A St. Louis Women's Champion

batgirl
Oct 5, 2009, 5:19 PM 2,841 Reads 5 Comments

from the New York Times, March 2, 1907

Women to Play for Chess Honors.
   Mrs. Charles P. Frey of Newark N. J. and Mrs. S. R. Burgess of St. Louis will begin their match for the women's chess championship of the United States in the parlor of the Hotel Martha Washington, 29 East Twenty-ninth Street, at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon.  It has been agreed to play seven games, one today and two each on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week, the play beginning at 10:30 in the morning.  The sessions will last four hours, the time limit being fixed at twenty moves an hour.  Drawn games will cont as half a point for each player.  Prof. Isaac L. Rice will act as the referee.  Mrs. Frey, who is the wife of the President of the New Jersey State Chess Association, won the championship tournament of the First American Women's Chess Congress held in this city last May.

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Mrs. C. P. Frey was Mary Grace Rogers who graduated from Smith College in 1884 and later married Charles P. Frey, an electrical engineer from Newark, N.J. When she died on Jan. 20, 1909, she left her husband and two sons, 10 and 12. Charles P. Frey was a chess player himself and drew a game against Marshall in a 32 board simul given at the Newark Chess Club in 1906.

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from the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, March 15, 1907

WOMAN CHESS CHAMPION

Sketch of the Lady Who Has Earned That Honor

(special correspondence)

New York, March 16 -- Maintaining the splendid form which had during the entire week held out promise of ultimate success, Mrs. S. R. Burgess of St. Louis won the sixth game of her match with Mrs. C. P. Frey in the chess match for the women's Championship of the United States at the Hotel Martha Washington and thereby acquired the title of woman chess champion with a final score of 4½ points out of a possible 6 to her credit.  Of the half dozen games contested since a week ago yesterday, Mrs. Burgess had lost the first and drawn the fifth, winning all the others.
     No sooner had the former champion gracefully tendered her resignation after the fortieth move in yesterday's game that Mr. Charles P. Frey, husband of the defeated player and president of the New Jersey State Chess Association, formally announced his wife's rival for the high distinction of new champion, congratulating her heartily about the ability shown throughout the match.  Then followed the presentation by Mr. Frey on behalf of a well-known chess enthusiast of a beautiful souvenir wrought in gold and enamel with a chessboard in miniature draped by the American colors as an appropriate emblem of her victory.
     Mrs. Burgess learned the game of chess at the age of fourteen, having been taught by her father, a very enthusiastic player.  She then abandoned play for some time until after her marriage when she resumed practice with a younger brother who, when beaten by her one day at the rate of 15 games to 0, forwith lost interest.   It was then that the husband of Mrs. Burgess began to realize the possibilities for entertainment to be derived from chess and he undertook a serious study of it with the result that he soon became as strong and enthusiastic as his better half.
     In four tournaments held in the North St. Louis Chess Club some years ago Mrs. Burgess won first prize in three despite the fact that both men and women competed on even terms.  She is now a member of the social organization known as the West End Chess Club of St. Louis.  Mrs. Burgess is also a member of the St. Louis Chess Club.

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