Chess in 1894

by Bill Wall


In 1894, ENCHEIRIDION ZATRIKION was written by Olivier, the 1st Greek work on chess.


In 1894, Alfred Binet had done a series of experiments to see how well chess players played when blindfolded.  He was interested in the cognitive faculties of chess masters and thought that master chess depended upon the phenomenological qualities of visual memory (photographic memory).  He found that only chess masters were able to play chess successfully without seeing the board and intermediate players found it impossible to play a game of blindfold chess.  Binet argued that an amateur chess player could never play blindfold chess, no matter how good his memory was.  Binet concluded that the memory proposed by the master varied in different mnemonic forms (techniques used to retain information into a form the brain can understand better).


In 1894, James Mason wrote THE PRINCIPLES OF CHESS.  It sold 13,000 copies.


In 1894, Alexander Wittek was born.  He was an Austrian player and architect.


In 1894, Emanuel Lasker had gastric fever and a broken blood vessel while in England and almost died. His medical doctor brother, Dr. Berthold Lasker (1860-1928), traveled from Berlin to England and saved his life.


In 1894, Mrs. W. J. Baird was called the Queen of Chess and was interviewed for Woman’s Signal magazine.  She composed about 650 chess problems.  Here first chess problem took her 100 hours to do. She later could compose a chess problem in a half hour.  (source: London Westminster Budget, Sep 7, 1894)


In 1894, Charles O. Jackson, who said he was a former President of the Indiana Chess Association, advertised that the Terra Haute Chess Club was hosting a Great Masters’ Continental Chess Congress.  He sent flyers to chess players encouraging them to send $25 entrance fee for this major tournament.  But it was a scam.  He had run fake tournaments in the past. (source: New York Times, Jan 15, 1894)


In Jan 1894, a women's chess club was formed in New York, by Eliza Foote.  There were 30 members.  It lasted until 1949.


In January 1894, James Edward Ryan died of a heart attack after leaving his chess club.  He was a principal at a public school in New York. (source: New York Times, Jan 14, 1894)


On Jan 10, 1894, Nikolay Zubarev was born.  He was an International Master.


On Jan 23, 1894, Luigi Ceriani was born in Milan, Italy.  He was a chess problemist.


On March 3, 1894, the original agreement of the world chess championship between Lasker and Steinitz was signed.  The match was for $2,000 a side.


On Mar 15, 1894, the Steinitz-Lasker world championship match began.


On April 7, 1894, Fricis Apsenieks was born in Tetele, Latvia.  He was Latvian champion in 1926-7 and 1934.


On May 18, 1894, Edmund Adam was born in Sonneberg, Germany.  He was a German correspondence master.


On May 26, 1894, Emanuel Lasker defeated Steinitz, 12-7, in Montreal, to become world champion. Steinitz was the oldest world champion at 58 years, 10 days.


On July 25, 1894, Hans Kmoch was born in Vienna.  He was an International Master and chess author.


In Aug 1894, Albert Hodges defeated Showalter 5-3 and became recognized as US chess champion.


In October 1894, Steinitz won in the 1894 New York International.


On Nov 28, 1894, Ilyin-Genevsky was born. 


On Dec 28, 1894, Mattison was born in Riga.  He was Latvian champion in 1924.  He was World amateur champion in 1924.


In December 1894, it was reported that Mrs. Nellie Love Showalter (1870-1946) and Mrs Harriet Worrall were playing a match for the women’s championship of the world (at least the United States).  During the match, no one was admitted to the playing room, except the referee. (source: Wichita Daily Eagle, Dec 16, 1894)  Worrall won after Showalter had to quit due to illness.