The 1902 International Chess
Tournament of Monte Carlo
Around the turn of the 20th
century, there was interest in international chess tournaments. The
Brooklyn Eagle, August 23, 1900 mentions that for the winter of
1901, several countries were vying for the opportunity to host an
important chess congress. Of all these countries, Monaco was expending
the most concerted effort. Eventually, Monaco's determination would pay
off and the tournament of 1901 would be repeated for an additional three
years. It's been said the Monte Carlo was looking for ways to encourage
tourism during the winter months and this tournament was in fact an
advertising investment. While Monte Carlo always had good tourism during
its winter months due to its temperate climate, it's also true that by
1903, its winter tourism rates had reached unprecedented
CHESS MASTERS IN DEMAND
Four Different Countries May Bid
for the International Contests
MONTE CARLO FIRST TO MOVE
Glasgow and Montreal Follow Suit -
No Contest in Havana -
American Congress Plans
According to the reports that have recently been
circulating, there are at least five different places that want, or are
said to want, an international chess tournament in 1901. These are Monte
Carlo and Glasgow in Europe, and New York, Havana and Montreal on this
side of the Atlantic. Thus far the Monte Carlo people have been the most
businesslike in setting about to secure such a meeting, as the masters
have, it appears, already been approached on the subject and the
indorsement [sic] of the majority obtained.
In Glasgow there is a good deal of talk to the effect
that a Scottish congress would be desirable next year. While readers
of the Eagle know, from reports and correspondence published, that
the same sentiment is abroad in the United States.
Frank J. Marshall, Brooklyn's champion, who is back from a visit to
his former home in Canada, is responsible for the announcement that
there is considerable enthusiasm among the chess players in
Montreal, and that, moreover, a concerted movement to secure a big
attraction in the shape of a masters' contest in seriously
contemplated. On the other hand, the report given out by the
ex-Mexican champion, M. Sterling, that a Cuban international
tournament in 1901 was practically a certainty, can no longer be
accepted. Direct and reliable information comes form Havana, through
A. Ettlinger of the Manhattan Chess Club, who returned from a
business trip this week. He states that chess circles there are
unusually quiet and that there are positively no prospects of an
affair of such magnitude being brought off. Consequently, only four
countries can now be considered in the ring as bidders for the
Eagle, August 23, 1900
The New York Times (Jan. 12, 1902)
and the Brooklyn Eagle (Feb. 2, 1902) published
some information regarding the rules and prizes in the upcoming
tournament. Here are the particulars:
Among the patrons are:
the Prince Dadian of Mingrelia, Baron Albert de Rothschild, Count
Schaffgotsch, Col. T. E. Vickers, C. B. Frëiherr von Bulow, the Duke
Fery d'Esclands, the Duke de Dino, Sir John Thursby, George O.
Allain, President of the New Orleans Chess, Checker, and Whist Club,
Prof. Reinhold Begas, Capt. A. S. Beaumont, Count Bernard d'Harcourt,
Rudolph von Gottschall, Issac L. Rice, Aristides Martinez, President
of the Manhattan Chess Club, Dr. Persifer Frazer, President of the
Franklin Club, Philadelphia, and others.
The committee is composed as follows:
President: Prince Dadian of Mingrelia
Vice Presidents: Albert Clerc and Louis Heffer
Members: H. Delaire, S. Rosenthal, Issac L. Rice, Col. C. Moreau,
Dr. E. Lasker and others
Director of Play: Arnous de Rivière.
The congress will be opened formally on Feb. 1 but only the
reception of the players and a discussion on the rules and
regulations will take place that day, while the first round of the
tournament is scheduled to be played on Feb. 3.
At the time of the issue of the programme the committee had
received twenty-six entries of which number sixteen have already
-- Regular rounds to be played on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday,
Fridays and Saturdays. Adjourned games to be concluded on Thursdays
of each week.
