Sunday, October 5, 2014

"Chess War" 1914–Memphis, Tennessee

Chess News–The Commercial Appeal, August 2, 1914
by Rosa Jefferson


The Memphis players are jubilant over the prospects for the forthcoming championship tourney of the Western Chess Association.  The meeting will start on August 10 and 20 expert players are expected to participate.

The experts so far who have sent favorable replies are Harry F. Lee, chess editor of the Chicago Tribune, Shapiro, Alderson and Huske of Ohio.  Hine of Missouri, Crew of Iowa, Elliott of Minnesota, Woodbury of Virginia, and Labatt of New Orleans, Beckner and Showalter of Kentucky, Ed Hill of Cleveland, M. D. McGrath of Brookhaven, Judge Whitfield of Jackson are among those who have been invited to represent Mississippi.

The tournament committee wrote to the mayor of Atlanta last week telling him how much they had heard of the "wonderful prowess of his city" and dared him to send a chess player to the tourney.

The invitation sent to Little Rock will be acted on at the next meeting of the club and it is expected that one or more representatives will come from Arkansas.

It is not known yet how many will come from Chicago, but it has been stated that several of the strongest ones will be on hand.

Entries can be made up to 10 o'clock Monday morning, August 10.  There will also be a checker tournament for those who attend the tournament and do not care to tackle the big fish.

A nice programme will be arranged for the opening day.  Mayor Crump and other prominent Memphians will be invited to attend.  The knights from a distance will be given a most cordial welcome and much will be done for their pleasure while they are with us.

The following clipping from the American Chess Bulletin of New York City will further impress the importance of the tourney.  Says the Bulletin:

"With true southern hospitality, Memphis, which will be the scene of this year's meet of the Western Chess Association, is throwing open her doors to the chess players of the country, or, at least, to such as are eligible to take part in the proceedings of this vigorous organization.  It may be here be stated that, with the exception of New England and the eastern states, the entire country is eligible, as are some parts of Canada.  The line of demarcation, for this year at least, has been set at Washington, D. C., leaving everybody in the national capital and west or south thereof free to come in.  Virginia is welcome with the rest.  The headquarters of the association during the meeting will be at the Business Men's Club, which, if reports are not misleading, is positively the greatest club of its kind in all of the world, and, by the same token, Memphis is the greatest city in the south.  This report, if we may judge by the enterprise of her chess players, may be accepted without serious misgivings.  The meeting will open on August 10 and continue for a week, or longer, if found to be necessary.  The prize list, as given out by R. S. Scrivener of Memphis, the new president of the Western Chess Association, gives an indication of the scale on which this meeting has been planned by our Tennessean friends at the very first opportunity that has been vouchsafed them to show just what they can do:

"First, $150; second, $100; third, $75; fourth, $50; fifth, $30; sixth, $20; seventh, $10.  In addition, there will be a number of special prizes, besides one for brilliancy, the best played game, the longest mate etc.  In short, nobody who visits Memphis is likely to go away empty handed.

"B. B. Jefferson of Memphis, who won the championship at Chicago last year, will be prepared to defend his title and is reported to be in good form.  No line can be given on the actual entry list, but there is some likelihood of J. W. Showalter's taking part.  Harry F. Lee of Chicago has been invited to attend the meeting and act in the capacity of referee.  The entrance fee will be $5.  For the information of visitors, satisfactory board and room, is to be had in Memphis for $7 a week.

"Strong players will be made especially welcome and it is hoped that all will take home some Memphis money.  There is no wish to retain any of it at home except by a hard fight.  Entries are expected from as far west as Omaha.

"The management of the Western Chess Association is in the hands of the following officers: R. S. Scrivener, Memphis, president; Judge W. G. Hine, Savannah, Mo., vice president; David Cummings, Memphis, secretary and treasurer."

The Commercial Appeal, August 9, 1914

Twenty Players From Twelve States Will Compete,
Memphis Expert Who Won Trophy Last Year Will Defend Ownership in This Tournament–Contest Will Be in Progress All Week.
Twenty players from 12 states west of New York will take part in a chess tournament for the western championship title, which will open at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning in the Business Men's Club.  The tourney will be in progress all week.

The winner of the tournament will receive a loving cup, which will be posted for the fifteenth time.  The cup will become the property of the player who wins it two consecutive years.  B. B. Jefferson of Memphis won the cup last year and will defend his ownership this week.  R. S. Scrivener will also represent Memphis.

Expert chess players from all parts of the country between New York and Omaha, Neb. will be here to take part in the tournament.  The playing schedule will not be arranged until tomorrow morning.

George Walbrecht of St. Louis, who has won the cup twice, but not consecutively, will be one of the experts in the tournament.  For four years he has represented the United States in the international cable matches with England, winning each time.

A telegram received last night that Herman Hahlbohm of Chicago, champion of Illinois, will be here for the contest.  Nestor Hernandez, a Cuban, of Tampa, Fla., is another expert who will be here.

