Bios of Those Associated with the 1st Amer. Chess Congress, Pt. II

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Mar 24, 2009, 1:13 PM |
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These short biographies were published in the
Book of the Fifth American Chess Congress by Charles A. Gilberg.

 

Pt. II  consists of some of those men who played in the main tournament.


(back) DS Roberts, Stanley, Thompson
(front) Hammond, Loyd, Mead, Montgomery, Perrin, Marache

 

 

THEODORE LICHTENHEIN

Was born in 1829, at Konigsberg, Prussia, where he was educated for the medical profession, but yielding to a stronger passion for military pursuits, he abandoned his studies and accepted a commission in the Prussian army. A two years' experience of a soldier's life served to satisfy his ambition for a warrior's renown, and about the year 1852 he embarked for New York, where he chose the more peaceful vocation of a merchant. He acquired the elements of Chess at an early age, and under the guidance of able instructors attained such rapid eminence as a player, that at the age of eighteen he was elected President of the Konigsberg Chess Club, in compliment to his rare abilities. In the Spring of 1856 he became a member of the New York Club, where, after the rust of a four years' cessation from practice had been worn off, he steadily fought his way to the prominent rank of the club's champion, and in the Congress of the following year, with a necessarily brief and inadequate preparation, acquitted himself by winning the third prize in the grand tournament. After the Congress he contested seven games with Mr. Morphy, but succeeded only in drawing three of the number; and two years later, on Mr. Morphy's return from his brilliant European campaign, he again met the youthful conqueror over the board, who then conceded to our subject the heavy odds of a Knight Eleven games were played at various sittings, of which Mr. Morphy won six, Mr. Lichtenhein four, and one was drawn. In January, 1861, he fought his celebrated match with Mr. H. P. Montgomery, at that time the acknowledged chief of the Philadelphia players, and won a decisive victory over a very skillful, but too impetuously rash and brilliant, opponent—the final score standing Lichtenhein seven, Montgomery two, drawn one. Mr. Lichtenhein possessed, in an eminent degree, the mental and physical characteristics essential to the formation of a successful match player, combining, with a sound judgment and large analytical powers, a steady nervous poise, and a cold, impassive, imperturbable temperament, which neither victory nor defeat could ruffle in the least. Cautiously and solidly he would meet his adversary with an impregnable front, and in sinuous, passionless advances aim to overwhelm him with the combined strength of his whole army ; yet, where positions admitted of brilliant sacrifices, he would some- tunes apply the keen and lightning flashes of his puissant sabre, but with sound generalship he rarely ventured upon a spirited or dashing charge without a thorough conviction of its success. Although somewhat taciturn, and not easily moved to an exhibition of friendship, he was courteous, affable and polished in his deportment, and when the bonds of reserve could be loosened he was a most entertaining and enlightened companion. In May, 1858, he was elected President of the New York Club— holding that office for one year—and in the matches by telegraph against Philadelphia and Boston, he was chosen as the leading representative of the New York committees. He was the editor of the only weekly newspaper devoted wholly to Chess that has been published in this country, the first issue of which appeared under the title of The Gambit, on the 22d of October, 1859, and the fifth and last on the 19th of the following month. He also edited during the same year a Chess column in a German weekly called the New Yorker Humorist und Illustrirte Novellenzeitung, and was a frequent contributor to other publications. Attracted by the rich promises of our Western metropolis, he removed some years later to Chicago, where he was greeted with the warmest welcome by the amateurs of that city ; but a close devotion to business pursuits afforded him little time for Chess- playing, and after a short residence there he was stricken down by a malady from which he lingered, a hopeless invalid for nearly five years, until the 19th of May, 1874, when he passed peacefully away. 

 

