Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1852

R:
a:
single problem #3–6 (6 pr., at most one prize per competitor)
b:
set of 6×#3–6 (2 pr., at most one prize per competitor)
x
A mandatory entry fee of 1 guinea allowed up to 8 problems to be entered. Additional problems required additional payment of 2s 6d each.

Problems intended for the competition should be sent to the editor of the Chess Player’s Chronicle.

Problems had to be unpublished work of the contributor, in the form of direct mates, without any additional conditions, and sent in on diagram, with full solution.

Problems also had to be sent under motto, together with a sealed envelope, containing the same motto as well as the identity of the competitor. This envelope would “on no account be opened until the committee have decided on the rank and merits of the respective problems.”
x
J:
(not identified)

In case of equality of merit, preference would be given to four-moves problems.
x
C:
1852-04-15
x
S:
Chess Player’s Chronicle, vol. XIII (1852):
January, p. 28: announcement: regulations, etc.
November?, p. 349: adjudication of prizes postponed.
x
Illustrated London News, vol. XXV:
i. 699 (1854-08-26), p. 191: semi-formal information about failure.
x
Chess Player’s Chronicle, new series, vol. II (1854):
November?, p. 322: the tourney is reported to have failed.
x
(Issue identification is tentative, as issue covers have not been preserved.)

N:
The main requirements as well as the motto system described are basically the same as those used in modern formal chess problem tourneys.

Submitted problems would be acknowledged in the following issue of Chess Player’s Chronicle. (No such acknowledge­ments have been found, although, based on the information provided in late 1852, there should have been at least some.)

Non-competitors could subscribe for the planned Tournament Book of Problems, which would contain every sound problem sent in.

A list of the subscribers, as well as the members of the tournament committee, was planned to be published shortly after announcement. (Again, no such information has been found. Some early subscribers were mentioned in the announcement.)

In late 1852, it was announced that adjudication of prizes had been postponed:

“The list of Competitors for the Problem Prizes, though numbering many of the most eminent Chess Problem composers in this country, exhibits, we regret to say, a serious deficiency in Foreign names of note. The cause of this may probably be that sufficient publicity has not been given to the project on the Continent; but it is believed by many to arise from an objection on the part of Foreigners to pay the subscription of one guinea to entitle them to compete. Whatever the cause, however, it has been thought proper by the chief promoters of the scheme, to postpone the adjudication of the prizes, until they can take the sense of the subscribers as to whether under the circumstances it is advisable to admit Foreign competitors without any subscription, or to admit them only upon the same terms as British players.”
(The entrance fee of 1 guinea is very roughly estimated to be about £50 in 2019 value. The grounds for saying that many of the most eminent composers participates are unclear: the identities of the competitors should not have become known until after adjudication was finished and prizes awarded.)

In August 1854, Staunton, who by this time had left Chess-Player’s Chronicle, writes in his column in Illustrated London News:

“This affair, which at the outset excited a good deal of speculation and promised amusement, fell to the ground, it will be remembered, through the refusal of foreign composers to subscribe the entrance-fee.”
In late 1854, Chess-Player’s Chronicle says:

“Several reasons might be assigned for its failure. Amongst them we may notice the unhappy division of amateurs into two parties, both of which fancied that they felt, although we are persuaded that inwardly they did not feel—indeed, in matters bearing reference to a pastime they could not have felt—the greatest acrimony towards one another. Again, there are amongst good players too few problem-makers for a contest in problems ever to excite the interest that games do, although it must be confessed that they demand intellect of a higher order, inasmuch as they are the result, not of a few hours' study, but of repeated examination. Lastly, there was a difficulty about the entrance-fee. Many of the best inventors of end-games in Europe objected to the expenditure of money, besides their valuable time, on a doubtful matter.”