H. F. Lee, chess editor for the Chicago, Tribune, will referee the tournament.

Chess News–The Commercial Appeal, August 9, 1914
by Rosa Jefferson

Twelve Western States Prepare For Great Chess Battle––The First Game Begins in Memphis Tomorrow

Everything is in readiness for the western championship tourney, which begins tomorrow at 10 o'clock in the chess rooms of the Business Men's Club.  It is probable that 12 states will be represented and possibly more.  Three state representatives have withdrawn their acceptances, as they are connected with the United States War Department and have had their vacations postponed.  The chief interest this year lies in the younger brigade of players and it is likely that several new chess stars will appear.  Among those likely to scintillate are Beckner of Kentucky, Fry of West Virginia, McClure of Tennessee and Woodbury of Virginia.  Against these skillful aspirants will be arranged the veterans of many conflicts: Daniels of Kansas, Crew of Iowa, Schrader and Walbrecht of St. Louis, Phillips of Illinois, Widmeyer of North Dakota and Hine of Missouri, and in reserve will be the local corps whose fame is well established.  The Memphians from whom the defenders will be chosen are B. B. Jefferson, Robert Schrivener, R. A. McDonald, David Cummins, A. B. Pittman, Dr. Henry Posert, W. M. Keith, P. K. Norman, C. N. Grosvenor, J. W. Jones, A. G. Jett, Hays Flowers, T. C. Looney, R. M. Horton and H. J. Livingston.  Mississippi will be assured of splendid representation through the irrepressible E. B. Hill of Cleveland and M. D. McGragh of Brookhaven.  The New Orleans club, long recognized as the leading club of the south, will send a representative and there is little doubt that the daily score will show his active participation.

Jackson, Tenn., can boast of a brilliant player in R. H. Harrison and it is to be regretted that Mr. Harrison will not be able to come to the tourney.

It must be borne in mind that this will be the greatest chess battle that has ever been waged on Tennessee soil.

Daily news of the tourney will be flashed to the leading chess centers of the United States.

In the south there are over 50 places in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Alabama covered by The Commercial Appeal's chess department that will be on the lookout for news of our "chess war."

Many brilliant games are bound to result from the battle royal.

Harry F. Lee of Chicago will probably arrive in the city today.  Mr. Lee will come to act as referee for the tourney.  He has been spending his vacation in Northern Michigan and will be in fine trim to enjoy the fight.

It is very likely that Alex P. Conen will come from the Louisville Chess Club.  Mr. Conen recently won the championship of his club without the loss of a single game.

 The Commercial Appeal, Monday Morning, August 10, 1914

Western Tourney For Chess Opens At Business Club

The Western chess tournament began Monday morning on the sixth floor of the Business Men's club, with nineteen players from various states.

The first round started at 10 o'clock and the second round will be played Monday evening by the following players:

J. W. Fry, Charleston, W. Va.; Wm. A. Woodbury, Roanke, Va.; W. L. Moorman, Lynchburg, Va.; J. T. Beckner, Winchester, Ky.; Judge L. L. Labott, of the New Orleans Chess, Checker, and Whist club; Victor Alderson, Warren, Ohio; E. F. Schrader, Syracuse, N. Y.; George H. Wolbrecht, St. Louis, representing the St. Louis Chess Club; W. G. Hine, Savannah, Mo.; J. Daniels, Kansas City, Mo.; Herman Hohlbohm, champion chess player of Chicago; B. B. Jefferson of Memphis, winner of the 1913 championship club; R. S. Schrivener, of Memphis, president of the Western Chess association; Dr. A. E. Crew, of Marion, Iowa; Nester Hernandes, representing the chess club of Tampa, Fla.; James McClure, representing the Vanderbilt Chess club, of Nashville; J. S. Morrison, of Toronto, Can.; Ed B. Hill, of Cleveland, Miss., and Champion chess player of the state; E. T. Jamison, of Birmingham.

Harry F. Lee, chess editor of the Chicago Tribune, is refereeing the games.

The Commercial Appeal, August 11, 1914

Thirteen States Represented by Expert Players
Tournament to Determine Champion Will Be in Progress Nine Moe Days–B. B. Jefferson of Memphis in First Match Today

Military strategist planning their campaigns in the European war could not give closer attention to their war maps than 19 expert chess players gave to their pawns yesterday in the opening rounds  of the annual western championship chess tournament in the Business Men's Club.

The battle of wits and skill began immediately after the expert chess players from all parts of the country gathered on the sixth floor of the B. M. C. building and completed their playing schedule.  It will require 19 rounds to determine the championship and as only two rounds will be played each day, the tourney will be in progress nine and one-half days.

It was decided  to play the rounds from 9 o'clock a.m. until 1 o'clock p.m. and from 7 until 11 o'clock in the evening, leaving the afternoon hours, which are apt to be the hottest, for mental relaxation.  This is the first time the Western Chess Association has been held south of Chicago.

H. G. Lee, chess editor of the Chicago Tribune, official referee of the tournament, says that the association in the 15 years of its existence never had a better representation of expert players than is in Memphis to compete for the silver loving cup.

The players who entered the tournament are J. W. Fry of Charleston, W. Va.; Wm. A. Woodbury of Roanke, Va.; W. L. Moorman of Lynchburg, Va.; J. T. Beckner of Winchester, Ky.; Judge L. L. Labott of New Orleans, representing the New Orleans Chess, Checker, and Whist club; Victor Alderson of Warren, Ohio; E. F. Schrader of Syracuse, N. Y.; George H. Wolbrecht of St. Louis, former champion and representative of the St. Louis Chess Club; W. G. Hine of Savannah, Mo.; J. Daniels of Kansas City, Mo; Herman Hohlbohm of Chicago, champion of Chicago; B. B. Jefferson of Memphis, present western champion; R. S. Schrivener, of Memphis; Dr. A. E. Crew of Marion, Iowa; Nester Hernandes of Tampa, Fla., representing the Tampa Chess Club; James McClure of Nashville,  representative of the Vanderbilt Chess Club; J. S. Morrison of Toronto, Canada.; Ed B. Hill of Cleveland, Miss., champion of Mississippi, and E. T. Jamison of Birmingham.

