Howard Staunton

Infobox chess player
playername = Howard Staunton


caption=
birthname = Howard Staunton
country = ENG
datebirth = 1810
placebirth =
datedeath = death date and age|1874|6|22|1810|4|999
placedeath =
title =
rating =
peakrating =
chess notation Howard Staunton (1810 – June 22, 1874) was an English chess master who is regarded as the world's strongest player from 1843 to 1851, largely as a result of his 1843 victory over Saint-Amant. He promoted a chess set that is still the standard. He was the principal organizer of the first international chess tournament in 1851, which made England the world's leading chess center and caused Anderssen to be recognised as the world's strongest player.

From 1840 onwards he became a leading chess commentator, and won matches against top players of the 1840s. In 1847 he entered a parallel career as a Shakespearean scholar. Ill health and his two writing careers led him to give up competitive chess after 1851. In 1858 attempts were made to organise a match between Staunton and Morphy, but they failed. It is often alleged that Staunton deliberately misled Morphy while trying to avoid the match, but it is also possible Staunton over-estimated his chances of getting physically fit and of making time available for a match.

Although not an all-out attacking player, Staunton was known for accurate attacks when his preparations were complete. His chess articles and books were widely read and encouraged the development of chess in the United Kingdom, and his "Chess-Player's Handbook" (1847) was a reference for decades. The chess openings the English Opening and Staunton Gambit were named for his advocacy of them. Staunton has been a controversial figure since his own time, and his chess writings could be spiteful. On the other hand he maintained good working relationships with several strong players and influential chess enthusiasts, and showed excellent management skills.

Life

Most information about Staunton's early life is ultimately based on claims he made. His registration of birth has never been found. The chess historian H.J.R. Murray summarized the information that he "gleaned" from various sources: Staunton was born in 1810, reputedly the natural son of Frederick Howard, fifth Earl of Carlisle; he was neglected in youth, receiving little or no education; although he spent some time in Oxford, he was never a member of the University; when he came of age he inherited a few thousand pounds, which he soon squandered; in later life Staunton often used to tell how he had once played Lorenzo in the "Merchant of Venice", with the famous English actor Edmund Kean playing Shylock.cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter29.html#4776._Stauntons_origins
title=Chess Note 4776: Staunton's origins
accessdate=2008-06-21
]

1836–1842, First steps in chess

In 1836 Staunton came to London, where he took out a subscription for William Greenwood Walker's "Games at Chess, actually played in London, by the late Alexander McDonnell Esq." Staunton was apparently twenty-six when he took a serious interest in chess. He said that at that time the strongest players he saw in London, Saint-Amant and George Walker, could easily have given him rook odds. In 1838 he played many games with Captain Evans, inventor of the Evans Gambit, and also lost a match against the German chess writer Aaron Alexandre. He had improved sufficiently by 1840 to win a match against the German master H.W. Popert, a slow, cautious player with great defensive skill.

From May to December 1840 Staunton edited a chess column for the "New Court Gazette". He then became chess editor of the magazine "British Miscellany", and his chess column developed into a separate magazine, "Chess Player's Chronicle", which Staunton owned and edited until the early 1850s.cite journal
journal=British Chess Magazine | title=Howard Staunton: part I | date=November 1908
author=Murray, H.J.R. | url=http://sbchess.sinfree.net/Staunton_BCM.html
accessdate=2008-06-19
and cite journal
journal=British Chess Magazine | title=Howard Staunton: part II | date=November 1908
author=Murray, H.J.R. | url=http://sbchess.sinfree.net/Staunton_BCM.html
accessdate=2008-06-19
] The transformation can be seen at citation
title=The British Miscellany and Chess Player's Chronicle
editor=Staunton, H.
url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=K3wEAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA1&dq=%22British+Miscellany%22
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

1843, Competitive peak

Chess diagram small|=
tright|
=8 |rd|nd|bd|qd|kd|bd|nd|rd|=7 |pd|pd|pd|pd|pd|pd|pd|pd|=6 | | | | | | | | |=5 | | | | | | | | |=4 | | |pl| | | | | |=3 | | | | | | | | |=2 |pl|pl| |pl|pl|pl|pl|pl|=1 |rl|nl|bl|ql|kl|bl|nl|rl|=
The English Opening, named for Staunton's use of it against Saint-Amant.

Early in 1843 Staunton prevailed in a long series of games against John Cochrane, a strong player and chess theoretician. Chessmetrics treats these games as one match and lists it as Staunton's best performance.cite web
url=http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/PlayerProfile.asp?Params=199510SSSSS3S125695000000121000000000028210100
title=Chessmetrics Player Profile: Howard Staunton
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

A little later that year he narrowly lost a short match (2½-3½) in London against the visiting French player Saint-Amant, who was generally regarded as the world's strongest player.Fine 1951]

Staunton challenged Saint-Amant to a longer match to be played in Paris for a stake of £100, equivalent to about £73,000 in 2006's money. [Conversion based on average incomes, the most appropriate measure for several days' hard work. If the conversion is based on prices, the result is about £7,700. cite web
url=http://www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare/result.php?use%5B%5D=CPI&use%5B%5D=DEFIND&use%5B%5D=WAGE&use%5B%5D=GDPCP&use%5B%5D=GDPC&year_early=1843&pound71=100&shilling71=0&pence71=0&amount=100&year_source=1843&year_result=2008 | title=Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.K. Pound Amount, 1830 – 2006: 2006 equivalent of £100 in 1843
accessdate=2008-06-19
] Then he prepared new opening lines, especially those beginning 1.c4, which became known as the English Opening after this match. He also took Thomas Worrall and Harry Wilson to Paris as his assistants; this is the first known case where seconds were used in a match. Staunton gained a seven-game lead but then struggled to keep it before winning the match 13-8 (eleven wins, four draws, and six losses) in December 1843.cite web
url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/Staunton.html
title=Howard Staunton
publisher=batgirl
accessdate=2008-06-19
] [cite web
url=http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/u3ss$mix.htm
title=World Chess Championship: 1843 Staunton - Saint-Amant Matches
author=Mark Weeks
accessdate=2008-06-24
]

Saint-Amant wanted a third match, but Staunton was initially unwilling as he had developed heart trouble during the second match. Von der Lasa later suggested this was why Staunton faded in the second match. However after a long, difficult negotiation, which he reported in the "Chess Player's Chronicle",cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter29.html#4767._Copyright
title=Chess Note 4767 Copyright
author=Winter, E
accessdate=2008-06-19
] Staunton went to Paris intending to start their third match in October 1844, but he caught pneumonia while traveling and almost died; the match was postponed and never took place.

Several modern commentators regard Staunton as "de facto" World Champion after his match victory over Saint-Amant, although that title did not yet formally exist. [
*Hooper and Whyld refer to Staunton as "the world's leading player in the 1840s". cite book
title=The Oxford Companion to Chess, 2nd edition | author=Hooper, D.
coauthors=Whyld, K. | date=1992 | publisher=Oxford University Press | page=p. 390
id=ISBN 0-19-866164-9

*cite book
title=Chess: A History | author=Golombek, H. | date=1976
publisher=G.P. Putnam's Sons | pages=pp. 129-30 | id=

*cite book
title=The World of Chess | author1=Saidy, A. | author2=Lessing, N.
date=1974 | publisher=Random House | page=p. 85 | id=ISBN 0-394-48777-X

*cite book
title=The Great Chess Tournaments and Their Stories | author=Andy Soltis
date=1975 | publisher=Chilton Book Company | page=p. 2 | id=ISBN 0-8019-6138-6

*cite book
title=Grandmasters of Chess | author=Harold C. Schonberg | date=1973
publisher=J.B. Lippincott | pages=pp. 50-51 | id=ISBN 0-397-01004-4

*cite book
title=Great Moments in Modern Chess | author=Fine, R. | date=1965 | publisher=Dover Publications
pages=pp. 3-4 | id=ISBN 0-486-21449-4
originally published in 1948 by David McKay as "The World's a Chessboard".
*cite book
author=Horowitz, I.A. | title=The World Chess Championship - A History | year=1973
publisher=Macmillan | page=p. 3 | id=LCCN|72|0|80175, OCLC|604994
] After Saint-Amant's defeat, no other Frenchmen arose to continue the French supremacy in chess established by Philidor, Deschapelles, La Bourdonnais and Saint-Amant. [cite web
url=http://chess.about.com/od/history/p/aa05h27.htm | title=The French School of Chess (18th/19th cent.)
author=Mark Weeks | accessdate=2008-06-24
] Some contemporary English commentators, mainly in Staunton's "Chess Player's Chronicle", and some later writers hailed Staunton as the world champion. [The Earl of Mexborough's speech to the meeting of Yorkshire Chess Clubs, reported in the 1845 "Chess Player's Chronicle" (with the cover date 1846); the "Brighton Gazette" and a letter from Edward Cronhelm, both in "Chess Player's Chronicle" 1851.
All presented at cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/champion.html
title=Early Uses of 'World Chess Champion'
author=Edward Winter
accessdate=2008-06-06

