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Howard Staunton

Number of games in database: 561
Years covered: 1839 to 1866
Overall record: +211 -87 =43 (68.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 220 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (37) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (28) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Evans Gambit (19) 
    C52 C51
 Scotch Game (13) 
 Sicilian (12) 
    B20 B44 B28 B32 B30
 Bishop's Opening (8) 
    C23 C24
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (43) 
    B20 B21 B32 B40 B45
 King's Pawn Game (27) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (24) 
    C53 C54 C50
 Bishop's Opening (10) 
    C24 C23
 King's Gambit Accepted (9) 
    C33 C39 C37
 French Defense (9) 
    C00 C02 C01
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1851 1-0
   Saint-Amant vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   Staunton vs NN, 1840 1-0
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   Staunton vs Cochrane, 1842 1-0
   Staunton vs Anderssen, 1851 1-0
   NN vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Saint-Amant vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Staunton - Saint-Amant (1843)
   Staunton - Harrwitz (1846)
   Staunton - Horwitz (1846)
   Jaenisch - Staunton (1851)
   Staunton - Williams (1851)
   Staunton - Saint-Amant Casual Series (1843)
   Staunton - von der Lasa Casual Series (1853)
   London (1851)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Staunton - Cochrane series by MissScarlett
   The t_t Players: Staunton, Steinitz & Zukertort by fredthebear
   Staunton & Kolisch best games by Gottschalk
   1 by gr2cae
   Staunton - Horwitz (1846) by MissScarlett
   Staunton - Harrwitz (1846) by MissScarlett
   Staunton vs Saint-Amant WCM 1843 by ilcca
   Staunton - Popert (1840-41) by MissScarlett
   Blunderchecked games I by nimh
   Selected 19th century games by atrifix
   Staunton - de Rives (1853) by MissScarlett
   London 1851 by MissScarlett
   pre-Steinitz Era1:1861 or before by Antiochus

   H Kennedy vs H Buckle, 1846

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Howard Staunton
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(born 1810, died Jun-22-1874, 64 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

Howard Staunton was born in Westmorland, Northern England. Learning the game in 1830, he took it up seriously in 1836 and by 1840 was among the world's best players.

In April 1843, after losing a short but hard-fought match to visiting Frenchman Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant (+2 =1 -3), he issued a more formal challenge. This second match, in November-December 1843, was convincingly won by Staunton (+11 =4 -6) and broke the century-long domination of the game by French players.

In the 1840s and 50s Staunton did a great deal for chess. He founded and edited "The Chess Player's Chronicle" (1841-1854), organized the first International tournament (the London (1851) knock-out format), made efforts to unify the laws of chess, wrote books and sponsored the design by Nathaniel Cook for chess pieces that has since become the standard pattern.

The only blotch on this splendid record was his continual evasion of a match with visiting American master Paul Morphy in 1858. Staunton died in London in 1874.

Notes: Howard Staunton played two consultation games with Paul Morphy, but was on the team of Staunton / Owen.

Consultation games: Anderssen / Horwitz / Kling vs Staunton / Boden / Kipping, 1857

