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Howard Staunton
Number of games in database: 318
Years covered: 1840 to 1866

Overall record: +178 -79 =40 (66.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 21 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (23) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (20) 
    C53 C54 C50
 Evans Gambit (12) 
    C51 C52
 Scotch Game (10) 
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C77 C60 C65
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C37 C38
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (41) 
    B20 B21 B32 B40 B44
 King's Pawn Game (26) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (23) 
    C53 C54 C50
 Bishop's Opening (10) 
    C23 C24
 King's Gambit Accepted (9) 
    C39 C33 C37
 French Defense (9) 
    C00 C02 C01
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Staunton vs NN, 1855 1-0
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1851 1-0
   Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 0-1
   Staunton vs Anderssen, 1851 1-0
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 1-0
   NN vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Staunton vs Cochrane, 1842 1-0
   Staunton vs Cunningham, 1856 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Staunton - Saint Amant (1843)
   London (1851)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Staunton & Kolisch best games by Gottschalk
   1 by gr2cae
   The t_t Players: Staunton, Steinitz & Zukertort by fredthebear
   against 1. e4 c5 by CAPRICORN
   Staunton vs Saint-Amant WCM 1843 by ilcca
   Blunderchecked games I by nimh
   Selected 19th century games by atrifix
   pre-Steinitz Era1:1861 or before by Antiochus
   Chess Prehistory by Joe Stanley
   Staunton's games to use for GTM by davide2013
   Noted-n-Notable-Games of Morphy-n-Staunton by saveyougod
   early games II by wwall
   Howard Staunton's Best Games by KingG

   H Kennedy vs H Buckle, 1846

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Howard Staunton
Search Google for Howard Staunton

(born 1810, died Jun-22-1874, 64 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

Howard Staunton was born in Westmorland, Northern England. Learning the game in 1830, he took it up seriously in 1836 and by 1840 was among the world's best players.

In April 1843, after losing a short but hard-fought match to visiting Frenchman Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant (+2 =1 -3), he issued a more formal challenge. This second match, in November-December 1843, was convincingly won by Staunton (+11 =4 -6) and broke the century-long domination of the game by French players.

In the 1840s and 50s Staunton did a great deal for chess. He founded and edited "The Chess Player's Chronicle" (1841-1854), organized the first International tournament (the London (1851) knock-out format), made efforts to unify the laws of chess, wrote books and sponsored the design by Nathaniel Cook for chess pieces that has since become the standard pattern.

The only blotch on this splendid record was his continual evasion of a match with visiting American master Paul Morphy in 1858. Staunton died in London in 1874.

Notes: Howard Staunton played two consultation games with Paul Morphy, but was on the team of Staunton / Owen.

Consultation games: Anderssen / Horwitz / Kling vs Staunton / Boden / Kipping, 1857

Wikipedia article: Howard Staunton

Last updated: 2018-04-19 16:25:14

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 318  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0191840LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
2. W M Popert vs Staunton ½-½561840MatchC45 Scotch Game
3. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0391840LondonC20 King's Pawn Game
4. NN vs Staunton 0-1291840LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
5. W M Popert vs Staunton 0-1331840LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
6. Staunton vs NN 1-0211840?C52 Evans Gambit
7. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1271840MatchC00 French Defense
8. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0381840LondonB32 Sicilian
9. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1381840LondonC02 French, Advance
10. Zytogorski vs Staunton 1-0261841London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
11. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0231841LondonC02 French, Advance
12. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0341841London m1C45 Scotch Game
13. NN vs Staunton 0-1221841LondonC33 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1211841London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
15. Staunton vs NN 1-0481841SimulC45 Scotch Game
16. Staunton vs NN 1-0261841London 5C37 King's Gambit Accepted
17. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1361841London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
18. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1241841LondonC45 Scotch Game
19. Zytogorski vs Staunton ½-½571841London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
20. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0301841London (England)C51 Evans Gambit
21. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0431841London m1C40 King's Knight Opening
22. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1351841London m1C53 Giuoco Piano
23. Staunton vs NN 1-0221841SimulC23 Bishop's Opening
24. Staunton vs NN 1-0241841London 5C37 King's Gambit Accepted
25. Cochrane vs Staunton ½-½351841London m1C54 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 318  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Staunton wins | Staunton loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 16 OF 16 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Definition of futility in chess - trying to organise a match between Staunton and Bobby Fischer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <MissS> are you still working on Staunton's origins?

