Mid-Summer Meeting at
Saratoga Springs 1899
by John S. Hilbert
|The New York State Chess Association (NYSCA) had, even before time took its sharp turn into the Twentieth Century, an established history of holding what it referred to as mid-summer association meetings. The term mid-summer is set off by quotation marks to emphasize that, by 1899 at least, the meetings were held at the end of August and beginning of September, and hence could hardly, even under the most charitable calendar reading, be considered near the middle of summer. Such events were frequently, if not invariably, held outside of New York City, and often were held at summer resorts such as the meetings at Thousand Islands 1897 and Lake Keuka 1898. In 1901, for another example, the associations mid-summer meeting was held in Buffalo, New York, then the scene of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Seven years earlier, play had also been held in the Queen City, and in later years other upstate locations, including Rochester, would be the summer playgrounds of the NYSCA.
|The events held in the late 1890s, however, are unusual for another reason. Rather than remaining purely the province of New York players, players from other state associations, notably Pennsylvania, but also Massachusetts, were actively lobbied to attend the NYSCAs mid-summer sessions. Indeed, a lively interstate rivalry developed between the players of New York and those of Pennsylvania.
|The genesis of interstate rivalry involving New York and Pennsylvania is explained in large measure by the fact that, at one time, the group was originally the New York and Pennsylvania State Chess Association. Only later did this group merge in the NYSCA. And according to Gustavus Reichhelm, then chess editor for the Philadelphia Times and author of Chess in Philadelphia (1898), the original members, including all the Pennsylvania players, retained their right of membership. Thus players such as Kemeny, Shipley, Bampton, Voigt and others, though residents of Pennsylvania, were permitted entry into NYSCA events.
|And the Philadelphians often participated successfully. In September 1886, for example, a small, double round tournament sponsored by the combined state association in Cooperstown was won by Shipley. At Skaneateles in August 1892, Shipley and Voigt tied for top honors, with Voigt entering the handicap event to determine the overall winner of the Association when Shipley had to return to his home in Germantown. At Buffalo 1894, Shipley again won the Association title, though the meeting is much better remembered for the Masters event, where Showalter managed to out point Pillsbury, Albin, and Buffalos own representative, George C. Farnsworth. S. W. Bampton emerged the winner as Skaneateles 1895, and repeated his achievement the next year at Ontario Beach, with Shipley trailing him by a mere half point.
|An innovation occurring in 1897 would have significant consequences for the NYSCA during the remaining years of the century. Walter Penn Shipley wrote the Board of Managers of the NYSCA that spring, suggesting that instead of a purely individual event, the 1897 meeting, held at the Murray Hill Hotel in Thousand Islands from August 2-7, 1897, be a modified team event. The seven players selected from each state organization would, in the course of seven rounds, meet all seven of the other teams players. Individual prizes would be given for the best scores made, while the aggregate score of each state would serve to determine who won the interstate match.
|Certainly Shipley deserved his draw against Pillsbury, then one of the finest players in the world. According to the Philadelphia Public Ledger for August 28, 1897, where the game appeared in Emil Kemenys column, it was noted that Mr. Shipley was the only one on the Pennsylvania team who succeeded in holding his own against Pillsbury. The game was a splendidly contested one. Pillsbury, to some extent, gained the upper hand, and for a number of moves it looked as though he would win. Mr. Shipley, however, defended skillfully, and when forty-six moves were made a draw was offered and accepted. The game abounded in interesting complications, and the play was a very creditable one to both parties. Additional notes from Reichhelms Chess in Philadelphia are separately identified in the game below.
