The Clipper, 1859

“Professional’s Prize”: set of 5×2–9# (one of each; no selfmates or conditionals; open only to E. B. Cook, T. M. Brown, D. Julien, S. Loyd and N. Marache) (1. pr.)
“First Prize”: set of 2#+3#+4#+5#+6# (black or white moves first; not open to ‘professionals’) (1 pr.)
“Second Prize”: set of three pawn studies (at most one minor piece on each side, which must not figure conspicuously in the solution; stip. ‘Black to play and win’) (1 pr.)
“Third Prize”: set of 4×7–17# (black or white to move and mate) (1 pr.)
“Fourth Prize”: set of four selfmates and conditionals (1 pr.)
The tourney was only open to American problemists.
1859-05-15 (extended to about 1859-05-29)
Committee of Examination:
section B: N. C. Reid, G. H. Derrickson, J. Patterson, J. P. Ourdan, and J. McLean;
section E: N. Marache;
additional examiners: J. Gardner, T. M. Brown

No umpire was required.
pr. T. M. Brown (motto: Liberalis Liberalia Excogitat)
pr. J. McLean (Never Venture, Never Win)
pr. T. M. Brown (Hit or Miss)
pr. T. M. Brown (May the Best Man Win)
pr. J. Wilkinson, Jr. (Though Conquered, Yet Victorious)
The Clipper, 1859:
1859-03-05: Initial announcement
1859-03-12 and 1859-04-23: Repetition of announcement
1859-05-21: Tournament closed for new competitors; five more days allowed for problems to arrive.
1859-05-28: Tournament closes within at most a day from the time this paper meets the eye of the reader.
1859-06-11: Initial report: section A, C and D finished; section B and E submissions to be handed over to examination committee.
1859-07-02: Examination committee 'secured'.
1859-08-06: Prizes to be given to T. M. Brown on August 10.
1859-08-13: Examination reports are in, and will be sent to contestants for verification.
1859-08-20: Unexpected returns placed in hands of two additional critics.
1859-09-10: final report.
1859-09-24: Problems begin to be published
The initial report (1859-06-11) says that 15 sets were contributed consisting of 70 individual problems, as follows:

A: 1 set (5 problems) for Professional Prize
B: 9 sets (45 problems) for First Prize
C: 1 sets (3 problems) for Second Prize
D: 1 set for (4 problems) Third prize
E: 2 sets (8 problems) for Fourth prize

(The list only covers 14 sets with 62 problems. The tournament book reprints the list without changes (p. 16-17, 18), but adds that a supplemental set If it ain't Right etc. (T. M. Brown), was added to section E, and prints it as well as another set Horribile Dictu (J. Schlesinger) in the same section. It is not clear why these where added or treated separately. There is also some confusion about the sets As You Like It, (O. F. Reed) which is listed in section B, but not printed, and A Day After the Fair, (P. Richardson) which is printed in the same section but not listed.)

The report also announces that in section A, C and D, each having only one single contributed set, all by the same competitor, the respective prizes are awarded to that competitor: T. M. Brown. It adds that the problems contributed to section B and E would be handed off to the examination committee.

The final report identifies the examiners for section B and E. It notes that only one set in each examined section was correct, and thus no additional examination or umpire was required. (For section B additional examination would have been done by J. McLean and J. Gardner.)

The tourney book also lists T. M. Brown as member of the committe of examination, and the final report mentions that he reviewed the analyses of faulty problems for correctness. These were sent to the competitors for verification, and it at least some cases, the authors pointed out errors (or presumed errors) in these analyses, requiring further examination by two additional critics.

(There is no indication that the sets of section A, C and D passed through any examination in the same manner as the sets of section B and E did: indeed, the awards for those sections are published before the examination committee has been created.)

J. McLean, in addition to his duties as examiner, also helped in other respects:

Several have charged us over and over to be sure of our accuracy in copying. To re-assure all on this point we will say that every sett will go before the committee and Umpire with a certificate of correct copying signed by the Editor, Mr. John McLean, and Mrs. H. Bryant Hazeltine, after a critical comparison of each copy with the original.
The tourney is remarkable for the high degree of overlap between competitors and tourney officials: Beside J. McLean, other members of the examination committee who also appear as competitors are: N. C. Reid, G. H. Derrickson, J. Patterson and J. Gardner, all of whom competed in section B.

