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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 C65 C60
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C37 C38
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (41) 
    B20 B21 B40 B32 B44
 King's Pawn Game (26) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (23) 
    C53 C54 C50
 Bishop's Opening (10) 
    C23 C24
 French Defense (9) 
    C00 C02 C01
 King's Gambit Accepted (9) 
    C33 C39 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, 1841 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 0-1
   Staunton vs Anderssen, 1851 1-0
   Staunton vs Cochrane, 1842 1-0
   NN vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 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
   The t_t Players: Staunton, Steinitz & Zukertort by fredthebear
   1 by gr2cae
   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
   London 1851 by MissScarlett
   Chess Prehistory by Joe Stanley

   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. 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 1-0381840LondonB32 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 1-0391840LondonC20 King's Pawn Game
10. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0251841MatchC51 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 1-0381841SimulC44 King's Pawn Game
15. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0201841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
16. NN vs Staunton 1-0271841London 5C33 King's Gambit Accepted
17. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0311841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
18. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0251841LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
19. Staunton vs NN 1-0341841SimulC44 King's Pawn Game
20. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1201841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
21. NN vs Staunton 0-1331841London 5C30 King's Gambit Declined
22. Staunton vs Cochrane 0-1291841London m1C46 Three Knights
23. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0321841LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
24. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0291841Casual gameC44 King's Pawn Game
25. Staunton vs W M Popert ½-½591841LondonC44 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
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 15 OF 17 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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.>

Jun-09-16  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.

Jun-10-16  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Jun-12-17  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?


Jun-12-17  zanzibar: <Batgirl> also gives April.

Was this why you needed the Oxford ref?


Jun-13-17  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.
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