Brentano’s Chess Monthly, 1882 (Frontispiece Tourney)

#4 (1 pr.)
In August, 1881, a requirement was added that problems had to be labelled as intended for the tourney.
H. C. Allen, editor-in-chief (see notes)
? (not explicitly stated; the problems had to be published in v. 1, i. 12, so February or March, 1882 seem possible.)
pr. J. C. J. Wainwright
Brentano’s Chess Monthly
v. 1, i. 1 (May, 1881), p. 36: announcement
v. 1, i. 4 (Aug,., 1881), p. 186: possible error with Kondelik problems

In each monthly issue, the best of the received problems was selected and printed as frontispiece, on a separate, unpaginated page facing the issue title page, and with a decorative, sometimes coloured border printed on art paper. (These pages are not always retained in rebound copies.) Unselected problems were used as ordinary problems, or returned, as the problem editor decided.

At the end of the year, the twelve published frontispiece problems entered the main tourney, and the best frontispiece problem of the year was selected. The annoucement stated that this would largely be governed by popular judgement from comments and other communication.

Problems were published under the name of their composers. Competitors were:

i. 1 (May, 1881): J. N. Babson
i. 2 (June, 1881): G. Chocholous
i. 3 (July, 1881): C. Kondelik
i. 4 (Aug., 1881): T. Randell
i. 5 (Sep., 1881): J. C. J. Wainwright
i. 6 (Oct., 1881): A. Kauders
i. 7 (Nov., 1881): J. W. Abbott
i. 8 (Dec., 1881): J. Berger
i. 9 (Jan., 1882): R. Braune
i. 10 (Feb., 1882): F. af Geijersstam
i. 11 (Mar., 1882): W. A. Shinkman
i. 12 (Apr., 1882): C. E. Dennis

Initially, the tourney requirements did not state that contributions should be marked as intended for the tourney. A sending of problems from Kondelik, containing two unmarked #4, led to a situation in which the #4 selected by the problem editor and published in the July issue as a frontispiece problem, proved to be faulty, while the one selected to be published outside competition (in August) was correct. The possibility that the wrong problem had been selected as tourney problem appears to have led to the change in rules.

The judge was not identified until the award was published. It seems likely that the then problem editor (J. N. Babson) preferred someone else for the job, as he himself had entered as a competitor in the tourney before becoming problem editor.

The award announcement does not say anything about why J. C. J. Wainwright's problem won.

As the twelfth frontispiece problem was published in the same issue as the final award, it is difficult to see how popular judgement could help influence the decision of the tourney judge.


Prize: J. C. J. Wainwright