HON. ALEXANDER B. MEEK

One of the noblest of Nature's noblemen, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in the year 1814. Of his early progress and achievements in the intellectual arena, where he became so enlightened and excellent a master, the meagre records of American chess history of the first half of the present century have left no trace; but the enthusiasm and sincere devotion which he exhibited for the game upon his first public entrance into the world of chess as President of 'the Congress and competitor in the grand tournament in 1857, and the marked skill with which, at that period, he met and often vanquished some of the leading players of the day, present indubitable evidence of an active and zealous interest which could then have been of no recent birth. In the Spring of 1855 he contested several games with the youthful champion Paul Morphy, at Spring Hill, Alabama, and though unable to cope successfully against that marvellous prodigy, from whose impenetrable armor the blows of many more pretentious assailants had fallen harmless, he was immediately recognized as one of the foremost players in the Southern States; and during the subsequent years of his life maintained his right to that distinction, by proofs that were both incontrovertible and frequent. A man of refined and eminent culture, and endowed with the varied attainments befitting the accomplished jurist, statesman, orator, poet, and litterateur, his broad and philosophic mind revealed to him loftier motives for the cultivation of this intellectual amusement than the mere promptings to display abilities as a player; and in its manifold applications to the stern realities of life, as well as in the sterling discipline which it inculcates upon the thoughtful mind, he found the real charm that captivated and held in bondage his devotion for the game of chess. Settling early in life in Mobile, Alabama, he there rose to prominence as a member of the State Legislature, Attorney General for the Southern District of Alabama, and Judge, and as the author and editor of several entertaining and valuable works. His services as orator at collegiate and literary celebrations were in constant requisition, and a more eloquent and fascinating speaker is rarely met. In stature he was tall and commanding; while his beaming countenance and the unvaried gentleness and amiability of his manners reflected the sterling character of the man. After his return from the Congress we believe that, with the exception of a few friendly skirmishes during his periodic Summer visits to New York, he participated in but one public chess contest—the match between the players of Mobile and Montgomery, in 1859—wherein he entered with his usual earnestness, and was mainly instrumental in securing a complete victory in two short and brilliant games for Mobile. From that date we have been unable to gather any incidents in his life, except the brief newspaper announcement that he was cut off in the full prime of his years at Columbus, Mississippi, in November, 1865.

 

 
LOUIS PAULSEN

The youngest son of Dr. Carl Paulsen, Professor of Philosophy in the University of Gottingen, was bom on the 13th of January, 1833, in the city of Blomberg, duchy of Lippe-Detmold, on the borders of Westphalia. Himself an excellent and enthusiastic chess player, Dr. Paulsen had discovered in the game a valuable discipline to the youthful mind, and sought to inculcate a love for it in his sons and daughters at an. early age, as a mere preparatory exercise to more important studies; but succeeded so admirably that all of them became profoundly and permanently attached to it, and all have become noted as players. Louis is said to have imbibed the rudiments of the game at the early age of five years while listening to his father's instruction to his eldest brother, and with superior natural aptitude for its study developed remarkable skill and ingenuity in his earliest attempts to direct the forces on the chequered battle-field. At the age of fourteen he came into possession of a German edition of Philidor's Games, containing an exposition of what was regarded in his day as a most wonderful and almost incredible power of conducting three games simultaneously without sight of boards or men, and he determined at once to emulate the celebrated Frenchman's astonishing performance—a resolution which he has probably carried to the utmost limit of human capability. With a slight effort he found that he could conduct one, two, and even three games by the use of his unaided mental vision almost as clearly as with the implements of the game before him; and restricting himself during the years of probation to the latter number, his perfect command and perception of the unseen forces achieved a succession of triumphs that was not marred by a single defeat until the fall of 1857, when he was led astray by a miscalled move of one of his opponents. In August, 1854, he embarked for America, and settled for some years in Dubuque, Iowa, in partnership with his brother Ernst as a wholesale tobacco merchant. His reputation as a chess player received no check from the amateurs of that city, to nearly all of whom he found it necessary to yield heavy odds; and frequently to equalize the great disparity of strength that existed between them he would surprise and entertain his less skilled adversaries with exhibitions of his ability as a blindfold strategist. Fame trumpeted his achievements abroad, and Dubuque speedily became a point of interest and attraction to lovers of the game in the neighboring States, who flocked there to witness and test his marvellous powers. Among these visitors was Mr. W. S. Allison, of Minnesota, a gentleman of considerable fame in the chess world, who gave an enthusiastic account of Mr. Paulsen's performances to the Chicago Chess Club, and the rapturous praise which he bestowed upon feats that had never before been accomplished or attempted in this country led that club to extend an invitation to Mr. Paulsen to visit their city. Yielding to the pressure of that friendly behest, he gave the players of Chicago repeated evidence of his consummate skill, and to the admiration that was excited among them upon that occasion was due his subsequent introduction to the New York Club and his participation in the Congress. On his arrival in New York he gave several blindfold exhibitions, playing first two, then three, four, and finally five games at the same time against opponents of acknowledged strength, with almost uninterrupted success. But these performances he eclipsed on his return to the West, and in March, 1858, lie essayed for the first time seven simultaneous games against his old adversaries of Dubuque, winning all; and afterwards in Davenport, Rock Island, St. Louis and Pittsburgh he accomplished the unprecedented feat of successfully conducting ten games at the same time. With an ambition still unsated, and conscious of possessing powers that were capable of enduring a greater mental strain than they had yet been taxed with, he has since rivalled his performances in this country both in England and Germany, and has steadily advanced until he has reached—if we may credit the Schachzeitung— the extraordinary number of sixteen—and it is even hinted that without the aid of his organs of sight he has conducted eighteen games at the same time I In 1859 Mr. Paulsen assumed the management of a chess column in the Chicago Sunday Leader, but determining soon after its commencement to return to his native land his editorial duties were necessarily abandoned. In the fall of 1860 he left America, and in the following year entered the Bristol tournament of the British Chess Association, in which he won the first prize, and gave the Englishmen an evidence of his blindfold abilities by playing eleven games, in which he was opposed by some of the strongest provincial players. His subsequent career in Europe has been marked by many splendid triumphs in tournaments and in well-fought matches with the most eminent practitioners; and, with the robust mental and physical structure which nature has so liberally bestowed upon him, greater laurels may yet be added to his crown. As an interesting and valuable scientific exposition of our subject's mental organization, we conclude our sketch with the following admirable examen made by Professor Fowler during Mr. Paulsen's sojourn in New York in the fall of 1857 :

