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Amsterdam 1889
Compiled by Phony Benoni
--*--

Preliminary arrangements appeared in the <British Chess Magazine>, August 1889, p.318. Of course, they also appeared in the German tournament book cited below, but I'm not going to inflict that on you or myself.

"An International Chess Congress will be held at the Cafe Red Lion, Vygendam, Amsterdam, beginning on August 25th. There will be three classes, the first to consist only of acknowledged foreign masters, and some of the strongest Dutch players. Hours of play, 12 to 4 pm., and 6-30 to 10-30, each competitor to play one game with every other and two games each day, except on three evenings of the week, when unfinished games will be played out. If the entries do not exceed seven, it will be a two-round tourney. Time limit, 18 moves per hour. The committee will decide in which class each competitor will play."

These players impressed the Committee sufficiently to gain admittance to the top group:

Johann Hermann Bauer Amos Burn Arnold van Foreest Isidor Gunsberg Emanuel Lasker Robinson Kay Leather Rudolf Johannes Loman James Mason Louis van Vliet.

Of these, Burn, Gunsberg, and Mason were already veteran Masters. Bauer and Lasker were less experienced interationally, having qualified as Masters by winning <Hauptturniers> at the German National Congress. Lasker, indeed, had done so only a month earlier.

Van Foreest was the current Dutch champion. Loman and Van Vliet were native Dutch players, though they resided in London at the time. Finally, there's Mr. Leather, a professor at Liverpool University. There is a report that Blackburne had entered and was expected to play, so Leather might have been promoted from a lower section to produce an even number of players. When Blackburne never showed up, Leather was allowed to remain in the Master section though he proved to be outclassed.

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Round 1 (Monday, August 26)

1 Van Foreest 0 Gunsberg 2 Mason ½ Burn 3 Loman 1 Leather 4 Lasker 1 Bauer Bye - Van Vliet <1.0>: Gunsberg*, Lasker* Loman* <0.5>: Burn*, Mason* <0.0>: Bauer*, Leather*, van Foreest*, van Vliet

A good debut for Lasker (yes, that's the double bishop sacrifice game), and the rest of the results were probably as expected. An asterisk (*) following the player's name in the standings indicates they have <not> yet had their bye.

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Round 2 (Monday, August 26)

5 Loman ½ Gunsberg 6 Lasker 1 Van Foreest 7 Mason ½ Bauer** 8 Van Vliet 1 Leather Bye - Burn <2.0>: Lasker* <1.5>: Gunsberg*, Loman* <1.0>: Mason*, Van Vliet <0.5>: Bauer*, Burn <0.0>: Leather*, Van Foreest*

The Loman vs. Gunsberg game may have been a reaction to the schedule, as the players anticipated Grandmaster Chess of the Future. Van Foreest, who organized the tournament, complained mildly in the tournament book about their game, but he had other problems to contend with, namely, that young whippersnapper Lasker who calmly soared into the lead. Mason and Bauer were too tired to hand in a score.

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Round 3 (Tuesday, August 27)

9 Loman 0 Lasker 10 Mason 1 Van Foreest 11 Van Vliet ½ Gunsberg 12 Burn 1 Bauer Bye - Leather <3.0>: Lasker* <2.0>: Gunsberg*, Mason* <1.5>: Burn, Loman*, Van Vliet <0.5>: Bauer* <0.0>: Van Foreest*, Leather

Lasker's first-round game must have produced an "uh-oh!" or two among The Establishment, and his continued success just added to that. Leather, for once, didn't get his hide tanned.

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Round 4 (Wednesday, August 28)

13 Mason 1 Loman 14 Van Vliet 1 Lasker 15 Burn 1 Van Foreest 16 Leather 0 Gunsberg Bye - Bauer <3.0>: Gunsberg*, Lasker*, Mason* <2.5>: Burn, Van Vliet <1.5>: Loman* <0.5>: Bauer <0.0>: Van Foreest*, Leather

Lasker lost to Van Vliet and was caught by two of the pre-tournament favorites, though Gunsberg was lucky to win as Leather threw away a won endgame. Burn sat half-a-point behind with a game in hand.

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Round 5 (Wednesday, August 28)

17 van Vliet ½ Mason 18 Burn 1 Loman 19 Leather 0 Lasker 20 Bauer ½ Van Foreest Bye - Gunsberg <4.0>: Lasker* <3.5>: Burn, Mason* <3.0>: Gunsberg, Van Vliet <1.5>: Loman* <1.0>: Bauer <0.5>: Van Foreest* <0.0>: Leather

Back into the lead for Lasker, though Burn, Gunsberg and Van Vliet all had an extra game to play.

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Round 6 (Friday, August 30)

21 Burn 1 Van Vliet 22 Leather 0 Mason 23 Bauer 1 Loman 24 Gunsberg 0 Lasker Bye - Van Foreest <5.0>: Lasker* <4.5>: Burn, Mason* <3.0>: Gunsberg, Van Vliet <2.0>: Bauer <1.5>: Loman* <0.5>: Van Foreest <0.0>: Leather

That made it essentially a three-man race. Round 7 would see Lasker get his bye while Burn played Leather, so the lead was likely to change hands. Gunsberg dropped out by hanging a piece to Lasker, though he was already a pawn down before the blunder.

