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Howard Staunton
Number of games in database: 321
Years covered: 1840 to 1866
Overall record: +181 -79 =40 (67.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      21 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (24) 
    C44 C40
 Giuoco Piano (20) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Evans Gambit (14) 
    C51 C52
 Bishop's Opening (11) 
    C23 C24
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C37 C38
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C77 C65 C60
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (41) 
    B20 B21 B40 B32 B44
 King's Pawn Game (26) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (23) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Bishop's Opening (13) 
    C23 C24
 Queen's Gambit Declined (11) 
    D30 D35 D37
 King's Gambit Accepted (9) 
    C39 C33 C37
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Staunton vs NN, 1855 1-0
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1851 1-0
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 0-1
   Staunton vs Anderssen, 1851 1-0
   NN vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 1-0
   Staunton vs Saint Amant, 1843 1/2-1/2
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 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
   WCC Index [Staunton-Saint Amant 1843] by suenteus po 147
   against 1. e4 c5 by CAPRICORN
   WCC Index [Staunton-Horwitz 1846] by suenteus po 147
   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

   H Kennedy vs H Buckle, 1846

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Howard Staunton
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(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 100-year 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

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 321  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Staunton vs Popert 1-039 1840 LondonC23 Bishop's Opening
2. Popert vs Staunton 0-133 1840 LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
3. Popert vs Staunton ½-½56 1840 London mC45 Scotch Game
4. Popert vs Staunton 1-038 1840 LondonB33 Sicilian
5. Staunton vs NN 1-021 1840 ?C52 Evans Gambit
6. Staunton vs Popert 0-138 1840 LondonC02 French, Advance
7. NN vs Staunton 0-129 1840 LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
8. Staunton vs Popert 1-019 1840 LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
9. Staunton vs Popert 0-127 1840 London mC00 French Defense
10. Staunton vs NN 1-024 1841 London 5C37 King's Gambit Accepted
11. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-126 1841 London m1C02 French, Advance
12. Zytogorski vs Staunton ½-½57 1841 London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
13. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-043 1841 London m1C40 King's Knight Opening
14. Staunton vs Popert 1-032 1841 LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
15. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-136 1841 London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
16. Staunton vs NN 1-038 1841 London simC44 King's Pawn Game
17. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-030 1841 London (England)C51 Evans Gambit
18. NN vs Staunton 1-027 1841 London 5C33 King's Gambit Accepted
19. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-121 1841 London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
20. Zytogorski vs Staunton 0-119 1841 London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
21. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-039 1841 London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
22. Popert vs Staunton 1-023 1841 LondonC02 French, Advance
23. Cochrane vs Staunton ½-½35 1841 London m1C53 Giuoco Piano
24. Staunton vs NN 1-034 1841 London simC44 King's Pawn Game
25. Zytogorski vs Staunton 0-112 1841 London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 321  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Staunton wins | Staunton loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  northernfox: <IndigoViolet> Thanks for this information. I was previously unaware of Staunton's scholarly work on Shakespeare.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <Howard Staunton> - the only Englishman who has become (unofficial) World Champion of Chess between 1843 and 1851 - has got a colleague nowadays ... and that is Francis Bowers who is actually the 7 times (!!) World Champion of <Circular> Chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Staunton was the best player in the 1840s. By the time Morphy came to Europe (about 1860), Staunton was over 50, and still strong but about 10-15 years past his peak. Anderssen was the best in Europe at that time and since Morphy beat him fairly easily there is no doubt who was the world's best at that time.

A great match would be Morphy vs Steinitz in the 1860s but unfortunately for chess Morphy was no longer competing.

Feb-13-13  mrbasso: Staunton was just a Patzer. Anderssen a
a strong chess player with bad openings. Due to his bad opening treatment he had no chance against Morphy. Of course Morphy would have crushed Staunton.
Feb-13-13  Poulsen: Actually Staunton was a very strong player at his best - maybe the strongest in world (but not uncontested).

Morphy would have had a hard time beating him, when he was at his best (roughly 15 years before Morphy came to Europe).

Morphy was arguable the best in world at his time, but none the less he is the most overrated player of all time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <mrbasso: Staunton was just a Patzer....>

Not a mere patzer, but a Patzer-guess that represents a step up, or some such rot.

Your disrespect for greats both past and present is beyond the pale. Give lessons, do you?

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: interestingly at the official opening of the world championship candidates tournament in london on thursday march 14 , the president of fide in a carefully scripted speech referred to staunton as "a world champion." as john saunders has pointed out, when the fide president speaks ex-cathedra he is the infallible Pope of chess. Many years ago I compared ( in an article for the Spectator I recall) the fide president to a mediaeval Pope and the world champion to the Holy Roman emperor. A good parallel wd be Pope Gregory VII and the Holy Roman emperor Henry IV.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: during the 1840's staunton crushed st amant, horwitz and harrwitz in matches which foreshadowed in length and format the world title contests of the 1950's - 2000 or so.staunton was evidently the dominating force in the chess world at that time and until 1851 by which time anderssen had clearly overtaken him. still, staunton cd certainly be considered the champion from 1843 to 1851, which puts him on a par with capablanca, petrosian and kramnik in terms of tenure at the top!
Apr-14-13  IndigoViolet: <How the [Staunton] Chess Set Got Its Look and Feel>

