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Charles Henry Stanley
C Stanley 
Charles Stanley (left) during his match with John Turner (right) in Washington in 1850  
Number of games in database: 138
Years covered: 1841 to 1868

Overall record: +61 -54 =15 (52.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 8 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Giuoco Piano (17) 
    C50 C53 C54
 King's Gambit Accepted (9) 
    C33 C39
 Sicilian (8) 
    B20 B21 B32 B40
 Vienna Opening (8) 
    C26 C25 C28
 King's Pawn Game (7) 
    C44 C20 C40
 French Defense (5) 
    C01 C00
With the Black pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (14) 
    C33 C38 C39 C34
 King's Pawn Game (13) 
    C44 C20
 Giuoco Piano (13) 
    C53 C50 C54
 French Defense (9) 
    C01 C00
 Evans Gambit (6) 
    C51 C52
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   E Rousseau vs C Stanley, 1845 0-1
   C Stanley vs Morphy, 1857 1-0
   C Stanley vs NN, 1841 1-0
   Steele vs C Stanley, 1860 0-1
   J Schulten vs C Stanley, 1846 0-1
   C Stanley vs E Rousseau, 1845 1-0
   E Rousseau vs C Stanley, 1845 0-1
   E Rousseau vs C Stanley, 1845 1/2-1/2
   E Rousseau vs C Stanley, 1845 1/2-1/2
   T Lichtenhein vs C Stanley, 1857 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Rousseau - Stanley Match (1845)
   1st American Chess Congress (1857)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Stanley - Rousseau 1845 match by crawfb5
   Stanley - Turner 1850 match by crawfb5

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Charles Henry Stanley
Search Google for Charles Henry Stanley

(born 1819, died Oct-06-1901, 82 years old) United Kingdom (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

Charles Henry Stanley was born in Brighton, England in September, 1819. In 1841, he played Howard Staunton, receiving odds of pawn and two moves, the extant games being +3-2=1 in his favour. Stanley emigrated to New York in 1842 and worked at the British Consulate. He was regarded as the best chess player in New York from 1842 to 1857. In 1844, he defeated John William Schulten in two matches in New York. He started America's first chess column in the New York Spirit of the Times on March 1, 1845, which contained the first chess problem published in America. The chess column ran until October, 1848 (1).

In 1845, he, again, defeated John William Schulten in a match in New York. In December, 1845, he defeated Eugene Rousseau at the New Orleans Chess Club (Sazerac Coffee House) in the first unofficial US Championship (15 wins, 8 losses, 8 draws) (9). This was the first organized chess event in the United States. The stakes for the event was $1,000. Rousseau's second was Eugene Morphy, Paul's uncle. Paul Morphy attended the match at the age of 8 and became interested in chess. In 1846 Stanley defeated Charles Vezan in New York and George Hammond in Chicago. In October 1846, he started the American Chess Magazine: a periodical Organ of Communication for American Chess-Players, which folded in September 1847 (2). In 1846 he published the first book in America on a chess match, 31 Games of Chess. The New York Albion published his chess column from 1848 until 1856; it was then conducted by Perrin and Young until George Henry Mackenzie took over in 1866. (3).

In February, 1850 he defeated John Turner (10) of Louisville, Kentucky in Washington, DC and drew a match against Johann Jacob Loewenthal (+3-3=0) in New York. In 1852 he suggested the holding of an international chess tournament at the Great Exhibition in New York in 1853, but nothing came of it. In 1852, he drew a match with Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant in New York (+4-4=0). In 1855 he organized the first World Chess Problem tournament.

In 1857 he was knocked out in the first round of the 1st American Chess Congress (1857) by Theodore Lichtenhein, winning 2 games and losing 3 games. He was considered to be America's first chess champion until he lost a match with Paul Morphy. Soon in December of that year, Stanley's daughter, Pauline, was born & named after her father's successor in chess. From October 1858 until June of 1859, he ran a column for Harper's Weekly, also publishing Morphy's Match Games and The Chess Player's Instructor prepared over the course of that winter & spring (4, 5, 6).

