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London Tournament

Adolf Anderssen15/21(+14 -5 =2)[view games]
Elijah Williams13.5/21(+13 -7 =1)[view games]
Marmaduke Wyvill13/24(+12 -10 =2)[view games]
Jozsef Szen12.5/17(+12 -4 =1)[view games]
Hugh Alexander Kennedy10/19(+9 -8 =2)[view games]
Howard Staunton10/21(+9 -10 =2)[view games]
Bernhard Horwitz5/15(+4 -9 =2)[view games]
James Swain Mucklow2/10(+2 -8 =0)[view games]
Henry Edward Bird1.5/4(+1 -2 =1)[view games]
Johann Jacob Loewenthal1/3(+1 -2 =0)[view games]
Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritzky0.5/3(+0 -2 =1)[view games]
Karl Mayet0/2(+0 -2 =0)[view games]
Edward Lowe0/2(+0 -2 =0)[view games]
Samuel Newham0/2(+0 -2 =0)[view games]
Alfred Brodie0/2(+0 -2 =0)[view games]
Edward Shirley Kennedy0/2(+0 -2 =0)[view 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 0 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 84  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Wyvill vs H Kennedy 1-057 1851 LondonA13 English
2. Anderssen vs Staunton 1-033 1851 LondonB40 Sicilian
3. Staunton vs Anderssen 0-147 1851 LondonC50 Giuoco Piano
4. Anderssen vs Staunton 1-035 1851 LondonC45 Scotch Game
5. Staunton vs Anderssen 1-030 1851 LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
6. E Williams vs Wyvill 1-032 1851 LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
7. E Williams vs Wyvill 1-036 1851 LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
8. Wyvill vs E Williams 1-037 1851 LondonA13 English
9. E Williams vs Wyvill 0-150 1851 LondonA00 Uncommon Opening
10. J S Mucklow vs E Williams 0-129 1851 LondonC02 French, Advance
11. E Williams vs J S Mucklow 1-038 1851 LondonB30 Sicilian
12. J S Mucklow vs E Williams 0-144 1851 LondonA13 English
13. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 1-065 1851 LondonA03 Bird's Opening
14. Wyvill vs H Kennedy 0-135 1851 LondonA13 English
15. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 0-152 1851 LondonB54 Sicilian
16. Wyvill vs H Kennedy ½-½62 1851 LondonA13 English
17. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 1-037 1851 LondonB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
18. Wyvill vs H Kennedy 1-036 1851 LondonA13 English
19. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 0-128 1851 LondonB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
20. E Williams vs J S Mucklow 1-077 1851 LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
21. Horwitz vs Szen 0-143 1851 LondonC00 French Defense
22. Szen vs Horwitz 1-028 1851 LondonC67 Ruy Lopez
23. Staunton vs E Williams 1-034 1851 LondonC01 French, Exchange
24. E Williams vs Staunton 1-046 1851 LondonA03 Bird's Opening
25. E Williams vs Staunton ½-½37 1851 LondonA43 Old Benoni
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 84  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The tournament was notable for the friction generated between the young sponsoring St. George's CC (est 1843 Cavendish) vs the older and better established London CC (est 1807 Cornhill).

<The London Chess Club did not take part in the Tournament of 1851, because the St. George's, under the auspices of Mr. Staunton, wished to assume position derogatory to their claims nor was it proper that the oldest and most influential Club in the United Kingdom should play second-fiddle to much younger association. But they gave cup of the value of one hundred guineas to be played for by the foreign amateurs then in London, and Anderssen, Szabo. Szen. Kling, and Harrwitz were amongst the contestants. The cup was won by Herr Anderssen.


<Paul Morphy - the Chess Champion> p 51 F.M. Edge (1859)

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: 1851.05.17 NY Albion has a note about the departure of Loewenthal from the US, as representative of the Cincinnati Chess Club, aboard RMS Steam Ship Asia from NY on the 7th.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: " When Anderssen and Szén found they were to play each other, they agreed that, if either won the tournament, the other would receive one-third of the prize; this does not appear to have been considered in any way unethical."

One source [Cheass Treasury of the Air - page 212] says this arrangement was made when Anderssen was trailing in his match v Szen.

Apparently Staunton notes that after this presumed mid-match agreement the Hungarian's play (that will be Szen) was unquestionably vastly inferior to his best efforts.

(Not checked the tournament book - Staunton appears to know of the agreement but whether or not it took place mid-match needs to be confirmed.)

Jun-04-16  sneaky pete: Staunton vs E Williams, 1851 (game 4 of the play off match for third place) is presently missing from this collection. As it was (nearly, the prophet lost his divine message halfway) the greatest game in history, I'd like to see it added to the tournament page.

It would also be nice if we had the games in more or less the right order (first round 1 game 1 between A and B, then round 1 game 2 between B & A, etc).

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <sneaky> it appears you're systematically reviewing this tournament.

I'm interested in your complete list of corrections.

Is that available?

Do you have a corrected PGN that you're working with? If so, would it be available?


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <sneaky> here's a link to an early version of the Z treatment:

You'll notice a link to a version of the PGN there.

Have you looked at this? Any opinions on the game order/round ordering used there?


Jun-05-16  sneaky pete: <zanzibar> I only consulted the Batsford reprint of Staunton's book and the Google version of Schachzeitung 1852 (the May/June and the July issues have all the games, in the same order as the tournament book).

I submitted only 3 corrections, when I was certain the score here was wrong and the 2 sources didn't contradict each other. One is Captain Kennedy vs Mayet, round 1 game 2; the other two ... I forgot (and I didn't leave a note on those pages).

I posted a comment on 3 games where Staunton and Schachzeitung disagree, and this site has the Schachzeitung version. In Wyvill vs Williams, r3 g6, it's Obvious to me Qd8-e7-e6 (Staunton) was played and not Qd8-c7-c6 as we have here. In Captain Kennedy vs Szen, r4 g5, Staunton's 21... Rae8 (instead of 21... Rab8) must be right. But in Staunton vs Anderssen, r3 g2, I'm inclined to think the Schachzeitung version used on this site is correct.

Staunton in general was very reliable, but not when it concerned his own less succesful games. He sometimes omitted the last moves; in game 5 vs Anderssen he skipeed 32.h3 g5 and continued with white's move 33 as it were move 32, but 32.h3 .. was an important "luft".

I can't open that pgn on the link you posted, but it seems to be from another London tournament anyway. The most logical order for the games here, is the order in which they were published in the tournament book (and also in Schachzeitung). Both are, I think, available at Google.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: The ILN 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.


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <sneaky> You're right, please accept my apology for posting the wrong tournament.

It looks like I just searched for "London (1851)" in the blog, forgetting about the BCC follow-up tournament.

Aside- It's worth noting that tournament can actually claim to be the first RR international tournament. Trouble was, due to the structure of the prizes (only 1st?), many participants dropped out - diluting the importance of the tournament.

Also- an unintended benefit is finding out the tournament PGN isn't downloadable. That just shouldn't be the case, and I'll investigate.

I appreciate your post, and will take to incorporate all your corrections (and Calli's notes) in the parallel track version of the tournament.

Of course, I should doubleback, and create a "first look" page for this tournament as well (there isn't currently one, and the PGN is only available in a Z-base snapshot). Perhaps with a review/comparison of the different db versions would be appropriate - as it appears I fully relied on <CG> for this one.

It's probably time for another snapshot of a preliminary Z-base (40 going on 50).

I'll post back later, many thanks again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Another ILN column on 14 June reports the results of the second round. When combined with the previous link, we can at least date those games in the month of June, although without a specific day.


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?

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