- Two sittings to take place daily, namely from 9 to 1 and from 3 to
-- A won game counts 1 point. Drawn games have to be replayed; in
case of a draw each player receives one-quarter of a point: if the
drawn game between the same players is again drawn, then each man
receives one-half point for both games; in case the game is won by
either party, the winner receives an additional half point, a total
therefore of three-quarters of a point for both the games, while the
loser gets one-quarter. (This rule was also in force last year.)
-- Two players cannot call a game drawn until they have appealed to
the director of play, who may allow the draw or ask the players to
proceed with play.
--The time limit has been fixed at thirty moves for the first two
hours; afterward the moves have to be made at the rate of fifteen
moves to the hour.
-- The committee has the right to alter and modify the rules as the
last moment, while the director of play will have the sole right of
interpreting the rules.
The committee has received 14,000 francs from the Cercle des
Etrangers at Monte Carlo, 500 francs from Prince Dadian de
Mingrelia and Baron Albert de Rothschild of Vienna, 200 francs from
Capt. A. S. Beaumont, 1,000 francs from J. L. McCutcheon of
Pittsburg, and a number of contributions from various sources. It
has been decided to divide the money according to the number of
The prizes are, respectively, of the following amounts: 5,000,
3,000, 1,500, 1,000, 750, and 500 francs.
The non-prize winners receive 3,200 francs in all in proportion to
the games won by each competitor. About 35 francs will be given for
each point won.
A January 1902 issue of The Field
The tournament was patronized by distinguished amateurs of all countries,
as shown in the following list:
H. S. H. Prince Dadian de Mingrélia, Councillor Albert Clerc, Baron
Albert de Rothschild, Count Schaffgotsch, C.A. Laisant, Col. RE. Vickers,
C.B., Freiher von Bulow, Duc Féry d'Esclands, Dr. Paul Berger, Duc de
Dino, Sir J.O.S. Thursby, Bart., George O. Allain, President New Orleans
Chess Club, E. Asselin, Aug. Wasmuth, Professor Reinhold Begas, Capt. AS.
Beaumont, Count Bernard d'Harcourt, M. Pécher, A Naumann, President Vienna
Chess Club, H. Delaire, President of the Cercle Philidor, Rudolph von
Gottschall, W.J. Soldatenkoff, Prince de Cantacuzine, Professor Isaac L.
Rice, Aristides Martinez, President Manhattan Chess Club, P.A. Saburoff
Col. Ch Moreau, F.G. Naumann, J.L. McCutcheon, Dr. Persifor Frazer,
President Franklin Chess Club, M. de Boistertre, etc."
contestants met on February 1, 1902, at 3 o'clock with the members of
Prince Dadian of Mingrelia was unavoidably absent, owing to a death in
his family. Mr. Rosenthal, although at Monte Carlo, could not attend
owing to illness, so that the committee consisted only of Mr. Arnous
de Rivière (judge commissaire) and Mr. L. Hoffer (vice-president).
Fortunately, these two representatives were reinforced by Mr. F. G.
Naumann - fortunately in more than one sense, for Mr. Naumann
generously contributed L120 towards the prize funds, so that the
burning question of consolation prizes for the non-prize winners could
be satisfactory settled.
By the end of
December, the organization committee had received 16 applications.
Nevertheless, the deadline being 31 December 1901, the organizing
committee believed that several more major world players would show
interest. From , the 26 applications, the participation of the
following players was preliminarily confirmed:
Great Britain: Burn, Blackburne,
United States: Pillsbury, Marshall
Austria-Hungary: Maroczy, Schlechter,
Russia: Chigorin, Janowski, Winawer
Germany: Mieses, v. Scheve
Italy: Sig. Reggio
France: M. Billecard
Among the contestants added to the role between the end of December and
February 1 were: were
(London), Albin and Wolf (Vienna), Walbrodt (Berlin), v. Popiel
and Eisenberg (Germany). By the Sunday when the lots were drawn,
Winawer, Burn, and Billecard had dropped out while Tarrasch, Napier,
Taubenhaus and Mortimer were admitted. On Monday, when the play was to
begin, Taubenhaus and Blackburne bowed out, leaving a total of 20
All draws had to be approved by the
director (Arnous de Rivière). The general rule was that no draw would be
allowed before the thirtieth move. Teichmann and Mason wanted to agree to
a draw after move 24, but they were required to continue playing. The draw
was finally allowed at move 35.
