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Howard Staunton
Number of games in database: 318
Years covered: 1840 to 1866

Overall record: +178 -79 =40 (66.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 21 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Pawn Game (23) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (20) 
    C53 C54 C50
 Evans Gambit (12) 
    C51 C52
 Scotch Game (10) 
 Ruy Lopez (7) 
    C77 C65 C60
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C37 C38
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (41) 
    B20 B21 B40 B32 B44
 King's Pawn Game (26) 
    C44 C20 C40
 Giuoco Piano (23) 
    C53 C54 C50
 Bishop's Opening (10) 
    C23 C24
 French Defense (9) 
    C00 C02 C01
 King's Gambit Accepted (9) 
    C33 C39 C37
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
   NN vs Staunton, 1841 0-1
   Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 1-0
   Staunton vs Cunningham, 1856 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
   pre-Steinitz Era1:1861 or before by Antiochus
   London 1851 by MissScarlett
   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 13; games 1-25 of 318  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1381840LondonC02 French, Advance
2. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0191840LondonC44 King's Pawn Game
3. W M Popert vs Staunton ½-½561840MatchC45 Scotch Game
4. Staunton vs W M Popert 1-0391840LondonC20 King's Pawn Game
5. NN vs Staunton 0-1291840LondonC53 Giuoco Piano
6. W M Popert vs Staunton 0-1331840LondonB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
7. Staunton vs NN 1-0211840?C52 Evans Gambit
8. Staunton vs W M Popert 0-1271840MatchC00 French Defense
9. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0381840LondonB32 Sicilian
10. Zytogorski vs Staunton 0-1121841London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
11. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1571841London m1C50 Giuoco Piano
12. Zytogorski vs Staunton 1-0261841London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
13. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0231841LondonC02 French, Advance
14. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0341841London m1C45 Scotch Game
15. NN vs Staunton 0-1221841LondonC33 King's Gambit Accepted
16. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1211841London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
17. Staunton vs NN 1-0481841SimulC45 Scotch Game
18. Staunton vs NN 1-0261841London 5C37 King's Gambit Accepted
19. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1361841London m1C44 King's Pawn Game
20. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1241841LondonC45 Scotch Game
21. Zytogorski vs Staunton ½-½571841London m (f7 &000 Chess variants
22. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0301841MatchC51 Evans Gambit
23. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0431841London m1C40 King's Knight Opening
24. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1351841London m1C53 Giuoco Piano
25. Staunton vs NN 1-0221841SimulC23 Bishop's Opening
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 318  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Staunton wins | Staunton loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I note there's only six of the reported eight children of Frances listed here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: C.N. 10785:

<Actually Staunton was enabled to devote himself to serious chess through Lord Carlisle’s generosity. He was the son of a housemaid at Castle Howard. His mother continued to live for many years in the neighbouring village of Coneysthorpe.”’>

This wasn't what I had in mind when I half-joked: Biographer Bistro (kibitz #16723)

<The Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury>, 23rd September 1825, p.2:

<Connected with the Earl of Carlisle's death, a melancholy circumstance occurred in York last week. A Miss Monk, an elderly maiden, who kept a poulterer's shop in Peter's-lane, was in the habit of supplying his Lordship's larder, and those of many other great personages, when in York, with poultry. She had, for the present occasion, laid in and bespoken a large stock of fowls, ducks, geese, pigeons, &c., when she suddenly heard of her patron's demise, and immediately conceived that herself and the festival were irretrievably ruined. Not that even if the latter were injured by Lord Carlisle's demise she should have been plunged in the abyss of poverty — for she was passing rich — but she calculated with a gloomy imagination that she might probably not make some twenty pounds profit which she had anticipated, and rather than endure the horrors of such a calamity, death had charms. She accordingly took a strong dose of poison, and died. -— Verdict of the coroner's inquest, temporary insanity.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Did she died?
May-27-18  zanzibar: Courtesy of Charles Tomlinson, we have this extensive sample of Howard Staunton's handwriting, published in BCM:

BCM v11 (1891) p411


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Historical notes on some chess players> by John Townsend (Wokingham, 2014), p.128-129:

<William Humphrey Stanton is the candidate who was tentatively proposed in the Appendix of <Notes on the life of Howard Staunton>. Since publication in 2011, no evidence or other kind of feedback has been received to the effect that the identification with Staunton is unlikely or wrong. On a positive note, some further biographical details have been added regarding several of the close family members, but not about William Humphrey Stanton himself. These will not be discussed here. Suffice it to say that the consequence of that newer information is, generally speaking, neutral, though in one area, concerning a theatre performer, it appears to favour his candidature slightly.

