The Clipper, 1860 (Miron's Problem Tourney)


At most two "Black to play and mate in ... moves" (2 pr.; see notes.)

‘Black K must stand in (ch) with all the facilities known to the game for obviating that difficulty [i.e. all options of capture, cover or move away must be present]—but only one of them to lead to the required mate. If more than one piece can capture, or interpose, or the King has several places of refuge, returning a (ch) or not as the composer sees fit, the position will be by so much the more beautiful.’ [Clarification in brackets made after announcement.]

W. Horner (examiner and umpire; see notes.)
1860-03-01 (first extended with 5 or 6 weeks, then declared closed in November.)
1 pr. T. M. Brown (motto: Nigri palmam ferant)
2 pr. J. Schlesinger (Semper paratus)
compl. m. J. C. Warner
  M. B. Jonas
The Clipper:
1860-01-21: announcement: prize offered by the editor (M. Hazeltine).
1860-02-18: Reply to J. C. W.
1860-03-10: Time extended with five or six weeks.
1860-07-28: Clarification of requirements.
1860-09-15: Tournament announced to closed in about four weeks; names of current competitors.
1860-11-03: Tournament announced to be closed in two weeks.

1861-02-16: Report and concluding notes.

Many tourney problems were published as problems 263–276 between 16 February and 18 May 1860.

(Source references are from J. G. White's scrapbook of Clipper chess columns (vol. 1B) made available on-line by Cleveland Public Library through their Digital Gallery (search for "chess and draughts columns of the New York Clipper"). However, as these are newspaper cuttings, printed dates were usually not present, and were instead added by hand. Also, individual pieces may not always be pasted in the right order. Those references that could be verified against the Clipper column collection at Chess Archaeology have been added as hyperlinks above.)


The announcement did not explicitly limit the number of problems. On 10 March, 1860, it was added Each [competitor] may enter 2, if he likes.

Possible judges/examiners were identified on 3 Nov and asked for help. While Marache and Waterbury were mentioned, it is not clear if they accepted.

Fifteen problems received; two did not fulfil requirements, and two were faulty.

The editor, in the concluding notes, observes:

Again, this Tourney yields a still more marked gratification, for it is a perfect success in another direction. Absolute impartiality in examination and decision has been secured, the Umpire being in total ignorance of the author of each several problem; each stood on its own merits alone, and by them took its rank.

This may not be entirely correct as far as examination is concerned. Judging from the reply to J. C. W[arner], printed on 18 February, some form of examination was begun earlier, and, in this case at least, conducted with the knowledge of the identity of the competitor, and may, at worst, have given the competitor a chance of revising the problem:

J. C. W., Philad’a.—Thanks for the problem, it is the first in in competition for “our Prize.” It appears to us, however, to be faulty; will look farther and report. [...]

Additional competitors were T. Clay, Geo. H. Derrickson, J. Gardner, J. A. Lalaue, C. Mœller, P. Richardson and the signature W. C. C..


Diagrams below show the board with A1 in the lower left corner; in the original they were printed (or intended to be printed) from black's point of view, i.e. with A1 in the upper right corner.

The 1 pr diagram was not consistent with the way other black-to-move problems were oriented: it had probably been mirrored horizontally, while other problems had been rotated 180 degrees.

1 Prize: T. M. Brown

black to move: #5

2 Prize: J. Schlesinger

black to move: #5