Chess in 1880

by Bill Wall


In 1880, the first intercontinental telegraph match was played.  Two games were played between Liverpool and Calcutta.


In 1880, the first major chess club in Russia was organized by Mikhail Chigorin.


In 1880, van der Linde published his second book on the history of chess.


In 1880, Alexander Flamberg was born in Warsaw.  He was a Polish chess master.  He won the Warsaw championship in  1910.


In 1880, Karl Andreaschek was born in Bzenec, now in the Czech Republic.  He was a chess master and problemist.


In 1880, Louis Paulsen won a strong tournament in Brunswick, Germany.


In 1880, George Mackenzie defeated Max Judd of St Louis (+7-5=3).


From 1880 to the end of 1881, Wilhelm Steinitz was invited to Randolph Churchill’s mansion to play chess and give him chess lessons.  He met Lady Churchill (Jennie) and discussed politics with Lord Randolph.  Winston Churchill was 6 years old at the time.


On Jan 6, 1880, the 5th American Chess Congress started in New York.  It had 10 players.


During the 5th American Chess Congress, the Chess Association of the United States was formed.  The temporary chairman of the association was William T. Minor (1815-1889) the former governor of Connecticut.  The elected officers included Col John R. Fellows as President, Henry C Allen as Secretary, and Commander J. D. Beuglass as Treasurer.  (source: New York Times, Jan 29, 1880)



On Jan 19, 1880, Julius Perlis was born.  He was a Viennese player.


On Jan 26, 1880, George Mackenzie took 1st place on tiebreaks over Grundy at the  5th American Chess Congress.  The 5th American Chess Congress was the first to have a tie and playoff for an American title.


In 1880, going into the last round of the 5th American Chess Congress in New York, the leading scores were: James Grundy 12.5, Preston Ware 12.5, Charles Moehle 12.5 and George Henry Mackenzie 12.5.  So, the distribution of $1,000 prize money and a gold medal depended on the final games.   Mackenzie won his game and scored 13.5.  Then Moehle drew and scored 13 points.  But Grundy's game with Ware lingered on.   At one time it appeared that Ware had a certain win and the game was adjourned. Unaccountably to the onlookers, when the players resumed in the evening, Ware played what are described as 'some apparently purposeless moves', and Grundy scored a lucky point after 64 moves to tie Captain Mackenzie for first and second prizes.  A two-game play off was arranged between Mackenzie and Grundy.   But before it began, Ware made a written complaint to the congress committee. Ware wrote, "As I was walking down the Bowery with Mr Grundy, on Sunday 25 January, he remarked that he was poor and really needed the second prize."  Ware alleged that Grundy had offered him $20 to play for a draw. He admitted that he had fallen in with the plan and that, even with a won game, he merely –in his own words- “moved back and forward as agreed.  Grundy was making desperate efforts to win, and finally did so, perpetrating an infamous fraud on me.”  The committee couldn't do anything about the unsupported allegations, and conceded to Grundy the benefit of a technical doubt. Grundy lost the play-off 2-0 and took the $300 second prize.  A resolution was passed to bar Grundy from any future chess tournaments of the Chess Association of the United States.  Ware was reprimanded and suspended for one year.  (source: New York Times, March 7, 1880)


On Feb 11, 1880, Philippe Durand died in Lisieux, France.  He wrote the first book devoted to the practical endgame.


On March 3, 1880, Alain Campbell White was born in Cannes, France.  He was an American chess composer.


In March 1880, Cambridge University defeated Oxford University in their 8th annual chess match.  The match was held at the St. George’s Chess Club.  (source: London Times, Mar 19, 1880)


On June 21, 1880, the 3rd New York championship was held in Syracuse.   Samuel Robert Calthrop (1829-1917)took 1st place.


On July 3, 1880, Albert Barnes published analysis of the Barnes Defense in Canada.


On Sep 16, 1880, Carl Carls was born in Varel, Germany.   He was German champion in 1934.


On Nov 11, 1880, Gustaf Collijn was born in Stockholm.  With his brother, Ludvig, they wrote LAROBOK.


On Dec 3, 1880, the 1st French championship, held in Paris, was won by Samuel Rosenthal (1837-1902).


On Dec 22, 1880, Dawid Przepiorka was born.  He was a Polish master.