Why does <SCID>'s Rating.ssp give his birthdate as 1810.04.??, and <CG> only 1810?


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Batgirl> also gives April.

Was this why you needed the Oxford ref?


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <MissS> surely, being as old as you are, you were invited once or twice to his b-day party - so you must know it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In Grand Theft Auto III there is a Staunton Island:
<The island is considered to be based on Manhattan, while the name is based on that of Staten Island. It includes landmarks based on the real landmarks of Manhattan...>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <<Batgirl> also gives April.

Was this why you needed the Oxford ref?>

Not exclusively.

I did find his 1898 DNB entry online:

No mention of April.

Note Murray's claim that Staunton commenced writing with the <ILN> in 1843 (, Lee has 'about 1844', whereas Wikipedia and Crumiller (Howard Staunton (kibitz #351)) both go with 1845. An inspection of the relevant material may disclose distinctive elements of his style.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I see now that <batgirl> specifies February 1845 as the start of his collaboration with the <ILN>.

Suitably apprised, I find, in the edition of February 15th, p.12:

<We have great pleasure in announcing to our Chess subscribers and readers generally, that we have secured the valuable services of Mr. Staunton, the eminent Chess Player, to edit the Chess despartment [sic] of the Illustrated London News.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: February 22nd, p.125, would appear to be his first column, wherein we find:

<To keep pace, in some measure, with the increasing patronage bestowed by the public on this department of our paper, we have concluded arrangements for placing it under the direction of the leading player of the day, from whose well known information and experience on the subject, a series of articles, in the highest degree interesting to the lovers of Chess may be confidently looked for.

Our opening game is one of a novel description, which was played, not as any trial of skill, but "in a merry sport," between Mr. Staunton and M. Kieseritzki.>

An answer to a correspondent in the column of March 8th, p.160, points out <"Scacchi,” Glasgow, must be aware that the gentleman to whom he directs his comments, is not in any way responsible for the errors which may be found in this department of our paper prior to the 22nd of February.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Howard Staunton - The English World Chess Champion>, R. Keene & R. Coles, BCM, 1975, p.1-2:

<In the Dictionary of National Biography the article on Staunton was written by Sir Sidney Lee (1859-1926), for many years an editor and for some time sole editor of the Dictionary. He was, like Staunton, a Shakespearean scholar of note and therefore, one might think, well fitted to write an obituary. He quotes his chess sources, none of which supplied him with the information he gives that Howard Staunton was the illegitimate son of Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle, from whom, he adds, Staunton received a 'few thousands' when he came of age, money which he quickly squandered. Staunton left many detractors behind him when he died, and perhaps Sir Sidney listened too closely to some ill-disposed tongue.

The 5th Earl of Carlisle (1748-1825) had been a gay spark and a famous dandy in his youth, but he married, became a sober politician and was Lord Privy Seal by 1783. In 1793 he was made a Knight of the Garter. He wrote a tract on the state of the contemporary theatre early in the 19th century, as well as two five-act verse tragedies. Howard Staunton was similarly given to elegance in dress and interest in the theatre, so that it was easy for the name Howard to suggest a connection. Sixty year old Knights of the Garter are as capable as anyone else of fathering illegitimate children, though Staunton, completing the church register at the time of his marriage, described his father as 'William Staunton, gentleman'. Of course father William may have been a figment of Staunton's imagination, conveniently created to conceal the truth from his bride. But then there is the story of the money he came into at the age of twenty-one. 'A few thousands' was a very large sum at the time when money had at least ten times its present value and would have taken quite a bit of squandering. Perhaps the fact that Staunton died a poor man suggested this part of the story. Since the Earl predeceased Staunton's coming-of-age by six years, the money could only have been received if there had been a written instruction in the will or if a special trust had been created. So far the archives at Castle Howard have yielded no such corroborative evidence.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Oxford Companion to Chess, OUP, 1992. 2.ed, p.390:

