VOL. I. FEBRUARY, 1898.
The Manhattan Chess Club.
Col. W. F. Morse.
Director's Room of the Manhattan Chess
Club - 1898
the summer of 1877, a little band of chess players were wont to meet in the Café
at 49 Bowery, New York, to indulge in
their favorite game. They were mostly members of clubs then existing, but also
included several who had not yet attached
themselves to any organization, and who were fond of an occasional game. This
little coterie of patrons of the Café Logeling
were most hospitably cared for by the proprietor, Mr. Logeling, a man of wide
and liberal ideas, a most genial and attentive host,
and a chess player.
An upper room, built out over the garden, at the back
of the café, was set aside for the players, tables and men were furnished,
and the wants and comforts of the inner man were duly supplied—for a
consideration. Here in the hot summer days, battles were
won and lost by acknowledged champions of the chess circles of the metropolis.
Wandering knights-errant from every part of the
world, and players in and out of the city, drifted here, drawn to this common
ground by a love for the royal game, where they
were unfettered by restrictions, accountable only to each other for their
behavior, and amenable only to the liberal regulations of
Mr. Logeling as to rules of order. It was a congenial fraternity of select
spirits, united by the all-enduring enthusiasm which is
characteristic of the true devotee of "Caissa." A tournament, proposed and
provided for by the large-hearted proprietor of the
café, presently developed the fact that rather an unusual number of good chess
players were patrons of the house, and also that
there was a strong impression in the minds of about half a dozen of the leaders
that each was the champion, "par excellence" of
this knot of players. The question not being satisfactorily settled in the
preliminary skirmish, some bold spirits proposed to
organize a club and take over the fight under more stringent rules and with the
benefits that would come from a regular
organization. This was debated pro and con, until Mr. A. Ettlinger cut the knot
by drawing up a paper for signatures reading as
follows : "Call to form a Chess Club, November 24, 1877, at Café Logeling Chess
Rooms. Gentlemen in favor of forming a
Chess Club at the Café Logeling and willing to become members of such, will
please sign their names." There was no long
preamble or string of "Whereases" or formal resolutions. Nothing could be
simpler or more direct. The call was signed by the
following gentlemen, the names taken in the order in which they appear on the
1. A. Ettlinger.
2. S. H. Pretzfelder.
3. J. H. Lurie, M. D.
Dr. L. Moser.
5. M. Frankel.
6. Chas. M. Saulson.
7. Jno. VV. Baird.
8. Thomas Frère.
9. D. Graham (Baird).
10. Chas. Mohle.
11. A. Loeb.
12. C. W. Logeling.
13. L. H. Hellwitz.
14. Edwin Werner.
15. L. Colín.
16. Jos. Alexander.
17. L. D. Cohn.
18. W. D. Cohn.
19. Paul von Frankenburg.
20. Henry Edwards
21. A. Aschkinass.
22. S. Rosenfeld.
23. F. Bodé.
24. M Kalmas.
25. C. H. Fowler.
26. Leopold Levy.
27. H. Rnobel.
28. S. Gallinek.
29. C. E. Randrup.
30. A. Mohle.
31. A. L. Grutter.
32. Dr. Owen.
To this list of names there were added, at the next meeting, J. W.
Brainsby, D. D. Peters, Julius Schirmer, J. M. Shanahan, and
J. S. Ray, making thirty-seven names, all of whom, except two, S. Rosenfeld and
M. Frankel, were corporate members of the
club at the date of the adoption of the constitution. Of these thirty-seven, the
greater number have kept their membership in the
club until the last few years, when death and old age have taken many of them
from the list, but there are still ten of the original
number who are now members. The names of those who have been with the club from
the beginning are :
1, Jno. W. Baird; 2, D. Graham Baird; 3, F. Bodé; 4, L. Cohn; 5, L. D. Cohn; 6,
W. D. Cohn; 7, A. Ettlinger; 8, Thos.
Frère; 9, J. H. Lurie, M. D.; 10, S. Rosenfeld.
All these gentlemen are now taking the same interest, fighting the
same battles and just as zealous for the honor, dignity and
success of the club as in the old days. They are our veterans, they have borne
the heat and labor of the battle, they have helped
to carry the organization through successive years of good and ill fortune, and
are well entitled to the furlough which they do not
ask. All have been champions of the club or of their classes, all have been
officers in various capacities, and to them is largely due
the success and prosperity which the club enjoys at the present time.
To Mr. Thos. Frère especially this club owes a debt of gratitude that can hardly
be repaid. His was the pen that wrote the first constitution, the rules of play
and the regulations for tournaments and matches. His skillful counsel directed
the club's course in many a complicated entanglement that afterwards arose. Long
may our oldest and most respected member be spared to us. Despite his advanced
age, he still enjoys a skirmish and manifests as much interest in the game and
the players as of old.
The names of the Baird brothers have long since been among the
foremost of the chess players of the country, appearing in nearly all the
National Tournaments of the past twenty years, and their victories form a part
of the club history down to the present day.
The brothers Cohn, Dr. L. Cohn, Mr. Bodé, Mr. Ettlinger, Dr. Lurie and Mr. S.
Rosenfeld are the same efficient, active members as of old, and have repeatedly
served the club in many places of trust and responsibility. Always to the front
when the reputation and success of the club is at stake, always prompt to speak
their sentiments, the more recent members have learned to look to them for
We honor our " Old Guard " that bring to us the traditions of the
past, and unite us to the former regime of New York chess players, in
perpetuating the unbroken line of chess enthusiasts that began with the
formation of the first club in New York in the
days of 1801.
The first regular meeting under the call to form a club was held
December i, 1877, at the Café Logeling. Mr. L. D. Hellwitz was
chairman, and David Graham (Baird) secretary. There were present, Messrs.
Hellwitz, D. G. Baird, J. W. Baird, Ettlinger,
Edwards, Alexander, L. D. Cohn, C. W. Logeling, Aschkinass, Loeb and Frère.
The minutes made by the secretary are singularly modest and
somewhat meagre. There was a spirit of mutual deference and a
marked unwillingness to commit the new organization to anything like a formal or
hasty action, which indicated that the members
were determined to proceed cautiously and be sure they were right before they
went ahead. "Suggestions" seemed to have
prevailed instead of formal resolutions, and these insinuating suggestions
evidently met with a better reception, and had an abiding
force that accomplished their purpose better perhaps than anything of a more
It was suggested "that Mr. G. Logeling furnish rooms, light, fuel,
chessmen, and tables and attendance gratis," a suggestion that
covered a broad field and started the new club full-fledged with house and home
comforts at one stroke; and this gentle hint
seems to have been received in good humor by Mr. Logeling, for we find no
"Suggested" also that the entrance fee be fixed at $1.00 and the
dues at $4.00 per year, payable quarterly, a most modest and
unexciting scale of expenses.
"Suggested" that the new club be named the "Metropolitan" or the "
Morphy" or the "Manhattan Chess Club," showing a
remarkable fondness for the letter "M" that was to be a distinguishing feature
for the new organization.
The final "suggestion," which was a keynote for the future
observance of the club and was evidently the thought of some far-
sighted and astute man whose well-balanced mind knew the value of a good dinner
as a means of harmony, was "that we hold a
yearly banquet in order to establish social and friendly feeling between our
On December 8, 1877, a meeting was held that produced momentous
results and formulated the softly spoken suggestions of
the previous meeting into many and weighty conclusions, culminating in a
formidable and well-equipped organization prepared
to take the field boldly against all comers. This suggestion met with the
unanimous and heartfelt approval of everybody, and set
the example that has been religiously followed each successive year.
