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William Norwood Potter
  
Number of games in database: 23
Years covered: 1868 to 1879
Overall record: +6 -10 =7 (41.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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C01 French, Exchange (3 games)
D05 Queen's Pawn Game (2 games)
A00 Uncommon Opening (2 games)
000 Chess variants (2 games)
C77 Ruy Lopez (2 games)
A13 English (2 games)


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WILLIAM NORWOOD POTTER
(born Aug-28-1840, died Mar-13-1895, 54 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

William Norwood Potter was an author and a strong player. In matchplay he lost to Johannes Zukertort (+2, =8, -4) in 1875 and drew with James Mason (+5, =11, -5) in 1879.

"We deeply regret to announce the death of Mr. William Norwood Potter, one of the strongest of English past masters, which took place on March 13th at his residence in Sutton, Surrey. Mr. Potter was in his 55th year, having been born on August 28th, 1840; his second name it is believed indicates the place of his birth. His profession was that of a barrister's clerk; but he further developed a remarkable literary gift, which added point and piquancy to his numerous writings on the subject of chess.

It was not till towards his thirtieth year that he became a prominent figure in the chess world. He contributed largely to the "Westminster Papers", 1868-79, and was sole editor of the two volumes of the "City of London C.M." 1874-75. To this last publication he devoted an extraordinary amount of labour, and when he retired on finding the work too exacting for his scanty leisure, no one was found to succeed him, and the magazine came to an end. His masterly annotations, in the "Westminster Papers", on the games in the Paris Tournament of 1878, are still fresh in our recollection. For a number of years he conducted the chess column of "Land and Water", the last periodical with which he was associated. We must not omit to mention his masterly article on "Chess" in the new edition of the "Encyclopedia Britannica".

His first important match was with Zukertort in the latter part of 1875, when he was defeated, but proved himself worthy of the steel of his eminent antagonist. A subsequent match with Mason was drawn by consent, when each had made an equal score and the final was not played out. In correspondence play his analytical Powers and patience were of the first order, and to him, in conjunction with Steinitz, was due the victory of London in the celebrated encounter with Vienna. Compared with some of his contemporaries, his record of first-class play is not a long one; he more than once withdrew from the arena, and finally retired some years ago at no advanced age; but the quality of his best play entitles him, we think, to rank as the equal of any British-born master of his time, with the single exception of Blackburn. The present writer's intercourse with him was marked by a mutual regard and respect, most pleasant to look back upon now that he has passed away." (1)

(1) "British Chess Magazine", April 1885, p.180 .

Last updated: 2017-03-12 13:33:33

 page 1 of 1; 23 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Potter vs Matthews 1-0131868LondonC21 Center Game
2. W Potter vs NN 1-0151870London000 Chess variants
3. Steinitz vs W Potter 1-0431871City of London Club Handicap 7172B00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
4. W Potter vs Steinitz 0-1281872LondonA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
5. R Fenton vs W Potter ½-½551875offhand game000 Chess variants
6. Zukertort vs W Potter 1-0271875LondonA10 English
7. Zukertort vs W Potter 1-0351875London mA00 Uncommon Opening
8. Zukertort vs W Potter ½-½701875London mC01 French, Exchange
9. W Potter vs Zukertort  ½-½591875London mA13 English
10. Zukertort vs W Potter 0-1191875London mC01 French, Exchange
11. W Potter vs Zukertort 1-0671875London mA13 English
12. W Potter vs Zukertort 0-1371875London mD00 Queen's Pawn Game
13. W Potter vs Zukertort ½-½401875London mD05 Queen's Pawn Game
14. W Potter vs Zukertort ½-½911875London mC77 Ruy Lopez
15. W Potter vs Zukertort  0-1451875London mC45 Scotch Game
16. W Potter vs Zukertort ½-½491875London mA03 Bird's Opening
17. Zukertort vs W Potter ½-½401876LondonA00 Uncommon Opening
18. Blackburne vs W Potter 1-0491876LondonC01 French, Exchange
19. W Potter vs Blackburne 0-1711876LondonD05 Queen's Pawn Game
20. W Potter vs G MacDonnell  0-1591876LondonA30 English, Symmetrical
21. W Potter vs J Wisker 1-0421876LondonC77 Ruy Lopez
22. W Potter vs J Mason  1-0241879MatchC42 Petrov Defense
23. J Mason vs W Potter  1-0401879MatchC11 French
 page 1 of 1; 23 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Potter wins | Potter loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-10-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Potter 1840 - 1895 was a leading English player in the 1870's. A barrister's clerk he was only able to play in one strong tournament, London 1876. He finished in third place behind Blackburne and Zukertort. A friend of Steinitz they both played in a correspondence match of two games for the London Chess Club against a Viennese team led by Kolisch for a stake of 100 pounds. The rest of the London team (Blackburne, Horwitz, Lowenthal and Wisker) were unable to accept the ideas of Steinitz and Potter and withdrew leaving the latter two to play on. They won the match and Steinitz declared that modern chess began with these two games. In match play Potter lost to Zukertort in 1875 (+2 =8 -4) and drew with Mason in 1879 (+5 =11 -5).
Mar-27-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  BishopBerkeley: Dr. Emanuel Lasker mentions the friendship between Mr. Potter and Wilhelm Steinitz in "Lasker's Manual of Chess":

I heard in London, that a London master, Mr. Potter, who loved unusual and strange moves, had influenced Steinitz greatly. The two were friends, and Steinitz somehow began to copy Potter's style. However that may have been, I can well believe that a strange style would rise, almost of necessity, at a time so romantic, so superstitious as that time was. Potter probably saw through the emptiness and the presumption of the style then dominating and with his style of play he seemed to call out to his contemporaries: "You want to beat me right from the start by force of your greater genius? Look! I make ridiculous moves, and yet you cannot beat me. Become, I pray you, more modest and more reasonable."