<Nothing is known for certain about Staunton's life before 1836, when his name appears as a subscriber to William Greenwood Walker's <Games at Chess, actually played in London, by the late Alexander McDonnell Esq.> Staunton states that he was born in Westmorland in the spring of 1810, that his father's name was William, that he acted with Edmund Kean, taking the part of Lorenzo in <The Merchant of Venice>, that he spent some time at Oxford (but not at the university), and that he came to London around 1836. Other sources suggest that as a young man he inherited a small legacy, married, and soon spent the money. He is supposed to have been brought up by his mother, his father having left home or died.

Staunton never contradicted the rumour that he was the natural son of the fifth Earl of Carlisle, a relationship that might account for his forename, for the Earl's family name was Howard, but the story is almost certainly untrue. (Edmund Kean claimed to be the son of the Duke of Norfolk, also a member of the Howard family.) In all probability Howard Staunton was not his real name. A contemporary, Charles Tomlinson (1808-97), writes: 'Rumour...assigned a different name to our hero [Staunton] when he first appeared as an actor and next as a chess amateur.'>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Staunton married a widow in 1849 and by doing so inherited her 8 children from the previous marriage. (surely he must have called them his little pawns.)>

Lee and (consequently) Murray mistakenly claim this marriage took place in 1854. More on this union:

C.N. 4776: <As is well known [...], he married Frances Carpenter Nethersole on 23 February 1849 at St Nicholas, Brighton. However, a further fact derived from that website which I have not seen noted is that Frances Carpenter and William Dickenson Nethersole had no fewer than eight children baptized at St Clement Danes between 1826 and 1842.>

<Tab> should have fun tracking them down, but I found something about one. Notices appear for the wedding of <Frances Ada> Nethersole/Staunton, <eldest daughter of the late W. D. Nethersole>, to H.J. Owen of Liverpool on November 8th 1853. Her death, aged 24, on July 27th 1856, <the beloved wife of Henry James Owen>, is duly noted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <(surely he must have called them his little pawns.)> <Sally Simpson>I hope some of his 8 stepchildren grew up to enter the upper clergy, or the aristocracy, or marry royalty.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <As is well known [...], he married Frances Carpenter Nethersole on 23 February 1849 at St Nicholas, Brighton.>

The first notice I can find of the happy event is the <ILN> itself, but not until as late as April 7th, and, by coincidence, it appears on the same p.231, as Staunton's column, albeit that week, it is restricted to a problem and problem solution, and cries off with <Our answers to Correspondents, and several Games, are unavoidably deferred.>

It mentions <Frances C> being the widow of <W. Nethersole> of Margate, but it's unclear if that refers to where Nethersole hailed from or, if different, where Frances had recently been living.

A second notice appears in the <Morning Post> of April 13th, p.8.

In wondering why the wedding took place in Brighton, is it too cynical to notice that a <long-expected> match between Harrwitz and Horwitz began in the town that same week, as duly reported by Staunton in his column of February 24th? Harrwitz vs Horwitz, 1849

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: < Dionysius1: <(surely he must have called them his little pawns.)> <Sally Simpson>I hope some of his 8 stepchildren grew up to enter the upper clergy, or the aristocracy, or marry royalty.>

Alas, the dear little wights were all sacrificed and gambitted before reaching marriageable age, despite their brief but lethal encounters with various bishops, knights, kings and queens.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: In the immortal words of Michael Caine as Inspector Frederick George Abberline in <Jack the Ripper> (1988): <Who are you?...YOU BASTARD!>

Mar-18-18  Retireborn: <MissS> That sketch that Jane Seymour has (0:56) looks worryingly like Anatoly Karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Crikey <Retireborn> - it looks very like Karpov, you're right.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <looks worryingly like Anatoly Karpov.>

Hmmm, now you mention it....but the dates are all wrong, of course, and yet...1988, Karpov had been in London as recently as 1986 for the world championship match.

