1904 Cambridge Springs International Chess Congress
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The Players

Sixteen players participated in the Cambridge Springs 1904 tournament.

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John Barry | Mikhail Chigorin | Eugene Delmar | Albert Fox
Albert Hodges | David Janowsky | Emanuel Lasker | Thomas F. Lawrence
Georg Marco | Frank Marshall | Jacques Mieses | William Napier
Harry N. Pillsbury | Carl Schlechter | Jackson Showalter | Richard Teichmann

Click here for a rating list of the world's top players as of December 31, 1903 as compiled by Chessmetrics.
Check out this rating/ranking list of the tournament participants and a discussion of the strength of this tournament.

The players are listed below in order of finish. Residence is taken from American Chess Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 1, June 1904 and may not correspond to the nationality shown in the crosstable. The rating represents the best 5-year average "ELO" rating as calculated by Professor Arpad Elo in his book The Rating of Chessplayers Past & Present.

Finish Photo/Name Lifespan/Residence Rating Biographical Info. Links


Frank James Marshall



USA (Brooklyn, NY)

Cambridge Springs was considered Marshall's greatest triumph. For reasons unknown, Marshall performed much better in tournaments than in matches. His other tournament wins included Nuremberg 1906 (+9=7) ahead of Duras and Schlechter, and Havana 1913 (+8=5-1) ahead of Capablanca. In contrast, he lost matches to Tarrasch in 1905, Lasker in 1907 and Capablanca in 1909. He did win matches against Teichmann, Janowsky, Mieses, Showalter and others. The Marshall Chess Club in New York City is his namesake.

In 1914, Marshall (along with Lasker, Alekhine, Capablanca and Tarrasch) was named by the Czar of Russia as one of the five original "Grandmasters of Chess". Marshall was the United States Champion from 1909-1936.

Marshall was known as an attacking player. The Marshall Attack of the Ruy Lopez opening is named after him. The defining moves are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 and Black has given up a pawn for a King-side attack. One main line continues 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3. (One of my own early tournament games featured the Marshall Attack unintentionally, and I lost quickly.)



Dawid (David) Markelowicz Janowsky



France (Paris)

Sometimes spelled Janowski, but pronouced yanofsky.

From a biography preface (see link at right): "David Janowski was one of the grandest of grandmasters at the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries. Victories in individual games against Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine, a phenomenal run of successes in major tournaments and a universally acknowledged elegance of style, combined to make him one of the most feared and respected exponents of the game."

From The Oxford Companion to Chess: "He played intuitively, always to win, and usually created interesting positions, not always to his advantage; and although he played in many brilliancy prize games he achieved the unusual distinction of losing as many as he won."

Janowsky's play demonstrated a bias for the two bishops, and he detested the endgame.



Emanuel Lasker



Germany (Berlin)

At the time of this tournament, Lasker was World Champion. His reign lasted from 1894 to 1921 (27 years!). He was dominant in the 1896-1914 period, and is among the top 10 of all time on most lists of the best players of all time.

In the few years preceding this tournament, Dr. Lasker had devoted most of his time to his studies. This did not prevent him from a strong showing at this tournament.

Lasker would defend his title against Schlechter in 1910 (+1=8-1), with the arbiter declaring that Lasker was still champion. The World Championship title was wrested away from Lasker by Capablanca in 1921.



Georg Garza Marco



Austria (Vienna)

Marco performed well in this tournament, drawing with the top four finishers in the tournament, other than himself.

From The Oxford Companion to Chess: "His cautious style, 'keeping the draw in hand', was not conducive to success in strong tournaments... Marco was 'a man of considerable stature and fine muscular appearance ... jokingly called "the strongest chess-player in the world" ... always bubbling over with fun and cracking jokes with any and all ...', but he was serious both in his efforts to secure better rewards for professional players, and in his literary work."



Jackson Whipps Showalter



USA (Georgetown, KY)

From The Oxford Companion to Chess: "Known as the Kentucky Lion after his birthplace and his mane of hair, but also perhaps on account of his playing strength."

Showalter's performance at Cambridge Springs can be attributed to his success in achieving draws in nine of his games, the most by any of the participants. Showalter was U.S. Champion in 1894, 1895-97 and 1906-09.

I believe Chess Life did an article about Showalter several years ago. I will provide the reference if/when I locate it.



Carl Schlechter



Austria (Vienna)

From Just the Facts! by Alburt & Krogius: "The brilliant embodiment of Steinitzian theory, Schlechter narrowly missed winning the title in his match with Lasker. Schlechter died of starvation eight years later."

From The Oxford Companion to Chess: "In developing his style, Schlechter followed the precepts of Steinitz' to build up the game by seeking positional advantage, and not to attack until an advantage had been obtained. In the early part of his career, when this method often led to drawn games, he became known as a 'drawing master', an inappropriate description of his mature style."

In contrast to the first citation above, this second reference says that Schlechter's health declined during the last months of 1918 and he died of pnemonia in Budapest soon after completing a chess engagement.



Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin



Russia (St. Petersburg)

Sometimes spelled Tchigorin.

From The Oxford Companion to Chess: "Chigorin's style was marked by fine tactical skill and an imaginative approach to the problems of the opening phase... Chigorin rejected the doctrinal approach of Steinitz and Tarrasch, but he accepted some of Steinitz's ideas, notably a belief in the soundness of the defensive centre, in which respect his investigations into the Close Defense to the Spanish Opening have proved of lasting value... His original talent produced many lively games and Russians, both then and since, have regarded him as the founder of their so-called school of chess."

Chigorin's 5½ score at Cambridge Springs was not indicative of his peak strength. While only three of his games were draws, including a draw against Marshall, Chigorin lost to the other top-seven finishers to seal his fate.

Chigorin had the misfortune of losing two games on time. In one of those games, Round 10 vs. Marco, he was winning when he overstepped the time limit.



Jacques (Jakob) Mieses



Germany (Leipzig)

From The Oxford Companion to Chess: "He never assimilated the positional ideas of Steinitz and Tarrasch, preferring to set up a game with the direct object of attacking the enemy king, a style that brought him a public following and many brilliancy prizes, but few successes in high-level play. His best result was in the first Trebitsch Memorial tournament, Vienna 1907, first (+9=2-2), ahead of Duras, Maroczy and Schlechter."

He defeated Schlechter in a match in 1909 (+2=1).



Harry Nelson Pillsbury



USA (Philadelphia)

Pillsbury's performance was undoubtedly affected by his impending health problems which led to his death two years later.

Alekhine said, "Pillsbury was, after Morphy, undoubtedly the greatest chess talent of the USA."

After Pillsbury died, Lasker said, "A genius has gone."



Albert Whiting Fox



USA (New York)

Brooklyn Chess Club champion.

Fox's performance at Cambridge Springs was very respectable, including wins over Janowsky, Schlechter, Chigorin, Teichmann and Lawrence. The win over Janowsky in Round 10 dealt a serious blow to Janowsky's pursuit of Marshall.

Fox deserves the "fighting prize" for having the fewest draws, only one, against Showalter (who had nine draws, the most in the tournament).

Fox was the last surviving participant of Cambridge Springs 1904.



Richard Teichmann



England (London)

Excerpts from The Oxford Companion to Chess follow: "Originally from Germany, Teichmann moved to London in 1892 where he remained for about ten years as a language teacher. His only notable chess achievement after the First World War was a drawn match with Alekhine in 1921 (+2=2-2). Teichmann was blind in his right eye, and the other sometimes gave him trouble. His appearance was impressive: a black eye patch, full brown beard, a large head, and a high forehead."

In this tournament, Teichmann won five of his first six games. He then had the misfortune of garnering only one and a half points over the remaining nine rounds. According to Hilburt (see below), Napier reported that Teichmann became ill after the first week of the tournament.



Thomas Francis Lawrence



England (London)

Six-time City of London Chess Club champion. Many chess databases give Mr. Lawrence's first name as Charles but this is incorrect, as confirmed to my by Mr. Edward Winter and also Hilburt's Napier: The Forgotten Chessmaster. According to Hilburt's account, Lawrence had only been playing chess since about 1890 or 1891.


William Ewart Napier



USA (Pittsburgh)

Napier was born in Woolwich, England and came to the United States at the age of five. At fifteen, he won the championship of the Brooklyn Chess Club, and one year later, he defeated world champion Wilhelm Steinitz in a game.

Napier was at one time a reporter, later an actuary and vice-president of the Scranton Life Insurance Company. (Info from dust jacket of Paul Morphy and the Golden Age of Chess, which Napier authored.)

He also married Pillsbury's neice. Soltis featured Napier in the September 1982 issue of Chess Life, page 8, referring to him as "one of the most talented players of the early 1900s".



John Finan Barry



USA (Boston)

New England champion. Barry's showing in this tournament was not good, but it is interesting that he was able to draw the 3rd through 7th place players. His only wins were against Teichmann and Delmar. Prior to Cambridge Springs, Barry had wins against other notable players, including Lasker (1893), Pillsbury (1899) and Blackburne (1903).

A year after the tournament, Mr. Barry became an attorney in Boston. (This is an interesting coincidence, as I believe that Michael Wilder set aside his chess career for law school immediately after winning the U.S. Championship at Cambridge Springs in 1988.)

  • ChessGames.com bio.
  • Article in Edward Winter's Chess Notes on ChessHistory.com, including Barry's comments about Marshall's performance at CS1904.
  • Brief bio at Chess.com.


Albert Beauregard Hodges



USA (Staten Island, NY)

Hodges was New York State Champion 1892-1894.

Hodges also briefly became U.S. Champion by winning a rematch against Showalter in 1894.



Eugene Delmar



USA (New York)

Alas, someone must be in last place. Delmar was 4-time New York State Champion, the latest being 1897. Delmar was in his early 60's at the time of this tournament, the oldest of all the participants.

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