Chess history trivia

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
John McKenna
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John McKenna » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:58 am

Yes, but surely GB is not just an island it is the island.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:14 pm

Thanet (Kent) is an island, as are Avalon (Somerset) and Portsmouth...

Isle of Wight is plausible as Queen Victoria had a house there, but the hospital looks a bit new.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Queen Victoria often visited the Isle of Wight, hence Osbourne House.

John Moore
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Moore » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:28 am

I was going to suggest Ajeeb - but he doesn't seem to have been around until 1868 so he wouldn't have crossed Prince Albert's path.

John McKenna
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John McKenna » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:25 pm

An unlikely candidate is John Cochrane (1798-1878) - as he spent a great deal of his adult life "in India until his retirement in 1869 except for one visit to England, 1841-3, when he played hundreds of friendly games against Staunton..." Was it him?

[Prince Albert married Queen Victoria in Feb. 1840 and he died in Dec. 1861 so that probably defines the time period during which the chess event we are seeking took place. The Turk left Europe for America in 1825 , by the way, and Mephisto did not make its appearance until 1878 - ten years after Ajeeb - so that rules out the best of the automatons.]
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:11 pm

Sorry, not Cochrane. Kevin and M.J. McCready were getting warm, though. The player in question was President of the local chess club. He was a veteran player, strong in his day, but is perhaps best remembered for his duties as second in an important match.

Leonard Barden
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:26 pm

Harry Wilson, Isle of Wight, Staunton v St Amant. Answered with some help from Google and Edward Winter's Chess Notes.

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:46 pm

Leonard, it's the right answer. Well done!

For an account of the fund-raising event, see Chess Player's Chronicle, Vol. X, 1849, page 350.

In Edward Winter's Chess Notes, C.N. 6506, contributed by Rod Edwards, evidence was given that Harry Wilson had given odds of a knight to De La Bourdonnais!

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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:56 pm

How about this one, which former world champion has a weapon named after him to describe a set-up he used with great effect in several notable games?

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:16 pm

"Alekhine's gun"?

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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:53 am

Ahh. Too easy. Also the name of an upcoming PC game

Tim Harding
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Tim Harding » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:56 am

John McKenna wrote:My guess is Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen (1818-79) on the Isle of Wight?

(Edit: I see, just above, that the knowledgeable Peter Farr of Sussex has proposed Henry Edward Bird (1830-1908).
Some others might like to suggest a name starting with C,D,E...)
H. E. Bird was born in 1829 not 1830. See my book "Eminent Victorian Chess Players" page 108 for the correction.
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:26 am

Another question: The title of whose biography is an anagram of his name?

Barry Sandercock
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Barry Sandercock » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:16 am

Tony Miles ( It's only me)

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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:49 am

aha, too easy again.

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