There were no unfinished games in the first round, which was played in the afternoon the first day, owing to the business session in the morning.

Local interest centers in B. B. Jefferson, the Memphian who won the western championship last year in Chicago.

First Round Results.
In the first round Hine beat Daniels, Morrison beat Alderson, Hernandez beat Jamison, Wolbrecht beat Fry, McClure and Schrivener played a draw game, Beckner lost to Woodbury, Crew lost to Hahlbohm and Schrader beat Hine.
In the second round Hill beat Crew, Jefferson beat Beckner, McClure beat Fry, Morrison beat Hernandez, Hine beat Alderson, Wolbrecht beat Jamison, Schrader beat Daniels and Woodbury and Hahlbohm drew.

The following Ruy Lopez is on of the interesting selections of the first round:

The Commercial Appeal, August 12, 1914

Chess Experts of Western Association Strive for Honors,
Hahlbohm Played Against Jefferson, Western Champion––Morrison Opposed Wolbrecht in Two Day's Feature Games.
The second day in the Western Chess Association tourney was interesting from start to finish.  The important games of the day were Morrison vs. Wolbrecht and Hahlbohm vs. Jefferson.  The Canadian champion won from Wolbrecht and the other game was adjourned with the Memphis champion a pawn down.

The results of the third round: Schrader beat Alderson, Hine beat Hernandez, Morrison beat Wolbrecht, McClure beat Jamison, Lahatt beat Fry, Moorman beat Hine, Schrivener beat Beckner, Hill beat Woodbury, Moorman beat Crew, Hahlbohm and Jefferson adjourned their game with a pawn up.

The scores for the leaders after four rounds are as follows:

Morrison and Moorman, 3-0; Jefferson and Labatt, 2-0; Schrader and Wolbrecht, 3-1; Hahlbohm and Schrivener, 2-1.

In the fourth round the results were:

Woodbury and Moorman, unfinished; Jefferson and Hill, 1-0; Scrivener and Hahlbohm, 1/2 - 1/2; Fry and Beckner, 1-0; Jamison and Labatt, 0-1; Morrison and McClure, unfinished; Hine and Wolbrecht 0-1; Schrader and Hernandez, 0-1; Daniels and Alderson, 1-0.

The following game, which was won by E. B. Hill, the Mississippi champion, from W. N. Woodbury of Virginia, is a candidate for the brilliancy prize, a silver loving cup, presented to the association by Julius Goodman.

The Commercial Appeal, August 13, 1914

Two Former Western Open Champions Face Each Other,
Expert Knowledge Displayed by All Players––Interesting Games Between Judge Labatt and Morrison, Canadian Champion.
The schedule of play yesterday in the tourney of the Western Chess Association was filled with possibilities of exciting results.

They came.  They came so thick that before the evening session was reached all four of the players with a clean score had suffered some loss.

Jefferson of Memphis and Moorman of West Virginia slightly punished one another by drawing their game; Labatt of New Orleans won brilliantly from Morrison, Canadian champion, and then Jefferson defeated Labatt in another high-class, masterly played ending.

An interesting incident of the morning session was the pairing of Wolbrecht of St. Louis and Schrader of Syracuse, N. Y. They are old-time antagonist, and both have held the championship of the association.  After stubbornly fought contest their game was drawn.

Other results of the fifth round were as follows: Hernandez beat Daniels, Hine beat McClure, Beckner beat Jamison, Hahlbohm beat Fry, Scrivener beat Hill, and Woodbury beat Crew.

In the sixth round Jefferson beat Crew, Fry beat Hill, Hahlbohm beat Jamison, Alderson beat Hernandez, Wolbrecht beat Daniels and Hine and Labatt drew.  The Leading scores are:

Jefferson, 4 1/2-1/2; Hahlbohm and Moorman, 4-1; Scrivener, 3-1; Hine, Wolbrecht and Schrader, 4 1/2-1 1/2; Labatt, 3 1/2-1 1/2; Woodbury and Morrison, 3-2; McClure 3 1/2-2 1/2.

Following is the fine game played in this round between Judge Labatt and Morrison, mentioned above:

Queen's Gambit Declined

The Commercial Appeal, August 14, 1914

Seventh Round is Played in Western Chess Association Meet

The leaders in the tournament of the Western Chess Association are making a strong fight for top place.

Hahlbohm, Moorman, Schrader, Wolbrecht and Hine continue to win, but Jefferson dropped another half point.  Morrison met with his fourth successive defeat.  In the seventh round Schrader beat Labatt.  Hine beat Bekner, Hahlbohm beat Morrison, Moorman beat Fry, Woodbury and Jefferson had a drawn game, Wolbrecht beat Alderson.  Hernandez had the bye.

In the eight round three of the leaders suffered loss.  Wolbrecht drew with Hernandez, Schrader lost to Beckner, and at the adjournment Hahlbohm had a lost game with Hine.  Moorman defeated Jamison and holds first place.

