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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 C40
 Giuoco Piano (20) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Evans Gambit (12) 
    C51 C52
 Bishop's Opening (11) 
    C23 C24
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C37 C38
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C77 C60 C65
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 (10) 
    D30 D37 D35
 French Defense (9) 
    C00 C02 C01
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Staunton vs NN, 1855 1-0
   Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1851 1-0
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 0-1
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 1-0
   Staunton vs Anderssen, 1851 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
   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
   early games II by wwall

   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 318  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. NN vs Staunton 0-1291840LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
2. W M Popert vs Staunton 0-1331840LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
3. Staunton vs NN 1-0211840?C52 Evans Gambit
4. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1271840MatchC00 French Defense
5. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0381840LondonB33 Sicilian
6. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1381840LondonC02 French, Advance
7. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0191840LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
8. W M Popert vs Staunton ½-½561840MatchC45 Scotch Game
9. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0391840LondonC23 Bishop's Opening
10. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0251841London (England)C51 Evans Gambit
11. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0391841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
12. Zytogorski vs Staunton 0-1191841London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
13. Staunton vs Bristol 1-0391841ENG corrA03 Bird's Opening
14. Staunton vs NN 1-0381841London simC44 King's Pawn Game
15. NN vs Staunton 1-0271841London 5C33 King's Gambit Accepted
16. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0201841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
17. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0251841LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
18. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0311841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
19. Staunton vs NN 1-0341841London simC44 King's Pawn Game
20. NN vs Staunton 0-1331841London 5C30 King's Gambit Declined
21. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1201841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
22. Staunton vs Cochrane 0-1291841London m1C46 Three Knights
23. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0321841LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
24. Staunton vs NN 1-0291841London simC44 King's Pawn Game
25. NN vs Staunton 0-1171841LondonC33 King's Gambit Accepted
 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 15 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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".>

Premium Chessgames Member
  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)

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <The only blotch on this splendid was his continual evasion of a match with ... Morphy>

Ahem... and what about Lowenthal's sweep of Staunton in Birmingham 1858?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < zanzibar: <The only blotch on this splendid was his continual evasion of a match with ... Morphy> Ahem... and what about Lowenthal's sweep of Staunton in Birmingham 1858?>

The preceding paragraph reads:

<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.>

So I don't think they're talking about Staunton's competitive record. If they were, his competitive failure at the London tournament in 1851 was a much bigger deal than Birmingham.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <keypusher> I object mostly to the absolute statement "only blotch".

But in reply:

I'm aware of the paragraph just before, but playing is part of his record too.

I won't contest you if you want to say London 1851 was the more major, and Birmingham, the more minor.

But a blotch is a blotch.

As for his other splendid and "unblemished" record, let me ask you if the Birmingham tournament book ever appeared?

And who was charged with its publication?

There are chess games forever lost to the world as a result.

(And we haven't even talked about the rest of Staunton's record with the BCA)

He embodied British chess at the time, but he wasn't unblemished, even ignoring his treatment of Morphy.

Feb-26-16  ketchuplover: he will soon be in the world chess hall of fame
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Here's a couple of links to fatten up <ketchuplover>'s post:

(Staunton being relegated to page 3 is a bit of an oversight - like overlooking Philidor, certainly, and others like Greco, Ruy Lopez, Lucenia, etc. etc. who should have been seeded in at the started) (thumbnail sketch of Staunton's contributions)

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: It might appear that I'm a critic of H. Staunton, which, in some measure is true. But I'm also a great admirer of his. British chess was once almost synonymous with him. But he was a complicated man, or, at least, a man who could contain a few contradictions within himself.

His accomplishments and good deeds are widely known. But I try to post with the idea of balance and accuracy. And to give insight into the views of the past.

In that regard, here are some comments from <WP v10 (Apr 1879) p249/270> in a section entitled <LOOKING BACK>, where the editor provides a retrospective on the eleventh anniversary of the publication - the opening begins as follows:

<Eleven years have passed since these Papers first saw the light. At that time the Chess Press was monopolised by Mr. Staunton, who had formerly been the best Chess-player of his day—a man of wit and learning. He could no longer take part in tourneys with the younger players who had risen to the front rank, and towards these younger players he was eminently unfair. It was thought that the baneful influence Mr. Staunton was then exercising over English Chess might be checked by an independent Chess journal, and hence our appearance in the world. I was asked to supply an occasional Whist article, and to answer questions of Whist law. After some hesitation I acceded to the request, and joined the ranks of the promoters in a subordinate character, but with perfect freedom as regards my own department.

