Chess in 1877

by Bill Wall


In 1877, the German National Body for chess was formed.


In 1877, Christopher Heath was born in London.  He was 1923-4 Scottish Champion. 


In 1877, T.G. Cranston was born in Dublin.  He was Irish champion in 1922 and 1931.


In 1877, it was reported that Paul Morphy was in a New Orleans asylum, hopelessly insane, losing his mental control in 1876.  (source: The Perry, Iowa Daily Chief, April 26, 1877).


In 1877, chess was first played using the telephone.  The first documented telephone chess game is from Dr. White and Mr. Treadwell of New York.  Treadwell won.


In July 1877, the first intercontinental correspondence chess match, the International Postal Card Match, began between the USA and the UK.  The match lasted until 1881.  There was no official result after 112 games.  The USA team had 32 wins and the UK team had 30 wins.


In the August 11, 1877 issue of Scientific American (Volume 37, Number 6), there was an article called “Chess” on page 81.  It mentioned that Samuel Loyd would be writing a weekly chess column for Scientific American Supplement.  The article went on to say, “It is a curious fact, that the most distinguished inventors, mechanics, scientists, lawyers, clergymen, musicians, and statesmen, find recreation in the practice of this superior amusement.  There appears to be something about it that both delights the mind and sharpens the understanding.  The ablest men are found among its devotees, and confess to its beneficial influences.”


On Aug 10, 1877, Frank Marshall was born in New York.  He was US champion from 1909 to 1936.


On Sep 27, 1877, Oscar Gelbfuhs died in Tesin, Czechoslovakia.  He invented a tie-breaking method for chess.


On Nov 13, 1877, Paul Saladin Leonhardt was born.  He was a German chess master.


On Dec 1, 1877, the 1st meeting of the Manhattan Chess Club (37 people) took place in Manhattan, New York.