A constitution and by-laws drafted by a committee comprising Messrs. Frère,
Ettlinger and Logeling. was reported and
unanimously adopted. This constitution and by-laws, printed in a modest little
pamphlet of eight pages, of which one solitary copy
now remains in the possession of the club, contained the germs of future
West Room of the Manhattan Chess Club - 1898
Room of the Manhattan Chess Club - 1898
Library of the Manhattan Chess Club - 1898
The wise foresight and experience of our
founders taught them to avoid many pitfalls and dangers that had been fatal to
clubs, and to define the future within strict lines from which there was no
appeal except an overwhelming vote of all the club
This constitution premises, that "this club is for the advancement
and practice of chess, and the promotion of social
No dallying with the delusive game of cards, no admission of
checkers, nothing that would divert attention from the serious and
solemn duty to play chess, was allowed. This club was to be for chess, simple,
severe, complete and absolute, and only the
pleasures of social intercourse, the enjoyment of good dinners and all the
accompaniments thereto would be tolerated.
Outsiders would think and say that a good dinner and chess are not
compatible; we know better, and our experience of
twenty-one years of constant chess and alternating dinners proves that we are
correct. The duties of the officers (with one
exception) under this new constitution were simple and not exacting.
The president was constituted dictator, and ruled with the help of
an executive committee who were not officers, but whose
terms of office were the same as the president's.
This executive committee governed the club rooms, the matches and
tournaments, the banquets, pretty much the whole
machinery of the club being in their control, but it was provided that not more
than $25 should be spent for any one purpose
without the consent of the club by vote.
The by-laws, few and simple, merely provided for carrying on the
business of meetings.
The election of officers for the term ending at the annual meeting
in January, 1879, came next in order, and resulted in the
following staff for the first year : President, L. H. Hellwitz; vice-president,
A. Ettlinger; recording secretary, C. W. Logeling;
corresponding secretary, Chas. Mohle; treasurer, L. D. Cohn; executive
committee, the president, T. Frère and Dr. Lurie.
The new club was formally named "The Manhattan Chess Club, of New York," and
true to its spirit of confraternity and
promotion of social feeling by caring for the inner man, the minutes record
"that the club accepted the invitation of Mr. G.
Logeling and partook bountifully of wine and refreshments." Special meeting,
December 22, 1877. This was evidently called to
promote the sale of tickets to the banquet, for a motion prevailed that "members
purchase their tickets and pay for them at this
meeting." It was also voted "to invite the president of the New York Chess Club
to the banquet," indicating a spirit of hospitality
and good fellowship that was another pointer for the future.
At this meeting the club began the collection of a chess library,
and authorized the executive committee to purchase a copy
of Mr. H. E. Bird's new work on "Chess Openings." This first book is still in
our library, and though in a good state of
preservation, bears marks of the prolonged and careful study in which the
studious and thoughtful members of the club must have
engaged. The author was in 1876 a resident in New York, having engaged in the
tournaments of the Fourth American Chess
Congress at Philadelphia, in which he won the third prize of $150 and a gold
In the author's preface, Mr. Bird speaks of the valuable
suggestions, aid and support given him by distinguished American
amateurs, and specially mentions Messrs. Von Frankenburg, ?. W. Logeling and Dr.
Owen, of this club.
It may not be out of place to mention here that the American
preface to this book, written by Henry Chadwick, contains a
concise history of chess in America, which is exceedingly interesting and
He dates the first real beginning of chess from the time of
Benjamin Franklin, whose "Morals of Chess" is a standing legacy left by
the philosopher to his countrymen.
He says the first book on chess published in America was printed in
1802 at Philadelphia, but does not give the author; also
that the first regular chess club in this country held its winter evening
meetings in the old City Hotel on Broadway near Trinity
Church, and was in active operation in 1801. New York City, then, has the credit
of establishing the first chess club in this
country, and we may regard all the clubs that have flourished here since then as
the legitimate children of this parent organization.
Since it is the fashion to mark the places made famous as the
habitations of celebrated men, or where notable gatherings or
events in colonial history occurred, why not take occasion to set up some
memorial of this first New York and New World
Chess Club, and do ourselves honor by remembering the heroes of the painted
squares who did valiant battle in the days of old.
The meeting of January 7, 1878, was distinguished by the inauguration of a
handicap tournament, the first of the long series of
club contests that have been renewed annually ever since. The prize for this
contest was to be a gold medal, of what design or
value is not stated. The players were arranged in three classes, and the
entrance fee was two dollars, a precedent which
has been faithfully followed.
At the special meeting of January 14, the club gathered in several
new members, among them Mr. Eugene Delmar, a decided
acquisition to its playing strength, who has added renown to the club and has
been enrolled as one of the foremost players
of this country.
The special meeting of February 11 was called to provide for a
"banquet on Washington's Birthday," February 22. These
knights-errant of the chess board evidently believed in honoring the memory of
fellow-heroes who had the good fortune to be
distinguished for various campaigns fought on other than chess fields, and they
doubtless did honor to the good cheer furnished.
On February 20, 1878, the Manhattans had finished their handicap
tournament, had decided the relative playing strength of their
men, and were yearning for the scalps of their neighbors. This infant of three
months of age began to be restless, and boldly
issued a challenge to the New York Chess Club, to try conclusions in a series of
consultation games, and moved to purchase a
silver cup valued at $20.00, to be won three times before becoming the property
of either club. Just by way of reminder that one
of the chief corner-stones and supports of the club was the promotion of social
intercourse between the members, and to make
this fact binding on all their future members, before the club adjourned that
evening there was passed a resolution to hold a
subscription dinner at every quarterly meeting; and so careful was the secretary
to have this understood, that he entered this
resolution twice on the minute-book. This may have been a little private
memorandum for his own peculiar benefit, to remind
himself to be sure to be on hand and not get left in the struggle for seats.
At the second quarterly meeting, April 4, 1878, for the first time
there was laid before the club a financial statement.
It appears that the club had received from all sources $53.00, and
there had been expended up to date $41.53, leaving on hand
the magnificent sum of $11.47 as tne total capital with which to carry out the
plans for tournament, matches, medals and prizes.
This meeting still further depleted the treasury by appropriating
$6.00 for the purchase of three chess tables.
They must have had faith in their ability to finance for the
future, and an abiding confidence in their playing power, for at this
meeting the club voted to challenge the Boston Chess Club to a series of games
The same spirit of jovial comradeship prevailed, and the executive
committee were instructed to "arrange for a picnic at their
earliest convenience." On July 4, an auspicious but tremendously hot day, a
meeting was held, but because of the heat no
business was transacted except the election of new members, of whom six were
added, bringing the membership up to fifty-
On October 4, a numerously attended meeting was held, eleven new
members elected and a handicap tournament arranged,
with five classes and four prizes of the total value of one hundred dollars.
The rules for the government of this tournament, as drawn up by Mr.
