< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·
|Mar-08-13|| ||me to play: I recall a funny description of Bird..."A strong, but near-sighted English chess master, who frequently reached for the wrong pawn ".|
|Jun-26-13|| ||Phony Benoni: From Alexander G. Sellman's column in the "Baltimore American", June 28, 1885:|
<"A rumor, probably as baseless as the 'fabric of a vision', is going the round of the chess circles in London. It seems that Zukertort and Bird, meeting at Pursell's, actually commenced playing chess together. This assertion alone stamps the story as a canard. After contesting ten games in thirty minutes--the German master scoring eight to the Englishman's two--Mr. Bird rose from his seat, declaring that he would not play any more with an opponent who took 'so much time over his moves.'">--"Irish Sportsman".
|Jul-04-13|| ||Phony Benoni: <"No chess book, I think, can be complete without paying homage to Master Bird. If I had only one page to rejoice in, it should own a kindly veneration for all his adventures and misadventures, his farce and comedy and drama of the chessboard. The roots of his play were sunk deep in the tradition of Labourdonnais and MacDonnell; he played Morphy; and half a lifetime afterward we see him at Hastings, playing a thoroughbred game which Pillsbury said was too beautifiul to annotate! A long stretch, that--and brimful of enthusiasm. He adored chess, i.e., the play itself , which is not common among masters."> -- William Ewart Napier|
That last sentence is thought-provoking. What other great masters have "adored" playing the game, who would willing to play just for the sheer fun of it? For starters, I would put Marshall and Tal in that category.
Somebody like Bronstein is a slightly different case: fascinated by the game rather than the play. It's hard to imagine him enjoying an all-night blitz session.
Players like Alekhine, Fischer or Kasparov were obsessed, but in another sense. They played incessantly not for the sake of the game itself, but for what success meant to their egos.
Then there are masters who seem to have developed a distaste, almost a disdain for the game, who played simply because they had a talent for the game and few other means of expressing themselves. I would put Morphy and Capablanca and Reshevsky in this group, and it may not be a coincidence that they were all youthful prodigies.
|Jul-14-13|| ||brankat: <Phony Benoni>
Tal and Marshall for sure. Perhaps Speilmann and Dr.Vidmar, too. How about AJ? :-)
|Jul-14-13|| ||brankat: R.I.P. master Bird.|
|Jul-14-13|| ||DoctorD: H.E. Bird
The Westminster Papers 1877
White to Play and Mate in Four
click for larger view
|Oct-10-13|| ||Karpova: From C.N. 8346
<The book gave Birdís year of birth as 1830, the date commonly (unquestioningly) accepted until publication of Eminent Victorian Chess Players by Tim Harding (Jefferson, 2012). Based on detailed research, it reported on page 108 (see too page 364) that Bird was born in Portsea, Hampshire on 14 July 1829 and was baptized on 7 August 1829 (as well as on 28 December 1838).>
|Oct-10-13|| ||thomastonk: <Karpova> Winter gives Golombek's "Encyclopedia of Chess" for the year 1830, but I think there is a much older and more important source that could be mentioned. In Bird's "Chess Novelties" from 1895, there is an introduction by a Professor Hoffmann, which has a lot of interesting details, and there one can find on page xv: "He was born in 1830, and first learnt to play chess in 1844."|
My personal(!) impression (=no proof) of this introduction based on earlier research is: Bird provided the details and Hoffmann wrote a kind of eulogy. For a while, I thought that 'Professor Hoffmann' could even be fictional, but there is a book "The Cyclopaedia of Card and Table Games" written by him. However, some sources, e.g. Google books, say that 'Professor Hoffmann' is a pseudonym of a certain Angelo John Lewis.
Of course, I don't doubt Harding's results!
|Oct-11-13|| ||WCC Editing Project: <Karpova, thomastonk, present and future colleagues>|
Here's the full monty on <Henry Bird's> birth year from <Tim Harding>.
Two pieces of primary evidence that <Henry Bird> was born in 1829:
1. <The "International Genealogical Index" records the baptism of Henry Bird, son of Henry Bird and wife Mary, as taking place at St. Thomas Portsmouth on 7 August <<<1829>>>. Dr. Mark Curthoys of the O.D.N.B. provided this information. The author found this confirmation.>
The "O.D.N.B." is the "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography."
2. <LMA: Saint Luke Old Street, register of <<<baptisms,>>> P76/LUK Item 016. This also gives his birth year as 1829>
-Tim Harding, "Eminent Victorian Chess Players- Ten Biographies" (McFarland 2012), p.364
Interestingly, it's possible that Bird himself may have forgotten his own birth year, which might account for so many sources listing 1830 as his birth year.
Harding: <The incorrect 1830 was probably what <<<Bird himself believed>>> since it appears in "Who's Who" during his lifetime (1907 and 1908 editions) and the subsequent "Who Was Who 1897-1916," on which the original D.N.B. clearly relied.>
The "D.N.B." is the "Dictionary of National Biography (original series)."
|Oct-11-13|| ||RedShield: I was more interested in learning that Bird was late of Chetwode Road in Tooting, a street I know well. Don't think it's in blue plaque territory, but it's a possible stop on any future Chess Haunts of Ye Olde London tour that I may venture into.|
|Oct-11-13|| ||offramp: That's right; Chetwode Road is just over the road from the (now closed) Wheatsheaf. I'm going to go there next week and take one photograph.|
|Oct-11-13|| ||offramp: What's that song?
