PROSPECTUS OF THE NATIONAL CHESS CONGRESS,
COMMENCING IN NEW YORK, OCTOBER 6TH, 1857
The circular issued on the seventeenth of last April,
by the New York chess Club, for the purpose of ascertaining the feasibility and
propriety of a general assemblage of the Chess Players resident in America, met
with a hearty and zealous response from the Amateurs and Clubs of the United
States. So favorable was the feeling everywhere manifested, that it seemed
advisable to proceed with the undertaking, and to complete at once the
preliminary arrangements. The size of the Republic, the broad extent of the
territory covered by the different Chess Associations, stretching as they do
from New England to California, and the business engagements of a large number
of prominent friends of Chess, rendered it necessary to reconcile the many
conflicting interests in the choice of the locality and season. At length, after
considerable correspondence, both with individuals and Clubs, in reference to
these points, the Committee of Management have the satisfaction of announcing
that the first Chess Congress of America will assemble in the city of New York,
on TUESDAY, THE SIXTH OF OCTOBER, 1857, and continue its sessions until the
fifteenth of the same month, or until its business is finished. The Committee
feel a real pleasure in stating that they not only have assurances of a full
attendance from the Atlantic, Southern and Western states, but that several of
our Chess brethren from the shores of the Pacific, have signified their
intention to be present on the occasion. No efforts will be wanting on the part
of the Committee of Management, to make the gathering every way worthy of the
game and the country. The Congress will be conducted, as nearly as possible, in
accordance with the following
PROGRAM OF PROCEEDINGS
The first feature of the
Congress will be one or more
SESSIONS FOR DEBATE
in which the
interests of American Chess and the present condition of the Chess Code, will be
fully discussed. A National Chess Association, composed of delegates from all
the Clubs, and assembling once in two or three years, to watch over and further
the development of the game in this country, is very generally thought
desirable. All readers of Chess journals are aware, too, that among the matters
occupying the attention of the public, in both the New and Old Worlds, none is
more important or worthy of notice than a revision of the Chess Laws. Both of
these subjects will therefore be taken into consideration by the Congress. In
order that unnecessary time may not be consumed in debate, and to enable the
members to arrive at a more ready understanding of the questions presented, the
Committee have thought proper to appoint the following Special Committees, who
will report on the subjects assigned them at an early session:
COMMITTEE ON THE CHESS CODE
Professor George Allen, of Philadelphia.
Professor Henry Vethake, of Philadelphia.
Samuel Lewis, M. D., of Philadelphia.
Mr. Paul Morphy, of New Orleans.
Professor H. R. Agnel, of West Point.
COMMITTEE ON AN AMERICAN CHESS ASSOCIATION
Mr. A. R. Gallatin, of New York.
Mr. Henry R. Worthington, of Brooklyn.
Mr. George Hammond, of Boston.
Mr. James Morgan, of Chicago.
Mr. T. J. Grotjan, of San Francisco.
In addition to these reports, any papers on subjects
connected with literary, theoretical, or practical Chess, that may be
communicated by amateurs, either of this country of Europe, shall receive the
utmost attention at the hands of the Committee, and shall be submitted by them
to the Congress.
THE GRAND TOURNAMENT.
A Grand Tournament, composed of acknowledged,
first-class players, receiving no odds from other players, or from each other,
is intended to form the second feature. The contest will, it is hoped, secure
many valuable additions to the literature of practical chess, and furnish a
satisfactory criterion for determining the relative rank and actual strength of
our foremost practitioners. The entrance fee to this tournament, which must be
deposited with the Treasurer of the Committee on or before the fifth day of
October, at 3 P.M. Should the number of entrances amount to any even and easily
divisible number, say thirty-two, they shall be paired off by lot, and commence
their games simultaneously. The sixteen players winning three out of five games,
are to be declared victors of the first section of the Tournament, and the
sixteen losers excluded from all further share in the contest. The sixteen
winners are then to be paired off by lot as before, the eight couples beginning
their matches simultaneously. The eight winners of the first three games are to
be declared victors in this second section of the Tournament, and the eight
losers excluded from all further share in the contest. The eight winners are to
be paired off by lot as before, the four couples beginning their matched
simultaneously. The four winners of the first three games are to be declared
victors in this third section of the Tournament, and entitled to the four
prizes. To determine the order in which the prizes shall be distributed, the
four prize-bearers will then be paired off against each other as before, each
couple to play the best of five games. The two winners of this fourth section of
the Tournament shall then play a match for the two highest prizes, and the
player winning the first five games shall be entitled to the first prize - the
second prize going to the loser. The two losers of the fourth section of the
Tournament, shall also contend for the thirst and fourth prizes. The winner of
the first three games shall receive the third prize - the fourth prize going to
Upon the assembling of the combatants in this
Tournament, should the entrances amount to a number less adapted for ultimate
division than thirty-two, the Committee of Management, in conjunction with the
players themselves, shall arrange the method of play.