Thos. Frère were adopted, and are now, with some
modification and a few changes, still the regulations governing the play of the
On January 2, 1879, came the annual reports and election of
officers. The first year of the club life had demonstrated that the
new organization had come to stay. The membership had grown to eighty - nine,
the funds had increased to a balance of
$116.49 m the treasury, the several banquets and quarterly dinners had been duly
eaten, cementing the kindly ties of good feeling
and good chess, the library had been increased by gifts of books and engravings
from generous friends, there was a general
feeling of satisfaction with what had been accomplished and an ambition to do
still more. The election of officers resulted as
President, L. H. Hellwitz; vice-president, D. Graham Baird;
treasurer, L. D. Cohn; corresponding secretary, Louis Cohn;
recording secretary, C. W. Logeling; executive committee, T. Frère and N. Loeb,
with the president.
The challenge sent the New York Chess Club not having been
responded to, it was resolved to challenge again.
On February 21 the annual banquet was provided for, and it was
resolved that an " Exhibition of Living Chess" be presented
under the auspices of this club, an undertaking of no small magnitude and
responsibility, involving the arrangements for costuming,
training, and directing a performance at a large theatre where many people on
the stage and a great audience in the house were to
This exhibition was given at the Academy of Music on April 16,
1879. The stage was arranged as a picture. The Goddess of
Chess presided, supported by the Muses of History and Literature seated on
thrones and surrounded by brilliant Kings and
Queens of Chess with their attending courts, in vivid and picturesque costumes.
The Evil Spirit, personified, contended with an
Angel for the soul of a young man, the battle being fought in the presence of
Captain Mackenzie and Mr. E. Delmar played the game, which was won
by Mackenzie. It was a most successful and
entertaining performance and was greatly appreciated by the large audience
The match with the New York Club, played in May, resulted in a win
for the Manhattan, and the silver champagne cup won as
a prize remains with us to this day.
In June a change was made in the officers, Mr. Beuglass succeeding
Mr. Frère as a member of the executive committee, and
Mr. De Visser secretary in place of Mr. Logeling.
In August the subject of an International Chess Congress was brought before the
club, and a committee, Messrs. A. Beuglass
and Teed, were appointed to report. This committee reported in September that
progress had been made, indicating that a
successful Congress could be arranged, and that contributions towards expenses
could be expected from several clubs and many
About this time the club had outgrown its early form of government
and laws, and needed one that allowed more freedom and
room for expansion and more precise regulation of conduct.
A committee comprising the president, and Messrs. Allen, Delmar,
Frère, Saulson, Wehle, A. Mohle, Schwartz, Beuglass, and
N. Gedalia was named to prepare a new constitution, and at the meeting of
October 2 this new constitution and by-laws was
reported, discussed and adopted.
The chief changes made by this constitution consisted in enlarging
the scope and purpose of the club, providing a board of six
directors in place of the executive committee, who with the officers should be
the Board of Management, having absolute control.
It also increased the initiation fees and annual dues, made more
exact regulations for the care of the library, for the guidance of
the house committee, and for the general comfort and convenience of the members.
Though adopted in October, the officers remained the same, but a
board of directors was elected, including Messrs. De
Visser, Beuglass, N. Gedalia, and Richardson, with Frère and Loeb, previously
members of the executive committee.
Subsequently, on November 5, Mr. Beuglass resigned as director and was replaced
by Mr. Nye, and Mr. Williams was elected
recording secretary in place of C. W. Logeling.
The end of the second year was now at hand, and an examination of
the record in chess events showed an active and busy
season for the young club.
There was the match with the New York Chess Club played on our part
by Messrs. Delmar, De Visser and D. G. Baird, and
won by 6½ to 4½, winning the silver cup trophy.
Private matches between C. Mohle and D. G. Baird, won by Mohle, 5
to 3, 3 draws; between E. Delmar and A. P. Barnes,
won by Delmar, 7 to 4, 2 draws; between C. Mohle and N. Gedalia, won by Mohle, 5
to i. The first annual handicap
tournament for $100 in four prizes. First prize and championship won by C. Mohle,
second prize by L. Block, third prize by J.
W. Baird, and fourth by D. G. Baird.
The "Living Chess Exhibition," managed by a committee comprising
Messrs. Ward, De Visser, Frère and L. Cohn, and finally
the arrangements and preliminary work of the Fifth American Chess Congress,
which was to begin early in January.
These matches were played, the exhibition given, and all the immense labor of
preparation was carried on by this little club of
eighty men, whose time was also occupied by their daily avocations, for none
were men of leisure. The standing and prospects of
the club at this period were well described by Captain Mackenzie in a letter he
wrote to the German "Schachzeitung," about the
end of the year. He says: "The principal players in the Manhattan Chess Club are
Messrs. Barnes, D. G. Baird, J. W. Baird,
Bloch, De Visser, Delmar, Ettlinger, Frère, N. Gedalia, C. Gedalia, Hellwitz, ?.
Mohle, Mackenzie, Ryan, Stanley and
Von Frankenburg. There is a good social feeling among its members which is a
guarantee for the successful future of the club."
The annual meeting of January 8, 1880, resulted in the election of
the following list of officers:
President, L. H. Hellwitz; vice-president, J. D. Beuglass;
recording secretary, W. M. De Visser; corresponding secretary, F.
M. Teed; treasurer, A. Mohle; directors, Messrs. Allen, Nye, Jeniz, Gedalia, C.
Wehle and Richardson.
Messrs. Jentz and Richardson resigned later and were replaced by Messrs. C.
Gedalia and E. M. Crawford.
Now came on the " Fifth American Chess Congress," the preparatory
work of which had been going on actively during the
The history of this Fifth American Chess meeting has been so well
and fully told in the book of the Congress edited by and
largely published at the expense of Mr. C. A. Gilberg, who was the treasurer of
the Congress, that nothing can be added to this
record. It only remains to say that in the broadest sense this was a Manhattan
Chess Club affair almost entirely. The president, F.
Perrin; vice-president, H. C. Allen; secretary, F. M. Teed; treasurer, C. A.
Gilberg, and four of the executive committee,
Messrs. Frère, M. Beuglass and De Visser, were members of this club, and of the
ten contestants in the Grand Tournament, five,
Messrs. Delmar, Grundy, Mackenzie, Mohle and Ryan, were also members. The first
three prizes offered were won bv Messrs.
Mackenzie, Grundy and C. Mohle.
There were fourteen contestants in the Minor Tourney, of whom ten,
Messrs. D. G. Baird, J. W. Baird, L. Bloch, A. Ettlinger.
N. Gedalia, O. Henshel, S. Palmer, H. Thompson, A. T. Thompson, and W. M. De
Visser, were members of the Manhattan.
All the prizes were won by our men as follows : N. Gedalia, first prize; D. G.
Baird, second prize; A. Ettlinger, third prize; J.
W. Baird, fourth prize.
The labor involved in the preparation and conduct cf this Congress
was enormous, and coming as it did on the shoulders of
comparatively few, it was a severe and exacting task, extending over a period of
more than a year, for the examination of the 220
problems sent in to compete for the prizes occupied the committee until the 28th
of October, 1880.
There was at this time a great need for a new code of chess law and
playing rules, those in existence being an amalgamation of
Staunton, Bird and other chess writers, often conflicting, obscure and ambiguous
in terms and inexact in precise definitions.
A committee on a new Chess Code was appointed by the Congress, comprising
Messrs. H. Sedley, H. C. Allen, Thos. Frère, J.
D. Beuglass, E. Delmar, E. W. Owens, M. D., and G. H. Mackenzie, four of these
being from this club. This committee reported
on January 29 to the National Chess Association of the United States of America,
the organization which was formed at the
conclusion of the Fifth American Chess Congress, a "Code of Chess Laws and Rules
of Play," which was formally adopted by
the National Association and remained for seventeen years the accepted and
authorized chess laws and regulations governing the
games and matches played in this country, to be superseded in its turn by
another and more perfect code published by the
Manhattan Chess Club in 1897.
