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Sylvan Beach 1904
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the New York State Chess Association generally held two major tournaments. One was played in the New York City area on Washington's Birthday, usually deciding the official state champion. The other was a summer Congress serving as the organization metting, held at a resort or outstate city, and featuring various levels of competition and a more relaxed setting.

Sylvan Beach 1904, held August 16-19 at a resort town in Central New York on the shores of Oneida Lake (Wikipedia article: Sylvan Beach, New York ), was the midsummer meeting that year. There were two main competitions: a general tournament and a higher-level event for possession of the Rice Trophy.

The chief attraction in the latter was Frank Marshall, his dominating performance at Cambridge Springs still on everyone's mind. His opponents included defending Rice Trophy holder Otto Roething, Kenneth Samuel Howard from Rochester and Rudolph J Guckemus from Utica.

Unless you're knowledgable about New York chess in this period you're probably asking, "Who?". And in this case you would be right, as Marshall had little trouble sweeping the double-round robin with a 6-0 score.

1 1 3 4 1 Frank James Marshall ** 11 11 11 6.0 2 Otto Roething 00 ** 10 11 3.0 3 Kenneth Samuel Howard 00 01 ** 11 3.0 4 Rudolph J Guckemus 00 00 00 ** 0.0

You might know Howard better as a chess problem composer and writer; his tie with Roething was considered something of an upset. Guckemus obviated the need for a bye.

The tournament was scheduled for a brisk pace of six games in four days (Tuesday to Friday), and wound up going even faster. Marshall received permission to finish early, and Guckemus agreed to play their final round game Thursday morning. This also affected the schedules of Roething and Howard. The following chart shows when the games were actually played, with the scheduled round numbers in parentheses.

Tuesday, August 16

Guckemus 0 Marshall (1)
Roething 1 Howard (1)

Wednesday, August 17

Marshall 1 Howard (2)
Guckemus 0 Roething (2)

Roething 0 Marshall (3)
Howard 1 Guckemus (3)

Thursday, August 18

Marshall 1 Guckemus (4)

Howard 0 Marshall (5)
Roething 1 Guckemus (5)

Marshall 1 Roething (6)
Guckemus 0 Howard (6)

Friday, August 19

Howard 1 Roething (4)

All the games were published in the "American Chess Bulletin" for September, 1904, p.75-77. Dates were available in contemporary newspaper reports, particularly the New York Tribune.

Round 1 (Tuesday, August 16)
R J Guckemus vs Marshall, 1904 
(C24) Bishop's Opening, 29 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Tuesday, August 16)
O Roething vs K S Howard, 1904
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 49 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Wednesday, August 17)
Marshall vs K S Howard, 1904
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 22 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Wednesday, August 17)
R J Guckemus vs O Roething, 1904 
(C45) Scotch Game, 31 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Wednesday, August 17)
O Roething vs Marshall, 1904
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 38 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Wednesday, August 17)
K S Howard vs R J Guckemus, 1904
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 45 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Thursday, August 18)
Marshall vs R J Guckemus, 1904
(D06) Queen's Gambit Declined, 34 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Thursday, August 18)
K S Howard vs Marshall, 1904 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 15 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Thursday, August 18)
O Roething vs R J Guckemus, 1904 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 56 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Thursday, August 18)
Marshall vs O Roething, 1904
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Thursday, August 18
R J Guckemus vs K S Howard, 1904 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 43 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Friday, August 19)
K S Howard vs O Roething, 1904 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 35 moves, 1-0

12 games

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