Wikipedia article: Howard Staunton

Last updated: 2018-04-19 16:25:14

 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 561  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Staunton vs Bristol CC 1-0391839Correspondence gameA03 Bird's Opening
2. Bristol CC vs Staunton ½-½391839Correspondence gameD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
3. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1381840MatchC02 French, Advance
4. Staunton vs NN  1-0291840Odds game000 Chess variants
5. Staunton vs NN  1-0571840Odds game000 Chess variants
6. Staunton vs NN 1-0261840Casual gameC37 King's Gambit Accepted
7. Staunton vs NN  1-0351840Casual gameC20 King's Pawn Game
8. Staunton vs NN 1-0291840Casual gameC38 King's Gambit Accepted
9. W M Popert vs Staunton ½-½561840MatchC45 Scotch Game
10. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1271840MatchC00 French Defense
11. Staunton vs NN 1-0211840?C52 Evans Gambit
12. Staunton vs NN  ½-½241840Odds game000 Chess variants
13. Staunton vs NN  1-0351840Odds game000 Chess variants
14. W M Popert vs Staunton 0-1571840MatchC02 French, Advance
15. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0361840MatchC44 King's Pawn Game
16. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0381840MatchB32 Sicilian
17. W M Popert vs Staunton 0-1331840MatchB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
18. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0391840MatchC20 King's Pawn Game
19. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0191840LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
20. NN vs Staunton 0-1291840LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
21. Staunton vs NN  1-0301840Odds game000 Chess variants
22. Staunton vs NN 1-0231840Casual gameC37 King's Gambit Accepted
23. Staunton vs NN  1-0161840Odds game000 Chess variants
24. Staunton vs W M Popert ½-½591841LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
25. NN vs Staunton 0-1221841Casual gameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 561  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Staunton wins | Staunton loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 23 OF 23 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I wish <John Townsend> would join this site! There's nobody else I can discuss this stuff with. There's over 80 people in the tree now...
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Illustrated London News, March 28th 1857, p.300:

<We are indebted to Russia for so much that is valuable on the theory of the game, and for so many admirable examples of practical skill that every amateur here will rejoice to find that our Chess communications with the distinguished players of that country are again resumed, and that we may once more calculate on enriching our columns with those masterly combats which have given celebrity, wherever Chess is known, to the names of the Princes Ouroussoff, and to those of Petroff, Jaenisch, Shumoff, and other leading members of the Cercle des Echecs in St. Petersburg.>

Apr-14-22  Z free or die: <: I wish <John Townsend> would join this site! There's nobody else I can discuss this stuff with. There's over 80 people in the tree now...>

You could always try to entice with the generous offer of a free premium membership, courtesy of <MIssScarlett>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: If we can't get Townsend, I'll settle for Killoran. Let's face it, it's only pride keeping them away!
Apr-15-22  Z free or die: <<Missy> I'll settle for Kiloran [sic?]>

I presume you mean <Killoran>?

As in <Gerald Killoran>, mentioned four times in a single Chess History html page:

Looks like neither Killoran nor Winter have reservations about providing scans of (presumably) PD material. Just thought I'd mention that little tidbit.

PD = Public Domain.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <<<Missy> I'll settle for Kiloran [sic?]>

I presume you mean <Killoran>>

My eyesight is getting bad, yours must be worse.

<Looks like neither Killoran nor Winter have reservations about providing scans of (presumably) PD material.>

Probably they sought the requisite permission. Winter is nothing if not scrupulous. Killoran can enlighten us when he gets here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Had a walk through Brompton Cemetery today. Depressing, full of dead people. Was trying to find a grave containing two of Staunton's (alleged) sister-in-laws. Roughly knew its location, but no luck. Must have been within yards, but even if I found the right headstone (assuming there still is one), it would probably be unreadable after 180 years.
Premium Chessgames Member


Foooook off


Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <Depressing, full of dead people.>

Better that than hearing panicked screams coming up from people trapped six feet underground.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: You been listening to <Thriller> again? Did you ever see Romero's <Night of the Living Dead>? Killer ending - the black bloke gets shot in the head!
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

In his <New Court Gazette> column of August 8th 1840, p.511, Staunton gives this position - White to mate in 5 - as an antidote to those finding the normal run of problems too difficult.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The following ad appears in <Kingpin>, #24, Spring 1995, p.17:

<Raymond Keene presents...

An Evening with Howard Staunton

* Was Staunton really the son of the Earl of Carlisle?

* What did he think of Morphy?

* How does he rate Short and Kasparov?

Find out on Tuesday April 1 when Simpsons in the Strand will be hosting a special Victorian banquet in honour of the only English World Chess Champion.

Exhumed especially for the occasion, Howard Staunton will be discussing his life and games.*

If you would like to attend this extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime event, please send a cheque for 75 guineas to the Staunton Resurrection Society, c/o Simpsons, Strand, London. Donations gleefully received.

