19 May 2010


While doing some work on Adolf Anderssen, I came across this statement by Howard Staunton from his tournament book for the London 1851 international chess tournament.
Chess is certainly the most widely spread scientific amusement even known among civilized nations. The Chess-amateur must travel far indeed in these days to find himself debarred from the indulgence of that pleasant recreation, the knowledge of which will often prove to be a surer passport in foreign lands than all the mysterious symbolism of Freemasonry. Among the most remote regions of the golden East, or the fabled West, in the torrid South, or on the frozen shores of the North, amongst the great military nations and amidst men devoted to commercial enterprise, the Chess-player, who is essentially a cosmopolite, will speedily find a circle of friends through the more than Masonic influence of this ancient and absorbing game.
Howard Staunton, The Chess Tournament (1873)
He then explains problems stemming from variations in the rules from country to country. The London tournament was, among other things, a substantially successful step towards unifying the rules by which we now play.


  1. Hmmm, i wonder why James Stripes doesn't write anymore? Did he secretly cross the 2000 elo border and is pondering that he will or not brag about it on his blog? .-)

  2. CT,

    Thanks for the taunting. In truth, I'm on a bit of a bullet binge instead of doing useful chess work. I haven't been posting because I'm using my time poorly. I'll be back, though: it's a temporary condition of mild insanity.