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Howard Staunton
Number of games in database: 327
Years covered: 1839 to 1866

Overall record: +181 -79 =40 (67.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 27 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (24) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (20) 
    C53 C54 C50
 Evans Gambit (13) 
    C51 C52
 Scotch Game (10) 
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C77 C60 C65
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C37 C38
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (42) 
    B20 B21 B40 B32 B44
 King's Pawn Game (26) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (23) 
    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 NN, 1855 1-0
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1851 1-0
   Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Cochrane vs Staunton, 1842 0-1
   Staunton vs Anderssen, 1851 1-0
   Staunton vs Cochrane, 1842 1-0
   Saint Amant vs Staunton, 1843 0-1
   NN vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Staunton - Saint Amant (1843)
   London (1851)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Staunton & Kolisch best games by Gottschalk
   The t_t Players: Staunton, Steinitz & Zukertort by fredthebear
   1 by gr2cae
   Staunton vs Saint-Amant WCM 1843 by ilcca
   Blunderchecked games I by nimh
   Selected 19th century games by atrifix
   London 1851 by MissScarlett
   pre-Steinitz Era1:1861 or before by Antiochus
   Chess Prehistory by Joe Stanley

   H Kennedy vs H Buckle, 1846

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Howard Staunton
Search Google for Howard Staunton

(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 14; games 1-25 of 328  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E Williams vs Staunton ½-½381839Correspondence gameD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
2. Staunton vs Bristol 1-0391839Correspondence gameA03 Bird's Opening
3. Staunton vs NN 1-0211840?C52 Evans Gambit
4. W M Popert vs Staunton 0-1571840MatchC02 French, Advance
5. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1271840MatchC00 French Defense
6. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0381840LondonB32 Sicilian
7. Staunton vs NN  1-0351840Casual gameC20 King's Pawn Game
8. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1381840MatchC02 French, Advance
9. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0191840LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
10. W M Popert vs Staunton ½-½561840MatchC45 Scotch Game
11. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0391840MatchC20 King's Pawn Game
12. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0361840MatchC44 King's Pawn Game
13. NN vs Staunton 0-1291840LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
14. W M Popert vs Staunton 0-1331840MatchB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
15. C Stanley vs Staunton  1-0401841Odds match000 Chess variants
16. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0251841LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
17. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0311841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
18. Staunton vs NN 1-0341841SimulC44 King's Pawn Game
19. NN vs Staunton 0-1331841London 5C30 King's Gambit Declined
20. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1201841London m1C23 Bishop's Opening
21. Staunton vs Cochrane 0-1291841London m1C46 Three Knights
22. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0321841LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
23. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0291841Casual gameC44 King's Pawn Game
24. NN vs Staunton 0-1171841LondonC33 King's Gambit Accepted
25. Staunton vs W M Popert ½-½591841LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 328  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 17 OF 17 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-21-18  Granny O Doul: Ann Jellicoe wrote "The Knack...and How to Get It" which became a Richard Lester film. And her name rhymes with "Fra Angelico".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Hi <MissScarlett>. What makes you think the name Jellicoe was that rare? Or are you just trailing your coat?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Trailing one's coat>, I confess, is an expression that's new to me, but one to which I am now happily acquainted. Needless to say, no subterfuge was intended. I maintain the rarity of said name.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Hi <MissScarlet> :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: From Staunton's column in the <ILN> of April 30th 1859, p.430, a 'correspondent' writes:

<EUPOLIS remarks, "That a party of chess amateurs should invite Mr. Morphy is right and becoming : he is a foreigner, and though -

'Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
Multi' -

perhaps no player of his years has ever equalled him, but that a friendly entertainment of this kind should be magnified into a 'Grand Demonstration,' as if the winner of some half dozen chess matches were the hero of a hundred battles, or had invented the steam-engine or built the Brittania-bridge, is sufficiently ridiculous to turn a graceful and well-meant compliment into absolute burlesque. What a pity it is that the small clique of professional chess 'masters' who perform kotoo before Mr. Morphy, or whoever happens to be their top-sawyer at the moment, cannot be satisfied to give him unlimited kudos among themselves without blowing a penny trumpet and calling on all the world to do homage to their divinity also!">

<"Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona multi; sed omnes illacrimabiles
urgentur ignotique longa
nocte, carent quia vate sacro.”