Period black tie and beard compulsory.

Mr Staunton is available for simuls/lectures/tuition at very favourable rates.

* with the assistance of Grandmaster Raymond Keene OBE and a spiritualist.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: This woman was Staunton's niece - well, sort of:

Her step-father's brother was the former husband of Staunton's wife.

Jan-08-23  LoveThatJoker: <MissScarlett > I'm not going to lie: this looks good,


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Mary Magdalene was actually 13 in February 1849 (she was baptised in February 1836), so she would've been 18 (or practically so) when she married in January 1854. Her husband was <Fleming Hillas> (1833-1881). What's interesting is that the Hillas family home around this time was 12 Sydney Place, whilst the Nethersoles (I hesitate to call them the Stauntons) lived at no.8. It's a strong indicator that Mary regularly lived at the family home.

The young couple's first daughter, Eliza, was born in Melbourne, Australia, in July 1855, so emigration was probably on their agenda right from the beginning. Was Staunton so difficult to be around?>

Howard Staunton

Someone posted on Ancestry, the Australian death certificate of Mary (who, to remind everyone, was Staunton's step-daughter by way of his marriage to Frances in 1849). She died in South Yarra (a suburb of Melbourne) on March 9th 1863, aged only 27. The name is given as <Mary Madeline Hillas> but there's no doubt it's her.

Cause of death is given as <Disease of Heart and Lungs 8 Years Exhaustion>. It's noted that she'd been in the colony for 9 years, and she left behind Fleming and three children (two others deceased).

But what caught my eye is the identity of the parents. The father, as expected, is<William Dickenson Nethersole>, the mother is not Frances, but <(Unknown) Fladgate>. The handwriting isn't the easiest to read, though I'm confident that's what it says.

Who then is Fladgate?

Frances family name was Cates - she had two sisters, Emma and Helen, who married two brothers, Francis and William Fladgate. So by the 1830s, the Cates, the Nethersole and the Fladgate families were all somewhat intertwined. Various Fladgates and Nethersoles had lived/worked in Essex St. (off the Strand) as solicitors for many years.

But who could be Mary Magdalene's mother, if not Frances? Francis and William Fladgate had three sisters, Maria, Ann and Elizabeth. Maria, the oldest, married in 1823 and already had five children by 1830. This proves she was highly fertile, but it seems unlikely she would have gotten mixed up with William Dickenson Nethersole (who'd been married to Frances since 1825). But the two sisters, Ann and Elizabeth never married. At the time of Mary's birth in 1836, Ann was 31, and Elizabeth, 28.

Of course, there may have been other branches of the Fladgate family beyond the scope of my knowledge, but these two ladies are my prime suspects.

Does the choice of the name, Mary Magdalene, with its connotation of a repentant prostitute, have any significance?

Does the emigration of Mary and Fleming in 1854, soon after their marriage, suggest that she and Frances were not particularly close?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Regarding Frances Carpenter's eight children, the sad fact, as pointed out by Townsend, is that all of them (as well as two husbands) predeceased her:

<William Henry - born 29 Jun 1826; died 31 Aug 1826

William Edward - born 28 Mar 1828; died 30 Sep 1877

Francis - born 22 Apr 1830; died 29 Jan 1876

Frances - born 25 Jul 1832; died 30 Jul 1856

Harriett - born 5 Oct 1833; died 9 May 1834

Mary - born 18 Jan 1836; died 9 Mar 1863

Sophia - born 18 Sep 1837; died 27 Nov 1873

Stephen - born c.Feb 1841; died 30 Jul 1843>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Finally discovered, I think, where the <April> 1810 for Staunton's birth date comes from.

The 1851 census gave Staunton's age as 40; in 1861 as 51; in 1871 as 60.

The census in 1851, occurred on March 30; in 1861 on April 7; in 1871 on April 2.

