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George Salmon
Number of games in database: 4
Years covered: 1858
Overall record: +2 -2 =0 (50.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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(born Sep-25-1819, died Jan-22-1904, 84 years old) Ireland

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The Reverend George Salmon was, firstly, a mathematician whose publications in algebraic geometry were widely read in the second half of the 19th century. He was also an Anglican theologian who devoted himself mostly to theology for the last forty years of his life.

Wikipedia article: George Salmon

 page 1 of 1; 4 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. G Salmon vs Owen  0-1311858BirminghamB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
2. G Salmon vs I Szabo 1-0211858BirminghamC41 Philidor Defense
3. I Szabo vs G Salmon 0-1291858BirminghamC50 Giuoco Piano
4. Morphy vs G Salmon 1-0491858Blindfold simul, 8bC51 Evans Gambit
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Salmon wins | Salmon loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-07-08  Karpova: Jeremy Spinrad in his article "Chess History and Literature" from February, 2008:

This article contains information on George Salmon (1819-1904) from Ireland.

Spinrad: <Salmon played at the Birmingham 1858 tournament (attended by Morphy, who did not play), beating one Djuro Szabo (1840-1892, not to be confused with twentieth-century Hungarian GM Laszlo Szabo) 2-0 in the first round before losing to Owen in the second; he also played in the blindfold exhibition against Morphy.>

Regarding James Joyce's "Ulysses"

Spinrad: <Joyce scholars have told me that the mention of chess on this page is simply a fortuitous coincidence, but the character referred to is indeed Salmon the chess player. He is considered a role model for the young Bloom in "Ulysses". Salmon was the Provost of Trinity College in Belfast. There is still a statue of him at the college, but people seem to use it as a prop for a single joke. Apparently, Salmon had said that women would be admitted to the college "over my dead body"; within a year he was dead and the first woman was admitted.>

Rev. Dr. Salmon in general

Spinrad: <In fact, Salmon was an extraordinarily accomplished and versatile intellectual. He was trained in mathematics, and made significant contributions in geometry and algebra. As well as doing original work in these areas at a very high level, his books on the subject were considered to be excellent.

However, he is most remembered now for his work in theology. In particular, his attack on the concept of papal infallibility is still considered to be important both by supporters and opponents of the Catholic Church; this work was republished as recently as 1997. This famous work mentions chess: arguing that the question of papal infallibility is all-important, he says that if this doctrine is not refuted all other arguments would be of little importance, as when a chess-player wins some pieces and pawns but gets his king checkmated. This chess analogy is credited by Salmon as a favorite illustration of Archbishop Whately, rather than being his own, but its use in the introduction is still noteworthy.>

Jul-24-09  myschkin: . . .

"Hospitable and kindly, Salmon had many friends and interests. In youth a competent musician and a chess played of remarkable powers, he cultivated both recreations until an advanced age. He was an omnivorous reader ... and had a special affection for the older novelists ... The homely vigour and delightful wit of the long letters which he was accustomed to write to his friends entitle him to rank as one of the best letter writers of the [19th] century."

(by J. Ossory, Dictionary of National Biography)


A characteristic of Salmon's work [as an outstanding mathematician] was his love of carrying out lengthy calculations. He calculated an invariant of a curve of degree six and published the resulting calculation, which ran to thirteen pages, in the second edition of his treatise on higher algebra which appeared in 1866.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: In his book "Infallibility of the Church", Salmon mentions chess in another way too: he says that if someone who says he has never been beaten, then an experienced player knows he can give rook odds to such a person.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Tim Harding's column in Chess Cafe provides a victory by Salmon over Harrwitz.
Sep-25-12  brankat: A Renaissance man indeed, Reverend George Salmon!

To have a work dealing with a theological doctrine re-published some 120 years after the original is quite something else!

R.I.P. Reverend Salmon.

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