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Lest We Forget
By William Ewart Napier
To be the "man of the hour" confers no large and lasting glory unless the hour itself be freighted with important happenings, and peopled, so to speak, with impressive personages.
Albert B. Hodges, of Staten Island, N. Y., in one of the conspicuously great hours in chess history, became United States Champion, by defeating J. W. Showaiter. The score was five to three, and one draw; and it took place in 1894!
At the time, Steinitz and Dr. E. Lasker were familiar figures in New York City, as well as Lipschuetz, Hymes, and Pillsbury, who was destined within a year to astound the world at Hastings.
In due course, Mr. Hodges was challenged to a return match by Sho waiter, and almost simultaneously came a challenge from the aspiring Pillsbury who, by the way, had been beaten by Mr. Hodges in the 1893 New York Tournament. It was clearly necessary in these circumstances to choose between chess and business.
Business prevailed, and chess—active chip-on-the-shoulder chess—lost a consummate artist.
From out of his retirement, however, he gave continuing evidence of his power by playing in all the thirteen Anglo-American Cable Matches without losing a game!
His middle initial B stands for Beauregard; and it is therefore natural to find that he was born in Nashville, Tennessee, July 21, 1861— in Civil War times.
He learned chess at nineteen. Within a few years he won the state championship; came north in 1889; conducted Ajeeb the famous Eden Musee automaton; won the Manhattan Chess Club championship; and entered business life; from which he retired twenty-two years later, well satisfied with his early choice of business as a career instead of belligerent chess.
In 1896 Mr. Hodges married Miss Laura I. Robinson, of Stapleton, Staten Island. At checkers Mr. Hoages never wins from Mrs. Hodges. He dare not.
For an estimate of his relative standing among the world's masters, I think it only necessary to consider how close was the score between Pillsbury and Showalter, and that Hodges also defeated Showalter.
To illustrate his power and style, I present a game which enjoys a peculiar distinction. It was the first loss suffered by Dr. Emanuel Lasker on his first visit to these shores.
Exhibition Game March 24, 1892 RUY LOPEZ
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