W.H.K. Pollock

A Chess Biography with 523 Games

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About the Book

During his first years in America, William Henry Krause Pollock participated in some of the most important American chess events of the 19th century. Pollock played matches against strong players like Charles Moehle, John L. McCutcheon, Jackson W. Showalter and Eugene Delmar. This biography analyzes in great detail Pollock’s chess play, as well as his career and life in England, Ireland and America. His American years unveil even more about the American chess landscape during the first half of 1890s, one of the most interesting periods in American chess history. Offered here are an unprecedented collection of annotated games played by Pollock (around 500), historical photographs and line drawings. Sources include historical chess journals and magazines with chess columns from America, the United Kingdom and Canada.

About the Author(s)

Olimpiu G. Urcan is a Singapore-based chess historian. He contributes regularly to Edward Winter’s Chess Notes and is the author of several chess biographies published by McFarland.
John S. Hilbert, a retired senior attorney with the Social Security Administration living in Buffalo, New York, has written 16 chess books and over 100 articles on chess biography and history, winning multiple national and international awards.

Bibliographic Details

Olimpiu G. Urcan and John S. Hilbert
Format: library binding (7 x 10)
Pages: 512
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, diagrams, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5868-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3140-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments 1
Abbreviations and Annotation Symbols 3
Part One: Life and Chess Career (1859–1896) 5
1. The Irish Connection, 1859–1881 7
2. Early Chess Play, 1882–1885 12
3. In England and Ireland, 1886–1888 32
4. Two Months in New York, March 25–May 25, 1889 48
5. A Baltimore Man, June 1889–May 1890 75
6. Going West, May 1890–June 1891 91
7. Six Days in Skaneateles, July 20–25, 1891 102
8. In Bluegrass Country, August–December 1891 117
9. With the Holy Trinity: Chigorin, Steinitz and Lasker, January–December 1892 125
10. Moving Up North, January–August 1893 137
11. An Impromptu Misadventure, September–October 1893 148
12. In Montreal, May 1894–July 1895 159
13. At Hastings, July 1895–February 1896 177
14. Towards an Early Endgame, March–October 1896 191
Part Two (1882–1896): Games 1–518 203
Section I (January 1882–October 1885) 205
Section II (January 1886–March 7, 1889) 239
Section III (March 25–May 1889) 313
Section IV (May 31, 1889–March 1890) 337
Section V (May 1890–April 1891) 347
Section VI (July 1891) 361
Section VII (August–December 1891) 369
Section VIII (January–December 1892) 381
Section IX (January–August 1893) 388
Section X (October 1893) 401
Section XI (May 1894–July 1895) 408
Section XII (August 1895–September 2, 1895) 426
Section XIII (September 18, 1895–May 1896) 442
Part Three: Appendices, Bibliography, Indices 447
Appendix A. Pollock and the 1890s American Chess Clubs 449
Appendix B. Pollock Obituaries 455
Appendix C. Pollock Memories: Inception and Reception 462
Appendix D. A Pollock Essay on Time Limits 466
Appendix E. A Question of Originality 467
Appendix F. Pollock’s Chess Problems 468
Appendix G. Pollock’s Review of Steinitz 470
Appendix H. Reviewing Mason 471
Appendix I. A Call for Original Research 473
Appendix J. War Whoops 473
Appendix K. Undated Games (519–530) 474
Appendix L. Six Pollock Endgames 479
Appendix M. Pollock’s Tournament and Match Record 480
Bibliography 482
Index of Pollock Opponents (by Game Number) 485
Index of Historical Annotators (by Game Number) 488
Index of Openings—Traditional Names (by Game Number) 489
Index of Openings—ECO Codes (by Game Number) 491
General Index (to Page Numbers) 493

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Honorable Mention, Book of the Year Award—Chess Journalists of America
  • “A perfect marriage of subject, author and publisher. Open at random and be entertained.”—Jonathan Manley, editor, Kingpin Chess Magazine
  • “The Pollock book is one of the finest in the entire McFarland catalogue.”—Edward Winter, Chess Notes
  • “wonderful…a highly interesting biography and unbelievable amount of over 500 games…superb…one of the most amazing McFarland chess reads that I have ever seen”—
  • “helps to expand our knowledge of European and American chess throughout the late 19th century. More significantly, the book provides the chess community with many unindexed games from an existing and creative player.”—Mind’s Eye Press
  • “Een prachtband, honderden pagina’s mooi papier en wat de inhoud betreft: geen partij wordt vergeten…die zo’n monument…dankzij de heren Urcan en Hilbert.”—Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad