The 1896 Cable Match

The 1896 Cable Match

RookHouse
RookHouse
May 27, 2008, 12:00 AM |
6 | Other

The 1896 cable match between the United States and Great Britain took place on Friday, March 13th and Saturday, March 14th.  The final rosters for each team were to be decided in the last few days leading up to the actual match.  Brooklyn and London were the respective locations for each of the teams, who were competing for both patriotic pride and the $800 Sir George Newnes Cup.

The moves of the match were transmitted by telegraph over a distance of 3,483 miles and were received in a matter of seconds.  The Brooklyn team was headquartered in the assembly hall of the Bank building at the corner of Remsen and Court streets in Brooklyn, New York.

The hall occupied the entire 2nd floor of the building and had 8 giant chess boards suspended from the ceiling of the south wall, with movableable pieces for public display.  A platform was erected at the east end of the hall for the 8 players, the 4 official scorers, the team captain, and the British umpire.  Telegraph transmitters and receivers were set up at their own tables at each end of the platform.

The drawing of colors was to begin on Friday at 9:30am (EST) and consisted of drawing either a 1 or a 2.  The referee, Baron de Rothschild, would draw for the British side.  The drawing of a 1 would mean that team would have White on boards 1, 3, 5, and 7.  Similarly, the drawing of a 2 would give that team White on boards 2, 4, 6, and 8.

Clocks were to be started at 10:00am with an hour intermission at 2:00pm.  Unfinished games would be adjourned at 7:00pm and resumed at 10:00am the following morning.

Visit www.rookhouse.com/blog for the match Results, Pictures, and a replay of one of the games.


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