Michael Farthing wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:33 pm
IM Jack Rudd wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:48 am
The 1843 match between Staunton and Saint-Amant has six games where Staunton opened 1.c4. That might be the origin.
This is the view of Modern Chess Openings 10th edition (1965):
..derives its name from its association with Howard Staunton who played it against St Amant in their match (1843) and again in the England v France team match (1843) as well as the historic 1851 London tournament.
Staunton himself, in his Handbook (1847) gives it no name but refers to it as "Irregular", though wryly notes that the sequence P to Q B's 4th P to K's 4th is regarded by "some writers" as favouring black, whereas "in the Sicilian Game, when the position is reversed, and you have Black's position, and in addition the advantage of the move, you can barely make an even game".
A few points on this one.
Basically I think Jack is right: Staunton played 1 c4 against Saint-Amant. It was not totally unknown before that (Harry Wilson played it against Captain Evans in 1829, for example), but from about 1849 it had a brief vogue with some other English players who copied him, also Horwitz who was resident in England.
Staunton played it again, especially in 1851.
Though occasionally played thereafter, it fell out of fashion although Steinitz played it sometimes (as early as 1860).
Then London scored an important win with 1 c4 in the correspondence match with Vienna (1872/4) where Horwitz was involved in the early stages, as well as Steinitz of course.
The quotation from the 10th MCO is very odd because I am not aware there was any England v France team match in 1843; this was a misunderstanding by Walter Korn presumably.
I didn't contribute earlier because I was trying to see where/when the name English Opening may have come into use, and it seems likely it was the late 1870s. The term is not used by William Cook in the earliest two editions of his "Synopsis of the Chess Openings" but in his fourth edition (1888, page 136) where he has the early moves of London v Vienna there is the note:
The English opening, calculated to bring about positions in which each side soon thrown upon its own resources.
In the 1882 third edition, which I only have as a PDF, almost the same wording appears on page 133 except that it is more grammatical:
rather than just soon.
Cook did not invent the name. It may have been Steinitz. Searching the British Newspaper Archive with search term=chess and exact phrase=English opening, it turned up The Field of 23 August 1879 in his notes to the game Paulsen-Flechsig from Leipzig which began 1 c4 e5.
Steinitz not only uses "English Opening" in the game header but has a note saying that:
It is not prudent for the second player to oppose a closed opening with an open one, excepting in the Fianchetto. The proper answer to the English opening is either P to K3, or P to QB4.
Maybe Steinitz or somebody else had used the term a bit earlier; at least this narrows down the search period.