7.Qe2 Be7 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bb5+
9...Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Nd2 Rfe8 13.Nf3 Bd6 14.Qd3 Rab8 15.b3 c5 16.Bg5 Ne4
17...Qc6 18.c3 c4
19.bxc4 dxc4 20.Qc2 Nc5 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.Re1 Rxe1+ 23.Nxe1 Qe4
24.Be3 f5 25.Qd2 Qe6 26.Bxc5 Bxc5 27.Nf3 h6 28.Kf1 Qe4 29.Ne1 Be7 30.Qe2 Bf6 31.Qxe4
31...fxe4 32.Nc2 Bxc3 33.Na3 Kf7
34.Nxc4 Ke6 35.Ne3 Kd6 36.Ke2 Kc5 37.Kd1 Kb4 38.Kc2 Bd4 39.Nd1 g5 40.Ne3 h5 41.h3 a5 42.Nd1 g4 43.hxg4 hxg4
44...a4 45.Ne3 Bxe3 46.fxe3
|In addition to the interstate match up, Thousand Islands 1897 featured competition for the Staats Zeitung Chess Cup, an event then in its seventh year. The cup itself had been donated by the New Yorker Staats Zeitung, a German language newspaper based in New York City. Only three players competed for the cup at Thousand Islands, each representing their home chess club, but the three were certainly among the strongest players in the United States: ex-world champion William Steinitz represented the Staten Island Chess Club, while S. Lipschütz, from the Manhattan Chess Club, and the sixteen year old phenomenon, William Ewart Napier, from the Brooklyn Chess Club, made up the field. A wonderful photograph of the three of them, with Steinitz and Lipschütz playing a game and Napier sitting by the board, with among others the Philadelphians Shipley and D. Stuart Robinson looking on, graces the pages of the August 1897 issue of the American Chess Magazine.
|The interstate aspect of the 1897 mid-summer meeting was so popular that the following year, at Lake Keuka, New York, the NYSCA repeated its experiment. The Associations mid-summer meeting at Lake Keuka was held August 8-13, 1898, and though neither Pillsbury nor Hodges, nor even Shipley, attended that gathering, strong and entertaining play took place nevertheless. A young Frank J. Marshall participated, but found himself largely outclassed, losing to five of the seven Pennsylvania players, and indeed the New York squad as a whole was severely manhandled, losing the team event by a lopsided 30-19.
|While Pillsbury didnt play, he did annotate the following game for the pages of the September 1898 American Chess Magazine.
4...Nbd7 5.Be3 Be7 6.Bd3
6...c6 7.Ne2 Qc7 8.c3 d5 9.Qc2 dxe4 10.Bxe4 Nxe4
12.dxe5 b6 13.Ned4 Bb7 14.Nf5 Rae8 15.0-0-0 Bf6 16.Rxd7 Qxd7 17.Qg4 Qe6 18.exf6 g6 19.Nh6+ Kh8
20...Rxe6 21.Ng5 c5 22.Nxe6 fxe6 23.Rd1 1-0.
|Of course, such a drubbing at Lake Keuka demanded revenge, and so in late August 1899 the New York team was looking to take the measure of their colleagues from further south. One additional feature for the 1899 event, however, was the attempt to include a team from Massachusetts, thereby making the competition a three-way quest for victory.
|Indeed, as late as July 1899 the proposed three way match involving New York, Pennsylvania, and now Massachusetts was being touted in the pages of the American Chess Magazine. Gustavus Reichhelm introduced a chart in the same issue of the magazine allowing for what he called adequate and evenly balanced competition among three, seven man teams through the play of seven full and two supplementary rounds.
|But Saratoga Springs 1899 was much more than merely an interstate chess team match. In addition to the ninth annual Staats-Zeitung Chess Cup competition, there were to be a series of class tournaments as well. And chess was hardly the only feature used to attract additional members of the NYSCA to take a summer holiday at Saratoga Springs. A circular issued by the Board of Managers of the NYSCA noted that the twelfth midsummer meeting and the thirty-first tournament will be held during the week commencing August 28 at the United States Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York. The beauty of Saratoga Springs, the many attractions for the members who may not enter the tournaments, and the United States Hotel, one of the greatest hotels in this country, all promise well for the meeting of 1899.
|Attractions were emphasized not only for tournament players, but for spouses and others just interested in getting away. Mention was made of the hundreds of mineral springs, the beautiful cottages, the park and the drive to the lakeare all in themselves sufficient to repay all who attend the meeting. Hotel rates were three dollars a day, reduced from the usual five, and easy transportation could be arranged by way of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, which serviced Saratoga Springs by way of the state capital, Albany. Special rates were also offered for those arriving by train.
