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|Mar-14-12|| ||GrahamClayton: <brankat>Books by George Walker:|
Chess & Chess Players: Original Stories and Sketches - 1850
Chess & Chess Players is free as a complete book on Google books. It is well worth reading to get some background on chess half in the first half of the 19th century.
|Mar-14-12|| ||thomastonk: I have read a lot of George Walker's books and I agree with <GrahamClayton> that one can get some background for his time thereof. On the other hand, for research purposes I would never solely trust his writings, because I have found so many inaccurrancies therein, mostly exaggregations.|
|Mar-14-12|| ||brankat: <GrahamClayton> <Chess & Chess Players is free as a complete book on Google books. It is well worth reading to get some background on chess half in the first half of the 19th century.>|
Thank You for the tip. I'll check Google books for Mr.Walker's work.
<..for research purposes I would never solely trust his writings, because I have found so many inaccurrancies therein>
This is usually the case with most of chess books, and not only chess books. That's why comparative study of other available sources is of critical importance. Every little bit of data can be of help.
|Mar-14-12|| ||thomastonk: <brankat: This is usually the case with most of chess books...>
Having read all what I could get at Google books from the 19th century in English, French and German, I know what you mean. But, in my view, Walker exceeds the "usual" degree very often. |
<That's why comparative study of other available sources is of critical importance.>
No doubt. So, let me try to express my view in another way: Walker's writings are often not the best starting point for a research.
|Mar-14-12|| ||brankat: <thomastonk> <Walker's writings are often not the best starting point for a research.> |
This I believe. The story "Vincenzio the Venetian" shows his talent for fiction :-)
|Mar-14-12|| ||Nosnibor: <brankat> If what you say about the universal acceptance in 1834 that the white pieces were then recognised has having the first move in a game why was it that at the first international chess tournament held in London in 1851 that this rule did not apply? Many of the games commence with Black stating first.|
|Mar-14-12|| ||thomastonk: <Nosnibor, brankat> The Oxford Companion to Chess has the following under the key "first move": "the single move that begins the game, made by White in modern chess. At one time players drew for colour and again for the move; ... . In the Bourdonnais - McDonnell matches in 1834 each player had the same colour throughout, and the right to make the first move changed only after a game had been won. In the London 1851 tournament players had the same colour throughout any one match, but had the first move on alternate games.|
Black was supposed to be a lucky colour and in 1835 Walker suggested that, by way of compensation, White should have the first move, a practise that had become general by c. 1870. In his column in Bell's Life Walker reversed the colours of games where necessary, so that White always moved first; this is now the custom when games from earlier times are published."
Walker's column in Bell's life run from 1835 until 1873 (same source, Walker's entry).
|Mar-14-12|| ||brankat: <nosnibor> <It wasn't until 1829 when this rule became universally accepted..> |
Apparently 1834/35. It could have been the case that England back then was not really a part of anything "universal", but a world by herself :-)
|Mar-15-12|| ||thomastonk: <brankat, nosnibor> It is interesting to observe that the rule "White moves first" is of greater use, if algebraic chess notation is used, like in Germany and Russia. But in Germany this rule was not generally accepted in 1858 as you can see from Schachzeitung, p. 153-156.|
In particular, von der Lasa suggested in 1858 that during a series of games between two players, the first move changes after every game, but every player plays the same colour in all games (Handbuch des Schachspiels aka Bilguer, 3rd edition 1858, p.11, §2; I don't have the 4th edition from 1864 or the 5th edition from 1874, and in the 6th edition from 1880, White moves first).
What do you think of the following challenge: find for every country a source of a game or a game as late as possible where Black moved first!
I start with a simple example for Germany: Schachzeitung 1857, p 366
gives a correspondence game between Aachen (my town) and Elberfeld (my sister's town), where Aachen has the Black pieces and moves first: 1. d5 e3 2. c5 f4 ...
|May-27-13|| ||Gottschalk: I suggest the approximate date 1830 to see the following games in JAVA.|
[White "John Cochrane"]
[Black "George Walker"]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Bc5 3. c3 Qe7 4. Nf3 d6 5. O-O Nf6 6. d3 h6 7. b4 Bb6 8. a4 a5
9. bxa5 Rxa5 10. Be3 Bxe3 11. fxe3 O-O 12. Qe1 c6 13. Nbd2 d5 14. exd5 cxd5 15.