From "Chess Player's Chronicle" vol. 5 p. 92 and p. 128.
] The response was less enthusiastic elsewhere in Europe. Even in England some writers suggested other players, notably Buckle or von der Lasa, were stronger. [Letter from Bledow to von der Lasa, written in 1846 and published in the "Deutsche Schachzeitung" in 1848; George Walker in "Bell's Life". Quoted at cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinrad06.pdf
title=Early World Rankings | author=Jeremy Spinrad | accessdate=2008-06-08
]

1845–1848, Chess writer and promoter

In 1845 Staunton began a chess column for the "Illustrated London News", which became the most influential chess column in the world and which he continued for the rest of his life.cite book
title=The Oxford Companion to Chess, 2nd edition
author=Hooper, D.
coauthors=Whyld, K.
date=1992
publisher=Oxford University Press
id=ISBN 0-19-866164-9
] cite web
url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/Staunton.html
title=Howard Staunton
publisher=batgirl
accessdate=2008-06-19
] Although his articles mostly focused on over-the-board play, [Continuous play against an opponent. Correspondence chess is not continuous. Analysis may take several hours' continuous work but there is no opponent.] a significant number featured correspondence chess.cite web
url=http://www.correspondencechess.com/campbell/articles/a030127.htm
title=Howard Staunton and Chess by "Electric Telegraph"
author=Hilbert, J.S.
accessdate=2008-06-19
] Some followed with enthusiasm the progress of promising youngsters, including Paul Morphy.cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter29.html#4764._Zukertort_C.N._4726
title=Chess Note 4765. Unnamed prodigy
accessdate=2008-06-19
] Staunton produced over 1,400 weekly articles for the "Illustrated London News".

The first chess match by electric telegraph took place in 1844, between Washington and Baltimore. In April 1845 Staunton and Captain Kennedy traveled to Gosport to play two games by telegraph against a group in London. Staunton took a long-term interest in this solution to the difficulties of travel, and reported telegraph games in the "Illustrated London News". In 1871 his report of a telegraphic match between Sydney and Adelaide calculated that the 74 moves of the longest game had traveled a total of 220,000 miles (not much less than the distance between Earth and Moon).

In 1847 Staunton published his most famous work, "The Chess-Player's Handbook", which is still in print. It contained over 300 pages of opening analysis, [cite book
author=Staunton, H. | title=The Chess-Player's Handbook | publisher=George Bell & Sons
year=1893 | pages=pp. 59-401
] and almost 100 pages of endgame analysis. [cite book
author=Staunton, H.
title=The Chess-Player's Handbook
publisher=George Bell & Sons
year=1893
pages=pp. 403-500
] [Staunton's analysis of the very rare rook versus three minor pieces endgame is surprisingly sophisticated for its time: "Three minor Pieces are much stronger than a Rook, and in cases where two of them are Bishops will usually win without much difficulty, because the player of the Rook is certain to be compelled to lose him for one of his adversary's Pieces. If, however, there are two Knights and one Bishop opposed to a Rook, the latter may generally be exchanged for the Bishop, and as two Knights are insufficient of themselves to force checkmate, the game will be drawn." (p. 439)
Modern endgame tablebases confirm Staunton's assessments of both endgames.cite book
author=Müller, K. | coauthors=Lamprecht, F.
title=Fundamental Chess Endings | publisher=Gambit Publications | year=2001 | page=p. 403
id=ISBN 1-901983-53-6
] Staunton's Handbook was based on Bilguer and von der Lasa's "Handbuch des Schachspiels" (first published in 1843), but enhanced by many variations and analyses of Staunton's own. His book "The Chess-Player's Companion" followed in 1849.Can be read online or downloaded as PDF, both at cite web
url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iO0IAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA187&lpg=PA187&dq=popert+chess&source=web&ots=9Af4Dhr__S&sig=ohfh6PqiIlFZ005ob8cRFr3BrZU&hl=en
title=The Chess-player's Companion
author=Staunton, H.
year=1849
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

He still found time for two matches in 1846, comfortably beating the professionals Bernhard Horwitz (fourteen wins, three draws, and seven losses) and Daniel Harrwitz. The match against Harrwitz was set up in a very unusual way: seven games in which Staunton gave Harrwitz odds of pawn and two moves (Staunton won four and lost three), seven games where he gave pawn and move (Staunton lost six and won one), and seven at no odds (Staunton won all seven).A stronger player sometimes gives a weaker player an advantage. In "pawn odds" the stronger player starts without one of his pawns and plays as White (or, if there is a match at odds, the players alternate colors in the normal way), while at "pawn and move odds" (abbreviated P+1) the stronger player always has the black pieces. If the gap in skill is greater the stronger player might give "pawn and two moves" (P+2), where he starts without one of his pawns, plays as Black "and" lets his opponent have a further extra move. If the difference in skill is even greater, the stronger player may give knight, bishop or even rook odds (removing the relevant piece before the game starts).]

1849, Marriage and design of a chess set

On July 23, 1849 Staunton married Frances Carpenter Nethersole, who had had eight children by a previous marriage.

In 1849 Nathaniel Cook registered a chess set design, and Jaques of London obtained the manufacturing rights. Staunton advertised the new set in his chess "Illustrated London News" column, pointing out that the pieces were easily identifiable, very stable, and good-looking. Each box was signed by Staunton, and Staunton received a royalty on each set sold. The design became popular, and has been the standard for both professional and amateur chess players ever since. [
*cite book
author=Kasparov, G. | title=My Great Predecessors, Part I | year=2003
publisher=Everyman Chess | page=p. 17 | id=ISBN 1-85744-330-6

* cite book
author=Saidy, A. | coauthors=Lessing, N.
title=The World of Chess | publisher=Random House | page=p. 88 | year=1974
id=ISBN 0-394-48777-X

*cite web
url=http://www.fide.com/info/handbook?id=16&view=category
title=Standards of Chess Equipment and tournament venue for FIDE Tournaments
publisher=FIDE | accessdate=2008-06-19
] Anthony Saidy and Norman Lessing wrote that, "if a vote was taken among chess-players as to which pieces they most enjoyed playing with, ... the Staunton chessmen would win by an overwhelming margin." [cite book
author=Saidy, A.
coauthors=Lessing, N.
title=The World of Chess
publisher=Random House
page=p. 88
year=1974
id=ISBN 0-394-48777-X
]

1851, London International Tournament

Staunton proposed and then took the lead in organizing the first ever international tournament, as he thought the Great Exhibition of 1851 presented a unique opportunity, because the difficulties that obstructed international participation would be greatly reduced. He may also have been motivated by reports that a few years earlier Ludwig Bledow had proposed to organize an international tournament in Germany, whose winner was to be recognized as the world champion.cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinrad06.pdf
title=Early World Rankings
year=2006
author=Spinrad, J.P.
publisher=chesscafe.com
accessdate=2008-06-19
] Staunton and his colleagues had ambitious objectives for this tournament, including convening a "Chess Parliament" to complete the standardization of various rules and procedures for competitive chess and for writing about chess. Staunton also proposed the production of a compendium showing what was known about chess openings, preferably as a table. cite book | title=The Chess Tournament | author=Howard Staunton | Staunton, H. | publisher=Hardinge Simpole | isbn=1843820897 This can be viewed online at or downloaded as PDF from cite web | url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_SUCAAAAYAAJ&pg=PR24&dq=1851+london+tournament+book+staunton&lr=#PPR10,M1 | title=Google books: The Chess Tournament, by Howard Staunton | accessdate=2008-06-19 ] Before the tournament started Captain Kennedy and the "Liberty Weekly Tribune" in Missouri wrote that the winner should be regarded as "the World’s Chess Champion".

