Adolf Albin In America

Adolf Albin In America

Ref: x9569

Table of Contents

Foreword by Neil Brennen 1
Introduction 3

1. A Tale of Disenchantment: The Columbian Chess Congress, 1893 7
2. Sailing to America, July 1893 25
3. The Match with Albert B. Hodges, August 1893 36
4. The Impromptu International Tournament, September-October 1893 46
5. The City Chess Club Tournament, December 1893 67
6. The Match with Eugene Delmar, February 1894 77
7. The Staats-Zeitung Cup, August 1894 84
8. Another City Chess Club Tournament, October-November 1894 96
9. The Match with J.W. Showalter, September 1894 108
10. A Guest of Philadelphia, February 1895 119
11. Three Months in New Orleans, March-May 1895 129
12. Sailing Back to Europe, July 1895 138

Appendix A. Adolf Albin: Master of Opening Innovation 241
Appendix B. Albin’s Results in America, July 1893 to June 1895 (Crosstables) 264
Appendix C. Albin’s Lifetime Tournament and Match Record (Crosstables) 266
Selected Bibliography 269
Index of Players (to Part II Game Numbers) 271
Index of Supplementary Games and Positions 272
Index of Illustrations 273
Index of Openings 274
General Index 276

*Games numbered 120-130 are in Appendix A.


Review by David G Mills

Romanian chess master, Adolf Albin, spent less than two years of his lifein the U.S.A., arriving in New York in July 1893 and departing in June 1895 to participate in the great Hastings Tournament. He never returned.

Singapore based fellow countryman and chess historian, Olimpiu G. Urcan, has penned a detailed account of his life and chess activity during these years. This softback 2014 edition is a reprint, with corrections, of the hardback edition first published in 2008. Part I tells the story of Albin's time in the U.S.A. - in particular, the tournaments and matches in which he participated and the characters he encountered. It features vivid descriptions of a country on the verge of establishing itself as a world power. There are games aplenty and blow by blow details of the contests. Part II comprises 119 annotated games with contributions from contemporary sources and the author himself. A series of appendices covering 27 pages consider in turn:-

1. Albin's contribution to opening theory.
2. His results in America.
3. His lifetime tournament and match record.

The final pages comprise a Selected Bibliography, An index of players who feature in Part II, An Index of Supplementary Games and Positions, An Index of Illustrations, An Index of Openings and A General Index.

The information and most of the games published here are likely to be new to nearly every reader. I particularly enjoyed the pages covering Albin's contribution to opening theory (including the genesis of the gambit named after him), his adoption of 6. h4 in the French Defence Classical Variation 26 years ahead of Alekhine and ... g5 against White in the French Defence (Part II, Game 32) many years before it became a standard motif. The author has researched his subject thoroughly to produce a very fine work, in keeping with the high standards associated with McFarland chess books.