Chess Journal, 1872-1886 (6th Tourney)

Incompletely known

direct mates (2 pr. + 3 sp. pr.)

All problems had to be dual-free and on the form White to play and mate in n moves. In all other particulars the plan of the Journal's previous tourneys would be observed (see notes).

The special prizes would be given to 1. the problem with the greatest number of moves, 2. the problem with the greatest number of variations, and 3. the person furnishing the greatest number of sound problems.
Composers were allowed to send any number of problems, but after the first three, a fee of 50 cent per problem was required.
The tourney was judged based only on solvers' feedback (see notes)
The tourney would be open until 100 problems had been received. [Tournament was closed prematurely in May, 1886 (see notes).]
1 pr. J. G. Nix (prb. 66)
2 pr. W. A. Shinkman (prb. 26)
pr. (greatest number of moves) T. A. Thompson (prb. 8)
pr. (most variations)      V. M. N. Portilla (prb. 18)
pr. (most sound problems)   J. M. Spear
Chess Journal
Dubuque Chess Journal
7/56 (Oct., 1874), p. 607: repeated, extended announcement
Chess Journal
i. 87 (May, 1886), p. 13: tourney declared closed
i. 88 (June, 1886), p. 23: solvers' percentages
i. 89 (July, 1886), p. 19-25: summary, part 1, by L. W. Mudge
i. 90 (Aug., 1886), p. 2-4: summary, part 2 and end.
(Source references are based on the title pages of each issue.)

The tourney was announced to use the same conditions as tourney 4. The first announcement appears to have been made in vol. 2; it was repeated in vol. 7, including details from the tourney 4.

As vol. 2 is difficult to access, some of the details left out of the announcement as standard might be gleaned from other volumes. They appear to have been the following: No mottos were required. Judging would be based only on feedback from solvers (Dubuque Chess Journal 8/69 (Dec., 1875), p. 612), without the involvement of a judge. Competitors would not be awarded more than one prize.

The first problem of the tourney was published in Chess Journal 5/39 (May, 1873), p. [235], and the 67th and last problem in Brownson's Chess Journal i. 80 (Oct., 1877), p. [273].

The report says:

In No. 23 of this Journal were given the conditions of a contest to show the absurdity of no choice ever being allowed the first player in a Chess Problem.

Our Tourney Six was another attempt at the same object. After all these years, two thirds only of the conditions have been complied with. [ ... ] We now close this Tourney and if no others are disqualified the percentages will be announced in the June Journal, the pro rata prizes paid, and the sound Problems published in the Tourney Book.
The reference to issue 23 is assumed to refer to the announcement of tourney 4. The omitted text identifies the 28 problems found to be correct.

A summary of the results from the tourney was written by L. W. Mudge. (In this summary, 27 problems are said to have been correct.)

All problems were published anonymously, but the identity of the composer of prb. 8 (Thompson's prize problem) was revealed in the collection Theophilus A. Thompson: Chess Problems (Dubuque, Iowa : O. A. Brownson, Jr., 1873) p. 45, prb. 82, where it was reprinted, with solution.
Volume 2 of Chess Journal, as well as the tourney book, should be examined for additional details, including how many problems J. M. Spear contributed.


1 Prize: J. G. Nix


2 Prize: W. A. Shinkman


Prize: problem with greatest number of moves: T. A. Thompson


Prize: problem with most variations: V. M. N. Portilla