Sunday 5 March 2017

London International Chess Tournament 1883

London International Chess Tournament 1883 edited by J.L.Minchin, London 1884.

I mentioned in the article dated 8th January that I know of four different colour cloths for the beautiful binding of this book, and these are as follows:



Thanks to Owen and Kathleen Hindle for the red and green images of this book.

Another book on this event is The International Chess Tournament, London 1883, in letters by William Steinitz, introduced and edited by Harrie Grondijs, published in Rijswijk, 2010.

Harrie Grondijs specialises in producing high quality chess books, usually concerning studies and endgames, and published in very small numbers. London 1883 is probably his most ambitious publication to date and only 40 copies were printed.

The book, which is beautifully produced to a very high standard with attractive multi-coloured printing, focuses on a series of letters written by William Steinitz and published in the New York based sportsman's journal Turf, Field and Farm.

These letters to the editor covered the years 1882, 1883 and 1884 and contained details of the preparations for the tournament and round-by-round reports, followed by the aftermath and the ensuing first skirmishes concerning the match for the world championship between Steinitz and Zukertort.

Grondijs has provided Biographical Notes on the Participants; these include the twelve competitors in the main tournament, three of the leading tournament officials, Leopold Hoffer, James Minchin and Anthony Rosenbaum; plus George Gossip, whose letters to Turf, Field and Farm, criticising certain aspects of the tournament, are also included in this book.

Anthony Rosenbaum was an artist by profession, best known in chess circles for his remarkable painting, completed in 1880, of 47 of the leading chess players of the time, and which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. 

© National Portrait Gallery, London

A very thorough examination of this painting can be seen in a series of eight articles at the, now defunct, Streatham & Brixton Chess Blog, starting here. 

                                        © Michael Clapham 2017

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