Hardinge Simpole

Pillsbury's Chess Career
The Tragedy of an American Genius
Click to enlarge >> 
By Sergeant, P. W. and Watts, W. H.
ISBN 1843820099
SERIES Hardinge Simpole Chess Classics
Paperback  236 pages
Subject [Chess ] [Pillsbury ] [c 1900 - c 1914 ]
Published June, 2002
UK Price £22.95   Order from amazon.co.uk
US Price $34.95   Order from amazon.com

The New World has a curious habit of despatching emissaries of great - yet strangely circumscribed - power to the Old. These emissaries demolish the ancien regime only to retire, withdraw, or even perish; mysterious flashes of chess board brilliance all too soon extinguished by disease, madness or the banal pressure of venal circumstance. In this context names which spring readily to mind are those of Paul Morphy, Reuben Fine, Bobby Fischer and Harry Nelson Pillsbury, the subject of this book, which gives all of his most important games with light notes. Here was a man who took the chess world by storm when he won Hastings 1895, the greatest tournament which had ever been held, crushing the hopes of all the established European champions. Subsequently, until his early death, Pillsbury continued to hold the world in thrall with stunning feats of memory as well as of blindfold and simultaneous chess. It was a disaster for the Chess World when Pillsbury descended suddenly into lunacy and sought to commit suicide by leaping from a window of the Institution in which he was held. Soon after that, on the 17th June 1906, he died - but his sparkling and thrilling games live on in this book. P W Sergeant and W H Watts, two English experts, completed the present volume in 1922, nearly fifteen years after Pillsbury's death. Astonishingly, it was the first collection of his games in English. Watts was also responsible for the Tournament Book of London 1922, won by Capablanca.

© Hardinge Simpole, an imprint of Zeticula Ltd., Unit 13, 196 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AT, Scotland