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London Tournament

Adolf Anderssen15/21(+14 -5 =2)[games]
Elijah Williams13.5/22(+13 -8 =1)[games]
Marmaduke Wyvill13/24(+12 -10 =2)[games]
Jozsef Szen12.5/17(+12 -4 =1)[games]
Howard Staunton11/22(+10 -10 =2)[games]
Hugh Alexander Kennedy10/19(+9 -8 =2)[games]
Bernhard Horwitz5/15(+4 -9 =2)[games]
James Swain Mucklow2/10(+2 -8 =0)[games]
Henry Edward Bird1.5/4(+1 -2 =1)[games]
Johann Jacob Loewenthal1/3(+1 -2 =0)[games]
Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritzky0.5/3(+0 -2 =1)[games]
Samuel Newham0/2(+0 -2 =0)[games]
Karl Mayet0/2(+0 -2 =0)[games]
Edward Lowe0/2(+0 -2 =0)[games]
Edward Shirley Kennedy0/2(+0 -2 =0)[games]
Alfred Brodie0/2(+0 -2 =0)[games] Chess Event Description
London (1851)

Some of the main organizers of the tournament were Bledow (who had passed away by the time the final proposals could be arranged), von der Lasa, Kennedy and Staunton(1). They wanted a congress of competitive chess players at the start of the London World's Fair that could serve as an international and recurring chess meeting for the best players in Europe and the rest of the world(2). The tournament started in May of that year and proceeded to standardize issues such as consistent time-controls, rules and notation in a knock-out style format.

First Round Second Round Semi-final Final ---------- Anderssen 2½ Kieseritsky ½ Anderssen 4 Szen 2 Szen 2 Newham 0 ---------- Anderssen 4 Horwitz 2½ Staunton 1 Bird 1½ Staunton 4½ Staunton 2 Horwitz 2½ Brodie 0 ---------- Anderssen 4½ Williams 2 Wyvill 2½ Löwenthal 1 Williams 4 Mucklow 2 Mucklow 0 E Kennedy 0 Wyvill 4 ---------- Williams 3 H Kennedy 2 Mayet 0 Wyvill 4½ Wyvill 2 H Kennedy 3½ Löwe 0

Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851, the famous Immortal Game, was played at the venue but was not part of the tournament.

References: (1) Wikipedia article: London 1851 chess tournament , (2) Wikipedia article: The Crystal Palace

Missing information: no dates

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 85  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J S Mucklow vs E Williams 0-1291851LondonC02 French, Advance
2. Horwitz vs Szen 0-1431851LondonC00 French Defense
3. Szen vs Horwitz 1-0281851LondonC67 Ruy Lopez
4. Horwitz vs Szen 0-1281851LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
5. Szen vs Horwitz 1-0381851LondonC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
6. H Kennedy vs J S Mucklow 1-0441851LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
7. J S Mucklow vs H Kennedy 0-1201851LondonA13 English
8. E Williams vs J S Mucklow 1-0381851LondonB30 Sicilian
9. H Kennedy vs J S Mucklow 1-0431851LondonD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
10. Anderssen vs Wyvill 1-0261851LondonB20 Sicilian
11. Wyvill vs Anderssen ½-½501851LondonD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
12. Anderssen vs Wyvill 0-1401851LondonB44 Sicilian
13. E Williams vs Wyvill 0-1501851LondonA00 Uncommon Opening
14. Wyvill vs E Williams 1-0371851LondonA13 English
15. J S Mucklow vs E Williams 0-1441851LondonA13 English
16. E Williams vs J S Mucklow 1-0771851LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
17. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 0-1281851LondonB32 Sicilian
18. Wyvill vs H Kennedy 1-0361851LondonA13 English
19. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 1-0371851LondonB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
20. Wyvill vs H Kennedy ½-½621851LondonA13 English
21. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 0-1521851LondonB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
22. Wyvill vs H Kennedy 0-1351851LondonA13 English
23. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 1-0651851LondonA03 Bird's Opening
24. E Williams vs Wyvill 1-0321851LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
25. E Williams vs Wyvill 1-0361851LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 85  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: OK, I'll add the dates in where ever applicable - at least for the Z-base version.

I think a definite 2nd pass for the tournament is in order.

The question is when? My current trajectory was to finish Reichhelm's 50, and I'm only just finishing the Quintangular.

(London BCA, London Quint, Belfast (1892) all are missing from <CG>, so they get a priority bump)

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Google books aside -

As concerns some of these elaborate Victorian illustrated works, like ILN, it's unfortunate that google books doesn't allow some kind of clipping.

I can't read the print, even at the full magnification allowed (which max's out too soon imo).

And downloading an ILN volumes requires almost 1 Gb of disk space - they're pigs.

One of my side projects was to go through a couple of volumes of ILN and pull out the chess clippings. I was thinking of maybe submitting them to Pope for the O'Keefe timeline.

But then <focus> said something that hurt my feelings and I lost focus.


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: RE: Dates...

I'm not even sure that it's ever going to be possible to record the dates for all the games in this tournament.

Even for someone with unlimited access to all biographical sources existent.

One has to ask if it's worthwhile to even begin such an undertaking.

For instance, such an undertaking is likely to undercover more questions than it answers.

Like <CG>'s round numbering...


1851.??.?? B20 20 (R1.1) 0-1 Kieseritsky -- Anderssen

1851.??.?? A10 54 (R1.1) = Horwitz -- Bird

1851.??.?? C44 15 (R1.1) 1-0 Staunton -- Brodie

1851.??.?? D00 62 (R1.1) 1-0 Mucklow -- Kennedy_ES

1851.??.?? C00 39 (R1.1) 0-1 Mayet -- Kennedy, Capt

1851.??.?? C01 44 (R1.1) 0-1 Loewenthal -- Williams

1851.??.?? C00 29 (R1.1) 0-1 Lowe -- Wyvill

1851.??.?? B44 64 (R1.1) 1-0 Szen -- Newham


Which, as I take it, we want to place all these games on Tues, 1851.05.27.

But consider the ILN 5/31 report of winners:


Anderssen over Kieseritzky. | Captain Kennedy over Mayet.

Szen " Newham. | Wyvill " Lowe.

Williams " Löwenthal. | Mucklow " E.S. Kennedy.

Horwitz " Bird. | Staunton " Brodie.


It gives Horwitz as winning over Bird. And the R1.2 session (Wed 5.28 (?)) reports these winners:


Anderssen over Kieseritzky. | Wyvill over Lowe.

Szen " Newham. | Mucklow " E.S. Kennedy

Löwenthal " Williams. | Staunton " Brodie.

Capt. Kennedy " Mayet. |


It looks like the Horwitz--Bird draw (the only one) took place then.

Horwitz won his lot, so one might assume he picked first move (White in our parlance, but colors were also picked by lot).

Well, I'll leave it to the interested reader, but given these games in the match:


fpair( Horwitz, Bird )

1851.??.?? A10 54 (R1.1) = Horwitz -- Bird

1851.??.?? C65 59 (R1.2) 1-0 Bird -- Horwitz

1851.??.?? B21 55 (R1.3) 1-0 Horwitz -- Bird

1851.??.?? B30 32 (R1.4) 0-1 Bird -- Horwitz


If the Horwitz--Bird win came first, then the game arrangement looks problematic if we want to place a Horwitz--Bird draw immediately following.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: By the way, the ILN reports show up, almost verbatim in Staunton's tournament report. At least the part on drawing the lots(*).

Staunton was writing for the ILN at the time, correct?


(*) E.g. the footnote is readable about Brodie and E.S. Kennedy taking the places of Jaenisch and Shumoff, who were "momentarily expected".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Staunton was writing for the ILN at the time, correct?>

He was the editor. There is the possibility that, given his organizing and playing duties, he had someone else do the ILN column during a busy period.

Zoom - I can go to Hathitrust for the same doc and zoom up on a touchscreen (with fingers).

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Thanks <Calli> for the zoom advice.

Comparing the early ILN and TB coverage, it looks almost the same. I know that there was contemporaneous discussion that Staunton's editorial duties interfered with his playing.

Of course, Anderssen was the best at that time no matter how you slice it, I'm fairly sure - and EDOchess agrees:

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: OK, here's a list of games which <sneaky> has corrected:


Kieseritsky // Anderssen (R1.1, 1.2, 1.3 )

Newham--Szen R1.2

Kennedy_HA--Mayet R1.2

Szen--Anderssen R2.6

Anderssen--Stauton R3.1

Kennedy_HA--Szen R4.5

(Staunton--Williams R4.4)


Actually, I'm not quite sure if sneaky has corrected them all.

<CG> - can we get a chronological list of corrections applied to a game somewhere?

Jun-06-16  sneaky pete: <z> I only submitted official corrections for 3 games. The other two (apart from Kennedy vs Mayet) were Newham vs Szen (r1 g2) and Szen vs Anderssen (r2 g6). Newham vs Szen had 30... Bxf4+ 31.Rxf4? Rxf4 when 30... Rxf4 31.Rxf4 Bxf4+ was really played. Szen vs Anderssen had 25... Rxb2, but Staunton and Schachzeitung give 25... Re4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <sneaky> I listed all the games with differences from my snapshot and the current <CG> tournament.

This is part of the difficulty with working with <CG> - it's a moving target.

I was hoping that the historical tournaments were fairly stable, but all the above changes are within the last six months.

Wish we could just click on a history button for any given game to see it's correction history.

