(Click on either image to enlarge)
Really I’m lying in the title. My first look at a tournament wouldn’t be on this page, even if it existed at the time I needed a first look. My first look, and yours too, should be at Ron Edwards EDOchess site. It’s wonderfully informative, accurate and detailed with all the requisite footnotes, properly done. But best of all, it presents the data in a beautifully done format, where it is very easy to assimilate the information presented. Edward Tufte would be proud!
Description The 2nd Chess Association Tournament, Cambridge (1860) was half the size originally intended, held at the first Chess Association meeting convened after Birmingham (1858). The Chess Association was originally named Northern and Midland Counties Chess Association, which in turn grew out of the Yorkshire Association. Eventually it would be known, in 1862, as the British Chess Association. The tournament itself was viewed as less than successful.
When 28th August – 1st September, 1860
Where Red Lion Inn, Cambridge England, and the private home of Mr. Foster, also of Cambridge.
Format Three round Knockout format (see Scoring).
Time control Not explicit, but see rule 5 below, part of which reads: “The Committee also reserve to themselves the right of interfering, to prevent any unnecessary delay in the progress of the games.”.
Scoring Draws didn’t count, only decisive games did. The first two rounds decided by first to win two, the final round decided by first to win three.
Tiebreaks None, only the two finalists win prize money, which depended on subscriptions only, and was meager.
Prizes First place won £8, second place £4. (£1 / 1860 ~ £84 2016)
Comments Orginally intended for 16 participants, attendance was poor and only eight players were found, including draftees from the local committee who didn’t intend on playing otherwise. Zytogorski is said to have resigned his match with Kolisch, but some reports cite him doing so after playing a first game in the round.
Sources There was a tournament book published by the local committee, referencing “The Eight Meeting” of the association, but I have not seen it anywhere. The sources I used were:
- <The Chess Congress of 1862 pp xxxii-xxxiii/44-45> edited by J. Löwenthal, published in 1864
- <Chess Player’s Chronicle v2 Series 3 (1860-1861) pp 289-292/304-307 and pp 230-232/245-247> edited by H. Staunton
Let’s present some of the contemporaneous reporting on this tournament, the third organized the then-named Chess Association, erroneously referred to by almost everybody else as the British Chess Association (or BCA, a name only formally adopted for the first time during the Bristol Congress (1861)). Please bear in mind that the following is found in the Chess Player’s Chronicle v2 S3 (1860), which was Staunton’s magazine. He was not a neutral reporter as concerns the BCA:
… The Bristol Congress also produced a code of the laws of chess but suffered opposition from Staunton in so doing.
For all the remaining years of his life, Staunton was to prove a bitter opponent of the Association and when he died he was followed in the same role by the Rev. A. B. Skipworth. This quarrelsome reverend supported a rival organization, the Counties Chess Association (formed in 1865) and the two organizations were eventually to kill each other.
The treasurer's account stated the expenditure to have been £46 17s. 6d., and the receipts, £42 9s. The meeting had been a failure, and it was clear to all really interested in the Association, that fresh life should be instilled into its management. It was with this view that Mr. Lowenthal 1 heinp; on a visit to the Bristol Club shortly after the meeting, suggested to the members the desirability of holding a gathering within their city. The proposal was warmly received, and at once acted on.