It may be fairly claimed for the Manhattan Chess Club that it
originated and carried to a triumphant end the largest and most
successful American Chess Congress that had been held up to that date, that the
results of this Congress were to bring into
existence a National American Chess Association, for which the officers, Messrs.
Col. J. R. Fellows, president, H. C. Allen,
secretary, and J. D. Beuglass, treasurer, were chosen from this club, and that
it collected and prepared the best and only
distinctive code of chess law for American players, a contribution to chess
literature that has been of great benefit to the game in
The greater part of the actual preparation of this chess code was
the work of Mr. Thos. Frère, whose name is a part of the
chess history of this club from its beginning. To Mr. C. A. Gilberg, whose
labors in providing funds, in financiering the Congress,
in editing and finally printing at his personal cost the book of the Congress, a
debt of gratitude is due from the American chess
playing fraternity that now, alas, can never be repaid.
As usual, when a chess event was to occur in the Manhattan chess
circles, it was obviously incumbent upon the club, according
to the constitution and by-laws, to celebrate or commemorate the occasion by a
sacrifice to the genius of the dining-table, and so
the banquet of this year, held on January 10, was an occasion of extraordinary
brilliancy and splendor. It was graced by the
presence of many distinguished players from other cities, and abounded in
eloquence, wit, song, and kindly courtesies.
But the months immediately following the Chess Congress meeting brought
disturbance and trouble and the resignation of several
members. It grew out of the behavior of Mr. Grundy, who was charged with
irregularity in conducting one game of his series,
leading to an inquiry being set on foot, to controversy in the club, and bitter
articles in the public print. Mr. Grundy retired from
the club in February, and all proceedings were terminated by the adoption of
resolutions placing the club squarely on the record
as condemning all practices in personal behavior or the conduct of games or
matches that might be calculated to bring reproach
upon the royal game.
Several members were desirous of committing the club to a more
radical and extreme expression in this particular case, and
because of their views not being adopted they resigned.
A challenge was issued to the Philadelphia Chess Club, but no match
could be arranged. The handicap tournament prizes
were won by Geo. H. Mackenzie, N. Gedalia and C. Mohle.
Annual meeting, January 6, 1881. An amendment was passed to the
constitution providing that a quorum should be fifteen
members, and a new list of officers were proposed and elected :
President, L. H. Hellwitz; vice-president, I. D. Beuglass;
corresponding secretary, H. Thompson; recording secretary, W. M.
De Visser; treasurer. A. Mohle; directors, Dr. Eddy, ?. ?. Crawford, J. Elson,
W. R. Parker, Chas. Wehle, B. Pallok.
The events of this year may be summed up in the brief statement of the annual
handicap, the usual banquet and a few unimportant
club matches. Captain G. H. Mackenzie, one of our leading members, had
undertaken a lengthy tour through the South, reports
from whom were in the highest degree interesting. He won the match against that
strong Western player, Max Judd, of St. Louis,
and nearly all his games in New Orleans. One note of devout thankfulness was
entered in the minutes of October 5: "The picnic
committee reported that no picnic had been inflicted on the club, and were
discharged with thanks." The annual handicap prizes
were awarded in the following order: D. G. Baird, first prize; J. W. Baird,
second prize; C. B. Isaacson, third prize; H.
Thompson, fourth prize.
The membership of the club was one hundred, and the treasurer's
report showed a balance in hand of $128.54.
Meeting of January 10, 1882: The annual election resulted in the following list
of officers for the new year : President, L. H.
Hellwitz; vice-president, L. D. Cohn; recording secretary, W. M. De Visser;
corresponding secretary, Louis Cohn; treasurer, F.
M. Teed; directors, Messrs. Crawford, McKay, J. W. Baird, Griitter, Peters and
In the directors' meeting of January 10, a curious attempt was made to determine
"whether the so-called game of four-handed
chess as played in this club" was really "chess as intended to be understood in
the constitution of the club." The chairman
decided the motion frivolous and was sustained in the decision, so we shall
never know whether we are playing chess or not,
when fighting over this quadrangular game.
The quarterly meeting, July 6, reported and adopted several
amendments to the constitution. The club was the recipient of
several gifts of playing tables, a large bookcase, and pictures, engravings and
books from Mr. S. B. Schlesinger, a member who
was enthusiastic and untiring in his efforts for the club's comfort and welfare.
In October of this year, two members of this club, the Messrs.
Muñoz, began the publication of a new chess magazine, "The
Brooklyn Chess Chronicle." About this time, the club, having increased in
membership, was financially strong, and had the
encouragement and countenance of the distinguished foreign players, Messrs.
Steinitz and Zukertort, whose presence attracted
an increased attendance.
The crowded rooms and inadequate accommodations indicated that the
time had come for an enlarged sphere of usefulness,
and a movement was set on foot to secure new rooms.
The handicap tournament of this year was closed with the following prize winners
: W. M. De Visser, first prize; ?. ?. Saulson,
second prize; F. M. Teed, third prize; D. G. Baird, fourth prize; J. W. Baird,
Annual meeting, January 4, 1883: The election of officers : President, L. H.
Hellwitz; vice-president, Geo. T. Green; recording
secretary, L. Cohn; corresponding-secretary, A. Crawford; treasurer, F. M. Teed;
directors, Messrs. L. D. Cohn, Peters,
Saulson, De Visser, Channing, I. D. Rice.
Mr. C. N. Harris replaced Mr. Crawford from March 1 as a director.
The new year started off auspiciously. In January a match was
played and won with the Danites Chess Club, of Brooklyn.
Many series of simultaneous games were played in the club by
Messrs. Steinitz, Mackenzie and Delmar. One was a famous
series of four blindfold games by Mr. Steinitz against J. W. Baird, D. G. Baird,
De Visser and Delmar.
The Steinitz-Mackenzie match was played in February and won by Mr.
Steinitz; Mr. Steinitz was made an honorary member
on March 6. Captain Mackenzie was authorized to represent this club at the
London International Chess Congress of 1883,
beginning in April, and sailed for that country in March. His score in the
tournament was a division of the fifth, sixth and seventh
prizes with Messrs. English and Mason.
During the summer, Judge G. Golmayo, of Havana, Cuba, visited the
club and made it his chess home for the summer, where
he played many interesting and skillful games.
Mr. J. McConnell, of New Orleans, played a match with Captain
Mackenzie in July.
On November 7, a Philadelphia team of fifteen players came over to
conquer and were disappointed, the score being 5 wins
for each, and 5 drawn. The return match was played November 23, the Manhattan
team going to Philadelphia, and won a
decisive victory, the score being Manhattan 10, Philadelphia 3, drawn 2, making
the total score for both matches— Manhattan
17½, Philadelphia 12½.
Mr. Zukertort played a series of games in November, among them one
set of twelve blindfold games against strong players,
winning 4, losing 6 and drawing 2.
The annual handicap tourney prizes of this year were won by D. G.
Baird, first prize; J. W. Baird, second; Captain
In May of this year, the club removed to new rooms at no East 14th
Street, and this change had a most beneficial effect upon
the prosperity and progress of the club.