In 1860 he returned to England and took 2nd in the 3rd British Chess Association Congress in Cambridge, losing to Ignatz von Kolisch. From 1860 to 1862, he edited a chess column in the Manchester Express and Guardian, winning an 1861 tournament in Leeds(7).

He lost an 1868 match to George Mackenzie in New York and wrote another chess column for the New York Round Table in the year following the match (8). He was an alcoholic who spent his last 20 years in institutions on Ward's Island and in the Bronx. He died in 1901.

References: (1) New York Spirit of the Times Wikipedia article: Spirit of the Times (1845-8), (2) American Chess Magazine: a periodical Organ of Communication for American Chess-Players (1846-7), (3) New York Albion (1848-56), (4) Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization - Chess Chronicle - (1858-9), (5) Morphy's Match Games (1859), (6) The Chess Player's Instructor (1859), (7) Manchester Express and Guardian (1860-2), (8) New York Round Table (1869), (9) (10) (11) (collated chess columns of historical interest).

Wikipedia article: Charles Henry Stanley

Last updated: 2021-12-28 22:11:34

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 138  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C Stanley vs Staunton  1-0401841Odds match000 Chess variants
2. C Stanley vs Staunton  0-1281841Odds match000 Chess variants
3. C Stanley vs NN 1-0221841Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
4. C Stanley vs J Brown  0-1351842Casual gameC53 Giuoco Piano
5. J Brown vs C Stanley  0-1331842Casual gameC53 Giuoco Piano
6. J Brown vs C Stanley  0-1411842Casual gameC44 King's Pawn Game
7. C Stanley vs J Brown  0-1531842Casual gameC44 King's Pawn Game
8. C Stanley vs J Brown 1-0271842Casual gameC40 King's Knight Opening
9. C Stanley vs J Brown  0-1311842Casual gameC44 King's Pawn Game
10. C Vezin vs C Stanley 0-1241844MatchC39 King's Gambit Accepted
11. J Schulten vs C Stanley 1-0271844New York m1C20 King's Pawn Game
12. C Stanley vs J Schulten  0-1351844Stanley - Schulten m(1)C45 Scotch Game
13. J Schulten vs C Stanley 1-0711844Stanley - Schulten m(2)C20 King's Pawn Game
14. C Vezin vs C Stanley ½-½641844MatchC53 Giuoco Piano
15. J Schulten vs C Stanley 0-1501844Stanley - Schulten m(2)C53 Giuoco Piano
16. J Schulten vs C Stanley 0-1341844Stanley - Schulten m(2)C20 King's Pawn Game
17. C Stanley vs J Schulten 1-0431844MatchC20 King's Pawn Game
18. C Stanley vs J Schulten ½-½331844MatchC53 Giuoco Piano
19. C Stanley vs J Schulten 1-0681844Stanley - Schulten m(1)C50 Giuoco Piano
20. J Schulten vs C Stanley  0-1301845Stanley - Schulten m(3)C20 King's Pawn Game
21. J Schulten vs C Stanley 0-1381845Stanley - Schulten m(3)C53 Giuoco Piano
22. J Schulten vs C Stanley 0-1371845Stanley - Schulten m(3)C33 King's Gambit Accepted
23. C Stanley vs J Schulten  0-1291845Stanley - Schulten m(3)C50 Giuoco Piano
24. C Stanley vs J Schulten  1-0251845Stanley - Schulten m(3)C33 King's Gambit Accepted
25. J Schulten vs C Stanley  0-1291845Stanley - Schulten m(3)C33 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 138  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Stanley wins | Stanley loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-19-17  offramp: ^ Some people do this thing called adjusting for inflation.

Sometimes people see adverts in old newspapers, where brand new cars cost $300. Some people say, "Wow! Why didn't people back then buy a new car every week!"

