Vienna 1873

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  • Vienna 1873 I posted this because I am in a whimsical mood. Its lovely to see how chess was treated back then. Blackburne (one of my heroes) came so close. And way back then Steinitz won the playoff by playing 1.a3.

  • #2
    Vienna 1873 was likely the strongest tournament held to that juncture in chess history. A very long playing schedule for a large field of competitors was evocative of a slower-moving era. One hundred and fifty years ago; so much has changed since!

    In my youth, my father would visit Vienna several times a year for conferences of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), for which he was a Canadian nuclear industry delegate, as a senior employee of Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL). Vienna served as their headquarters, and he said it was his favorite city among the very many he had visited. On those trips, given some free time, he loved to visit small Austrian towns within easy travel of Vienna, usually by rail, searching for bargains on historical chess volumes in second-hand bookstores, many of them stocked by estate sales from recently deceased collectors, who would specify in their wills to sell several boxes of books for whatever they could get. One such find was a copy, in near-perfect condition, of the tournament book for Vienna 1873, which he bought for a good price from the somewhat unsuspecting proprietor. It was in the German language, of course, but my dad had studied German in high school and was functional in the language. So I had access to this wonderful resource, growing up. Dad and I spent many happy hours playing through the analyzed games, with him translating and explaining. My understanding grew substantially. Later, I asked Dad what became of this book. His surprising reply: "I sold it to a collector in New York, and the profits went to pay for some of your university studies!!" I had had no idea!!


    • #3
      Great anecdote Frank! I love getting that kind of return on my posts.