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Thomas Frère and the Brotherhood of Chess

History of 19th Century Chess in NY City

224 Seiten, Leinen mit Goldprägung, McFarland, 1. Auflage 2007.

48,75 €
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The 19th century in America saw the evolution of a leisure society. Enjoying numerous technological advances, people had free time to indulge in a variety of pursuits. An assortment of board games flooded American homes. By the middle of the century, chess had surpassed all other games with its popularity. The author of three important chess texts, Thomas Frère was instrumental in the growth of chess as a significant American pastime.

This work provides an historical and chronological look at the 19th century development of chess through the writings of Thomas Frère. His books, letters, chess columns and scrapbooks chronicles the ways chess evolved over the greater part of the 1800s, and illuminates important players of the time and their games. The main text is divided into four sections covering 1827-1900. The first section looks at the early years as chess moved from private to public venues, discussing the establishment of formal chess clubs such as Frère’s 1855 Brooklyn Chess Club. The second section deals with the First American Chess Congress and the advent of Paul Morphy to the world of chess. The third section focuses on Frère’s part in the first formal world chess championship, a role thoroughly documented in Frère’s letters. The fourth section examines the last decade of the 1800s and the steps that led chess into the 20th century.

About the Author

Martin Frère Hillyer is a descendant of Thomas Frère. He lives in Ohio.

List of Illustrations

007 Thomas Frère, 1892, age 72

010-011 The Turk, chess automaton

018 Comic Valentine by T. Frère

019 New York City, Fulton and Nassau streets

041 Thomas Frère, 1857, age 37

042 Players of the First American Chess Congress

046 Paul Morphy, 1857

074 Miron Hazeltine, about 1859

075 Inscriptions by Frère and Hazeltine in Morphy's Games book

076 Daniel W. Fiske, about 1857

078 Howard Staunton and the Leamington Club

097 Mary Frère's note about her father's Civil War mementos

097 Thomas Frère's Civil War pass

098 Helen Mar Rice

121 Manhattan Chess Club - East Room

122 Manhattan Chess Club - Library

122 Manhattan Chess Club - West Room

123 Manhattan Chess Club - Directors' Room

126 Academy of Music

127 Living Chess, lady's ticket

128 Living Chess, men's ticket

133 Living Chess, program cover

137 Die Schachspieler, "The Chess Players" engraving

137 Die Schachspieler, "The Chess Players" painting

147 Thomas Frère, 1879

149 Mrs. Harriet Bryant Hazeltine, 1860

173 William Steinitz

174 James Innes Minchin

181 Walter Frère

192 Thomas Frère in his home library, 1898

196 Letter to Eugene B. Cook from T. Frère

196 Inscription "Miss Emma F" in Frère's Chess Hand-Book

198 Handwritten note on Morphy and Steinitz


Sprache Englisch
Autor Hillyer, Martin Frère
Verlag McFarland
Auflage 1.
Medium Buch
Gewicht 600 g
Breite 18 cm
Höhe 26 cm
Seiten 224
ISBN-10 0786423277
ISBN-13 9780786423279
Erscheinungsjahr 2007
Einband Leinen mit Goldprägung


ixList of Illustrations



Part I: 1827-1856

0051. The Early Years

0162. Manhattan, 1854-1856

021 Selected Games from Frère's Chess Hand-Book

027 Challenging Problems from the Chess Hand-Book

033Chess Hand-Book Problem Solutions

Part II: 1857-1865

037 3. Manhattan, 1857

046 Morphy's Games in America

061 Frère's Problem Tournament

068 Frère's Problem Solutions

0714. "It smells like a Fiske"

0955. 1861-1865: Conflict and Tragedy

100 Morphy's Games in Europe

Part III: 1877-1886

1116. 1877: The Manhattan Chess Club

1257. 1879: Living Chess

1428. 1880: The Fifth American Chess Congress

1609. 1883-1884: Welcome Steinitz! Farewell Morphy!

17110. 1885-1886: The First World Championship

Part IV: Through 1900

18111. The Final Years

195 Appendix A: A Chess Collector's Tale

197 Appendix B: Morphy and Steinitz

199 Chapter Notes

203 Selected Bibliography

205 Index of Games and Openings

207 General Index

Martin Frère Hillyer is the grand grand son from Thomas Frère the famous 19thchess master, author and organizer from the famous first world championship chess match between William Steinitz and Johann Hermann Zukertort held in the year of 1886. Seen that this book is overloaded with interesting notes I would like to start with a interesting one from the year 1885; In April of 1885 William Steinitz sat down with Thomas Frère and asked him to be his second.His responsibilities would include setting up the long awaited world championship. Frère was 65 years old.He has written the handbook on chess for the United States.During the fifth American Chess Congress it was Frère who established a unified set of rules of tournament play for United States chess organizations. Frère was on the executive committees for the First and Fifth chess congresses,and he had organized two major chess clubs, the Brooklyn and the Manhattan. Add to this resume Frère’s relationship with Paul Morphy and his experience through his chess column with the Morphy – Staunton situation,and Frère is a leading candidate for the posotion Steinitz had in mind.So far I have never seen a game between Thomas Frère and William Steinitz but Martin Frère Hillyer has managed to dig up from Thomas Frère’s scrapbook the following game between Steinitz and Frère: 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bb5 a6 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.d3 h6 7.0-0 d5 8.Ne2 Ne7 9.c4 Ng6 10.Nc3 d4 11.Na4 e5 12.b3 Bg4 13.h3 Be6 14.Ba3 Nf4 15.Bxc5 Bxc5 16.Nxc5 0-0 17.Kh2 Qc8 18.Ng1 f5 19.g3 Ng6 20.exf5 Bxf5 21.Qe2 Ra7 22.Rae1 Re7 23.Qd2 Ref7 24.f3. Martin Frère Hillyer writs now: Interestingly,at this point where the game ended,Frère was still very much alive and even threats on the board with the potential of winning. With Fritz I found out that 16 ... .0-0 was weak he prefers 16 ... Bxh3! And if 17.gxh3 Qd6!and black is on ball. All together this book offers the reader a fascinating view in the life of the great chess artist Thomas Frère and chess development of the 19th century in the United States! Conclusion: A fascinating read!

John Elburg 2007/01

Thomas Frère and the Brotherhood of Chess