|A special call was sent out to chess clubs for representatives for the Staats- Zeitung Chess Cup. The rules under which the cup was donated specified that the first club to win it five times would retain possession of it permanently. The Manhattan Chess Club had successfully won it on four occasions, in 1891, 1894, 1896 and 1898, and thus would take the cup for good unless someone stepped forward to prevent that happening. No other club had won the cup more than once. Competition in the class tournaments would see, among other things, the determination of the winner of the Farnsworth Cup in the First Class event. The Farnsworth Cup had been given two years earlier by the widow of George Farnsworth, the latter having competed at Buffalo 1894 and who had died prematurely of a heart condition in 1896. Farnsworth, the American Chess Magazine reported in its August number that year, was one of the most active and earnest supporters the NYSCA ever had.
|The Board of Mangers hoped at least seven or more club representatives would play in the ninth Staats-Zeitung Chess Cup contest. The year before, at Lake Keuka, only two players, the young Marshall and the veteran Lipschütz, had appeared, and a crushing, 3-0 victory by the latter had given the Manhattan Club its fourth leg of the five needed to retain the ornate, English made silver cup, shaped like a chess rook.
|The August issue of the American Chess Magazine also remarked that Aristidez Martinez, then President of the Manhattan Chess Club, has offered a sterling silver smoking set for the best game played in the interstate team match, New York Pennsylvania - Massachusetts. It is composed of a tray, cigar-holder, ash receiver and match safe in the finest patterns and valued at eighty dollars. To whom the smoking set should be awarded would become the subject of some conflict and a great deal of paper and ink in the weeks ahead.
|On Monday, August 28, 1899, at ten in the morning, competition for the Staats-Zeitung Cup commenced. The Board of Managers, however, were no doubt seriously disappointed by the turn out. They had hoped for representatives from at least the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Albany, Rochester, Staten Island, New York City and Buffalo chess clubs, in order to reduce the chances of the Cup being permanently taken out of competition. What they in fact witnessed was an exact repetition of the year before at Lake Keuka. Only two players entered the lists, Lipschütz once more representing the Manhattan Chess Club, and Frank Marshall once again representing the Brooklyn Chess Club.
|It was decided that the player to win a five game match would take the cup home to his club, but like the year before, only three games were required to decide who would possess the Staats-Zeitung Cup. There had, though, been some hope Marshall would in this, his second chance, make a better showing against the much more experienced Lipschütz. Emil Kemeny, for example, writing on August 29, 1899, in his column in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, had said that while it was true the older man had beaten Marshall decisively the year before, Marshall since has established quite a reputation for himself by winning first prize in the London Minor Tourney, and the Brooklyn Chess Club hoped that he would square accounts with Lipschütz. The Brooklynites, however, were to be seriously disappointed.
|The American Chess Magazine for September 1899 provided all three games with significant annotations, though from the color sequence and other sources, notably the New York Sun for September 10, 1899, which also ran the scores of the three games, the American Chess Magazine had mistakenly switched games one and two. But regardless of the precise ordering of the first two games, Lipschütz jumped out to an early lead over his opponent.
7.d4 Bb4 8.Bd2 c5 9.0-0 Nc6 10.a3 Ba5
11.dxc5 0-0 12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.Bxa5 Qxa5 14.b4 Qc7 15.Ng5 Bxe2 16.Qxe2 Qxe5 17.Qe3
17...Rae8 18.Rae1 Nd4
20...Nf5 21.Qf4 e3
22...Qxf4 23.Nxf4 Re4 24.Nd5 Rfe8 25.Nc3 R4e6 26.Nb5 R8e7 27.c3 Nh4 28.Nd4 Re4 29.g3
29...Rxd4 30.cxd4 Nf3+ 31.Kf1 Nxe1 32.Rxe1 Re4 33.d5 Kf8 34.Ke2 Re5 35.Rd1
35...Ke8 36.c6 bxc6 37.dxc6 Re7 38.b5 f5 39.a4 g5 40.a5 Rc7
41...f4 42.Rxh6 Rf7 43.gxf4 gxf4 44.Kf3
44...Kd8 45.b6 axb6 46.axb6 Rf8 47.Rh7 Kc8 48.Ra7 Kd8 49.Ra8+ Ke7 50.Rxf8 1-0.
|After being outplayed in a rook and pawn endgame, Marshall turned to the Scotch Gambit to try and reverse his fortunes. The result, however, was hardly the one he was hoping for.