Apr-17-13  Dragi: With all respect to great master Staunton , he knew verywell why he avoided Morphy ...Just like Anderssen at his prime , he would be overrun by divine Paulie like some of the patzers from the local pub ...
Apr-20-13  Conrad93: Staunton, like Fischer, was a great chess player, but a terrible man.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: when it came to Morphy, he sure knew how to duck.
Apr-20-13  Conrad93: He was busy at the time. Staunton considered everyone else inferior. That would include Morphy, so he probably assumed that it would be a waste of time to crush a weakling.
Apr-21-13  Conrad93: Also, Staunton was busy with a Shakespearean project at the time. He could not be bothered with a match.
Apr-21-13  Shams: <talisman> Howard the duck?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: G.H. Diggle, in his fine account of Staunton's 1843 match with St. Amant, attributes Staunton's spotty later results to a near-fatal bout of pneumonia in October 1844, which left him with a heart condition that seems to have worsened over the years. By 1853 he was begging off even casual games with his friend Von der Lasa, because of worry about heart problems. Diggle also believes his irascible behavior in his later years was in part due to health issues.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: His frequent opponent John Cochrane has 766 games in the database to Staunton's 326.
Dec-07-13  scheidt: The English Opening could be called the Staunton Opening as easily as the Petrov, Pirc and the Reti is called after those masters.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: ♔ Quote of the Day ♔

< "The habit of holding a Man in the hand, and moving it first to one square and then to another, in order to engage the assistance of the eye in deciding where it shall actually be placed, is not only annoying to the adversary but a practical infraction of the touch-and-move principle." >


They talked pretty differently back then.

Jan-02-14  thomastonk: <The study of openings is serviceable in forming a good player, but practice is indispensable - in other words, rules are of less value than experiments.> -- Howard Staunton, 1862.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: ♔ Quote of the Day ♔

< "To play with correctness and skill the ends of games, is an important but a rare accomplishment, except among the magnates of the game." >


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Jon Crumiller, a major chess collector (and Kasparov's partner in N Short / R Vujatovic vs Kasparov / Crumiller, 2010), posted these three comments on Facebook:

<<<For any Staunton fans, here's something you might enjoy. In my research-obsessive way, I acquired all 1442 weekly editions of the Illustrated London News, 1845-1874, with Staunton's columns. Then I photographed/extracted them, keyworded them, and posted everything online for free access. All you need do is download an Excel spreadsheet that has URLs to every column. There is also a keyword column for filtering, so that you can quickly home in on any relevant topic. The spreadsheet is downloadable from here:>

One very interesting tidbit from Staunton's ILN columns. It's generally assumed that Staunton's first mention of Morphy is in his 1857-Oct-24 column, which mentions Morphy by name, but if you use the keyword column to filter for Morphy, you'll find a *much earlier* column from 1856-Nov-01 that clearly refers to Morphy, in his response to correspondent EBC. Give it a try, for filtering practice.>

I neglected to mention that he also replies to Charles Maurian in New Orleans, regarding Morphy, in that same early column. To filter, just go to the Keyword column (column B) and click on the little down-arrow, then "Text Filters...", "Contains", and then one or more keywords such as "Morphy".>

Jul-06-15  zanzibar: <And now what was Staunton as man? An old maxim has it that we must speak nothing but good of the dead. That may be all very well for epitaph writers, whose trade it is to engrave lies on marble, but, for ourselves, we repudiate any such doctrine, considering it to be ethically unsound. Persons who wish to leave character behind them free from reproach should earn it, and failing to do so, are justly open to the censure of the living. Praise given to all is rendered to none, and is, therefore, robbery of those entitled to it. We have, therefore, very little hesitation in saying that, in our opinion, the deceased often acted, not only with signal lack of generosity, but also with gross unfairness towards those whom he disliked, or from whom he had suffered defeat, or whom he imagined likely to stand between him and the sun. His attacks upon Anderssen, Williams, Harrwitz, Lowenthal and Steinitz must ever be considered as sad misuse of his vigorous intellect, especially as they were often conducted in manner not at all consistent with truthful spirit nor were his innuendos concerning Morphy otherwise than an utterly unworthy means of petting out of an engagement, which he could have either declined with good grace at first, or afterwards have honourably asked to be released from. Nevertheless, all said and done, Staunton was, as we have often heard distinguished enemy of his say, emphatically MAN. There was nothing weak about him, and he had back bone that never curved with fear of any one. Of him may be averred, what was said of the renowned Duke of Bedford by Louis the Eleventh, when the courtiers of the latter were venting their depreciatory scoffs over the tomb of the great Englishman, There lies one, before whom, if he were still alive, the boldest amongst us would tremble.">

London City Chess Magazine Vol 1 1875 (Aug 1874 p167-168)

Jul-08-15  zanzibar: A little more about Staunton, and his successor as editor of <Chess Player's Chronicle>, Brien:

Robert Barnett Brien (kibitz #2)

Sep-21-15  The Kings Domain: Shame his personality left a lot to be desired; he was one of the finest Chess masters and one of its great innovators.
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