Vienna (1873) – Setting the record straight

Subtitle – Annotating and Correcting a PDF file

The Vienna (1873) tournament book, Der erste Wiener internationale Schachkongress, by Lehner and Schwede is quite a good work, and the definitive source, along with the original Osterreichische Schachzeitung coverage. However, like all documents it contains mistakes. These mistakes can be divided into known and unknown, where the tournament book itself  records many known mistakes in  an Errata (Druckfehler-Verzeichniss), found on page xi.

Errata - Vienna (1873) tb

Here’s the google translated version:


Page  3, line 6 from above read 1858 instead of 1859.
"     "  "    8 "    below is to "question" the word "day" turn.
"    21  Consultations game, move 6, is c5-d4: e5 instead d4: to read.
"    44, is in the table, long line 2, at the end
         (Section: sum of Lost matches) 9 instead of 10 to read.
"    80, Game No. 13, note 3 is Qd8-a5 instead Qd8-d5 to read.
"    86, "    "   18, move 37 read - Qf5-g6: instead Qf6-g6:.
"    89, has in the diagram, the white bishop on 4 .. is instead on 3.
"   112, Game No. 41, Note 2 song, 9.f7-f5 instead of 9.f7-f6.
"   129, "    "   56, move 13, read 13.g5-f4: take 13.f5-g4:.
"   146, "    "   72, move 16, is to emphasize the striking character to Nf5-e3.
"     "  "    "   "   move 29, read instead Qd5-f7, Qf5-d7.
"   147  "    "   "   move 51, Re2-b2 lies instead Qe2-b2.
"   148, a white pawn d3 must be supplemented in the diagram.
"   153, Game No. 78, note to move 29, Bc6-d7 read instead Bc8-d7.
"     "  "    "   "   move 53 lies Bc6-b5: instead Kc6-b5:.
"   180, in the diagram of the black Rf8 should be deleted.
"     "  Game No. 104, move 26 lies d5-e4: instead d5-e5:.
"     "  "    "   "    move 27 read Ra8-e8 instead Rc8-e8.
"   190  "    "   112, move 52 are the question mark to delete.

"   197 in the heading of the diagram must glad
        after 23 instead of after 19 course.

Games with corrections:

G13  <1873.07.23 C15 28 (R1.3) 1-0 Schwarz -- Heral>       ok
G18  <1873.07.24 C01 81 (R2.1) =   Schwarz -- Pitschel>    ok
G41  <1873.07.29 C11 50 (R3.2) 1-0 Steinitz -- Fleissig>   ok
G56  <1873.08.01 C35 28 (R4.2) 0-1 Pitschel -- Bird>       ok
G72  <1873.08.04 C25 56 (R5.1) 0-1 Paulsen -- Anderssen>   ok
G78  <1873.08.05 C62 54 (R5.2) 1-0 Anderssen -- Paulsen>   ok
G104 <1873.08.12 D10 33 (R7.2) 0-1 Blackburne -- Pitschel> ok
G112 <1873.08.14 A02 72 (R8.1) 1-0 Bird -- Rosenthal>      ok

All the games on 365/CG have errata corrections applied.

One can see that I painstakingly went through each correction, matching one-by-one the game affected, to see if the PGN was properly updated in the online versions of the game.  All the games were OK, I think partly because the uncorrected text often was an illegal or nonsensical move.

Still, it’s unfortunate when checking a game for correctness, to have to check the tournament book (tb), which in turn needs to be checked against the Errata.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the tournament book can itself be corrected? Well, it can, using PDF annotations/comments.

In essence, this is like going through the document and applying light pencil corrections/markups in the text. Adobe Reader XI  allows me to create a FDF file which can be shared with others to mark up their version of the PDF. A screenshot of this might be helpful to visualize what is going on:

PDF p3 corrections

(Click to enlarge)

The Comments panel has been opened in the reader (and can be hidden by clicking on Comments in the Menu-bar again). It has three sections:

  1. Annotations – which allow markup such as sticky notes, highlighting, strikeouts and replacements. Each icon has a pop-up which provides a small description of it when a mouse hovers over the button.
  2. Drawing Markups – allows lines, arrows, boxes, etc.
  3. Comments List – this is originally empty. As can be seen I’ve added twenty comments. See following discussion.

Recall the corrections for this page:

Seite 3, Zeile 6 von oben lies 1858 statt 1859.
„     „  „     8  „ unten ist nach „betreffenden“ das Wort „Tage“ einzuschalten.

So, on the shown page 3, there are two corrections – one 6 lines from the top, the other 8 lines up from the bottom. The markup is rather unobtrusive, a thin red line for strike-outs, and a thin blue underline for replacements. As is seen, the 1859 at the top of the page does have a thin blue line under it. Mousing over it reveals a pop-up with the replacement text, as shown here:

PDF p3 popup

Unfortunately, the pop-up is a bit flaky (a highly technical term, btw). Luckily, the matching comment in the Comments List also shows the correction. In fact, the comments in the Comments List can be used to jump to the correction by clicking on any given comment. Then the correction is highlighted with a box, and it’s perhaps clearer since the correction is plainly displayed in the comment itself. As shown here:

PDF p3 comment click Once all the corrections are done, a FDF file can be exported. This corrections list file can then be imported into another user’s version of the PDF. These import and export tools are available in the options drop-down box of the Comments List. This is the small icon rightmost in the toolbar at the top of the Comments List. Here’s a screenshot:

PDF p3 import

I think it very useful to have corrected versions of important documents available, such as the Vienna (1873) tournament book. I hope we can share our efforts amongst ourselves, somehow. Which is why I’ve spent a fair bit of time doing this writeup, in order to illustrate the process.



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