In 1877 chess players met at the Cafe Logeling, 49 Bowery Street in lower Manhattan. Mr. Logeling was a chess enthusiast and eventuallu built a room in the back of the cafe for chess.
On November 24, 1877, it was decided to form a chess club. There was discussion to name it the Metropolitan, Morphy, or Manhattan Chess Club.
On December 1, 1877, 37 members showed up for the first meeting. The entrance fee was $1 per person and dues were $4 per year.
In 1883, Johannes Zukertort was made an honorary member.
In May 1884, the group moved to 22 East 17th Street.
The club hosted the 1886 world championship (Steinitz-Zukertort) and the 1889 world chess championship (Steinitz-Gunsberg).
In May 1889, the club moved to 22 West 27th Street.
In 1890-91 Steinitz played Gunsberg in a world championship match at the Manhattan Chess Club. The President of the Manhattan Chess Club was Isaac Rice.
In May 1892, the club moved to 105 East 22nd Street in the United Charities Building.
In 1894 Steinitz and Lasker met at the Manhattan Chess Club to negotiate thier proposed world championship chess match. The club hosted the first 8 games of the Lasker-Steinitz world championship match.
In 1895, Emanuel Lasker joined the Manhattan Chess Club. In 1895, the first cabe match was played between the Manhattan Chess Club and the British Chess Club.
In 1899, William Steinitz resigned as an honorary member from the Manhattan Chess Club.
In 1901, members of the Manhattan Chess Club defeated the Franklin Chess Club of Philadelphia.
From 1905 to 1910 the Club was located at the Carnegie Hall Building on 56th Street.
In 1905 Jose Capablanca joined the Manhattan Chess Club and beat its champion.
From 1910 to 1923 the Club was located at the Sherman Square Hotel, then to Beacon Hotel.
In 1905, Capablanca, at the age of 17, visited the Manhattan Chess Club and beat its champion.
The club organized the New York international tournaments of 1924 (won by Emanuel Lasker) and 1927 (won by Jose Capablanca).
During the Depression, the Club moved to a basement on Broadway and 73rd Street.
In 1932 to 1941, the Club was located at the Alamac Hotel.
In 1938, women were finally allowed to join the club.
In 1941 to 1956 the Club was located at 100 Central Park South. Maurice Wertheim helped move the chess club to better quarters.
On March 7, 1942, Capablanca suffered a stroke at the Manhattan Chess Club while analyzing a chess game. He died the next day at the age of 53.
In 1947, the Manhattan CC lost to the Club of La Plata in Argentina in a radio chess match by the score of 3.5 to 6.5. The Manhattan CC team included Reshevsky, Kashdan, Denker, Horowitz, Kevitz, Pinkus, Pavey, Kramer, Shainswit, and Donald Byrne. Only Reshevsky was able to win. .
Maurice Wertheim (1886-1950) was president of the Manhattan Chess Club in the 1940s. He was an American investment banker and philanthropist. He was the father of American historian Barbara Tuchman.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s. Sidney F. Kenton was the club's director of activities. Junior members were not welcomed under Kenton's tenure. He did, however, allow Robert and Donald Byrne join the club.
In 1948, Arthur Bisquier won the Manhattan Chess Club championship at the age of 18, the youngest player up to that time. He won 7 and drew 2 games. Also in 1948, George Kramer, age 18, won the Manhattan CC Masters Tourney.
In the 1950s Maurice Kasper, a wealthy New York textile manufacturer, was the president of the Manhattan Chess Club. He later became an officer of the Americah Chess Foundation. Morris Steinberg was the vice president of the Manhattan Chess Club.
Gisela Kahn Gresser (1906-2000) was a regular at the Manhattan CC, always taking lessons from Hans Kmoch. She won the U.S. women's championship 9 times and was the first woman to become a U.S. master. She died in 2000 at the age of 94.
In June 1955, Bobby Fischer joined the Manahttan Chess Club. He soon won the 'C' section, then the 'B' section.
In 1956 the Club moved to the Hotel Woodrow.
In April 1956, Bobby Fischer won the Manhattan Chess Club 'A' Reserve championship.
In the 1950s and 1960s the Club's secretary by Hans Kmoch and the club was located in the Henry Hudson Hotel on West 59th St.
In 1971, Bobby Fischer won the Manhattan Chess Club 5-minute championship.
In 1973, there were over 400 members of the Manhattan Chess Club.
In 1982, the club was located at 155 East 55th Street.
In 1984, the club moved to Carnegie Hall at West 57th Street and 7th, 10th floor.
The Club later moved to 353 West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue on "Restaurant Row." Traditionally, the club was supported by the patronage of Wall Street executives. When they passed away, the American Chess Foundation, which owns the building, fell into the hands of non-chessplayers. They ordered the Manhattan Chess Club to move.
In 1985, Josh Waitzkin joined the Manhattan Chess Club.
In 2001, the Club moved to the New Yorker Hotel, Suite 1521, 481 8th Avenue. It was open on weekdays from 6 pm to midnight and on weekends from 11am to 11pm.
In January 2002, the Manhattan Chess Club closed. It existed for 124 years. Its last president was Jeff Kossak.
