Thursday, November 29, 2012

Emanuel Lasker's 1902 simuls in Chicago

The October 12th chess column of the Chicago Tribune noted the arrival of Emanuel Lasker in New York on October 7th and also that he would be making a tour of this country under the management Walter Penn Shipley of Philadelphia, with a stop in Chicago very likely; Lasker had not made a visit to the city, except for a brief stop the previous year, since 1894.

On November 3rd Lasker began eight day stay in Philadelphia taking part in simultaneous exhibitions, consultation games, and various off-hand games.
Image, Source: original negative 
Emanuel Lasker (1907)
SDN-005600, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum. 

On November 9th the Tribune reported that:
  "Local chess enthusiasts are looking forward to veritable chess carnival before the end of the month, as not only will   the championship tournament be well under way, but Emanuel Lasker champion of the world will be in the city, besides simultaneous play and lectures will indulge in single handed contest with leading local players."

The first of Lasker's simultaneous exhibitions in Chicago took place November 15th on the premises of the Chicago Chess and Checker Club, where the champion played twenty-three games of chess and two games of checkers simultaneously winning seventeen games of chess losing two and drawing four; as well as drawing in the two games of checkers.

   "The greatest credit should be given to Mrs. F.W. Lynn for her victory. This lady who never heretofore played the game anywhere except in the seclusion of her own home, conducted a highly intricate attack to a brilliant termination without the slightest show of nervousness. Her husband who was playing at a adjoining table was one of the first of the champions victims."- Chicago Tribune (November 16, 1902)

It is perhaps a bit ungenerous to think that Lasker was being the gentleman in order to give encouragement to Mrs. Lynn. Mrs. Frank Lynn would in a few years time would edit the chess column of the Tribune for a couple of months. In a previous post I asked the question was Mrs. Frank Lynn the earliest female editor of a chess column in a major metropolitan newspaper? I have since learned she was beaten to the laurel of earliest female editor by Rosa Jefferson who's column began to appear in Memphis Commercial Appeal in 1903, which she edited for nearly thirty years (as well as editing a music column).

"...Lee W. Parke, president of the Pillsbury Correspondence Association played with rare accuracy in a complicated position ...." - Chicago Tribune (November 16, 1902)

Sidney P. Johnston's chess column of November 23rd, Across the Chessboard in the Tribune, gave three more games from the Lasker's November 15th Chicago visit.

Mr. Frank Lynn, husband of Mrs. Frank Lynn one of the losers against the champion.

After leaving Chicago and resting for two days the champion gave a simultaneous exhibition in Milwaukee at the Deutsche Club on November 18th playing 23 games, drawing three ,winning the rest, then it was on to St. Louis from November 22nd to the 25th, his return engagement in Chicago was set for for November 28th and 29th.

But there must have been delay of a few days for we have found the above news item in The St. Louis Republic of November 28, 1902.

By December 10th the champion was back in the city, for he played a simultaneous exhibition at the University Club, playing fourteen games conceding the odds of a knight, winning thirteen, losing one game.

On December 12th, Lasker gave his final simultaneous exhibition at the Chicago Chess and Checker Club, playing twenty-three games, the final score being twenty-one games won, one loss, and a draw. His only loss was again at the hands of Mrs. Lynn, the drawn game was against J.W. Taylor.

"... Mrs. F.W. Lynn who defeated Lasker during his previous seance who had been gamely struggling along under a handicap, electrified spectators by a brilliant and unlooked for queen sacifice by mating by force in two moves by knight and rook."  Chicago Tribune (December 14, 1902)

At this point I have not found the score to Mrs.Lynn's second victory over the champion.

It took Lasker just twenty-five minutes to win the following game.

On January 22nd, Lasker gave a simultaneous exhibition of twenty-one games at the rooms of the Minneapolis Chess Club, it was his first visit to that city. He won seventeen, one loss, with three draws.

"After the tournament Dr. Lasker was entertained at a banquet at the Commercial Club. In response to a toast, he gave a talk on the beauties of chess.

At the close of the address Dr. Lasker went to the club chess room where he showed problems and positions tricky and otherwise. He later entered a game of whist as a relaxation  from the strain of the day." -
The Minneapolis Journal (January 23, 1903)

So we leave the champion playing not chess, but a game of cards.


Emanuel Lasker The Minneapolis Journal (January 23, 1903)

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