Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53 Match

Daniel Harrwitz9.5/12(+8 -1 =3)[games]
Elijah Williams2.5/12(+1 -8 =3)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53

London Chess Club, London, England; 4 December 1852—4 January 1853 and 8 March 1853—18 March 1853

1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Wins ——————————————————————————————————————— Harrwitz 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 7 Williams 1 1 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 2 ——————————————————————————————————————— Format: First to seven wins, draws not counting, is the victor.

"The terms of this match are, that the player who first wins seven games is to be declared the victor, and that King's Pawn two Squares shall be each player's first move throughout the contest."(1)

"The match in question being one of two which were arranged to be played between these gentlemen by the London Chess Club. The terms on which the two matches were to be played, proposed by the London Chess Club with that spirit and liberality which have always distinguished this circle of amateurs, were as follows: On the conclusion of each match a handsome prize to be divided between the players in the proportion of three-fourths of the amount to the winner, and one fourth to the loser. The player first winning seven games, in each match, to be declared victor; the matches to be played throughout at the London Club; and in the second or return match, every game to be commenced with the move of 1. K. P. 2 on each side."(2)

"Although, in the first match, Mr. Williams was so unfortunate as to lose the whole of the seven games, the contests are nevertheless for the most part highly interesting and instructive, and the play on many occasions is well worthy of both the competitors. In the return match... it was stipulated that in every game, each player should commence with the move of K. P. 2; otherwise the terms of play were the same as in the first match."(3)

"In the second match between Messrs. Williams and Harrwitz, the score at present stands thus, Mr. H., 4; Mr. W., 2; Drawn, 3. The playing of the remaining games of the return match between these gentlemen has been postponed for a short time. This circumstance is owing to the absence of Mr. Harrwitz, who, on account of severe indisposition, has been obliged to have recourse to a change of air. Mr. Harrwitz is now in France, and should the salubrious influence of a more bracing atmosphere prove, as it is hoped it will, speedily to recruit his health, he may be expected to revisit our metropolis, early in the month of February. On his return, the pending match with Mr. Williams, will, it is anticipated, be immediately resumed with increased energy and interest by both combatants."(4)

"Match between Messrs. Harrwitz and Williams.—The second contest between these professors has terminated, like the former, in the complete defeat of Williams, who, out of all the games played in both matches, managed to score but two! Expectation is now on the qui vive regarding the match of twenty-one games, which the Hungarian player, Löwenthal, has gallantly offered to play with the victor."(5)

Missing Information
The dates to games 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

(1) London Field, 1853.01.01, p12
(2) British Chess Review, v1 n1, January 1853, p8
(3) British Chess Review, v1 n2, February 1853, pp40-41
(4) British Chess Review, v1 n2, February 1853, p61
(5) Illustrated London News, 1853.03.26, p235

Based on an original collection by User: TheFocus.

 page 1 of 1; 12 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Harrwitz vs E Williams ½-½531852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C41 Philidor Defense
2. E Williams vs Harrwitz ½-½591852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C50 Giuoco Piano
3. E Williams vs Harrwitz 0-1941852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
4. Harrwitz vs E Williams 0-1531852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C30 King's Gambit Declined
5. Harrwitz vs E Williams 1-0641852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
6. Harrwitz vs E Williams 1-0711852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C30 King's Gambit Declined
7. E Williams vs Harrwitz 1-0321852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C50 Giuoco Piano
8. E Williams vs Harrwitz 0-1181852Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C50 Giuoco Piano
9. E Williams vs Harrwitz ½-½661853Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C50 Giuoco Piano
10. Harrwitz vs E Williams 1-0551853Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
11. E Williams vs Harrwitz 0-1321853Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C42 Petrov Defense
12. Harrwitz vs E Williams 1-0491853Harrwitz - Williams 1852/53C33 King's Gambit Accepted
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-30-15  zanzibar: OK, what games were played in 1853?

According to the version I downloaded, only one game, R12, was played in 1853.

All the other games were played in 1852, with games 1 and 3 having exact dates.

In this case I agree with the <Missing Information> in the bio.

Jan-30-15  zanzibar: According to <The Field - Sat 1853-01-01> the conditions of the match were:

<The terms of this match are, that the player who first wins seven games is to be declared the victor, and that <King's Pawn two Squares> shall be each player's first move throughout the contest.>

The match commenced at the <London Chess Club> between two of the best players in this society, <renowned German blindfold player Herr Harrwitz, and Mr. Elijah Williams>

Jan-30-15  zanzibar: Using the <O'Keefe Timeline> at <Chess Archeology>, there is a full listing of all twelve games in <The London Field>, between 1/1/1853 and 4/23/1843, with some confusing ordering

R1 - 1/1
R2 - 1/15
R4 - 1/22
R6 - 1/29
R7 - 2/5
R5 - 2/19
R6 - 2/26
R7 - 3/5
R8 - 3/8
R10 - 4/2
R11 - 4/16
R12 - 4/23

Explicit dates are only given for the last two games in the series, R11 (concluded 3/15/1853) and R12 (3/18/1853).

Jan-30-15  zanzibar: No mention of Harrwitz's illness is made in <The Field> (afaik).

In the April 30, 1853 issue Harrwitz issues an open challenge to Stanton, with these conditions (among others):


• Stake of 50 guineas/side

• Audience limited to 4 friends/side

• First to win 11 games

• Meet thrice/week

<"In order to increase the interest in the game, Herr H. proposes that each party play for his first move in every game, King's Pawn two squares.">

• Time limit of one of either 5/10/15/20 minutes/move - at Staunton's choice.

Surrey-Street, Strand, April 30, 1853


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Appears this series was the second match played between these gentlemen in 1852. The first started around the beginning of November and Harrwitz seems to have won that handsomely, too. More details soon.
Dec-10-17  zanzibar: <MissS> would be nice for you to clean this up...

I have Golombek giving (p136) Harrwitz--Williams (1853) (+7 -2 =3).

So, either there was a third match, or else either you or Golombek are off by a year (you say 1852, he says 1853).


PS- Nice teaser, almost CNN worthy.

Dec-10-17  zanzibar: Maybe <MissS> found Harrwitz's <British Chess Review> issues, whereupon both matches are touched upon.

Each was a first to win 7 match, the 1st match played from Oct 29, 1852-Nov 30, 1852, at 2 games/week (+7/-0/=3).

The 2nd match began on Dec 4, 1852. It was different from the first, in that White's first move ("K.P.2") was stipulated. The 2nd match also had the interruption in play due to Harrwitz's "severe indisposition".

Harrwitz journeyed to France and returned to London on Feb 25, 1853. The m2 9th game was on Jan 4, 1853, the 10th on Mar 8, 1853, and the 12th and last game on Mar 18, 1853.

Note: EDOchess gives an earlier match between the two protagonists,

1846 London 4/5 in favor of Williams

Dec-10-17  zanzibar: Heck, should have checked <CG> first - as <TheFocus> already did the other match too:

Harrwitz - Williams (1852)

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific tournament only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC