U. S. Chess Masters, 1856
D.S. Roberts; C.H.
Stanley; James Thompson; G. Hammond; T. Loyd; C.D. Mead; H.P. Montgomery;
F. Perrin; N. Marache; and W.J.A. Fuller.
- D. S. Roberts is
Daniel S. Roberts of the Mechanic's Institute Chess club in San Francisco.
In 1856, he was president of the Brooklyn Chess Club but moved to
California just prior to the 1857 Congress.
- T. Loyd is Thomas Loyd, brother of Sam and Issac Loyd, all chess
William James Appleton
Fuller was born at Boston, April 8th, 1822.
After spending some time at Harvard College, he paid a brief visit to
Europe. He commenced playing chess at sixteen; and enjoyed the instruction
of Mr. Hammond, who, with Dr. Oliver, used to play with him at odds. A
checkered life gave him but few opportunities to cultivate the game. Among
his numerous adventures, we are told that "he has hunted whales in the
Polar seas - swam for a wager, and most unexpectedly for life, at Niagara
Falls and among the amphibious Fayaways of the tropics - taught school and
edited newspapers in the Far West - lost his way and everything else but
his life, in crossing the wilderness on his route to California - doubled
every cape and horn on the globe - and last, not least, drunk champagne
with M. Godard while high up in a balloon." Although he taught chess while
on a whaling voyage to the officers of the ship, and encountered in Cuba
the magnates of the ever-loyal isle, he did not resume regular practice of
the game until he settled in New York in 1854. Then he entered the Club,
and in the following year took charge of a Chess department in Frank
Leslies Illustrated Newspaper, where he displayed high literary as
well as powerful Chess abilities. He was chiefly instrumental in giving
accelerated impulse to the outward march of the game, and his brilliant,
humorous, and instructive column aroused an enthusiasm for our sport,
which had never before been experienced by the public of this country. Mr.
Fuller is now (1859) engaged in the successful practice of the law, in New
York, and is an Honorary Member of the New York Club.
-Prof. George Allen, 1859
A similar biography, written
by Max Lange, can be read here.
Fuller was a law partner with
Leon Abbett and had offices located at 229 Broadway, New York and at 250
Washington Street & 16 Sussex Place, Jersey City.
Fuller's wife was 5 years
younger than he. I don't know her name. They had 3 daughters: Kate,
born in 1851; Josie, born in 1853; and Daisy, born in 1855.
The only games of W. J. A. Fuller readily
available are those he played against Meek
which were listed in the Book of the 1st American Chess Congress.
through them below or download the pgn here.
When Morphy was writing his
chess column for the New York Ledger, he
refused to answer any correspondence associated with that journalistic
endeavor. Bonner hired Fuller to answer Morphy's mail, consulting with
Morphy only when dealing with important issues.
In 1886 Thomas Frére asked
Fuller to contribute to the programme of the Steinitz-Zukertort match
to which Fuller wrote his Chess Reminiscences of Morphy. The
following is the encapsulation presented by Sergeant in Morphy Gleanings
Morphy was then [in 1857] 21
years of age [actually he wasn't but 20]. His personal appearance did not
indicate genius. He was small of stature, of light build, with a dark,
black eye, pleasing manner, great urbanity and a perfect Frenchman in
politeness. He was well educated, having graduated from college and the
study of law, but his intellect was not of a very high order. Poeta
nascitur, non fit. So it was with Morphy. He was a born
chess-player. He was not made one by study and practice. Deschapelles was
the only chess-player in history who was like Morphy in this respect....
Both he and Morphy played by intuition - rather than by analysis. Chess,
like every other science, is progressive. Had either of these players
crossed lances with Zukertort or Steinitz, the world would doubtless have
seen better chess play than has been recorded.... Steinitz confirmed me in
my opinion that Morphy played some of his best moves by intuition, as it
was impossible that human brain could have thoroughly analyzed the result.
(Fuller takes, by way of
illustration, the 30th move in Morphy's fourth game of the Harrwitz match
"where the simple advance of a Pawn was followed up with such ingenuity and
accuracy," and the Queen sacrifice in his famous game against Paulsen. ...)
Morphy flashed upon the chess
worked like a meteor, and disappeared almost as suddenly as he came. His
sad fate and untimely end were due to other causes than chess, as all his
friends know. After his return from Europe, he was the lion of the day,
and people vied with each other to do him honour, and to get him to play
at fashionable parties. I played more games with his than any other man.
The reason why he preferred to play with me at these parties was because I
knew I should be beaten as a matter of course, and I was not afraid to
play an open game, so that he might exhibit his great brilliancy.....
(Fuller then gives some account
of Morphy's connection with the New York Ledger. Robert Bonner, he
says, was then in the first flush of success with his paper, and paid the
highest prices for the best work. He thought he saw as advantage, at least
in the was of advertising, in having a chess column for the Ledger,
edited by Morphy.) - Sergeant
Accordingly he engaged Morphy
to edit his chess column for a year. The negotiation was made through me.
Mr. Bonner paid him in advance, with his usual unparalleled liberality,
and for one year the Ledger had a chess column. Morphy was
incorrigibly lazy and Mr. Bonner would not continue his services at any
price for another year. Moreover, his readers were not particularly
interested in chess. ....There were some things connected with this chess
column that were curious, and would greatly interest chess-players, but it
would be contrary to the lex plumae to reveal them without Mr.