1898 · Wien (Vienna)
1898 was highlighted by the great Imperial Jubilee Tournament, organized to commemorate the 50 year reign of Emperor Franz Josef I and to mark the 25th anniversary of the first international chess tournament held in Vienna. Led by the example of Baron von Rothschild, wealthy members of the newly formed Vienna Chess Club contributed funds to assure the success of the huge competition.
Most of the Word's chess elite (Lasker and Charousek did not participate), representing the United States, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Russia and host nation Austria, were on hand in the lovely "Kaiserstadt" to participate in this long, strenuous test of chess skills. The Spartan playing schedule called for five games per week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday); Thursday was reserved for adjourned games, and Sunday a day of rest. A number of the participants complained about the very short rest period. Eleven of them went so far as to draw up a written petition requesting a longer break on the grounds that the continued strain could endanger their health. The tournament committee found itself unable to act when Pillsbury protested the action. (Ironically the American master would be close to physical exhaustion in the closing rounds of his head-to-head duel with Tarrasch, who was nearly 11 years older). Even greater expenditures of time and energy would have been required had not the veteran A Schwarz. co-winner of the Wiesbaden and Graz tournaments of 1880, abandoned the struggle in the eighth round - following which his games were struck from the table. Tarrasch (+21 -2 =13) and Pillsbury (+24 -5 =7) finished in an historic first-place tie (27 1/2 points). They were trailed by Janowski (+22 -7 =7) with 25 1/2, Steinitz (+18 -7 =11) with 23 1/2 and Schlechter, once again the youngest participant, with 21 1/2 points. Tarrasch's triumph gave convincing proof that the great pedagogue's art had not ended with his disappointing showing at Budapest two years earlier. Finishing in a tie with Pillsbury after 36 grueling rouds, the German physician proceeded to defeat his younger American rival in a tense four-game playoff (+1 -0 =1). Tarrasch received 6,000 kroner for his effort - while the exhausted younger man found solace in his prize of 4,000 kroner and undiminished admiration of the Viennese chess community. (Goldman: Carl Schlechter! Caissa Editions)
Pages uncut, rebound else a very good copy of a scarce tournament title. (Inventory #: C0001)