Phrenological Character Of Mr. Louis Paulsen, By Mr. L. N. Fowler, Professor Of Phrenology.

Your organization is most remarkable, both as to size of brain as a whole, and also of the separate faculties. The one leading feature of your mind is comprehensiveness, largeness and expansiveness of thought and feeling. You can see further, carry more in your mind, and more easily understand the adaptations and relations of things than most men. The ordinary size of a full- grown male head is 22 inches, while yours measures 24£ inches; and the quality of your brain being favorable to mental development gives you a great advantage. You are not necessarily smart in small things, sprightly and wide awake under ordinary circumstances, but you develop yourself to the best advantage where the most mind is required. You are prudent; you have great cautiousness, forethought, restraint and desire to guard all points of action. Your firmness being very large, indicates stability, perseverence and tenacity of will, which, combined with your full self-esteem, gives presence of mind and disposition to carry a steady hand in whatever you do. You also have circumspection, consistency of conduct and sense of moral obligations. You are capable of great executive power, and when fully aroused to a subject can show unusual energy and force of mind. You have application and continuity of thought, and can dwell long on one subject if necessary. ' You are not remarkably warm hearted, social, companionable, or fond of exchanging thoughts and feelings in a friendly manner. You are not cunning and artful, acquisitive or selfish; not ambitious and affable, showy or vain—are not hopeful, sanguine, enthusiastic or visionary; but you have an unusual degree of sympathy, tender heartedness and goodwill towards mankind. You are respectful, and are interested in subjects of a spiritual and supernatural nature. You are ingenious, constructive and versatile in talent. You have a full degree of imagination and sense of beauty, but you possess more intelligence than poetical feeling. You are decidedly fond of subjects sublime, magnificent and grand. You are not imitative or given to mimicry, but you have an active sense of wit, and are quite quick to perceive jokes and fun ; but your tone of mind is not one that favors mirth-making. The most remarkable traits of your character lie in your intellectual faculties. Your phrenological organization as a whole is large, but the frontal lobe is particularly large, which gives you an unusual degree of intelligence, comprehensiveness of intellect, correct perceptions, and an extended range of knowledge. You are not so much of a student as you are an observer. Size, form, individuality, order, calculation and locality are all very large. You are extensive and minute in your observations, remarkable for your perception of forms, faces, shapes and the outlines of things. You have superior knowledge of proportions and the adaptation of one thing to another. You also can calculate force and resistance well, and can judge of the laws of gravity accurately. You are remarkable for your power to plan, systematize, and devise ways and means, and to come directly to your results with as little labor and friction as possible. Few men have as much order and power to take all the conditions into account as yourself. You have superior mathematical talent, and it would be easy for you to make up estimates and calculations in general. You have a remarkable knowledge of place. You can remember location, and the relative bearing of one thing to another with perfect ease, after having once seen them. Memory of events and dates appears to be comparatively good, but not great. Your power to execute music is not so good as your capacity to criticise when others perform it. You are not copious in speech unless highly excited. You are generally taciturn, and a man of few words. Your reasoning intellect is unusually strong. You have originality, power to sense a subject, see the bearing of one subject to another, to analyze, study the relations of things, and to apply your knowledge in some practical form. You also have an intuitive sense of character and motives, but you are somewhat wanting in youthfulness, agree- ableness aud suavity of manner. Your great talent as a chess player arises, first, from your having a very large brain, and that of good quality; secondly, from your coolness aud self-possession, from your prudence and foresight; thirdly, from your great perceptions, mechanical talents, eystem, local memory, and great philosophical mind. Four phrenological development perfectly harmonizes with the reputation you sustain as a chess-player. 

