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Elijah Williams
Number of games in database: 101
Years covered: 1842 to 1853

Overall record: +35 -44 =22 (45.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (9) 
    B21 B44 B30
 Bird's Opening (9) 
    A03 A02
 Giuoco Piano (5) 
 Philidor's Defense (4) 
 Uncommon Opening (4) 
    A00 B00
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (4) 
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (17) 
    C00 C01 C02
 French (8) 
 English (6) 
 King's Gambit Declined (6) 
    C30 C31
 Bird's Opening (4) 
    A02 A03
 King's Gambit Accepted (4) 
    C38 C33 C39 C36
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   E Williams vs Harrwitz, 1846 1/2-1/2
   E Williams vs A Henderson, 1845 1-0
   E Williams vs Staunton, 1851 1-0
   W Wayte vs E Williams, 1853 0-1
   J Withers vs E Williams, 1845 0-1
   J S Mucklow vs E Williams, 1851 0-1
   Loewenthal vs E Williams, 1851 0-1
   Staunton vs E Williams, 1851 0-1
   E Williams vs Wyvill, 1851 1-0
   E Williams vs Staunton, 1851 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53 (1852)
   London (1851)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   London 1851 by MissScarlett

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(born Nov-07-1809, died Sep-08-1854, 44 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

Elijah Williams born 1809, November 7th (other sources give October 7th as his birthday), competed in the London (1851) tournament. He defeated both Johann Jacob Loewenthal (+2, =0, -1) and Howard Staunton (+4, =1, -3) and lost to Marmaduke Wyvill (+3, =0, -4) to gain 3rd prize overall. He died of cholera at Charing Cross Hospital, London in 1854.

Williams is the author of two chess books, both compilations of games with his comments. The first one is Souvenir of the Bristol Chess Club, London 1845, containing 100 games from that society. The second one is Horae Divanianae, London 1852, a selection of 150 games mostly played at the Grand Divan.

Wikipedia article: Elijah Williams (chess player)

Last updated: 2018-04-26 04:19:03

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 101  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Robertson vs E Williams 0-1251842EnglandC21 Center Game
2. Zytogorski vs E Williams 0-1311844The Bristol Chess ClubB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
3. Mongredien vs E Williams 1-0251844LondonD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
4. J Withers vs E Williams 0-1331845BristolB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
5. E Williams vs A Henderson 1-0151845BristolA02 Bird's Opening
6. E Williams vs Harrwitz ½-½521846Harrwitz - WilliamsD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
7. Harrwitz vs E Williams 1-0431846Harrwitz - WilliamsC38 King's Gambit Accepted
8. E Williams vs Harrwitz 0-1301846Harrwitz - WilliamsD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
9. E Williams vs H Kennedy 1-0351846London mD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
10. E Williams vs Harrwitz ½-½841846Harrwitz - WilliamsD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
11. E Williams vs H Kennedy 0-1311846London mD40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
12. E Williams vs Harrwitz 0-1471846Harrwitz - WilliamsC50 Giuoco Piano
13. E Williams vs H Kennedy 0-1161848LondonB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
14. E Williams vs Staunton ½-½381848ENG corrD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
15. E Williams vs H Buckle 0-1531849Ries' Divan TournamentA02 Bird's Opening
16. H Buckle vs E Williams 1-0581849Ries' Divan TournamentA84 Dutch
17. E Williams vs E Flower 1-0341849Ries' Divan TournamentA03 Bird's Opening
18. E Flower vs E Williams 0-1601849Ries' Divan TournamentC02 French, Advance
19. Staunton vs E Williams 1-0321851London m6A02 Bird's Opening
20. E Williams vs Loewenthal 0-1391851London m5A02 Bird's Opening
21. E Williams vs Staunton 1-0791851London m6A85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
22. Loewenthal vs E Williams 1-0601851London m5C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
23. Staunton vs E Williams 0-1781851London m6A13 English
24. E Williams vs Staunton  ½-½571851London m6C41 Philidor Defense
25. Loewenthal vs E Williams  0-1421851London m5C01 French, Exchange
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 101  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Williams wins | Williams loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <TheFocus> Hooper & Whyld state that he gave up his career as an apothecary to try to earn a living at chess, but it is probable (to me) that he still did both.

There is some support for your theory if you read between the lines in the entry <When cholera broke out in London, he posted a notice on his door offering preventive medicine free. Supplies had run out, when feeling unwell, he left home for the last time, seized with violent pain in the Strand, he entered Charing Cross Hospital where he died of the disease two days later, leaving his wife and children destitute.>

He may have come into contact with cholera patients at his house, if he did not get water from the Broad Street pump himself.

<thomastonk> the location of the London Chess Club in 1854 would seem easy to establish, but no one I've read seems to mention it for certain. Perhaps someone from England knows.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Apparently the Broad Street pump has been moved (not very far). I hadn't realized that the John Snow the pub is named after is the one who had the pump shut down during the epidemic.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Calli: Players in those days often used the Black pieces set up as white (the black Q on d1). Some books recorded this and others ignored it as really doesn't matter.>

I have Staunton's 1851 tournament book, in which he lists the colors used in every game. Staunton had the black pieces in his ill-fated match with Anderssen. It's funny how different a game "feels" when you switch the colors. Of course Calli's right that it doesn't really matter.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I read somewhere that black was considered the lucky colour, hence the decision to alternate colours.

