Era, 1856

set of 6 problems by each competitor: (1 pr. + 1 additional pr.¹)

Competition for additional pr. required a fee of 5 shillings.
1856-05-01 (extended to 1856-08-01 to allow composers on the continent to participate).
Comittee: Rev. W.  Wayte, Rev. C. E. Ranken, Capt. Gowan, T. C. Oldham, S. Angas, T. Sutherland, G. White, C. Tomlinson, H. Turton, W. Grimshaw, H. C. Mott, Kling, Horwitz, Falkbeer.
Judges: Rev. C. E. Ranken, H. Turton, W. Grimshaw, Kling, Horwitz, Falkbeer.
Umpire: S. Angas.

(Several changes took place during the time of the tournament. This reflects the final set of judges and committee members. The Judges and Umpire were selected once it had become apparent that they were required.)
C. Bayer (motto: All is well that ends well)
add. pr.
F. Healey (Palmam qui meruit ferat)
The Era, vol. XVIII (1855-1856):
i. 902 (1856-01-06), p. 13: initial announcement.
i. 917 (1856-04-20), p. 14: time extended to August 1.
The Era, vol. XIX (1856-1857):
i. 946 (1856-11-09), p. 14: Preliminary report from committee meeting, October 29, where judges and umpires were elected by the committee.
i. 947 (1856-11-16), p. 14: Errata to preliminary report.
i. 955 (1857-01-11), p. 14: Reply to questions about delay in judges’ decision.
i. 956 (1857-01-18), p. 13: Report by S. Angas, dated January 13.
i. 957 (1857-01-25), p. 14: F. Healey objection to Era chess editor (see notes).
i. 958 (1857-02-01), p. 14: Extracts from the Judges decision, as they bear on Mr. Healey’s objection, followed by a response from the Editor.
i. 973 (1857-05-17), p. 5: The book of the tournament is announced to be ready.

A Selection from the Problems of the Era Problem Tournament (London : Thomas Day, 1857)
The preliminary report noted that while 16 sets of problems were received, one set had to be excluded as it only contained 4 problems, not 6 as requested.

Additionally, five sets were reported to be eligible for the additional prize: All’s well that ends well, W., Palmam qui meruit ferat, G---e and Pre-Raphaelite.

After almost all the judges had given in their decisions, an error was discovered in one of the problems of one of the best sets. This necessitated further communication with the Judges, and a reconsideration of their opinions, and thus much time was consumed.
(Era, Jan. 11, 1857)
Rev. Ranken discovered that one of the problems in the set Palmam qui meruit ferat was faulty: the solution provided by the author was not possible. This raised the question if the author had complied with requirements; judges eventually decided that he had, but most of them agreed that the set could no longer be a candidate for the first prize.

The offending problem is Healey’s problem 2 below. While it has a solution in the stipulated number of moves, it was not the solution provided with the set.

After the publication of the final report, Healey objected to what he interpreted as an attempt by the Era chess editor to underrate the merit that the judges had assigned him, and consequently declined the prize awarded him. In response The Era printed relevant extracts from the Judges decision, as far as they bore on Healey’s protest, followed by a response from the editor himself. No further information about this controversy has been found, and it is not mentioned in the tournament book. As Healey prints his Era award problems as the first six problems in his collection published in 1866, it may be assumed that the matter was settled.

The report by Silas Angas lists the names and the mottos of all 16 competitors. It does not entirely match the mottos listed in the preliminary report, as two mottos from the former (Böse menschen &c.; Die Launen des Geschicks &c.) do not appear in the preliminary report, and vice versa: two mottos in the preliminary report (Emden; Pr. 1) do not appear in the final.

Another motto is also reported inconsistently: R. Willmers’s set is listed as W. in preliminary and final reports; as A kingdom for a horse! in the tournament book.

In addition to the awards, five competitors were given special mentions in the report: Graf Pongraz & C. Bayer (Jeder thut sein Bestes), F. della Torre (Matt ohne Ehrmatten), G. Campbell (The Author’s Dream), A. Novotny (A---N.), and R. Willmers (W.). Novotny was already excluded for not sending the required number of problems (see the preliminary report), so his mention is unexpected.