6.c3 dxc3 7.Qb3 Qd7
9...Nge7 10.b4 Bb6 11.Be3 Ng6 12.Nbd2 Nd8 13.Bxb6
13...axb6 14.Nd4 Ne5 15.Bb3 Nef7 16.f4 0-0
21.Nb5 cxb4 22.Nxd6 Be6 23.e5 Bg8
24.N2c4 fxe5 25.Re3
25...Nc6 26.fxe5 bxa3 27.Rxa3 Rxa3 28.Qxa3 b5 29.Nd2 Nxe5 30.Nxb5 Qf6 31.Nf3
32.Qe7 Nxe3 33.Qxe3 Ng4 34.Qd4 Qxd4+ 35.Nfxd4 Bc4 36.Bf5
36...Bxb5 37.Nxb5 Rxf5 38.Nc3 b5 39.h3 Ne3 0-1.
|With a commanding 2-0 lead, Lipschütz could have easily coasted into victory for the Staats-Zeitung Cup by drawing the third game, but the Manhattan Club players juggernaut was not about to be stopped by Marshalls play, which many considered radically below the form he had shown earlier in the year when he won the Minor tournament at London 1899 with a score of 8½-2½ over a field that included the likes of Mieses and Marco. But whatever his form, Marshall stood no real chance against Lipschütz, who at Saratoga would give up only one draw among his many games.
5...g6 6.Qh3 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.Nf3 cxd4 9.exd4 Qc7
11...Qb6 12.Na3 Bd7 13.Qe3
14.Bxe3 a6 15.0-0 Rc8 16.Rad1 Nge7 17.Be2
17...Na5 18.Rd2 b5
19.Rfd1 Nc4 20.Nxc4 bxc4 21.Rc1
21...a5 22.b3 Bb5
26...Kf7 27.Ba2 Bb5
28.Bxa5 Bc4 29.Bxc4 Rxc4 30.Rd7 Rhc8
31...Ke8 32.Rbb7 Ng8 33.Rg7 Kf8 34.Bb4+ Rxb4 35.cxb4 Nh6 36.h3 Ng8 37.Rbf7+ 1-0.
|And so after three games, and a 3-0 shellacking of the Brooklyn representative, the Manhattan Chess Club took permanent possession of the Staats-Zeitung Chess Cup, winning it for the fifth time in the nine years the cup was in competition. Both Lipschütz and Marshall played in the interstate match as well, though there is no suggestion their dual play in both the Cup and interstate matches compromised eithers form.
|The interstate match, so grandly announced beforehand to be a three way competition, also found itself somewhat less than hoped for, in that the Massachusetts players did not materialize. According to the American Chess Magazine, the withdrawal of the Massachusetts contingent was a source of sincere regret and undoubtedly militated in some degree against the success of the meet, but not seriously so, thanks be to the gods. For indeed the competition between New York and Pennsylvania in truth more than made up for the absence of the third state contingent.
|The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, not surprisingly, also published Lipschützs win over McCutcheon in the same, August 31, 1899, column.
|A third game from this round was published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger for September 20, 1899. Like all the games from the Ledger, this one was annotated by Emil Kemeny, who not only could appreciate the quality of play he saw, but was himself deeply involved in the interstate match. The introduction in the Ledger stated that the game between Bampton and Marshall in the Interstate contest, held at Saratoga, was won by the former. Marshall adopted the Max Lange Attack. On his sixteenth turn he failed to select the strongest move, and Bampton quickly took advantage. The continuation was very lively, and the Philadelphian soon obtained the attack, which he pursued vigorously, bringing about a win in the shortest possible order.
5.0-0 Nf6 6.e5 d5 7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 9.Ng5 Qd5
10.Nc3 Qf5 11.Nce4 Bb6 12.fxg7 Rg8 13.g4 Qg6 14.Nxe6 fxe6 15.Bg5
17...Qh6 18.Qe2 e5 19.Qxc4+ Kf8 20.Qe6
20...Qxh4 21.Nd7+ Rxd7 22.Qxd7
23.Kh1 Rd8 24.Qf5+ Kg7 25.Rad1 Rf8 26.Qxd3 Rxf2 27.h3 Nd4 28.Rf1 e4
29.Qe3 Rxf1+ 30.Rxf1
|The evening session proved as much a disaster for the Pennsylvania players as the morning one had for the New Yorkers. Lipschütz defeated Kemeny, perhaps his strongest competitor, to increase his interstate score to 2-0. By defeating Roething, Bampton, on the Pennsylvania side, matched Lipschütz by maintaining a perfect record, but his victory was the only one his team could boast of that night. And Marshall finally scored a half point, drawing with Pennsylvania team captain Walter Penn Shipley. The tired combatants went to bed with the overall score deadlocked at 7-7.
