Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Henry Thomas Buckle
H Buckle 
Number of games in database: 29
Years covered: 1840 to 1855

Overall record: +18 -6 =5 (70.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Giuoco Piano (8) 
    C50 C54
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (6) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   H Buckle vs NN, 1840 1-0
   H Buckle vs NN, 1849 1-0
   H Buckle vs Loewenthal, 1851 1-0
   H Buckle vs Harrwitz, 1846 1-0
   H Buckle vs Anderssen, 1851 1-0
   H Buckle vs Kieseritzky, 1848 1-0
   Loewenthal vs H Buckle, 1851 0-1

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Buckle - Loewenthal Match 1851 by Calli

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Henry Thomas Buckle
Search Google for Henry Thomas Buckle

(born Nov-24-1821, died May-29-1862, 40 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
Henry Thomas Buckle was born in Lee, Kent, England. An eminent historian, he was also a very strong amateur player. In match play he defeated Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritsky in 1848 (+3, =3, -2) and Johann Jacob Loewenthal in 1851 (+4, =1, -3). He won the 'Divan Tourney' of 1849 but after 1851 he largely gave up serious chess. He began his great historical work 'A History Of Civilisation' in the 1850's but died of typhoid fever in Damascus in 1862. The major part of his work was published posthumously.

Wikipedia article: Henry Thomas Buckle

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 29  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. H Buckle vs NN 1-010 1840 LondonB50 Sicilian
2. Zytogorski vs H Buckle  ½-½41 1842 EnglandC38 King's Gambit Accepted
3. H Buckle vs Harrwitz 1-048 1846 LondonC50 Giuoco Piano
4. H Kennedy vs H Buckle ½-½33 1846 Casual gameC41 Philidor Defense
5. Kieseritzky vs H Buckle 1-036 1846 LondonB20 Sicilian
6. H Buckle vs Staunton  ½-½43 1848 London (consul)C20 King's Pawn Game
7. H Buckle vs Kieseritzky 1-043 1848 Paris mC54 Giuoco Piano
8. Kieseritzky vs H Buckle  ½-½57 1848 Paris mC01 French, Exchange
9. Kieseritzky vs H Buckle  1-040 1848 Paris mC01 French, Exchange
10. Kieseritzky vs H Buckle  1-058 1848 Paris mC01 French, Exchange
11. H Buckle vs Kieseritzky  1-044 1848 Paris mC54 Giuoco Piano
12. Kieseritzky vs H Buckle  ½-½39 1848 Paris mC01 French, Exchange
13. J R Medley vs H Buckle  0-149 1849 London ;HCL 34B32 Sicilian
14. H Buckle vs Brown 1-020 1849 LondonC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
15. H Buckle vs J R Medley  1-053 1849 London ;HCL 34C01 French, Exchange
16. E Williams vs H Buckle 0-153 1849 London ;HCL 34A02 Bird's Opening
17. H Buckle vs E Williams 1-058 1849 London ;HCL 34A84 Dutch
18. H Buckle vs C F Smith 1-035 1849 London ;HCL 34C50 Giuoco Piano
19. H Buckle vs NN  1-022 1849 LondonC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
20. C F Smith vs H Buckle 0-129 1849 London ;HCL 34B40 Sicilian
21. H Buckle vs Anderssen 1-022 1851 London2C54 Giuoco Piano
22. H Buckle vs Loewenthal 0-137 1851 London m1C50 Giuoco Piano
23. Loewenthal vs H Buckle 0-142 1851 London m1C01 French, Exchange
24. H Buckle vs Loewenthal 0-135 1851 London m1C50 Giuoco Piano
25. Loewenthal vs H Buckle 0-158 1851 London m1A40 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 29  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Buckle wins | Buckle loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-01-04  nikolaas: A good biography can be found here:
Oct-12-04  Kean: Not enterely a chess man but certainly a chess player. A fine biography for such a brilliant mind.
Oct-13-04  Lawrence: Spitting image of the actor Robert Morley.
Nov-25-04  kostich in time: Buckle was a renowned historian in his time, but his positivist and utilitarian assumptions have not stood up well..still he was one of the great British Victorian gentlemen scholars who were also chess-players. Wyvill, Stauanton,were among the others.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: Henry Thomas Buckle up when this guy plays, it's a Roller coaster.
May-24-05  cade: According to chessmetrics Buckle was the strongest player in the world in 1848.
Jul-14-08  myschkin: Bio:
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Undoubtedly a very strong player. Other than J.J.Loewenthal, he had also beaten A.Anderssen and St.Amant, the leading masters of the period.

An excerpt from his Biography (the above link):

"His working library at times numbered 22,000 volumes, but having a prodigious and accurate memory he would dispose of those of which he had no further need. Even so he left 11,000 volumes.

Overall a frugal man - during his study-day he ate only bread and fruit "to keep clear the brain" - he was generous to all, including beggars.

His only extravagances were his books and good cigars - yet he allowed himself only 3 cigars per day.

In 1851 he again met with the best European chess players on the occasion of the Great Exhibition. Apparently he was the equal of all, and beat Anderssen and Loewenthal.

But he begrudged the time away from his studies "and never afterwards took part in a public match"

He was by then well along with shaping the "History of Civilization" ~

R.I.P. Mr.Buckle.