One of the problems in the (excluded) set from A. Novotny was published by mistake in Illustrirte Zeitung, vol. XXVIII, i. 711 (1857-02-14), p. 146. The error was acknowledged and explained in the following issue.

A problem from an unpublished set (probably the set Gutta cavat lapidem &c. by Leopold Zahn, Tübingen) was published in The Field, 1859-03-19, p. 226.

Note 1. From The Era announcement:

… in order to provide this second prize, we propose that an entrance fee of 5 shillings be paid by the competitors themselves; this second prize can only be awarded to the second best composer among those who may contribute. The payment of an entrance fee is quite optional on the part of the competitors. Those who contribute will have the advantage of competing for two prizes [...] those who do not contribute [will compete] only for the first prize.
This additional prize is usually referred to as "2nd Prize", and so gives the impression that it was awarded under the same conditions as "1st Prize". But as contenders for the additional prize had to pay a fee, the term "additional prize" is used here instead.


The diagrams appear in the same order and with the same numbers as in the problem tourney book.

Prize: C. Bayer

Problem 1

Forsyth: 2K1k2r/5p1P/2p2np1/2B5/2p2N2/n7/4B3/1R6

Stip.: #3

Key: 1. Bh5

Source: A Selection from the Problems of the Era Problem Tournament, p. 17.

Problem 2

Forsyth: 1r4b1/1p3nB1/1KpNBRP1/1p2k3/P4pP1/3p1P2/1P2p3/r2q1n2

Stip.: #4

Key: 1. Bc4

Source: 151, The Era, v. XIX, i. 962 (1857-03-31), p. 14.

Problem 3

Forsyth: 1R6/n5r1/r1p3pb/1pR5/kp6/pN6/2PN4/K7

Stip.: #4

Key: 1. Rg5

Source: A Selection from the Problems of the Era Problem Tournament, p. 19.

Problem 4

Forsyth: 8/8/8/2K1kB2/2pp1N2/5R2/5P2/8

Stip.: #5

Key: 1. Sh5

Source: A Selection from the Problems of the Era Problem Tournament, p. 20.

Problem 5

Forsyth: 1N4R1/b3n2r/8/1nk2p1r/2p2NR1/1pP4b/8/3QK3

Stip.: #5

Key: 1. R8g6

Source: A Selection from the Problems of the Era Problem Tournament, p. 21.

Problem 6

Forsyth: 7b/1Q1RNk1P/P1r2p2/7p/1n2N3/8/b3P2K/1qrn2R1

Stip.: #5

Key: 1. Sxc6+

Source: 144, The Era, v. XIX, i. 956 (1857-01-18), p. 13.

Additional Prize: F. Healey

Problem 1

Forsyth: n7/6K1/4R3/3p4/1p1k4/8/1PQ2N2/8

Stip.: #3

Key: 1. Qc6

Source: 148, The Era, v. XIX, i. 959 (1857-02-08), p. 15.

Problem 2

Forsyth: 8/2Kp4/B2N1P1p/3kn2N/3p4/2P5/5r1n/2Qr4

Stip.: #4

Key: 1. Qxd1 [? see note]

Source: 152, The Era, v. XIX, i. 962 (1857-03-01), p. 14.

Problem 3

Forsyth: 4B3/nr4p1/1pn1N3/1k5r/1PpR4/2P4P/7b/RK6

Stip.: #4

Key: 1. Rd8

Source: A Selection from the Problems of the Era Problem Tournament, p. 25.

Problem 4

Forsyth: 4n3/3rb3/n1B1k1K1/5N2/1p1P2p1/5N2/2P1r3/2Q5

Stip.: #4

Key: 1. Qg5

Source: A Selection from the Problems of the Era Problem Tournament, p. 26.

Problem 5

Forsyth: 8/1b3p2/3p4/2p2kNK/5rp1/3PQ3/1B6/8

Stip.: #4

Key: 1. Se6

Source: A Selection from the Problems of the Era Problem Tournament, p. 27.

Problem 6

Forsyth: 7Q/1N4n1/2N5/p3b2P/2bpk1r1/8/1PP2RP1/K1B5

Stip.: #4

Key: 1. Qd8

Source: 145, The Era, v. XIX, i. 956 (1857-01-18), p. 13.