There was a little criticism that two names had been associated with the great chess player, i.e. Charles Sta(u)nton and William Humphrey Stanton, which was seen as contradictory. However, the claim that Staunton used the name Charles Sta(u)nton was limited to the period, 1836-1839. The name William Humphrey Stanton at baptism and on marriage, or at other times, would not necessarily be inconsistent with that. Clearly, a single individual could have used both names at different times. In any research into Staunton's past, it needs to be taken on board that he may have used other names, perhaps even several.


Any reader whose head is swimming with the various permutations of these Sta(u)ntons may find the following outline conclusions helpful:

1. Charles Staunton or Charles Stanton, who was recorded as the occupier of part of 26 Charles Street, St. James's in rate books one three separate occasions, is the same person as Howard Staunton, who was identified as the occupier in other sources.

2. Of all the persons who used the name Charles Staunton or Charles Stanton, the man referred to above as "William Charles Sta(u)nton" is the closest match to Howard Staunton that has been found during the research, and it is suspected that he was Howard Staunton.

3. This does not conflict with the possibility that William Humphrey Stanton was Howard Staunton. He remains a candidate and may have been the same person as "William Charles Sta(u)nton", or been known by the name Charles Staunton/Stanton for a limited period.

The reader may find the "Summary of references" page which follows helpful.> (tbc)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I haven't been able to render these tables very artfully (the software here leaves much to be desired). Three gaps, where no <Place> has been specified, are denoted by (...).

Summary of references to William Charles Sta(u)nton:

Year - Name - Place - Type of document

1830 W.C. Stanton Motcombe St. Land tax

1831 W.C. Stanton Motcombe St. Land tax

1831 William Henry Stanton Motcombe St. Baptism register

1834 Charles Staunton Coleshill Street Baptism register

1834 William Charles Stanton Selwood Place Rate book

1835 William Charles Stanton Selwood Place Rate book

1835 "Slounton" Selwood Place House insurance

1848 Charles Staunton (...) Marriage register

1848 "T. Staunton, Esq." (...) Newspaper

Summary of early references to Howard Staunton:

Year - Name - Place - Type of document

1836 H. Staunton, Esq. (...) List of subscribers

1837 Mr. Staunton Westminster area Bell's Life

1838 Mr. Staunton Westminster area Bell's Life

1838 Charles Staunton 26 Charles Street Rate book

1839 Mr. Staunton 26 Charles Street Bell's Life

1839 Charles Stanton 26 Charles Street Rate book

1839 Charles Staunton 26 Charles Street Rate book

1839 Mr. Staunton Westminster area Bell's Life

1839 Howard Staunton Esq. 26 Charles Street Bell's Life

1840 Howard Staunton Esq. 26 Charles Street Court guide

Summary of references to William Humphrey Stanton:

Year - Name - Place - Type of document

1812 William Humphrey Stanton Drury Lane Baptism register

1840 William Humphrey Stanton Paddington Marriage register>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I'll return to Townsend's findings on Staunton's origins, but here's a beautiful item of useless trivia that <Edward Winter> would kill for.

The correspondence sections of all Staunton's <ILN> columns are online (I only just discovered this):

Here's the one for December 20th 1873:

At the bottom, amongst the list of correctly submitted solutions to a chess problem lies: <J. R. Jellicoe and S. C. Coker --- H.M.S. Britannia>.

Jellicoe is such an unusual name I knew immediately it had to be <Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO, SGM, DL> ( At the time though, Jellicoe would just have turned 14.

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."
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