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History

What follows are summaries of the original 1867 tournament and the 100-year anniversary tournament in 1967. They were both very strong chess tournaments, and are fascinating to explore. The information here is based on the Chess Scotland history archive which itself is taken from the book The Story of Dundee Chess Club by Peter Walsh (1984) and Scottish Chess, a bulletin produced by the former Scottish Chess Association.

1867 Tournament

The 1867 Dundee International Tournament was a very strong chess competition. The undisputed strongest player in the world at the time, and the first World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, took part, along with the best players from both Scotland and the rest of Britain.

The first World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz
Source - Wikipedia

It was a very innovative tournament for several reasons - for the first time a draw was given half a point instead of the players starting a new game until there was a winner; and at the beginning of every game the players tossed a coin to decide who got white or black.

It took place from the 4th - 13th September 1867 and consisted of 3 tournaments:

  1. The Grand Tourney won by Dr Gustav R.L Neumann, a leading German master of the time; Steinitz finished 2nd
  2. The Handicap Tourney, where stronger players were disadvantaged by having fewer pieces than their opponents at the beginning. This was won by Steinitz and Dr Fraser from Scotland.
  3. The Scotch Tourney, for Scottish players only. This was won by Dr Fraser, previously mentioned.

The tournament was held in the Board Room of the Caledonian Railway Company

The results table for The Grand Tourney is shown below:

Position Player Score
1 Neumann 7.5
2 Steinitz 7
3= De Vere 6.5
3= MacDonnell 6.5
5 Blackburne 5
6 Robertson 3
7= Dr Fraser 2.5
7= G.B. Fraser 2.5
9 Hamel 2
10 Spens 0.5

More information on the 1867 tournament can be found at the Chess Scotland website

There was also a book which can be found at Google Books. It is not exclusively about the tournament but might make for interesting reading.

1867 Tournament Games

An incomplete collection of the games played during the tournament exists on ChessGames, a site which has an extensive database of high-level games dating back for a very long time. As this tournament was so long ago and was before international chess tournaments became more standard, some games are missing, and others were not played as they did not affect the prize money

Nevertheless, there are many games on ChessGames which will be fascinaating to look at, particularly those involving Steinitz. Some of the more interesting games from the tournament are on this page, with some light commentary

The clash between first and second - Steinitz vs Neumann (annotated by Craig Pritchett)

A brilliant game between De Vere and Steinitz

1967 Tournament

The 1967 tournament was held in the Caird Hall, and Dundee also welcomed the Scottish Championships, which is also the plan for the 150-year anniversary tournament. Players included Bent Larsen, one of the leading players in the world, and Grandmasters Gligoric, Galway, Olafsson and Pomar.

Profiles of every player from the tournament
Source - Chess Scotland

In addition, Paul Keres, a chess legend, and Mikhail Botvinnik, who had been world champion for 15 years from 1948 and 1963, wished to play, but unfortunately could not accept the invitation due to events in the Soviet Union

Unfortunately, Pomar became ill during the tournament so had to withdraw, so it finished with nine players instead of the ten with which it had begun.

The tournament was won by Gligoric, with Larsen and Olafsson finishing equal second.

The full results table is shown below:

Position Player Score
1 Gligoric 6.5
2= Larsen 5.5
2= Olafsson 5.5
4= O'Kelly 5
4= Penrose 5
6 Kottnauer 3
7= Davie 2
7= Wade 2
9 Pritchett 1.5

More information on the 1967 tournament can be found at the Chess Scotland website