Hastings 1895, from BMC


excepts from the British Chess Magazine, 1895


HE great International Chess Congress of 1895, originated by the Hastings and St. Leonards Chess Club, opened auspiciously at the Brassey Institute, Hastings, at 12-30 p.m., Monday, August 5th, in the presence of a large and enthusiastic assembly. The inaugural proceedings were brief and simple. The Assembly Room, a magnificent saloon furnished with valuable paintings and statuary, and lent by the Mayor and Corporation for the four weeks of the Congress, contains a dais, subsequently used for the literary business of the tournament. This platform was occupied by the twenty-two players, and the distinguished gentlemen who introduced and welcomed them. The chair was taken by Mr. John Watney, president of the Congress, and among those present were The Mayor (Major Weston, J P.), who wore his chain of office, Mr. W. Lucas-Shadwell, M.P., Mrs. Lucas-Shaclwell, the Deputy Mayor (Alderman Tree, J.P.), Dr. Croucher, J.P., Alderman Bray, Mr. and Mrs. E. Dobell, Mr. Herbert E. Dobell (hon. secretary), Mr. A. H. Hall (hon. treasurer), Mr. H. F. Cheshire, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Tharle, Mr G. Henry, Mr. G. W. Bradshaw, Mr. H. King, Mr. F. W. Womersley, Mr. T. H. Cole, Mr. G. Stanford, Mr. F. Wood, Mr. T. H. Goddard, Professor Muller and Miss Muller, Mr. V. Elsden, Miss Elsden, Miss Dobell, Herr Kühn, Mr. Perkins, the Rev. W. J. Ayling, Mr. E. H. Jukes, Mr. and Mrs Bone, Miss Watney, the Rev. A. V. W. Carden, Mr. Lee (of Stoneleigh), Dr. Underwood, Miss Watson, Captain O. P. Gray, Mrs. Gunsberg, Mr. Field, Mr. J. G. Colborne, Mr. Hallaway, Mrs. Maguire, Mrs. Egan, and Mrs. Stevens. The chairman, speaking as the President of the Hastings and St. Leonards Chess Club, heartily welcomed the players, and congratulated Mr. H. E. Dobell (the secretary) and the committee on having successfully brought together such a distinguished company of players. There had never, he said, been such a tournament in the history of the world.  The greatest masters of all nations were present, and he only wished they could all win. He thanked the Mayor for the use of the charming Congress Hall.
      The Mayor congratulated the president upon his intimation that their duty lay in greeting their visitors rather than in
making speeches. Some people, he said, associated a certain amount of oratory with the chain he wore, but he attended there in his capacity as chief magistrate of the borough to extend to all present a very cordial welcome. Not because of his knowledge of chess, although he thought perhaps that the total absence of such knowledge was a circumstance upon which those who did know something might congratulate themselves. He did understand, however, that this was a gathering of chess masters from all parts of Europe (a voice: and America) — well, he would accept that correction — a gathering such as there had never been before. The Mayor also wished the social programme of the meeting every success, and hoped that the distinguished visitors would carry away favourable recollections of the beautiful town of Hastings.
     Mr. W. Lucas-Shadwell, M.P., who was loudly applauded, spoke a few words of welcome to the visitors in a
similar strain, and after the pairing of the players for the day had been made, the president declared the tournament open. The following was the list of the twenty-two competitors selected out of the original thirty-eight entries, and nationalized in the official programme as follows : —
AMERICA. — W. Steinitz,  A. Albin, and H. N. Pillsbury.
AUSTRIA. — G. Marco and C. Schlechter.
CANADA.— W. H. K. Pollock.
ENGLAND,— E. Lasker,  J. H. Blackburne,  H. E. Bird,  A. Burn, I. Gunsberg,
                  J. Mason,  R. Teichmann, and S. Tinsley.
FRANCE.— D. Janowski.
GERMANY. — Dr. Tarrasch,  C. von Bardeleben,  J. Mieses,
                   and A. C. Walbrodt.
ITALY.—  B. Vergani.
RUSSIA. — M. I. Tschigorin and E. Schiffers.
RESERVE. — N. W. Van Lennep (Holland).
It will not be necessary to do more than touch upon the names forming the above illustrious chess company. It is
composed of a collection of champions, each of these eight countries being represented by its present strongest reputed chess player, if not by its titular champion. The most enthusiastic supporters of the Congress, never, until the eve of this conflict, expected to witness the meeting of Steinitz, Lasker, Tarrasch, and Tschigorin. The committee had a most arduous task in selecting the chosen twenty-two, and naturally some of the players, even of those who at the time of writing have very respectable scores, had a close shave of being excluded. The committee were guided by two principles in their selection, i.e., individual strength and international representation.
      The prizes offered were: first, £150; second, £115 ; third, ,£85; fourth, £60 ; fifth, £40 ; sixth, £30 ; seventh, £20.
In addition, the player winning most Evans Gambits (accepted), either as White or Black, received a handsome ring, and also The Theory and Practice of Chess (value forty lire) by Carlo Salvioli, presented by Mr. Joseph Cooke, of Knockgraffon. The first winner of seven games received an enlarged photograph, value £4 4s  , given by Mr. G. W. Bradshaw, the official photographer of the Congress. A prize of £5 was presented by the committee to the non-prize winner making the highest score (including drawn games) against the seven prize winners. Each non-prize winner was awarded as consolation £1 for every game that he won, and in the event of winning a game from the first, second, or third prize winner, -the sum of £2 instead of £1, and ios. for each draw against a prize winner.

  .  .  .

After the draw for the first round play started promptly, was continued daily (Sundays excepted) until Monday,
September 2nd, and resulted in the first prize being won by Mr. H. N. Pillsbury, with the fine score of 15 games won, 3 lost, and 3 drawn. Want of space and a desire to give prominence to the social part of the programme compels us to defer our review of the tournament, which proved a most exciting contest, the interest being sustained right up to the finish of the final round ; we therefore append a tabulated record of the score made by each competitor, and a list of the prize-winners.
      The prize offered by Mr. Joseph Cooke — a handsome ring and The Theory and Practice of Chess (Salvioli) — to the
player winning most Evans Gambits was won by M. Tchigorin, who also carried off the enlarged photograph, value £4 4s offered to the first winner of seven games by the official photograper, Mr. G. W. Bradshaw, from whom we have received photographs of the chief prize-winners, which we hope to notice in our next issue. Our reproduction of Mr. Pillsbury's photograph is from a negative taken by Mr. Bradshaw.