In fact there are sound economic reasons why people did, in general, <not> buy a new car every week.

Aug-19-17  WorstPlayerEver: <offramp>

Hmmm.. logically spoken there should have to be no inflation in times of gr... peace.

Jul-25-21  Nosnibor: He did well to live to 82 years of age bearing in mind he was an alcoholic for the last twenty years of his life. Very sad to note in view of his achievements in chess and journalism.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I think it more accurate to congratulate him on surviving the sixty odd years before he was committed. Journalism and diplomacy are two fields sodden with drink.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I've recently turned to Stanley's biography with special regard to the following questions:

i) what evidence is there that he was born in Brighton?

ii) when did he emigrate to America?

iii) what's the source of the story about Morphy sending the match winnings to Mrs Stanley?

iv) likewise, the naming of Pauline?

v) why did he return to England (minus family) between 1860 and 1862?

vi) when/why was he first institutionalised?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Not unexpectedly, getting nowhere in particular, I remembered that I ought to check edochess ...

<Although Stanley moved to New York around 1842, problems by 'C. Stanley, of Brighton' were appearing in the Illustrated London News (e.g. 27 Sept. 1845, p.208), and the Chess Player's Chronicle (e.g. Sept. 1845, p.257) in 1845. This was, however, a different Charles Stanley (see Townsend, pp.93-94).>

Hold your horses, I have that Townsend book....

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <But gradually, some answers also began to emerge along with Gaige’s skill as a researcher which he acquired largely by trial and error. His approach was described in the appendix of his Catalog of USA Chess Personalia. A case in point: By all accounts (such as A Sketchbook of American Chess Problemists, Vol. I , page 6), Charles Henry Stanley died in New York City on 16 March 1894. Gaige’s increasingly systematized research found that was the approximate date of death in England of a Henry Stanley, not of Charles Henry Stanley. A painstaking search through New York City’s records of death showed that Stanley did not die there before 1900. Examination of the 1900 US Census Report showed an 80-year-old Charles H. Stanley living in New York City at the time. From there, it was simple enough to find the date of death but not, unfortunately, the exact date of birth. (A full account is given in the BCM, 1982, pages 364-367.)>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <C.N. 6563. Staunton v Stanley match

Rod Edwards (Victoria, BC, Canada) writes:

‘The record of Howard Staunton’s matches given on pages 129-130 of your 1981 book World Chess Champions shows the result of his match with Charles Henry Stanley at the odds of pawn and two moves as +2 –3 =1, and the year is given as 1841. The Oxford Companion to Chess (first edition, page 324; second edition, page 389) concurs on the result and the year. Feenstra Kuiper’s Hundert Jahre Schachzweikämpfe (page 12), Golombek’s Encyclopedia (pages 307 and 456 of the hardback and paperback editions respectively) and Chess Results, 1747-1900 by Di Felice (page 3) all have the same result but give the year as 1839. Fiske’s New York, 1857 tournament book (page 406) states that the match was played not long before Stanley’s departure for the United States (which he says was in 1842), and that Stanley won “by a large majority”.

However, in the 1842 volume of the Chess Player’s Chronicle (page 368) Staunton wrote:

“Messrs St--n and S--y have played in all but 12 games, exclusive of drawn ones, at the odds of ‘the pawn and two moves’. Of these 12, Mr S--y won seven, and Mr St--n five.”

I wonder where the +2 –3 =1 result comes from originally, and how it can be reconciled with Staunton’s claim in the Chess Player’s Chronicle.

World Chess Champions indicates (page 130) that in cases where the final scores were not known the match results given “are those of surviving games”. Presumably, this does not apply to the Staunton-Stanley match, since I count eight game-scores in volume two of the Chess Player’s Chronicle (pages 117-118, 200, 211-212, 213, 226-228, 241-242, 293-294 and 324-325), amounting to +3 –4 =1 for Staunton. I wonder whether all these games were considered part of the formal match.’

