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Arthur Marriott
Number of games in database: 8
Years covered: 1868 to 1883
Overall record: +3 -3 =2 (50.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Most played openings
C51 Evans Gambit (3 games)

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(born Nov-25-1859, died Nov-22-1884, 24 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

"The Irish Sportsman has been giving a series of biographical sketches of celebrated chess players, and its issue of May 3rd contains the following sketch of Mr. Arthur Marriott, of Nottingham:—

Mr. Arthur Marriott has for some years enjoyed a well-earned reputation as an amateur of exceptional chess ability. He was born in Nottingham, November 25th, 1859, and at about 15 years of age was initiated into the mysteries of the game by his eldest brother, Mr. Edwin Marriott, who at that time shared the honours of local championship with Mr. Hamel, the well-known veteran. It may be remarked that all the six brothers evinced more or less capacity in the same line, Mr. T. W. Marriott rising to the level of prize-winner in several tourneys and district competitions. In 1876 the subject of the present sketch made his debut as a competitor for one of the annual prizes at the Nottingham Mechanics' Institution, and in the following year he carried off the first prize, receiving slight odds from some of the oldest players. The special prize annually given by the President for a Handicap Tourney also fell to him in the same year. In 1878 a rule of the society debarred him from competing for the President's prize, and the contest for the class prize resulted in favour of his brother, T. W., after a close struggle. In 1879, however, the young player was successful in both these competitions, likewise winning the first prize in the following year, when the rule again operated against his entrance in the handicap. His star continued in the ascendant in 1881 and 1882. In both years he won the first prize, and in the latter the President's prize as well, when he had to give odds to all comers, though it is, perhaps, fair to add that several strong Nottingham men did not play. Ill-health unfortunately prevented his taking part in the tourney of 1883, and has interfered with his appearance at matches on more recent occasions. To the above, which may be styled the Nottingham list, may be added the following facts with regards to this formidable amateur. He was the winner of the Preston Guardian Correspondence Tourney, which covered a period of two years, 1881 to 1882, and included no fewer than 32 competitors. He for some years ably filled the office of secretary to the Nottingham Chess Club, acting as captain to the team, and in town matches he has successfully encountered Messrs. H. Jones, W. Cook, D. Y. Mills, J. H. Blake, W. L. Newham, F. E. Phillips, and others, losing only to the last-mentioned gentleman. In off-hand games he has scored even numbers with Mephisto and Mr. M'Donnell, and won a slight majority with Blackburne. He has played simultaneously and blindfolded at Nottingham, always winning a large proportion, once five-and-a-half out of six, and his similar achievements will long be pleasantly remembered at Bournemouth, where he was lately spending some time for the benefit of his health. Possessed of great brilliancy and combination power he is especially successful as an odds giver, while his accurate analysis and sound judgment must render him a serious antagonist in master tourneys. It is much regretted by his many chess friends that the delicate state of his health has done much to preclude him from a position in the chess world for which his abilities so admirably qualify him. His sad breakdown in health during the late Counties Chess Association at Birmingham, which compelled him to retire after a plucky attempt to play in spite of evident physical weakness, has been a matter of unfeigned and general regret, and we cannot better close this brief sketch than by wishing him renewed strength and a successful return to the chess life which his name adorns, and which he has done so much for."(1)

"During the few years in which we have been associated with The Chess Player's Chronicle, no more mournful duty has fallen to our lot than to record, as we now have to do, the death of the late Mr Arthur Marriott. In him the Chess World has lost one of its brightest ornaments and most promising exponents, and The Chess Player's Chronicle one of its most painstaking helpers. His labours as an analyst had won for him a reputation, enjoyed perhaps by few amateurs of the present day, while his geniality, and ability as a player, made him a most desirable opponent. As was perhaps known to many of our readers, Mr Marriott had long suffered very bad health, and we have been aware for some time, that it was unlikely he would ever again take an active part in Chess affairs. The last occasion on which he sat down to the board was on the 31st ult., when he fought against Mr Hanson, in the match Nottingham v Derby, Mr Hanson visiting Mr Marriott at home for the purpose of playing, as the latter had been confined to the house for some months past. One of the games played on that occasion we reproduced in our last issue, but, unfortunately, with an error as regards the position of the players; Mr Marriott played the Black men, and it was his opponent (Mr Hanson) who resigned. We have given on many other occasions examples of his skill, while in several instances his name has appeared as the annotator of Games published in our pages. For this reason we feel our subscribers will each consider, with us, that they have lost a friend, and will join with us in expressing their sympathy with his family, in their heavy bereavement. Mr Marriott died at the early age of twenty-five years, at his residence, at Nottingham, about midnight on Friday last."(2)

