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Wordsworth Donisthorpe
Number of games in database: 4
Years covered: 1890 to 1894
Overall record: +2 -2 =0 (50.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Most played openings
C35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham (2 games)

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(born Mar-24-1847, died Jan-30-1914, 66 years old) United Kingdom

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Wordsworth Donisthorpe was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. In addition to being a chess enthusiast, he was an English barrister, individualist anarchist, inventor, and pioneer of cinematography. In 1885, he co-founded both the British Chess Association and the British Chess Club. He died in Shottermill, England.

Source: Wikipedia article: Wordsworth Donisthorpe

Last updated: 2019-09-26 22:35:30

 page 1 of 1; 4 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. NN vs W Donisthorpe 0-1191890UnknownC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
2. I Rice vs W Donisthorpe 1-0281892LondonC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
3. W Donisthorpe vs Mundell 1-0151892Casual GameC46 Three Knights
4. C E Ranken vs W Donisthorpe 1-0381894London (5)A07 King's Indian Attack
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Donisthorpe wins | Donisthorpe loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Wordsworth Donisthorpe?
Jul-23-05  percyblakeney: Seems so: "In 1885 he helped found the British Chess Association, and the British Chess Club". The only thing that is certain is that he can't be the same player that <aw1988> lost against in 1980 (it can't have been 1890) :-)

NN vs Donisthorpe, 1980

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <percyblakeney> Thanks mate.
Jul-14-08  Karpova: Donisthorpe's "British Chess Club Alphabet":

A humorous characterization of the club's members called "outrageously libellous". Here's an example:

<D stands for DONISTHORPE; some folks complain

That he oftener wins with his tongue than his brain.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: This has to be one of the best names in the player database!
Mar-24-10  Birthday Boy: Happy Birthday!!Wordsworth Donisthorpe!!
Mar-25-10  jackpawn: C'mon, nobody is actually named Wordsworth Donisthorpe!
Mar-25-10  FHBradley: "The Chess Monthly of 1890, in writing about Donisthorpe, suggested that he could be a serious chess player if he had the inclination: 'It is regretted that he has not followed the advice of Mr. Steinitz, who some years ago gave it as his opinion that, if Mr. Donisthorpe would practice seriously with him, after a series of one hundred games he could beat Mason. The latter has fortunately escaped defeat owing to Mr. Donisthorpe's indifference to avail himself of Mr. Steinitz's offer.'" (K. Landsberger, The Steinitz Papers, p. 100). Perhaps, though, Steinitz's offer was meant as an indirect assertion of the superiority of his own system than a recognition of Mr. Donisthorpe's talent for chess.
Mar-25-10  unsound: Even in 1847 (when the poet was Poet Laureate), you had to ba a cold-hearted bastard to name your son Wordsworth.
Mar-25-10  Shams: It's worth remembering that Wordsworth was a laughing stock for much of his early career. One volume of poems elicited this snark from a London reviewer:

"If the printing of such trash as this be not considered an insult on the public taste...we are afraid it cannot be insulted."

Mar-26-10  FHBradley: <"If the printing of such trash as this be not considered an insult on the public taste...we are afraid it cannot be insulted."> Typical trash from the pen of a critic who believes witty mud-slinging is his pious duty.
Mar-26-10  Shams: On the other hand, finely crafted snark does bring its own pleasures.
Jan-18-12  Llawdogg: Great name!
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Donisthorpe was a man of many talents.

He was an early pioneer in the field of cinematography:

He was also a political anarchist:



Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be not forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
Grief not, rather find,
Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of Human suffering,
In the faith that looks through death
In years that bring philophic mind.

William Wordsworth, English poet (1770 - 1850)

Apr-09-13  thomastonk: One link that <GrahamClayton> gave has changed: http://www.cooperativeindividualism....
Apr-09-13  thomastonk: I read his and his brother's Wikipedia article: simply great!

But returning to chess, I can report that he was one of the players of the "British Chess Club", who played 1893 in Paris in a team match against the "Cercle des Echecs". One game with Steinitz' comments is published in "New York Daily Tribune", July 2, 1893 (

Jan-25-15  redwhitechess: well, he lost one game to Blackburne ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "I've measured it from side to side: 'Tis three feet long, and two feet wide."
Jan-25-15  Karposian: This is the guy who wrote the famous and beautiful chess poem "The Chess Tables Turned".
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: <GrahamClayton: This has to be one of the best names in the player database!>

This one too:

Pal Kiss

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Globe, June 4th 1913, p.9:


UROPA, by Wordsworth Donisthorpe (Printed by W. Stent and Sons, Guildford).

Universal languages are almost as numerous as the recognised languages of the civilised world, and Mr. Donisthorpe, greatly daring, has invented still another one. Of the details of his system we are not qualified to speak. On the surface it appears commendably free from any great complexity, but like every other "universal" language that has ever been artificially evolved, it requires far more study to master than its light-hearted inventor supposes. Its radical and, to our mind, fatal fault is that it is built up entirely on Latin roots, and Mr. Donisthorpe’s reason for using these in preference to any other is “because they are more widely known and enter more largely into modem speech than any other.” But in that case, why go to the trouble of inventing a language by such a method when the unmutilated Latin tongue is ready to our hand? If we do not advocate even the use of Latin as a universal language, it is for the very excellent reason that people will not tolerate having any "universal language" thrust on them at all. It is conceivable that in the future, as in the past, there will be in practice one language understandable in all civilised countries. But such a state affairs will be arrived at naturally, and not by any artificial means.>

Jan-13-18  zanzibar: Well, he's no Wordsworth, but...

<Lord Tennyson likes chess better than poetry writing now>

Detroit Free Press (1858-1922); Jul 15, 1885; p3

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Great name!>, great bio, great moustache:
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