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Henry William Birkmyre Gifford
Number of games in database: 36
Years covered: 1873 to 1886
Overall record: +12 -18 =6 (41.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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C77 Ruy Lopez (4 games)
C50 Giuoco Piano (4 games)
C54 Giuoco Piano (3 games)
C49 Four Knights (3 games)
C48 Four Knights (2 games)
C44 King's Pawn Game (2 games)
C45 Scotch Game (2 games)
D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted (2 games)

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(born 1847, died Apr-12-1924, 76 years old) United Kingdom

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Henry William Birkmyre Gifford was an Englishman who was born in Australia(1) and lived in The Hague, Netherlands. He was unofficial Dutch champion in 1873 and 1875.(2) He married in 1877 Eliza (Lillie) Goldsmid(3) (born Garey) and moved to France. He played in the Paris (1878) tournament, in the French championship 1881, against Johannes Zukertort at the Cercle des Echecs in 1885 (Zukertort was blindfolded) and against Joseph Henry Blackburne at Simpson's Divan, London in 1886. In 1886 he may already have moved to Beckenham, London where he resided in 1890 and 1901. Eliza died in 1900, and he married again in Manhattan, New York in 1902 to Eliza's niece Lizzie Isabel Goldsmid (1850-1923). In 1911 they lived in Earls Court, London where he died at a nursing home in 1924. He left 17,000 pounds to Lizzie's brother, the auctioneer George Campbell Goldsmid.(4)

Gifford was a member of the Discendo Discimus (DD) Chess Society in The Hague. He was a "composer"(2) and "living by own means"(4). Suggested further reading (with references to him): 150 jaar DD by Willem Joseph Pieter Vink and Ronald Dickhoff (Den Haag 2005).

Picture from Paris (1878) (Gifford standing in the middle):

1) 1911 England Census: 2) 3) 4) Censuses and other records in

Wikipedia article: H.W.B. Gifford

Last updated: 2016-09-03 05:10:14

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 36  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Steinitz vs H Gifford  ½-½181873DCA Congress 1stC37 King's Gambit Accepted
2. H Gifford vs T C ter Haar 1-0291873DCA Congress 1stC44 King's Pawn Game
3. H Gifford vs W Kamphuijzen  1-0251873DCA Congress 1stC54 Giuoco Piano
4. H Gifford vs B W Blijdenstein  1-0521873DCA Congress 1stD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
5. E Blanck vs H Gifford  ½-½331873DCA Congress 1stC50 Giuoco Piano
6. C P H de Groot vs H Gifford  0-1431873DCA Congress 1stC45 Scotch Game
7. H Gifford vs H Meijers  1-0261873DCA Congress 1stB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
8. H Gifford vs J Andriessen  1-0191873DCA Congress 1stD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
9. F van Hogendorp vs H Gifford  ½-½611873DCA Congress 1stC77 Ruy Lopez
10. H Gifford vs G M Stolte  0-1411873DCA Congress 1stC54 Giuoco Piano
11. H Gifford vs J G C A de Vogel  1-0321873DCA Congress 1stC50 Giuoco Piano
12. H Gifford vs E H Breul  1-0311873DCA Congress 1stD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. B W Blijdenstein vs H Gifford  0-1261873DCA Congress 1stC50 Giuoco Piano
14. Blackburne vs H Gifford 1-0201874The HagueC44 King's Pawn Game
15. A Clerc vs H Gifford  1-0381878ParisC25 Vienna
16. H Gifford vs A Clerc 1-0251878ParisC15 French, Winawer
17. Blackburne vs H Gifford 1-0361878ParisC45 Scotch Game
18. H Gifford vs Blackburne 0-1301878ParisC48 Four Knights
19. Winawer vs H Gifford 1-0411878ParisC51 Evans Gambit
20. S Rosenthal vs H Gifford 1-0211878ParisD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
21. Zukertort vs H Gifford 1-0251878ParisD21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
22. Anderssen vs H Gifford  1-0401878ParisC77 Ruy Lopez
23. H Gifford vs Anderssen 1-0471878ParisC49 Four Knights
24. Mackenzie vs H Gifford  1-0491878ParisC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. H Gifford vs Mackenzie  0-1481878ParisC49 Four Knights
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 36  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Gifford wins | Gifford loses  

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HENRY WILLIAM BIRKMYRE GIFFORD, Deceased. Pursuant to the Law of Property Amendment Act, 1859.

NOTICE is hereby given, that all creditors and other persons having any claims or demands against the estate of Henry William Birkmyre Gifford, late of 12, Langham-mansions, Earls Court-square, in the county of Middlesex, deceased (who died on the 12th day of April, 1924, and whose will was proved in the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of the High Court of Justice on the 9th day of July, 1924, by George Campbell Goldsmid and Cyril George Goldsmid, the executors therein named), are hereby required to send the particulars, in writing, of their claims or demands to me, the undersigned, on or before the 29th September, 1924, after which date the said executors will proceed to distribute the assets of the said deceased amongst the parties entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims and demands of which they shall then have had notice; and they will not be liable for the assets of the said deceased, or any part thereof, to any person or persons of whose claims or demands they shall not then have had notice. Dated this 7th day of August, 1924.

LESLIE H. SMITH, 23, Surrey-street, Victoria Embankment, W.C. 2, Solicitor for (173) the Executors.

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  Tabanus: = The Westminster Papers, Nov. 1873:

<Netherlands Tourney, played at the Hague in August last. The first prize was carried off by Mr. H. W. B. Gifford, an Englishman.>

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  Stonehenge: Henry Gifford's balloon, Paris 1878 (sic, should be Henri Giffard), funny that Gifford should play in Paris 1878.

