NEW YORK 1889 AND 1924

The world championship match between Steinitz and Zukertort in 1886 had stimulated the interest for chess in the USA. Ellsworth, Schubert and Steinitz prepared a proposal for the Sixth American Chess Congress. The main event would be a double round tournament of twenty players. A world championship match should follow. When the required sum of $5000 became available in 1888, the tournament was scheduled for the next year. Steinitz and Chigorin played their first world championship match in Havana from 20 i until 24 ii 1889. Steinitz won with 10½-6½. 

New York 1889 started a month later. Steinitz withdrew as participant, much to the horror of the organising committee, but he remained available for organising tasks and as author of the tournament book. Participants were ten Europeans (Bird, Burn, Blackburne, Chigorin, Gossip, Gunsberg, Mason, Pollock, Taubenhaus and Weiss) and ten Americans (DG Baird, JW Baird, Burille, Delmar, Hanham, Judd, Lipschütz, MacLeod, Martinez and Showalter). Six games per week were played at 8 Union Square from 1-5 and 7-11 PM. A time limit of 15 moves was regulated by stop-clocks. Draws counted as half a point in the first cycle of nineteen rounds, but had to be replayed once during the second cycle. The tournament would last from 25 iii until 27 v 1889. 

pgn-file of New York 1889 (46 games)       zip-file of CBase-files of New York 1889

Max Weiss plays with Mikhail Chigorin.

The large Isidor Gunsberg watches in the middle. Lipschütz stands behind him.

 

Results of the seven prize winners

              1  2  3  4  5  6  7      Others

1 Weiss      ** 1½ ½1 ½1 ½0 10 ½½  7  +  22  =  29   I/II   $875

2 Mason      0½ ** ½0 0½ 11 01 11  6½ +  15½ =  22   VII    $200

3 Lipschütz  ½0 ½1 ** ½1 01 01 0½  6  +  19½ =  25½  VI     $300

4 Gunsberg   ½0 1½ ½0 ** 11 01 ½0  6  +  22½ =  28½  III    $600

5 Chigorin   ½1 00 10 00 ** ½1 11  6  +  23  =  29   I/II   $875

6 Blackburne 01 10 10 10 ½0 ** 01  5½ +  21½ =  27   IV     $500

7 Burn       ½½ 00 1½ ½1 00 10 **  5  +  21  =  26   V      $600

The playoff between Weiss and Chigorin resulted in four draws.

Joseph Blackburne

Amos Burn

Samuel Lipschütz

James Mason

 

New York 1889 consisted of 38 normal, 8 replay and 4 playoff rounds, all-together 50 rounds!

The star of the event was Max Weiss. He won sixteen and drew seven games before the first replay round during the second cycle. That day started with a win in 68 moves. Thereafter the game against DG Baird was replayed. Weiss achieved a won endgame but lost in 113 moves eventually. His accuracy was gone and he lost against Blackburne in 57 moves the next day. At the end Weiss shared the first prize, because Chigorin caught up with him.

New York 1889 can be regarded as the first candidates’ tournament. The winner had the obligation to start a match against Steinitz within a month. ‘Both masters expressed the desire not to be compelled to play a championship match’. The Committee decided to cancel the event. Weiss returned to Austria. He won the Kolisch Memorial, Vienna 1890, without a loss. Thereafter he concentrated on his work for the Rothschild Bank. His solid chess precedes the style of Marco, Schlechter and Maróczy.

The third prize winner Gunsberg was interested in a match against Steinitz in New York. First Gunsberg drew a match against Chigorin in Havana at the beginning of 1890 (11½-11½). Then his challenge was accepted by Steinitz. They played a match at the Manhattan Club later that year. Steinitz won with 10½-8½.

Steinitz extensively wrote about New York 1889 in the International Chess Magazine and The Book of the Sixth American Chess Congress, New York 1891. His publications showed profound positional insights and limited tactical wit. A match between Steinitz and Weiss would have brought together the best positional players of 1889. 

 


 

A visit of Alekhine to New York led to a contact with Harry Latz of the Alamac Hotel on New Year’s Eve. The super tournament New York 1924 was organized within two months. Main competitors were world champion José Capablanca and his predecessor Emanuel Lasker. 

Lasker tried to travel from Finland, but his ferry stuck in the ice. The 56-years-old Emanuel left the boat and walked many miles to a railway station. He arrived timely in Hamburg and met Alekhine, Bogoljubow, Maróczy, Réti, Tartakower and Yates. They steamed with the SS Cleveland on 28 February and joined Capablanca, Marshall, Janowsky and Edward Lasker in New York. Only Rubinstein and Nimzowitsch were missing from the top players.

The tournament was played in two cycles from 6 iii until 18 iv 1924. Fifteen minutes before each round, the number of the round was drawn in order to lessen the influence of preparation. It had a poor effect. Geurt Gijssen counted five times White and five times Black in a row for Yates. The games by Lasker and Capablanca have been analysed. 

 

pgn-file of New York 1924 (39 games)       zip-file of CBase-files of New York 1924

Lasker got $1500 for his first prize, generous payment for expenses and still complained. He was not invited for New York 1927. Capablanca gained $1000, compensation for costs and an extra fee.

S.S. Cleveland

New York 1924

The Alamac Hotel

 

                  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11

1 Lasker          ** ½0 1½ ½1 11 11 11 ½1 ½1 ½1 11 16

2 Capablanca      ½1 ** ½½ ½½ 01 ½1 11 11 1½ ½1 ½1 14½

3 Alekhine        0½ ½½ ** ½½ 10 1½ ½½ ½½ 11 ½½ 11 12

4 Marshall        ½0 ½½ ½½ ** ½1 0½ 01 ½0 ½1 1½ 11 11

5 Réti            00 10 01 ½0 ** ½½ 01 11 10 10 11 10½

6 Maróczy         00 ½0 0½ 1½ ½½ ** 01 ½½ 11 ½1 10 10

7 Bogoljubow      00 00 ½½ 10 10 10 ** 01 11 ½1 01 9½

8 Tartakower      ½0 00 ½½ ½1 00 ½½ 10 ** 10 ½0 ½1 8

9 Yates           ½0 0½ 00 ½0 01 00 00 01 ** 11 ½1 7

10 Edward Lasker  ½0 ½0 ½½ 0½ 01 ½0 ½0 ½1 00 ** 0½ 6½

11 Janowsky       00 ½0 00 00 00 01 10 ½0 ½0 1½ ** 5

 

 

Page about super tournaments

Go to home page