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George Hatfeild Gossip

Number of games in database: 136
Years covered: 1860 to 1900
Overall record: +34 -70 =29 (36.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Vienna Opening (18) 
    C25 C29 C28
 Ruy Lopez (14) 
    C67 C80 C63 C77 C84
 King's Gambit Accepted (9) 
    C39 C35 C34 C33
 King's Gambit Declined (7) 
    C30 C31
 French Defense (6) 
    C11 C01 C13
 Four Knights (5) 
    C49 C48
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C77 C65 C62 C80 C70
 Vienna Opening (7) 
    C25 C29 C28
 King's Gambit Accepted (5) 
    C39 C38 C33
 Queen's Gambit Declined (5) 
    D37 D38 D31 D30
 Giuoco Piano (5) 
    C53 C50
 Scotch Game (4) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Showalter vs Gossip, 1889 0-1
   Gossip vs J M Hanham, 1889 1-0
   Bird vs Gossip, 1873 0-1
   Gossip vs Birmingham, 1860 1-0
   Lipschutz vs Gossip, 1889 0-1
   Gossip vs J E Crewe, 1887 1-0
   Bird vs Gossip, 1889 0-1
   Gossip vs Bird, 1873 1-0
   C Febvret vs Gossip, 1883 0-1
   Gossip vs W Pollock, 1889 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   1st Australian Championship, Adelaide (1887)
   London (Vizayanagaram) (1883)
   6th American Chess Congress, New York (1889)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1887 Australian Championship by optimal play

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(born Dec-06-1841, died May-11-1907, 65 years old) United States of America (federation/nationality United Kingdom)

[what is this?]

George Hatfeild Dingley Gossip was born in New York. He was a well-travelled player and prolific author whose works include The Chess-Players Manual, a 900-page book on openings. It went through several editions after its first publication in 1874, that of 1888 receiving high praise from Steinitz.

While capable of brilliance, Gossip achieved only isolated success in practical play. He won the Correspondence Tournament of the Chess Players Chronicle in 1873-1874, finished =5th-6th in the Vizayanagaram Tournament at London, 1883, and 3rd at the 2nd 1st Australian Championship, Adelaide (1887).

Gossip became notorious later in his career for a long string of last place finishes such as at the 5th (1889), 6th (1890), and 7th (1892) British Chess Federation Congresses, the 6th German Chess Federation Championship (1889), and the New York "Impromptu" tournament of 1893. At the 6th American Chess Congress, New York (1889), he avoided the basement, but finished tied for 17th-18th of 20. That may have been the best result of his life, scoring over 35% against a very strong field.

He died on May 11, 1907 in Liphook, England.

Wikipedia article: George H. D. Gossip

Last updated: 2023-06-05 23:46:22

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 136  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Gossip vs Birmingham 1-0301860corrC42 Petrov Defense
2. Blackburne vs Gossip ½-½391864Blindfold simul, 8bC51 Evans Gambit
3. Gossip vs W Wayte  0-1191865Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Gossip vs Steinitz 0-1401868B.C.A. Handicap tC39 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Gossip vs Longman 1-0151870ENG corrC33 King's Gambit Accepted
6. Gossip vs Steinitz  ½-½401870Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
7. Gossip vs W Potter  0-1321872City of London CC Handicap tC01 French, Exchange
8. G MacDonnell vs Gossip  1-0201872Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
9. Zukertort vs Gossip  1-0301872LondonC59 Two Knights
10. Gossip vs Bird 1-0301873LondonC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
11. Bird vs Gossip 0-1111873Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
12. Gossip vs L Hoffer 1-0191873ENGC39 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Gossip vs Bird 1-0471873LondonC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
14. W T Pierce vs Gossip 0-1211873ENG corrC39 King's Gambit Accepted
15. Gossip vs J Wisker  ½-½261873Clifton CongressC39 King's Gambit Accepted
16. Burn vs Gossip  1-01818745th CCA CongressC45 Scotch Game
17. Gossip vs H Brewer  1-0191878corr ttC77 Ruy Lopez
18. Gossip vs E E Gilbert 0-1421879US-Britain corr. matchC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
19. Mephisto vs Gossip  1-0311881Regent Street ExhibitionC45 Scotch Game
20. Gossip vs Mephisto  0-1271881Regent Street ExhibitionC30 King's Gambit Declined
21. C Febvret vs Gossip 0-1511883London (Vizayanagaram)D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Gossip vs T H Piper  ½-½601883London (Vizayanagaram)C01 French, Exchange
23. Gossip vs C E Ranken 1-0571883London (Vizayanagaram)C48 Four Knights
24. G MacDonnell vs Gossip  0-1271883London (Vizayanagaram)A17 English
25. Gossip vs A Hunter  ½-½511883London (Vizayanagaram)B01 Scandinavian
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 136  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Gossip wins | Gossip loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-06-11  brankat: <Thrajin> Hello James! Long time no see :-)
Dec-06-11  nok: James Hatfeild ?
Dec-07-11  brankat: No. James <Thrajin> :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Great name. Sounds like a contest on "Hollywood Squares". He should have been in show biz.
Aug-06-12  e4 resigns: Gossip had a beard more epic than Chigorin!
Oh yeah, he was also a good chess player...
Aug-24-12  Cemoblanca: He's a mixture of Steinitz & Chigorin (& the only thing I want to point out here is the beard. The rest would be a silly gossip)! :D Chigorin (
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: If he had a daughter, she'd be a <Gossip Girl>.
Aug-24-12  brankat: But this beauty is no gossip :-)

Showalter vs Gossip, 1889

Aug-24-12  Cemoblanca: <HeMateMe> Gossip - EVERY CHESSPLAYER'S NIGHTMARE ;0)

Apr-09-13  andrewjsacks: I before E, except in neighbor, sleigh, and George Hatfeild Gossip.
Apr-09-13  andrewjsacks: Actually, a very interesting character indeed, and the Wiki article on him is illuminating in various respects.
Mar-28-15  whiteshark: They say Gossip traveled faster than warp speed...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Zukertort on Gossip.— It is related of the late Dr. Zukertort that observing a young chess player poising Gossip's "Chess Players' Manual" on the palm of his hand, and overhearing him exclaim, " Ah, if I could only get the contents of this book into my head", the Doctor promptly retorted " Den you vould be as mad as de author." — Manchester Evening News."

