Chess in 1885

by Bill Wall



In 1885, the first Australian championship was held in Melbourne.  It was won by Frederick Karl Esling (1860-1955).


In 1885, the Havana Chess Club was formed.  It was the site of 3 world chess championships: 1889, 1892, and 1921.


In 1885, Colonel Trabue held a chess tourney funded by pineapples in Florida (source: British Chess Magazine, 1980, p. 599)


In 1885, the American Association of Chess Editors formed by Daniel Hervey


In 1885, the Ajeeb automaton made its debut in the United States (New York).


In 1885, the Hereford Times confers 1 f4 as Bird's Opening.


In 1885, British explorer and Arabist Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) translated into English The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, subtitled A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainsments, better known as the “Arabian Nights.”   Chess is frequently mentioned in the Arabian Nights.  In The Second Qalandar’s Tale, the price transformed into a monkey makes his partners suspect his human nature by his proficiency in playing chess.  In the Tale of the King, Umar ibn al-Nu’man has to play chess as part of the test to which Abriza subjects him.  The love story of Masrur and Zayn al-Mawasif begins with a series of chess games.  In the story of Tawaddud, the heroine beats the most proficient chess player of Baghdad.  The story of Al-Ma’mun and Zubayda holds a game of chess for the procreation of the Abbasid caliph al-Mamun.  The book is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic from the8th through the 13th centuries. 


On January 22, 1885, Josef Krejcik was born.  He was an Austrian chess master, problemist, journalist and author.


In January 1885, Steinitz began publication of THE INTERNATIONAL CHESS MAGAZINE.  It continued until Dec, 1891.


On Feb 2, 1885, Karel Treybal was born in Czechoslovakia.  He was a Czech master.


In May 1885, Delmar won the 2nd Manhattan chess club championship.


On May 2, 1885, Nikolai Krylenko was born.  He was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary and Soviet politician.  He headed the Soviet chess association in the 1930s.


In June 1885, Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate, was elected President of the British Chess Association.  Lord Randolph Churchill was elected one of the Vice Presidents. (source: The London Times, June 23, 1885)


In June 1885, the first Congress of the British Chess Association was held in London.   Gunsberg took 1st place.


On June 22, 1885, Milan Vidmar was born in Ljubljana.  He was Nordic champion in 1909.  He was Yugoslav champion in  1939. 


In August 1885, Daniel Yamton Mills won the 2nd Scottish Championship.


On Aug 29, 1995, Bernhard Horwitz died in London.  He was a leading player and composer of his day.


In September 1885, President Cleveland visited the museum where Ajeeb was on display.  Vice President Hendricks played Ajeeb and lost.


In October 1885, the 1st Irish chess association was held in Dublin. Pollock took 1st.


On Oct 26, 1885, the  Franklin Chess Club was organized in Philadelphia.  Its first president was D.M. Martinez,


In Dec 1885, the first Franklin chess club championship was held in Philadelphia. Charles Newman took 1st.


On Dec 3, 1885, Edward Lasker was born in Poland.  He was a leading German-American master.


On Dec 14, 1885, Ernest Falkbeer died in Vienna.  He was a chess editor.