<THE CHESS PLAYER'S CHRONICLE v2 S3 (1860). p289> THE MEETING OF THE BRITISH CHESS ASSOCIATION AT CAMBRIDGE. If ever a meeting had a claim to be conspicuous by its failure, this one stands in the foremost ranks. The ominous silence about it of the many publications which devote columns to Chess, must have partly prepared our readers for a less favourable report than those given of the Leamington, Manchester, and Birmingham gatherings. But however modest one's expectations might have been, they were yet doomed to be disappointed. Still the sad tale must be told — we owe it to our Subscribers; and however deeply we may wound their Chess feelings, we shall relate the truth — the whole truth — and nothing but the truth. (The following is verbatim, the letter of our special Correspondent)* August 17th. "On my arrival in Cambridge, I alighted at the Red Lion Hotel, in one of the rooms of which the Meeting was to take place. I inquired of the waiter if any of the Chess players had arrived, and was informed that three gentlemen from London — Messrs. Geake, Kolisch, and Zytogorski — had just engaged rooms in the Hotel, but that no other arrival had taken place on that day. Knowing that the British Chess Association consists of above 150 members, and that on former meet- ings between 200 and 300 persons were present, I prognosticated a scanty attendance. I hoped, however, that some of the followers of Caissa had established their temporary abode at other hotels of the town, and that a goodly number would arrive with the first train next morning. After having vainly expected that evening other arrivals of Chess celebrities, I retired to the room assigned to me, which was next to that of Herr Kolisch, the newly risen Star on the European Chess horizon, and consoled myself on going to sleep with the hope of witnessing that young hero's encounter with one or the other of our celebrated English champions. I was dreaming that I had won the first game in a match with Morphy, and was just announcing him a checkmate in seven moves in the second game, when the waiter, by a knock at the door, dissipated my pleasant illusions, calling out — Nine o'clock, Sir. On consulting my Bennett, I found that he was right, and that the Cambridge air had the narcotic effect of producing ten hours sleep in a Chess player. I dispatched my breakfast hastily, in order not to 290 THE CHESS PLAYER'S CHRONICLE v2 be too late, and not to miss the discussion of the constitution of the Association with a view to its improvement.* Thereupon, I wended my way through the intricacies of the Court-yard of the Red Lion, to the staircase leading to the saloon of the Meeting; which staircase, however, I was only allowed to ascend after having paid five shillings and received an entrance card. On entering the spacious and lofty saloon, which was well filled with chairs and tables, I began to scrutinize the company present, and found, that neither the President of the Association, Lord Lyttelton, nor the Vice-presidents, Lord Cremorne and Sir John Blunden, nor any other Member of the Committee, were present. Nay, not only the Committee were absent, but not even a single member of the Association was there — at least, none of those who had been at former Meetings. The only persons present were six members of the Local Cambridge Committee, the three gentlemen from London, Mr. STANLEY, of New York Celebrity, Mr.RAINGER, of Norwich, Mr. FULLER, Mr. HORNE, Mr. BATEMAN, and Mr. N., a solitary member of the St. George's Club, whom chance had brought at the time to Cambridge. Thus the Meeting consisted of fifteen persons including the Local Committee. Not only were the Committee of the British Chess Association absent, but also the members. After an hour's waiting, during which time the Local Committee at one end of the room, and the visitors at the other end of the room, had a quiet chat, the Secretary of the Local Committee, Mr. Walker, proposed to proceed to play, but it was found that only eight players had sent in their names, and of these only seven were present; the eighth, Mr. Barnes, of the St. George's Club, although having sent in his name, was not present. Mr. Horne, of Cambridge, was prevailed upon to replace him. The following gentlemen were then matched, by lots : — Mr. KOLISCH against Mr. GEAKE. " STANLEY " " RAINGER. " HORNE " " PULLER. " ZYTOGORSKI " " BATEMAN. The former gentlemen won the two first games, and remained, therefore, winners in the first round, which only lasted altogether between three and four hours. The second day, the 29th, some visitors came from London, and * See the Chess Players Chronicle, August Number, "British Association," Circular of the Committee. THE CHESS PLAYER'S CHRONICLE. 