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Round 7 (Friday, August 30)

25 Leather 0 Burn 26 Bauer 0 Van Vliet 27 Gunsberg ½ Mason 28 Van Foreest 0 Loman Bye - Lasker <5.5>: Burn <5.0>: Lasker, Mason* <4.0>: Van Vliet <3.5>: Gunsberg <2.5>: Loman* <2.0>: Bauer <0.5>: Van Foreest <0.0>: Leather

As expected, Burn moved into the lead after some sharp play against Leather. Mason, with a bye yet to come, was obviously not going to catch him, but Lasker was scheduled to play Burn in the last round and would have a chance to catch up.

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Round 8 (Saturday, August 31)

29 Bauer 1 Leather 30 Gunsberg 0 Burn 31 Van Foreest ½ Van Vliet 32 Lasker ½ Mason Bye - Loman <6.5>: Burn <5.5>: Lasker, Mason* <4.5>: Van Vliet <3.5>: Gunsberg <3.0>: Bauer <2.5>: Loman <1.0>: Van Foreest <0.0>: Leather

Burn ground down Gunsberg, clinching a tie for first as Lasker could only draw after a slow opening.

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Round 9 (Sunday, September 1)

33 Gunsberg ½ Bauer 34 Van Foreest + Leather** 35 Lasker ½ Burn 36 Loman ½ Van Vliet Bye - Mason

Lasker apparently decided to be satisfied with second place, as he played the Exchange variation against Burn's French and took the draw after 15 moves. Van Vliet had a chance to tie Mason for third and played a bit more enterprising against Loman, but the draw was agreed before move 30 as well.

Bauer had a chance to take fifth place with a win, and resorted to an early version of the Pirc. Gunsberg had the advantage most of the way in a long game, but Bauer was able to hold.

Leather decided to end his tournament a round early. Can't say I blame him.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 Burn * = = 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 2 Lasker = * = 0 1 1 1 1 1 6.0 3 Mason = = * = = = 1 1 1 5.5 4 Van Vliet 0 1 = * = 1 = = 1 5.0 5 Gunsberg 0 0 = = * = = 1 1 4.0 6 Bauer 0 0 = 0 = * 1 = 1 3.5 7 Loman 0 0 0 = = 0 * 1 1 3.0 8 Van Foreest 0 0 0 = 0 = 0 * 1 2.0 9 Leather 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 0.0

----- <Sources>

British Chess Magazine, August 1889, p.318:

Der Internationale Schachkongress zu Amsterdam im August 1889 / bearbeitet von Jur. Das. D van Foreest und Cand.-Jur. L. D. Tresling. Utrecht : J.E. Beijers, 1891.

Yenowine's News, September 29, 1889.

Round 1 (Monday, August 26)
A van Foreest vs Gunsberg, 1889
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 20 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Monday, August 26)
J Mason vs Burn, 1889 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Monday, August 26)
R J Loman vs R Leather, 1889 
(B00) Uncommon King's Pawn Opening, 16 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Monday, August 26)
Lasker vs J Bauer, 1889 
(A03) Bird's Opening, 38 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Monday, August 26)
R J Loman vs Gunsberg, 1889
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, August 26)
Lasker vs A van Foreest, 1889 
(A04) Reti Opening, 50 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Monday, August 26)
L Van Vliet vs R Leather, 1889 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 53 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Tuesday, August 27)
R J Loman vs Lasker, 1889 
(C79) Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred, 22 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Tuesday, August 27)
J Mason vs A van Foreest, 1889
(C29) Vienna Gambit, 46 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Tuesday, August 27)
L Van Vliet vs Gunsberg, 1889
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Tuesday, August 27)
Burn vs J Bauer, 1889 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 72 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Wednesday, August 28)
J Mason vs R J Loman, 1889
(A20) English, 44 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Wednesday, August 28)
L Van Vliet vs Lasker, 1889 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 24 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Wednesday, August 28)
Burn vs A van Foreest, 1889 
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 48 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Wednesday, August 28)
R Leather vs Gunsberg, 1889 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 83 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 28)
L Van Vliet vs J Mason, 1889 
(C13) French, 61 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 28)
Burn vs R J Loman, 1889 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 23 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 28)
R Leather vs Lasker, 1889 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 56 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 28)
J Bauer vs A van Foreest, 1889 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Friday, August 30)
Burn vs L Van Vliet, 1889 
(C66) Ruy Lopez, 55 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Friday, August 30)
R Leather vs J Mason, 1889
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 34 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Friday, August 30)
J Bauer vs R J Loman, 1889 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 28 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Friday, August 30)
Gunsberg vs Lasker, 1889 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 35 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Friday, August 30)
R Leather vs Burn, 1889 
(C49) Four Knights, 37 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Friday, August 30)
J Bauer vs L Van Vliet, 1889 
(C13) French, 47 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Friday, August 30)
Gunsberg vs J Mason, 1889
(C45) Scotch Game, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Friday, August 30)
A van Foreest vs R J Loman, 1889
(C51) Evans Gambit, 19 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Saturday, August 31)
J Bauer vs R Leather, 1889 
(B00) Uncommon King's Pawn Opening, 37 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Saturday, August 31)
Gunsberg vs Burn, 1889 
(C11) French, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Saturday, August 31)
A van Foreest vs L Van Vliet, 1889 
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 36 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Saturday, August 31)
Lasker vs J Mason, 1889 
(C46) Three Knights, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Sunday, September 1)
Gunsberg vs J Bauer, 1889
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 71 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Sunday, September 1)
Lasker vs Burn, 1889 
(C01) French, Exchange, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Sunday, September 1)
R J Loman vs L Van Vliet, 1889
(C51) Evans Gambit, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

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