Many new members were added, and the funds in the treasurer's hands
increased. The chess equipment, library and
conveniences of the rooms were greatly increased. Several expert and
distinguished players were always in attendance, and the
club was the principal and recognized headquarters of the best chess players of
the metropolis. Dr. Zukertort was made an
honorary member on November 6.
A public exhibition of chess games was held under the auspices and
management of the club on the evening of November 23,
at Steinway Hall, at which Dr. Zukertort played eight blindfold games with
members of this club, winning 3, losing 2, and
At the end of the year the Manhattan was in a high state of
efficiency and prosperity, the funds in the treasury had greatly
increased, and the rolls contained the names of more than two hundred members.
On January 3, 1884, the annual election brought as officers for the
coming year :
President, Geo. T. Green; vice-president, J. S. Curry; corresponding secretary,
Wm. M. De Visser; recording secretary,
Chas. Fisher; treasurer, F. M. Teed; directors, Messrs. Peters, Channing,
Hartshorn, L. Cohn, Hellwitz, ?. Gedalia.
G. Simonson replaced Mr. Fisher as secretary in April, and F. Wehle was a
director in place of Mr. Hellwitz from April 1.
At the banquet held at Martinelli's in March, the results of the handicap
tourney were announced as follows : Capt. Mackenzie,
first prize; D. G. Baird, second prize; S. Lipschutz, third prize; E. Delmar,
fourth prize; J. S. Ryan, fifth prize: honorable mention,
The death of Paul Morphy occurred in July, and was marked in the
club by the passage of appropriate resolutions of
condolence, and his portrait was draped with black.
This portrait of Mr. Morphy was painted by Elliott, one of the best
American portrait painters, about the time of Mr. Morphy's
last visit to New York, when he was in the prime of manhood. The picture
remained in the possession of the artist until after his
death, when it was offered for sale. Through the efforts of the then
vice-president, Mr. J. S. Curry, the portrait became the
property of this club, and it was still further enhanced in value by the gift of
a magnificent frame from Mr. Wesley Bigelow. It is
said to be one of the artist's happiest efforts in portraiture, and is perhaps
the most valuable and highly prized possession and
souvenir belonging to the club.
There was this year established a championship tournament, which
ended in June, by the victory of J. S. Ryan over all
competitors, and the award of a beautiful gold medal; P. Richardson received the
special prize for the best single game.
The distinguished chess champion of Mexico, Señor Andres Clemente
Vasquez, was the guest of the club during the early part of
the year, and took part in many interesting matches and games. Annual meeting,
January 3, 1885. The election of officers
resulted as follows :
President, G. T. Green; vice-president, J. S. Curry; recording
secretary, G. Simonson; corresponding secretary, W. M. De
Visser; treasurer, F. M. Teed; directors, Dr. L. Cohn, R. B. Hartshorn, R. H.
Channing, F. Wehle, J. D. Peters, H. H.
In April, L. Cohn replaced Mr. De Visser as corresponding
secretary, and De Visser replaced Peters as director, Alex.
Spence taking the place of L. Cohn as a director.
In May the club removed to No. 22 E.17th Street, occupying handsome and
comfortable rooms on the lower floor of the
The annual handicap tournament prizes were won by E. Delmar, first
prize; Major Hanham, second; Mr. Rothschild, third;
Captain Mackenzie, fourth; D. G. Baird and G. Simonson tied for fifth.
The championship tourney was decided in September, E. Delmar
winning the medal, and Major Hanham the special prize for
the best game against the winners.
The matches played by teams of fifteen men on each side, with the
New York Chess Club, on the evenings of June 18 and
July 18, resulted in a tie, each club being credited with a score of fifteen
No other event of general interest occurred this year, except the
conclusion of the final arrangements in November for the
match between Steinitz and Zukertort, in which the Manhattan Chess Club took a
lively interest. The club had raised the very
considerable sum of $1000 as their contribution to the stakes, stipulating only
that a portion of the games played in New York
should be at the club rooms. The date of the match was finally fixed for January
Annual meeting, January 7, 1886. The officers elected were : President, Geo. T.
Green; vice-president, J. S. Curry; recording
secretary, G. Simonson; corresponding secretary, W. M. De Visser; directors, Dr.
L. Cohn, F. Wehle, R. B. Hartshorn, H. H.
Scheffelin, G. H. Peabody and Dr. F. E. D'Oench.
A. C. Clapp replaced Mr. Simonson as secretary from June 1.
Early in the year the first series of games in the
Steinitz-Zukertort match were played in the rooms-of the Manhattan Club, the
committee in charge being President Green and Messrs. Teed and De Visser.
Beginning on January 11, the New York series terminated on January
20, Mr. Zukertort winning four games and Mr. Steinitz
one. The scene of the contest was then transferred to St. Louis and afterwards
to New Orleans, when the final rounds occurred.
The match was won by Mr. Steinitz with the score of 10 games won, 5 games lost,
and 5 drawn.
The handicap tournament of the club was ended in April, the winners
being Thomas Frère. Messrs. Mackenzie, Ryan, and
Hyde, who tied for first, second and third prizes, and Messrs. Hartshorn and
Hanham for fourth and fifth. These results were
announced at the annual banquet on April 17. The championship tournament for
this year ended in June, Mr. Hanham winning
first prize, and J. S. Ryan second.
In June the Manhattan Chess Club delegated Messrs. Mackenzie and
Hanham to represent the club in the British Chess
Association Tournament, held in London, beginningjuly 12, 1886. These gentlemen,
though not successful in bringing back prizes,
did themselves and the club honor in the fight.
In September the club appointed Messrs. De Visser, Whistler and L.
Cohn delegates to a conference to organize a Sixth
American Chess Congress.
Annual meeting, July 6, 1887, resulting in the election of:
President, G. T. Green; vice-president, J. S. Curry; recording
secretary, J. C. Hume; corresponding secretary, W. M. De Visser; treasurer, F.
M. Teed; directors, Dr. L. Cohn, Dr. F. E.
D'Oench, R. B. Hartshorn. F. Wehle, J. W. Baird and S. Lipschutz.
The annual handicap tournament was decided in March, the winners
being : H. H. Schieffelin, first prize; C. C. Clapp, second
prize; J. S. Ryan, third prize; D. G. Baird, fourth prize; J. W. Baird, fifth
The club received a challenge from the New York Chess Club and accepted same.
These matches were played on May 17,
21, 27, the final score being 17 to 15, in favor of the New York Chess Club;
this was the first defeat in match playing the club
had met with, and showed there was a screw loose somewhere, and was a strong
reminder that the members should brush up
their wits for the next match encounter, which occurred June 11, with the
Brooklyn Chess Club. Two matches were played, the
score of the first being 9½ for Manhattan, 2½ for Brooklyn. The second match was
played on June 25, the score then being
Manhattan 8½, Brooklyn 3½, a total score of 18 to 6 in our favor.
The projected Sixth American Chess Congress could not be launched,
and the scheme was abandoned temporarily. This year
was not altogether "an unmixed joy," as many petty dissensions brought trouble
and annoyance affecting the welfare of the club.
The championship tournament prize of this year was won by S.
Meeting of January 5, 1888. Election of officers: President, S. B.
Schlesinger; vice-president, W. M. De Visser; recording
secretary, Geo. D. Eaton; corresponding secretary, Dr. L. Cohn; treasurer, L. D.
Cohn; directors, Messrs. Curry, Lipschutz,
Seymour, Westerfield, Green and Stockman.