The Staunton biography and results tables in World Chess Champions were by R.N. Coles. The only addition that we can offer at present is that an account of Stanley’s life on pages 364-367 of the August 1982 BCM (following research by Jeremy Gaige) stated that Staunton was defeated +2 –3 =1 and that the contest took place in December 1841.>

I have some <BCM> volumes from around that time but not 1982. Where's <Miss Sally> when you need her?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <thomastonk: In the "New York Spirit of the Times" on October 11, 1845 Stanley reports on a match with Schulten which is "now in course", and hence both played even a fourth match!>

Oh skites, a fourth match? I've been collecting games published in Stanley's column in 1845-46 under the impression that there was just one extended third match. That's what can happen when i) you digest material too quickly and ii) you don't bother to read <> closely enough.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Can't find him in Brighton.

1861 census Cheetham Lancashire (near Manchester) has a Charles Henry Stanley, 41, Married, Reporter & Contributor to the ---- (press?), born in Clapton Middlesex, Lodger in 42 Bury -- Road.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Yes, as implied above, Townsend revealed that he didn't come from Brighton. I'll come onto this.

I don't know how well this is covered for the period, but can you look for records of Stanley arriving in America in either 1842 or 1843?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Nah I only find a Henry Stanley, 21, Cabinet M(aker), Arrival Apr 13, 1842 New York.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: New York, U.S., Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920:

Chas H Stanley, Birth abt 1819 London, Middlesex. Residence 24 Aug 1875 New York City Almshouse (Blackwells Island).

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Whether it was 1842 or 1843, Wikipedia states his reason for moving to America was to work in the British Consulate, but I rather doubt that, if only because he seems far too young (22/23) for such an appointment. More likely it was a case of 'Go West, young man!'

That he has time for extended matches with Schulten, Vezin (in Philadelphia) and Rousseau (in New Orleans) during 1844-1846, in addition to his chess journalism, suggests he wasn't in full-time employment. Lowenthal's account of his time in America relates the help and kindness that Stanley, as a member of the British consulate, afforded him. This would be the early part of 1850.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Fiske's reprise of American chess history in <The Book of the First American Chess Congress> claims that Stanley made his first appearance on the New York chess scene in 1842, leading to this profile (p.406):

<Charles Henry Stanley, for many years the champion of America, was born in England in the year 1819. He was well known, from about 1837, in all the London clubs, and at the Divan, as a frequent visitor, and as one of the most promising players of the day. He considers Mr. Popert as his principal Chess instructor. Mr. Popert could give him no odds; but the custom of the Divan habitues being to play for a shilling a game, to equalize matters, Mr. Popert used to bet two to one on his winning. Not long before Mr. Stanley's departure for the United States, he contested a match with Mr. Staunton, then at the height of his strength. Mr. Stanley received the odds of pawn and two moves, and won the match by a large majority. Upon his arrival in America Mr. Stanley began to devote a larger portion of his time to the game, and one after another he defeated all the leading players of the country from Boston to New Orleans. His encounter with Rousseau, at New Orleans, took place in 1845, and his victory over Turner, at Washington, was achieved in 1850. In 1852 St. Amant, of Paris, passed through New York, and of the few games played between Frenchman and Mr. Stanley each party won an equal number. Mr. Stanley was the pioneer Chess editor of this country, and established in 1845, the first American Chess column in the <Spirit of the Times>. His services to the game in our republic cannot be too highly estimated, whether we consider him as a Chess writer or simply as a practitioner.>