But as it is, this diffs point out games to be investigated - i.e. finding the source games (TB + DSZ), and comparing CB, NIC, and 365 versions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Quick update - <London (1851)> was incorporated into Z-base first, and wasn't subjected to the rigorous comparison with 365chess that's become a standard screening (when possible).

Over lunch I did a quick twin-delete of the main KO games (excluding the playoffs between dropouts - which are treated as separate tournaments by 365 and Z-base).

Quite a few more diffs show up - so it appears that an effort to research/resolve is required.

Normally I post the results in a form similar to this: (different tournament example)

The idea is to fold all the corrections back into <CG> when it finally modernizes to allow "bulk submissions".

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <London (1851)> gets a shout-out from WBUR's Bill Littlefield, of <It's Only a Game> fame:

Something or another about brackets...

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <sneaky pete> can I trouble to ask you if you're systematically going through all the Schachzeitung games and comparing to <CG>?

Otherwise, what is your procedure/criteria for reviewing games?

Jun-08-16  sneaky pete: <zanzibar> There is nothing systematic in what I do, it's all haphazardry. I wanted to take a new look at all the games from this tournament with Staunton as my guide. When I discovered he had clipped some games but gave a longer score, I looked elsewhere and found the alternate TB published in the 1852 Schachzeitung.

I think copied the games from another database that used SZ as primary source, but (this other database) added some new mistakes (like 59.Rg7 .. for 59.g7 ..) to the ones SZ had already made (like 21... QR to K's sq = Rae8 misread as 21... QR to Kt's sq = Rab8).

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <sneaky> (and others...)

Hot off the press...

Please try to download this PGN if you would. It's the most up-to-date and correct version of the tournament, in my belief.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: OK, just for chuckles, and because it seems reasonably correct, here is the dating of the games using the ILN reporting:

R1.1 = 1851.05.27

R1.2 = 05.28

then "at the termination of this sitting, hostilities were adjourned until Friday, ...".

R1.3 = 05.30

R1.4 = 05.31 (this is interpolated)

R2.x and R3.x = 1851.06.??

R4.x = 1851.07.??

There might be some uncertainty for end R3/beginning R4, but it's not too likely. Nor significant, as an inexact date might suggest some uncertainty of a day or two.

Now the question is, should Z-base actually adopt this dating?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I'm correcting the first round result between Williams and Lowenthal from 2-0 to 2-1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The ILN [of Saturday, May 31st] states that the 1st Rd pairings were picked randomly on Monday, May 26. The first day of play was Tuesday, the 27th. It appears that the second games were on Wednesday, the 28th. Although the day is not specifically stated, it's hard to imagine that there would already be a day off. Being a 2 out of 3 RD, six players were thus eliminated after only two days. The ILN (Staunton, I presume) laments the random pairings and the 2 of 3 format.>

Actually, only five players were eliminated, because Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851 was drawn, requiring a third game. It's curious that the ILN reporter wouldn't know this, especially if it was Staunton.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: According to the <Northampton Mercury>, June 7th, round 2.1 was held on Monday, June 2nd.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <MissS> any info on dating rounds would be appreciated.

I don't think I ever folded the dates into Z-base, but it's never too late.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <R1.1 = 1851.05.27

R1.2 = 05.28

then "at the termination of this sitting, hostilities were adjourned until Friday, ...".

R1.3 = 05.30

R1.4 = 05.31 (this is interpolated)>

I'm pretty certain these are correct. As you're probably aware, tournament chess on a Sunday was a no-no in Britain, at least, until maybe as late as WW2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Yes, this was a fairly widespread convention for many of the early tournaments that I've researched.

I can't remember, off-hand, which tournament first had a top-level round on a Sunday.

Maybe the Dutch were first?


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: More likely the French.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <R2.x and R3.x = 1851.06.??

R4.x = 1851.07.??>

Yes, this is correct.

<There might be some uncertainty for end R3/beginning R4, but it's not too likely. Nor significant, as an inexact date might suggest some uncertainty of a day or two.>

Provincial papers were in the habit of unattributed copying of reports from bigger and better titles, and the necessary delay in recycling sometimes leads to confusion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <MissS> yes, but I think I exhausted the ILN reportage for info.

So where else can hope reside?

It's unfortunate the coverage tampered off in the later stages of the tournament (at least, iirc, not having worked on this for awhile now).

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Rookhouse has this interesting (but unsourced) Anderssen quote about the playing conditions:

<Additionally, the playing conditions were reportedly bad enough to inspire the following quote from Anderssen:

Things were not particularly comfortable; tables and chairs were both small and low; the large boards stuck out over both edges of the tables; any space near the player was taken away by the person recording the moves; in short, there was not the slightest amount of free space on which one could support one’s head which might be so full of care during the hard struggles.>

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