New York, 1889, aka The Sixth American Chess Congress
US Championship Tournament and World Championship Candidates Tournament
New York, NY

 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20    Score
 1. Weiss       AH    XX 0 1 10  1 1 11 11 11 10  1 10 11 11 1 11 11 11   29 - 9
 2. Chigorin    RUS   1 XX 00 1 11 10 00 11 01 1 11 11 1 11 10 11 11 11 11 11   29 - 9
 3. Gunsberg    ENG   0 11 XX 01 0 0 1 10 11 11 1 11 01 11 01 11 11 11 11 11   28- 9
 4. Blackburne  ENG   01 0 10 XX 01 10 10 01 11 10 11 11 11 11 11 10 11 1 11 10   27 -11
 5. Burn        ENG    00 1 10 XX 1 00 11 11 10 11 11 01 00 11 01 11 11 11 11   26 -12
 6. Lipschuetz  USA   0 01 1 01 0 XX 1 00 11 1 10 0 1 11 11 11 10 11 11 11   25-12
 7. Mason       IRE   0 11 0 01 11 0 XX 0 00 11 0 10 01 01 1 1 1  11 11   22 -16
 8. Judd        USA   00 00 01 10 00 11 1 XX 10 11 01 00 11 00 1 0 10 1 11 11   20 -18
 9. Delmar      USA   00 10 00 00 00 00 11 01 XX 0 10 11 0 10 01 11 10 11 11 01   18 -20
10. Showalter   USA   00 0 00 01 01 0 00 00 1 XX 1 10 10 10 11 0 01 1 11 11   18 -20
11. Pollock     ENG   01 00 0 00 00 01 1 10 01 0 XX 01 1 1 01 11 00 00 11 11   17-20
12. Bird        ENG    00 00 00 00 1 01 11 00 01 10 XX 0 11 1 11 00 10 0 11   17 -21
13. Taubenhaus  FRA   0 0 10 00 10 0 10 00 1 01 0 1 XX 01 00 0 1 10 11 11   17 -21
14. Baird, D    ???   01 00 00 00 11 00 10 11 01 01 0 00 10 XX 10 00 01 11 10 1   16 -22
15. Burille     ???   00 01 10 00 00 00 0 0 10 00 10 0 11 01 XX 1 1 00 1 11   15 -23
16. Hanham      USA   00 00 00 01 10 00 0 1 00 1 00 00 1 11 0 XX 10 01 0 11   14 -24
17. Gossip      ENG   0 00 00 00 00 01 0 01 01 10 11 11 0 10 0 01 XX 00 1 00   13-25
18. Martinez    CUB   00 00 00 0 00 00  0 00 0 11 01 01 00 11 10 11 XX 01 01   13-25
19. Baird, J    ???   00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 1 00 01 0 1 0 10 XX 10    7 -31
20. MacLeod     ???   00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 10 00 00 00 00 0 00 00 11 10 01 XX    6-31

FIRST PLACE PLAYOFF
           1 2 3 4
Weiss           2
Tchigorin       2

  • A 20-man Double Round Robin Tournament. One of the longest tournaments in history. In the first half of the tournament, draws were counted as a half point. In the second half, they were replayed once. Between the 38 regular rounds, 8 replay rounds, and 4 game playoff for first at the end, there were 50 rounds all told (!).

  • Like the 4th Congress, this tournament consisted largely of foreign masters. The retirement of Captain Mackenzie seems to date from this time (though some sources credit him as US Champion until his death in 1891), giving the top American finisher some claim on being de facto US Champion.

  • The top American finisher was Solomon Lipschutz, who finished in 6th Place with a score of +22-9=7.

  • Lipschutz's supporters in the Eastern US, tried to push his claim to being US Champion as a result of this tournament.

  • In the November-December 1933 issue of Chess Review, Isaac Kashdan traces the history of the US Title back to this tournament, saying: "...the first recognized American Chess Champion was Solomon Lipschuetz, by virtue of his victory in the Sixth American Chess Congress in 1889. The organizers of this event had announced that the winner could bear the title, and had made every effort to include the strongest players in the country in the entry list. Once won, the title was to be defended in match play, the Champion aggreeing to accept all reasonable challenges at proper intervals."

  • However, Lipschuetz's claim was not accepted by all. Jackson Whipps Showalter, "The Kentucky Lion", was also making a name for himself in the Midwest at this time, winning at Cincinnati 1888, and at Saint Louis, in February 1890 (The 3rd Congress of the US Chess Association). The rivalry between the two culminated in a short match in 1890, won by Showalter, who claimed the National Title.

  • This tournament was, in a sense, the first Candidates tournament. In addition to naming a US Champion, the organizers planned to finance the winner in a World Championship match against Steinitz. Max Weiss and Mikhail Tchigorn tied for first, and remained tied after drawing all 4 games of a playoff. Tchigorin was not interested in challenging Steinitz again so soon, and Weiss was not interested in playing one at all, and so the plans came to nothing.

  • However, Isidor Gunsberg, the 3rd place finisher, was interested. In 1890, he drew a 10 wins match against Tchigorin (9-9 with 5 draws). Because of these two results, his challenge to Steinitz was accepted, with their match being played in 1890-1.

  • Taubenhaus used to brag that he used to beat Capablanca at Queen odds, usually neglecting to mention that he did it when Capa was a toddler.

  • List of Competitors:
    1. Weiss, Miksa
    2. Chigorin, Mikhail
    3. Gunsberg, Isidor
    4. Blackburne, Joseph Henry
    5. Burn, Amos
    6. Lipschuetz, Samuel
    7. Mason, James
    8. Judd, Max
    9. Delmar, Eugene
    10. Showalter, Jackson Whipps
    11. Pollock, William Henry Kraus
    12. Bird, Henry Edward
    13. Taubenhaus, Jean
    14. Baird, David Graham
    15. Burille, Constant Ferdinand
    16. Hanham, Major James Moore
    17. Gossip, George Hatfield
    18. Martinez, Dion M
    19. Baird, John Washington
    20. MacLeod, Nicholas


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