The organizers obtained financial contributions from Europe, the USA and Asia, enabling the committee to set up a prize fund of £500, equivalent to about £359,000 in 2006's money. [Conversion based on average incomes, which are the most appropriate measure for several days' hard work. If we use average prices for the conversion, the result is about £40,000: cite web | url=http://www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare/result.php?use%5B%5D=CPI&use%5B%5D=DEFIND&use%5B%5D=WAGE&use%5B%5D=GDPCP&use%5B%5D=GDPC&year_early=1851&pound71=500&shilling71=0&pence71=0&amount=500&year_source=1851&year_result=2008 | title=Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.K. Pound Amount, 1830 - 2006: 2006 equivalent of £335 in 1851 | accessdate=2008-06-19 ]

Despite the generally enthusiastic response, several major players were unable to participate, including von der Lasa, Saint-Amant and Cochrane. Adolf Anderssen was at first deterred by the travel costs, but accepted his invitation when Staunton offered to pay Anderssen's travel expenses out of his own pocket if necessary. cite web | url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/Anderssen.html | title=Morphy's opponents: Adolf Anderssen | accessdate=2008-06-19 ] The committee had also organized a "London Provincial Tournament" for other British players, and "promoted" some of the entrants to play in the International Tournament in order to obtain the right number of players for a knock-out tournament.

The tournament was a success, but disappointing for Staunton personally; in the second round he was knocked out by Anderssen, who won the tournament convincingly; and in the play-off for third place Staunton was narrowly beaten by his former pupil Elijah Williams. cite web | url=http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/v1lon-ix.htm | title=1851 London Tournament | accessdate=2008-06-19 ] [Williams beat Staunton by one game in the match. This was before time controls were used and Staunton resigned a crucial game because Williams was taking too long to move. Ref: Anne Sunnucks, "The Encyclopedia of Chess", 1970, p. 459] Staunton's defeat by Williams suggests that Staunton had over-stretched himself by acting as both a competitor and the Secretary of the organizing committee.

The London Chess Club, which had fallen out with Staunton and his colleagues, organized a tournament that was played a month later and had a multi-national set of players (many of whom had competed in Staunton's tournament), and the result was the same - Anderssen won.

In 1852 Staunton published his book "The Chess Tournament", which recounted in detail the efforts required to make the London International Tournament happen and presented all the games with his comments on the play. Unfortunately some of Staunton's comments in the book and in the "Illustrated London News" were intemperate, because he was disappointed with the placing he achieved.

1852–1860, Final stages of playing career and Shakespeare publication

Immediately after the London International tournament Staunton challenged Anderssen to a match of twenty-one games, for £100. Anderssen accepted the challenge but the match could not be arranged: Staunton was physically unfit for an immediate contest, and Anderssen had to return to work.

Carl Jaenisch had arrived too late for the tournament; Staunton convincingly won a match with him soon after (seven wins, one draw, and two losses). Later in 1851 Staunton played a match against his former pupil Elijah Williams, who had won their play-off for third place in the London International tournament. Staunton won more games (six wins, three draws, and four losses) but lost the match because he had given Williams a three-game start.

In 1853, while trying to arrange a match against Anderssen, Staunton met von der Lasa in Brussels. The two began a match, but had to abandon it in the middle of the thirteenth game, with von der Lasa leading (five wins, four losses, and three draws). Staunton was unfit to continue because of heart palpitations, which had affected him in the second match against Saint-Amant in 1843. In von der Lasa's opinion there was no chance that Staunton's health would be good enough for a serious contest from 1853 onwards.cite journal
journal=The City of London Chess Magazine
title=(title unknown)
date=November 1874
author=von der Lasa, T.

cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kibitz49.txt
title=A History of The City of London Chess Magazine (Part 2)
accessdate=2008-06-19
author=Harding, T.

Note: some writers say Staunton and von der Lasa played a match in Berlin in 1844; but Staunton wrote in the "Chess Player's Chronicle" that he had the pleasure of making the personal acquaintance of von der Lasa in their 1853 encounter – see cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinrad07.pdf
title=Baron von Heydebrand und der Lasa
author=Spinrad, J.P.
year=2006
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

In the mid-1850s Staunton obtained a contract with the publishers Routledge to edit the text of Shakespeare. This edition appeared in parts from 1857 to 1860, and Staunton's work was praised by experts.

While Staunton was busy with the Shakespeare edition, he received a courteous letter from the New Orleans Chess Club, inviting him to that city to play Paul Morphy, who had won the recent First American Chess Congress. Staunton replied, thanking the New Orleans Chess Club and Morphy "for the honor implied in your selection of me as the opponent of such a champion" and pointing out that he had not competed for several years and was working six days a week (on editing Shakespeare), and that he could not possibly travel across the Atlantic for a match. He also wrote in the "Illustrated London News" that he had "been compelled, by laborious literary occupation, to abandon the practice of chess, beyond the indulgence of an occasional game... If Mr. Morphy — for whose skill we entertain the liveliest admiration — be desirous to win his spurs among the chess chivalry of Europe, he must take advantage of his purposed visit next year; he will then meet in this country, in France, in Germany and in Russia, many champions ... ready to test and do honor to his prowess." [The full text of Staunton's letter was:"Gentlemen:
In reply to your very courteous proposal for me to visit New Orleans for the purpose of encountering Mr. Paul Morphy at Chess, permit me to mention that for many years professional duties have compelled me to abandon the practice of the game almost entirely except in the most desultory manner, and at the present time these duties are so exacting that it is with difficulty I am enabled to snatch one day out of seven for exercise and relaxation.
Under the circumstances you will at once perceive that a long and arduous chess contest, even in this Metropolis, would be an enterprise too formidable for me to embark in without ample opportunity for the recovery of my old strength in play, together with such arrangements as would prevent the sacrifice of my professional engagements for the sake of a match at chess, and that the idea of undertaking one in a foreign country, many thousand miles from here, is admissible only in a dream.
With friendly greetings to my proposed antagonist, whose talent and enthusiasm no one can more highly estimate, and with compliments to you for the honor implied in your selection of me as the opponent of such a champion, I beg to subscribe myself, with every consideration.
Yours obediently,
H. Staunton"
– from cite web
url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/morphybio5.html
title=The Life and Chess of Paul Morphy: The Staunton Challenge
publisher=batgirl
accessdate=2008-06-27

Evidently reprinted from cite book
author=Lawson, D.
title=Paul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess
publisher=David McKay
year=1976
pages=pp. 92-93
id=ISBN 0-679-13044-6
] Chess historian H.J.R. Murray wrote that Staunton's letter and article should have been interpreted as a courteous refusal of the offer, but that Morphy interpreted them differently, and one of the main reasons for his visit to Europe in 1858 was the hope of playing a match with Staunton. [cite book
author=Lawson, D.
title=Paul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess
publisher=David McKay
year=1976
pages=pp. 92-93
id=ISBN 0-679-13044-6
] Some other chess historians disagree with Murray's interpretation of Staunton's response. [Konsala 1981, p. 29] Staunton did offer to play Morphy by electric telegraph, a technology whose progress and uses for chess he reported enthusiastically. However this offer arrived after Morphy had left for Europe — which perhaps was fortunate, as the newly-laid cable broke down after a month and was not replaced until 1866.cite web
url=http://www.correspondencechess.com/campbell/articles/a030127.htm
title=Howard Staunton and Chess by "Electric Telegraph"
author=Hilbert, J.S.
accessdate=2008-07-20
This cites the entry for "telegraph chess," in cite book
title=The Oxford Companion to Chess, 2nd edition
author=Hooper, D.
coauthors=Whyld, K.
year=1992
publisher=Oxford University Press
id=ISBN 0-19-866164-9
]