(1) Supplement to the Nottinghamshire Guardian, 1884.05.30, p4
(2) Chess Player's Chronicle, v8 n229, 26 November 1884, p223

Last updated: 2022-05-09 22:49:33

 page 1 of 1; 8 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Stevenson vs A Marriott 0-1101868NottinghamC21 Center Game
2. Blackburne vs A Marriott 1-0301871Blindfold gameC51 Evans Gambit
3. A Marriott vs Blackburne  0-1341871Casual gameC51 Evans Gambit
4. Blackburne vs A Marriott ½-½381873Blindfold simul, 10bC52 Evans Gambit
5. Norris vs A Marriott 0-1281878ENG corrC70 Ruy Lopez
6. Mephisto vs A Marriott ½-½441881Regent Street ExhibitionC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
7. A Marriott vs Theodor Von Zabern  1-0371883Casual gameC51 Evans Gambit
8. C E Ranken vs A Marriott  1-0381883Counties Chess Association' 1st-c tC28 Vienna Game
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Marriott wins | Marriott loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-13-06  64 Squares: Man was a pretty strong player, drawing Blackburne and the machine, "Mephisto" (actually operated by strong players such as Gunsberg). He deserves some recognition. Maybe a hotel named after him or something?
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a victory by Marriott that I have just uploaded into the database:

[Event "Casual game"]
[Site "Nottingham, England"]
[Date "1881.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "Arthur Towle Marriott"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 f5 3. exf5 e4 4. ♘d4 ♘f6 5. d3 ♗c5 6. dxe4 O-O 7. e5 ♘e4 8. f6 gxf6 9. ♕g4+ ♘g5 10. ♘f5 d5 11. h4 ♗xf2+ 12. ♔xf2 ♗xf5 13. ♕xf5 fxe5 14. ♕xf8+ ♕xf8+ 15. ♔g1 ♘e4 16. ♘d2 ♕f2+ 17. ♔h2 ♕g3+ 18. ♔g1 ♘f2 19. ♖h2 ♕e3 20. ♘f3 ♘h3+ 21. ♔h1 ♕g1+ 22. ♘xg1 ♘f2#

click for larger view

A nice variation of the smothered mate, with the White King smothered by pieces and pawns.

Jan-15-18  Jean Defuse: ...

From John S. Hilbert's 'Past Practices' column:

... (George Alcock) MacDonnell enjoyed presenting games of his friends, a young one among them being Arthur Towle Marriott, of Nottingham. For several years in the early 1880s, the subheading “Chess at Nottingham” was synonymous with Marriott’s contributions. Marriott learned chess at fifteen and in the next few years established himself as a skillful player. He regularly contributed games to MacDonnell’s column, and the young man’s attitude toward the game appealed to his more senior counterpart. MacDonnell eventually wrote of him that he was ‘brimful of original ideas, which he realized on the board in a form that was at once sound and beautiful. He possessed the happy faculty of finishing off his games in the most picturesque style.’ Undoubtedly MacDonnell included the following game among those he considered quite pleasing:

[Event "Mechanics' Institute"]
[Site "Nottingham"]
[Date "1881.??.??"]
[White "Marriott, Arthur Towle"]
[Black "Mr. K."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C51"]
[PlyCount "43"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Bc5 6. d4 exd4 7. O-O d6 8. cxd4 Bb6 9. a3 Nf6 10. Nc3 O-O 11. Bg5 Ne7 12. e5 Ne8 13. Nd5 f6 14. Nxe7+ Kh8 15. Nh4 d5 16. Qh5 Bf5 17. Nhxf5 dxc4 18. Ng6+ Kg8 19. Nfe7+ Kf7 20. e6+ Kxe6 21. Rfe1+ Kf7 22. Nh8# 1-0

Source: Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 24 December 1881.

Marriott came from a chess playing family. His father and brothers played the game. Here is another effort by the young man, which MacDonnell presented to his readers:

[Event "Nottingham"]
[Site "Nottingham"]
[Date "1882.01.??"]
[White "Mr. L."]
[Black "Marriott, Arthur Towle"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C49"]
[PlyCount "40"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. Nd5 Bc5 6. d3 h6 7. O-O d6 8. Be3 Bb6 9. Qd2 Be6 10. Nxb6 axb6 11. h3 g5 12. Nxg5 hxg5 13. Bxg5 Rg8 14. f4 Rxg5 15. fxg5 Nh5 16. g6 fxg6 17. Qh6 Nf4 18. g3 Qg5 19. Qh8+ Ke7 20. Qg7+ Bf7 0-1

Source: Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 20 October 1883.