The scores of the leaders are:

                                                     Won       Lost
Moorman    ……………………….7            1       
Hahlbohm   ……………………….6            1
Hine            ……………………….5 1/2      1 1/2
Wolbrecht   ……………………….6             2
Jefferson    ……………………….5             2
McClure      ……………………….5 1/2      2 1/2
Schrader     ……………………….5 1/2      2 1/2
Labatt         ……………………….4 1/2      2 1/2
Scrivener    ……………………….3            2
Woodbury   ……………………….3 1/2      2 1/2

The game below from yesterday's play has many points of interest.


The Commercial Appeal, August 16, 1914

Six in Chess Tournament Only Half a Point Apart in Standing

An unusual situation resulted after the ninth round of the Western Chess Association tournament in the Business Men's Club yesterday.  It left only half a point difference in the standing of six players.

In the ninth round McClure beat Hernandez, Becker scored against Daniels by forfeit, Hahlbohm beat Schrader, Hill beat Hine, Morrison beat Moorman, Crew beat Jamison, Woodbury beat Fry and the game between Labatt and Alderson was drawn.

In the tenth round all the leaders kept their places.  Hahlbohm, with a score of 8-2, has a shade the advantage over Moorman, Jefferson and Wolbrecht, with 7-2 each.  Following these matadors come Woodbury with 5 1/2-2 1/2, Schrader, 6 1/2-3 1/2; Hine and McClure, 5 1/2-3 1/2; Scrivener, 4-3, and Labatt, 5-4. 

The Commercial Appeal, August 16, 1914
Expert Chess Players From All Over America Meet Here to Compete for Western Championship Trophy


Twelve rounds have been completed in the championship tourney of the Western Chess Association in progress at the Business Men's Club.  Nineteen players, most of them champions, entered the tourney on Monday morning and for six days have been engaged in "strenuous head-to-head" struggles across the board.

Never before in the history of the Western Chess Association has such a strong set of players assembled to compete for the honored title.

We have experts from 18 states and Canada.

Judge J. J. Labatt, long recognized for his prowess in southern chess, is representing the Chess, Checkers and Whist club of New Orleans.

J. Daniels of Kansas City, among his chess honors can boast of having served for some years as the "chess spirit" of the automation located at the Eden Museum in New York City.

Herman Hahlbohm of Chicago, representing the Kenwood Chess Club, may be regarded as one of the rising stars in the chess firmament.  He won the championship of Chicago last season, defeating a large field of strong players.  By strong and brilliant play Hahlbohm has held the lead in this tourney and stands an excellent chance to win top place.

B. B. Jefferson, the local expert and present champion of the association, holds a place at the top of the list with Hohlbohm and Wolbrecht.

If Jefferson wins the cup again this year it will become his permanent possession.  It is a rule of the association that in case the cup is won two years in succession by the same player it then becomes his property.

Something of the Players

Wilbur Moorman of Lynchburg, Va.; is a chess enthusiast, a strong, brilliant player of the old school.
Dr. Crew of Marion, Iowa, is champion of the Iowa Chess Association.

Judge W. G. Hine of Savannah, Mo., can always be depended on for good strong play.

Robert S. Scrivener has made an enviable record in local chess and is a fit opponent for any of the experts.

Canada has sent Morrison, whose game has already attracted widespread interest.

E. E. Schrader is representing Syracuse, N. Y.  Schrader is an ex-champion of the Western Chess Association.

George H. Wolbrecht of St. Louis is also and ex-champion of the W. C. A., so both Schrader and Woldbrecht have well earned the high place which they hold in the chess world.

J. W. Fry, the noted expert on the Evans gambit, is the only player in the tourney who has ventured that historic opening.  He was rewarded by a victory in each case.

J. T. Beckner of Winchester, Ky. has been unable, on account of ill health, to exhibit the great strength and flashing brilliancy which usually characterize his game.  At the beginning of the tourney he was expected to be a contender for the highest honor.

Ed Hill, champion of the Mississippi Chess Association, has thus far been erratic in his play, and has not always displayed the high-class chess he is capable of producing.

Nestor Hernandez, the gentle young Cuban, at times shows flashes of the genius that has made Capablanca famous.

Hernandez is representing the Tampa, Fla. Chess Club.

Victor Alderson of Warren, Ohio is a well known player of correspondence chess.  He essayed over the board chess experts for the first time on this occasion. 

Standing of the Players.

Seven more rounds will have to be finished to determine the champion.  Harry F. Lee, the able referee and chess editor of the Chicago Tribune, has stuck to his "text" this week.  Mr. Lee has conducted the tourney in splendid style.  He is systematic and thorough in his work and has kept the "knights" under strict military discipline.

The standing of the players after eleven rounds is as follows:

                                                     Won       Lost

Hahlbohm   ……………………….9            2
Jefferson    ……………………….8             2
Wolbrecht   ……………………….8             2
Moorman    ……………………….8            3       
Hine            ……………………….7 1/2      3 1/2
McClure      ……………………….6 1/2      3 1/2
Schrader     ……………………….6 1/2      3 1/2
Woodbury   ……………………….6 1/2      3 1/2
Morrison    ………………………. 5 1/2      4 1/2
Hernandez  ……………………….5 1/2       4 1/2
Hill              ……………………….5 1/2       5 1/2
Labatt         ……………………….5              5
Scrivener    ……………………….4              4
Beckner        ……………………….5              6
Alderson     ……………………….1 1/2        8 1/2
Crew           ……………………….1              8
Jamison      ……………………….0              11

Chess News–Commercial Appeal August 16, 1914
by Rosa Jefferson

Western Chess Association


The most astounding European news of the days comes not from the frontiers where the armies are mobilizing to attack the defense, but from the international chess tournament at Mannheim, Germany.