Upon arriving in England in June 1858, Morphy promptly challenged Staunton to a match. At first, Staunton declined Morphy's offer saying that the challenge came too late. [Konsala 1981, p. 30] Morphy did not give up negotiations and urging Staunton to play. In early July Staunton agreed provided he was given time to get back into practise on openings and endgames, [Konsala 1981, pp. 31-32] and provided that he could manage all this without breaking the publication contract for his Shakespearean work. In early August, Morphy wrote asking Staunton when the match could occur, cite web
url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/morphybio6.html
title=Paul Morphy Goes to England | accessdate=2008-07-20
] cite web
url=http://www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/lab/7378/morphy.htm
author=Wall, W.
title=Bill Wall's Chess Master Profiles - Paul Morphy
accessdate=2008-07-06
] and Staunton asked again for a delay of some weeks. [Konsala 1981, p. 33] Staunton competed in a tournament that started in on 22 August in Birmingham, but this was a knock-out tournament and he was eliminated in the second round by Johann Löwenthal, after playing a total of four games. This was to be Staunton's last public chess competition. H.J.R. Murray wrote that Staunton had overexerted himself and damaged his health by trying both to get ahead of schedule on the Shakespeare project and to play some competitive chess. Just before Staunton left London for Birmingham, his old enemy George Walker published an article accusing him of trying to delay the match indefinitely, and Staunton received another letter from Morphy pressing him to name a date for the match. Staunton and Morphy met socially in Birmingham and, after a tense discussion, Staunton agreed to play in early November. cite web
url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/morphybio7.html
title=The Birmingham Meeting | accessdate=2008-07-20
] [Konsala 1981, p. 34] Just after the tournament a letter signed by "Anti-book" appeared in Staunton's column in the "Illustrated London News", alleging that Morphy did not actually have the money for his share of the stakes. This letter is widely thought to have been written by Staunton himself; if so, he must have written it immediately after reading Walker's article and Morphy's letter and immediately before leaving for Birmingham. cite book | title=Chess Characters, volume 2 | author=Diggle, G.D.H. | location=Geneva | date=1987 | url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter34.html#4983._Reti_and_Tartakower | accessdate=2008-07-20 ] Around this time Morphy wrote to friends in the USA asking them to obtain the stake money for the Staunton match. Morphy's family refused to contribute as they "should not allow him to play a money match either with his own money or anyone else's", but the New Orleans Chess Club sent £500. cite web
url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/morphybio9.html
title=Paul waits for Anderssen | accessdate=2008-07-20
] Meanwhile Morphy went to Paris to play against continental masters. In September the "Illustrated London News" printed both a complimentary full-page article about Morphy and a complimentary mention of him in its chess column. [cite journal
title=Mr. Paul Morphy, the American Chess Phenomenon | journal=Illustrated London News
date=18 Sept 1858 | page=p. 255
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/pics/cn3889_morphy4.jpg| accessdate=2008-07-28
] [cite journal
title=Match between Messrs. Morphy and Lowenthal — game 11 | journal=Illustrated London News
date=18 Sept 1858 | page=p. 255
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/pics/cn3889_morphy5.jpg| accessdate=2008-07-28
] On October 6, 1885, while in Paris Morphy wrote Staunton an open letter which was also circulated to several publications, in which Morphy complained about Staunton's conduct. citation | title=Letter from Paul Morphy to Mr. Staunton, of England | author=Paul Morphy | journal=New York Times | date=October 1858 | url=http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9400E0D71131EE34BC4953DFB7678383649FDE&oref=slogin | accessdate=2008-07-11 Copies were sent to "The Illustrated London News", "Bell's Life in London", the "Era", "The Field" and "The Sunday Times".] Staunton replied on October 9, re-stating the difficulties he faced, but now giving them as reasons to cancel the match. [Konsala 1981, p. 43] On 23 October, Staunton published his entire reply along with a partial copy of Morphy's open letter, omitting the reference to the "Anti-book" letter. Various chess columns then printed anonymous and acrimonious letters. Morphy took no part in any of this, but wrote to Lord Lyttelton, the president of the British Chess Association, explaining his own efforts to bring about the match, accusing Staunton of avoiding the match by all means short of admitting he did not wish to play, complaining about Staunton's representation of the facts in the "Illustrated London News", and demanding "that you shall declare to the world it is through no fault of mine that this match has not taken place." Lyttelton replied that it was reasonable for Staunton to decline the match, but that in his opinion Staunton should have done so plainly in his first letter to America, but had instead often given the impression that he would soon be ready to start the match.

Later life

Staunton continued writing the chess column in "Illustrated London News" until his death in 1874, greeting new developments with enthusiasm. In 1860 he published "Chess Praxis", a supplement to his 1847 work "The Chess Player's Handbook". The new book devoted 168 pages to presenting many of Morphy's games and praised the American's play. Five years later Staunton published "Great Schools of England" (1865), whose main subject was the history of major English public schools but which also presented some progressive ideas: learning can only take place successfully if the active interest of the student is engaged; corporal punishment is to be avoided and fagging should be abolished. [cite book
title=Great Schools of England
author=Staunton, H.
publisher=Hardinge Simpole
id=ISBN 1843820137
url=http://www.hardingesimpole.co.uk/biblio/1843820137.htm
accessdate=2008-06-19

Also summarized at cite web
url=http://www.howardstaunton.com/staunton.shtml
title=The Howard Staunton Society
accessdate=2008-06-19
] But most of his later life was occupied in writing about Shakespeare, including: a photolithographic reproduction of the 1600 Quarto of "Much Ado about Nothing" in 1864 and of the First Folio of Shakespeare in 1866; [cite web
url=http://shakespeare.palomar.edu/works.htm
title=Shakespeare's Works
author=Gray, T.A.
year=2008
accessdate=2008-06-19
] and papers on "Unsuspected Corruptions of Shakespeare's Text", published from 1872 to his death. All these works were highly regarded at the time. When he died suddenly of heart disease, on June 22, 1874, he was at his desk writing one of these papers. At the same time he was also working on his last chess book, "Chess: Theory and Practice", which was published posthumously in 1876.cite journal
journal=New York Times | date=May 13 1888 | title=A New Chess Book | pages=13
url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F02EEDA173AEF33A25750C1A9639C94699FD7CF
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

A memorial plaque now hangs at his old residence of 117 Lansdowne Road, London W11. In 1997 a memorial stone bearing an engraving of a chess knight was raised over his grave at Kensal Green Cemetery in London, which had previously been unmarked and neglected. [cite journal
journal=The Spectator | date=9 November 2002 | title=Staunton remembered
author=Keene, R.
url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-26752770_ITM | accessdate=2008-06-19
]

Assessment

Staunton has been a controversial figure ever since his own time. In the words of chess journalist Mark Weeks, "Staunton represents a unique challenge to chess history. Many players immediately associate his name with Paul Morphy, as in 'Staunton ducked a match with Morphy'. ... This is extremely unfair, as it concentrates the focus on Staunton to a relatively minor, factually controversial incident, while it ignores his significant achievements."cite web
url=http://mark_weeks.tripod.com/chw01d15/2000-23.txt
title=Chess History on the Web (2000 no.23)
accessdate=2008-07-28
] As Edward Winter writes, "The issue of national bias does, unfortunately, require consideration in the Staunton-Morphy affair."

The Staunton-Morphy controversy

Chess historians Edward Winter and G.D.H. Diggle trace much of the 20th-century animosity against Staunton to books by Philip W. Sergeant (1872-1952) about Paul Morphy. [ "Morphy's Games of Chess" (first edition 1916, there were several later editions; "Morphy Gleanings" (1932). Both works have been reprinted by Dover Publications, the latter under the title "The Unknown Morphy", but the page numbers are not necessarily the same.] Sergeant in turn made use of a book by Frederick Edge, who accompanied Morphy to Europe in 1858 as his secretary and personal assistant, but returned to the USA in January 1859, a few months before Morphy. [The USA and UK editions had different titles: cite book | title=The Exploits and Triumphs in Europe, of Paul Morphy, The Chess Champion | author="Paul Morphy's late Secretary" (Frederick Edge) | publisher=D. Appleton | location=New York | date=1859 and cite book | title=Paul Morphy The Chess Champion | author="An Englishman" (Frederick Edge) | publisher=Appleton | location=London| date=1859 ] [cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html
title=Edge, Morphy and Staunton
author=Winter, E.
year=2006
accessdate=2008-06-19
] Opinions of Edge's value as a historical source vary widely: cite web | url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html | title=Edge, Morphy and Staunton | date=2006 | accessdate=2008-07-11 ]
*A review of his book in the USA commented, "Mr. Morphy expressly disclaims any connection with it in any way or manner. ... will afford the reader a half-hour's entertainment" [ cite journal
journal=The Chess Monthly | editor=Daniel Willard Fiske | location=New York
title=(from the book reviews section)) | date=July 1859 | pages=204-207
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html | accessdate=2008-07-11
] Chess historians H.J.R. Murray, [ cite journal
title=(unknown) | author=Murray, H.J.R. | journal=British Chess Magazine | pages=51 |date=February 1906
and cite journal
title=(unknown) | author=Murray, H.J.R. | journal=British Chess Magazine | pages=353-354 |date=July 1937
Both quoted at cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html | title=Edge, Morphy and Staunton | date=2006 | accessdate=2008-07-11
] David Hooper and Ken Whyld described Edge as unreliable and having an extreme bias against Staunton. [ cite journal
journal=British Chess Magazine | date=January 1978 | pages=33-34 | author=Hooper, D.V.
title=(review of Lawson's book "Paul Morphy The Pride and Sorrow of Chess")
and cite journal
journal=Chess | date=January 1980 | pages=42-45 | author=Whyld, K.
title=(review of Lawson's book "Paul Morphy The Pride and Sorrow of Chess")
Both quoted at cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html
title=Edge, Morphy and Staunton | date=2006 | accessdate=2008-07-11
]
*Sergeant's books and David Lawson's "Paul Morphy The Pride and Sorrow of Chess" (New York, 1976) make extensive use of Edge's book, but note Edge's strong anti-Staunton bias. [
* cite book
title=Morphy's Games of Chess | author=Sergeant, P.W. | date=1916 | page=p. 13
Quoted at cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html | title=Edge, Morphy and Staunton | date=2006
accessdate=2008-07-11