I remember that <Jack the Ripper> so well because I taped it when originally broadcast, and there are so many wonderful moments of high camp and unintentional humour, that snippets of dialogue remain with me. Would love to see it again, but YouTube's only got the whole thing dubbed into German!

Anyway, I think we're getting off the beaten track...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: On Frances Carpenter Cates, from a well-sourced family tree:

1805: Birth 18 Feb 1805 London, England
1806: Birth of Sister Emma Marsh Cates 18 Dec 1806 London
1808: Birth of Sister Catherine Parkins Cates 17 Jul 1808 London
1808: Frances baptized 15 Dec 1808 St George, Hanover Square
1811: Birth of Brother Adolphus Henry Cates abt 1811 London
1813: Birth of Sister Helen Louisa Cates 26 Dec 1813 London
1825: Marriage 10 Aug St Pancras Parish Chapel to William Nethersole
1827: Birth of Son William Edward Nethersole abt 1827 London
1831: Birth of Son Francis Nethersole abt 1831 London
1832: Birth of Daughter Frances Ada Nethersole abt 1832 London
1836: Birth of Daughter Mary Magdelene Nethersole abt 1836 London
1837: Birth of Daughter Sophia Charlotte Nethersole abt 1837 London
1841: Birth of Son Stephen Nethersole abt 1841 London
1841: Residence 1841 St Clement Danes, Middlesex
1842: Death of Husband William Nethersole Apr 1842 London
1843: Death of Son Stephen Nethersole Jul 1843 London
1849: Marriage 23 Jul 1849 Brighton to <Howard Staunton> (1810–1874)
1851: Residence Kensington, Middlesex
1856: Death of Daughter Frances Ada Nethersole Kensington London
1861: Residence 1861 Isleworth, Middlesex
1863: Death of Mother Elizabeth Goodson 3 May 1863 Kensington
1863: Death of Daughter Mary Magdelene Nethersole in Victoria, Australia
1871: Death of Sister Emma Marsh Cates Jan 1871 Kensington, London
1871: Residence 1871 Shorne, Kent, England
1873: Death of Daughter Sophia Nethersole 27 Nov 1873 Croydon, Surrey
1874: Death of Husband <Howard Staunton> 22 Jun 1874 Kensington, London
1876: Death of Son Francis Nethersole (1831–1876) 29 Jan 1876 London
1877: Death of Son William Nethersole (1827–1877) 30 Sep 1877 Cardiff, Wales
1879: Death of Brother Adolphus Henry Cates (1811–1879) Jul 1879 London
1881: Residence 1881 Paddington, London
1883: Death 7 May 1883 Kensington, London

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I note there's only six of the reported eight children of Frances listed here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: C.N. 10785:

<Actually Staunton was enabled to devote himself to serious chess through Lord Carlisle’s generosity. He was the son of a housemaid at Castle Howard. His mother continued to live for many years in the neighbouring village of Coneysthorpe.”’>

This wasn't what I had in mind when I half-joked: Biographer Bistro (kibitz #16723)

<The Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury>, 23rd September 1825, p.2:

<Connected with the Earl of Carlisle's death, a melancholy circumstance occurred in York last week. A Miss Monk, an elderly maiden, who kept a poulterer's shop in Peter's-lane, was in the habit of supplying his Lordship's larder, and those of many other great personages, when in York, with poultry. She had, for the present occasion, laid in and bespoken a large stock of fowls, ducks, geese, pigeons, &c., when she suddenly heard of her patron's demise, and immediately conceived that herself and the festival were irretrievably ruined. Not that even if the latter were injured by Lord Carlisle's demise she should have been plunged in the abyss of poverty — for she was passing rich — but she calculated with a gloomy imagination that she might probably not make some twenty pounds profit which she had anticipated, and rather than endure the horrors of such a calamity, death had charms. She accordingly took a strong dose of poison, and died. -— Verdict of the coroner's inquest, temporary insanity.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Did she died?
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Courtesy of Charles Tomlinson, we have this extensive sample of Howard Staunton's handwriting, published in BCM:

