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Paris Tournament

Johannes Zukertort17.5/24(+14 -3 =7)[games]
Simon Winawer14.5/23(+11 -5 =7)[games]
Joseph Henry Blackburne13.5/21(+11 -5 =5)[games]
George Henry Mackenzie12/20(+10 -6 =4)[games]
Henry Bird12/22(+12 -10 =0)[games]
Adolf Anderssen11.5/21(+10 -8 =3)[games]
Samuel Rosenthal10/20(+8 -8 =4)[games]
Albert Clerc8.5/19(+8 -10 =1)[games]
Berthold Englisch8/17(+5 -6 =6)[games]
James Mason7/18(+5 -9 =4)[games]
Henry Gifford3.5/18(+3 -14 =1)[games]
Karl Pitschel2/17(+1 -14 =2)[games] Chess Event Description
Paris (1878)

Paris, France; 18 June 1878—31 July 1878

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Score Place/Prizes ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 1 Zukertort •• 01 10 ½0 11 1½ ½½ 11 11 ½1 11 11 16½* 1st 1000 fr. and two Sèvres vases (worth 5800 fr.) 2 Winawer 10 •• ½½ 0½ 11 ½1 01 11 ½1 11 11 11 16½ 2nd 500 fr. and a Sèvres vase (worth 1800 fr.) 3 Blackburne 01 ½½ •• 01 10 00 1½ 1½ 11 1½ 11 11 14½ 3rd 1500 fr. 4 Mackenzie ½1 1½ 10 •• 01 00 01 ½0 01 11 11 1½ 13* 4th 1000 fr. 5 Bird 00 00 01 10 •• 11 10 10 01 11 11 11 13 5th 500 fr. 6 Anderssen 0½ ½0 11 11 00 •• 10 0½ 11 10 10 11 12½ 6th 200 fr. 7 Englisch ½½ 10 0½ 10 01 01 •• ½½ 01 ½½ 11 10 11½ 8 Rosenthal 00 00 0½ ½1 01 1½ ½½ •• 01 10 11 11 11½ 9 Clerc 00 ½0 00 10 10 00 10 10 •• 01 10 11 8½ 10 Mason ½0 00 0½ 00 00 01 ½½ 01 10 •• 11 1½ 8½ 11 Gifford 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 01 00 •• 1½ 3½ 12 Pitschel 00 00 00 0½ 00 00 01 00 00 0½ 0½ •• 2½ ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— * Zukertort and Mackenzie each won their play-off match to take the higher prize. Format: A double round-robin event, draws scoring one-half.

In the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war, a World's Fair was held in Paris to demonstrate France's revival. Among the novelties experienced during the exhibition were cold drinks, a giant steam hammer that stood out front of the exhibition hall, and the introduction of electricity to make Paris a city of lights for the first time. Also by way of exhibition was the first intercontinental European chess tournament, organized with twelve chess masters in attendance. Following a tradition of holding master chess tournaments during world's fairs, the participants at this event gathered in the exhibition hall to battle in "match rounds" where opponents met one another with both colors in a single round. Each round was broken up over consecutive two-day periods. Players included winners of past world's fair tournaments, such as Adolf Anderssen and James Mason, as well as past participants and prize winners such as Simon Winawer, Joseph Henry Blackburne, Samuel Rosenthal, and Henry Edward Bird. Games were played from June 18th until July 31st. Each round began at noon and continued until 4 pm, at which point a player could request a one hour intermission. The same opportunity was provided at 9 pm, and games that continued past 10 pm could be postponed until the following day. After the eleven rounds of matches were completed, playoffs were organized to determine prize disbursement among first and second, and fourth and fifth places. Zukertort and Winawer drew their first playoff match, so a second was arranged, which Zukertort won convincingly, 2-0. Mackenzie also trounced Bird in their playoff match 2-0. Though he was present for the tournament, Wilhelm Steinitz did not participate. Instead he reported on the games for The Field. Zukertort's prize for victory was 1000 Francs and two Sèvres vases, a traditional gift awarded back in Paris (1867). Winawer also received a vase and 500 Francs for second. At sixth place, the once dominant Anderssen still managed to win a prize, 200 Francs, but his poor health and advanced age prevented him from competing as he once had. He died the following year. In addition to the prize money Zukertort's vases were estimated at 5800 Francs, however his dire need for cash at the time forced him to search Paris for three days to find a buyer, eventually selling them for much less than their estimated worth.