The detail of Stanley's time in England, especially his relationship with Popert, suggests this is something that Fiske learnt directly from Stanley himself - there can be little doubt that the men knew each other. Allied with the general accuracy of the other information, I suspect 1842 is likely to be correct.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Wikipedia: <His job at the British consulate in New York involved him in diplomatic incident in 1855. The British minister to the United States John F. Crampton had orders to surreptitiously recruit Americans as soldiers in the Crimean War. But the U.S. was neutral, and even friendly to the opposing side, Russia. Stanley was one of several operatives involved who spilled information after getting drunk, and the affair ended with Crampton (but not Stanley) being expelled by President Pierce.>

This is true, as far as it goes, but somewhat misleading. Crampton, Anthony Barclay (the New York consul, Stanley's boss) and the respective consuls in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, were dismissed in May 1856, but I don't think this means they were physically expelled from the country (although Crampton and Barclay, at least, returned home). Barclay had been consul since 1843. It may well be that Stanley lost his position when Barclay left.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: From the bio: <The New York Albion published his chess column from 1848 until 1856; it was then conducted by Perrin and Young until George Henry Mackenzie took over in 1866.>

All of the Albion columns from 1848 until the end of 1856 are available at <Chess Archaeology>:

This weekly column, with rare exceptions, was limited in scope, even perfunctory, one might say - typical fare was a problem, the solution to the previous problem, and answers to correspondents from which interesting nuggets of news or other information can sometimes be gleaned.

From what I can make out, Stanley's last column appears to be that of March 8th 1856, which concludes:

<D. J. Capital as usual. Your name registered with pleasure by C. H. S. in his list for the <Chess Magazine>, as also are those sent by J. M. and C. T. [The first number will appear on 1st. May, next, subscription price, $3 per annum.>

<D. J.> may well be Denis Julien.

The following week's column (March 15th) tersely notes: <In the temporary absence of C. H. S., we borrow the above Problem from a well-known contemporary, and postpone until next week the solution of No. 375.>

From then on, I can't find any trace of <C. H. S.> or his ill-fated magazine; the column apparently was now in the hands of one or more members of the New York C.C..

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: (Washington) Evening Star, June 28th 1855, p.2:

<Mr. Charles H. Stanley, of the British Consulate in New York, was arrested on Tuesday [the 26th], by one of Marshal Hillyer's deputies, and placed under $1,000 bonds, to answer a charge of enlisting recruits for the Crimea.>

(New Orleans) Daily Picayune, July 8th 1855, p.2:

<The Mr. Charles H. Stanley, British Vice Consul at the port of New York, who was lately arrested there on the charge of being concerned in the engaging of men (in violation of the neutrality laws) to proceed to the Crimea, there to be enlisted in the British army, is better known to the world as one of the two or three best players of chess now living. He seems in this game, however, to have been bringing up his men to support his queen without looking out for his castle. We do not know what will be his next move, but if any body can avoid a checkmate he is the man to do it.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The England Select Births and Christenings has a <Charles> Stanley baptized 8 Aug. 1819 in St Giles Cripplegate, London. Father John, mother Mary. The baptism book has he was born 9 July.

This <may> be him. The 1861 census says he was born in Clapton, Middlesex, which is 3-5 km north of St Giles Cripplegate.

Aug-13-21  offramp: If you're on Gresham St, look north and see the police station. Walk across London Wall and St Giles is now in the Barbican.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Morning Chronicle, June 30th 1856, p.5:

