Adolf Anderssen - London 1851 (part 3)

qtsii
qtsii
Jun 17, 2008, 9:25 AM |
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London 1851

In 1848 Anderssen drew a match with the professional player Daniel Harrwitz. On the basis of this match and his general chess reputation, he received an invitation to represent German chess at the 1851 London International Tournament, one of the earliest international chess tournaments and easily the strongest so far, despite the fact that some very strong players could not take up their invitations (for example Alexander Petrov and Carl Jaenisch). Anderssen was reluctant to accept the invitation, as he was deterred by the travel costs. However Howard Staunton offered to pay Anderssen's travel expenses out of his own pocket if necessary, should Anderssen fail to win a tournament prize. Anderssen accepted this generous offer.

 

Howard Staunton was the principal organizer of the  1851 London International Tournament, and offered to pay Anderssen's travel expenses out of his own pocket.

 
Howard Staunton was the principal organizer of the 1851 London International Tournament, and offered to pay Anderssen's travel expenses out of his own pocket.

Anderssen's preparations for the 1851 London International Tournament produced a surge in his playing strength: he played over 100 games in early 1851 against strong opponents including Carl Mayet, Ernst Falkbeer, Max Lange and Jean Dufresne. Anderssen won the tournament (a knock-out event) by beating Lionel Kieseritzky, József Szén, Staunton, and Marmaduke Wyvill - by margins of at least 2 games in every case. Anderssen's prize was two-thirds of the total prize fund of £500, that is equivalent to about £240,000 in 2006 money. When Anderssen and Szén found they were to play each other, they agreed that, if either won the tournament, the other would receive one-third of the prize; this does not appear to have been considered in any way unethical.

Although most chess books regard Wilhelm Steinitz as the first true world champion, one of the organizers of the 1851 London International tournament had said the contest was for "the baton of the World’s Chess Champion". In fact Anderssen was not described as "the world champion", but the tournament established Anderssen as the world's leading chess player.

The London Chess Club, which had fallen out with Staunton and his colleagues, organized a tournament that was played a month later and had a multi-national set of players (many of whom had competed in Staunton's London International Tournament), and the result was the same - Anderssen won.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Anderssen