  

BENJAMIN L RAPHAEL

Was born in Richmond, Virginia, on the 8th of November, 1818. After a preliminary collegiate residence at the University of Virginia, from which he graduated, he removed to New York to prepare himself for the medical profession, and in March, 1889, completed the course at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In the further pursuit of his professional studies he served for some time as Resident Surgeon at the New York Hospital, and subsequently spent two years in the hospitals of London and Paris. During his residence in New York he became a member of the chess club then located in the old Carlton House, on the corner of Broadway and Leonard Street, and received his early tuition from the leading players of the day, including Stanley, Thompson, Mead, and others. Although at that time greatly inferior in strength to the players named, the preparatory practice which he there obtained fitted him to enter the chess circles of Europe with commendable success. During his sojourn in Paris he played frequently at the Cafe de la Hegence, and contested a number of games with Kieseritzky and St. Amant, from whom, however, he invariably received some odds; and in the Winter of 1843 he was one of the few fortunate American spectators of the memorable match between Messrs. Staunton and St. Amant. On his return from Europe, in 1844, he removed to Louisville, Kentucky, and in the following year aided materially in the establishment of the Louisville Chess Club. The excellent practical experience which he had received in Paris and New York enabled him at once to take rank among the strongest players in the West, and in the annual State tournaments held at Drennon Springs in August, 1846, and at Blue Lick in August, 1847, he took an active and conspicuous part. Associated with the late Judge Bland Ballard he engaged in several matches by correspondence and telegraph with various neighboring clubs, and exerted such constant energy for the advancement of the game that the period of his residence in Louisville was undoubtedly marked by the most active epoch in the chess history of the State. In the Spring of 1857 Dr. Raphael made New York his final abiding place, and during the two or three following years continued to evince his deep interest in the game by frequent attendance at the club, and by an ever ready disposition, upon all fitting occasions, to contend in friendly rivalry over the board. Increasing professional labors, however, compelled him gradually to relinquish his social ties, and chess ultimately became one of his lost arts. His professional practice was confined to surgery, wherein he acquired both eminence and worldly success. He was a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, Professor of Surgery in the New York Medical College, Attending Surgeon to the Mount Sinai Hospital, and a member of various medical organizations. After the battle of Antietam he responded to his country's call, and served for some time as volunteer surgeon in relieving the sufferings of the wounded. Dr. Raphael combined, with many elegant attainments, an extraordinary fondness for music, and was an agreeable performer upon several instruments. For a series of years, until physical infirmities compelled their cessation, he gave weekly musical entertainments at his residence, which, though of a strictly private character, attracted widespread attention. Long and intense suffering was terminated by his death on the 17th of March, 1880.

 

 