Incredible as it may sound, the international chess tournament was stopped on account of war.  The prizes were awarded to experts having the leading scores at close.

It is hard to grasp the fact, although the dispatch is categorical and authentic.  Business, factories, commerce, even love and marriage are stopped by the war–yes!  But a chess tournament participated in by the great masters of the silent game–that is a different matter!

Is chess losing its hold on its devotees?  Is the concentration of attention necessary to its mastery becoming so rare that the world's experts permit a little thing like war to interfere with their absorbing occupation?  Is there to be no single pursuit exempt from the strain and interest of war?

Chess experts are, after all, but men.  Their minds, even when engaged in the gravest of occupation known to man, are yet subject to the petty assaults of things like war and rumors of wars–Chicago Herald.

The Commercial Appeal, August 18, 1914

Leaders Are Only a Little Way From Each Other

Play in the tourney of the Western Chess Association yesterday intensified a condition already full of excitement.  Three men are practically tied for top place and they are followed by two others close upon their heels.  In the fourteenth round all the leaders won their games except Jefferson and Schrader, who, after a long struggle, adjourned their game.  It will be finished this afternoon.

In the fifteenth round the relative positions of the contestants was only slightly changed.  The standing of the players after the fifteenth round is as follows:

                                                     Won       Lost

Hahlbohm   ……………………….12            3
Wolbrecht   ……………………….11            3
Jefferson    ……………………….10            3
Moorman    ……………………….10 1/2     3 1/2       
Schrader     ……………………….9 1/2       3 1/2
Morrison    ………………………. 10 1/2     4 1/2
Woodbury   ……………………….9             5
Hill              ……………………….8 1/2       6 1/2
McClure      ……………………….7             6
Scrivener    ……………………….6 1/2       6 1/2


The following game between Ed B. Hill of Cleveland, Miss., and Prof. James McClure of Vanderbilt University has been entered for the brilliancy prize.  The game lasted 2 1/2 hours and will be found to contain many interesting points:

The Commercial Appeal, August 19, 1914

Chess Tourney Grows Interesting as Finals Come

With only two more rounds to be played in the tournament of the Western Chess Association, the fight for top place is still undecided.  Results of play in the sixteenth and seventeenth rounds left Hahlbohm of Chicago and Wolbrecht of St. Louis tied wit a score of 13-3.  Jefferson of Memphis was half a point behind them on account of having drawn his adjourned game with Schrader.

The standing now is:

                                                     Won       Lost

Hahlbohm   ……………………….13            3
Wolbrecht   ……………………….13            3
Jefferson    ……………………….12 1/2       3 1/2
Schrader     ……………………….11 1/2      3 1/2
Moorman    ……………………….12           4
Morrison    ………………………. 11 1/2     4 1/2
Scrivener    ……………………….9              7
Woodbury   ……………………….9             7
Hill              ……………………….9             8
McClure      ……………………….8             8

The final round will be played today.

The Commercial Appeal, August 20, 1914

Extra Rounds Will Be Played Today to Decide Winner

Next Summer's Meeting Will be Held at Lake Minnetonka–Handsome
Silver Cup Will Go to Champion.
List of Prizes

The final round of the annual championship tourney of the Western Ches Association, played on yesterday morning at the Business Men's Club, resulted in a tie for first honors between Jefferson, Hahlbohm, Schrader and Wolbrecht.

The leaders won 14 games and lost four each, out of the 18 games played.

Moorman of Virginia followed close behind with 13 games won and five lost.

Morrison was next with the score of 12 1/2 won and 5 1/2 lost, and Beckner next with 10 1/2 won and 7 1/2 lost.

The tie between the four leaders will be played off in a two-round tourney, the first round to take place this morning at the Business Men's Club.

At the meeting held after the tourney E. P. Elliot of Minneapolis was elected president of the association to succeed Robert Scrivener, the local expert.  The next meeting will be held at Lake Minnetonka during the summer of 1915.

The following is a list of the prizes:  First, $150; second, $100, third, $75; fourth, $50; fifth, $30; sixth, $20; seventh, $10.

In addition to these the handsome silver cup and chess button will be awarded the champion, and a special prize will be given for the most brilliant game.

The games today are open to the chess loving public.

The Commercial Appeal, August 21, 1914

Chess Players Are Having a Nip and Tuck Race

The four leaders who tied on Wednesday on the final round in the tourney of the Western Chess Association are having a nip and tuck race to decide the winner.  In The first round yesterday between the four leaders Jefferson beat Hahlbohm and Schrader beat Wolbrecht.

Two rounds will be played today and two more tomorrow to decide the struggle for first honors.  The finish is attracting a good deal of attention.