First place playoff match:

1 2 3 4 Score ——————————————————————————— Zukertort ½ ½ 1 1 3 Winawer ½ ½ 0 0 1 ——————————————————————————— Format: First player to score two wins is the victor.

Fourth place playoff match:

1 2 Score ————————————————————— Mackenzie 1 1 2 Bird 0 0 0 ————————————————————— Format: First player to score two wins is the victor.

There was a picture at

Several games no longer exist as complete scores and therefore could not be included in this collection. Special thanks goes to <sneaky pete> who helped complete and improve the overall accuracy.

Der Internationale Schachkongress zu Paris im Jahre 1878, Schallopp, Leipzig 1879, p2

Original collection: Game Collection: Paris 1878, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 120  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Anderssen vs K Pitschel 1-0331878ParisC41 Philidor Defense
2. Winawer vs Bird 1-0541878ParisC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
3. Blackburne vs J Mason 1-0851878ParisC11 French
4. Zukertort vs Englisch ½-½491878ParisC51 Evans Gambit
5. S Rosenthal vs Mackenzie 1-0601878ParisC48 Four Knights
6. A Clerc vs H Gifford  1-0381878ParisC25 Vienna
7. K Pitschel vs Anderssen 0-1551878ParisA13 English
8. Bird vs Winawer 0-1701878ParisA02 Bird's Opening
9. J Mason vs Blackburne ½-½781878ParisE14 Queen's Indian
10. Mackenzie vs S Rosenthal ½-½401878ParisC77 Ruy Lopez
11. H Gifford vs A Clerc 1-0251878ParisC15 French, Winawer
12. Englisch vs Zukertort  ½-½401878ParisC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
13. Bird vs S Rosenthal 1-0341878ParisC53 Giuoco Piano
14. Blackburne vs H Gifford 1-0361878ParisC45 Scotch Game
15. Zukertort vs Mackenzie 0-1531878ParisC49 Four Knights
16. A Clerc vs K Pitschel 1-0421878ParisC25 Vienna
17. Englisch vs Anderssen 1-0311878ParisC46 Three Knights
18. S Rosenthal vs Bird 1-0291878ParisC11 French
19. H Gifford vs Blackburne 0-1301878ParisC48 Four Knights
20. K Pitschel vs A Clerc 0-1181878ParisC01 French, Exchange
21. J Mason vs Winawer 0-1281878ParisD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
22. Mackenzie vs Zukertort  ½-½271878ParisC77 Ruy Lopez
23. Anderssen vs Mackenzie 1-0531878ParisA00 Uncommon Opening
24. Zukertort vs Bird 1-0301878ParisC00 French Defense
25. Blackburne vs K Pitschel  1-0461878ParisC41 Philidor Defense
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 120  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: Les Français sont souvent paresseux, négligents et chicaneurs (j'en suis un, je peux donc me permettre de le dire); ainsi, beaucoup de parties de ce tournoi superbe ont été perdues parce que le responsable de la publication n'a pas pu ou voulu les transmettre à l'éditeur allemand du livre du tournoi; inutile de préciser que les Français n'ont pas été fichus d'en publier un eux-mêmes....
Mar-23-16  zanzibar: Such a paucity of comments for this tournament.

Perhaps les Français are not alone in being paresseux, négligent et chicaneurs.

Mar-23-16  Howard: Well, the tournament was held in the pre-Steintz days (Granted, Steintz had proclaimed himself WC already, but the first official WC match wasn't until 1886.), so that explains why it's always been so low-profile.
Mar-23-16  zanzibar: <Howard> Funny you should mention Steinitz.