JAMES THOMPSON

One of the most earnest and generous supporters of the royal game, was born in London, England, in the year 1805. At the age of ten years he accompanied his family to this country and passed the next decade of his life in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, removing thence to New York in 1826, where he became permanently settled; and in subsequent years, while the elite of metropolitan society still lingered below Canal Street, obtained a wide reputation as the proprietor of the then famous and fashionable " Thompson's Saloon," on Broadway. Although he had been initiated in the mysteries of the game of chess at an early age it was not until the establishment of Bassford's Chess Rooms, in Ann Street, in 1835, that he began to display that deep abiding interest in the game which marked his whole after-life. With a quick perception, and an active brain that furnished ready resources for all emergencies of attack or defence, he rapidly attained the proficiency and fame of a formidable opponent, and in 1840 was chosen with Colonel Charles D. Mead to do battle for the honor of New York Chess in the match by correspondence with the players of Norfolk, Virginia. The contest, which consisted of two games, was terminated in the latter part of 1842 with a victory for the New York representatives in the game opened by their opponents, while the other resulted in a drawn battle. During several visits to Europe he embraced every opportunity to measure his strength against the Old World celebrities, and in a series of more than one hundred games with the renowned master Kieseritzky, from whom he received the odds of pawn and move, was successful in a majority of the encounters. A strong and enduring devotion to the game has served to inseparably link his name with every noteworthy event in the history of metropolitan chess during the thirty-five years of his career as a player, and in the early vicissitudes of the migratory period of the chess community of this city his tireless enthusiasm and generous support ofttimes spared it from dissolution. In 1853 he was the victor in the earliest recorded tournament held by the members of the New York Chess Club, —in which eight of the strongest players engaged— winning a set of Le Palamede which the club had purchased of Mr. St. Amant during that celebrated Frenchman's brief sojourn in the city, in the preceding year. Other tournament prizes fell in later years to his lot, but none that proved so conducive to the just and honorable pride of the recipient as that first trophy. In the years 1856, 1858 and 1861, he was an earnest participant in the matches by correspondence and telegraph with the players of Philadelphia, elsewhere referred to in these sketches ; and in April, 1860, he served upon the committee chosen by the New York Club to conduct the match of two games by telegraph with the Boston Club, which resulted in an equal distribution of honors—each party winning one game. Upon Mr. Morphy's return, in 1859, from his triumphal tour of Europe Mr. Thompson was one of the first to pick up the gauntlet so fearlessly thrown down by the youthful hero, offering the odds of a Knight to any player in New York. A little match to be decided in favor of the contestant first winning five games was arranged, and won by the invincible Morphy, but by a score that reflected credit upon the chivalrous veteran, viz : Morphy 5 ; Thompson 3; Drawn 1. Mr. Thompson was elected to the Treasurership of the New York Chess Club at its annual meeting in May, 1857, and retained that position until his death, which occurred on the 2d of December, 1870. Although presenting to the stranger a somewhat cold and austere exterior, which was intensified, if not altogether indicated by a strong and peculiarly marked expression of firmness and decision about his closely pressed lips, Mr. Thompson developed upon acquaintance a genial and sympathetic disposition, and over the chessboard was a most agreeable companion. When not engaged in serious match-play he delighted in giving full freedom to his active imagination, and his daring and brilliant assaults were generally accompanied by lively volleys of good-natured badinage and wit that not unfrequently served to maintain in his adversary a pleasant buoyancy of spirits under a steady flow of reverses. In play he was always bold and aggressive; quick in the formation of his plans and rapid, firm and persevering in their execution ; and with a manifest talent for the game he combined a wide theoretical knowledge of the Openings. He possessed a strong penchant for the Evans Gambit, and his thorough familiarity with all the resources of that beautiful ddbut elicited many years ago from one of the leading French writers the remark that he was " an amateur marvellously well versed in every phase of this subtle attack."

 

 

DANIEL WILLARD FISKE, M.A.

The originator, and the accomplished and indefatigable secretary of the First American Chess Congress, was born in Jefferson County, New York, in 1833. After a residence of two years at Hamilton College, he passed the three following years in Europe, pursuing his studies at the Universities of Copenhagen and Upsala, where he devoted himself to the acquisition of the old Icelandic language with its kindred tongues of Swedish and Danish; and employing his vacations in travels through Germany, France and England. At Upsala he met and formed an intimate friendship with the talented composer Mr. John G. Schultz, whose collection of Chess Problems published at Stockholm, in 1862, was dedicated conjointly to Heydebrand von der Lasa and Mr. Fiske. Returning home in 1852 Mr. Fiske was appointed Assistant Librarian of the Astor Library, and retained that position until 1859, when he was elected General Secretary of the American Geographical Society. In 1856 the degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him by Hamilton College, and the University at Upsala has since honored him, we believe, with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Mr. Fiske's attachment to the royal sport, which, though singularly brief, yet attended with many brilliant and enduring results, is said to have had its birth in 1855, when he became a member of the New York Chess Club. Two years later he won the championship of the club in a tournament embracing eight of its strongest players. In January, 1857, Mr. Wm. C. Miller commenced the publication of The Chess Monthly under the editorial charge of Mr. Fiske, and we bestow no hyperbolic praise in the assertion that the entertaining variety have never been surpassed—if, indeed, they have been equalled—in any similar publication in the English language. During intervals between October, 1858, and December, 1860, he also conducted an admirable chess department in the New York Saturday Press; and in 1859 he gave to the world that charming volume of early American chess history, The Book of the First American Chess Congress. An earnest and enthusiastic bibliophile, he has accumulated a formidable collection of works on chess and Scandinavian and Icelandic literature, the nucleus of which forms the subject of an interesting chapter in Dr. Wynne's Private Libraries of New York, and the erudite articles contributed to Appleton's American Cyclopedia upon Scandinavia and Chess are from his able and vigorous pen. Soon after his retirement from the editorship of The Chess Monthly he again visited Europe, and, we believe, sojourned for some time at Vienna as attache to the United States legation under Minister Motley. Upon his return to New York, in 1868, he accepted a call to the chair of Professor of North European Languages and Librarian in Cornell University—of which he is still the incumbent, though at present upon a bridal tour in Europe, having been wedded at the residence of Minister White in Berlin, in July last, to Miss Jennie McGraw, of Ithaca, N. Y.—an heiress of several millions. In addition to Professor Fiske's inestimable labors in the field of chess literature, he has been a constant and valued contributor to the Stockholm Aftonblad, the London Notes and Queries, New York Tribune, Evening 23ost, Nation, and the Literary World; and is the editor of the Cornell Ten Year Book, published in 1878. He is an honorary member of the Icelandic Literary Society, Reykjavik, Iceland, and corresponding member of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquities; and we hope that he will once more become an honored light in the chess world.

