1st American Chess Congress – New York (1857)


1st American Chess Congress –  New York (1857)

 


Brady’s famous 1857 photograph of players – showcasing Morphy vs Paulsen (courtesy CPL⁽⁰⁾)

(Click image to enlarge)


16-player KO⁽¹⁾    Oct. 4th –  Nov. 11th, 1857   at Descombes’ Rooms, No. 764 Broadway⁽²⁾, New York City, NY USA.

Time Control⁽³⁾:    30 minutes/move,  imposed by Mngt. Committee if “unreasonable delay” (Rule #11), informal adjournments after 4 hours of play (see Rule #10).

Playing sessions⁽⁴⁾:   play began 3 PM Oct 5th, pairings by lot for each section (Rule #4). Informal arrangements thereafter with daily hours of play from 9 AM to 12 PM (Rule #7). Section winner is first to win three games, except final 4th round section for 1st/2nd place – where first to five games wins.

Entrance Fee⁽⁵⁾:   $10, due to treasurer by Oct. 5th.

Prizes⁽⁶⁾:   $300,  $100,  $66.67,  $33.33   (i.e. 3/5th, 1/5th, 2/15th, 1/15th  of prize fund).

Prize Winners⁽⁷⁾:    Morphy,  Paulsen,  Lichtenhein,  Raphael. 

Links:    PGN,  Z-baseTournament book,  Wiki,  EDO chess,  O’Keefe,   Players’ bios,   CG,  Carolus


   (0)  The photograph was taken by the famous photographer Frank Brady, the Cleveland library’s version was photoshopped. Another version of the photograph is available from the Library of Congress.
   (1)  The tournament book, The Book of the First American Chess Congress (New York – 1857) by D.W. Fiske, is the most authoritative primary source for most of the details, but there are also two informative contemporaneous reports in Chess Monthly v1 (1857), Nov p348-352 and Dec p399-407. The importance of this tournament means that many good accounts have been written about it, batgirl’s work comes recommended. The tournament was also extensively covered in the US newspapers at the time.
   (2)  TB p68/81. Rural New-Yorker v40 (Mar 1881) describes the building as a “large and beautiful” six story building in the heart of NYC’s “book district”. W.Wall claims it was  a corset shop, but I’ve seen no other such claim. Google maps view of present-day location.
   (3)  TB – Rules and Regulations (p63-64 / 76-77).
   (4)  Ibid, and TB p60 / 73 for section play rules.
   (5) TB p60 / 73.
   (6) TB p61 / 74 and p541 / 554.  Morphy turned down the cash award, but did accept a commemorative set of silverware (an engraved serving tray, pitcher and goblets). See these links:  Morphy’s Momentos, and WCHoF (scroll down). Paulsen was also awarded an engraved gold medallion for his blindfold play.
   (7) TB p92 / 105.


TB dedication to Paul Morphy

To PAUL MORPHY,

THE HERO OF THAT AMERICAN TOURNAMENT WHOSE STORY IS HERE
TOLD, AND THE CONQUEROR UPON THE TRADITIONARY BATTLE
FIELDS OF EUROPE, I DEDICATE THIS BOOK WITH EVERY
SENTIMENT OE ESTEEM AND FRIENDSHIP.

TB p541 / 554.

TB p92 / 105.

Chess Monthly v3 (1859) – frontpiece (NYPL)

SCID’s version of the main KO play yielding 1st and 2nd place winners, Morphy and Paulsen.

1st American Chess Congress
New York, NY USA, 1857.10.06 - 1857.11.05
1:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morphy, Paul                    20 USA   111       3.0 /  3   Thompson, James                 53 USA 
Raphael, Benjamin               38 USA   01=011    3.5 /  6   Kennicott, Hiram                47 USA 
Perrin, Frederick               41 USA   01=011    3.5 /  6   Knott, Hubert                      USA 
Fiske, Daniel                   25 USA   01100     2.0 /  5   Marache, Napoleon               42 USA 
Stanley, Charles Henry          38 USA   01100     2.0 /  5   Lichtenhein, Theodore           28 USA 
Meek, Alexander Beaufort        43 USA   10010     2.0 /  5   Fuller, William James Appleton  35 USA 
Allison, William S.                USA   0100      1.0 /  4   Montgomery, Hardman Philips     23 USA 
Calthrop, Samuel Robert         28 USA   000       0.0 /  3   Paulsen, Louis                  24 GER 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Raphael, Benjamin               38 USA   11=001    3.5 /  6   Marache, Napoleon               42 USA 
Lichtenhein, Theodore           28 USA   111       3.0 /  3   Perrin, Frederick               41 USA 
Montgomery, Hardman Philips     23 USA   000       0.0 /  3   Paulsen, Louis                  24 GER 
Meek, Alexander Beaufort        43 USA   000       0.0 /  3   Morphy, Paul                    20 USA 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Raphael, Benjamin               38 USA   0=00      0.5 /  4   Paulsen, Louis                  24 GER 
Lichtenhein, Theodore           28 USA   00=0      0.5 /  4   Morphy, Paul                    20 USA 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paulsen, Louis                  24 GER   =01=0000  2.0 /  8   Morphy, Paul                    20 USA 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

68 games: +26 =7 -35

SCID’s KO results for the 4nd round match play for 3rd and 4th places, i.e. Lichtenhein and Raphael.

1st American Chess Congress - 3rd/4th place playoff
New York, NY USA, 1857.10.29 - 1857.10.31

4:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lichtenhein, Theodore  28 USA   111  3.0 /  3   Raphael, Benjamin      38 USA 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3 games: +2 =0 -1

 

CBlight KO table results

(Click on image to enlarge)

zzz

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