<After having been held eleven months under recognizance (says the <New York Herald>) Mr. Charles H. Stanley, the principal attache of the late British Consulate at New York, was discharged on Wednesday, the United States authorities declining to bring him to trial on the charge of a breach of the neutrality laws. By the report of the proceedings, it appears that Mr. Stanley was held under recognizance by a commissioner to appear when called upon, but that he has never been examined, and has never been indicted. How is this fact to be reconciled with the following statement in Mr. Marcy's official letter to Mr. Buchanan, in which he demands the recall of Mr. Crampton and the three British Consuls? - "Mr. Stanley, the assistant clerk of the consul, has taken a more open and effective part than the Consul himself, and is now under an indictment for violating the law against foreign recruiting. The Consul, Mr. Barclay, could not but know of Mr. Stanley's conduct in that matter; but he still retains him in the Consulate." Now, it appears that Mr. Stanley never was indicted. Why was it that Mr. Marcy was not properly "posted up" before he penned an official despatch upon so important a subject? It seems that Mr. Stanley was held to bail on a charge of enlisting for foreign service, which was founded only on the affidavit of a man named Rosenbaum, on whose testimony Mr. Commissioner Bridgham refused to hold Captain Carstein and five others. Yet Mr. Stanley has been held under recognizance for nearly a year, has never been examined by a commissioner, has never been indicted by a grand jury, and has now been discharged, and will doubtless follow his Consul and his Minister to England.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <After having been held eleven months under recognizance (says the <New York Herald>)...>

I found this report in the <Herald> of June 12th 1856, p.2, only to discover that the <Chronicle>'s was an exact reproduction.

From the <Oxford Companion to Chess (1984, 1e)> entry on Stanley:

<In the same year [1855], he became involved in a diplomatic incident. The British were attempting to recruit Americans as soldiers for the Crimean War, an activity illegal in the USA. Dapper, demonstrative, sociable, 'fond of puns but otherwise an entertaining conversationalist', Stanley had a fondness for drink, which made him even more loquacious. After some hard drinking he revealed information to an American agent, linking the illegal recruitment with British consular staff with whom Stanley was connected. The result was a diplomatic breach, but in spite of his indiscretion he stayed in the USA.>

In regard to this affair, Wikipedia gives reference to <John Bull's American Legion: Britain's Ill-Starred recruiting attempt in the United States, William F. Liebler, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 99, No. 3, pp. 309-335, University of Pennsylvania Press 1975>

But I had no expectation of finding it online....

<The American note was accompanied by a large number of affidavits and court reports which countered the British claims. The most interesting aspect of this new group of documents was the reappearance of several men who had earlier given depositions for the British government, namely Cromrey, Kazinski, and Schumacher. These men now gave extensive details of their relationship with British officials, particularly with Vice-Consul Stanley in New York. According to Kazinski, Stanley, a hard-drinking man and "very communicative when intoxicated," had told him of his regular correspondence with Crampton on the recruiting campaign. Schumacher and Cromrey revealed that Thoman had received large sums from Stanley and had recently departed for Nicaragua.> (p.331)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <a hard-drinking man and "very communicative when intoxicated,">

Sound like anyone we know?

Another part of the report (p.316):

<Count Louis Kazinski, one of Howe's Polish officers, had his own problems. A group of recruits had been gathered together in Brooklyn, New York, and Kazinski was designated to accompany them to Halifax. He and Vice-Consul Stanley crossed the East River to inspect the enlistees and were appalled to find most of them drunk.>

Raising a company of intoxicated Poles would be much easier nowadays as they could easily swept up off the streets of London, Peterborough, etc.. Getting them to fight the Russians once they'd sobered up would, however, be equally difficult.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Townsend (2014)>, p.96, points out this reply by Staunton in the <ILN> of July 12th 1856, p.47:

<A. Z. - The Mr. Stanley mentioned as implicated in the enlistment imbroglio is the celebrated United States Chess Champion. We are glad to hear that the charges against him have been dismissed, and hope to hear of his being reinstated as Secretary to the British Consul.>

<A. Z.> is surely Augustus Zerega.

By ~June 1856, it would appear that Stanley had lost both his job and his chess column - perhaps he even became persona non grata at the New York Chess Club. Did this leave him in financial straits? Was he still in a bad way in 1857 when Morphy donated his match winnings to Mrs. Stanley?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The <ILN> of October 11th 1856, p.377, in reply to a correspondent, <Mr. Stanley, the Chess champion of the United States, has recently paid a flying visit to this country, but incessant business occupation prevented his gratifying the Londoners with a "taste of his quality.">

Hmmm, very mysterious.

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