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Lasker's Chess Magazine
January 15, 2005
The Bishop Berkeley has once again graced us with the blessings from the treasures of his research into the archaic volumes buried deep within the Mechanics' Institute Chess Library.



Emanuel Lasker:
born in Berlinchen, Prussia, on December 24, 1868
died in New York, New York, on January 13, 1941

Between November 1904 and 1909
 Lasker published Lasker's Chess Magazine



Lasker's Chess

Copyright, 1905, by Emanuel Lasker

  vol.1                                                                   February, 1905                                                               No. 4



     The Baltimore Chess Association is one of the oldest in the United States. Although there are many larger chess clubs, we believe that the one in New Orleans is the only one that antedates it in organization. There were several which preceded the present one in Baltimore, but they were entirely extinct and passed out of existence before 1880. The present one was organized in 1880, principally through the efforts of the late Mr. A. G. Sellman, a master chess player and native of Baltimore. Mr. Sellman participated in the Fifth American Chess Tournament in New York, and in the London Tournament, which was held a few years later. He also edited several chess columns in Baltimore. His strong play and great success were some of the causes which led to the success of the movement. During the first fifteen years of its existence, it numbered

among its members all the prominent amateur players of the city, and among its visitors, at various times, were such master players as Wm. Steinitz, Dr. J. H. Zukertort, Capt. MacKenzie, J. W. Showalter, J. H. Blackburne, A. B. Hodges, I. Gunsberg, H. Bird, Emanuel Lasker, H. N. Pillsbury, F. J. , Marshall, and Dr. W. H. K. Pollock.
     The last named gentleman came here after his success in the Sixth American Chess Congress in 1889, and made Baltimore his home until the time of his death. It was due to his brilliancy of play, and charming personality, that the association flourished more than at any time previous or since. The chess column which he edited here, in the Baltimore Sunday News, was only equaled by that in the New Orleans Times Democrat, and superior to every other in this country. About 1894 he returned to his father's home in England, and there died.
     After his departure, the association lan-

In the article above, Lasker seems to assert that the New Orleans Chess Club had been one of the first, if not the first, chess club in America, followed by the Baltimore Chess Club. He also asserts that the Baltimore chess column was second only to to the New Orleans chess column in their respective newspapers. While the Manhattan Chess Club of New York and the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club of San Francisco were the longest uninterrupted chess organizations, it's apparent the chess was flourishing in all areas of the United States, particularly in coastal cities.


A young and promising player has been found by Mr. A. Ettlinger, of the Manhattan Chess Club, in the person of Jose Raul Capablanca, of Cuba. Master Capablanca is now sixteen Years of age and is a pupil at the Woodycliff School, of South Orange, N. J.
    Youthful precocity is ascribed to the young player which antedates that of any other exponent of chess known to history. It is related that at the age of four and one-half years while watching his father and a captain of the Spanish Army playing chess he laughed loudly at a critical point in the game and upon being questioned as to the merriment he reluctantly told his father that the last move was not in accord with his ideas of correct play. Analysis of the position proved that the move was not a good one and that it compromised the position. He had learned the game by watching his father play. He only played occasionally after this until he entered the school at Mantanzas when he was eight and for two or more years averaged two games a week. The civil war in Cuba interfered with his school life and during the two years of 11 to 13 he was able to devote a large share of his time to a study of the game. While he was eight years of age he played with Golmayo, Vasquez, Delmonte, Paredes, Gavilon, and Fiel, the young player receiving odds, and making good scores, and frequently winning games at even against the last four. In a match of four games against Juan Corzo, considered the strongest player in Cuba. according to this report, no decision was reached. In a further match of ten games Capablanca won four and six were drawn. Corzo won a later match from the young player These battles were contested when he was twelve years of age.
   Early in January Master Capablanca showed his skill at the Manhattan Chess Club by winning a game from Mr. Joseph D. Redding, wherein he was tested at the conclusion


of the game by Mr. Redding with the request that he state what would have happened had a certain move been made in the middle game. He replied immediately that it would have led to a mate in ten moves and demonstrated the mate.
     The principal of the Woodycliff School has advised the youthful player to forego chess until his studies are concluded.

A game with living pieces was played recently at the Nostrand Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, the game being conducted by Hayward Cleveland, of Jamaica, white and L. U. Shapter, black. At the opening of the evenings play Mr. Cleveland gave an interesting lecture on the history of the game, referring to chess as the greatest theme in antiquity, excepting Christianity, with the largest and most diverse literature, claiming clients in every clime and station, from sovereign to slave and president to pauper.
"We do homage to-night," he said, "to the king of games, purely a test of skill, the element of chance eliminated, presenting no demoralizing temptations, clean, wholesome, and stimulative of mental effort along right lines. Chess is offered you as a viceless game, worthy of practice in every home. It transcends space, is played by correspondence, telegraph, telephone, cable and by wireless between ships at sea."
The game was a Vienna and occupied about an hour and a half. It was won by Mr. Shapter.


In this article Lasker introduces the reader to the boy who would later usurp his crown.


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