The Commercial Appeal, August 22, 1914

In the series of rounds now being played between Messrs. Jefferson, Schrader, Wolbrecht and Hahlbohm to decide the championship of the Western Chess Association, Mr. Jefferson has a clean score of three games won.  After three rounds the score is as follows:

                                                     Won       Lost

Jefferson    ……………………….3               0
Wolbrecht   ……………………….1              2
Schrader     ……………………….1              2
Hahlbohm   ……………………….1             2

The final rounds will be played today.

The Commercial Appeal, August 22, 1914

Will Resume Play Today to Determine Championship
If Memphian Had Won or Even Drawn in Game Last Night, 
Western Loving Cup Would Have  Become His Property.
By defeating B. B. Jefferson of Memphis in a chess game last night, G. H. Wolbrecht of St. Louis tied up the championship title of the Western Chess Association and renewed his chances of winning the loving cup.  Had Jefferson won the game or even played a draw game, he would have won the Western Championship and the cup he won last year would have become his permanent property.

Jefferson and Wolbrecht will resume play at 4 o'clock this afternoon in the Business Men's Club.  Their score in the play-off is 4-2 each.  The one who wins two points will be declared the winner of the Western Championship tournament.

In the play-off games yesterday morning and afternoon, Schrader and Hahlbohm were eliminated and the final contest narrowed to Jefferson and Wolbrecht, with their scores, Jefferson 4-1 and Wolbrecht 3-2.  In the elimination Hahlbohm defeated Jefferson, Wolbrecht defeated Schrader, Jefferson beat Schrader and Wolbrecht beat Hahlbohm. 

Best Meeting Ever Held.

The championship tourney of the Western Chess Association has been by far the best meeting in the history of the association.  The tourney opened on Aug. 10 with 19 entries and attracted widespread interest from the opening round to the finishing game.  Daily accounts of the tourney were flashed to the leading papers of the United States and Canada.

Each morning play started at 9 o'clock and continued until 1 p.m.  The evening sessions lasted from 7 to 11.  All adjourned were played off during the afternoons.  The final round of the tournament proper was contested on Wednesday morning with the result that four players, Jefferson, Wolbrecht, Schrader and Hahlbohm, were tied for top place.

Moorman of Virginia, a player of breadth and accuracy, came next, with a score of 13 won and five games lost.  J. S. Morris, a champion of Canada, followed close behind, with 12 1/2 points won and 5 1/2 lost.  Morrison won second place last year n the W. C. A.'s meeting in Chicago.  Woodbury was seventh, with 11 won and 7 lost.

At the meeting of the chess tourney committee a two-round tourney was arranged to decide the tie between Jefferson, Wolbrecht, Schrader and Hahlbohm.  This is the first time at any of the meetings that Memphis players have tied for first place, and when it is taken into consideration that 13 states and Canada sent their best players to this tourney, it "quadruples" the honor of scoring high.

In the tourney of 1903 a tie occurred between Sidney Johnston of Chicago, Max Judd of St. Louis and Louis Udemann of Chicago in a strong field of 18 players.

In October of the same year the Chicago men went to St. Louis, where the tie was played off and won by Max Judd.  In 1906 another interesting tie occurred between George Wolbrecht, Magnus Smith of Canada (now a resident of Brooklyn) and Harry F. Lee of Chicago.  In the play-off Wolbrecht won the championship.

Jefferson won the cup, gold button and $100 championship prize last year in Chicago and the local players were banking heavily on his record on the home field. Wolbrecht and Schrader are ex-champions of the association and have national reputations.  Herman Hahlbohm belongs to the younger generation of Chicago chess experts and undoubtedly has a brilliant future ahead of him.  He is at present champion of Chicago.

At the business meeting of the Western Chess Association, held immediately after the tourney, resolutions of thanks to Harry F. Lee, the referee, and Memphis Chess Club were adopted.

It was decided to hold the next meeting of the association at Lake Minnetonka during the summer of 1915.  E. P. Elliot of Minneapolis was elected president of the association, to succeed Robert Scrivener.  Mr. Scrivener made an excellent president and it was due to his enterprise that the Memphis tourney proved such an overwhelming success.  Soon after his election Mr. Scrivener, with the able assistance of Davis Cummins, the treasurer, set to work to make the prizes large enough to attract the best talent.  That his efforts were crowned with success goes without saying, for the Memphis meeting has been put on record as having had the best prize list and the strongest set of players at any of the previous tourneys.  In addition to the handsome silver tourney cup and gold chess button, there were seven cash prizes–first $150, second $100, third $75, fourth $50, fifth $30, sixth $25 and seventh $10.

A special prize, a beautiful engraved silver cup, was offered by Julius Goodman, the local jeweler, for the most brilliant game.  The score follows:

                                                     Won       Lost

Hahlbohm   ……………………….14            4
Jefferson    ……………………….14             4
Schrader     ……………………….14            4
Wolbrecht   ……………………….14            4
Moorman    ……………………….13            5
Morrison    ………………………. 12 1/2     5 1/2
Woodbury   ……………………….11            7
Beckner      ……………………….10 1/        7 1/2
Scrivener    ……………………….9 1/2        8 1/2
Fry              ……………………….9              9
Hill              ……………………….9             9
Hernandez  ……………………….8 1/2       9 1/2
Hine            ……………………….8 1/2       9 1/2
Labatt         ……………………….8              10
McClure     ……………………….8              10
Alderson     ……………………….2 1/2        15 1/2
Crew           ……………………….2              16
Jamison      ……………………….2              16
Daniels       ……………………….1              17

In the tourney to decide the tie between Jefferson, Wolbrecht, Schrader and Hohlbohm, the first round was played on Thursday morning with the result that Jefferson beat Hahlbohm and Schrader beat Wolbrecht.