Mr. Sabater replaced Mr. Seymour from October 4.
The year opened with a struggle on the part of some members at the
annual meeting to have the game of whist adopted as a
part of the club amusements. To this end a petition for an amendment to the
constitution was proposed and signed by twenty-five
members. The question was discussed and on a division was lost by a vote of 17
in favor and 39 against.
In January the club was challenged to a match by cable by the
Liverpool Chess Club, of England, but owing to a number of
contemplated matches on hand with clubs in this country the challenge could not
In April the match between Delmar and Lipschutz was played and won
by Mr. Delmar, score 5 to 3. The resources of the club
were increased by a handsome present from President Schlesinger of twelve fine
inlaid chess tables.
The championship tournament of the year was won by D. G. Baird, H.
Davidson taking the prize for the best single game. The
annual dues were again increased, to begin with the new year.
The club played two matches with the Columbia Chess Club, of New York, in
August, winning by the decisive score oi 21½
Meeting January 3, 1889. Officers elected for the year: President,
E. T. Westerfield; vice-president, W. M. De Visser;
recording secretary, G. D. Eaton; corresponding secretary, L. Cohn; treasurer,
L. D. Cohn; directors, Messrs. J. S. Curry, S.
Lipschutz, P. Stockman, J. Sabater, C. E. Hoffman and H. E. Taylor.
J. Maltzan replaced Mr. Curry, and Dr. F. Mintz Mr. Stockman, from
The early months of the year were occupied with preparation for the
Sixth American Chess Congress. Though the Manhattan
Chess Club took no part as a club in the Congress, the preliminary work of
securing subscriptions and preparatory
correspondence was done by a committee of members of the club, with the
assistance of Mr. Steinitz.
The officers of the Congress, the general committee, the judges and
jury, comprising a list of twenty-seven gentlemen, were all
members of this club, with three exceptions only.
The club rooms were freely tendered for the use of the various
committee meetings, and during the progress of the games the
time and services of many members were most generously placed at the disposal of
The list of twenty contestants included five from this club,
Messrs. D. G. Baird, J. W. Baird, Eugene Delmar, J. M. Hanham and
S. Lipschutz, of whom one, Mr. Lipschutz, was a prize winner.
This great event, the largest and most successful one in American
chess history, was conceived, organized, managed and
brought to a triumphant end through the efforts of individual members of the
Manhattan Chess Club, acting in concert with the
distinguished master, Mr. William Steinitz. The final arrangements in reference
to the printing and issue of the book of the
Congress were entrusted to a committee comprising four club members and Mr.
The club banquet of that year, held on the 25th of March, was
signalized by the presence of the distinguished lights of the
chess world at home and abroad, and was a most brilliant and enjoyable evening.
In May of this year the club emigrated to new and more commodious
rooms at No. 22 W. 27th Street, which were decorated
and fitted for their use. The efforts put forth in the Sixth Congress
temporarily exhausted the interest in chess for a time, as
beyond the revision of some clauses of constitution and by-laws, and the usual
club tournaments, few important chess events
occurred. Several exhibitions of simultaneous games were given by distinguished
foreign players. Mr. Tchigorin had a series of 8
simultaneous blindfold games, winning 4, losing 2, drawn 2. Mr. Weiss played 25
simultaneous games, winning 14, losing 5,
drawn 6. Mr. Gunsburg played 26 games, winning 11, losing 6, and drawing 9.
The handicap tournament resulted in a victory for H. Rosenfeld,
first prize; J. S. Ryan, second; Major Hanham, third.
The end of the year showed a considerable change in the club, many
members retiring and being replaced by new ones. Among
the notable accessions of the year was J. W. Showalter, who had shown his chess
ability in the Chess Congress and was a great
addition to the playing strength of the club.
January 7, 1890, officers elected : President, Isaac L. Rice;
vice-president, G. F. Betts; recording secretary, G. Simonson;
corresponding secretary, G. D. Eaton; treasurer, L. D. Cohn; directors, Messrs.
E. T. Westerfield, S. Lipschutz, E. Werner, F.
Mintz, S. Rosenfeld and C. Gedalia.
The chess events of the new year were mostly club matches. The
second match between Messrs. Delmar and Lipschutz was
won by the latter : score, 7 won, 3 lost, and 2 drawn.
The championship tournament prizes were won by D. G. Baird, first prize; Maj.
A handicap tournament was played in five classes, with thirty contestants. The
first prizes in each class were taken by Messrs.
Delmar, Dahl, Margulies, Richards and Northrup.
In October a challenge was received from the Franklin Chess Club,
of Philadelphia, which was declined because some of the
principal players of the club were engaged in the management of the Steinitz-Gunsburg
match then in progress.
Another handicap tournament with twenty-five players was a trial of a new method
of play. The players were divided into five
classes and the same number of groups, each group containing a representative of
each class. The winners of each group to play
a final pool for the prize. These winners were Messrs. Clapp, Baird, Scheffelin,
Fitch and Dahl.
A most interesting series of games was played in the club, in the
Steinitz-Gunsburg match, which began on December 9.
The club had contributed nearly one thousand dollars towards the stakes, and had
charge of the arrangement and conduct of
the games. The score was 6 to 4, 9 drawn, in favor of Mr. Steinitz.
On February 15, 1878, the New York and Pennsylvania Chess
Association was organized at Auburn, N. Y. Its members
were prominent professional and business men who had an abiding interest in
chess for pure love of the game. The Association
held meetings each year until 1886, when a constitution was adopted and the
title "New York State Chess Association" given to
the organization, but the Association retained those who had been previously
members of the Western New York and
the Pennsylvania Associations. Meetings were held in midsummer and midwinter,
and the tournaments attracted many
In January, 1888, the Manhattan Club joined the Association, and
many of its members participated in the tournaments
on February 22.
In 1889 Mr. Lipschutz won the championship ol the Association, Mr.
Delmar winning in 1890, and again in 1891. Thus in its
three years of membership this club had thrice won the leading honors of the
In 1890 a beautiful cup of the value of $500 was presented by Mr. O. Ottendorfer,
proprietor of the "New Yorker Staats
Zeitung," to the State Chess Association, and offered as a prize to the club
whose representative should win it three
times consecutively, or five times non- consecutively, the trophy to be known as
the "Staats Zeitung Cup." The first contest for
this cup occurred the following year.
The year ended with no other events of general interest, though
full of local and minor happenings.
Meeting of January 8, 1891. Officers elected: President, I. L. Rice; vice-
president, Colonel G. F. Betts; recording secretary, E.
A. Ford; corresponding secretary, G. D. Eaton; treasurer, A. Vorrath; directors,
W. Travers Jerome, Dr. C. L. Lindley, F.
Mintz, E. Werner, H. H. Schiffelin and E. Delmar.
Mr. E. W. Dahl replaced Mr. Schiffelin from October 4.
The championship tournament, with 1 entries, was won by Major J. M.
Hanham. No second prize was offered this year.
The winners in the first handicap tournament of this year were Major Hanham,
first prize; the second, third and fourth prizes
were divided by Messrs. Delmar, Ford and Clapp, and the fifth was won by Mr.
Captain George H. MacKenzie honorary member of this club, died April 14.
Resolutions of sorrow at the loss of this
prominent chess player were passed by the club.
In September the famous club match between the full-haired and
bald-headed members took place, with 19 contestants on
each side. The engagement was fiercely fought, and at the end the laurel crowns
of victory concealed the absence of hair on the
shining craniums of the bald-heads.
