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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
      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 (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 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
   Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   NN vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Staunton vs Anderssen, 1851 1-0
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 1-0
   Staunton vs Cochrane, 1842 1-0
   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
   against 1. e4 c5 by CAPRICORN
   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 318  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Staunton vs Popert 1-019 1840 LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
2. Staunton vs Popert 0-127 1840 London mC00 French Defense
3. NN vs Staunton 0-129 1840 LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
4. Staunton vs Popert 1-039 1840 LondonC23 Bishop's Opening
5. Popert vs Staunton ½-½56 1840 London mC45 Scotch Game
6. Popert vs Staunton 0-133 1840 LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
7. Popert vs Staunton 1-038 1840 LondonB33 Sicilian
8. Staunton vs NN 1-021 1840 ?C52 Evans Gambit
9. Staunton vs Popert 0-138 1840 LondonC02 French, Advance
10. Staunton vs Cochrane 0-129 1841 London m1C46 Three Knights
11. Staunton vs Popert ½-½59 1841 LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
12. Staunton vs NN 1-048 1841 London simC45 Scotch Game
13. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-124 1841 LondonC45 Scotch Game
14. NN vs Staunton 1-027 1841 London 5C33 King's Gambit Accepted
15. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-120 1841 London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
16. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-034 1841 London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
17. Zytogorski vs Staunton 1-026 1841 London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
18. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-157 1841 London m1C50 Giuoco Piano
19. Staunton vs Popert 1-025 1841 LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
20. Staunton vs NN 1-022 1841 London simC23 Bishop's Opening
21. NN vs Staunton 0-133 1841 London 5C30 King's Gambit Declined
22. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-126 1841 London m1C02 French, Advance
23. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-043 1841 London m1C40 King's Knight Opening
24. Zytogorski vs Staunton ½-½57 1841 London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
25. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-136 1841 London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
 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
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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.
Apr-20-13  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Feb-25-16  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.

Feb-25-16  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
Feb-26-16  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)

Mar-24-16  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.>

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