Source: <Nottinghamshire Guardian - Saturday 10th August 1889, p.7>

Dec-06-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, George Gossip.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <(nothing rhymes with gossip.)>

Ho's sip their drinks
While gentlemen slurp...

Beaus sip as well
And babies just burp.

May-27-17  zanzibar:
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He was asked to leave Simpson's Divan when his hat feild.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <YouRang: "I before E, except after C or sounding like "A" as in neighbor or weigh -- or George Hatfeild Gossip">

It is all explained in this 4 minute sketch:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Re. Hatfeild vs Hatfield George Hatfeild Gossip (kibitz #11)

My guess is that he was born/baptised <Hatfield> but adopted <Hatfeild> at some point, just to be 'extra'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: From the bio: <While capable of extreme brilliance..> Is this necessary? What's wrong with plain <brilliance>?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <My guess is that he was born/baptised <Hatfield> but adopted <Hatfeild> at some point, just to be 'extra'.>

<It is possible that G.H.D.G. adopted the idiosyncratic spelling for some extra cachet.> (17 July 2019: Addition from Neil Hickman (Hardingham, England))

Apr-11-23  Nosnibor: Gossip had a good record against Bird 5 wins and only 1 loss. It would seem that Bird was somehow affected by Gossip`s behavior whilst playing.
Jun-05-23  TwoMinutesToMidnight: founder of Gossip? lol
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: A marriage record for the parish of St. Brelade in Jersey, where George wed Alicia Kenny, an Irishwoman, on October 3rd 1868, twice gives <Hatfield,> including the bridegroom's own signature. His profession is <Foreign Correspondent.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <London Daily Chronicle & Clerkenwell News>, July 29th 1871, p.5:


The plaintiff in this case, Andrew Middlemas, 5, Cross-street, Essex-road, sued the defendant, Mr. George Wilmer, of 8, Mayfield-terrace, Dalston, for £3, balance of wages. - The defendant was represented by a solicitor, and the plaintiff conducted his own case.

Plaintiff said he was engaged by defendant at £4 per week for two weeks, and £2 10s. for a fortnight afterwards as clerk to book bets. He did not make the bets.

Defendant's solictor submitted to his Honour that this was an illegal transaction, and that consequently the plaintiff could not recover.

His Honour said he could not hold that it was an illegal transaction. If a man employed another to make a bet for him, the latter could recover the amount he had expended, although the former could not sue for the bet. That had been decided by the Master of the Rolls in the Marquis of Hastings' case.

Plaintiff said the defendant had paid him £4, £2, £1 10s., and £2 10s., making £10 altogether, leaving a balance of £3 now sued for.

In cross-examination he said he would swear he had not received as much as £20 from defendant, but only the amounts he had stated. He did not ask defendant to continue him in his service, and he would not go into it again if he gave him £20. Defendant gave him £4 to buy clothes with, but that he had mentioned. He also paid plaintiff's travelling expenses, as that had nothing to do with his salary.

Defendant said when he engaged plaintiff the understanding was that he should receive £4 the first week, and if he did not succeed in winning plaintiff money it was to be reduced to £2 10s. afterwards. He did not win any money, and the salary was accordingly reduced and paid regularly every week. The plaintiff had lost as much as £110 for defendant in the four weeks. Defendant had only been on the turf a few months, and he was determined not to go on a racecourse again as long as he lived. The plaintiff never won a penny for him, although he said he should be sure to win. He always treated the plaintiff liberally, and gave him £2 to buy clothes with, as he was so shabby as not to be presentable. He had paid plaintiff all that was due to him. The plaintiff had behaved shamefully, and called defendant a thief and a liar in the "ring," and advised persons not to pay him any bets. He considered that the plaintiff owed him money instead of his owing plaintiff, and that the present action was only an attempt to extort money, and in fact to rob him.

His Honour said he was satisfied the plaintiff had been paid all the defendant agreed to give him. He should give judgment for defendant, with costs.>

There's very good reason to believe that George Wilmer was, in fact, Gossip. The embarrassing nature of the case being the obvious motive to use an alias.

In the 1871 census (taken on April 2nd), the Gossip family (George, wife Alicia, son George and two servants) were living at 8 Mayfield Road, Hackney. However, a <George D H Gossip> joined a Freemasons' Lodge in London in October 1871 and the address is recorded as 8 Mayfield Terrace - the same as that given for George Wilmer above (Dalston, one should note, being part of Hackney). It wasn't unknown then for a street to be comprised of sections of housing, separately built, called Terrace, Row or the like.

That alone constitutes good evidence but confirmation comes in the shape of <Burke's Family Records>, a late 19th century compendium of British nobility and gentry. The Gossip family have their own arms, crest and motto - the later being <Expertus Credo>. The exact sense of which escapes me but Google reveals it was the motto of <Wilmer, George (1582 - 1626)> https://armorial.library.utoronto.c.... Delving into the lineage of the Gossips, a daughter of a later George Wilmer married into the family.

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