However, there were two exceptions in which games were drawn in
less than 30 moves: Mieses and Schlechter were allowed a draw
after 23 moves since almost all of the pieces had been exchanged and a
draw seemed very reasonable. Teichmann and Wolf were allowed a very
early draw since, as the tournament book explains "Only the opening was
played: every piece was exchanged alternately, and by permission of the
director of play, given up and drawn."
Towards the end of the tournament, several players agreed to draws
without playing. The tournament book notes, "The
players paid their own accommodation costs and so, toward the end of the
tournament, a number of players who were out of
the running for prizes, agreed to share the point so that they could leave
Monte Carlo early." These drawn games included
Wolf - Schlechter (2nd game); Eisenberg - Mason; Mason - Eisenberg; Popiel
- Gunsberg (2nd game); Eisenberg - Scheve;
Scheve - Eisenberg; Marco - Napier & Napier - Marco.
As the tournament had dragged on almost six weeks due to the many
replays as well as the additional byes, the players who were out of the
running for prizes had good reason for wanting to wrap up the proceedings
and go home.
Much of what's presented here has a distinct
American perspective. Although what exists as the tournament book was
created through the Weiner Schachzeitung articles prepared by and
annotated Georg Marco, a German, and undoubtedly national presses
expressed the happenings from their own viewpoints, most of the
information here was gleaned from American newspapers and writers who
empathized with Marshall, Pillsbury and Napier above all the others.
EYES OF THE CHESS WORLD
ARE ON MONTE CARLO
Play in the Second International
Chess Congress Begins To-day
BROOKLYN WELL REPRESENTED
Marshall, Napier and Pillsbury
All Products of This City -
Pairing in Full.
(Special to the Eagle)
Monte Carlo, February 2 -- The second international chess congress,
at Monte Carlo, which, save for the absence of world's champion
Lasker, would be accounted the greatest on record, was officially
opened yesterday, one day later than had originally been scheduled.
A pleasant surprise was in store for the chess world, inasmuch as
the famous Dr. Tarrasch of Nuremburg, who won the Vienna tournament
of 1898, after a tie with Pillsbury, and then retired from chess,
again put in an appearance.
In a large measure, the absence of Lasker is compensated for by the
participation of Tarrasch. One man, however, stayed away, who was
thought to be a certain competitor. This was Amos Burn of Liverpool.
Otherwise the field is the very best obtainable and thoroughly
representative of the various chess playing countries.
The entry list includes three Americans, as many from France and
Germany, five from Great Britain, five from Austria-Hungary, two
from Russia and one from Italy, or twenty-two in all.
Contrary to expectations, there was no protest on the part of the
masters against any of the rules, and the one providing for the
replaying of drawn games, which was made use of last year and at
Paris, again holds good.
As last year, these games will only count ¼ point to each player,
and, in case of a second draw, another ¼ point is added to the score
of each. Otherwise the winner of the second game will receive an
additional ½ point, or ¾ in all.
The complete list of masters who participated in the opening
proceedings is as follows:
Pillsbury, F.J.Marshall, W.E.Napier, America; J.H.Blackburne, James
Mortimer, Isidor Gunsberg, James Mason and Richard Teichmann, Great
Britain; Adolf Albin, D.Janowski and S. Taubenhaus, France; Jaques
Mieses, Theodor von Scheve and Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch, Germany; Georg
Marco, Geza Maroczy, Ignatz von Popiel, Carl Schlechter and S. Wolf,
Austria-Hungary; L.R.Eisenberg, M.I.Tschigorin, Russia; A.Reggio,
The principal business transacted yesterday was the pairing of the
players for the entire twenty-one rounds, this being done, as usual,
by means of the Berger tables. In consequence of the decision to
replay drawn games, thus making it necessary to have more than one
bye-day each week, it was arranged to play four regular rounds a
week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, leaving Wednesdays
and Saturdays for playing off adjourned and drawn games.