While T. M. Brown as a competitor appears to be somewhat separated from his additional role as reviewer of examination committee reports, J. McLean, as both problem transcriber and examiner, is not clearly well separated from his role as competitor. This is unfortunate, as McLean ends up winning section B, but has very few, if any, problems published prior to this tournament.

The plan for the examination was described as follows:

Each competitor will be required to furnish two communications; one containing all the positions of each set put in competition, displayed on diagrams, a motto to each set, the name of the composer, the stipulation and solution to each position; the other, the name, motto, and enough to identify every set beyond danger of mistake. To insure perfect impartiality, the editor will open the first series of communications and copy every problem, with all its accompaniments—except the name—so that the Committee of Examination shall have only uniform diagrams and a uniform chirography before them, and thus furnish no possible clue to the authors under examination. The other series of communications will be kept sealed until all the awards are made to the sets, as such, when they will be put into the hands of the Umpire, by him to be opened and the names of the winners announced.
Actual practice differed. It has already been noted that no umpire was considered to be required once examination had finished, but that should not have been expected to cause any changes in award announcement until it was clear that that was the case: yet T. M. Brown was identified to have won three award even before the examination committee had been announced.

Hazeltines states in the tourney book:

... the editor demanded that the true names of the composers should be confided to him at the outset, as he was determined that no pseudonym should appear in any way in the Tournament; to forestall the highly reprehensible practice that some have indulged in, of sending competitions under two or three different names, and, as happened in at least one notable instance, taking prizes under such assumptions.
(This may be targeted towards S. Loyd and the Chess Monthly, 1857 problem tourney.)

This probably explains how T. M. Brown could be given awards so early: the editor may have decided to declare his awards earlier than planned as he already knew the identity of the winner.

In this proceeding a part of the task of the umpire was lost, however: the umpire should inspect the sealed second communications and state if they have been opened or not. As the editor had already opened them, they were no longer 'kept secret', unless the editor could satisfactorily explain how he prevented anyone else to access the information, especially anyone involved in the examination of the problems.

(And in this particular tourney, where names were provided in multiple places, the umpire should probably also have verified that the name in the communication was the same as that disclosed to the editor.)

Hazeltine does suggest that some degree of separation was imposed between composers and examination committee roles:

It will be seen that we adopted the novel, but most effective expedient of setting each [competitor and member of the examination committee] to the grateful task of demolishing his opponents’ castles—in the air, as too many of them proved. This sharpened their penetration and stimulated their zeal to a remarkable degree.
This does indicate that Hazeltine did not limit the knowledge of the identities of the competitors to his stated purpose of weeding out pseuodyms, but also used it for other areas of tourney management.

Problem 4 in section D is a conditional problem, as it requires the mate to be performed with a specific pawn. This appears to go against the requirement of the section that ‘the only stipulation to accompany these positions be, Black (or White) to play and give checkmate in — moves. ’ No additional comment or explanation has been found: perhaps it was considered to fall within the limits of the requirement, but that seems unusual.

The tourney book is undated. It was published in 1861: the earliest note found about its publication is from Clipper, 1861-04-27.


The order of the problems follow that of The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament. Dedications have been omitted.

In the original, black-to-move problems show the board from black's point of view, with A1 in the upper right corner. Below, these diagrams have been adjusted to follow modern conventions. Black still moves first, however, which is also indicated in the stipulation.

Section A: "Professional's prize"

Prize: T. M. Brown

Problem: 1

Forsyth: 8/1P1R4/2pN2B1/B1rk1K2/P7/3N1p2/P4p1n/3n4

Stip.: #3

Key: 1. Kg5

Source: I, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 33

Problem: 2

Forsyth: 8/2kpn1R1/p7/N4P2/1P3N2/3K4/8/1Q5b

Stip.: #4

Key: 1. Qxh1

Source: 188, The Clipper (1859-09-24)

Problem: 3

Forsyth: r7/1NP1b1p1/1p4K1/r3k3/4pN2/1Pq1P1p1/3R4/6Q1

Stip.: #5

Key: 1. Qa1 [s] = Faulty: Short solution

Source: III, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 35

Problem: 4

Forsyth: r7/1NP1b1p1/1p4K1/r3k3/4pN2/1Pq1P1p1/3R4/6Q1

Stip.: #6

Key: 1. Qe1 [+] = Faulty: No solution

Source: 240, The Clipper (1860-09-08)