In the second round Jefferson beat Schrader and Wolbrecht defeated Hahlbohm.

In the third round Jefferson beat Wolbrecht and Hahlbohm beat Schrader.

Int he fourth round Hahlbohm won from Jefferson and Wolbrecht defeated Schrader.  So this left Wolbrecht and Jefferson to struggle for championship honors.

Jefferson had a score of 4 to 1 and Wolbrecht 3 to 2.  Wolbrecht felt keenly that it was his last chance to defeat his opponent, who was a clear point ahead, and bring about another tie.

Jefferson had only to draw to keep the title from passing into other hands.  The game was strongly contested.

Chess News–The Commercial Appeal, August 23, 1914
by Rosa Jefferson

 The games below are selections from the championship tourney of the Western Chess Association:


The Commercial Appeal, August 24, 1914

Jefferson and Wolbrecht Each Score
Half Point in Sunday Game.
Another draw game resulted yesterday afternoon when B. B. Jefferson of Memphis and W. A. Wolbrecht of St. Louis matched skill over the chess board in the Business Men's Club in the play-off to decide the championship of the Western Chess Association. 

By playing a draw game, Jefferson and Wolbrecht each scored a half a point.  The player who scores two full points will be declared the champion.  Play will be resumed at 9 o'clock this morning and again at 4 o'clock this afternoon.

Practically all of the 19 expert chess players who took part in the Western Championship contest have remained in Memphis to watch the play-off between Jefferson and Wolbrecht.

The Commercial Appeal, August 25, 1914

Jefferson and Wolbrecht Unable to Decide Championship.
If Draw Game Results This Morning,
New Series Will Be Arranged, But
Will Be Postponed Until Skilled
Opponents Are Rested

Honors were divided evenly between B. B. Jefferson of Memphis and W. A. Wolbrecht of St. Louis in a double chess contest in the Business Men's Club yesterday, and the championship of the Western Chess Association is as far from decided as it was when the play-off began last Friday morning.

Wolbrecht gained a sharp advantage in the morning, when he defeated his opponent, but could do nothing with Jefferson's terrific offensive play in the afternoon and lost the game.  The Sunday score of each player in the play-off now is one and a half points.  The winner must have two points.

Play will be resumed at 9 o'clock this morning in an effort to decide the championship of the west.  If another draw game results, each will have two points, and it will be necessary to arrange a new play-off series.  The contest probably will be postponed for a few days, or even weeks, as both players are mentally exhausted from one of the sharpest chess battles on record.

When Wolbrecht entered the afternoon game the advantage was all in his favor.  Had he won or even drawn he would have wrested the championship title from Jefferson and the loving cup would have been his for a year.  Jefferson opened with a snappy, grilling offensive, and by brilliant play saved himself from defeat.

Both Jefferson and Wolbrecht are skilled in the science of chess.  The Memphian is at his best in snappy offensive play, while the St. Louisan is more effective in slower and deliberate tactics.

The Commercial Appeal, August 26, 1914

Captures Chess Championship
Title and Loving Cup.
Memphis Player Outclasses All Experts
and for First Time in Fifteen Years
Wins Trophy Twice Consecutively

For the second time in two years B. B. Jefferson of Memphis proved himself to be champion chess player of the west yesterday, when he defeated W. A. Wolbrecht of St. Louis in the play-off for the championship title of the Western Chess Association. 

By defeating Wolbrecht for the championship title this year the loving cup which Jefferson won last year at the chess tournament in Chicago now becomes his permanent property.  It is the first time in the 15 years' history of the association that a player has won the cup two consecutive years.

With the score one and a half points each in the play-off yesterday morning, Jefferson entered the deciding game at his best.  He gained a sharp advantage by his tactics at the outset and pressed his advantage by slow, determined play until his opponent was defeated.  The Memphian did not resort to the terrific wide open offensive play he employed when he defeated Wolbrecht Monday afternoon.

Has Brilliant Record.

Jefferson has a brilliant chess record.  In his early childhood he became interested in chess and held his own with leading amateurs and several master players.  For 15 years he has held the chess championship of Memphis and his snappy tactics were the pride of local players.
Last summer Jefferson made his initial appearance in a tournament of the Western Chess Association in Chicago.  He immediately outclassed and outplayed the crack players of the Middle West and carried off the championship.  B repeating the performance this year he proved himself the undisputed champion chess player of the west.

Wolbrecht is a former western champion and is regarded as one of the best and most resourceful players in the association.  His home is in St. Louis, where he is a civil engineer in the employ of the United States government.

The chess tournament ended by Jefferson's victory was one of the most remarkable every known in America.  When the tournament proper was ended last week, Jefferson, Wolbrecht, Schrader and Hohlbohm were tied for high honors.  In the playoff Schrader and Hohlbohm were eliminated.

Play Was Even.

