British Chess Association, 1873 (London, 1872)

R:
#2 + 2×#3 + 2×#3-5 (10 pr. + 3 sp. pr.)

Open to all. Joint compositions were not allowed.

The special prizes were awarded to the best problems in two, three and four moves, respectively.
 
J:
committee of examination: ? (see notes below)

judges: ? (were to be chosen from the examination committee)

No prizes would be awarded to any set found to contain an incorrect problem, but the award, when published, would be final.
 
C:
1873-01-01 (UK) / 1873-02-01 (United States, Canada, the Continent of Europe) / 1873-04-01
 
A:
1 pr. S. A. Sorensen (Motto: Look after the Cáby)
2 pr. C. Bayer (Ultima Thule)
3 pr. J. H. Finlinson (Hoc ardua vincere docet)
4 pr. W. S. Pavitt (Why so, prithee?)
5 pr. T. M. Brown (The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft a-gley)
6 pr. W. Nielsen (All's well that ends well)
7 pr. C. Nadebaum (Auf Wiedersehen)
8 pr. L. Rossatti (Ludimus effigiem belli)
9 pr. H. Frei-Schmidt (Work for money, but think for honour)
10 pr. — (not awarded as only 9 correct submissions were received)
 
sp. pr. #4 S. A. Sorensen
sp. pr. #3 F. Healey (Where's the master? Play the men)
sp. pr. #2 J. Kling (Imagine)
 
S:
i. 2 (June 1872), p. 18–19: conditions of problem tourney
 
p. 245 (1 Apr. 1874): info from meeting held 1873-09-24.
 
p. 48–51 (1 July 1874): prize sets (under motto).
p. 82 (1 Sep. 1874): note of criticism in Philadelphian Intelligencer.
p. 152-163 (1 Dec. 1874): note of criticism by Berger in Deutsche Schachzeitung.
p. 172 (1 Jan. 1875): list of prizes (with names).
p. 193 (1 Feb. 1875): letter from J. Kohtz
p. 198 (1 Feb. 1875): notes of issues in problem tourneys, with particular application to the Westminster Chess Club Tourney.
 
p. 4-5 (1 May 1875): Berger (translation)
p. 5 (1 May 1875): note on examiners and judges.
p. 25-26 (1 June 1875): J. W. Abbot's reply to Berger (minor correction on p. 81-82).
 
p. 147 (Sep. 1874): note on hm (preliminary?)
p. 188 (Sep. 1874): notes on examination process
p. [209]-210 (Oct. 1874): notes of criticism
p. 291 (Jan. 1875): notes on criticism by Berger
 
Deutsche Schachzeitung:
29/11 (Nov. 1874) p. 323-329: criticism by J. Berger
30/2 (Feb. 1875) p. 53-61: criticism by J. Berger
30/8 (Aug. 1875) p. 225-230: criticism by J. Berger
 
N:
No official tourney report has been found. Information from the work by the tourney committee appears to have been sent out in installations to interested parties (Westminster Papers, v. 7, p. 66 (1 Aug. 1874)).

As no information about the selection of judges appears to have been published, an initial assumption may be that all members of the committee of examination were also involved in adjudication. The initial information about the committee of examination included the following names: J. W. Abbott, S. Boden, P. T. Duffy, J. Lowenthal, R. Ormond, F. L. Slous, H. Waite, R. B. Wormald, H. T. Young, but this may not have been correct for the entire time of the tourney.

While it should not be taken for official information, Westminster Papers v. 8, p. 5 (1 May 1875) adds some information:

We are in a position to state that Mr. Duffy took no part in the deliberations of the committee for many months prior to the award of the prizes, and that he was in America at the time the award was made; that Mr. Ormond had left London to reside in Newcastle (some 300 miles distant), and Mr. Slous had resigned his place on the Committee long before the adjudication, and that Mr. Boden from the pressure of more important avocations, and Mr. Wormald from severe illness, were both unable to take any active part either in the examination of the Problems or the distribution of the prizes. The places of these gentlemen were filled by others, whose names are not now before us, and by whose assistance the examination of the Problems, barely began by their predecessors, was eventually completed. It is understood, however, that some of the substituted were in their turn, from causes which have yet to be explained, unable to devote much time or energy to the task they had undertaken, and that in fact the Tourney, like the Laureate's river, would have run on for ever but for the exertions of Messrs. Abbott and Potter to bring it to a conclusion.
The City of London Chess Magazine (Sep. 1874, p. 188) provides related, but slightly different, information.