 

NAPOLEON MARACHE

Was bom in Meaux, Department of Seine-et-Marne, France, on the 15th of June, 1815, but came to this country when thirteen years of age. His introduction to the game of chess occurred about the year 1844, when he became at once so enraptured with its mystic charms that, procuring a few books, he applied himself eagerly to its study, and it is related of him that he made such astonishing progress that within three weeks from his first lesson he gave to his tutor the odds of a Rook. In the Winter of 1855-56 he won the championship cup of the New York Chess Club, in a match between eight of the strongest players of that day, and subsequently, during the same Winter, he again distinguished himself by winning the first prize—a set of Staunton chessmen—in a tournament of sixteen players. At the period of the Congress he was laboring from indisposition, which compelled him for some time to absent himself from play; and on his return he was too weak to endure the mental strain, and was defeated, after a close contest, in the second round, by Dr. Raphael. As an editor he conducted with spirit and success columns devoted to the game in the New York Clipper, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Porter's Spirit and Wilkes' Spirit, retiring from the management of the latter in consequence of ill- health, August 6th, 1867. In October, 1845, he commenced the publication of the earliest chess periodical in this country, The Chess Palladium and Mathematical Sphinx, which, however, ran its brief course in three numbers. In 1865 he was engaged by Messrs. Dick & Fitzgerald to prepare the chess matter for a new edition of Hoyle, and the work was so satisfactorily accomplished that it was subsequently given by the publishers in a separate volume as Marache's Manual. During the last seven or eight years of his life declining health and frequent attacks of serious sickness warned him to abandon the exciting influences of the game, but towards its close he manifested a rekindled ardor for his favorite pastime, and delighted in occasionally breaking a lance with some of his old opponents. He died suddenly of heart disease on the morning of May 11th 1875. As a chess player he was remarkably cool and self-possessed, and combined with his native talent an extended knowledge of bookish theory. He was among the earliest of America's chess problem composers, and took a special pride in his suicidal stratagems, of which he constructed many elegant and ingenious specimens. His works are mainly of the old or classic school, but many of the later productions are as replete with ramifications as modern art has yet produced. With the warm temperament of a son of la belle France, he bestowed his whole demonstrative heart where friendship dictated the offering; yet never sought to conceal an equally ardent antagonistic emotion towards any who offended his sensitive nature by an injury or injustice. To fine musical talents and an excellent scholarship were united the sterling integrity and polished deportment of the perfect gentleman.

 

CHARLES HENRY STANLEY

Who for many years wielded the chess sceptre in this country, was born in England, in the year 1819, and gave promise at an early age of attaining a conspicuous rank among the ablest European players of the day. But destiny directed him to other fields of conquest, and, preceded by a reputation which he had then recently earned through a decisive victory over the great British champion, the late Howard Staunton, in a match wherein Mr. Stanley received the odds of Pawn and two moves, he came to New York in 1842, and at once introduced himself to the small circle of devotees then rendezvousing in Barclay Street, near Broadway. Here the extended practical experience which Mr. Stanley had obtained in his contests with some of the leading masters of the Old World, combined with a positive genius for the game, enabled him readily to overthrow our untrained amateurs, and but a single member of that enthusiastic coterie succeeded in opposing an appreciable resistance to his victorious career. This brave and persistent hero was Mr. John W.- Schulten, who became Mr. Stanley's most frequent adversary, and, aside from the fluctuating fortunes of many desultory skirmishes, stoutly contested the championship title in four set matches—the last of which was fought in 1846, when his persevering efforts were crowned with a gallant victory; but retiring soon afterward from the chess arena, Mr. Stanley became its undisputed master. The result of these four pitched battles, exclueiv€ of drawn games, of which there is no record, was as follows:

First Match, (1844) Stanley, 11 ; Schulten, 5.
Second  (1844)....       "       11;         "      9.
Third " (1845)....         "       15;         "      13.
Fourth " (1846)....        "        7;         "      11.

