Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dublin Chess Congress 1865

I came across the following on page 286 of "The Chess Player's Magazine" of 1865. It makes fascinating reading. Highlighting an important stage in the development of International tournament chess. "The Chess Player's Magazine" of January 1866 reviewing 1865 stated that the "Dublin Congress was the principal event of the year". It was among the first international chess tournaments and shows the standardization of international rules of play. It replicated London 1862 in having a time-limit and also a means of controlling the same. The London tournament had a time limit of twenty-four moves in two hours, and also used hour-glasses. Also, the question of ownership of the actual game score is raised. This question is still being debated today.

So read, digest and enjoy!

1. The Games shall be played according to the rules to be decided on by the players present during the opening meeting to be held on 25th September, eight o’clock, p.m.
2. The maximum time to be allowed each player for making his moves shall be two hours for twenty moves, to be measured by sand glasses, one for each player. Antagonists being at liberty to restrict the time still further, should they agree to do so. When it is a player’s turn to move, his sand glass shall be set running and shall continue so until he shall have completed his move, when it shall be stopped, and his opponent’s glass set running in the same manner; and so on to the end of the game.
3. The Games shall be divided into periods of twenty moves, commencing with the first move on each side. Should a player not have made twenty moves within two hours, and forty moves within four hours, and sixty moves within six hours, and so on, he shall forfeit the game.
4. The Games shall be played out at a sitting, and no player shall leave the room during such sitting without the consent of his opponent, except for a reasonable time, - maximum fifteen minutes, once in each sitting.
Any player analyzing an interrupted game, by moving the pieces either by himself or with others, or conferring with others upon the game, shall forfeit the game.
5. Combatants paired off for any particular day shall agree upon the hour at which their game on that day shall commence (such agreements to be entered in a book kept for that purpose); failing which it shall be left to the Managing Committee, to decide what penalty shall be inflicted. Should a player not appear within one hour of said appointed time, he shall pay a fine of five shillings; and should he not appear within two hours of the appointed time he shall forfeit the game. In Tournaments Nos. I and II., it is suggested, that in the event of a large number of entries, no hour later than eleven a.m. (half-past ten o’clock if possible) be fixed, in order that time be so divided as to allow of an average of nearly two games a day or ten games per week, but more if possible, being played.
It is hoped that players in Tournaments, I. and II., in case there should be a large number of entries, will exert themselves to play as many games as possible beyond the number of ten per week, in order not to detain visitors who have entered their names to play. Evening play, however, not compulsory in Tournaments Nos. I. and II., and day play not compulsory in Tournament No. III.
6. In Tournament No. III., each player shall be bound to play five games in the week (failing which, the Managing Committee shall decide what penalty shall be inflicted). It is hoped, however, that the some exertions to play as many games as possible in the week will be made by the players in this Tournament, as in Nos. I. and II. Players, however, in Tournament No. III. Who have entered their names in Tournaments I. and II. Shall give preference of play to the latter, and shall not be subject to any penalties until Tournaments I. and II. Shall be decided.
7. If any Tournament shall remain unfinished by the 25th October, it shall be left to the Managing Committee to fix time and place of completion.
8. If any game shall remain unfinished at half-past ten o’clock p.m., on any day, it shall be left to the option of the Managing Committee to decide such game as won or drawn, or that it shall be played out the next day. In case of a quorum of the Committee be not present, such unfinished game to be played out the next day.
9. The second player in each game shall furnish, in an envelope addressed to the Managing Committee, a copy of same, on the day of completion of said game, legibly written, and giving full particulars, such as names of players, date of play, duration of game, number of Tournament, &c., on the printed forms to be supplied for the purpose, under penalty of five shillings for each game so omitted. The first player in each game to have choice of colour.
10. Each person, before commencing to play in any Tournament, must have previously paid to the Hon. Treasurer the entrance fee to that Tournament.
11. All games to be played in the rooms, and during the period, appointed for the Congress.
12. The Games to become the property of the Managing Committee. None shall be published, or given for publication, without the consent of that Committee, under penalty of £1 for each game so published. This regulation to remain in force until the 31st of December, 1865.
13. All fines shall be paid to the funds of the Congress.
14. Each player in any of the Tournaments shall be bound to the conditions attached to such Tournament, and shall have, prior to his commencing to play, to sign his name, consenting to abide by these rules, in a book to be opened for that purpose; but each player shall have power to appeal to the Managing Committee, whose decision, however, shall be binding and final.
15. The Managing Committee reserve to themselves the power of altering adding to, or modifying the foregoing Regulations.

THOMAS LONG, Secretaries.
Dublin, August, 1865.

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