(“There lived many brave men before Agamenon,
but they are all buried unwept and unknown in long night, because they lack a holy poet.”)>

Online dictionaries fail to identify <kotoo>; Google turns up the expression, <perform kotoo> in a couple of obscure books dating from 1836 and 1841, respectively, so evidently it had some minor currency in Victorian vernacular.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Miss S,

Do not know if this helps.

Kotoo - to bow down before, to cringe, to flatter. From a Chinese ceremony.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <kotoo>
The original Chinese is 磕頭, and the most common English rendering today is kow-tow. Yes, it means to bow down before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Thanks, both. I thought it might be Japanese.

<Kowtow, which is borrowed from kau tau in Cantonese (koutou in Mandarin Chinese), is the act of deep respect shown by prostration, that is, kneeling and bowing so low as to have one's head touching the ground. An alternative Chinese term is ketou; however, the meaning is somewhat altered: kou (叩) has the general meaning of knock, whereas ke (磕) has the general meaning of "touch upon (a surface)", tou (頭) meaning head.


In East Asian culture, the kowtow is the highest sign of reverence. It was widely used to show reverence for one's elders, superiors, and especially the Emperor, as well as for religious and cultural objects of worship.>

Game Collection: If chess was a religion, Morphy would be God.

Sep-13-18  zanzibar: Another interesting tidbit/find by <MissS>.

While <kooto> caught her eye in the correspondence, <top sawyer> caught mine.

I had to admit that I'm more familiar with a <Tom Sawyer> than a <top sawyer>:

From Merriam-Webster online:

1 : a worker at a sawpit who stands above the timber — compare bottom sawyer

2 British : a person in a position of advantage or eminence >

I assume the 2nd, British, meaning is inferred from the quote.

* * * * *

And if one looks up just <sawyer> there is an interesting third definition:

<3 : a tree fast in the bed of a stream with its branches projecting to the surface and bobbing up and down with the current>

A totally new word to me, though I'm quite familiar with the concept!


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Compare with top-dog:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: That post with the letter from EUPOLIS.

Howard Staunton (kibitz #399)

It was not unknown for Staunton to print letters in his column from fictitious readers.

page 11, 'Howard Staunton, the English World Chess Champion' by Keene and Coles.'

"He [Staunton] hit out at his enemies, real or supposed, under the cover of answers to correspondents.

There were people who refused to credit the existence of these correspondents."

I wonder if this was Staunton having a vent or did 'EUPOLIS' really exist. He (or indeed She) uses a wonderful turn of phase - almost Shakespearian.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It would probably be more accurate to say that Staunton occasionally printed a correspondent's letter that he hadn't written himself.
Premium Chessgames Member
<Dear Offramp,
What do you think of all these malcontents, nay-sayers and jobbernowls who say that Staunton wrote letters to himself?
Yours sincerely,
Mr Road-Used, 2 Exit, Freeway.>

Dear Mr R.Used,
These people are clearly nay-sayers and jobbernowls.
Normal, sensible human beings would give them the bum's rush (q.v.).
Best wishes,

Sep-14-18  ughaibu: Unfortunately I can only think of unfunny plays on words about mandrills and scarlet rumps.
Jan-06-19  falso contacto: Just bought a Staunton chess set for the first time. Great acquisition.
Mar-01-19  zanzibar: Comments on chess research, including on Townsend's work on Staunton:

Steinitz vs Blackburne, 1862 (kibitz #3)


PS- <falso contacto> welcome to the 19th century!