During the year 1845 arrangements were made for a match between Mr. Stanley and Mr. Eugene Rousseau, at that time a resident of New Orleans, but a native of France, whose career as a chess player ran back to the days of De la Bourdonnais. Both rivals were regarded by their respective friends as without a superior in the country, and the magnitude of the amount ($1,000) staked upon the result of the contest served to invest the match with an interest that extended far beyond the community of chess dilettanti. The combat was opened in New Orleans on the first of December, 1845, and terminated on the twenty-seventh of the same month in a victory for the New York champion by the following score:

Stanley, 15;  Rousseau, 8;  Drawn, 8.

Mr. Stanley's next important encounter was with Mr. J. H. Turner, of Louisville, Kentucky, and took place in Washington, D. C., in February, 1850. One thousand dollars again impended upon the issue, and the match, consisting of seventeen games, was decided in the amazingly short period of four days in Mr. Stanley's favor— the score at the conclusion of the battle being:

Stanley, 11;  Turner, 5;  Drawn, 1.

During the early part of the same year Mr. Stanley met the distinguished Hungarian player, Herr Lowenthal, in New York, who sought a temporary refuge in this country from political persecution in his native land, and contested several games with him, vinning and losing an equal number; and in 1852 he encountered the French champion, St. Amant, during his visit to this city, with whom he played eight games, and again won and lost alike—each party scoring four games. From this period. Mr. Stanley contested and won several matches of minor importance; but his chess fervor began to wane, and the cessation of continuous practice led to impairment of strength and the gradual relinquishment of the proud position which he had so long and successfully maintained. Upon the termination of the Congress, in 1857, Mr. Morphy addressed a cartel to the New York Club, proffering the odds of Pawn and move to any of its members, and a match for one hundred dollars a side was arranged at those odds between the challenger and Mr. Stanley, wherein the first winner of seven games should be the victor; but after five games had been played—the score standing: Morphy, 4; Stanley, 0 ; Drawn, 1—Mr. Stanley resigned the contest. In 1860 he returned for a brief period to England, and in the following year participated in the Bristol tournament of the British Chess Association, but bereft of his former powers he was defeated and thrown out from further competition by his first antagonist. Returning soon after to this city he resumed his attendance at the club, though rarely for the purpose of playing, his final services to the game being confined almost exclusively to its hebdomadal literature, in which he appeared as a graceful, vigorous, and at times, when circumstances seemed to him to require it, a most pungent aud witty writer; always original and sparkling, his frequent ebullitions of wit and satirical humor, blended with a quaint seriousness, secured for his columns a wide celebrity and a numerous retinue of able contributors and appreciative readers. He was the first to inaugurate weekly chess articles in this country, making his debut in the Spirit of the Times, New York, on the first of March, 1845. His connection with that paper continued until October, 1848, after which he conducted chess departments consecutively in Porter's Spirit of the Times; The Albion; Illustrated New York Journal; Harper's Weekly; Turf, Field and Farm; Mound Table and the Sunday Mercury, to which latter he also contributed articles upon Whist, etc.; and during his so- jonrn in England in 1860-61 he edited a very lively and entertaining column in the Manchester Express and Guardian. In 1846 he published a little brochure containing bis match-games with Rousseau, with critical annotations and analysis; in the following year he gave to the world his admirable Chess Magazine—the second chess periodical issued in this country—and in 1859, taking advantage of the enthusiasm aroused by the splendid achievements of Paul Morphy, he published The Chess flayer's Instructor, a pleasing little elementary treatise that has passed through several editions; and a small collection of Morphy's Match Games. Holding for some years a responsible position in the British Consulate in this city, chess could then only command the limited service that the affairs of his office would permit him to bestow, but during the later years of his residence in his adopted country Mr. Stanley has been untrammelled by other duties, and has given his whole leisure to the game and its literature. His labors have shed an enduring lustre upon his name and upon the noble work to which he has been so warmly devoted; yet, while we must admire the extent and success of his achievements, both as a practitioner and as an author, we cannot repress a sense of regret that an intellect so eminently fitted by inherent genius and careful culture for greater results should have Bo feebly resisted the terrible ravages of a melancholy intemperantia bibendi that has blighted a career of the brightest promise. One of the very few survivors that remain to link the present generation of chess players with the past, Mr. Stanley, with sympathies still warmly directed toward the object of his life-long attachment, remains with us only in the reverent memory of deeds performed; which, great as we must admit them to have been, were not commensurate with his extraordinary abilities.