From "Lasker's Manual of Chess", p.200, Dover edition, ISBN: 0486206408:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...

(: ♗B :)

May-06-05  soberknight: Potter: Harry's long-lost great-grandfather!
Mar-28-06  Whitehat1963: Did he ever play Lord Voldemort?
Mar-28-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Easy enough to find out: just plug in Potter and Kasparov into the search function and see if any games pop up.
May-25-07  Dittersdorf: In the mid-1870s, surely Potter was stronger than IM-strength relative to his day.
Jul-14-07  noTALent: Maybe Blackburne is an alias for Voldemort or one of Sirius Black's less likable relatives. In which case Potter's 0-2 record against Blackburne is a concern. Could the 2 losses represent Harry's parents?
Aug-17-08  ravel5184: Hipy papy bthuthdth thuthda bthuthdy!
Jan-06-09  Karpova: A picture and information can be found in C.N. 5936: http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

His sister, Mary Potter, founded the "Little Company of Mary".

Aug-17-09  BIDMONFA: William Norwood Potter

POTTER, William N.
http://www.bidmonfa.com/potter_will...
_

Aug-17-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: It's funny that his "most often referenced game" isn't in the database
Aug-17-09  WhiteRook48: he led a 7-0 record against voldemort
Aug-17-09  Dredge Rivers: Was a much better CO for the MASH 4077th than Henry Blake.
Sep-27-10  who: Not my favorite bio. "IM strength"? Says who? According to chessmetrics he was #4 in the world at his peak and he was in the top 10 for a few years.
Feb-12-11  Karpova: Frederic Friedel's article on the Fenton-Potter game: http://asp.internet.is/srt/fentonpo...
Mar-09-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "We are amongst those who would be glad to see the ancient game burst through the barriers of social rank and gladden every walk of life, so that the handicraftsman and the laborer, after the day's toil, might find pleasure in a recreation which would give them no headache next day, and would leave their pockets in a satisfactory condition."

~ William Norwood Potter

Mar-17-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "Chess, of course, may have been the cause of <Morphy's mental fall>; he may have loved it not wisely but too well. A mind saturated with one idea to the exclusion of all others is necessarily predisposed to mania, and if a man allows himself to regard Chess as the one fact of existence, thereby starving his mind, which, like the body, requires a variety of food, then the texture of the strongest brain must become weakened, and the reason sooner or later be overthrown. Whether this was <Morphy's case> remains to be seen. However, the disaster which has overtaken him may be accounted for in another way. Success came to him too early and was too complete. So far as Chess was concerned he had conquered the world, and henceforth he had no motive in life."

~ William Norwood Potter

Mar-17-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "Chess, of course, may have been the cause of <Morphy's> mental fall; he may have loved it not wisely but too well. A mind saturated with one idea to the exclusion of all others is necessarily predisposed to mania, and if a man allows himself to regard Chess as the one fact of existence, thereby starving his mind, which, like the body, requires a variety of food, then the texture of the strongest brain must become weakened, and the reason sooner or later be overthrown. Whether this was <Morphy's> case remains to be seen. However, the disaster which has overtaken him may be accounted for in another way. Success came to him too early and was too complete. So far as Chess was concerned he had conquered the world, and henceforth he had no motive in life."

~ William Norwood Potter

Aug-17-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: A talented master, but above all a great author!

R.I.P Mr.Potter.

May-03-14  Gottschalk: [Event "Great Britain"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1875.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "J H Blackburne"]
[Black "William Norwood Potter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C45"]
[PlyCount "73"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. Bd3 d5 7. Qe2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Bf4 Rb8 10. Nd2 Re8 11. e5 Bf8 12. Nb3 Nd7 13. Bg3 c5 14. c4 d4 15. f4 Rb6 16. Rae1 Nb8 17. Qc2 g6 18. Nd2 f5 19. exf6 Rxe1 20. Bxe1 Qxf6 21. Ne4 Qe7 22. Ng3 Nc6 23. a3 Bg7 24. Bd2 Bd7 25. Re1 Qf8 26. b4 cxb4 27. c5 Rb8 28. axb4 Re8 29. Rxe8 Bxe8 30. b5 Nd8 31. Qa2+ Kh8 32. Qxa7 Ne6 33. b6 Qxc5 34. Qa8 Qxb6 35. Qxe8+ Nf8 36. f5 gxf5 37. Nxf5 1-0

Jan-11-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: "The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

- Lawrence of Arabia

Jun-20-15  Tomlinsky: <Self-admiration is as a tape-worm of the brain. It particularly infests Chess-players and is rarely eradicated.>

British Chess Magazine (July 1883), p.244

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