What's in a name?

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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Gerard Killoran
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What's in a name?

Postby Gerard Killoran » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:32 pm

An advertisement for the Westminster Chess Club in the John Bull "FOR GOD, THE KING, AND THE PEOPLE!" Sunday newspaper looks very inviting - but check out the name of the billiard table.

John Bull Sunday, October 5, 1834.jpg
John Bull Sunday, October 5, 1834.jpg (212.44 KiB) Viewed 611 times

John Townsend
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby John Townsend » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:47 pm

I envy the members of Huttmann's club - but perhaps not their tobacco smoke.

It is interesting to see that a house dinner was provided every day at 5 p.m., with refreshments at other times; and a cook was on hand. I have sometimes wondered what eating/drinking facilities were provided when Staunton was Secretary of the club bearing the same name at 26 Charles Street in 1839. I haven't read of any, and it is unlikely that Huttmann could be matched in that department, though members may have had certain minimum expectations. Huttmann was declared bankrupt in 1838.

David Robertson
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby David Robertson » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:09 pm

Membership fee and colossal game fee! At least RdC would get dinner thrown in.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:53 pm

Is perhaps the one guinea a joining fee, rather than a "game fee"? The report is a bit ambiguous. I joined a (non-chess) club today which had an annual sub, but also an application fee...

What is "Polish draughts"? The 10 x 10 version?

Tim Harding
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby Tim Harding » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:36 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:Is perhaps the one guinea a joining fee, rather than a "game fee"? The report is a bit ambiguous. I joined a (non-chess) club today which had an annual sub, but also an application fee...

What is "Polish draughts"? The 10 x 10 version?


1. The text would not have been ambiguous for a Victorian. It was quote normal in those days to pay an admission fee on first joining a club plus the annual subscription.

2. Yes Polish draughts is the version on a 10x10 board with ordinary pieces able to capture backwards and huge swoops along diagonals for the queens/kings. For example if I have a queen on a1 or b2, you have ordinary men on d4 and f6, my queen can take them both and finish on g7 or h8.
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography' and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

John Townsend
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby John Townsend » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:00 am

Of course, dinner was a chargeable extra. The sub was less than it could have been. By comparison, in 1839 it was three guineas per annum at the Westminster Chess Club at 26 Charles Street. At the London Chess Club it was for a long time three guineas (four guineas for the first year including the entrance fee).

Play was available for a big part of the day and went on until about midnight, so you could spend a lot of time there if you chose. There was no "game fee", though it was usual to agree a small stake for each game, perhaps a shilling.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: What's in a name?

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:27 pm

Thanks to Tim for clarification.


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