Originally posted by Fat LadyCuriosity quenched. 😀
I think the first usage might have been for the first American chess congress of 1857. I can't find any usage of "congress" in contemporary accounts of the earlier London tournament of 1851.
The 1857 American congress was not just a chess tournament, it was also supposed to be a meeting of representatives of chess clubs throughout America to discuss the ...[text shortened]... eri00fisk for a digitized version of Fiske's famous book about the first American chess congress