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Howard Staunton vs Bristol Chess Club
Correspondence game (1839) (correspondence), London / Bristol ENG
Bird Opening: Dutch Variation (A03)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-10-04  apprenticetocaissa: Does anyone now anything about this game? How was it orchestrated?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: correspondence game-black pieces mainly conducted by elijah williams. its annotated in my book howard staunton the english world champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: It's amazing how far ahead of their time were some of the mid-19th Century masters. Here Staunton plays one of Nimzo's favorite lines over a half century before the subject of Mr. Keene's very fine biography. By the same token, we can see how poorly advanced defensive technique was back then. 3...Nc6 was bad, 4...a6 was worse, and Bristol's 12th & 13th moves managed to bury both of the Black Bishops. White's King side buildup from moves 14-21 is purely routine today, but must have impressed his contemporaries. This couldn't have been a very difficult game for Staunton, but I'll bet Williams was dazzled.
Dec-06-04  HOTDOG: 1.f4

Staunton was the first to play the Bird opening.

1...d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.Bb5!

playing the Nimzo-Indian with White,with an extra tempo.


a loss of time,because White has already the intent to change in c6.

5.Bxc6+ bxc6 6.0-0 e6 7.c4!

blocking the doubled pawn,today it is a standard manoeuvre that Nimzowitsch explained in the '20 years.


7...Nf6 with the idea Nd7 to defend the c5 pawn was better.

8.Qe2 Bd6 10.Nc3 Qe7 10.b3

to put the Bishop in a3 and the Knight in a4,another standard manoeuvre in the Nimzo-Indian

10...f6 11.d3 0-0 12.e4 dxe4?

now the weakness of Black's pawns is more and more emphasized.12...d4 was also bad for 13.Na4 and 14.Ba3.better was 12...Bb7!

13.dxe4 e5 14.f5 Nf7 15.Nh4 Bd7 16.Rf3 Rfd8 17.Be3

White now doesn't need to develop the Bishop in a3,in fact in e3 it is better positioned.

17...Be8 18.Raf1 Ng5 19.Rg3 h6 20.Qg4!

putting pressure on the Kingside.

20...Rd7 21.Nf3! Kf8

21...Nxf3+ 22.Rhxf3 Kh7 23.Bxh6! Kxh6 24.Rh3+ is winning for White

22.Nxg5 hxg5 23.h4 Bf7

the decisive mistake,but also after 23...gxh4 24.Qxh4 Kg8 25.Rh3 Qf8 26.Na4 Rad8 27.Qf2 Black's Queenside collapses.the rest is easy for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Staunton was the first to play the Bird opening. >

Greco vs NN, 1620

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Can anyone identify a contemporary source for this game?

We have <1841> as the year, but the Keene/Coles book mentioned above has: <Bird dates the game 1843, but he is a notoriously unreliable authority where dates are concerned. Staunton was not in demand with provincial chess clubs until after he had beaten Saint-Amant, so it can almost certainly be dated after that, especially as the style is that of the more mature Staunton. The conduct of the Black pieces was probably chiefly in the hands of Williams, the club President, and Withers, the Secretary.> (p.78)

On those grounds and because Williams had moved to London by 1846, the game is dated 1844-45.

I'm wondering, however, if this may be the partner game to E Williams vs Staunton, 1839. It's known that a pair of correspondence games dating from 1839, were played, presumably simultaneously, between Staunton and the Bristol club - a draw, and a victory for Staunton. Both were meant to have been published, but I can only find only the game score of the draw. This would fit the missing bill - Staunton winning with White.

May-25-20  Sally Simpson: ***

'Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games' page 88

Has this games with the exact same score:

Staunton, H. v Williams, E & H? marked as correspondence played in 1842.

Also has same game you linked to E Williams vs Staunton, 1839 dated 1842 (and H.?)

1842 was possibly the year the game ended - no idea who 'H?' was.

Book gives source for both games as 'The Chess Players Chronicle.'


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Thanks, so it appears this game also dates to 1839, in which case, Staunton's style matured rapidly. Slowly wending my way through the early volumes of the <CPC>, so I hope to spot them as a pair. The dating of games to the year of publication may well be the explanation in this case. The <H> will be <Henderson>. Our DB has <A Henderson> but I think it might be <William Henderson>
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Chess Player's Chronicle, v2 n9, 18 December 1841, pp131-132, followed by the second game.

The second game, E Williams vs Staunton, 1839, also appears in Bell's Life in London, 1840.03.01, with an additional move for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: In the <New Court Gazette> of July 25th 1840, in response to a correspondent, Staunton claims: <The games played by the Honorary Secretary of the Westminster Chess Club [i.e., Staunton] with the gentlemen of Bristol have already been published.>

However, I've found no sign that Walker published this second game before that date. Given the apparent animosity between the two that's probably not surprising.

May-26-20  Sally Simpson: ***

We are getting there. Here is copy of the games from the Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games.


Premium Chessgames Member
  louispaulsen88888888: Quite the modern looking game.

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