Grand International Chess Congress
A ChessCentral E-Book
The Hastings 1895 chess tournament has always been remembered with astonishment and wonder. There was never anything like it - this "Grand International Chess Congress" showcased the strongest masters ever to gather in one place. The competition yielded games of extraordinary beauty, games that elevate chess into the realms of art. Then the spectacular last round finish, with all prizes held in suspense, witnessed the almost unknown American Pillsbury triumphant over his famous opposition. Indeed, Hastings 1895 might have become simply the greatest chess tournament in history, except for one thing: the Book of the Tournament transformed it into legend.
Few books have had the profound influence of the Hastings 1895 tournament book. The players were assigned games to comment upon, and they set down their knowledge writing alone and without consultation. But the finished work displays a remarkable unity, containing a rich deposit of chess wisdom with ore to mine on every page. A perfect teaching tool, this book has delighted readers with its charm and practical advice for one hundred years. It showed generations of students how chess ought to be played, and the Hastings 1895 tournament book became the heart of countless libraries.
There has long been a need for the definitive modern edition of that classic work, and Pickard & Son was pleased to present Hastings 1895, The Centennial Edition in 1995. Completely faithful to its celebrated original, this volume featured all 230 games and 173 diagrams - but in a thoroughly updated format. The language was quietly edited to modernize usage, spelling and punctuation, then carefully combined with algebraic chess notation. Now ChessCentral's digital version makes the lively, insightful commentary of Pillsbury, Lasker, Steinitz, Tarrasch, Blackburne and all the rest available for today's player. Today the Hastings 1895 Centennial Edition E-book brings the authorized account of this super-tournament into the 21st century, allowing players everywhere to experience again one of the great treasures of chess literature.
Much of the success enjoyed by the Hastings 1895 tournament book is due to the labors of its first editor, Horace F. Cheshire. With excellent judgment he allowed the players to express various viewpoints, resisting the temptation to harmonize their diverse opinions. Mr. Cheshire's voice has been retained in the present volume, speaking as an on-site observer and adding an element of local color to the proceedings. It is Mr. Cheshire who introduces each round, who summarizes the standings, and who describes the ceremonies and festivities of the tournament. All who have enjoyed Hastings 1895 over the years owe Cheshire a debt of gratitude.
Having introduced Mr. Cheshire, it is time to let him introduce the players. Set your clock back nearly one hundred and twenty-five years and imagine yourself in the hushed tournament hall. It is 1:00 p.m. on the 5th of August, 1895...and let the play begin!
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