He actually was in Paris during the tournament. But as a reporter for <The Field>, at least, according to wiki.

Let's see if I can dig out a comment or two about the tournament...

I mean besides the fact that a tb exists, edited by E. Schallopp, and should have a link in the intro.

Thanks to <calli>, the link's easy to find:

<1878 Paris Der Internationale Schachkongress by Emil Schallopp; (in German)>


Mar-23-16  zanzibar: There's a story to the missing games, and the fact that the tournament book came out in Germany and not France. I haven't fleshed it all out yet though.

However, I think Schallopp thanks the Westminster Papers as being the source of the games for his tournament book. A bit unbelievable...

<As for the content of this book itself, so have I mostly those games from the publications of "Westminster Papers, "the" removed "strategy and the" German chess magazine " and regret that it has not been possible for me, all the games without to gain exceptional; it is missing, on the total number 19 Games. Opposite 119 extensively annotated games but this number in my view hardly comes into consideration, and may result soon, when the end of the year General Report of the Committee Paris appears that the readers of my lost book anything essential by the absence of 19 games has gone.>

<Was nun den Inhalt des vorliegenden Werkes selbst betrifft, so habe ich die Partien zumeist aus den Veröffentlichungen der „Westminster Papers", der „Strategie" und der „Deutschen Schachzeitung" entnommen und bedaure, dass es mir nicht möglich gewesen ist, alle Partien ohne Ausnahme zu erlangen; es fehlen, an der Gesammtzahl 19 Partien. Gegenüber 119 ausführlich mit Anmerkungen versehenen Partien aber kommt diese Zahl meiner Ansicht nach kaum in Betracht, und möglicherweise ergibt sich demnächst, wenn gegen Ende des Jahres der Generalbericht des Pariser Komitees erscheint, dass den Lesern meines Buchs nichts wesentliches durch das Fehlen dieser 19 Partien verloren gegangen ist.>

From the tb.

Mar-23-16  zanzibar: So, I suppose we can consider the <Westminster Papers v10 (1878)> as the main source for the tournament.

Although I found the French periodical <L'Échiquier d'Aix v1 (1878)> also containing important information about the tournament.

Here's the first paragraph from the <Westminster Papers> coverage of the just completed tournament,

<The interest manifested by the London Chess world during the progress of the Paris tournament was intensified when the result of the play in the eleven rounds was announced on the 24th ultimo. A tie between Winawer and Zukertort for the chief honours, Blackburne a bad third, a tie for the fourth place between Bird and Mackenzie, and the veteran Anderssen absolute last in the list of prize holders furnished ample material for comment. There was little surprise, however, for every one who had observed the play during the last two weeks of the tourney anticipated some such result. After the ninth round it was obvious "that the force and steadiness of Winawer and Zukertort, so admirably sustained, must be crowned with the success these qualities had fairly earned for their possessors. Blackburne, on the other hand, displayed throughout the struggle an inexplicable mixture of strength and weakness that accounted for while it confounded the aspirations of his admirers. It is impossible to overpraise Mr. Mackenzie's performance. Notwithstanding that for many years past he has had no opportunities for practice with players of equal force, he defeated in this tourney the winners of the chief prizes, and shows a bad score against Anderssen and Rosenthal only. His games with Winawer and Zukertort are among the great ones the tournament has produced, and entitle him to a place in the front rank of the Chess players of our time. Mr. Bird's performance is chiefly notable for the overwhelming defeats he sustained in the first few rounds and his subsequent recovery of much of the ground he had lost by them. His two games with Anderssen, both of which were won by him, are fine examples of his brilliant style of play. Every Chess player will rejoice to see the name of Anderssen among the prize winners, and many will regret that it is not higher on the list. But at sixty years of age there must, in the most gifted of mortals, be some decay of power. It must be said of Anderssen, however, that he has maintained his Chess force against his contemporaries for a longer time than any player that ever entered the Chess arena. He was thirty-three years of age when he carried off the first prize in the London tournament of 1851, and in the year of grace, 1878, his name having been rarely absent from any tourney of note in the interval, he is found a formidable adversary for the best players the world can produce. M. Rosenthal's score is something of a surprise, his capacity for match play having led us to regard him at the outset as a dangerous competitor for the principal prize. His play on this occasion has been unequal, and his total defeat by Winawer and Zukertort deprived him of all chance of retrieving his position. The score of Herr Englisch is perhaps the most remarkable in the list, for although he was defeated by no player in the tourney except Mr. Blackburne, he has failed to secure a place among the winners. He is said to be a young player, however, and can therefore afford to wait for the triumph that time must bring. Mr. Mason is another youthful competitor who, with more experience of European play, will undoubtedly be found among the winners in some future tourney. MM. Clerc, Gifford, and Pitschell are amateurs of considerable force, who entered the lists with the view of acquiring experience by practice with good players, rather than with the hope of gaining a prize. The score of M. Clerc, the strongest of the trio, is highly creditable to his Chess powers.>