Members include Bisguier, Lombardy, Fischer, Donald Byrne, Samuel Reshevsky, and Gisela Gresser.
Winners have included Benjamin (the youngest at 14), Benko, Bisguier, Bonin, Denker, Hanham, Hodges, Janowski, Kashdan, Kastner, Kevitz (7 times), Kupchik, Maroczy, Marshall, McKelvie, Phillips, Reinfeld, Sherwin, Zaltsman, and Zuckerman
Thanks to Frank Brady and Aben Rudy for providing me some of this information.
YEAR WINNER 1881 Frank Teed (handicap ch) 1883 Gustave Simonson (handicap ch) 1884 John S. Ryan (1st Manhattan CC Championship) 1885 Eugene Delmar 1886 James Moore Hanham (another source says John S. Ryan) 1887 Samuel (Simon) Lipschuetz 1888 D. G. Baird 1889 Samuel Lipschuetz 1890 D. G. Baird 1891 D. G. Baird (another source says it was a tie between Major James Moore Hanham and Albert B. Hodges) 1892 J. M. Hanham 1893 Albert B. Hodges 1894 not known 1895 D. G. Baird 1896 L. Schmidt 1897 not known 1898 D.G. Baird and Gustave Koehler 1899 Albert B. Hodges 1900 Samuel Lipschuetz 1901 Frank J. Marshall 1902 Frank J. Marshall 1903 J.M. Hanham, Jacob Halper, Harold Phillips 1904 D.G. Baird 1905 Gustave Koehler 1906 Albert W. Fox 1907 Paul Johner 1908 Albert Puvermacher 1909 Manuel Ayala, Otto Roething, Leon Rosen 1910 Frank J. Marshall 1911 Jacob Rosenthal 1912 Magnus Smith 1913 Magnus Smith 1914 Abraham Kupchik 1915 Abraham Kupchik 1916 Abraham Kupchik 1917 Abraham Kupchik 1918 Oscar Chajes 1919 Abraham Kupchik 1920 Abraham Kupchik, Oscar Chajes 1921 David Janowski, Roy T. Black 1922 Morris A. Schapiro 1923 Morris A. Schapiro 1924 Oscar Chajes 1925 Abraham Kupchik 1926 Abraham Kupchik 1927 Alexander Kevitz (another source says Geza Maroczy) 1928 Abraham Kupchik 1929 Alexander Kevitz 1930 Abraham Kupchik 1931 Isaac Kashdan 1932 A. Kevitz on tiebreak over Robert Willman 1933 Robert Willman 1934 A. Kevitz after playoff with Kashdan (another source says Robert Willman) 1935 Isaac Kashdan, Alexander Kevitz 1936 Alexander Kevitz on tiebreak over Albert C. Simonson 1937 IsaacKashdan after playoff with Albert C. Simonson 1938 Isaac Kashdan 1939 Jacob (Jack) Moskowitz 1940 Arnold Denker (he won the Manhattan CC 6 times) 1941 Albert S. Pinkus 1942 Fred Reinfeld and Sidney N. Bernstein tie 1943 not known 1944 Arnold Denker after playoff with Willman 1945 Albert Pinkus 1946 Alexander Kevitz 1947 Alexander Kevitz (another source says Arnold Denker) 1948 Arthur B. Bisguier 1949 Arthur B. Bisguier 1950 Arnold Denker, George Shainswit 1951 Arnold Denker 1952 George Kramer 1953 Max Pavey 1954 Arnold Denker 1955 Alexander Kevitz 1956 Max Pavey 1957 Arthur B. Bisguier 1958 Arthur B. Bisguier 1959 Arthur B. Bisguier 1960 Pal C. Benko 1961 Pal C. Benko 1962 Paul Brandts 1963 Bernard Zuckerman 1964 Bernard Zuckerman 1965 Pal C. Benko 1966 Pal C. Benko 1967 Pal C. Benko 1968 Arthur B. Bisguier 1969 Arthur B. Bisguier 1970 Arnold Denker 1971 Arthur Feurstein 1972 Walter Shipman 1973 George Kramer 1974 Alexander Kevitz, George Kramer, Walter Shipman 1975 Neil McKelvie 1976 Milorad Boskovic 1977 Alexander Kevitz 1978 Joel Benjamin 1979 Jorge Massana, Neil McKelvie 1980 Jeffrey Kastner 1981 John Fedorowicz 1982 Joel Benjamin, Vitaly Zaltsman 1983 Joel Benjamin 1984 Walter Shipman 1985 Walter Shipman 1986 Jonathan Schroer 1987 Ronald M. Young, Bernard Zuckerman 1988 Mark Ginsburg 1989 Michael Rohde 1990 Mark Ginsburg 1991 Kamran Shirazi and Zaltsman win the 114th annual Manhattan CC Ch. 1992 Joel Benjamin 1993 Jay Bonin 1994 Jay Bonin, Walter Shipman 1995 Walter Shipman 1996 John Fedorowicz, Alexander Wojtkiewiez 1997 Jay Bonin 1998 Joel Benjamin 1999 Joel Benjamin (wins for the 6th time) 2001 Leonid Yudasin