In November the first round of a match between the Manhattan and
All New Jersey chess clubs was played in the club rooms.
Teams of 22 on each side contested, the winning score being 14 to 8, in favor of
the Manhattans. The second handicap
tournament, with 29 entries, terminated in December, with the list of prize
winners as follows: A. B. Hodges, first prize (27 games
won, 2 drawn); J. H. Sweeney, second; E. A. Ford, third; E. M. Bostwick, fourth;
J. M. Hanham, fifth; C. H. Hatheway, sixth.
With the single exception of the All New Jersey match, no important encounter
with other clubs occurred during this year.
In July the midsummer meeting of the New York State Chess
Association was held at Skaneateles. Besides the tournaments, the
contest for the Staats Zeitung cup was inaugurated by representatives from the
Albany, Brooklyn, City, Staten Island and
Manhattan Chess Clubs. The result was in favor of the Manhattan Club, whose
representative, Major Hanham, won by the score
of 7 wins, 2 losses.
Meeting January 8, 1892. Election of officers: President, I. L.
Rice; vice-president, F. Mintz; recording secretary, J. H.
Evans; corresponding secretary, H. Rosenfeld; treasurer, A. Vorrath; directors,
E. W. Dahl, T. F. Northrup, George Holl, S.
Rosenfeld, M. Frankel, G. F, Betts.
The second round of the All New Jersey match was played in January,
at the Newark Club rooms, with 16 players on each
side; the score was 9½ to 6½, in favor of Manhattans, making the grand score of
the match 23½ to 14½, in favor of this club.
A class tournament was arranged early in the year, and resulted in the following
prize winners : Second class, L. Schmidt, first
prize; F. Froelich, second. Third class, P. Stevens, first; S. Silbermann,
second. Fourth class, F. H. Yeaton, first; W. Timme,
second. Fifth class, F. Bowmann, first; T. H. Evans, second.
In March the match by telegraph with New Orleans, with 10 players on each side,
was won by the Manhattan, by 6½
In April Mr. Tchigorin, the Russian master, then on his way to
Havana, played simultaneous games in the club, winning 12,
losing 2, and drawing 3.
The Showalter-Lipschutz match for the championship of the United
States was played in April and May, and won by Mr.
Lipschutz by a score of 7 to 1, 7 draws.
In October Mr. E. Lasker visited this country by invitation of the
Manhattan Chess Club. His headquarters in New York were
at this club, and he played many interesting games with the members, besides
giving many simultaneous and blindfold
performances. On October 22, he played 5 games blindfold, winning all. On
October 29, with an array of 20 players against
him, he won 15 games, lost 2, and drew 3. In the series of games with members,
he won 20, lost 2, and drew 2.
At the annual meeting of January 5, 1893, the directory elected was as follows:
President, A. Foster Higgins; vice-president, F.
Mintz (after April 22, W. Bigelow); recording secretary, G. D. Eaton;
corresponding secretary, J. G. Wilson; treasurer, G. Holl;
directors, W. Bigelow (after May 2, E. Delmar), E. W. Dahl, Max Frankel, Leo
Goldmark, T. F. Northrup (after May 2, J. W.
Baird), A. Vorrath.
On May 1, the club made its final move to its present location, No.
105 East 22d Street, occupying five rooms on the seventh
floor of the United Charities Building, and the club was then for the first time
domiciled in quarters at once convenient, accessible
and well adapted for their purposes. This move was an epoch in the history of
the club, and marks a distinct advance from the
cramped, unwholesome and distasteful surroundings of the former life, into
large, well-lighted rooms, decorated and arranged
with taste and skill, and made still more attractive by the generous gilts of a
beautiful Japanese vase and decorated pedestal from
the vice-president, Mr. Wesley Bigelow. At this time a restaurant and caterer
were installed, offering ample means for satisfying
the cravings of the inner man. The effect of this change was immediate; the
membership increased rapidly, and the whole tone
and atmosphere of the club rapidly changed for the better. The dues were at this
time again raised to keep pace with the
The championship tournament was won by Mr. Hodges, Maj. Hanham
taking second prize.
The handicap tournament, with 13 entries, was fought out, with the
result that Mr. Sweeney took the first prize, Messrs.
Wilkinson and Delmar divided the second and third, and Messrs. J. W. Baird and
Rocamora divided the fourth and fifth prizes.
The Albin-Hodges match in August, at this club, resulted in a draw, 4 games
being won by each of the contestants, with no
A match between Herr Walbrodt and Mr. Delmar was played in the club
in June, and resulted in a victory for Herr Walbrodt
by a score of 5 to 3, and 3 drawn. A movement was started in the early part of
the year to arrange for a Seventh American
Chess Congress, or, as its promoters styled it, a "Columbian Congress." Many
foreign players were invited, but the scheme fell
through and the foreign players were notified. Quite a number of them, however,
had made arrangements to attend the Congress,
and decided to take the trip to this country, despite the failure of the
Columbian Congress plan, so that the following array of
players from beyond the Atlantic were in this city in October of this year:
Messrs. Lasker, Albin, Schottlander, Taubenhaus, Lee
Advantage was taken of the presence of these chess masters, and a
tournament was arranged and played in this club, which
included all of the players named, excepting Schottlander, as well as the
strongest American players, Pillsbury, Delmar, Hanham,
Showalter and others. The contest was a memorable one, made specially so by the
sensational score of Mr. Lasker, who won
the first prize by 13 straight wins, neither losing nor drawing a game, a
wonderful performance against such opponents. Albin
won second prize, and the third, fourth, and fifth prizes were divided by
Delmar, Lee and Showalter.
The officers and directors for 1894 were: President, A. Foster
Higgins; vice-president, Wesley Bigelow; recording secretary,
C. H. Hatheway; corresponding secretary, G. D. Eaton; treasurer, G. Holl;
directors, Colonel J. B. Wilkinson, Jr., E. W. Dahl,
Max Frankel, A. Vorrath, G. H. Richards, L. Goldmark.
Mr. Pillsbury gave a blindfold performance in January, playing 8
games, winning 6, and drawing 2.
In July a match was played between Messrs. Showalter and Hodges,
which was won by Mr. Showalter by the score of 7 to
6, with 4 draws.
Messrs. Albin and Delmar played a match also in February, the
result being a win by Mr. Albin by a score of 5 to 2, no draws.
In November Mr. Taubenhaus gave a simultaneous performance against
22 players, and won 9 games, lost 8, drew 5.
At the New York State Chess Association meeting, held at Buffalo in
August, the contest for the Staats Zeitung cup was
between the Brooklyn, Buffalo, City (N. Y.), and Manhattan Chess Clubs. Mr.
Showalter represented this club, and succeeded
in winning the cup, making the second time the cup had been won by the
Manhattans. No championship tournament
was held this year.
The annual handicap tournament, with 17 entries, was begun in
October, and resulted in Messrs. Showalter and Hanham
dividing first and second prizes, Mr. Richards third, and Messrs. Fitch and
Paterson divided fourth and fifth.
The list of officers and directors for 1895 were: President, Wesley
Bigelow; vice- president, E. W. Dahl; recording secretary, C.
H. Hatheway; corresponding secretary, Dr. G. Simonson; treasurer, George Holl;
directors, Max Frankel, A. Foster Higgins, G.