10...Nc5 11.Rfe1 Ne6 12.Qd2 Rb8 13.Rab1 f6 14.exf6 Bxf6 15.Be3 a6 16.Nd4 Nxd4 17.Bxd4 d5
18...Ra8 19.Bc5 Re8 20.Rxe8+ Qxe8 21.Re1 Qf7 22.Ne2 Bd7
23.Nd4 Re8 24.Rxe8+ Qxe8 25.Qe3 Qxe3 26.fxe3 Kf7 27.c3 g5 28.Nc2 h5 29.g3
29...Be5 30.Bd4 Bd6 31.Kf2 h4 32.b4 Kg6 33.Ne1 h3 34.Nf3 Kf5 35.Nd2
35...Be8 36.a3 Bh5 37.c4 dxc4 38.e4+ Ke6 39.Nxc4 g4 40.Nd2
41...Be5 42.Nc4 Bc3 43.e5
43...Bd3 44.Na5 Bb5 45.Nb3 Bxe5 46.Bf4 Bb2 47.a4 Bc4 48.Nc5+ Kd5 49.Nd7 Bc3 50.Bxc7 Bd4+ 51.Ke1 Ke4
52...Bc3+ 53.Kf2 Bxb4 54.a5 Bc3 55.Bc7 Bd4+ 56.Ke1 c5 57.Bb6 Kd5 58.Bd8 Kc6 59.Nf6 Be6 60.Nh5 Bc3+ 61.Ke2 Kb5 62.Kd3
62...Bxa5 63.Bxa5 Kxa5 64.Kc3 Kb5 65.Nf4 Bf7 66.Nd3 a5 67.Ne5 Be6 68.Nd3 a4 69.Nf4 Bf7 70.Nd3 a3 71.Nc1 a2 72.Kb2 Bc4 73.Ka1 Kc6 74.Nxa2 Bxa2 75.Kxa2 Kd5 76.Kb3 Kd4 77.Kc2 Kc4 0-1.
|The third round, played Wednesday morning, saw no change in the team standings, as the round was evenly split, 3½-3½, resulting in another tie for the teams in total score as well, at 10½-10½. Lipschütz furthered his perfect record to 3-0, as did Bampton. Shipley increased his string of draws to three, and he wasnt done yet.
|The finest game of the round, and a game that was destined to cause some discord among the players who were submitting their games for consideration for the best played game prize, the Martinez silver smoking set, was Lipschützs effort. It is the only game from round three that could be found. According to the Ledger, the game between Lipschütz and D. Stuart in the recent Interstate Tourney, held at Saratoga, was a lively contested one, resulting in a victory for the former. Stuart was not in his best form and his opponent soon obtained the preferable game. Lipschütz, with his thirty-third move, started an attack, which was quite promising, yet by correct play, Stuart could have held his own. The critical point came about on the thirty-eighth turn; by playing ...Qa7+ a draw could have been secured, while the move selected by Stuart gave his opponent a win.
|The game was annotated by multiple sources, including Emil Kemeny in the Philadelphia Public Ledger for September 22, 1899, and the New York Evening Post, as republished in the American Chess Magazine for Oct.-Nov. 1899, p.146. Lipschützs opponent was David Stuart Robinson, though in many chess events he identified himself only as D. Stuart. Precisely why Robinson resorted to this stratagem is unknown. As will be seen, both Kemeny and the annotator for the Post were less than enthusiastic about the merits of the game.
