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Correspondence chess

  • Last updated on 7/31/07, 9:59 PM.

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Perhaps the first reputed correspondence game of chess was played in 1119 by King Henry I (1068-1135)  of England and King Louis VI (1081-1137) of France. The earliest  known postal game was between a Dutch army officer named Freidrich Wilhelm von Mauvillon (1774-1851) stationed at The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands and one of his friends from Breda in 1804.  Mauvillon’s three correspondence chess games (winning two and drawing one) were published in his chess book in 1827.  In 1823, the Paris chess club challenged the London chess club in a correspondence match, but the match did not get played.  The first well known correspondence challenge was the Edinburgh - London chess club match, from 1824 to 1828.  The match was scheduled to continue until three decisive games were completed.  Draws did not count (there were 2 draws).  Edinburgh won, 2-1.  In 1870 the first correspondence chess club, the Caissa Correspondence Club, was founded.  In 1932, Janos Balogh won an international correspondence tournament.  In 1884, the French chess magazine La Strategie organized an international chess tournament.  In 1887, an international correspondence tournament was held, sponsored by the French weekly Le Monde Illustre.   Most correspondence games played at once is 1,124 by Stan Vaughan in 1988.  In 1948, Robert Wyller played 1,001 correspondence games..  In 1883 Cambridge University played a correspondence match with the Bedlam insane asylum.  Bedlam won.   The highest rated USCF correspondence player was Penquite at 2929 (won 58 games straight, no losses, and no draws).  During World War II, no postal chess play was allowed between civilians and servicemen in the United States and Canada.  Soldiers overseas were not allowed to play postal chess due to censorship restrictions.

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