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Pillsbury's Chess Column

  • #1

    Many people aren't aware that HN Pillsury had a chess column.  It was in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I know when it ended - his last column was on Jan. 14, 1906. Pillsbury would die on June 17 of that same year and gave up the column due to his deteriorating health.  Short after he gave up the column, Walter Penn Shipley took over and held that position until around 1940.  Oddly, I couldn't find any annoncement of Pillsbury's death in the Inquirer chess column, though his death is referred to in only of the July columns.  I'm not completely certain when Pillsbury's column started, but the first one I could find was on Dec. 11, 1904.  Interestingly, he didn't seem to use a set banner. The banner on his Dec. 11, 1904 column looked like this:

    This column was devoted exclusively to chess.

    . . .while subsequent banners looked like these and the column was divided equally between chess and checkers:



     





  • #2

    hmmm....

  • #3

    How did he die, by getting poked in the stomach?

  • #4

    Quite an ornate header. Is it meant to resemble, loosely, the legendary Japanese women playing Go?

    Anyway, I suppose such a banner was used to first attract attention in the early days of the column. Perhaps after a while the editors decided to include the more accessible game of checkers.

    Do you know if Pillsbury was as much of a fan of checkers as of chess?

  • #5

    Pillsbury was a the checkers equivalent of a master and often combined checkers with chess in his blindfold simuls.

  • #6

    HARRY N PILLSBURY : won the famed hastings 1895 tournament ahead of the likes of lasker an steintz. he died at a very early age from a childhood illness at age 32. had he lived all the leading masters of his day all agreed he would have been the next WORLD CHAMPION !! 

  • #7
    mateologist wrote:

    HARRY N PILLSBURY : won the famed hastings 1895 tournament ahead of the likes of lasker an steintz. he died at a very early age from a childhood illness at age 32. had he lived all the leading masters of his day all agreed he would have been the next WORLD CHAMPION !! 


    Pillsbury was 33 when he died.

  • #8

    Are there any interesting articles of his ? (Links ?)

  • #9
    mateologist wrote:

    HARRY N PILLSBURY : won the famed hastings 1895 tournament ahead of the likes of lasker an steintz. he died at a very early age from a childhood illness at age 32. had he lived all the leading masters of his day all agreed he would have been the next WORLD CHAMPION !! 


     A childhood illness---I dont think so!Embarassed

  • #10

    Diaper rash isn't fatal?

  • #11

    Please not another discussion of his syphilis.

  • #12

    This is supposed to be about his cool chess banners.

  • #13

    And on that note, do you have any ideas to the source of inspiration for the two chessplayers? Their costume and hairstyling is rather extraordinary.

    I'd also be interested to read a few snippets of what he had to say about checkers, given his interest in that subject. Today I think checkers is less popular in general, and because of its limited exposure, many people find laughable the idea that there are deep intricacies to the game. The meditations of a great chessplayer on the subject of checkers might help to dispel these notions, in addition to being interesting of their own account.

  • #14

    Vassily Ivanchuk plays checkers.  Rashid Nezhmetdinov won the Russian checkers championship once.  Emanuel Lasker invented a checkers variant called Lasca.

  • #15

    Pillsbury's (first) Checkers section from Dec. 18, 1904

  • #16

    Pillsbury's Checkers section from Dec. 25, 1904


  • #17

    I mention the following as there have been a lot of posts lately about Pillsbury's demise and now about his newspaper column.

    Pillsbury's Chess Career by P W Sargeant & W H Watts is one of the few "antique", (first pub 1922) EN game collections I really like. Unfortunately it's apparently out of print, but anyone interested could try looking for a used copy of the Dover PB. The annotations are light and not overly helpful in most games, but having a decent chess program analyze the games would probably make up for this.

    One nice feature is that Chernev lists and gives brief descriptions of 15 great games in the introduction.

    DOVER PB: Unabridged, unaltered republication of the 1922 ed with a new intro and afterword by Irving Chernev. Frontspiece. Preface. Index. 98 diagrams. xi + 230 pp. 5 3/8' x 8 1/2".

  • #18
    batgirl wrote:

    This is supposed to be about his cool chess banners.


     Batgirl, do you think he would have become World Champion had his health not deteriorated so soon?

  • #19

    I read that Pillsbury was a monmaniac just like Fischer. No matter what the conversation he would always bring it back to chess. He loved chess---talking about it, playing it, reading about chess---the guy was a monomaniac. You could find a monomaniac in almost any discipline but opera, chess, and ballerina seem to have more than most. Which reminds me---if only Morphy had loved chess as he loved opera...   Laughing

  • #20
    batgirl wrote:

    Diaper rash isn't fatal?


    Many early childhood dieseases in the (early 1900's WERE), the man was sickly his entire life. When posting please exercise COMMOM SENSE !! Cool

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