Dec-04-08  Karpova: "Buckle as a Chess Player" by Colonel Hugh Alexander Kennedy from his book "Waifs and Strays, Chiefly from the Chess-board" (second enlarged edition 1876):

His strength:

<Mr. Buckle, by almost unanimous consent of his contemporaries, was allowed to be a consummate master of chess-craft; but it is certain, that, for some reason or other, his best play did not always find its way into print. His published games, therefore, although many of them are of a high order of merit, do not, in my opinion, sustain the great reputation he had acquired, and unquestionably deserved. Nature had gifted him with a superlative aptitude for the game of chess, and he brought the powers of a rare intellect - clear, penetrating, and sagacious beyond that of most men - to bear upon it. His imagination was like that of the poet, "all compact," but still subservient to the dictates of a logical judgment. His combinations, accordingly, under such guidance, seldom, if ever, exhibited a flaw, being characterised by exactitude of calculation, and brilliant device. He excelled in pawn play, which he conducted with an ingenuity and deadly accuracy worthy of the renowned pawn general, Szén, himself. He gave large odds, such as rook and knight, with wonderful skill and success, appearing to have a sort of intuitive knowledge of a strange opponent's chess idiosyncracy, which enabled him precisely to gauge the kind of risks he might venture to run. The rendering of heavy odds, as every experienced chess-player knows, necessitates hazardous and unsound play on the part of the giver.>


<I first knew him in June 1841, when he was nineteen years old, having lost his father a few months previously. He then played chess exceedingly well, so strongly, indeed, that I much doubt if the play of his maturity was anything in advance of that of his juvenile days. I remember, in that early time of our acquaintance, being struck by the bold originality and grasp of thought, the variety and extent of general knowledge possessed by the pale, delicate-looking stripling, who might have passed for a year or two younger than he really was.>

His weakness:

<With all Buckle's superb genius for the game, he lacked something of the solid power, the unflagging patience, resource, and depth of Staunton, and in a set encounter with him, would, in my judgment, have had the worst of it.> (Kennedy believes that Buckle would have been the favorite in a match with Staunton in 1850/51 but not in Staunton's prime).

His behaviour at the chessboard:

<Whether winning or losing, Mr. Buckle was a courteous and pleasant adversary, and sat quietly before the board, smoking his cigar, and pursuing his game with inflexible steadiness. He was sometimes harassed when at play by a nervous hiccough, which he would endeavour to suppress by humming some little air.>

There's much more, e. g. his preparation and training for chess contests, his aversion to music, his love for reading (he read everything), his exceptional memory, etc.

His last words: <"My book, my book, I shall never finish my book !"> (he was talking about "A History Of Civilisation").

Btw, Kennedy says that he died on May the 31st, 1862 (unlike the biography).

Dec-31-08  Karpova: Another article by Colonel Hugh Alexander Kennedy: "Buckle's Chess References"

<Testimony to the extensive reading and large research of a gifted compiler.>


Nov-11-09  BIDMONFA: Henry Thomas Buckle

BUCKLE, Henry T.

Nov-11-09  bengalcat47: Buckle was also very skilled at draughts, or checkers as it's known in the US.
Nov-11-12  YoungEd: In fisticuffs, not many people could belt Buckle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Castleinthesky: He was known as a very sound sleeper. Friends would come to visit and ask is "Buckle up?," often to no avail.
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: A great writer and a talented chess player.

R.I.P. Mr.Buckle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Adolf Anderssen claimed Buckle was among the finest players he had met.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  grasser: Ah. Mr. Buckle Player of the Day again. Did Mr. Buckle go out every day teaching others as I do while in debilitating pain from Interstitial Cystitis as I do? Did he teach over 500 children how to play Chess, as I have done? Did he do 20 episodes of a Show called "Chess Now" that can be seen on YouTube. I would like a Player of the Day Honor too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < grasser: Ah. Mr. Buckle Player of the Day again. Did Mr. Buckle go out every day teaching others as I do while in debilitating pain from Interstitial Cystitis as I do? Did he teach over 500 children how to play Chess, as I have done? Did he do 20 episodes of a Show called "Chess Now" that can be seen on YouTube. I would like a Player of the Day Honor too.>

It does seem very unfair.

Jan-10-14  Karpova: Some snippets from Josef Krejcik's <Buckle als Schachspieler>:

Born: 1822.11.02 in Lee

Died: 1862.05.29

Author of <History of Civilisation in England.>

Page 212 of the 1854 "The Chess Players' Chronicle" is quoted: <One of the most distinguished masters of the day.>

After Stauunton's debacle at London (1851), he was for a short time considered to be the best player in England.

He beat Löwenthal (4:3, 3 draws) and Kieseritsky (3:2, 3 draws) in matches.

His play was solid, but not brilliant.

He died on a trip to the Orient in Damascus, and his death received the proper echo in the chess press, e. g. Lasa wrote an obituary in the 'Deutsche Schachzeitung'.

Source: Page 44 of the January-February 1913 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: A contemporaneous obituary can be found here:

Noted as "author of the world famous 'History of Civilization'".

His death, in Damascus, is given as the 31th May.

Premium Chessgames Member
  martin moller: Hello Chess games I think the photo is Henry Edward Bird.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <martin moller: <Hello Chess games I think the photo is Henry Edward Bird.>>

Better to know than to think. This is definitely Buckle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Although you are not alone in _thinking_ it is Bird:

Premium Chessgames Member
  martin moller: <jnpope> Ok i just had a pichture in a Danish chess book : Verdens bedste skak vol. 1 by Jens Enevoldsen. But thank you for the interesting links.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: happy birthday, Mr. Buckle.
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2017, Chessgames Services LLC