the New York Evening Post by the American Chess Magazine
10.Qd2 a6 11.Rad1 b5 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.f3 Rc8
14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.exd5 Nd7
16.c3 Nb6 17.Bd4 Bxd4+ 18.Qxd4 Na4 19.Qd2
21.f4 Nc5 22.Bf3 Qd7 23.Qe3 Rc7 24.g4 f6 25.Bg2 Kg7 26.Re2 Re8 27.Qd4 Kf7 28.Rde1 Na4
29.Qf2 Nc5 30.Qh4 Kg7 31.g5 f5 32.Qh6+ Kg8 33.h4
35...Nxf4 36.Rxf4 Rxf4 37.hxg6 e5 38.dxe6
39.gxh7+ Qxh7 40.e7
40...Rg4 41.Kf1 Rxg2 42.Kxg2 Rxe7 43.Qxh7+ Rxh7 44.Kg3 Kf7
46.Kxf5 Rh4 47.g6+ Kf8 48.Re4 1-0.
|The Pennsylvania team finally broke the deadlock on the evening of Wednesday, August 30, 1899, when they managed to win the round by a score of 4-3, bringing the total team points to 14½-13½. Although four games were drawn, Pennsylvania won two of the remaining three, one involving McCutcheon (of the McCutcheon Variation of the French Defense) defeating Roething, while Voigt defeated the hapless Karpinski. New Yorks sole winner, of course, was once more Lipschütz, who now had extended his score to 4-0 and clearly was the favorite to win the overall first prize for individual scoring. Unfortunately, no games from this round have been recovered.
|Pennsylvanias small lead from the day before was quickly extinguished as the New York delegation won four, lost two, and drew one and thus themselves took a one point team score lead after five rounds, 18-17. Lipschütz continued to run roughshod over his opponents, winning his fifth game in a row (eight, if the three Staats-Zeitung games against Marshall were included). Shipley finally won a game, after four consecutive draws. Kemeny too won, bringing his score to 3-2. Marshalls win over D. Stuart Robinson left him with the same score as Kemeny, and for the first time on the positive side of the ledger.
|Marshalls win was annotated in the pages of the October November issue of the American Chess Magazine, by I. Gunsberg. The notes were in all likelihood reprinted from another source, but none was given.
11.Bb3 Ba6 12.Qd2 e6 13.0-0-0 Ne7 14.Kb1 Qc7
16.Bg5 Bxe5 17.Rxe5 Rxb3
18.Bf6 Rxc3 19.Qxc3 Rg8 20.Bxe7 Kxe7
21...Rb8 22.Ra5 Bf1
23.Qc5+ Kf6 24.Qd4 Qb6 25.Rf5+ Ke7 26.Rxa7+
|In addition to Marshalls win, Kemenys victory over Roething has also been recovered. Kemeny annotated his win for the pages of the September 12, 1899, Philadelphia Public Ledger. The Ledger wrote that the game between Kemeny and Roething in the recent interstate contest held at Saratoga was splendidly contested and resulted in a victory for the former. Roething adopted a variation of the Ruy Lopez involving the temporary sacrifice of a piece and a fairly even game came about. On his fourteenth turn, however, he did not select the strongest move, and by playing Be3 instead of Bf4, he gave Kemeny an opportunity to gain the upper hand. The struggle from this point was a very interesting one. The critical stage came about on the twenty-third turn. The Philadelphian then could win a pawn, which, however, would hardly have secured a win. Instead of winning a pawn Kemeny selected a more forcible continuation, leading to the exchange of both pawns, which gave him a winning endgame. After thirty-three moves, Roething was obliged to acknowledge defeat. The game was entered in the competition for the special brilliancy prize.
6...Nxb5 7.a4 d6
8.axb5 Nxe5 9.Re1 Be7
10.Nxe5 dxe5 11.Qxd8+ Bxd8
12.Rxe5+ Be6 13.Nc3 0-0 14.Be3
14...Bf6 15.Rc5 Rfc8 16.Bf4 c6 17.bxc6 b6 18.Rb5 Rxc6 19.Bd2
20...Bxg5 21.Rxg5 Rd2 22.Rc1
24.Rd3 Rxd3 25.cxd3 b4 26.Ne2 Rxc1+ 27.Nxc1 a5 28.Kf1
28...a4 29.Ke2 b3
31.Nxb3 axb2 32.Kc2 Bxb3+ 33.Kxb2 Bd5
|New York added to its one point lead in the evening session on Thursday, thus taking into Fridays final round a two point team lead, 22-20. Though Pennsylvania was not mathematically eliminated from winning the interstate contest, to do so they would need a 5-2 final round victory over their rivals, or at least a 4½-2½ win to tie the match. How this would be accomplished appeared difficult to conceive. Lipschütz won again in round six, extending his point total to an invincible 6-0. At the end of play Thursday, after his victory over Bampton, he was guaranteed first prize for his individual achievement. Pennsylvanias only hope was that Shipley, who had not been beaten in the team match, though he sported only a 3½-2½ score, might help slow the New Yorker down. Marshall, too, had improved his record to 4-2, matching Kemeny, the best scorer for the Pennsylvania team, and thus along with Lipschütz accounted for ten of New Yorks twenty-two points at the end of round six.