Three games then were played by Jefferson and Wolbrecht in an effort to determine the champion.  But at the end of the first series each had the same score.  A second series was arranged and began Sunday afternoon.  The winner needed two points.  The first game resulted in a draw and each player scored half a point.  The second game was a victory for Wolbrecht.  In the third, with every advantage in favor of the St. Louisan, Jefferson resorted to his favorite mode of attack, a terrific, wide-open offensive, and won the game.  In the final score yesterday he was the victor.
The loving cup won by Jefferson is on display in Hirsh & Slager's window.  Upon the sides of the cup are engraved the names of the various champions who have owned it one year each.
1900-1914 Western Chess Association Championship Cup (Cornell Cup)

Harry Coleman of Memphis has announced that he will present the association with a new loving cup in memory of his father, Sol Coleman, who, in his life time, was a chess enthusiast.

Following is the final game played by Jefferson and Wolbrecht:

The Commercial Appeal, August 26, 1914

When B. B. Jefferson won the Western chess tournament championship for the second time, he became the champion chess player in the United States, excepting the state of New York.  He will next meet the champion of that state.

In the meeting of the Western chess tournament at the Business Men's club, Mr. Jefferson represented the club in his playing.

Chess News–The Commercial Appeal, August 30, 1914
by Rosa Jefferson


The championship tournament of the Western Chess Association, which ended last week, has gone on record as one of the most hotly contested chess engagements known in the history of our chess.

That B. B. Jefferson, the local expert, should have won against such strong opposition places him in a class with the leading professional players of America.  Mr. Jefferson has won the cup and championship of the Western Chess Association two years in succession, which is the first time this has been done by any other player.  As a reward for his brilliant play Mr. Jefferson now has permanent possession of the handsome cup and button.  George Wolbrecht, second prize winner, gave Mr. Jefferson a close fight for chief honors.  Mr. Wolbrecht has twice won the championship of the Western Chess Association, but did not accomplish this feat two years in succession.  He has an enviable chess record and his play in the tourney just ended deserves high praise.

Other distinguished players who have won the cup are the following: C. P. Blake, E. F. Schrader and E. Michelson, the late Max Judd, Sidney Johnson and Louis Udemann. 

A handsome new championship cup was presented to the Western Chess Association by Harry Colemon, son of the late Sol Coleman, in memory of his father, who was one of our most loyal patrons of chess.

Julius Goodman has also presented the association with a handsome cup for a brilliancy prize.  So the trophies will stand hereafter as souvenirs of the Memphis engagement.
1914 Brilliancy Prize

The tournament of 1914 created more than the usual interest for several reasons.  Owing to the enterprise and judgment of Robert Scrivener, the excellent president, the prizes were large enough to attract the best experts.

Then it came as a brilliant climax to the tourney for players of the caliber of Jefferson,  Wolbrecht, Schrader and Hahlbohm to have tied for top place.  The play-off was full of interest and excitement.  Hahlbohm and Schrader were eliminated and this left the field to Jefferson and Wolbrecht.  After a red hot fight Jefferson won the victory.  Scores of the final rounds:

                                                     Won       Lost

Jefferson    ……………………….2 1/2    1 1/2
Wolbrecht  ……………………….1 1/2    2 1/2


Harry F. Lee left for Chicago on Tuesday night.  As referee of the championship tourney of the Western Chess Association Mr. Lee stuck to his post until the closing game on Tuesday morning between Jefferson and Wolbrecht.  Mr. Lee is widely known as the chess editor of the Chicago Tribune.  He is a chess scholar in the true sense of the word and is one of the most loyal patrons of the royal game.  He has done much for chess in America.

Prof. W. D. Bell of Lewisburg, Tenn., was among the chess players to take in the championship tourney of the Western Chess Association.

J. Fisher Ames of Macon, Miss., spent several days in the city during the Western Chess Association meeting.  Mr. Ames is one of the strongest players in his vicinity.

W. H. Witherspoon of Jackson, Tenn., a veteran player, was a visitor at the local chess club last week.  Mr. Witherspoon had with him a unique set of chessmen which were made out of briar root during the civil war.


The above game has been entered for the brilliancy prize.

Chess News–The Commercial Appeal, September 6, 1914
by Rosa Jefferson


Played in the ninth round of the recent tourney of the Western Chess Association between B. B. Jefferson and Robert Scrivener. 


Entered for the best played Ruy Lopez.
 From the sixth round.


Chess News–The Commercial Appeal, September 13, 1914
by Rosa Jefferson


The following games are interesting selections from the recent tourney of the Western Chess Association.  The game between Morrison and Hine was entered for the best played Ruy Lopez.


Played between J. F. McClure of Nashville and Robert Scrivener, the local expert.  The score follows:

Chess News–The Commercial Appeal, September 27, 1914
by Rosa Jefferson


News comes that the members of the Manhattan and Progressive Chess Clubs of New York City would like to arrange a match between H. Kupchick, champion of Manhattan Chess Club, and B. B. Jefferson, the local expert and champion of the Western Chess Association.  Mr. Kupchick's backing would come from the Manhattan Chess Club and the Progressive Chess Club.  The players of New York are confident that Kupchick can hold his own against any player of the country and are anxious to pit him against Mr. Jefferson.  To prove their good faith in the matter A. Kupchick has already challenged Jefferson for a battle royal.  When asked about the match Jefferson stated that as the challenge had just been received it would require time to come to a decision.

1 comment:

  1. A very exciting contest! Thanks for the games; each one was a pleasure to play through. I even love the unique Cornell Cup. Rosa's writing is a terse and clear as usual. Thanks so much.