PRIZES IN THE GRAND TOURNAMENT
deducting from all the moneys received the sum necessary to defray expenses, and
to publish the Book of the Congress, as well as the amount of prizes offered in
the Minor Tournament, and in the Problem Tournay, the remainder of the fund will
be divided into prizes to be given to the victors in the Grand Tournament in the
The First Prize shall consist of three-fifths of this
The Second Prize shall consist of one-fifths of this
The Third Prize shall consist of two-fifteenths of
The Fourth Prize shall consist of one-fifteenth of
THE MINOR TOURNAMENT
In order to satisfy the large class of Chess players
scattered throughout the country, who have not yet attained the highest rank, a
Minor Tournament has been arranged. This will comprise of such players who may
choose to enter the lists, who are in the habit of receiving odds of at least a
Pawn and Move from those participating in the Grand Tournament. The entrance fee
to this contest, which is to be paid to the Treasurer of the Committee of
Management, on or before the fifth of October, will be Five dollars. The method
of play will be the same as the Grand Tournament. The Committee offer the
PRIZES IN THE MINOR TOURNAMENT
The First prize will be Seventy-five dollars.
The Second prize will be Fifty dollars.
The Third prize will be Twenty-five dollars.
The Fourth prize will be an inlaid Chess Board.
SPECIAL AND CONSULTATION MATCHES.
Should time and other circumstances permit, the
Committee will arrange, after the conclusion of the two Tournaments, a series of
Special Matches and Consultation Games, between prominent players. Suitable
prizes will be offered for competition in these contests.
THE PROBLEM TOURNAY.
So much has the taste for problems increased of late
years, and so large has the number of eminent composers now become, the
Committee has bee induced to offer prizes for the best specimens of chess
strategy. They will five the best set of three problems the sum of Thirty
dollars, and five copies of the Book of the Congress; and for the second best
similar set the sum of Fifteen dollars, and three copies of the Book of the
Congress. None of the problems are to be either suicidal or conditional. The
following gentlemen have consented to act as a
COMMITTEE OF EXAMINATION AND AWARD
Mr. Eugene B. Cook, of Hoboken.
Mr. W. G. Thomas, of Philadelphia.
Mr. W. J. A. Fuller, of New York.
Mr. J. Furguson, of Lockport.
Mr. S. R. Calthrop, of Bridgeport.
THE BOOK OF THE CONGRESS
Committee of Management will publish, under proper editorial supervision, a Book
of the Congress, to comprise: - 1. A historical sketch of Chess in America.
2. A complete
account of the Congress from its inception to its end. 3. Such reports made,
papers read, or addresses delivered at the Congress as may seem of interest.
4. All of the
games played, or such a selection from them as may appear desirable, illustrated
by full and careful notes. 5. All the problems receiving prizes. 6. A list of
subscribers to the General Fund.
THE GENERAL FUND
subscriber to the General Fund, to the amount of five dollars and upwards, is
entitled to a copy of the Book of the Congress. A project so likely to benefit
materially the cause of Chess in America, cannot but commend itself to the
sympathies of every amateur. The Committee, therefore, confidently hope that
lovers of Chess throughout the United States will be both liberal and prompt in
their subscriptions. To carry the undertaking to a successful and satisfactory
issue, a large fund will be required, and the Committee wish to ascertain as
early as possible the exact amount of money likely to be placed at their
disposal. Subscriptions can be remitted direct to James Thompson, Esq, Treasurer
of the Committee of Management, 359 Broadway, New York.
communications than those containing remmittances, as to be addressed to Daniel
W. Fiske, Secretary of the Committee of Management, Chess Club, 19 East Twelfth
Street, New York.
President of the Committee.
Daniel W. Fiske,
Secretary of the
New York Chess Club, July
RULES AND REGULATIONS
The Sessions are to be held, and the Tournament played, at the New York Chess
others but subscribers to the General Fund will be admitted into the Rooms, or
allowed to participate in the debates or play.