Bb3 e4 16. dxe4 dxe4 17. Nd4 Rg5 18. Kh1 Rh5 19. Qg3 Nc6 20. Nxc6 bxc6 21. Rf4
Rd8 22. Raf1 Rxd2 23. Rxf6 Be6 24. Bxe6 Qxf6 25. Qe1 Qxf1+ 26. Qxf1 fxe6 27. h3
[White "Geoge Walker"]
[Black "John Cochrane"]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Bc5 3. c3 Qe7 4. Nf3 d6 5. d4 Bb6 6. O-O Nf6 7. Qd3 O-O 8. Bg5
h6 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 exd4 11. e5 Nh7 12. Qg6+ Kh8 13. Qxh6 Be6 14. exd6 cxd6
15. Bxd6 1-0
[White "George Walker"]
[Black "John Cochrane"]
1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 Bg7 5. O-O h6 6. d4 d6 7. c3 c6 8. g3 g4
9. Bxf4 gxf3 10. Qxf3 Qf6 11. Nd2 Be6 12. d5 Bd7 13. e5 dxe5 14. Ne4 Qg6 15.
dxc6 Bxc6 16. Bxe5 f5 17. Bxg7 Bxe4 18. Rae1 Ne7 19. Rxe4 Qxg7 20. Qxf5 Nbc6
21. Bf7+ Kd8 22. Rd1+ Kc7 23. Rd7+ Kb6 24. Qf2+ 1-0
[White "George Walker"]
[Black "John Cochrane"]
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Bc5 3. c3 Qe7 4. Nf3 d6 5. d4 Bb6 6. O-O h6 7. h3 Nf6 8. Qd3 c6
9. Bd2 d5 10. exd5 e4 11. d6 Qxd6 12. Qe2 O-O 13. Ne5 g5 14. f4 exf3 15. Qxf3
Kg7 16. Be3 c5 17. Kh1 cxd4 18. cxd4 Nbd7 19. Nc3 Nxe5 20. dxe5 Qxe5 21. Rae1
Bc7 22. Qxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rxf6 Kxf6 24. Nd5+ Kf5 25. Nxc7 Rb8 26. Bxa7 1-0
|May-28-13|| ||thomastonk: <Gottschalk: I suggest the approximate date 1830 to see the following games in JAVA.> No date is much better than a wrong one! Cochrane lived in India most of this live: 1824-1841 and 1843-1869. In my database of old games I have 19 games between these two men, all of them from the period 1841-43 in London. This doesn't prove anything, but maybe it will help you to find out the correct year at least (by means of contemporary sources would be best).|
All your games are won by Walker, which led me to the following.
From "The Chess Player's Magazine" from 1864, p 267: "If our memory serves us correctly, Bell's Life in London of that period informed us that Mr. Walker won a small majority of the games played by him against Mr. Cochrane. Here we have a direct contradiction in a matter of fact, which we shall not attempt to reconcile, but which surely can be set right."
The contradiction arises from the fact that before Cochrane had been described as "certainly the second English player of this epoch—superior, that is to say, for we must mention names, to Mr. Slous and Mr. Walker."
And in a corresponding footnote to the first quote we learn that the number of games both men played was considerable.
|Jun-16-13|| ||Gottschalk: <thomastonk>
Thank you for your explanation.
I agree that Cochrane was further noted than Walker;
However, the question seems to be more difficult,
The victories of Walker I submitted seem somewhat rudimentary,
must be prior to 1840.
Nevertheless, I submitted another Cochrane game to Kibitzer's Corner. So, we can only hope that someone will help us and fix the correct date.
|Oct-11-13|| ||whiteshark: Here's the new link for <SBC>'s huge/great article: http://www.chess.com/blog/batgirl/g...|
|Oct-13-13|| ||thomastonk: This is the old version of the biography: <"George Walker was an author and chess organiser who did a great deal to promote chess. He founded both the Westminster Chess Club in 1831 and the St.Georges (sic) Club in 1834 (sic) and as an author wrote about the game in his chess columns in 'The Lancet' and 'Bell's Life'.">|
This text was probably derived from "The Oxford Companion to Chess", where under the key "Walker" the following fragments can be found (2nd edition, 1996, p 444):
<"English chess writer and propagandist.">
<".. he had the temerity to edit a chess column in the Lancet (1823-24)..">
<"He founded chess clubs, notably the Westminster at Huttman's (sic) in 1831 and the St George's at Hanover Square in 1843. From 1835 to 1873 he edited a column in Bell's Life, ... ">
I will nobody blame to trust the OCC. "BOOK OF THE YEAR? BOOK OF THE DECADE!" is the title of E.Winter's detailed assessment of the first edition (capitals as in BCM 1985, p. 9-10 (for the slightly shortened version)), and it is worth reading after all these years.
My intention is to change and improve the biography in a next step, and to avoid any re-introduction of mistakes in the future. Hence I will here explain what's wrong with the old version, and btw everyone can see that even renowned authors cannot avoid mistakes, if they don't consult the sources.
John Henry Huttmann (born around 1805, died 1868) opened a coffee house around 1830 or 1831 in 30, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, where chess has being played only occasionally. It is said(!) that Walker suggested to Huttmann to establish a chess club in the first floor. Huttmann founded the (first) Westminster Chess Club in 1832 or 1833 (more likely). In 1833, the club moved to larger rooms at 20, Bedford Street. The club was a gentlemen's club, with a dining room, a cigar room, a billiard room, and a chess room, of course. Until July 1834, Huttmann had a business partner, Henry Moore, but the exact relation is unclear. George Walker held the position of the secretary of the club until October 1835 (the begin is unclear to me). At this time Huttmann reorganised on a smaller level, but the club was closed only a little while thereafter. In later years Huttmann founded a second and a third Westminster Chess Club in other rooms and with different secretaries.