The number of competitors was 49. 35 sets were said to be unsound on 1873-09-24, but based on the final number of prizes another five sets must eventually have been found to be unsound or disqualified for other reasons. No information on the reason for disqualification appear to have been given.

Prize-winning sets were published in July, 1874 by Westminster Papers as well as City of London Chess Magazine. In both cases, set 9 was omitted from publication. Westminster Paper notes briefly (p. 51) that "The ninth prize does not possess sufficient merit to justify our publishing it." City of London Chess Magazine reports (p. 129), probably cited from an official summary: "As it were, the problems which carried off the ninth prize were considered by the Committee to be of such an inferior character that the question was discussed whether any award in respect of that prize need be made" followed by a note that City of London Chess Magazine published, as a supplement, the first eight prize sets "... but the compositions in the ninth set appear to us not to be up to publication mark, and we therefore do not see that any useful purpose would be served by troubling our readers therewith."

A note in City of London Chess Magazine indicates that the #2 of the set Fortiter in Re would be awarded a honorary mention. No such award is named in later sources, however.

As publication made the awards final (see item 9 of the announcement), the purpose of publication would not have included public scrutiny of the problems.

During the tourney but probably unconnected with it, in a meeting held on 3 Oct. 1873, the Problem Tourney Committee of the British Chess Association adopted a resolution “That no more than one move be allowable for White in any variation except upon the last move.” (Westminster Papers, vol. 6, p. 132 (1 Nov., 1873).) This was widely criticized, but was said to have been rescinded shortly afterwards. Some criticism of the tourney appears to be partially based on the assumption that this rule had indeed been applied for the tourney.


Before and after the publication of the prizes, criticism was directed to the tourney and its management. One of the more important writings was by J. Berger and published in three parts in Deutsche Schachzeitung,, with selections translated in Westminster Papers.

No official report, or statement or other response appears to have been published: J. W. Abbot replied to some points in Westminster Papers, and in the same issue (p. 22) there is a reference to another response in Sportsman from an unnamed official, though the W.P. editor seems to have found it somewhat unsatisfactory as regard the central issues.

One of those issues is the question of why some apparently correct sets were disqualified. J. Kohtz raised the question, and published his disqualified but apparently correct set Es ist ja so schwer in the collection that he and C. Kockelkorn published (also reprinted in Westminster Papers), and W. Grimshaw publishes his own set which also was disqualified. Berger mentions still other sets such as Suum cuique, and Antipodes that also were disqualified but where no definite lack of correctness could be found. This suggests that not even the authors were informed about why their submission had been disqualified. This lack of information lead to speculations about sets being erroneously disqualified by mistakes during examination or worse.

Westminster Papers reacted indirectly by publishing some problems that had been found faulty in the oncoing Westminster Chess Club Tourney, including the examiners explanation of the failure, and so gave the authors as well as other readers a chance of response.

Awards

1st Prize: S. A. Sorensen

1

#2

2

#3

3

#3

4

#4

5

#5

2nd Prize: C. Bayer

1

#2

2

#3

3

#3

4

#4

5

#4

3rd Prize: J. H. Finlinson

1

#2

2

#3

3

#3

4

#4

[*] = Faulty: Multiple key moves

5

#4

4th Prize: W. S. Pavitt

1

#2

2

#3

3

#3

4

#3

5

#4

5th Prize: Th. M. Brown

1

#2

2

#3

3

#3

4

#3

5

#3

6th Prize: W. Nielsen

1

#2

2

#3

[*] = Faulty: Multiple key moves

3

#3

4

#4

[*] = Faulty: Multiple key moves

5

#5

7th Prize: C. Nadebaum

1

#2

2

#3

3

#3

4

#4

5

#5

8th Prize: L. Rossatti

1

#2

2

#3

[?] = Try mistaken for key move?

3

#3

[*] = Faulty: Multiple key moves

4

#3

5

#4

[*] = Faulty: Multiple key moves

9th Prize: H. Frei-Schmidt

(No problems from this set are known.)
 
 

Special Prize #4: S. A. Sorensen

4 (see full set above)

#4

Special Prize #3: F. Healey

#3

Special Prize #2: J. Kling

#2