(SINGS) Red shield, blue plaque, tooting bird....
|Oct-23-13|| ||redwhitechess: found a game from a match Henry Bird vs mr. Heywood, played in Newcastle December 1892. |
[White "Henry Edward Bird"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Be7 4.d4 d6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Nbd2 O-O 7.Bb5 exd4 8.cxd4
Bg4 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.h3 Be6 11.Qc2 Qd7 12.Nf1 d5 13.Ne5 Qe8 14.exd5 Bxd5 15.
Ne3 Bd6 16.N5g4 Nh5 17.O-O Be4 18.Qd1 f5 19.Ne5 Nf4 20.f3 Bd5 21.Nxd5 Nxd5
22.Re1 Qh5 23.Qa4 Qh4 24.Bd2 c5 25.f4 Kh8 26.dxc5 Bxc5+ 27.Kh1 Nf6 28.Qc4
Bb6 29.Bb4 c5 30.Bc3 Qh5 31.Rad1 Rae8 32.Rd6 Bc7 33.Rc6 Bxe5 34.Bxe5 Qh4
35.Qc3 Rf7 36.Rxc5 Ne4 37.Rc8 Qxe1+ 38.Qxe1 Rxc8 39.g4 Rd7 40.Kg1 Rcd8 41.
Qa5 Rd1+ 42.Kg2 R8d2+ 43.Kf3 Rf1+ 44.Ke3 Re1+ 45.Kf3 Rf2# 0-1
according to Otago Witness, New Zealand (!) :
<"Bird v Heywood. A match of nine games was lately played at Newcastle between Messrs Bird and Heywood. Three games were played on even terms (the result=Bird 2, Heywood 1), Bird gave his opponent pawn and move in three games (result=Bird 1, Heywood 1, drawn 1), and pawn and two moves in three games (Bird 0, Heywood 2, drawn 1). the ninth game however, was never played; for after the eight game Mr Bird remarked that Mr Heywood, after showing such accurate play as he had done in the latter stages of the contest, barring a big blunder, would win the remaining game or draw it. Consequently he preferred to resign the game and the match. The final score was therefore Heywood 4, Bird 3, drawn 2." >
game is here, Evening Express (Wales):
while the report is here, Otago Witness (NZ):
|Nov-12-13|| ||TheFocus: Bird was said to have made the move P-KR4 famous, his sovereign counsel being, "When in doubt, play your KRP two squares, sir."|
I wonder if he advocated h4 as well as ...h5?
|Nov-12-13|| ||RedShield: Here's an advocate of h4, a wild-man of Hungarian chess: Gabor Kadas|
|Nov-15-13|| ||thomastonk: <redwhitechess: found a game from a match Henry Bird vs mr. Heywood, played in Newcastle December 1892.> As far as I can see, your sources claim only that the match "was lately played at Newcastle". |
The eight games have been played from October 3 - 15, and the ninth game was scheduled for October 17. Almost all or even all games survived in British newspapers.
|Nov-17-13|| ||HansR: Hi,
I am writing a biography on H.E. Bird. I can confirm that all his games with Heywood survived. After the eight game, with the score equal, Bird forfeited the final game in which he had to give the odds of pawn and 2 moves, with the argument that his opponent was too strong for such odds.
|Nov-18-13|| ||offramp: I went along to Chetwode Rd in Tooting and took a video. It is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ16...
It is a pretty normal-looking road; could be anywhere.|
|Nov-18-13|| ||DoctorD: <TheFocus> - are you sure of that quote? I remember Larsen had a similar saying, something like, "when nothing else comes to mind, push a rook pawn." Maybe it originated with Bird?|
|Nov-18-13|| ||DoctorD: <HansR> - hope you are enjoying your biographical work and I hope there will be at least a small section describing the contributions Bird made to chess problems. I have seen far too many historical works in which the subject's contributions to chess problems are given no attention, or worse, included but with no mention other than a solution (often cooked problems as well, inexcusable in the computer age!).|
|Nov-25-13|| ||Phony Benoni: Bird, still rankling over their unfinished match in 1866, challenges Steinitz to resume it twenty years later:|
|Dec-23-13|| ||Nosnibor: <HansR> Bird played his first serious match against C.F.Smith in August 1850 and won by 10-3 with 1 draw.The amusing thing about this match was that Smith made a side bet of 2 to 1 that he would win every game in which he had White playing the Evans Gambit whenever the gambit was accepted ! I have maaged to locate some of these games but none are in the db.|
|Dec-24-13|| ||HansR: Hi,
I guess you mean the game published on 31/8/50 by Staunton? They played a great number of games with the same opening, but none of them can be connected with this match, I believe.
|Dec-24-13|| ||Nosnibor: <HansR> There was definitely a formal match in August 1850.My source is 1950 B.C.M. PAGE 289 and is stated in R.N.Coles authorative column "One Hundred Years Ago".I know that prior to 1850 Bird played many offhand games with Smith. I was researching Bid`s games back in the 1960`s.|
|Dec-25-13|| ||HansR: Hi,
Thank you for the reference! I will certainly check it out. I suspect there is a lot on him in the issues of BCM since his death, but exact references are hard to find.
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