Unfortunately, Arthur Marriott’s health betrayed him. MacDonnell afterward wrote that ‘When last I saw him, about two years previous to his decease, though pale from suffering and stooping from weakness, he had the old merry twinkle in his eye and gleeful sound in his laugh that betoken the pure heart and the happy disposition.’ Marriott died 21 November 1884*, at the age of twenty-five. He is remembered as one of MacDonnell’s “Knights of Chess,” one who was ‘learned in the openings, and familiar with the masterpieces of our game,’ and yet who ‘was at the same time brimful of original ideas which he realized on the board in a form that was at once sound and beautiful'.


Source: BCM 2011-10.


Jan-15-18  Jean Defuse: ...

* Land and Water (29 Nov. 1884) says Marriott died the previous Saturday (22-11-1884), as does the Nottingham Evening Post of 24 Nov. 1884 (information from Tim Harding). Gaige gives death date as 21-11-1884.



Arthur Marriott (born 1859) <learned chess at fifteen> therefore the games against Blackburne (1871 Blackburne vs A Marriott, 1871 & 1873 Blackburne vs A Marriott, 1873) could have been played by Marriott's father (or brother?) <...Marriott came from a chess playing family.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Nottinghamshire Guardian, December 12th 1884, p.2:


The untimely death of Mr. A. Marriott has already been noticed in these pages, and he was so well known in our local chess circle that a lengthened account of his career is unnecessary in this column. Mr. Marriott had spent considerable time at the south coast with the hope of recruiting his strength, and was about to pay another visit to Bournemouth in the early part of last month, when he was seized with a severe attack of inflammation of the lungs, which terminated fatally at midnight on the 22nd ult. The sad event caused great sorrow amongst the chess players of Nottingham, several of whom attended the funeral and placed a wreath of flowers on the coffin. The deceased was buried at the General Cemetery on the 25th of November (his birthday), the service being conducted by the Rev. J. A. Mitchell, an old chess friend. The chess columns of the Illustrated London News, the Sporting and Dramatic News, Land and Water, and other publications contain many brilliant specimens of his successful strategy against such opponents as Blackburne, MacDonnell, and Gunsberg, and he had gained more than a local reputation for simultaneous and blindfold skill.>

If correct, this would mean he died just short of his 25th birthday. Also supports the DOD being the 22nd.

The same column reports a match between Nottingham and Northampton chess clubs. Nottingham's line-up includes both T & E Marriott.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: A report of a club match between Nottingham and Leicester in the <Nottinghamshire Guardian> of February 9th 1877, p.5, lists <Messrs. E. Marriott, T. Marriott, A. Marriott>.

The obituary by MacDonnell (cited by Hilbert above) in the <Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News>, December 13th 1884, p.318, mentions the chess-playing family included his father and five brothers.

<Like John Cochrane, although he did not disdain victory, yet he strove primarily for the beautiful. To him it was nothing to win a bad game of a good player. If a game were not a picture he cared not who won it. An enthusiastic votary of chess, he was not infected with the slightest taint of selfishness, but always desired an opponent who was in the humour and in the condition for fighting. He derived additional pleasure from the game from the pleasure which he conceived it was affording his opponent. Pictures painted on the board, whether by his adversary's hand or by his own, were equally pleasant to his sight.>

Jan-21-18  Nosnibor: A report in the Leicester Mercury 20/12/1884 with regard to a county match between Nottingham and Leicester clubs states that "Before the visitors separated, reference was made to the severe loss to the Nottingham club has recently sustained by the lamented death of Mr. A Marriot, a chess player who was not only an important element in the strength of his own club,but who had also acquired a reputation for first class skill throughout the country " The match was won by Nottingham with T and E Marriot playing on the first two boards.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Thanks, but I'm not sure that adds anything.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus:, his book.

