The Brilliancy Prize

The Brilliancy Prize

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The Brilliancy Prize




George Hatfield Dingley Gossip (1841 - 1907)

What jury in the free world would not be impressed by such a magnificent name.
When the prosecution call their next witness giving that name in full then you are doomed.

In the 5th round of the 6th USA Chess Congress held in New York in 1889
our friend George Gossip as Black played a certain Jackson Whipps Showalter.

Another jury impressing name to be used by the prosecution. If George
Hatfield Dingley does not get you, then Jackson Whipps Showalter will.

George won with a fine announced mating combination.

J. Showalter - G.Gossip, New York , 1889


Announcing checkmates is a thing of the past. A player would split the silence
of the playing hall by announcing a mate in x number of moves. The players would
leave their games to nod in approval and the audience would give a hearty cheer.

I did it once in a league match. “I announce mate in four.” No nodding looks of
approval from my team mates, just a few baffled looks. Three moves later I resigned.

So did George win the coveted Brilliancy Prize? No. Our friend George was not a
popular man and the judges (totally unimpressed with the name) decided to ignore it.

Saying George was miffed is an understatement. Absolutely furious is more like it.
George conducted a war of letters culminating in him producing, in gold leaf, the
position before the combination on the cover of his next book (a book about openings).
Gossip Book

There is a link at the bottom of this page to an excellent article all about George

So where am I going now. Well it all started when I was going though my old
magazines looking for something else and I happened to rediscover this 1970’s game

Michael J Yeo - Ralf Hess, London, 1977

It was actually awarded a joint brilliancy prize in the 1977 Evening Standard Congress.
Perhaps the 1889 committee should have considered a joint award but after you have read
the link about George below perhaps you will get an inkling as to why his was knocked back.

The Yeo game is a jolly effort with a nice humorous touch. Very suitable for this page.


red pawns

Last blog we saw a couple of games with the Damiano Opening. Here is another miniature.

KJCavalier - colin57 RHP 2011


I mentioned gambling in a lost position. He are some more of your flutters.

Juman - tamperman RHP Ch.2014.


White to play, (pretty obvious that one because he is check) he has four free choices.

1. Kc2
2. Kd2
3. Ke2
4. Kd4

So the odds are 3-1 in his favour that he will choose the right square. He chose 4.Kd4


4...Rc4 Checkmate.

Next Black gambles by rejecting possibly the best move and instead sets a trap.

Billca - Pianoman1 RHP Ch.2014


red pawns

OK a quick run down on the RHP 2014 Championship stats.

Games started: 5468. Finished 3996. White wins: 1979 drawn: 166 Black Wins:1851.

The longest finished game is exactly 100 moves: seamusk - tsloan Game 10640231
The quickest checkmate is 4 moves. chesco697 - OupaM RHP Ch 2014.


The Gossip Link - well worth a read.

The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 160166
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