At the end of the first year Messrs. Hewitt and Boden retired, and the copyright was assigned to me. Mr. Duffy, from that time, had complete control of the Chess department ; I took charge of the other games. For the Chess World Mr. Duffy is exclusively responsible. For the bulk of the Chess matter it is to him that we are indebted, and I think I may, without any disparagement to other writers, say that for wit, sarcasm, and versatility, he has no living rival. It was soon found that one man could not attend to the whole of the Chess. The games and problems take much time, and I therefore sought, and obtained, the assistance of the late R. B. Wormald, one of the most accomplished writers, and one who possessed the most accurate knowledge of Chess openings of any Englishman of his day. The glimpses of the openings in Vol. III. were by poor Tommy. Mr. Duffy noted many games, and Mr. Boden occasionally helped in this department. Later on, Mr. Wisker joined our ranks, and for a long time noted the whole of the Chess games, and it is hardly necessary to say that he did his work with marked ability, vigour, accuracy, and dispatch. Succeeding him was Dr. Zukertort, a man for whom, personally, I have a high regard and friendship, and whose industry and knowledge were placed at our disposal ; and it should be remembered that the enormous work entailed on all of us was voluntary and without fee or reward. I do not mean that Herr Zukertort never accepted an honorarium for his articles on the Chess openings, but the fee that he accepted was so small that no one could call it payment for work done. The work was done by lovers of games for love alone, and never for profit. Amongst the writers that assisted us were the Rev. G. A. MacDonnell, and that dear old veteran Geo. Walker, whose stories made such a pleasant break from the ordinary dulness of Chess periodicals. Indeed we tried to make the Papers versatile, and any change from the beaten track of game and problem, and problem and game, was gladly welcomed. I thought that by keeping the price of the papers at 6d., we could get information on the subject of games into a poorer class of people. Whether we succeeded or not we cannot tell, but that there are many more Chess players and many more Chess Clubs formed amongst a poorer class of people now than formerly, is an undoubted fact, and that at many of the Work, ing Men's Clubs Whist is played purely as a recreation, we have from time to time recorded. Chess has advanced amongst the poorer classes, but in my judgement has diminished in the higher classes.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Today's Simon cannot measure up to yesterday's Howard -

<Spiridion — We have a horror of all first attempts in problem making; they air usually as bad as first attempts at violin playing.>

ILN v27 (Sept 27, 1851) p394/403

Jun-09-16  Chessinfinite: Staunton's photo looks like it was taken just at a time when he was told about playing a match with American Paul Morphy.

What happened next is known - he thought and thought about it .. and...absconded from the match?! or so the official records state.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Yes, I would place the picture as between 1855-1860, which makes 1858 about dead-center.

suggests <CG>'s uncredited picture is maybe from 1890 Chess Monthly.

That in turn, look about the Leamington picture era.

Jun-22-16  Sally Simpson: Rest in Peace Howard Staunton...You passed away on Paul Morphy's Birthday. (I know I'm a few hours late but I've only just come in.)

The odds against that happening were 365-1 (I've checked, 1874 was not a leap year.)

Interesting fact No.349.

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.)

Eight step children! I think we have found the reason why Staunton did not play Morphy. His wife would not let him.

"You are not going out to play chess and leave alone with 8 kids."

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: From The Times:

What is the origin of the cherry/plum stone rhyme of "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief" and what is the significance of those particular "professions"?

The origin of the rhyme in question is ancient and has equivalents in other European languages, including Swiss, German, Italian and Dutch.

In English the "professions" represent pairs of occupations. A tinker, usually a Gypsy, was a mender of pots and kettles, (ie a botcher), whereas a tailor is a respectable cutter of clothes. A soldier and sailor are land and sea types. Rich and poor men are obvious. Beggar men and thieves are also what the words imply.

The fortune-countdown dates from about 1475 -- with Caxton's The Game and Playe of the Chesse, whereby each pawn is shown to have an individuality of its own. The pawns were the labourer, smith, clerk, merchant, physician, taverner, guard and ribald. The ribald, thief; the ploughboy, labourer; the apothecary, physician; the soldier, guard; the tailor, merchant; the tinker, smith; are effectively there. Only two ingredients are really missing.

But the first four professions are, however, found linked together in Congreve's Love for Love (1695): "A soldier and a sailor, a tinker and a tailor/ Had once a doubtful strife, sir" (The strife was for a maiden's favour).

Finally, one may quote a version in German, for comparison: "Kaiser, König, Edelmann, Bürger, Bauer, Bettelmann."

Jun-23-16  Cibator: One latter-day version (courtesy of Steeleye Span) goes thus:

Oh come lands, or come towns,
Oh come tinker or come tailor;
Come fiddler, come dancer,
Come ploughman or come sailor;
Come rich man, come poor man,
Come fool or come witty -
Come on any man at all,
Won't you marry out of pity??

(From "The Old Maid In The Garret")

Guess the soldier, the beggar-man and the thief couldn't be made to rhyme or scan.

And even so, you’d have to be playing some version of “Great Chess” (with a board 10 files wide) to accommodate that lot among your pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I thought this was funny. It is from the wikipedia entry on that idiotic satanic charlatan Anton LaVey:

<LaVey was born as Howard Stanton Levey>.

Undoubtedly a reincarnation.

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!
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