Some bright spark - taking this information at face value (after all, what reason would Staunton have to lie?) - figured that his birthday must fall between April 3rd and April 7th.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Was any biographical notice of Staunton - which mentioned his birthplace or year of birth - ever published during his lifetime?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The 1851 census gave Staunton's age as 40; in 1861 as 51; in 1871 as 60.>

Frances, Howard's wife, was born February 18th 1805. In 1851, her age is given as 45; in 1861 as 50; in 1871 as 66. Therefore only in 1871 is the correct age given, although I suppose it was not an uncommon practice for women to trim a year or two off their age. But what about 1861? The Stauntons were visitors in the house of the Englehart sisters, Martha and Emma, in Isleworth. The reason for their visit is unknown, but it seems probable that the ladies were friends/acquaintances of Frances rather than Howard. If the census taker asked for the ages of those present, I can imagine Frances not wishing to reveal her true age (the sisters were considerably younger - 39 and 30 per the census) lopping a few years off. To which her husband chivalrously responded by adding a year to his own age. How plausible does that sound?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The 1851 census took place on Sunday, March 30th and recorded the household as Staunton and Frances, Frances Ada (the daughter), Louisa (the wife's half-sister), as well as two female servants.> Howard Staunton (kibitz #542)

<Louisa (the wife's half-sister)>

I wrote this per Townsend (see below), but now I'm doubtful. Her name is given as <Louisa Nethersole>, relationship to the head of the house (Staunton) is <Sister in Law>, unmarried, aged 48 and profession/occupation is <Annuitant> (the same as 'sister' Frances). By the by, Staunton's occupation is given as <Journalist & Annuitant>.

Problem is that I can't identify any such <Louisa>, whose birth date should be c.1802-03.

If she was directly a sister of Frances, her surname should be Cates, not Nethersole. Besides, Frances's known siblings are George (b.1799), Emma (b. 1806), Catherine (b.1808) and half-siblings, Adolphus (b.1809) and Helen Louisa, (b.1813).

William Dickenson Nethersole (Frances's first husband) had one known sister - Harriet Nethersole (1803-1844).

So what did Townsend say on the matter?

<There was also a 48-year-old woman, "Louisa Nethersole", described as Staunton's sister-in-law, Almost certainly, the Nethersole part of that is wrong and she was Louisa Luson Henry, a half-sister of Frances and a life-long friend who left her a bequest in her will when she died in 1881.>

Via Ancestry, I found an 1881 probate record which reads: <The Will of Louisa Luson Henry formerly of 33 but late of 31 Ledbury-road Bayswater in the County of Middlesex[.] Spinster who died 6 November 1881 at 31 Ledbury-road was proved at the Principal Registry by Frances Carpenter Staunton of 4 Westbury - terrace Westbourne Park in the said County [.] Widow one of the Executrixes.>

Ledbury Road, Westbury Terrace (it no longer exists), and the Stauntons last addresses, Landsdowne and Elgin Roads, were all in close proximity, so this Louisa was probably a regular visitor to the Staunton home in later years, but was it her in 1851?

Townsend seems quite definite on the half-sister relationship and as he alludes to the will itself, it's possible this document spells out the relationship, but I withhold judgement and remain sceptical.

For a start, the Brompton cemetery burial register shows that <Louisa Luson Henry> of 31 Ledbury Road, buried on November 11 1881 was aged 85. This puts her date of birth as c.1796, meaning she'd be about 55, not 48, in 1851.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Q4 1881 Civil Registration Death Index records the demise of <Louisa <Leeson> Henry>, aged 85 in the Kensington district.

A <BNA> search for <Luson Henry> turns up an 1825 list of deacon appointments of Cambridge University students including: <Henry Charles Luson Henry, B.A., Jesus College, Cambridge, by Let. Dim. from the Bishop of Sarum.>

Let. Dim.:

<Henry Charles Luson Henry> in the <Alumni Cantabrigienses> is given as <Henry Charles <Leeson> Henry>: <Adm. pens. (age 26) at Jesus, Nov. 3, 1820. S. of John. B. London. School, Islington. Matric. Michs. 1820; B.A. 1825. Ord. deacon (Bristol) Apr. 3, 1825.>

Given their respective birth dates, there's a good chance that Henry Charles and Louisa are brother and sister.

