Chess in 1889

by Bill Wall


In 1889, Ignatz Kolisch died in Vienna.  He was a chess master and chess patron.


In 1889, the first Switzerland championship was held in Zurich.  Pestalozzi and Poplawski tied for 1st place.


In 1889, Gerz Rotlewi was born.  He was a Polish chess player.


In 1889, Otto Blathy (1860-1939) composed the longest chess problem - mate in 290 moves.


In 1889,   Emmanuel Schiffers (1850-1904) was the first Russian to deliver a course of lectures on chess.


In 1889, Mary Rudge gave the first public simultaneous exhibition in chess when she took on 6 opponents at once and won all the games.


In 1889, Emanuel Lasker won at Breslau, He gained the German master title.


On Jan 7, 1889, Hans Johner was born in Basel.  He won the Swiss championship 12 times. 


On Jan 27, 1889, Frederick Perrin died in Brooklyn of pneumonia, aged 73.  He was Secretary of the New York Chess Club.  His last words to his physician were: “Doctor, I am puzzled over that last move of mine.”  (source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jan 28, 1889)


On Jan 20, 1889, the second world championship match, Steinitz-Chigorin, began in Havana.


In Feb 1889, the first brilliancy prize for match game was awarded to Steinitz. (300 francs)


In February 1889, Steinitz defeated Chigorin, 10.5 - 6.5 in the 2nd world championship match, Havana.  The prize was $1,150, the lowest ever for a world championship chess match.


On Mar 9, 1889, Grigori Levenfish was born in Poland.  He was USSR champion in 1934 and 1937. 



On April 14, 1889, Efim Bogoljubov was born in Kiev.  He was a Russian-born German chess grandmaster.


In May 1889, Steinitz published Modern Chess Instructor which lasted until 1895.  


On May 1, 1889, Josef Lokvenc was born in  Vienna.  He was German champion in 1943.  He was Austrian champion in 1951 and 1953.


In May 1889, Chigorin and Weiss won the 6th American Chess Congress held in New York.  Chigorin won the most games in a single tournament, 27.  The top US player in the NY International was S. Lipschutz.  The first “best game prize” was awarded to  Gunsberg over Mason, New York 1889.  Nicholas MacLeod (1870-1965) lost 31 games in this tournament.


After the 6th American Chess Congress was over, there was no money left for the non-prize winners.  Taubenhaus of Paris was left destitute, having spent all his money he had to live on during the two months of the tourney.  He received a cable dispatch from Paris to return and help manipulate the automaton Mephisto for 100 francs a week.  But Taubenhaus had no money to buy a ticket for a ship leaving for Europe.  He asked the tournament committee for $25 to enable him to secure at least a steerage passage, but the request was refused.  (source: New York Times, May 24, 1889)


On May 28, 1889, Richard Reti was born in Bosing, Bratislava.  He was Czechoslovkian champion in 1925. 


On July 29, 1889, Lajos Asztalos was born in Pecs, Hungary.  He was Hungarian champion in 1913.


On Aug 21, 1889, Guy Chandler was born in Weymouth, England.  He was founder of the British Chess Problem Society.


On Sep 22, 1889, the Swiss Chess Association was founded.


On Nov 28, 1889, Thomas Dawson was born in Leeds, England.  He created 6,400 problems.  He was a pioneer of fairy chess.


On Dec 8, 1889, Max Lange died in Leipzig, Germany.  He was a German chess player and problem composer.


In December 1889, a correspondence match between the USA and Canada was won by the USA team.  Each side had 60 players each.