The Gentleman’s Journal

Incompletely known.

The Gentleman's Journal issued a number of chess problem competitions during its lifetime. They were part of the general set of competitions of the journal, and appears to have been treated in much the same manner as competitions for solutions to conundrums, for penmanship, for essays, etc. They were tourney-like in that there was a requirement, a closing date and one or more prizes. They were unlike tourneys in that prize-winning problems do not always appear to have been published, and when such publication took place, it did not necessarily specify which tourney that awarded the prize.

A supplement (Monthly Supplement to Gentleman's Journal, later Recreation Supplement to Gentleman's Journal, abbreviated RS below), published monthly, gradually took over all competitions originally issued by the main publication, including the chess problem tourneys.

The supplement appears to be almost independent: although its volume numbering follows the main publication, issue numbering, pagination as well as problem numbers are independent. Additionally, supplements reasonably often were included with the main issue, but could also be purchased separately, at least during the first year.

Dating of issues of The Gentleman’s Journal is somewhat problematic as no direct dates appear to be present. While there is a date on the issue cover, it does not change with each issue: the first five issues all have the date “November 1, 1869”, for example. We assume that it identifies the month and year that the issue was published (or planned to be published), but not necessarily the day.

The following notes are based on the contents of volume 1 and 2 of The Gentleman’s Journal. The Recreation Supplement has only been available in volume 1 and the first few months of volume 2. Judging from the entry in Ken Whyld's Chess Columns, a third volume was published.

Tourney 1. set of 6 problems, 1 pr. 1869-11-08. E. Freeborough won, but extra prizes were awarded to F. C. Collins, P. L. Travoli, F. J. Biggs, junr., G. W. P. Haycroft, A. J. Boaz, S. H. Toomer, W. Hartley. T. H. Hopwood, J. White, G. Bool, R. Holroyde and M. Brown. (src: 1/1 (Nov., 1869) p. 20; 1/9 (Dec., 1869) p. 147; 8 selected problems by Freeborough, Haycraft, Holroyde, White, Travoli, Collins, Biggs and Hopwood, presumably from the awarded sets, were printed in RS 1/3 (Jan., 1870) p. 72.)

Tourney 2. set of 6 problems, 1 pr. 1869-12-20. T. H. Hopwood won; special mention of F. C. Collins and P. L. Travoli. (see Gentleman's Journal, 1869, 2nd Tourney for details.)

Tourney 3. set of 6 problems, 5 pr. 1870-02-15. 1 pr. T. H. Hopwood; 2 pr. P. L. Travoli; 3 pr. F. C. Collins (no more prizes awarded). (src: RS 1/4 (Feb., 1870) p. 89; RS 1/7 (May, 1870) p. 159.)

Tourney 4. set of 6 problems, 5 pr. 1870-04-04. 1 pr. E. Freeborough; 2 pr. W. Corcoran; 3 pr. J. White; 4 pr. J. Taylor; 5 pr. F. King. (src: RS 1/5 (Mar., 1870) p. 111; RS 1/6 (Apr., 1870), p. 134; RS 1/7 (May, 1870) p. 159)

(Four problems in RS 1/8 (June, 1870), p. 192 by Portilla (2), Collins, and Hopwood are said to belong to the prize problems, but it is not clear to which tourney or tourneys they belong. Apart from that, it is probably worth noting that Portilla had not been credited with winning any prize so far, although “P. L. Travoli” had won 2 prizes, suggesting that the chess editor may have known or believed that “P. L. Travoli” was a pseudonym for V. Portilla.)

To do:
Check remaining issues and volumes of both Gentleman's Journal and of the Recreational Supplement.