291 other places; still the persons present in the room never exceeded the number of seventeen. The four conquerors were drawn against each other in the following way:— Mr. KOLISCH against Mr. ZYTOGORSKI, Mr. STANLEY against Mr. HORNE. The result of this tourney was, Mr. STANLEY won two games against one of Mr. HORNE'S. Mr. ZYTOGORSKI resigned his further claims without playing. Mr. KOLISCH and Mr. STANLEY were, therefore, the winners of the two prizes, such as they were; it was only to be decided which of the two had to take the first prize. In the opinion of most of those present, Mr. STANLEY had but a poor chance against so formidable an antagonist as Mr. KOLISCH. On that day Mr. STAUNTON had arrived from London, in the afternoon, with Mr. WORRALL, with whom he played several games at the odds of a Knight; Mr. WORRALL had, however, by far the best in these encounters. Mr. DEACON was also present during some time, as well as the Rev. Dr. SALMON, from Dublin. The two latter gentlemen, however, did not play at all. The third day, the 30th, the Match began between Mr. KOLISCH and Mr. STANLEY of New York, and this was the only interesting feature in the whole proceeding. The first game lasted eight hours. Mr. Stanley evidently did his best, and Herr KOLISCH played very carefully; taking it altogether it was a very fine game. On that morning Messrs STAUNTON, WORRALL, and DEACON, again left for London. The meeting, however, was a little enlivened by the arrival of the Rev. Mr. DONALDSON, the well known Scotch player, who played some skittling games with Mr. ZYTOGORSKI and others. Herr KLING, the well known Chess writer, who had arrived during the day, contributed to the amusement of the visitors by his lecture on end games; which lie selected with great skill, and were instruc- tive, even for first-rate players. The fourth day, the 31st, the second game between Mr. STANLEY and KOLISCH was played; it was severer than the first, and lasted twelve hours; but towards the end it was evident that Mr. Stanley was exhausted, and, so to say, morally beaten. This was the last day of the Meeting, according to the circular of the Local Committee, but as the winner of the first prize had to score the best out of five games, the match was not over. A great difficulty here presented itself; the Committee had only taken the rooms for four days; where were the Chess players to meet the next day? In this dilemma, Mr. HENRY C. FOSTER, of Cambridge, was the deus ex machina who, by kindly inviting all the Chess players to his house, solved the difficulty. In the evening, Herr KLING contributed again to the amusement of those THE CHESS PLAYER'S CHRONICLE. p292 present by playing on five boards, against fire opponents, at the same time. He won four games, and lost one. The fifth day, the 30th [sic/1st], the Meeting took place at Mr. FOSTER'S house, who received his guests with true Saxon hospitality — furnished the chief combatants, for the first time, with a good set of Staunton Chess men and board; put his house and gardens at the disposition of his visitors, who, now only, since their visit to Cambridge, felt really at ease. The game between Mr. STANLEY and Herr KOLISCH lasted, this time, only five hours; Mr. STANLEY was evidently worn out by his exertions on the two former occasions, whilst Herr KOLISCH seemed only to get into play, and better fitted for the fight, than on the first day. Herr KOLISCH, by winning the game, won the first prize. During the day, Mr. FOSTER played several games with his guests; with Mr. ZYTOGORSKI, who gave him the odds of a Knight, but, this time, not very successfully. With Mr. GEAKE, Mr. FORSTER made even games. This terminated the Meeting at Cambridge. The prizes, I have heard stated, are very paltry; the first is said to be £8., the second £4. All those who were present at the Meeting were dissatisfied with it, and accuse the Local Committee, as well as the Committee of the Association, as the causes of the bad result. Although, I must say that the Secretary of the Local Committee, Mr. Walker, upon whom all the work was thrown, did everything in his power to make the thing prosper. Still, it must be remarked, that there is no regular Chess Club in Cambridge. That the gownsmen and townsmen, as usual, do not very well agree; that the players, in their respective camps, scarcely ever meet; and that, on the present occasion, the townsmen had nothing to do with the Meeting, nor was any of their number in the Local Committee." [Here the letter of our Correspondent ends.] According to this report, it seems that only four or five members of the British Chess Association were present on the occasion. Now, the question arises, is the British Chess Association still in existence, or is it only now a matter of history? If, so, what are the reasons which have led to its untimely end? whose is the fault? But, even as a simple gathering of Chess players, this Meeting has been an unprecedented failure. The Local Committee, no doubt, are partly answerable for it, but who besides? We should like to hear some explanation about it, from some member of the Committee, from whom we also expect an early account of their proceedings. In conclusion, we must state, that we have received letters from most of the players present at Mr. Foster's house during the last day of the Cambridge Meeting, asking us to express their thanks to this gentleman, in the Chess Chronicle, for the kind reception he has given them.
