Chess Archaeology HomeChess is a scientific game and its literature ought to be placed on the basis of the strictest truthfulness, which is the foundation of all scientific research.W. Steinitz

Harry N. Pillsbury
This two volume set comprises a chronological history of the life and games of Harry Nelson Pillsbury from his birth in 1872 until his death in 1906. This work is not a narrative biography, but is, what I hope will be considered, the quintessential reference compendium on Pillsbury's life and games. Contained within these pages are every chess and checker game that could be located, along with what I hope can be considered a definitive history of Pillsbury's career as a player. I have tried to limit similar items to those that offered something new, be it a conflicting set of results, people involved, quotes from Pillsbury, observations made about his performances, etc.

I have restricted my observations and comments to sections highlighted in blue boxes. All other material is from the source noted within each block of text. The information presented is nearly verbatim with some slight changes being introduced for formatting and punctuation where I have deemed it necessary for clarity.

While I have attempted to correct the names (or initials) of those that came into contact with Pillsbury, based upon the best available sources at my disposal, I have chosen not to correct cases where Pillsbury is identified as Henry by the press. Traditionally, Harry is a nickname for Henry, but in Pillsbury’s case it would appear the press had decided to confer upon Harry the more formal sounding Henry appellation. I have found no complaint or request of a retraction by Pillsbury during his lifetime, so I’m presuming he accepted that nom de plume without issue.

I have used the term "Blink Simultaneous" for events where Pillsbury initiated play sans voir for a specific number of moves, announced beforehand, and then converted over to a peripatetic exhibition. This type of format became a standard item offered by Pillsbury to showcase his blindfold skills, but in a condensed time frame when compared to the time taken for a full-length Blindfold Simultaneous performance.

Chess games are presented in algebraic notation and checker games are given in their traditional numeric notation. If I were presenting a small number of checker games I would have been tempted to convert the moves over to a chess-hybrid format, but given the large number of checker games contained within these pages it seemed almost criminal to alter the notation.

Game headers are sequentially numbered, regardless of the type of game, and are provided as an easy reference for the reader in identifying the games herein contained.

I present translations for small reports given in French, German, Hungarian, and Russian, as a convenience to the reader. However, for larger reports and articles I have left the material in its native form.

If you enjoy this material you may donate any amount via PayPal to help fund future chess research projects.

Harry N. Pillsbury
Volume 1, 1872-1899

PDF format, 836 pages (cover to cover), containing 646 games and game fragments.

Available for download: Harry N. Pillsbury, v1 1872-1899.pdf

2022 Dec 8:
• Hard rule line was missing before the dark green box for 1899.08.29.
Harry N. Pillsbury
Volume 2, 1900-1906

PDF format, 760 pages (cover to cover), containing 827 games and game fragments.

Available for download: Harry N. Pillsbury, v2 1900-1906.pdf

2022 Dec 8:
• Light-green box page 580 changed "December" to "January".
2022 Dec 11:
• Fixed citations to games 1208 and 1210.
2022 Dec 14:
• Spelling corrections to German text, page 485 (BerathungSpartieen to Berathungspartieen; getrossen to getroffen)
• Fixed game 1147 (Pillsbury vs Swiderski, 1902) and added the Deutsches Wochenschach und Berliner Schachzeitung, v18 n37, 14 September 1902, pp304-305 as a source and also indicated the problem with the tournament book version (in the citation).
2023 Jan 12:
• Second light-green box, page 615, changed the day from "Tue" to "Wed".

[Archive] [Excavations] [Gallery] [Journal] [Library] [Links] [Legend] [Market]
© 1999-2023 Jacques N. Pope. All Rights Reserved.