Vienna (1873) – a first look

Let’s start with the source, Lehner and Schwede’s tournament book. (from Calli’s tournament book collection)

On p44 there’s found this xtab with all the game results:
TB - Vienna (1873) xtab        (Click to enlarge)

Note that the Blackburne–Steinitz two-game playoff results are outlined in green. Also note that there is an errata page in the tournament book, with an entry referring to this page:

„ 44, ist in der Tabelle, Langzeile 2, am Ende (Rubrik: Summe der
 Verlustpartien) 9 statt 10 zu lesen.

(Which translates to:)

" 44, is in the table, long line 2, at the end
 (Section: sum of Lost matches) 9 instead of 10 to read.

Using the tournament book, I merged together from <CG> and <365chess> a stubified version of the tournament. I found not only is Blackburne’s lost count wrong (reads 10, should be 9), but so is Fleissig’s lost count (reads 14, should be 15). Both results are outlined in red above.

(They can be verified by adding the 0’s which appear in a row. I found them more reliably, using SCID’s xtab from the complete stubified tournament.)

It should be mentioned that both <365chess>’s version of the tournament, as well as <CG>’s, have games that need to be corrected to match up with the tournament book. I intend to publish a list of these games, but I have the laborious task of applying the various corrections contained in the errata to the various games (easier for a paper copy of the tournament book, than for a pdf).

Let’s show one more table from the tournament book, the one used for determining the final placing. An unusual scoring system was used – where each pairing match is assigned a score of 1, 1/2, or 0 for a player. Thus, the individual games are subsumed into a match score, and not tallied in total. Rather the match scores are used for placing, as found on p43 of the tournament book:

TB - Vienna (1873) standings And we see that Blackburne and Steinitz were tied, each with 10 points. They then played a “mini-match” playoff, which Steinitz won by a score of 2-0. Apparently, Steinitz, after his early losses to Blackburne during regular play, started a streak of 25 consecutive tournament games wherein he went undefeated. A record of play which still stands today.

Just for comparison, here is the tournament result as given by Reichhelm in his <Fifty Tournaments>:

          13. VIENNA 1873
            12 Players
    Played in the form of matches of
    three games with each player (12RR3).

I       Steinitz      22.5     4.5
II      Blackburne    21.5    10.5
III     Anderssen     19.0    11.0
IV      Rosenthal     15.0    10.0
        Bird          14.5     9.5
        Paulsen       14.0    11.0
        Fleissig      11.5    17.5
        Meitner        9.0    17.5
        Gelbfuhs      10.0    19.0
        Heral         12.0    19.0
        Schwarz, A    10.0    l9.5
        Pitschel       5.0    16.0

    Steinitz beat Blackburne in playoff.

Numerical Digression:

Note that there is no simple correspondence between the match scoring system used in this tournament, and game scoring. One might think that the scoring of wins could be adjusted versus draws by comparing a match win of 2-0-0 (W-L-D) to a draw of 0-0-3. In the former case the winner scores 1 point, in the latter each opponent scores only 1/2. Comparing the ratios of points to games, 1:2 vs 0.5:3 give a W/D ration of   (1/2) / (0.5/3) = 3 instead of the usual 2.

The system, for this restricted set of results, could be viewed as wins score 0.5 points, and draws 1/6 points.

However useful as a rough idea, this doesn’t account for draw having no worth if the match score is 2-0-1. The victor only gets 1 point, the loses 0. And what about a match draw with the score of 1-1-1. That also gets 0.5 points, which could be viewed as dismissing the draw.

That’s all for now, but more is coming…


One thought on “Vienna (1873) – a first look

  1. Pingback: First Look – look here first | Zan Chess

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