* cite book
title=A Century of British Chess | author=Sergeant, P.W. | location=London |date=1934 | page=p. 101
Quoted at cite web | url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html
title=Edge, Morphy and Staunton | date=2006 | accessdate=2008-07-11

*cite book
author=Lawson, D. | title=Paul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess | publisher=David McKay
year=1976 | page=p. 115 | id=ISBN 0-679-13044-6
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html | date=2006 | accessdate=2008-07-11
] Lawson also suggests that Morphy had seen the manuscript of Edge's book, disliked its treatment of the Staunton affair so much that he disavowed it, and objected to Edge's treatment of other matters. [cite book
author=Lawson, D. | title=Paul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess | publisher=David McKay
year=1976 | page=p. 118 | id=ISBN 0-679-13044-6
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html | date=2006 | accessdate=2008-07-11
]

Edge's letters to American chess journalist Daniel Fiske show that Edge regarded Morphy as lazy and rather helpless, and himself as the one who would make Morphy's name immortal, [ citation
title=Letter from Edge to Fiske | date=25 March 1859
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fiske.html | accessdate=2008-07-28
] and that Morphy wanted to keep the negotiations with Staunton discreet while Edge insisted on making them as public as possible. [ citation
title=Letter from Edge to Fiske | date=3 April 1859
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fiske.html | accessdate=2008-07-28
]

H.J.R. Murray wrote that Staunton's response to Morphy's initial challenge and his article about the same in the "Illustrated London News" should have been interpreted as a courteous refusal of the offer, but that Morphy interpreted them differently, and one of the main reasons for his visit to Europe in 1858 was the hope of playing a match with Staunton. Murray also commented on the whole affair, "In all this there is but little in which we can reproach Staunton, beyond the fact that he kept open the possibility of a match for so long, and even here there is a good deal that could be urged in justification of the course followed by Staunton" but also noted that both sides were playing tactical games with each other in front of the public, and that comments made by both players or their respective supporters were acrimonious. In response to Morphy's complaints Lord Lyttelton, then president of the British Chess Association, said that it was reasonable for Staunton to decline the match, but that in his opinion Staunton should have done so plainly in his first letter to America, but had instead often given the impression that he would soon be ready to start the match. von der Lasa later wrote, although not specifically about this affair, that he thought there was no chance of Staunton's health being good enough for a serious contest from 1853 onwards. Staunton's obituary in the "City of London Chess Magazine" said, "... nor were his innuendoes concerning Morphy otherwise than an utterly unworthy means of getting out of an engagement, which he could have either declined with a goodgrace at first, or afterwards have honourably asked to be released from. Nevertheless, all said and done, Staunton was, as we have often heard a distinguished enemy of his say, emphatically a MAN. There was nothing weak about him, and he had a backbone that never curved with fear of any one."cite journal
journal=The City of London Chess Magazine
year=1874
author=Potter, W.N.
title=(obituary of Staunton)
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kibitz48.txt
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

Some 20th-century commentators have been more critical of Staunton. However some well-known chess writers, including Fred Reinfeld, Israel "Al" Horowitz and Reuben Fine, have been criticized by chess historians for their lack of accuracy, both in general and specifically where Staunton is concerned. cite web
url=http://www.chessville.com/Editorials/Interviews/20Questions/Kingston.htm
title=Chessville Plays 20 Questions with Taylor Kingston | accessdate=2008-08-10
author= Phil Innes
] cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/edge.html
title=Edge, Morphy and Staunton | accessdate=2008-07-11
The relevant part starts near the end of the page, with Diggle's comments as quoted from "Chess Notes" (C.N. 1932).] Edward Winter writes, "It is unwise for the ‘non-playing’ historian to publish his own analysis, although he may be a useful compiler. Similarly, players who are unversed in, and indifferent to, chess history should not touch it." [ cite web
title=Historical Havoc | author=Winter, E.
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/havoc.html | accessdate=2008-08-17
] William Hartston wrote of Staunton's non-match with Morphy, "Sadly, this blemish on Staunton the man also did considerable harm to the reputation among later generations of Staunton the chess player." [Hartston, p. 46.] G.H. Diggle wrote in the "British Chess Magazine", "That [Staunton] excused himself ... from playing a match against the greatest player of the century, then at the zenith of his youth and fame, was no tragedy for chess. The contest would have been a fiasco. But it would have been happier, both for the young champion and the old, had the latter never said he would play at all." [cite book
title=A Book of Chess
author=Alexander, C.H.O'D.
date=1973
publisher=Harper & Row
page=p. 142
id=ISBN 0-06-010048-6
Republication of G.H. Diggle, "Staunton versus Saint-Amant, 1843" in the "British Chess Magazine", November and December 1943.
]

Playing strength and style

There is a famous story that Paul Morphy described Staunton as the author of "some devilish bad games". Chess historian Edward Winter traced this back to a book published in 1902, whose author said he had seen a copy of Staunton's "The Chess Tournament" in which Morphy had written "some devilish bad games" on the title page; Winter was unable to trace the copy. [cite web
url=http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3972
title=Edward Winter presents: Unsolved Chess Mysteries (9)
author=Winter, E.
date=3 July 2007
accessdate=2008-06-19
The book was cite book
title=Paul Morphy: His Later Life
author=Buck, C.A.
publisher=Will. H. Lyons
location=Newport, Kentucky
year=1902
url=http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Paul_Morphy:_His_Later_Life
accessdate=2008-07-11
] Around the time of Staunton's death Morphy is said to have commented that Staunton may have been the strongest player of his time, had great analytical ability and judgement of positions but lacked the imagination required to deliberately create opportunities for combinations.cite book
title=Paul Morphy: the Pride and the Sorrow of Chess
author=Lawson, D. | publisher=David McKay | year=1976 | id=ISBN 0679130446
url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/Morphy_on_Staunton.html | accessdate=2008-06-19
]

Twentieth-century opinions of Staunton's play varied enormously. Reinfeld, Horowitz and Fine all condemned it. [
* "it takes too much time to find a game by him which one can "enjoy"." cite book
author=Reinfeld, F. | title=A Treasury of British Chess Masterpieces | publisher=Bell Publishing | year=1950 | page=p. v

*"... it is just too incredible that anyone seemingly so weak as [Staunton] could have achieved such success ..." cite book
author=Horowitz, I.A. | title=The World Chess Championship - A History | year=1973 | publisher=Macmillan | page=p. 3 | id=LCCN|72|0|80175, OCLC|604994

* cite book | title=The World's Great Chess Games | author=Fine, R. | date=1952 | publisher=Andre Deutsch | pages=pp. 11-12
] On the other hand, Tartakower wrote, "A remarkable feature of Staunton's play is the number of ultra-modern ideas with which he was familiar, e.g. the restricted centre, the "fianchetto" development, bilateral work, the theory of the local engagement, etc., and, last but not least, the "English Opening" (sometimes called the "Staunton Opening")." [cite book
author=Dr. S. Tartakower and J. du Mont | title=500 Master Games of Chess | publisher=Dover | year=1975 | pages=p. 626 | id=ISBN 0-486-23208-5
] Kasparov considered Staunton "by the early 1840s ... superior to all his rivals". [cite book
author=Kasparov, G. | title=My Great Predecessors, Part I
year=2003 | publisher=Everyman Chess | page=p. 17 | id=ISBN 1-85744-330-6
] Bobby Fischer opined that "Staunton was the most profound opening analyst of all time. He was more theorist than player, but nonetheless he was the strongest player of his day... In addition, he understood all of the positional concepts which modern players hold dear, and thus – with Steinitz – must be considered the first modern player."cite journal
author=Fischer, R.J. | title=The Ten Greatest Masters in History
journal=Chessworld | date=January-February 1964 | pages=56, 58
Quoted in cite book
author=Kasparov, G. | title=My Great Predecessors, Part I | year=2003
publisher=Everyman Chess | page=p. 21 | id=ISBN 1-85744-330-6
]

The website Chessmetrics ranks Staunton as world number one from May 1843 to August 1849, in the top ten from July 1851 to May 1853, and in the top five from June 1853 to January 1856.cite web
url=http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/PlayerProfile.asp?Params=199510SSSSS3S125695000000111000000000028210100
title=Chessmetrics Player Profile: Howard Staunton
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

From the early 1840s to 1851 Staunton could successfully give odds to almost any UK-based player, including eventually Cochrane; the exceptions were Buckle, to whom Staunton gave pawn and move in 1843 and lost their match (six losses, no draws, one win), and Elijah Williams in 1851, against whom Staunton won more games but lost the match because he had given Williams a three-game start. According to match records collected by Jeremy P. Spinrad, the only players who were successful against Staunton without receiving odds from 1840 to 1852 were: Saint-Amant, who won their first match in London in 1843 and lost their second, longer match in Paris the same year; Anderssen, who eliminated Staunton from the 1851 London International tournament; and Williams, who beat Staunton in the play-off for third place in the same tournament. Before 1840 Staunton was still a relative beginner, and after 1851 his health was too fragile for serious competition. In the late 1840s some UK commentators wrote that Buckle was stronger, and von der Lasa was regarded by some as the world's best. Staunton did not play von der Lasa until 1853, and was forced by ill-health to abandon the match.