Jul-22-23  edo.chess: John Townsend asked me to submit this for him, since he is not registered with

Frances Carpenter Staunton and Louisa Luson Henry named each other in their wills and in both cases referred to the other as "my sister". Obviously, they weren't full sisters, since George Cates was father to only one of them. However, to interpret them as half-sisters makes very good sense, for the following reason. Louisa Luson was born on 10 September 1796 and baptized at St. George's Hanover Square on 20 December 1796, a daughter of John Luson and Louisa Luson. The theory is that her mother, Louisa, later became the mother (also known to have been a Louisa) of Staunton's wife, making them half-sisters. There is no proof of this as yet, and it remains to be explained how LLH acquired the name Henry (as did her brother, the clergyman). However, that they were half-sisters seems to me extremely likely.

St. George's parish also matches the birthplace in the 1851 census of the woman described as "Louisa Nethersole". The latter's age was given as 48. I believe she was actually 54, which is a significant discrepancy. All the same, the theory fits the bill well in most important respects. If "Louisa Nethersole" was not LLH, who was she? And where is LLH in the 1851 census, if not at 8 Sydney Place?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <John Townsend asked me to submit this for him, since he is not registered with>

Wait, what gives? It takes two minutes to register for free. Or is this meant to be a one off contribution? I will continue as if this were a conversation.

<Frances Carpenter Staunton and Louisa Luson Henry named each other in their wills and in both cases referred to the other as "my sister".>

What were the dates on these wills?

<Louisa Luson was born on 10 September 1796 and baptized at St. George's Hanover Square on 20 December 1796, a daughter of John Luson and Louisa Luson.>

I had only searched for <Louisa Luson Henry>. It didn't take long to find <Henry Charles Luson> in the St. George's baptism register: Born December 26 1794, baptised March 27 1795. Father is John Joshua, mother Louisa. I suppose it would be curious to have baptised him <Henry Henry>.

<The theory is that her mother, Louisa, later became the mother (also known to have been a Louisa) of Staunton's wife, making them half-sisters.>

My attention was more focused on the Nethersole side of the family, but, of course, this is compelling. As you're presumably aware, there's already uncertainty regarding the early years of the Cates children.

<Frances's known siblings are George (b.1799), Emma (b. 1806), Catherine (b.1808) and half-siblings, Adolphus (b.1809) and Helen Louisa, (b.1813).>

The mother of George, Frances (b.1805), Emma and Catherine is supposed to be Louisa, who I'd assumed was the first wife of George Cates, Snr., although no marriage record is known. The mother of Adolphus and Helen Louisa is thought to be Elizabeth Goodson (c.1781 - 1863). But she married George, Snr., on May 16 1804, i.e., before the births of Frances, Emma and Catherine.

< If "Louisa Nethersole" was not LLH, who was she? And where is LLH in the 1851 census, if not at 8 Sydney Place?>

I prefer the first question. After all, where is LLH in the other censuses?

Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: In some of his games Staunton reminds me of Petrosian.

Unusual positions with positional maneuvers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I note that <Louisa Luson Henry>, alongside <George Cates>, were witnesses to the wedding of Frances and William Henry Nethersole in August 1825. Frances had an older brother called George, but this is surely her father, as she was a minor (under 21) and required his consent to the marriage.

That Louisa was present on such an auspicious occasion confirms the closeness of her relationship with Frances and suggests she was accepted within the Cates family circle (or by some members, at least) even though she was not the child of either George or Elizabeth. That said, what if George Cates was her actual father, meaning Louisa and Frances were full sisters.

Cates left a will when he died in 1828, which is available online, making provisions for his children, but it's largely indecipherable to these eyes.

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