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Bernhard Horwitz vs Howard Staunton
London m3 (1846), London ENG, rd 22
Sicilian Defense: McDonnell Attack (B21)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-17-16  Aunt Jemima: 10. Qd2 proves that whites position is busted. There is no way that white should have to play a move like that on move 10.

Horwirz was about a 1400 player.

Oct-18-16  Boomie: Chessmetrics has him at about 2550 at the time of this match.

Oct-18-16  Aunt Jemima: Thanks for that link, <Boomie>, but I don't think that's even close. Do you?

White is in the kind of position that my friends are that don't play tournaments, when they play against me, and I'm only about 1575.

If the math shows that he was 2550 back then, then that means 2550 is equal to about 1400 now. I looked through a few of his games, and he makes classic blunders just like I do and the other guys at the club at my level. We, like all C class players, play a decent game for a while and then throw it away with a blunder.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Boomie: Chessmetrics has him at about 2550 at the time of this match.

Edochess gives slightly more rational-looking Elo ratings for those far-off days. gives Staunton at 2656 and Horwitz as 2514.

Elo ratings are only a measure of how players measure up against their contemporaries. It doesn't measure playing strength.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Aunt Jemima> You can go to his player page and see some of his studies. See also here:

That gives a better idea of his real ability. He was no 1400 player. He did, even by the standards of his time, tend to play the opening very badly.

Oct-18-16  Boomie: Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais was the gold standard of the early 19th century. Unfortunately, he died young in 1840 and Chessmetrics starts in 1842.

My spidey sense (and Morphy's) tells me that he was stronger than Staunton. His 85 games with McDonnell includes an astonishing variety of openings. They were playing without the benefit of any opening theory. These guys were making it up as they went along so naturally we can pan their openings. Well, you have to start somewhere, eh?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Boomie>, you care about the old days, so you might enjoy this appreciation of Greco by Silman (Winter #6320 if the link doesn't work). He thinks the first player who came after Greco who could have stood up to him was Labourdonnais.

Oct-19-16  Boomie: <keypusher: <Boomie>, you care about the old days>

Yes. But I was too young in 1550 to appreciate El Greco's significance. I wonder where he found the time to play chess with all the painting he did.

All seriousness aside, thanks for the link. Silman's examples do show a deep understanding by Greco.

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