In his own time Staunton was regarded as belonging to the "closed" category of chess players (along with for example Philidor and József Szén) rather than to the "heroic" category (which included La Bourdonnais, Morphy and Anderssen) – instead of seeking immediate combat, Staunton deferred it until he was ready.cite web
author=Spinrad, J.P. | title=Ludwig Erdmann Bledowc | publisher=chesscafe.com
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinrad11.pdf | accessdate=2008-06-19
] The closed English Opening got its name from Staunton's frequent use of it, especially against Saint-Amant in 1843. However he was noted for the accuracy and incisiveness of his combinations.

Personality

Staunton's virtues and vices were both on a large scale. [Ranken (1897), quoted in cite book
title=The Oxford Companion to Chess, 2nd edition | author=Hooper, D.
coauthors=Whyld, K. | date=1992 | publisher=Oxford University Press | page=p.92
id=ISBN 0-19-866164-9
] Former World Champion Kasparov commented that Staunton "founded and edited the magazine "Chess Player's Chronicle" ... wrote a chess column (1845-1874), studied opening theory ... published four remarkable books ... endorsed the famous 'Staunton pieces' ... organized the first international chess tournament in history ..." [cite book
author=Kasparov, G. | title=My Great Predecessors, Part I
year=2003 | publisher=Everyman Chess | page=p. 17 | id=ISBN 1-85744-330-6
(Last ellipsis as in original.)
] However British International Master William Hartston wrote that Staunton's many achievements were done "with the full weight of an arrogant and pompous nature which has scarcely been matched in the history of the game." [ cite book
author=Hartston, William | title=The Kings of Chess | year=1985 | publisher=Pavilion Books Limited
page=p. 26 | id=ISBN 0-06-015358-X
] Even contemporaries sympathetic to Staunton admitted that he could be spiteful in response to unexpected defeats, cite web | url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinrad16.pdf | title=The Telegraph, the Velocipede, and the Bristol Sloth: Part Two | author=Spinrad, J.P. | date=April 2007 | accessdate=2008-07-13 ] and to proposals or arguments that he considered ill-founded or malicious. Staunton had a highly volatile relationship with George Walker, the founder of the London Chess Club, a dedicated popularizer of chess and one of Staunton's earliest supporters.cite web
title=Captain William Evans, Inventor of the Evans Gambit | year=2000
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles141.pdf | accessdate=2008-06-25
based on cite journal
journal=British Chess Magazine | author= Thomas, W.R. | date=January 1928 | title=(title unknown)
] [
* cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinrad04.pdf | accessdate=2008-07-28
title=Chess Disputes | author=Jeremy P. Spinrad

*cite journal
journal=The Chess Player's Chronicle | title=The Late Grand Chess Match | author=George Walker
date=February 1844
url=http://batgirl.atspace.com/Walker1844.html | accessdate=2008-06-25
*cite web
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/copyright.html | title=Copyright on Chess Games
author=Edward Winter | accessdate=2008-06-25
This cites cite journal
journal=British Chess Magazine | title=(title unknown)
pages=438 | date=November 1894 | author=Charles Tomlinson
]

Staunton's enemies gave as good as they got. [
* cite web
title=Attacks on Howard Staunton | author=Edward Winter
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/staunton.html | accessdate=2008-07-28
This cites, among other examples: cite book
title=A Review of "The Chess Tournament," by H. Staunton, Esq | author="A member of the London Chess Club"
date=1852 | publisher=Delf and Trübner | location =London | page=p. 14-19

* cite newspaper
title=Have We A Traitor Among Us? | newspaper=The Spirit of the Times | location= New York
date=June 30th, 1860
url=http://www.chessarch.com/excavations/000H_pope/traitor.shtml | accessdate=2008-08-16
] Chess journalism could be a bruising business in those days, even when Staunton was not involved. [
*George Walker savaged a rival's book in a manner "equal to Staunton at his worst": cite web
title=CN 4337: A chess Watergate | author=Edward Winter
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter21.html#4337._A_chess_Watergate | accessdate=2008-07-28

* cite web
title=CN 4276: Rude | author=Edward Winter
url=http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter21.html#4276._Rude | accessdate=2008-07-28
] However it does seem that Staunton was involved in more than his fair share of chess disputes. cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinrad04.pdf | accessdate=2008-07-28
title=Chess Disputes | author=Jeremy P. Spinrad
] H.J.R. Murray suggested that these frequent wars of words may have originated from leading players' and commentators' jealousy over Staunton's unexpected rise to the top in the early 1840s, and from snobbish disdain about his humble and possibly illegitimate birth. Saidy and Lessing wrote that, "He can hardly be blamed if the struggles and privations of his youth warped his character so that he became a jealous, suspicious, and vitriolic man." [cite book
author=Saidy, A.
coauthors=Lessing, N.
title=The World of Chess
publisher=Random House
page=p. 86
year=1974
id=ISBN 0-394-48777-X
]

On the other hand Staunton's often-criticized description of Anderssen as Germany's second best player, after Anderssen had won the 1851 London International tournament, may have been reasonable on the basis of what is now known about von der Lasa's skill. Staunton was sometimes an objective chess commentator: a large percentage of his 1860 book "Chess Praxis" was devoted to Morphy's games, which he praised highly; and in "The Chess-Player's Companion" (1849) Staunton sometimes criticized his own play, and presented a few of his losses.

Staunton showed excellent management skills in building the team to organize the London International tournament of 1851, and determination and resourcefulness in overcoming the difficulties of getting enough competitors. He also maintained good working relationships with important players and enthusiasts, for example: Popert and Cochrane helped him to prepare for his second match against Saint-Amant; Captain Evans agreed to be one of his seconds in that match and later helped Staunton to organize the 1845 telegraphic match; the Calcutta Chess Club contributed £100 to help finance the London International Tournament in 1851, and in addition its principal officers Cochrane and T.C. Morton made two of the four largest personal contributions; Staunton corresponded with von der Lasa for over 30 years, although they only met once; Staunton's last letter to von der Lasa, November 1873, expressed his sorrow at the deaths of various masters and enthusiasts, including Saint-Amant. In conversation Staunton was charming and witty.cite web
url=http://www.johntownsend.demon.co.uk/index_files/Page324.htm
title=Howard Staunton, circa 1810–1874, Chess Player, Shakespeare Editor
accessdate=2008-06-25

The attack on Walker is from cite journal
journal=The Chess Player's Chronicle | author=Howard Staunton
title=(title unknown) | volume=1 | date=1841

The account of Staunton's conversational skills is from cite journal
journal=The Westminster Papers | title=(obituary for Staunton)
author=P.T. Duffy | year=1874
]

Despite the disappointing way in which his playing career ended, Staunton continued to write with enthusiasm about the progress of new technologies, players and developments in chess theory. At the time of his death his last book, "Chess: Theory and Practice", was sufficiently complete to be published posthumously in 1876, and it was described as up-to-date fourteen years after his death.

Influence on chess

Staunton proposed and was the principal organizer of the first international chess tournament, which proved that such events were possible, and which produced a clear consensus on who was the world's strongest player – Adolf Anderssen.cite web
url=http://chess.about.com/od/history/p/aa07d14.htm
title=The Origin of International Chess Events
author=Weeks, M.
accessdate=2008-06-19
] All subsequent international tournaments took place in Great Britain until Paris 1867.

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pl|pl|pl|pl|__|pl|pl|pl|=
rl|nl|bl|ql|kl|bl|nl|rl|=
Staunton advocated the Sicilian Defense, 1 ... c5 in reply to 1 e4.
Contemporaries, including Steinitz and Morphy, regarded Staunton's writings on chess openings as among the best of their time. [cite journal
title=The Chess Opening, Considered Critically and Practically
journal=The Field | date=December 1879 | author=Bird, H.E.
url=http://infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/etext04/chshr10.htm | accessdate=2008-06-19
] His "Chess-Player's Handbook" (1847) immediately became the leading English-language chess text-book, [cite book
author=Murray, H.J.R. | title=A History of Chess
publisher=Oxford University Press | year=1913 | pages=p. 885
id=ISBN 0-19-827403-3
] [cite book
author=R.D. Keene and R.N.Coles | title=Howard Staunton: the English Chess World Champion | publisher=British Chess Magazine | year=1975 | pages=p. 15 | id=
] and it went through twenty-one reprints by 1935. [cite book
author=R.D. Keene and R.N.Coles | title=Howard Staunton: the English Chess World Champion | publisher=British Chess Magazine | year=1975 | pages=p. 15 | id=
] [cite book
author=Richard Eales | title=Chess: The History of a Game | publisher=Facts on File Publications
year=1985 | pages=p. 137 | id=ISBN 0-8160-1195-8
] Around 1888 Staunton's "Chess: Theory and Practice", published posthumously in 1876, was regarded as modern in most respects, but there was a growing need for more up-to-date analysis of openings. ["as time passed a demand arose for more up-to-date works in English, an example of which is Freeborough and Ranken's "Chess Openings" (1889) which had four editions up to 1910" in cite book
title=The Oxford Companion to Chess, 2nd edition | author=Hooper, D.
coauthors=Whyld, K. | year=1992 | publisher=Oxford University Press
page=p. 280 | id=ISBN 0-19-866164-9
] His obituary in "The City of London Chess Magazine" said, "... his literary labours are the basis upon which English Chess Society ... stands".

His play, however, had little influence on other players of the day. William Hartston explains that, "... his chess understanding was so far ahead of his time. A deep strategist living in an era when shallow tactics were still the rule, Staunton's conceptions could not be assimilated by his contemporaries." [cite book
author=Hartston, W. | title=The Kings of Chess | year=1985 | publisher=Pavilion Books Limited
page=p. 36 | id=ISBN 0-06-015358-X
] Staunton's style and the openings that accompanied it were eclipsed by the more directly aggressive styles of Anderssen and Morphy, which dominated chess from 1851 until Steinitz unveiled his positional approach in 1873.cite web
url=http://www.jeremysilman.com/chess_history/grt_plyr_w_steinitz.html
title=Wilhelm Steinitz
author=Silman, J.
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

There is little evidence that Staunton had much direct influence on modern chess. Although he introduced the English Opening, it has been called "really a twentieth century invention" that only became fully respectable after future World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik began playing it in the 1930s.cite book
author=de Firmian, N.
title=Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition
year=2008
publisher=David McKay
page=p. 675
id=ISBN 978-0-8129-3682-7
] Similarly, although he was an early champion of the Sicilian Defense, which is today the most popular opening, [cite book
author=Watson, J. | title=Mastering the Chess Openings, Volume 1
publisher=Gambit Publications | year=2006 | page=p. 175 | id=ISBN 1904600603
] and the most successful response to 1.e4, [New in Chess stated in its 2000 Yearbook that of the games in its database, White scored 56.1% with 1.d4, but two percent less (54.1%) with 1.e4, primarily because of the Sicilian, against which White scored only 52.3%. "New in Chess Yearbook 55" (2000), p. 227. A graph similar to that in the 2000 Yearbook can be found at cite web
url=http://www.newinchess.com/Yearbook/Default.aspx?PageID=226
title=How to Read NIC Statistics (Valid till volume 62)
publisher=NewInChess.com | accessdate=2008-05-07
] he seems to have had little influence on how the Sicilian is played today: he regarded it as a safe defensive line, while it is now treated as a vigorous but slightly risky counter-attack. [Staunton wrote that the Sicilian "... is the best possible reply to 1.P-K4, 'as it renders the formation of a centre impracticable for White and prevents every attack.' " cite book
title=The Chess-Player's Handbook |last=Staunton | first=Howard | year=1848 |publisher=Henry G. Bohn
pages=p.371
Also quoted at cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kibitz34.txt | title=The Openings at New York 1924
author=Harding, T. | accessdate=2008-06-19
However, Grandmaster John Nunn wrote in 2001 that the Sicilian is now popular because "... Black is playing not just for equality, but for the advantage ... Black has to take care not to fall victim to a quick attack." cite book
title=Understanding Chess Move by Move |last=Nunn | first=John |authorlink=John Nunn
year=2001 | publisher=Gambit Publications | isbn=1901983412 | pages=p.57
] On the other hand, Raymond Keene wrote that "Taimanov revived some old, forgotten ideas of Staunton ..." in the Sicilian. [ cite journal
title=Mafia connections | author=Keene, R. | journal=The Spectator | date=March 22, 1997
url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3724/is_199703/ai_n8772960 | accessdate=2008-07-13
]

Chess diagram small|=
tright|
=
rd|nd|bd|qd|kd|bd|__|rd|=
pd|pd|pd|__|pd|__|pd|pd|=
__|__|__|__|__|nd|__|__|=
__|__| |pd|__|pd|__|__|=
__|__|__|pl|__|__|pl|__|=
__|__|__|__|__|__|__|pl|=
pl|pl|pl|__|pl|pl|__|__|=
rl|nl|bl|ql|kl|bl|nl|rl|=
HiddenMultiLine |Staunton's "spike" gambit against the Dutch Defense | Staunton and modern GMs agree that Black gets a good game after 1.d4 f5 2.h3 Nf6 3.g4 d5!

Staunton introduced the Staunton Gambit against the Dutch Defense (1.d4 f5 2.e4!?). [cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1001250
title=Howard Staunton vs Bernard Horwitz, 3rd match game, London 1846
accessdate=2008-07-01
] [cite book
title=The Oxford Companion to Chess, 2nd edition
author=Hooper, D. | coauthors=Whyld, K.
year=1992 | publisher=Oxford University Press | page=p. 393 | id=ISBN 0-19-866164-9
] Although it was once a feared attacking line, [
*"The Staunton Gambit ... offers White considerable attacking chances." cite book
title=Modern Chess Openings, 6th edition | author=Fine, R.
coauthors=Griffith, R.C. and White, J.H.
year=1939 | publisher=David McKay | page=p. 176

*The Staunton Gambit gives White "sharp attacking chances for his Pawn" and places the opponent at a psychological disadvantage ..." cite book
title=Chess Openings: Theory and Practice | author=Horowitz, I.A.
year=1964 | publisher=Simon and Schuster | page=p. 611
Fear of the Staunton Gambit has discouraged many players from using the Dutch. cite book
title=The Dutch Defense | author=Christiansen, L.
coauthors=Silman, J. | year=1989 | publisher=Chess Digest | page=p. 192
id=ISBN 0-87568-178-6

* cite book
title=How to Play Black Against the Staunton Gambit
author=Schiller, E. | coauthors=Bill Colias | year=1993
publisher=Chess Digest | page=p. 4 | id=ISBN 0-87568-236-7
] it has been out of favor since the mid-1920s, [
*The Staunton Gambit "has fallen out of favour for no clear reason". cite book
title=Modern Chess Openings, 4th edition | author=Griffith, R.C.
coauthors=White, J.H. and M.E. Goldstein | year=1925 | publisher=Whitehead & Miller
page=p. 120

*"The Staunton Gambit fell out of favour some time ago and still remains so ... ." cite book
title=Modern Chess Openings, 6th edition
author=Fine, R.
coauthors=Griffith, R.C. and White, J.H.
year=1939
publisher=David McKay
page=p. 176
id=

*The Staunton Gambit "is not in much favor today". cite book
title=Modern Chess Openings, 15th edition
author=de Firmian, N.
year=2008
publisher=Random House
page=p. 494
id=ISBN 978-0-8129-3682-7
] and is thought to "offer White equality at best”. [cite book
title=The Dutch Defense
author=Christiansen, L.
coauthors=Silman, J.
year=1989
publisher=Chess Digest
page=p. 192
id=ISBN 0-87568-178-6
] Staunton also introduced a different gambit approach to the Dutch, 2.h3 followed by g4. [
*cite book
title=The Chess-Player's Handbook | last=Staunton | first=Howard | year=1848
publisher=Henry G. Bohn | pages=pp.381-82

*cite book
title=The Anti-Dutch Spike: g4! in the Krejcik, Korchnoi, and Alapin Variations
author=Alan L. Watson | year=1995 | publisher=Blackmar Press | page=p. 36
id=ISBN 0-9619606-2-0
] In 1979 Viktor Korchnoi, one of the world's leading players, successfully introduced this line into top-class competition, [cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1082507
title=Korchnoi-Känel (Biel 1979) at ChessGames.com
accessdate=2008-08-15
] but later authorities concluded, as Staunton had, that Black gets a good game with 2...Nf6 3.g4 d5! [
*cite book
title=The Dutch Defense | author=Christiansen, L.
coauthors=Silman, J. | year=1989 | publisher=Chess Digest
page=p. 144 | id=ISBN 0-87568-178-6

*cite book
title=The Chess-Player's Handbook | last=Staunton | first=Howard | year=1848
publisher=Henry G. Bohn | pages=pp. 381-82
]

Staunton also advocated the Ponziani Opening 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3, which was often called "Staunton's Opening". [cite book
author=Staunton, H. | title=The Chess-Player's Handbook
publisher=George Bell & Sons | year=1893 | page=p. 182
] It is rarely played today because it allows Black to choose between a sharp counter-attack and a safe line that usually leads to a draw. [
*cite book
author=Kaufman, L. | title=The Chess Advantage in Black and White | publisher=David McKay
date=2004 | page=p. 342 | isbn=0-8129-3571-3.

*cite book
author=Burgess, G. | title=The Mammoth Book of Chess | publisher=Carroll & Graf
year=1997 | page=p. 133 | id=ISBN 0-7867-0725-9
]

His other writings

Staunton's edition of Shakespeare's plays was respected. [cite web
url=http://shakespeare.palomar.edu/Editors/Staunton.htm
title=Shakespeare's Editors - Howard Staunton
author=Gray, T.A.
year=2008
accessdate=2008-06-19
Quotes the "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography".
]

taunton Memorial Tournament

Every year since 2003 a Howard Staunton Memorial Tournament has been held at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, London, [cite web
url=http://howardstaunton.com/hsmt.shtml
title=The Howard Staunton Memorial Tournament
publisher=The Howard Staunton Memorial Society
accessdate=2008-06-25
] a restaurant which Staunton regularly visited in the 19th century to play and discuss chess (it was then a coffee house known as "The Divan" or "Simpson's Divan"). [cite book
publisher=Fontana
year=1975
author=Schonberg, H.C.
title=Grandmasters of Chess
chapter=The Age of Staunton
pages=37-46
id=ISBN 0006336183
] The 2008 tournament was the strongest to be held in London since 1986. [cite web
url=http://www.howardstaunton.com/hsmt2008/index.shtml
title=The 6th Staunton Memorial Tournament 2008
publisher=The Howard Staunton Memorial Society
accessdate=2008-06-25
]

Notable games

*cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1271821
title=John Cochrane vs Howard Staunton, match London 1841
Staunton calmly focuses on his queenside attack and then shows that his opponent's kingside attack simply exposed the white king.
*cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1271878
title=John Cochrane vs Howard Staunton, match London 1842
Cochrane starts an apparently threatening attack while behind in development; Staunton sacrifices a piece for a counterattack that leads to a decisive material advantage.
*cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1001193
title=Howard Staunton vs Pierre de Saint Amant, match Paris 1843
Staunton develops faster, weakens his opponent's K-side, creates threats on the queenside and then launches a mating attack.
*cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1001196
title=Pierre de Saint Amant vs Howard Staunton, match Paris 1843
Staunton develops his pieces more effectively in a closed position. When Saint Amant mistakenly opens the position, Staunton produces a sacrifical combination that gives him an easily won endgame.
*cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1001396
title=Staunton-Horwitz, match, London 1851, game 7 - English Opening
Staunton uses a modern-looking formation in the English Opening, with both Bishops fianchettoed; gains superior space and mobility; weakens his opponent's queenside and then kingside; and wins by a brisk attack.
*cite web
url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1271965
title=Adolf Anderssen vs Howard Staunton, 1857, in London
Staunton adopts a Hippopotamus formation, opens the center to start a queenside attack, and uses a couple of small sacrificial combinations to halt Anderssen's kingside attack and gain a decisive material advantage.

Tournament results

Sources: cite web | url=http://xoomer.alice.it/cserica/scacchi/storiascacchi/tornei/pagine/itorneifino1880.htm | title=I tornei di scacchi fino al 1879 | accessdate=2008-06-19 ]

Match results

Sources:cite web
url=http://mark_weeks.tripod.com/chw00l01/staunton.htm
title=Howard Staunton's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record
year=2001
author=Weeks, M.
accessdate=2008-06-19
] cite web
url=http://xoomer.alice.it/cserica/scacchi/storiascacchi/matches/fino1849.htm
title=I grandi matches fino al 1849
accessdate=2008-06-19
] cite web
url=http://xoomer.alice.it/cserica/scacchi/storiascacchi/matches/1850-64.htm
title=I grandi matches 1850 - 1864
accessdate=2008-06-19
] cite web
url=http://www.vuse.vanderbilt.edu/~spin/chessmatches.html
title=Scores of various important chess results from the Romantic era
accessdate=2008-06-19
] cite web
url=http://www3.sympatico.ca/g.giffen/19thcent.htm
title=Major Chess Matches and Tournaments of the 19th century
accessdate=2008-06-19
] cite web
url=http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/staunt.htm
title=Howard Staunton by Bill Wall
accessdate=2008-06-19
] cite web
url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kibitz49.txt
title=A History of The City of London Chess Magazine (Part 2)
author=Harding, T.
accessdate=2008-06-19
]

Notes:
#In some cases it is known who won but not by what score.
#Books and articles about most players often omit games at odds. But Staunton gave odds, usually successfully, in his matches against most UK-based players and most of his matches were played this way.
#"P + 1" means "Pawn and move", "P + 2" means "Pawn and two moves".
#In the second column of scores, "+" shows games Staunton won, "–" shows his losses, "=" shows draws.

Bibliography

*cite book
title=Plays
author=Shakespeare, William
location=London
publisher=George Routledge & Co
date=1858-1860
oclc=50447723
others=edited by Howard Staunton, the illustrations by John Gilbert, engraved by the Brothers Dalziel

*cite book
title=The Chess-player's Handbook
author=Staunton, Howard
location=London
publisher=Henry G. Bohn
date=1847
oclc=9171272

*cite book
title=The Chess-player's Companion
author=Staunton, Howard
location=
publisher=
date=1849
oclc=

*cite book
title=The Chess-player's Text-book
author=Staunton, Howard
location=
publisher=
date=1849
oclc=

*cite book
title=The Chess Tournament
author=Staunton, Howard
location=
publisher=
date=1852
oclc=

*cite book
title=Chess Praxis
author=Staunton, Howard
location=
publisher=
date=1860
oclc=

*cite book
title=The Great Schools of England: An Account of the Foundation, Endowments, and Discipline of the Chief Seminaries of Learning in England
author=Staunton, Howard
location=London
publisher=Sampson Low, Son, & Marston
date=1865
oclc=4143800

*cite book
title=Chess: Theory and practice
author=Staunton, Howard
location=
publisher=
date=1876
oclc=

*cite book
title=The laws and practice of chess
author=Staunton, Howard
location=
publisher=
date=1876
oclc=

It is unclear if "The laws and practice of chess" is just the second edition of "Chess: Theory and practice" or a completely different book.

Footnotes

Further reading

*cite book
author=Fine, Reuben
title=The World's Great Chess Games
publisher=Bonanza (1951 edition); Dover (1983 edition)
year=1951
id=ASIN B000GQSM6M (1951 edition); ISBN 978-0486245126 (1983 edition)

*cite book
author=Hartston, William
title=The Kings of Chess
publisher=Pavilion
year=1986
id=ISBN 1851450750

*cite book
title=The Oxford Companion to Chess
author=Hooper, David
coauthors=Whyld, Kenneth
id=ISBN 0192175408
publisher=Oxford University Press
year=1984

*cite book
title=Howard Staunton – the English World Chess Champion
author=Keene, Raymond
coauthors=Coles, Richard N.
publisher=St. Leonard's on Sea (British Chess Magazine)
year=1975
id=ISBN 0-9008-4619-4

*cite book
author=Konsala, Kimmo
title=Shakin maailmanmestareita
publisher=Karisto
location=Hämeenlinna
language=finnish
year=1981
id=ISBN 951-23-1789-3

*cite book
author=Winter, Edward
title=World Chess Champions
publisher=Pergamon
year=1981
id=ISBN 0-08-024094-1

External links

*
*
* [http://howardstaunton.com/index.shtml The Howard Staunton Society]
* [http://books.google.com/books?vid=0p8VXHZX_KSPp-FUubE&id=9yZ-laVYRgUC&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=Chess&as_brr=1 The Chess Player's Handbook: A Popular and Scientific Introduction to the Game of Chess] At Google print. A somewhat outdated but still useful guide to chess written by Howard Staunton.
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=2761 Find a Grave]


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