WP v10 (Jul 1878) p65/83

* * * * *

Beware, the NYPL version of v10 has some damaged pages, necessitating use of the NLN copy - see <jnpope>'s site.

Mar-24-16  zanzibar: I'm interesting in provenance of games in general. Here's some commentary about the games from this tournament were preserved:

<Latterly the games have been noted by Mr. W. N. Potter. That he is honest, fair, able, painstaking, and industrious no one can deny, and the Herculean task that he set himself in noting the Paris games should be sufficient to hand his name down to posterity even after he is forgotten as one of the foremost players of our day. That he should receive little or no thanks for this enormous work, except at the hands of our friends of the City of London Club, shows either that Chess players are very taciturn or that they are very ungenerous. I might perhaps here say that I was indebted to the industry of Mr. Mason for the bulk of the games sent from Paris. We were not niggardly in giving Tourney games. On this point we beat every other paper, and to show the state of matters now and then, see the number of games we gave from America, Vienna, and Paris, and com pare our performances with Baden. This tourney took place in September, 1870, and on the ist of October, 1870, we published five games. At that time Staunton had the Illustrated, the Field, and Era; and in the month of October of that year these five games, and no others from Baden, appeared in the three papers under his control.>

I'm a little unclear who the editor of the Westminster Papers was in 1878, but between him and Potter we have the published record.

But let's not forget James Mason, who supplied the game scores in the first place.

Mar-24-16  Retireborn: <z> That's the same Potter whose misremembered game against Fenton led to the creation of the Saavedra position, as Tim Krabbe tells it.

I've not heard of the Westminster Papers before, but your quote is stylistically reminiscent of Steinitz, who was a friend of Potter's, according to Lasker.

Mar-24-16  zanzibar: <'ve not heard of the Westminster Papers before, but your quote is stylistically reminiscent of Steinitz, who was a friend of Potter's, according to Lasker.>

Wow, I had to doublecheck my PDF to be sure it really is the Westminster Papers. They're actually pretty important in the literature of the time.

Glad to introduce you both then!

Mar-24-16  zanzibar: I think Di Felice provides the identity of the <Westminster Papers> editor - it's

<Telemachus Brownsmith>

Note, he's not the editor of the chess department though, as his account in the above mentioned article reveals.

Mar-24-16  zanzibar: <L'Échequier de l'Aix v1 (1878)> ff p57/69 -

<(1) Outre les quatre prix que nous avons indiqués dans notre précédent numéro, le Comité a ajouté un 5er prix de 400 fr. et un 6er prix de 200 fr.>

(See intro note on Anderssen's prize)


Mar-26-16  zanzibar: See this comment in the Bistro Biographer Bistro (kibitz #13592)
Jun-30-16  sneaky pete: Bird vs K Pitschel, 1878 is the genuine Bird vs Pitschel game from round 13 (or round 7, first set) that should replace the phony we have there now.
Oct-13-18  micahtuhy: Do we have any links or access to Steinitz reporting on the tournament for The Field? I was curious if this would be where some of the animosities started.

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