Problem: 5

Forsyth: 1bQB3r/q5p1/3pB2p/4p3/N2npk1P/8/3P1K2/8

Stip.: #7

Key: 1. Qc1 [+] = Faulty: No solution

Source: V, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 37

Section B: "First Prize / Amateur’s Prize"

Prize: J. McLean

Problem: 1

Forsyth: 5qB1/3k4/8/3K4/3Pn2r/8/8/b5Q1

Stip.: black to move: #2

Key: 1. Qc5+

Source: VI, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 38

Problem: 2

Forsyth: 3k4/5R2/q7/2n5/7r/B1K3b1/1QP3R1/3bN3

Stip.: black to move: #3

Key: 1. Bxe1+

Source: VII, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 39

Problem: 3

Forsyth: 7q/2B1k3/2K2n2/1N5B/1P6/p2Pr3/Qn6/4R3

Stip.: black to move: #4

Key: 1. Qa8+

Source: VIII, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 40

Problem: 4

Forsyth: b7/2p3Pq/r1N4P/2nRK1k1/6p1/1P1Pn3/3r1R1Q/4b3

Stip.: black to move: #5

Key: 1. Qe4+

Source: IX, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 41
Printed as white-to-move: 189, The Clipper (1859-10-01)

Problem: 5

Forsyth: 2r1q3/2n5/2pk4/Np4NP/pP3R2/2KP1Qnr/1PB3RB/5b2

Stip.: black to move: #6

Key: 1. Qe1+

Source: X, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 42

Section C: "Second Prize"

Prize: T. M. Brown

Problem: 1

Forsyth: 8/2k5/1p6/8/1PpK4/8/8/8

Stip.: Black to play and win

Key: 1. ... Kd7

Source: XI, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 43

Problem: 2

Forsyth: 8/5k2/1B6/KP5p/1PP2Pp1/b4p2/7P/8

Stip.: Black to play and win

Key: 1. ... h4

Source: 190, Clipper, (1859-10-08)

Problem: 3

Forsyth: 3k4/ppp1n1p1/8/8/2PP1p2/1P5N/P7/3K4

Stip.: Black to play and win

Key: 1. ... Nf6

Source: XIII, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 45

Section D: "Third Prize"

Prize: T. M. Brown

Problem: 1

Forsyth: 3rk3/N4n2/1P1pP1b1/8/4N3/n1Q2K1R/1r1B1p2/6q1

Stip.: #7

Key: 1. Rh8

Source: XIX, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 51
Printed as #10: 191, The Clipper (1859-10-15)

Problem: 2

Forsyth: 5r2/q1bN1p1p/1p1p2pk/6n1/7P/Pn6/4bQ2/1K5R

Stip.: #8

Key: 1. hxg5 [+] = Faulty: No solution

Source: VII, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 39

Problem: 3

Forsyth: 3k4/pp2pQ2/q2pn1K1/1R6/3Pp1pb/3N4/B3P1rr/1b3R2

Stip.: #8

Key: 1. Rc1 [*] = Faulty: Multiple key moves

Source: XXI, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 53

Problem: 4

Forsyth: 2B1k3/b5R1/5K2/1P6/Q1p2p1N/2p3NP/4P3/n2R1b2

Stip.: #12 with K. P.

Key: 1. Rd8+

Source: XXII, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 54

Section E: "Fourth Prize"

Prize: J. Wilkinson, Jr.

Problem: 1

Forsyth: 8/2B5/7N/8/5Q1p/3p1p1k/7p/7K

Stip.: s#3

Key: 1. Qe3

Source: LXIII, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 95

Problem: 2

Forsyth: KB6/P1N1Q3/4P3/N6R/3kpP2/4R3/4BP2/1b6

Stip.: s#3

Key: 1. Qa3

Source: LXIV, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 96

Problem: 3

Forsyth: 8/3R4/8/8/2q2p2/BP1NkBpP/Q5P1/5R1K

Stip.: s#4

Key: 1. Se5 [+] = Faulty: No solution

Source: LXV, Hazeltine: The Clipper Chess Problem Tournament, p. 97

Problem: 4

Forsyth: 3bR3/3N4/2Pp4/1P1k4/1P2R3/3PB3/1r2N1P1/KB1Q4

Stip.: s#5

Key: 1. Qb3+

Source: 192, Clipper, (1859-10-22)