H. Richards, Colonel W. F. Morse, R. Buz (after June 4, R. Beramji), A. Teller
(after February 18, A. B. Hodges).
In January a challenge was sent by this club to the British Chess
Club, of London, for a team match to be played by cable.
After some negotiations the match was arranged, and on March 9 it was played.
Ten players on each side contested for their
respective clubs, and for a trophy of the value of $100. This match, the first
attempt to play chess across the Atlantic by cable,
awakened a great deal of interest both here and abroad, and it was most
unfortunate that it could not have been fought out to a
finish. After eleven hours' play none of the games was concluded, owing to
unforeseen delays connected with the transmission of
the moves, and by consent the match was called a draw. It proved, however, that
cable matches could be carried through
successfully, only requiring the experience gained by this match, as has been
proved by similar events which have since taken
The Metropolitan Chess League, consisting of the chess clubs of New
York City and vicinity, played a series of team matches
against each other during the winter of 1894-95. The Brooklyn Chess Club was
successful in winning the trophy of the League.
The Manhattan Club during the year proposed certain changes in the constitution
of the League, which were considered vital to
its success; but, these changes not being adopted by the other clubs, the
Manhattan Club withdrew from the League.
A challenge from the Franklin Chess Club, of Philadelphia, for a
team match, was accepted, and the match was played on May
30, by telegraph, with 14 players on each side; the result was in favor of the
Franklin Chess Club, by a score of 7½ to 6½
In January Messrs. Showalter and Albin played a match in which Mr.
Showalter won the victory by a score of 10 to 7
games, 8 drawn.
Simultaneous performances were given as follows : By Mr. Albin
against all players—Mr. Albin's score was 5 wins, 1 loss,
and 3 draws; by Mr. Pillsbury against 14 players, his score being 11 won, 1
lost, and 2 draws; and by Mr. Steinitz against 14
players, he winning 13 and drawing 1 game.
The second match between Messrs. Lipschutz and Showalter for the
championship of the United States occurred at the club in
October, resulting in a win for Mr. Showalter by a score of 7 to 4 games, and 3
A match between Mr. Jasnogrodsky and Mr. Sterling, of Mexico, was played in the
same month, resulting in a win for Mr.
Jasnogrodsky by a score of 5 straight games.
The championship tournament for this year, with 10 entries,
resulted as follows : D. G. Baird, first prize; Mr. N. Jasnogrodsky
second; Messrs. Ettlinger and Hanham divided third.
No handicap tournament was played in this year, as the time for
same was changed from fall to spring.
For 1896 the officers and directory comprised the following members
: President, Wesley Bigelow; vice-president, C. H.
Hatheway; recording secretary, Dr. G. Simonson; corresponding secretary, E. W.
Dahl; treasurer, Geo. Holl (after October 8,
R. Beramji); directors, A. Foster Higgins, Chas. A. Gilberg, Max Frankel, Col.
W. F. Morse, R. Beramji (after October 8, L.
Zeckendorf), J. S. Curry.
The handicap tournament, with 20 entries, was played in February,
resulting in Mr. Stark winning first prize, Mr. Stevens
second, Messrs. Hodges, Hanham and Fitch divided third, fourth, and fifth
prizes, Mr. Dewey won sixth, and Mr. Coleman
On May 30, the second team match with the Franklin Chess Club, of
Philadelphia, took place; 14 players from this club went
to Philadelphia, and secured the victory by a score of 7½ to 6½ , in favor of
The annual championship tournament in October brought forth a new champion, Mr.
L. Schmidt, who won first prize; the
second and third prizes were divided by Maj. Hanham and Mr. Jasnogrodsky.
At the meeting of the New York State Chess Association in July, the
representative of the club, Mr. Lipschutz, was successful
in winning the Staats Zeitung cup for this club, making the third time the club
had won the cup. Two more victories will make the
cup the property of the club.
Meeting of January 7, 1897. Board of officers: President, Charles
A. Gilberg; vice-president, C. H. Hatheway; recording
secretary, G. Simonson; corresponding secretary, P. Stevens; treasurer, R.
Beramji; directors, James S. Curry, A. Foster
Higgins, W. N. Amory, Colonel W. F. Morse, H. Oram Smith, E. W. Dahl.
The reports made by the officers showed the club to be in a
prosperous financial condition, and that the list of members, while
changing from time to time by the retirement of some and the election of others,
was steadily increasing.
In July the offer of the British Chess Company, tendering the
American rights in the new Chess Code was accepted, and
arrangements concluded with Messrs. Brentano to take charge of the work, under
the auspices and copyright of the club. This
new book, under the title of "The American Chess Code," is the second
contribution made by this club to the codification and
arrangement of a better book of chess laws for American chess players.
The return match with the Franklin Chess Club was played by
telegraph on May 30, by teams of 14 men on each side. The
match was fought under difficult conditions incident to delays, interruptions
and misunderstandings, and after thirteen hours' play
no less than 8 games had to be adjudicated by the referee, Mr. Steinitz. The
result of these adjudications gave the match to the
Franklin Club by a score of 8½ to 6½.
At the meeting of the State Chess Association held at the Thousand
Islands in August, the contest for the Staats Zeitung cup
terminated in a draw, and the cup remained in possession of the Association.
A rapid transit tourney played on December 9, with a team of five players a side
from the Brooklyn Chess Club, resulted in a
victory of 13 games for Manhattan, against 12 for Brooklyn.
The annual handicap tournament, with 20 contestants, ended on April 7, with the
following winners: First prize, N.
Jasnogrodsky; second, H. Rosenfeld; third, V. Sournin; fourth, E. Delmar; fifth,
L. Schmidt; sixth, A. Ascher; special prize, I. E.
Orchard; the "souvenir" prize, Mr. Rubino.
The championship tournaments for first and third classes begun on
October 29 remained unfinished at the end of this year. The
officers elected for 1898 were: President, Chas. A. Gilberg; vice-president,
Chauncey H. Hatheway; recording secretary, Dr.
Gustave Simonson; corresponding secretary, Augustus T. Docharty; treasurer, R.
Beramji; directors, James S. Curry, Ellert W.
Dahl, R. W. Ferguson, Col. W. F. Morse, H. Rosenfeld and H. Oram Smith.
In the first month of the year, the club met with one of the greatest losses in
its history, by the sudden death on January 21, of
its president. Mr. Gilberg was a lifelong devotee to chess, and abroad as well
as here was known as an ardent collector of chess
literature and as a problem composer of great skill. His place as the chief
executive officer oí the club, and as the watchful
guardian of its best interests, will be difficult to fill.
The Manhattan Chess Club, while located in the same building at 105
East 22d Street, has changed its rooms from the seventh
to the ninth floor of the building. This change enabled the club to have its
quarters specially designed for its use, and it has only
recently made its entry into its present abiding place, the salient features of
which are shown by the illustrations in the last number
of the AMERICAN CHESS MAGAZINE.
A personal inspection of this home of chess in New York is
necessary to fully appreciate how much care, labor and expense
have been given to make it attractive and comfortable, and this inspection is at
the command of all chess players of the
metropolis, for friends and players of the game are welcome visitors and the
rooms are open day and evening throughout the
With such a home, a membership list growing stronger year by
year—not only in numbers, but in the character and chess-
playing strength of its members—a Comfortable bank account, and no internal
dissensions, the Manhattan Chess Club looks
back with pride at its past record, and forward to still more earnest endeavor
to retain and increase its prestige among the chess
clubs of the world.