Gifford Variation, named after him?

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  Tabanus: London Standard 26 Oct. 1900 p. 1:

<DEATHS. ... GIFFORD. - On the 25th instant, at 11. Sydenham-avenue, Sydenham, Eliza (Lillie), wife of H. W. Birkmyre Gifford.>

So he must have married again ca. 1902 (as 9 years married in 1911) to Lizzie Isabel, who was born in France but was a "British subject by parentage". The document by his death in 1924 mentions only George Campbell Goldsmid and Cyril George Goldsmid, the relatives of his first wife Eliza Goldsmid.

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  Stonehenge: has

Name: Lizzie I Goldsmid
Spouse: Henry W Gifford
Marriage: 19 Apr 1902 - Manhattan

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  Stonehenge: Elisa Goldsmid (born Garey)

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  Stonehenge: N D Goldsmid and E Garey married on Sep/10/1850

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  Tabanus: <Stonehenge> Eliza (Lillie) Goldsmid (born Garey) and Lizzie Isabel Goldsmid must be two different persons.

Or? What a mystery man :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Hmm.

From the names, ages and times of marriage, it looks like the second wife was a daughter of the first wife.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: From

"His widow, Elisa Goldsmid (born Garey), then moved to Paris. The couple was childless."

So Elizabeth Garey and Neville Davison Goldsmid didn't have children.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Ok. They married in the "Church of England in the House of the British Charge d'Affaires at The Hague" 10 Sep. 1850:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Ok I found the parents of the 2nd wife Lizzie Isabel Goldsmid: Edmund Elsden Goldsmid and Sarah Elizabeth Goldsmid. She was born 25 Nov. 1850 and baptized in Paris:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette (just in case):


4 April 1895: H. W. Birkmyre Gifford.

26 Dec 1895: Mr and Mrs Birkmyre Gifford (Sydenham)

29 Oct 1896: Mr and Mrs H. D. Birkmyre Gifford (Streatham)

1 April 1897: Mr and Mrs Birkmyre Gifford (Sydenham)

28 Oct 1897: Mr and Mrs Birkmyre Gifford

10 March 1898: Mr and Mrs Birkmyre Gifford (Sydenham)

24 Nov 1898: Mr and Mrs Birkmyre Gifford (London)

14 Sept 1899: Mr and Mrs Birkmyre Gifford (Sydenham)

21 Sept 1899: Mr and Mrs Birkmyre Gifford (Sydenham)

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  Tabanus: The Times 16 April 1924 p. 1:

<DEATHS. - On the 12th of April, at a nursing home, Henry William Birkmyre Gifford; of 12. Langham-mansions, Earl's Court. Funeral at 11.30 a.m., at the Crystal Palace Cemetery, Elmers End, to-morrow (Thursday). (Friends, please accept this, the only Intimation.)>

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  Tabanus: UK Outward Passenger Lists 1890-1960:

Name: Mr W H Birkmare Gifford
Name: Miss L. I. Goldsmid
Departure Date: 9 Apr 1902
Port of Departure: Southampton, England
Destination Port: New York, USA
Ship Name: Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse, with W H and not H W

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  Tabanus: Cincinnati Commercial Tribune 17 Dec 1881 Extra Sheet p. 3:

"The second French National Tourney began in Paris November 6, with seven entrants, each of whom had two games to play with every other player, at the rate of three games a week. .... <Gifford>, won 4, lost 2; ..."

Charleston News and Courier 31 May 1885 p. 7:

"Dr. Zukertort in Paris. Since his arrival at the French Capital on the 19th ult., Dr. Zukertort has not been idle. On the 24th he conducted five blindfold and simultaneous games at the Cercle des Echecs against Messrs. De Boistertre and Wise Bonaparte (scored by the blindfold player) Mr Vaillant (to whom he lost) and Messrs. <Gifford> and Oberndoffer who managed to draw."

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  Stonehenge: There are some more games of Gifford in "L'Échiquier d'Aix", but I don't know if it can be read online.
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  Tabanus: page 170: Game vs Albert Clerc 11 Nov 1881

Page 179: game vs Edward Chamier 23 Nov. 1881

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  Tabanus: Plus two games in the 1882 volume, one of which seems to be vs Preston Ware:

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  Stonehenge: Yes here:

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  MissScarlett: What is this? Next you'll be posting the Grand Hotel's laundry list for the relevant dates. Let the man and his dirty linen lie in peaceful repose.
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  Stonehenge: <MissScarlett>

if you have nothing sensible to say, then please stay away.

Premium Chessgames Member

To show that his second wife died in Earls Court (same address) in 1923. I'll stop there..

Oct-09-14  mkuyt: For your information, I research the Goldsmids and happened upon your site here. This may be of interest: Eliza Goldsmid nee Garey (1828 - 1900) was the wealthy widow of Neville Davison Goldsmid (1814 - 1875), entrepreneur. I estimate her fortune 150000 - 200000 pounds when she married Gifford, who was 19 years younger, in april 1877. Shortly after they left the Hague for Paris. After Eliza´s death Gifford remarried Lizzie, daughter of Sarah Elisabeth Goldsmid nee Garey, Eliza´s sister, and Edmund Elsden Goldsmid 1818 / 1870), brother of Neville D. Goldsmid, and equally wealthy.
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  Stonehenge: <mkuyt>

Thanks for the contribution :)

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