Montgomery's original idea to stage a series of games between the players of New York and Philadephia set in motion what would ultimately become the First American Chess Congress. He sent notice to the congress  that he would arrive late, but would most likely arive in time for the commencement of play.  He did arrive and played his first two games with W. S. Allison, splitting the wins between them. The second section had him pitted against Paulsen. After losing the first game, Montgomery was unexpectdly called home to Philadelphia and resigned the second section to Paulsen.

 

 

HARDMAN PHILIPS MONTGOMERY

The youngest son of the late John C. Montgomery, Esq., formerly Postmaster of Philadelphia, was born in Eglin- ton, near Tivoli, N. Y., in the year 1834. After a preparatory course at the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia he entered, at the age of seventeen, the Sophomore class in the University of Pennsylvania, and there soon at- tracted the attention of his instructors and fellow students by the exhibition of unusual mathematical talents and a passionate fondness for the game of chess. He became a frequent visitor at the Athenaeum, where for many years the illustrious masters, Mr. Charles Vezin and Professor Henry Vethake, and their brilliant pupils, Randolph, Tilghmau, Thomas, Elkin, and others, had established a High Court of Caissa, whither ambitious knight-errants from other cities were wont to turn their eager steps to pluck their crowning laurels, but usually departed more abundantly bedecked with the cypress and the willow. On this classic battle ground the youthful Montgomery gained his first important victory in the Spring of 1853 in a series of games with the veteran player, Mr. James Thompson, of New York, who was in consequence compelled to retire with one game minus in a long score with the representative players of Philadelphia. Three years later Mr. Montgomery took a prominent part in the famous correspondence match with the New York Chess Club, in conjunction with Messrs. Randolph, Thomas, Elkin, Dougherty and Dr. Lewis, and the complete discomfiture of the New York players in that encounter was largely due to the force and analytical powers contributed by Mr. Montgomery, who is said to have originated every move adopted by his confreres in one of the games. The "grand revival," which resulted from the Congress of 1857, led to the formation of numerous clubs throughout the country, and the players of Philadelphia, who had hitherto been without an organization, formed the Philadelphia Chess Club and elected Mr. Montgomery, then their confessed leader, its first president. In the latter part of 1858 the New York club, anxious to retrieve its former disaster, invited the Philadelphians to a trial of skill by telegraph, and the cartel was readily accepted. Two exciting and beautiful games were played, for which the old comrades of the Athenaeum—Montgomery, Randolph, Thomas, Elkin and Lewis—donned their arms for the last time for a united struggle against their determined adversaries; and again victory, though not so complete as in the match by correspondence, fell to the lot of the Philadelphia quintette. During the subsequent truce between the two cities Mr. Montgomery continued to play, principally at the Philadelphia Chess Club, with unvarying success, until January, 1861, when the New York Club again sounded its defiant blast, and issued a challenge to single combat over the board between the individual champions of the two cities. Mr. Montgomery was chosen to defend the chess supremacy of Philadelphia, and Mr. Theodore Lichten- hein, chieftain of the New York committee in the contest by telegraph, was selected to do battle for New York. The match, which was fought in Philadelphia, resulted in a signal victory for the New York representative by a score of 7 to 2, with one drawn game, and proved a Waterloo from which Mr. Montgomery never recovered. He laid down his arms for the last time, and with the exception of an occasional desultory skirmish, his chess career terminated with that contest. His distinguishing characteristics as a player were quick perception, a nervous rapidity and daring brilliancy. In his ordinary games he delighted in giving full sway to his vivid imagination, and his combinations were then astonishing for their originality and audacity. In person he was tall, handsome and graceful; with accomplishments that were brilliantly attractive, and a genial warmth of good fellowship that secured him hosts of admiring friends. After a temporary practice of his legal profession in the oil regions of Pennsylvania, and a short residence in New York, he determined to seek his fortune in the far West, and settled at Marysville, California, where he was stricken down with paralysis on Christmas day, 1869, and recurrent attacks at brief intervals led to a fatal termination on the 22d January, 1870, in the early manhood of his thirty-sixth year. His eldest brother was the distinguished clergyman, the late Rev. Henry E. Montgomery, D.D., for many years pastor of the Church of the Incarnation, in Madison Avenue, this city.