Mar-18-19  KnightVBishop: would he of beat prime morphy?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <KVB> I think the consensus of the chess world is best summed up by Chernev: "Briefly, Staunton would have certainly lost the match; but his name would have smelled sweeter had he somehow or other found time to play it."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

<Staunton's simuls>

Fine carelessly writes in The World's Great Chess Games (page 11) that Staunton travelled extensively to give simultaneous exhibitions. In fact, Howard Staunton was one of the few top players who virtually never gave such displays. Here is an extract from his column in the Illustrated London News of 14 April 1866:

'We have often expressed our opinion of that silliest of all chess exploits ­the playing of a number of games simultaneously against a number of tenth-­rate amateurs. To play half-a-dozen games without sight of the board is a real tour de force of which very few players are capable -to play half-a-hundred by merely parading up and down before as many chess-boards is what any tolerable player can do without difficulty. In such a case, he need only be insensible to the absurdity of the exhibition; and if he is a good walker, or can hire a velocipede, his triumph is infallible.'

<MissScarlett> gave the reference to C.N. 594 (Chess Explorations, p. 237-238) and linked Staunton's original column here: Biographer Bistro

Chess Explorations, p. 273, Endnotes 9:

'Tentative efforts were made in C.N. to catalogue the records regarding the number of opponents in simultaneous exhibitions (C.N.s 899, 939, 970 and 1107) and in blindfold displays (C.N.s 674 and 898).'

Unfortunately there is no online access to these C.N. numbers.


The smallest form of simultaneous play - Staunton against the best blindfold players at this time, we find in the CPC 1847, p. 277-280:

'Played simultaneously with the preceding (sic Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritzky & Daniel Harrwitz), Mr. Staunton giving the odds of his Q. R., and Mr. Harrwitz & Mr. Kieseritzky playing without the Chess-board and Men.'

Staunton vs Kieseritzky, 1846 - Staunton vs Harrwitz, 1846

<Are there other examples outside of the large databases?>


Jun-15-20  Cibator: <MissScarlett: Compare with top-dog:

Having looked at that page you cite, I'm puzzled that they seem to ignore the most obvious explanation of the phrase. Dogs' instincts are to get together in packs. Within any pack, there is a recognised hierarchy, with the "top dog" at its head (an arrangement akin to the "pecking order" in flocks of birds). Even if there's only two in the pack, one of them always has to be acknowledged as being above the other. Establishing control over your pooch is partly a matter of getting it to accept you as a surrogate top dog. All this was explained to me many years ago by a dog-owning relative.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Hikaru Nakamura : <Oh Staunton, very good chess player, by the way...>
Jun-20-20  C. Auguste Dupin: Staunton was probably the first to take a deep look into the strategic aspects of chess and was an excellent opening analyst.
Aug-24-20  Nosnibor: Here is a consultation game not in the database which remains unfinished when Staunton should have resigned at move 32 being three pawns down in a lost endgame but chose not to do so. White: H. Staunton Black: C. De Vere and P. T. Duffy. Scotch Gambit , London 1866.( Source: Chess World April 1866 with notes by Staunton.)1e4,e5.2Nf3,Nc6.3d4,exd4.4Bc4,Bc5.50-0- ,d6.6b4,Bb6.7b5,Na5.8Bd3,Bg4.9Bd2,Ne7.10Na3,Ng6.- 11Be2,Qe7.12Qe1,Bxf3.13Bxf3,Bc5.14Bxa5,Bxa3.15Bb- 4,Bxb4.16Qxb4,0-0.17Qxd4,Nh4.18Be2,Rfe8.19g3,("I- f he had moved the bishop to d3- a natural move to make-Black would have won his queen")19...Nf5.("From this stage of the game De Vere and Duffy play extremely well.")20exf5,Qxe2.21Rae1,Qxb5. 22Rxe8+,Rxe8.23f6,b6.24Qg4,g6.25Qf3,Qc4.("Every move of Black shows good judgement and circumspection") 27Qd1,Re6.28Qd2,Bxf6.29Re1,Qc4.30Re8+,Kg7.31Re8,- Kg7.32Re8,Rxc3.("The game was left unfinished at this time but barring some mistake it must be easily won by Black, who have three pawns advantage.")
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < Here is a consultation game not in the database...>

There's an obvious doesn't work by osmosis.

Premium Chessgames Member

No Morphy in the top 10!? That's a bit harsh!

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