10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Qb3 Kh8
12.Bf4 Qc7 13.Rac1 Nc6 14.g3 Be6 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Qxb7 Bd7 17.Ne5 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Qe6 19.Nf4 Qe8 20.Qxd5
20...Rd8 21.e6 Bc8 22.Qc6 Ng5 23.Qxe8 Rdxe8 24.Bb5 Re7
25...Rxc8 26.Bd7 Rd8 27.h4 Nf3+ 28.Kg2 Nd4 29.Nd5 Rdxd7 30.exd7 Rxd7 31.Rc1 Kg8 32.Ne3 g6 33.Rd1 Rd6 34.a4 Kf7 35.f4 Ke7 36.Nc4 Rd7
|While the Ledgers assumption the game would win the silver smoking set was premature, the game Kemeny had played was quite attractive in its own right.
25.a6 b6 26.Rxc6 Ke7 27.h4 Nb8 28.Rc7+ Kd6
29.Rb7 Nc6 30.h5
31.Nd4 Nxd4 32.cxd4 f6 33.dxe5+ fxe5 34.f4 Nc6 35.b5 Na5 36.Rxg7 Nc4 37.fxe5+ Kxe5 38.Bxh6 Nd6 39.Rg5+ Kd4 40.Bg7+ Ke3 41.Bf3 Rc8 42.Rg6 Re8 43.h6
|So as not to favor either team by awarding their whole squad the White pieces for the fourth time in seven rounds, the seventh and final round of the interstate match was divided as to who had White, with four New York players and three Pennsylvania players retaining that small opening advantage. But the allocation of colors did not really change the situation. The Pennsylvania team could not reach at least 4½-2½ in order to tie the match, let alone the 5-2 score needed to win it. Instead they found themselves losing the round by a two point margin. For the first and only time, one team, Pennsylvania, did not score a win in a round. On the other hand, Lipschütz was prevented from traveling home with a perfect record. Pennsylvanias team captain, Shipley, held him to a draw. As Lipschütz acted as New Yorks team captain, perhaps the draw was not fully unexpected between the two. New York thus won the match by a score of 26½-22½. No games from the seventh and final round have survived.
|In terms of individual scoring, Lipschütz received the forty dollar first prize for his exceptional score of 6½-½. Marshall and Kemeny divided second and third prizes (twenty-five and twenty dollars, accordingly), for their scores of 4½-2½ each. Shipley, Halpern, and Bampton, at 4-3, were left to divide the fourth and fifth prizes of ten and five dollars. As is well known, however, Shipley never accepted a cash prize for his chess play in any event during his long career, and so in all likelihood Halpern and Bampton were left to divide the last two prizes. The one hundred dollars in prize money had been raised through each state chess association placing fifty dollars in the prize fund.
|Besides the fight for the Staats-Zeitung Chess Cup as well as for the third annual New York versus Pennsylvania team match title, a General Tournament was held by the NYSCA during the midsummer meeting at Saratoga Springs. The General Tournament was itself divided into three separate classes, and the winner of the First Class tournament was W. J. Ferris of Newcastle, Delaware, a member of the Franklin Chess Club. Only five players entered the First Class event, and the deciding game was between Ferris and Waller, one of the players who tied for second and third prize in the event. The final round game that follows gave Ferris the Farnsworth Cup for the year.
|The Philadelphia Public Ledger for September 8, 1899, reported that the game between Ferris and Waller in the final round of the New York State tourney recently held at Saratoga was a French Defense, won by the former. Waller failed to select the strongest moves and he lost a valuable pawn on the twenty-first turn. Ferris pursued his advantage vigorously; he won an exchange and subsequently a piece. Waller surrendered on the forty-third turn, when his position was a hopeless one. By winning this game Ferris secured first prize. The annotations are by Emil Kemeny.