There is also this article from earlier in the issue, a little more straight-laced in its reporting
THE CHESS PLAYER'S CHRONICLE. p231 BRITISH CHESS ASSOCIATION. THE General Meeting of the Association will be held at Cambridge on the 28th, 29th, 30th, and 31st days of August. The Right Hon. the Lord LYTTELTON, President; The Right Hon. the Lord CREMORNE and Sir JOHN BLUNDEN, Bart., Vice Presidents; Rev. P. FROST, M.A., Rev. M. M. U. WILKINSON, M.A., G. D. LIVEING, Esq. M.A., B. W. HORNE, Esq. M.A., Rev. E. W. WILKINSON, M.A., 0. B. CLARKE, Esq. M.A., and W. EVERETT, Esq., Local Committee; EDWARD WALKER, Esq., M.A., Secretary and Treasurer. The proceedings will commence at Ten o'clock A.M. on the 28th of August, with a Meeting of the Subscribers, when it is hoped that the constitution of the Association may be fully discussed with a view to its improvement. Immediately on the termination of this Meeting, will commence THE GRAND TOURNAMENT, consisting of a series of Matches between sixteen players, and which will be decided in the following manner:— the players will be paired off by lot, and each pair will play a rubber of three games; the winners in the first series of rubbers will then be paired off by lot, and each pair will play a rubber of three games; the winners in the second series will then be paired off by lot, and each pair will play a rubber of three games. The two winners in the third series of rubbers will then play a match of five games, and will each be entitled to a prize (the value of which will depend upon the amount of the subscriptions), the winner receiving two-thirds, and the loser one-third of the sum to be divided. THE CHESS PLAYER'S CHRONICLE. 231 MATCHES BETWEEN CLUBS. The Matches between Clubs will be contested by a limited number of players on each side, and will consist of games played either single- handed or in consultation; in the latter case it is recommended, for the purpose of saving time, that the allied players on each side shall not exceed two in number. The Prizes in these encounters will consist of sets of "STAUNTON" CHESS MEN, in ivory; the Association contributing, in each instance, one-half of the cost, and the contending clubs the other half, in equal proportions. Clubs intending to take a part in these Matches are requested to communicate with the Secretary at an early period. RULES AND REGULATIONS TO BE OBSERVED BY COMPETITORS IN THE TOURNAMENT. 1. The Tournament shall be played at the Red Lion Hotel, Cambridge. 2. The names of the competitors shall be sent to the Local Committee on or before the 18th day of August next; after which period the Committee reserve to themselves the right of rejecting, if they think proper, all applications for admission. Every competitor on entering his name shall pay an entrance fee of one guinea, unless he shall have previously paid a subscription to that amount, and if more than sixteen gentlemen enter their names, the Local Committee shall select that number out of the gentlemen so entering their names to form the Tournament. Should more than the required number of names be entered, it shall be competent to the Local Committee to arrange a Supplemental Tournament, with Prizes dependent in amount on the funds at their disposal. 3. The whole of the players shall be present at the close of the Meeting of Subscribers on the 28th day of August next, when they will be paired by lot; and any player who shall not then be in attend ance shall be considered to have resigned his place in the Tournament, and the Local Committee shall nominate another player in his stead. 4. The playing shall commence on the 28th of August, immediately after the termination of the Meeting of Subscribers; and on the other days of the Meeting at ten o'clock in the morning, and shall terminate each day at twelve o'clock P.M.; and any player who shall not be prepared to play within half an hour of the time fixed for the com mencement of play, shall be considered to have relinquished the Rubber in which he is then engaged, in favour of his antagonist, should he choose to enforce the penalty (the latter being at his post within the specified time). 5. The Local Committee shall, from time to time, during the progress of the Meeting, fix the period for the commencement of each fresh series of rubbers. The Committee also reserve to themselves the right of interfering, to prevent any unnecessary delay in the progress of the games. 232 THE CHESS PLAYER'S CHRONICLE. RULES AND REGULATIONS TO BE OBSERVED BY THE PLAYERS ENGAGED IN CLCB MATCHES. 1. Each Match shall be conducted under such regulations as the Clubs engaged shall mutually agree upou. 2. The agreement under which each Match is played shall, previously to the commencement of the Match, be placed in the hands of the Secretary. PROBLEM PR1ZE. A Prize, consisting of a set of "STAUNTON" CHESS MEN, in ivory, will be given for the best Problem submitted, subject to the following rules, viz.: 1. Each Competitor may submit six Problems. 2. No Problem shall consist of less than three, or more than five, moves. 3. Every Problem submitted shall be placed in the hands of the Secretary on or before the 21st day of August next. 4. No Problem shall compete which has been previously published, or which is not the original composition of the Competitor. 5. No problem shall compete which has any other termination than a check-mate, or which is fettered by any special condition as to the mode in which mate is to be effected. 6. The Local Committee will publish, in the Report of the Proceed ings, such of the Problems submitted as they may deem deserving of publication; and no competitor shall publish any Problem, until after the publication of the Annual Report. 7. The successful Competitor shall have the option of selecting for his prize, instead of a set of Chessmen, one or more works on Chess, the value of which shall not exceed that of the Chessmen. GENERAL RULES. It shall be the business of the Competitors in each Game, on its conclusion, to furnish the Secretary with an exact record, in writing, of the whole of the moves played; and as every Subscriber will be entitled to a copy of the Report, it is understood that no Game shall be pre viously published, without the express sanction of the Committee. The Local Committee will, before the commencement of Meeting, appoint an Umpire or Umpires, to whom, or to one of whom, all disputed questions shall be referred, and whose decision shall be final; they also reserve to themselves the power to make any additional regulations either previously to or during the continuance of the Meeting. — From the Circular of the Committee.