Chess in 1896

by Bill Wall


In 1896, UC Berkeley beat Harvard in a chess game by wire.


In January 1896, James Grower died in Brooklyn at the age of 84.  He had the reputation of being the oldest chess player in the United States.  He was President of the Paul Morphy Club.  (source: New York Times, Jan 19, 1896)


In 1896, Veniamin Sozin was born in Russia.  He was an openings specialist.


In 1896, The Women’s Chess Club of New-York was incorporated.  The President was Mrs. Eliza Campbell Foot. (source: New York Times, March 2, 1896)


In 1896, Jackson Showalter defeated Kemeny and Barry to retain the US chess championship title.


In 1896, Edith Price founded the Gambit Chess Rooms.


In 1896 he wrote Common Sense in Chess, based on a series of 12 chess lectures that he gave in London. The German edition was published in 1896 and the English edition was published in 1897.


In 1896, Emanuel Lasker won at Nuremberg with 12 wins, 3 draws, 3 losses.


In 1896, the Pillsbury National Correspondence Chess Association (PNCCA) was formed.


In 1896, the Mercantile Library Chess Association was formed in Philadelphia.


In 1896, there were less than 50 skilled professional chess players in the world.  (source: Cedar Falls Gazette, March 10, 1896)


In January 1896, Lasker won at St Petersburg.  Steinitz took 2nd.


On March 13, 1896, the first cable chess match between Great Britain and the United States began. It was organized by the Brooklyn Chess Club, and would be the first Anglo-American chess match.  The first team match had 8 players per side.  Subsequent matches had 10 players per side.  Sir George Newnes (1851-1910) was president of the British Chess Club and he provided a $300 silver cup that would go to the winning team.  Newnes was an editor and publisher of magazines in Britain.  He was the first to publish the Sherlock Holmes mystery series, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  USA won the first match, 4.5 to 3.5


On March 22, 1896, Sam Loyd’s first puzzle column for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was published.


On April 19, 1896, Esteben Canal was born in Chiclayo, Peru.  He was Hungarian champion in 1933.


On May 1, 1896, the first international conference of the English and American women’s chess clubs was held in New York.  It was designed to present to the public the subject of the educational values of chess for the younger generation.  (source: Chicago Daily Tribune, April 28, 1896)


On May 2, 1896,  Arpad Vajda was born in  Rimavska Sobota, Hungary.  He was Hungarian champion in 1928. 


On June 14, 1896, Comis Mansfield was born.  He was a chess problemist.


On June 25, 1896, Marmaduke Wyvill died.  He was a leading English chess master.


On Sep 5, 1896, Albert Becker was born in Vienna.  He was the Austrian champion in 1925 and  1937. 


On Sep 14, 1896, Edward Freeborough died in Hull, England.  He was a chess author.


On Sep 20, 1896, Friedrich Saemisch was born in Berlin.  He was Austrian champion in 1921. 


On Oct 5, 1896, William Pollock died in Clifton, Bristol, England, aged 37.  He was an English chess master and surgeon.


On Nov 7, 1896, the Lasker-Steinitz world championship match began in Moscow.


On Dec 1, 1896, Hans Mueller was born.  He was Austrian champion in  1947.