3. The names
of all competitors in the two Tournaments, must be sent in to the Committee of
Management, on or before the first of October.
combatants in the Grand Tournament are to meet at the New York Chess Club on
Monday, the fifth of October, at three P.M. when they will be paired off by
lot, The playing will commence the following day.
combatants in the Minor Tournament are to meet at the New York Chess Club on
Monday, the twelfth of October, at three P.M. when they will be paired off
by lot, The playing will commence the following day.
6. The games
are to be played in accordance with the Code of Chess Rules, published in
Staunton's Chess Player's Hand Book, and all disputed point referred to a
Special Committee appointed by the Committee of Management, whose decision must
be considered final. Drawn games are not to be counted.
7. The hours
of play will be from 9 A.M. until 12 P.M.
8. Any player
failing to attend within a half hour of the time appointed to play, must forfeit
three dollars to the Fund, for each and every non-attendance; and after three
forfeitures, he will not be permitted to enter the lists again.
non-attendance on one occasion only, a medical certificate will be allowed to
excuse the absentee from penalty.
10. One game at
least is to be played at a sitting. After four hours, however, at the request
of either party, a game may be adjourned for one hour. All play will cease at 12
o'clock P.M. or as near that time as both parties in a game shall have played an
equal number of moves.
11. In cases
of unreasonable delay, the Committee of Management reserve to themselves the
right to limit the time to be consumed on any move, to thirty minutes.
12. As the
Committee of Management guarantee to every subscriber of five dollars and
upwards, a correct and detailed account of the Congress, all games played, and
all the problems competing for prizes, are to be regarded as their property, and
no one will be allowed to publish any of such games or problems, without their
player entering the lists in the Tournament, must consider himself ipse facto
bond by all regulations issued by the Committee of Management.
Copies of this Prospectus, with the accompanying Rules and Regulations, were
sent to the prominent journals of the large cities. Some of them copied the
pamphlet in extenso; still more noticed the undertaking with handsome
words of encouragement. The press, generally, throughout the Union, gave all
needful publicity to the scheme, and no little degree of interest was manifested
in these efforts to extend the practice of our quiet game of calculation even by
the non-chess-playing portion of the community. The great commercial panic which
commenced its ravages some weeks before the day fixed for the opening of the
Congress undoubtedly influenced unfavorably the amount of subscriptions to the
general fund. But still the sum raised was much beyond the anticipations of the
weeks before the commencement of the congress the Committee issued a final
circular, containing a list of such prominent players as had promised to attend
and a programme of arrangements. It stated that the Committee were fully
convinced of the success of the undertaking, and gave many items of information
interesting to members outside of New York City. Its importance, however, was
not great enough to warrant us printing it here. It was widely circulated, and
doubtless convinced many, who were still incredulous, that the coming festival
was likely to be one of the great events in American chess history.
COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT.
Charles D. Mead, of the New York Chess Club.
Theodore Lichtenhein, " "
James Thompson, " "
William W. Montgomery, " "
Frederic Perrin, " "
Daniel W. Fiske, " "
Daniel S. Roberts, of the Brooklyn Chess Club
Thomas Frère, " "
COMMITTEE OF CO-OPERATION.
Samuel Smith, of Philadelphia
W. G. Thomas, " "
H. P. Montgomery, " "
Samuel Lewis, M. D., " "
Professor George Allen, of Chicago
A. G. Burley, " "
J. Spenser Turner, " "
Hiram Kennicott, of New Orleans
Paul Morphy, " " "
Charles Maurian, " " "
Francis Michinard, " " "
William P. Pratt, of Cincinnati
M. P. McQuillen, " "
Le Roy Smith, " "
Selim Franklin, of San Francisco
T. J. Grotjan, " " "
William R. Wheaton, " " "
J. P. Haskins, of Syracuse
Geo. N. Cheney, " "
F. Lester, " "
W. T. Johnson of Augusta, Me.
Edwin J. Weller, of Boston, Mass.
S. R. Cathrop, of Bridgeport, Conn.
Thomas Loyd, of Keyport, N. J.
Ambrose A, White, of Baltimore Md.
Mason Brown, of Frankfort, Ky.
David Parry, of Belmont, Buckingham co., Va.
A. B. Meek, of Mobile, Ala.
Tomas Hamilton, of St. Louis, Mo.
Louis Paulsen, of Dubuque, Iowa.
Daniel Rohrer, of St. Paul, Min.
T. B. Baillie of Sacramento, Cal.