Chess in 1891

by Bill Wall


In 1891, Jackson Showalter won the 3rd US championship, held in Lexington, Kentucky. (4th Congress)


In 1891, Walter R. Lovegrove won the first California chess championship. He won a match from Joseph D. Redding (1858-1932), who claimed the championship of the Pacific Coast. The claim was based in a magazine article by Johann Zukertort that Redding was the best player on the Pacific coast.  Lovegrove won by the score of 7-1.


In 1891, the first article on chessplayer ratings was published in the British Chess Magazine by George Brumfitt.


In 1891 Steinitz again played Chigorin in Havana by cable and lost. Shortly afterward, the New York police arrested Steinitz as a Russian spy for using chess code over a cable. This was cleared up later on.


In 1891, Emanuel Lasker traveled to London to run a chess pavilion at a German exhibition.  He accepted the invitation so that he could make enough money for his sisters to move to Berlin.  After the exhibition ended, Lasker decided to remain in England and take up chess professionally.  He stayed in England from 1891 to 1893, then from 1895 to 1904, and from 1934 to 1935.


On Jan 1, 1891 Joseph Campbell died in London.  He was a chess problemist.


On Jan 3, 189, Alfrrd  Brinckmann was born in Kiel, Germany.  He was a German International Master.


On Jan 22, 1891 Steinitz (+6=9-4) beat Gunsberg, 10.5-8.5, in the 3rd world championship, held in New York.


On April 5, 1891,  Johann Hermann Bauer died in Gortz, Austria of tuberculosis.  He was an Austrian chess master.


On April 14, 1891, George H. MacKenzie died at the Cooper Union Hotel in New York.    First indication of cause of death was pneumonia.  (source: New York Times, April 15, 1891).  Steinitz claimed Mackenzie killed himself with an overdose of morphine.


In May 1891, the home in which Paul Morphy lived and died was sold at auction for $6,000.  It was the oldest house on the street, over 120 years old.  Morphy’s father purchased it for $90,000, but the house was now uninhabited and was a crumbling ruin.  (source: New York Times, May 3, 1891)


On May 11, 1891, Ilya Rabinovich was born.  He was a strong Russian chess master.


On May 31, 1891, George Sturgis was born.  He was the first USCF president.


On Aug 18, 1891, Louis Paulsen died in London.  He was one of the strongest chess players of his day.


On Oct 10, 1891, Cyril Stanley Kipping was  born.  He was the most famous problem editor of all time.


On Dec 12, 1891, the first long distance telephone match in Great Britain was played, Liverpool vs. London.


On Dec 25, 1891,  Leonard Kubbel was born in St Petersburg.  He was a problem and endgame studies composer.


In 1891, there were at least 280 chess clubs in the United States, with a combined membership of over 20,000 members.  (source: New York Times, Oct 18, 1891)