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 Harry Nelson Pillsbury

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Harry Nelson Pillsbury

Birth
Somerville, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 17 Jun 1906 (aged 33)
Frankford, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Obelisk in the rear of the cemetery
Memorial ID 13110589 View Source
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Harry learned to play chess at 14 at the urging of his family,thinking it would help him in his mourning over the death of his mother. In 1894 he moved to New York City,joining the Brooklyn Chess Club.He won an international tournament in Hastings England in 1895,beating the best players in the world.In 1897 he became United States Chess Champion,a title he held until his death. In 1898 Harry moved to Philadelphia and became a member of the Franklin Chess Club.In 1901 he married Mary Ellen Bush of Philadelphia. Harry is perhaps best known for his simultaneous "blindfold" exhibitions wherein he would play up to 20 other players.While not literally blindfolded Harry would be in another room (often playing cards and smoking a cigar) and the moves of his opponents would be called out to him.He in turn would announce his moves as the games progressed. He won four other tournaments before dying at 33 due to complications from syphilis.He had no children,thus there are no direct descendants. Harry is generally considered to be the third best American-born player,behind only the immortals Bobby Fischer and Paul Morphy. While it is difficult to rate players from the past with any degree of certainty most chess historians would easily place Harry in a Top-50 list of players to have ever played the game.When considering his chess-playng career was only 18 years (he didn't play any competitive chess the last two years of his life) it is easy to speculate he may have accomplished even more than he did. "Of all the words taken to mouth and pen none are sadder than these: it might have been."...John Greenleaf Whittier.Harry Pillsbury Newlson was a leading American Chess Player.


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Harry N. Pillsbury 1872-1906

Gravesite Details

United States Chess Champion 1897-1906


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