4.e5 a6 5.Qg4 Bf8 6.Nf3 h6 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.a3 Nge7 9.Ne2 Nf5 10.Ng3 g6 11.c3 Bd7 12.h4 Nxg3 13.Qxg3 Ne7 14.Qf4 Bg7 15.g4 c6 16.Qg3 Qc7 17.h5 g5 18.Nh2 0-0-0 19.0-0 Rdf8
21.fxg5 hxg5 22.Bxg5 Ng8 23.Rf3 Bh6 24.Bxh6 Rxh6 25.Be2 Nf6
26.Qf4 Ng8 27.g5 Rh7 28.Rg3 Be8 29.g6 Rg7 30.Rf1 Ne7 31.Rf2 Rfg8 32.Rfg2 Kb8 33.Nf3 c5 34.Nh4 cxd4 35.cxd4 Ka7 36.Nf3 Qd7 37.Ng5
38.h6 Rh7 39.Nxh7 Bxh7 40.Rg7 Ng6
41.R2xg6 Rxg7 42.Rxg7 Qe8 43.Qg5
|Thus ended the NYSCA midsummer meeting at Saratoga Springs in late August and early September 1899. But the end of the meeting did not mean the end of controversy. There was still the matter of the prize for the best played game.
|William de Visser and Philip Richardson, both of Brooklyn, were named as a committee of two to determine who should receive Manhattan Chess Club President Ariztides Martinezs special prize for the best played game at Saratoga. After examining the various game scores submitted for the silver smoking set, de Visser and Richardson originally decided that Emil Kemeny of Philadelphia deserved the prize for his sixth round victory over Hanham.
|The problem, it developed, was that not every score originally set aside for consideration had actually been seen by de Visser and Richardson. Fourteen of the forty-nine games played were in fact intended for submission for the prize, but only thirteen made their way to the committee. The score of Lipschützs victory over D. Stuart Robinson had in fact been mislaid, and not turned over to the two men. To complicate matters further, before learning the Lipschütz game had not been submitted, de Visser had spoken with someone associated with the press stating that it appeared the Kemeny game would win the prize, though he asked the reporter not to divulge this information until after the official announcement had been made. Either through bad faith, or, at least, a misunderstanding, several newspapers announced that Kemeny would win the smoking set.
|But once the Lipschütz Stuart Robinson game score was found (in fact, Robinson had to be written concerning the matter, and he graciously sent along from Philadelphia a copy of his own scoresheet), de Visser and Richardson considered that game to be superior in merit to the Kemeny game, and thereafter officially announced that Lipschütz, and not Kemeny, would receive the special prize for the best played game.
|The matter of the mislaid game score aside, the reports of the midsummer meeting at Saratoga Springs were uniformly favorable, but for one by Marshall, who grumbled at one point that because his room fronted toward a railway terminus which caused the puffing and blowing of the locomotives to scare the wits out of Morpheus, he had no sleep during the event.
|Marshalls complaint, or excuse, depending upon how one wishes to read it, was not directly remarked on by the editor of the American Chess Magazine. The editor did, however, note that it had come under question whether the famous resort is exactly the proper place for this meeting, and that he had heard players attribute indifferent success on the board to the gayety of the surroundings, the general restlessness in the atmosphere and to too much style. The general editorial conclusion, though, was that considering that a fair proportion of the contestants accomplished excellent results, this argument cannot very well be entertained and it must be taken for granted that there was something, either in the temperament or ability of the players themselves, to account for the non-success of which they complained. Or to put the matter another way, essentially every chess player faced the same challenge a stay at a popular summer resort offered.
|Saratoga Springs 1899 produced no opening novelties. It was not of international master standards, nor did it intend to be. What it did illustrate, however, was how much fun could be had, if only for a short time, in an interstate meeting of chessplayers united in their love of the game and in their mutual respect for the abilities of their compatriots and their fellow competitors, alike. That good chess in a number of games took place was, to some extent, secondary to the communal sense of a united effort. And perhaps, just perhaps, at the club level, that is how much of chess should be played, and enjoyed.
© John S. Hilbert 2000. All rights Reserved.