The third Westminster Chess Club was dissolved in December 1839, and at the end of that month, Walker founded the St.George's Chess Club.
|Oct-13-13|| ||SBC: I'd recently written an article called, The Ups and Downs of John Henry Huttmann - http://www.chess.com/blog/batgirl/t... - that may (or may not) be of interest.|
You can also read HJR Murray's article on Walker here --> http://www.chess.com/blog/batgirl/g...
|Oct-13-13|| ||thomastonk: <SBC> Thank you very much for the links.|
The "Ups and Downs .. " is new to me, and I will study it in detail later.
At first sight, I am happy to see this small snippet from the "London Gazette", May 4, 1833, which supports my <1833 (more likely)> assumption. I have other sources of the 1830s that say 1833, but one of Huttmann's advertisements from September 1834 states that the club has been "established about two years ago", and hence I didn't discard 1832 so far.
But currently I focus on Walker's biography here ...
|Oct-13-13|| ||SBC: Murray gave 1831 as the year Walker got with Huttmann to form a chess circle in his establishment. I think Murray got that from Walker's own writings, but Walker could be a little fuzzy and inconsistent in his reminiscences.|
|Oct-13-13|| ||thomastonk: <SBC> I decided to finish my day with your "Ups and Downs ..", and then these sources from the 1870s gave me some ups and downs. This is by no means your fault, of course!|
The ups were the moments when I thought I found something new, and the downs were the moments, when I detected that the source is not credible or not as credible as I wanted it to be.
<SBC: Murray gave 1831 as the year Walker ... > Yesterday, cg-user jnpope published on his wonderful site chessarch.com Walker's columns in "Bell's life" of 1839. I knew some issues before, among them http://www.chessarch.com/excavation.... The quality of my copies is the same. At the end of "ITEM 1:" there is a paragraph on the WCC. In the fourth line I decode the following: "It begun in 1833 in an obscure room in Bedford street, launched forth in magnificance under the protection of Mr. Hutman (sic), who carried it ..." Do you agree?
This page is Walker's, and maybe a better way to exchange further information on Huttmann and the WCC is via email (-> my profile).
|Oct-13-13|| ||SBC: <thomastonk>, while I have nothing against email correspondence, Geo. Walker is most interesting for his historical place in chess rather than for his talent or theoretical innovations, and, as such, people reading this page likely have at least a passing interest in 19th century English chess and might find discussions, even peripheral ones, worthwhile to read and quite possibly have some valuable input - so, if amenable, I'd rather keep things public.|
My original interest in Huttmann was simply an outgrowth of my interest in the Westminster Club, which is itself an outgrowth of my interest in the early development of chess in England. One of my purposes in 'Ups and Downs' was to show the disparity in sources that presented the Westminster Club's origin. Walker, who probably knows better than anyone (though at times could be both vague and contradictory), as well as the Feb. 1835 ad, tell us the Westminster Club began in 1833. Murray, who was oh-so meticulous, gave 1831. Huttmann, probably opened his doors in 1830-31 and, I suspect that between 1831-33 chess was being played there and the club was a gradual thing rather than a sudden and definitive thing. My guess is that the chess players somehow coalesced around M'Donnell and more or less solidified around 1833, just in time, it seems, for the corr. challenge by the Cercle des Panoramas. I haven't been able to find any official-type documents or even references to such things (like guidelines, laws, dues, member lists) that might make it a "club." This makes me think it possibly wasn't so structured in the beginning and it's origin could be more conjecture or individual perspective rather than some definitive point in time.
|Oct-13-13|| ||tamar: <I'd like to see it too <thomastonk>, even though I agree with you that it is confusing.|
Few kibitzes have much value, but I think
this type has the most, so I always read about the early history people dig up.
|Oct-14-13|| ||thomastonk: <SBC: I'd rather keep things public.> No problem. But I've posted my reply in my forum, because this here is Walker's page, who does not appear therein.|
|Mar-13-16|| ||TheFocus: Happy birthday, George Walker.|
|Mar-25-16|| ||zanzibar: In a letter to Sam Loyd, quoted in <Sci Am Suppl 1878.07.13>:|
I must tell you that I am a great admirer of your problems, considering you and Mr. Cook the two best American composers.
I am dead set against the German style - beastly ugly - and no merit beyond their extreme difficulty; no satisfaction when solved.
I am about the "dozen" of chess writers in Europe, Lewis having published nothing for so many years. My chess books have long been out of print, and I have no time to republish. I still write article's in Bell's Life, as it amuses me, and I have done it from the first.
I am, dear Sir,
(I really hate <CG> auto-reformatting)
|Jun-09-16|| ||The Kings Domain: "Chess & Chess-Players" is a page-turner. Walker was one of the best writers of the game and major publishers should reprint his works as they deserve to be better known. If only authors of the game at present would write with the same passion and narrative flair like Walker did the literature of the game at present would be richer and more enduring.|
|Mar-13-17|| ||The Kings Domain: One of the best Chess authors.|
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