We still say, "black passed pawns are faster", don't we? A mystical remnant?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Calli: Players in those days often used the Black pieces set up as white (the black Q on d1). Some books recorded this and others ignored it as really doesn't matter.>

Looking in Staunton's tournament book, the diagrams for games in which Black moved first are still done "normally," that is, the black Q started on d8. Not sure if that was just the way the publisher set up the diagrams or really the way they did it.

Oct-11-13  thomastonk: I've added a paragraph on the two chess book's Williams authored to his biography. The second book indicates his close relation to the Divan.

About the location of some clubs.
From Hugh Alexander Kennedy 's "Waifs and Strays": the London Chess Club resided somewhere in Cornhill, the St.George's Chess Club in St.James' Street.

From "Schachzeitung" 1854, p 255: the St.George's Club moved in the middle of 1854 to 53 St.James' Street; before - here the text is not so precise - the club seemingly resided at a polytechnical institut, where also the tournament 1851 was played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Elijah Williams!!

Mr. Hypermodern OG himself!

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Illustrated London News, September 30th 1854, p.299:

<The late Mr. Elijah Williams, the celebrated Chessplayer. (From a Correspondent.) This lamented gentleman was professionally a surgeon, but for many years had discontinued practice. When the cholera, to which he fell a victim, broke out, he benevolently posted a notice on the door of his house, inviting the poor to apply to him for preventive medicines, if attacked by premonitory symptoms, offering it to them gratuitously. On leaving his home for the last time, he asked his wife to give him some of the medicine, as he felt unwell. Unfortunately, the last bottle was exhausted. He walked to town, and was seized with violent pains near Northumberland House, in the Strand, and on the advice of a friend, went to the Charing-cross Hospital for relief. This occurred on the 6th of this month; on the 8th he expired in that establishment. Some of the medical men hoped that the crisis had passed; but Mr. Williams pointed to the blue marks on his nails. He was convinced, from this discoloration, that he would not survive. He has left a widow and four young children, utterly unprovided for; but his friends are raising a subscription for her support. It is hoped that this melancholy case, really worthy of Christian charity, will excite the sympathy of chess-players in particular. We urge the claims of the widow, the more earnestly, because we are personally acquainted with her truly deplorable position. Her youngest child is only eight months old. She is an amiable lady, deserving of aid in her sad bereavement.>

This correspondent, presumably Staunton, is evidently the source for Hooper & Whyld.

George Walker in <Bell's Life>, and Lowenthal in the <Era>, hold to the alternative scenario - that Williams was taken ill whilst playing in the Divan, and died the same evening.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: From October 1853 (I think) to his end, Williams contributed a chess column to the monthly <Illustrated London Magazine>. Publicity material described him as <the great Chess Player>.
Mar-03-18  zanzibar: <<Ms> From October 1853 (I think) to his end, Williams contributed a chess column to the monthly <Illustrated London Magazine>.>

What's your source for this?

In my columnist notes I have Staunton doing ILN from 1844-1874 as given in a footnote by Sergaent (see 3rd link on blog page under ILN).

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The <ILN> was a weekly; the <ILM>, a monthly, as stated. Two separate publications. The <ILM> only began in 1853; it changed its name some time in 1855.

Here's one of its volumes (post-Williams):

Mar-03-18  zanzibar: Ah, thanks, my mistake then.

I'll add Williams to my list - but I think I still need a ref for the editorship mentioned don't I?

Mar-03-18  zanzibar: RE: <Editorship of ILM>

Winter has this:

<An author and dramatist, Knowles edited the Illustrated London Magazine from 1853 to 1855. For a short time, Elijah Williams edited a chess column for the magazine, and on page 141 of volume one (1853) ...>

C.N. 9099

So Knowles apparently replaced Williams before the latter died.

Mar-03-18  zanzibar: Or maybe not, this can be a somewhat confusing business.

In 1853 Williams was certainly involved, at the start of the column at the very least:

(Cf. the bottom right corner text)

Not sure what primary ref supports the Knowles assertion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <C.N. 9099>

Or even C.N. 9909

Knowles was the general magazine editor. It's not clear who he got to replace Williams, but I doubt he did it himself.

This should make things a lot clearer:

I was mistaken about Williams beginning his column as late as the October 1853 edition.

Mar-04-18  zanzibar: <<Ms>... From October 1853 (I think) ...>

OK, we now know Aug 1853.

<to his end,>

Pretty sure this is also wrong. Likely he only did 3 columns, as documented in the issue.

< Williams contributed a chess column to the monthly <Illustrated London Magazine>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Four columns. The reason for thinking Williams remained as resident columnist until his demise is that his name continued to appear in publicity material for the magazine.
Mar-04-18  zanzibar: < Four columns.> Source please.
Mar-04-18  zanzibar: The reason for not thinking Williams continued as resident columnist: (only 3 entries)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Can't access that on the device I'm currently using. I refer to a fourth column, in March 1854, as mentioned by Clapham.
Mar-04-18  zanzibar: <Clapham>? What dat? (Not common enough to come readily to mind.)

The link I gave is the index of ILM, explicitly mentioning "Elijah Williams" only for three (and only three) Chess entries.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Michael Clapham>, of chessbookchats, linked to above. The index you mention is presumably for volume 1; March 1854 being in volume 2, I suppose.
Mar-05-18  zanzibar: <Ms> I only count 3 confirmed articles.

The rest is hearsay from "uncalibrated" sources.

Let me know when you can access the original, definitive, source.

Mar-07-18  zanzibar: An in-depth look at Williams' tenure at ILM (Illstrated London Magazine):

The complete history of the chess column is outlined.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: John Townsend has lots of family background on <The Sloth>: C.N. 11424
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