1871 census Nottingham St. Ann:

Thomas Marriott, Head, 54, Lace Maker, Employs 4 Men 5 Boys
Sarah, Wife, 50
Henry, Son, 21, b. in Nottingham, Clerk in ---- Office
Sarah, Dau(ghter), 1 (?)
Thomas, Son, 14, Office Boy
Frederic, Son, 13, Scholar/
<Arthur>, Son, 11, Scholar, b. in Nottingham

1881 census Nottingham St. Mary, 5 Goldswong Terr.:

Thomas Marriott, Head, 64, Lace Manufacturer
Sarah, Wife, 61, Employing 34 Males 4 Females
Frederic, 23, b. in Nottingham
<Arthur>, 21, b. in Nottingham
Eliza Hanson (?), 22, Dom. Servant

I find no exact dob and dod dates. There were many Marriotts in Nottingham around 1880.

Jan-22-18  patzerkiller: Check out


Kings Lynn:- Broad Street
John Towle Marriott 1874-1876

Manchester:- Strangeways
John Towle Marriott 1876-1890

Liverpool:- Hamilton Road
Date of Congregation, 1862.
Opened 17 Sept., 1871 ; preacher, James Martineau, D.D. First met in Roscommon Street, now Board Schools. MINISTERS.
John Towle Marriott I Oct. to death, 22 Nov., 1890

Jan-22-18  patzerkiller: From his obituary in the Manchester Times (Manchester, England), Friday, November 28, 1890

The Late John Towle Marriott

The deceased gentleman was a native of Nottingham, and was brought up among the Baptists, having been a member of Dr. Samuel Cox's congregation there until he left it for college.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: National Probate Calendar 19 Jan. 1891:

John Towle Marriott d. 22 Nov. 1890 was a brother of Thomas Walter Marriott of 1 Blue-Coat-street, Nottingham.

England & Wales Civil Reg. Death Index says John was born in 1851, so he was an older brother of Arthur.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Hmmm. How many sons were there?

MacDonnell said Arthur had five brothers, or, at least, five chess-playing brothers.

Is Thomas Walter the 14-y-old from the 1871 census? If so, there's John, Henry, Thomas, Fred and Arthur. One missing, presumably, <E Marriott>.

I'm submitting an 1876 correspondence game involving <T Marriott>; I assume it's the father, Thomas, but who knows!?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: John Towle Marriott is a student in London in 1871. It seems his other brothers lived with the grandparents. 1861 census Eakring Nottinghamshire:

John Lacey 63, Butcher and Farmer & --- Land
Martha Lacey 60, Wife
William Lacey 37, Butcher
Mary Lacey 25, Daughter
Hannah Lacey 22, Daughter
Eliza Lacey 14, Daughter
John Marriott 10, Grand Son
William Marriott 8, Grand Son
Charles Marriott 7 Grand Son
Rebbeca Marriott 5, Grand Daughter

Rather confusing, and I can't find Arthur in 1861. Or maybe here: 1861 census Hyson Green, Radford, Nottinghamshire:

Arthur Marriott, 43 (33? - blurred), Lace Maker
Ann Marriott 36
Charlotte Marriott 10
Mary Ann Marriott 5
Arthur Marriott 3
Elizabeth Marriott 2
John Marriott -- months

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <I'm submitting an 1876 correspondence game involving <T Marriott>; I assume it's the father, Thomas, but who knows!?>

Or the brother, also named Thomas (in 1871).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: More lace makers: 1881 census Radford Nottinghamshhire:

William Marriott, 61, Lace Maker
Emma, Wife, 60
William, Son, 26, Machine Smith
Anna, Sons wife, 25, Hosiery Hand

John Marriott 55, Lace Maker
Sarah Marriott, Wife 56
John Marriott, Son, 29, Lace Maker
Sarah Marriott, Sons wife, 28, Lace Machine Hand
Leland Marriott 23, Carter
Edward Marriott 21, Cotton Winder
Harry Marriott, Grandson, 4

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Think we're getting off the beaten track here...
Oct-27-19  Jean Defuse: ...

A 'real' played game by Arthur Marriott v Blackburne was published in the Hawke's Bay Herald, 11 September 1886:

'The following is one of a number of simultaneous games played by Mr Blackburne at Nottingham in 1881'


Jul-07-20  Jean Defuse: ...

Fabrizio Zavaratelli - <The Gloomy Fate and Romantic Chess of Arthur Towle Marriott>

Description: Biography of prominent Nottingham chess-players (1859-1884). Biography contents 156 annotated games with comments mostly from contemporary sources. A. T. Marriott played chess with many contemporary chess players of this time, e.g. Blackburne, Freeborough, MacDonnell, Thorold, etc.


A bright little game by Marriott:


Jan-11-21  mifralu: < Marriotts of Nottingham >

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