The tourney will thus extend over a period of five weeks and one day
and the final round will not take place until the 10th of March.
Even then the conclusion of the contest may be postponed a few days
on account of a few important games which may then be pending.
Appended are the pairings for all the twenty-one rounds:
List of the 21
rounds of pairings
The actual round to be played each day will be
determined by lot on the morning of that day. Inasmuch as there are
an uneven number of rounds, some of the players will have the first
move eleven times, whereas others will have that privilege only ten
times, this being purely a matter of luck in the drawing.
A glance at some of the results of the drawing, especially those
affecting the Americans, will be of some interest. The schedule
shows that both Marshall and Napier will play with the white pieces
eleven times. Pillsbury on the other hand, will be on the defensive
that number of times.
Others of the big players, who were thus favored, are Janowski,
Maroczy and Schlechter. Tarrasch is in the same boat with Pillsbury.
By an odd coincidence, Tarrasch is obliged to play black against all
three Americans, whereas Maroczy plays white against them all.
It will be noted that Pillsbury and Napier will have the choice of
opening with Janowski.
Eagle, February 3, 1902
The drawing was done on
Sunday, Feb 2nd, for a total of 22 players. By early Monday, word had
been received that Blackburne and Taubenhaus would be unable to play.
Time was then called at 9:00 a.m., so the tournament could proceed with
an unusual schedule of 21 rounds, with 2 players receiving a bye each
The Berger Pairing System
Pillsbury had missed the
1901 tournament due to his marriage (on January 20th in St.
Louis) and prior commitments:
"Fears are entertained
that two of the great experts whose participation in these foreign
events usually helps make them famous - namely, Lasker and Maroczy -
will not be on hand to take part in the fray. No satisfactory reason
for their probable absence has yet been given, as up to a very
recent period both were actively engaged in an exhibition tour. As
before reported, Pillsbury, the American champion, will also be an
absentee, but he could hardly be expected to make this trip in view
of his recent marriage and his many engagements in different parts
of the country."
January 31, 1901
1902 tournament was to kick off a 2 year tour for Pillsbury, accompanied
by his wife.
American Chess Champion off
International Tourney at
Harry Nelson Pillsbury, chess
champion of America, sailed this morning on the steamship
St. Louis of the American Line for Southampton, en route for
London, whence he will shortly depart for Monte Carlo, the scene of
the international masters' tournament, beginning there on February
Pillsbury, who will celebrate his first wedding anniversary on
Friday of this week, was accompanied by his wife, and was in the
best of spirits. He is looking eagerly forward to the time when he
may add additional laurels to his long list of international honors.
As he will compete in many tournaments before his return, besides
giving innumerable exhibitions of his skill.
Monte Carlo tournament Pillsbury will return to England and, barring
some untoward incident, will play his game with Blackburne in the
cable match over the board. Then he will go after Lasker and have
some sort of understanding with the world's champion regarding a
match. Pillsbury has already secured all the backing he needs and
can get as much more in Hastings, the scene of his grand triumph in
The American champion returned from Philadelphia yesterday, where he
had given two blindfold exhibitions, on a large scale, one at the
Franklin Chess Club on Saturday, when he won 12 games, lost 2 and
drew 3, and another at the Mercantile Library Chess Club, on Monday,
when he won 13, lost 1 and drew 1. Last night he was the guest of
the New York Checker Club and entertained a large crowd of checker
enthusiasts with a blindfold exhibition against a team of twelve
At the Boston Athletic Association last week Pillsbury also played
17 games without sight of the boards, winning 13, losing 2 and
Brooklyn Eagle, January 15, 1902
Frank Marshall, who played in the 1901 tournament,
but with poor results (5.5 pts 10/14), was noticed
by the media
Marshall in Paris
Brooklyn Chess Expert En Route
to Grand Monte Carlo Tournament
(special to the Eagle)
Paris, France, January 22 -- Frank J. Marshall, the
Brooklyn chess expert, had arrived here en route to Monte Carlo, where,
with Pillsbury and Napier, he will represent America in the inter-
national chess tournament, beginning the third day of February. This
morning Marshall had an interview with M. Arnous de Rivière of this city,
manager of the tournament, and learned from him that play is to be
conducted, as heretofore, in accordance with the Berger system of pairing.