BCM v11 (1891) p411


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Historical notes on some chess players> by John Townsend (Wokingham, 2014), p.128-129:

<William Humphrey Stanton is the candidate who was tentatively proposed in the Appendix of <Notes on the life of Howard Staunton>. Since publication in 2011, no evidence or other kind of feedback has been received to the effect that the identification with Staunton is unlikely or wrong. On a positive note, some further biographical details have been added regarding several of the close family members, but not about William Humphrey Stanton himself. These will not be discussed here. Suffice it to say that the consequence of that newer information is, generally speaking, neutral, though in one area, concerning a theatre performer, it appears to favour his candidature slightly.

There was a little criticism that two names had been associated with the great chess player, i.e. Charles Sta(u)nton and William Humphrey Stanton, which was seen as contradictory. However, the claim that Staunton used the name Charles Sta(u)nton was limited to the period, 1836-1839. The name William Humphrey Stanton at baptism and on marriage, or at other times, would not necessarily be inconsistent with that. Clearly, a single individual could have used both names at different times. In any research into Staunton's past, it needs to be taken on board that he may have used other names, perhaps even several.


Any reader whose head is swimming with the various permutations of these Sta(u)ntons may find the following outline conclusions helpful:

1. Charles Staunton or Charles Stanton, who was recorded as the occupier of part of 26 Charles Street, St. James's in rate books one three separate occasions, is the same person as Howard Staunton, who was identified as the occupier in other sources.

2. Of all the persons who used the name Charles Staunton or Charles Stanton, the man referred to above as "William Charles Sta(u)nton" is the closest match to Howard Staunton that has been found during the research, and it is suspected that he was Howard Staunton.

3. This does not conflict with the possibility that William Humphrey Stanton was Howard Staunton. He remains a candidate and may have been the same person as "William Charles Sta(u)nton", or been known by the name Charles Staunton/Stanton for a limited period.

The reader may find the "Summary of references" page which follows helpful.> (tbc)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I haven't been able to render these tables very artfully (the software here leaves much to be desired). Three gaps, where no <Place> has been specified, are denoted by (...).

Summary of references to William Charles Sta(u)nton:

Year - Name - Place - Type of document

1830 W.C. Stanton Motcombe St. Land tax

1831 W.C. Stanton Motcombe St. Land tax

1831 William Henry Stanton Motcombe St. Baptism register

1834 Charles Staunton Coleshill Street Baptism register

1834 William Charles Stanton Selwood Place Rate book

1835 William Charles Stanton Selwood Place Rate book

1835 "Slounton" Selwood Place House insurance

1848 Charles Staunton (...) Marriage register

1848 "T. Staunton, Esq." (...) Newspaper

Summary of early references to Howard Staunton:

Year - Name - Place - Type of document

1836 H. Staunton, Esq. (...) List of subscribers

1837 Mr. Staunton Westminster area Bell's Life

1838 Mr. Staunton Westminster area Bell's Life

1838 Charles Staunton 26 Charles Street Rate book

1839 Mr. Staunton 26 Charles Street Bell's Life

1839 Charles Stanton 26 Charles Street Rate book

1839 Charles Staunton 26 Charles Street Rate book

1839 Mr. Staunton Westminster area Bell's Life

1839 Howard Staunton Esq. 26 Charles Street Bell's Life

1840 Howard Staunton Esq. 26 Charles Street Court guide

Summary of references to William Humphrey Stanton:

Year - Name - Place - Type of document

1812 William Humphrey Stanton Drury Lane Baptism register

1840 William Humphrey Stanton Paddington Marriage register>

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