientifically. He is known everywhere for his noted analysis of the game. J. Burke, of the New York Chess Club, is a very strong player. He is young, and devotes a good deal of time to the game. He is a champion. Harry Davidson, the well-known engraver, is another good player. He plays at the Manhattan Club. Samuel Lloyd, an editor, is one of the best problemists in the country. He makes chess quite a study, W. Devisses, an accountant, is a very solid player. He won the highest honors at the State championship tournament George Koellar is the champion of the Columbia Club, and M. J. Hawhorn won the tournaments of the New York and Manhattan Clubs recently. All these gentlemen can hold their own with any professionals.

The best player of St. Louis is Max Judd. He is a very wealthy merchant and takes a great deal of pleasure in playing or watching a good game. Mr. Judd is short, stout and has a German cast of countenance. He was said to be the handsomest man in the sixth American Chess Congress. He made a great showing at that congress and scored even games with all the best players of Europe. He plays a brilliant game, full of dash and daring.

George Reichhelen is the best amateur in the Quaker City. He plays in all the tournaments and has won a number of prizes. He is a good solver, too, of some of the hardest problem's. Jacob Elsen, a newspaper man, is also a good d player. He is a close, solid player, and a problemist with a great reputation. The veteran among the Quakers is Mr. Martiney. He has been a noted player for a number of years, and has played and beaten Steinitz. He plays a very close game and is slow and deliberate about each move. Messrs. Puester, Shipley and Kaises are all good amateurs, equal to many professionals.

Among the champions of Boston is young Burrill. He is only 19 years of age, but plays a wonderful game. He moves quickly and plays with a dash rarely seen in older players. P. J. Ware is the veteran
of this city, and has played and won against the best players in the country.
Messrs. Stone, Young and Snow rank next in order as the best amateurs of this city. Bostonians are good chess players and they take a great deal of interest in the game.

William Steinitz is regarded everywhere as the best player in the world, and the strongest all-round player living. He has the greatest match record of any player living. He has made many matches with such players as Yankertort, Tschigorin and other professionals, and has always beaten them. He has never played against an American. It is said that Mr. Steinitz has retired from the chess arena. He now lives in Brooklyn, where he has lived for five years. He has taken out his citizenship papers and is very proud to be called an American.
The champion of the Manhattan Club in New York, is Sam Lepschutz. He won the championship of the club, the State championship in the New York State Association and made the best score of any American in the United States Tournament. He is a compositor by trade, young, slim, and looks as though he were in the last stages of consumption. He plays constantly, and puts up a close, solid game, after the style of Steinitz.

Bishop Fitzgerald, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, plays a remarkable game. He is very fond of solving problems and studying the game. Episcopal ministers are first class players. Bishop Potter can play a good game and so can Dr. Morgan Dix, Dr. J. Wesley Brown, Dr. Morgan, Dr. Gocer and many others.

A. F. Aldridge. (edit by

tags: american chess history, chess history of 19th century, new york chess history, chess newspaper column