Competitors will meet to discuss the rules of play on the Saturday
preceding the first day of the tournament. The following twenty-three
players representative of all the leading chess playing countries,
excepting Australia, have been accepted: [list of players]
Brooklyn Eagle, January 23, 1902
From Frank Marshall, United States Chess Champion, by Andy Soltis:
It was a charming place for a major chess tournament. The playing site,
the casino's Cercle Privé was described in the Prague publication
Bohemia as "a richly decorated first floor hall":
"From one side there opens a beautiful view of gardens surrounding the
casinos, villas and hotels....From the other side-a luxurious panorama of
the southern sea with winding shore, visible right up to Cape St.Martin....The
presence in the hall of a large roulette wheel acts somewhat strangely on
the players. You don't need to be reminded that we are in Monte Carlo and
in this same hall from 9 to 2 each night roulette is played among the
select of society."
The va banque spirit at the tables at night may also have
influenced Marshall's daytime play. In the 1901 tournament
his two games with Mikhail Chigorin were
typically outrageous. He took absurd risks, in the apparent belief that if
his attacks failed he could always draw the resulting endgame.
Besides the gaming tables, there were other distractions at Monte Carlo.
An unedited Portuguese manuscript with the provisional title, Carl
Schlechter - Clássico Vienense do Xadrez, tells us:
The presence of the public was allowed this time - the previous event
(1901) was conceived to be covered by the press, with the moves being
transmitted [a novelty then] through wireless telegraph. The playing hall,
in the upper story (Cercle Privé) of the Casino, was luxurious,
with a spectacular view over the gardens on the hill where it was
situated, and on the other side, over the sea toward the distant Cape
Saint-Martin. Players could complain only about the somewhat unsuitable
lighting (provided by very beautiful - but ill-conceived for master Chess
- chandeliers). The violins of a Gypsy Orchestra, that played tirelessly
in the nearby hotel's restaurant accompanied the moves. In one afternoon,
everybody - leaving until later the boards and pieces - rushed to the
windows to watch the rise, with its noisy 45 hp motor, of Santos Dumont's
new dirigible airship.
Alberto Santos Dumont, the great Brazilian aviation pioneer who designed,
built and demonstrated the first practical dirigibles as well as the
first airplane (1906) capable of taking off and landing completely through
self-contained means, was a guest of the Duke de Dino
(Maurice, Marquis de Talleyrand-Perigord, Duke de Dino) in Monte Carlo at
this time. Among other things, he was testing his dirigible Number 6,
the same dirigible that had just won 100,000 francs in October, 1901 by
meeting the challenge of flying from Parc Saint Cloud to the Eiffel Tower
and back in less than thirty minutes. Dumont gave half his winnings to
charity and divided the rest among his employees. Unfortunately, Dumont
met with some bad luck at Monte Carlo. The picture on the right shows
Number 6 rounding the Eiffel Tower.
Collapses at Sea
Santos-Dumont Airship Meets With
Disaster - Aeronaut Rescued Unhurt
Monaco. February 14--Santos-Dumont's dirigible
balloon collapsed at sea this afternoon. Santos-Dumont was rescued unhurt.
The aeronaut started at 2:30 P.M. and was proceeding in the direction of
Cape Martin. When opposite the Casino at Monte Carlo a rent occurred in
the balloon and in less than ten minutes all the gas had escaped and the
balloon fell into the sea.
Several boats. including the Prince of Monaco's launch, were
following the balloon and Santos-Dumas was rescued. The balloon sank.
Brooklyn Eagle. February 14, 1902
Let the games begin....