The Turk v Mephisto

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Craig Pritchett
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Craig Pritchett » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:25 pm

Even more interesting! Given Staunton's (surprisingly!?) effusive plug for the little-known (certainly to me) Wellington Pulling in 1866, perhaps he really was a much more important figure in chess history than the near silence that most chess historians accord him in the grand sweep of early 19th century chess development would appear to suggest ... if I am wrong on that score, and he is more than just an interesting but relatively minor actor, please say so.

We certainly have plenty of the Scottish (pace Staunton, not strictly 'English' although certainly 'British') player John Cochrane's games (and he certainly was a very strong player) but I have never seen any game by Pulling. Does anyone know of any and perhaps more to the point does whatever opus may exist actually support Staunton's view of his playing strength and importance?

I now note that my Oxford Companion of Chess calls him 'a strong English player with a flair for blindfold displays', in a brief paragraph on what they call the 'Pulling Counterattack' (4...Qh4 in the Scotch) which they say he 'originated'. But that's not much to go on!

Geoff Chandler
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:55 am

Hi Craig,

Like you I'd like to see more of his games.

Howard Staunton's 'The Chess-Players Handbook on page 139-40.' This is a 1840 consultation game between Perigal and Pulling as White v. Popert.



Also from 'The Handbook' (page 179) after 4..Qh5


"This move, which was introduced by a brilliant amateur of the London Chess Club....."

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:24 am

Geoff Chandler wrote: "This move, which was introduced by a brilliant amateur of the London Chess Club....."
Those of us who might encounter Mike Surtees in tournaments have to have some regard to the sequence that goes



The point being that the 1840's "refutation move" Kt-QKt5 is not possible.

Brian Denman
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Brian Denman » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:54 pm

Geoff, Craig, the following eleven games were probably all played by Wellington Pulling, though the evidence for his involvement is greater in some games than others. In 1847 he played two matches against Capt. H A Kennedy, president of the Brighton CC, though I do not know who won the most games in this contest.

Mr - of the London CC - Kennedy,Capt HA [C53]
Match game at the Brighton CC, 1847
Source: Chess Player's Chronicle Vol.VIII of 28.8.1847. W Pulling was probably the player who made the first move and he is described in the magazine as 'the most brilliant player of the London Club'. This game is probably taken from a second match between the players in 1847. The London CC player had the black pieces, although he made the first move. 0–1

P(ullin?)g,W - Kennedy,Capt HA [C40]
Match game at the Brighton CC, 1847
Sources: Illustrated London News of 21.8.1847, Brighton Gazette of 26.8.1847, and Bell's Life in London of 12.9.1847 and 26.9.1847. Capt. Kennedy had the White pieces, although he made the second move. Bell's Life gives the name of Kennedy's opponent as Mr. P-g. The game was probably played in a first match between the players. 1–0

P(ullin?)g,W - Kennedy,Capt HA [C54]
Played in the 'late Match', 1847
Source: Chess Player's Chronicle Vol.IX (1848). The magazine states that Kennedy's opponent was a 'brilliant Player of the London Chess Club'. His name is not given with the game itself, but in the index we are told that he was W. P-g. The game was probably taken from the second match between the two players, which seems to have started in about August 1847. One would have expected that it would have finished that same year. Kennedy had the second move, but played the game with the white pieces. 0–1

P(ullin?)g,W - Kennedy,Capt HA [C33]
Second match, 1847
Source: Chess Player's Chronicle Vol.VIII of 13.11.1847. Capt. Kennedy's opponent is described as 'a brilliant Amateur of the London Club'. Although his name is not given as part of the match score, the index to the whole magazine for 1847 lists him as W. P-g. Kennedy had the white pieces in this game, although he made the second move. The game was played in London. 1–0

Pulling,W - Kennedy,Capt HA [C37]
Second match, 1847 Sources: Illustrated London News of 6.11.1847, Brighton Gazette of 11.11.1847 and Bell's Life in London of 16.1.1848 (the last ot these three versions gives us the surname of Kennedy's opponent). Capt. Kennedy had White in the game, although he made the second move. 0–1

Kennedy,Capt HA - Mr - of the London CC [C44]
Match, 1847
Source: Illustrated London News of 28.8.1847. Kennedy's opponent is described as a 'brilliant player' and there is evidence that he was W Pulling. It is uncertain whether this game was played in the first or second match between the players. 1–0

Kennedy,Capt HA - Mr - of the London CC [C44]
Match game at the Brighton CC, 1847
Source: Chess Player's Chronicle Vol.VIII of 28.8.1847. Capt. Kennedy's opponent was probably W Pulling and it seems likely that the game was taken from a second match between the players in 1847. The White player is described as 'the most brilliant player of the London Club'. 1–0

Kennedy,Capt HA - P(ullin?)g,W [C44]
Match game at the Brighton CC, 1847
Sources: Illustrated London News of 21.8.1847, Brighton Gazette of 26.8.1847, and Bell's Life in London of 19.9.1847. The Bell's Life version just says that White's 38th move wins. It also states that Kennedy's opponent was Mr P-g. The game was taken from the first match between the players. 1–0

Kennedy,Capt HA - P(ullin?)g,W [C62]
Second match, 1847
Source: Chess Player's Chronicle Vol.VIII of 6.11.1847. The article states that the game has 'just' been played in the match between Capt. Kennedy and 'a brilliant Amateur of the London Club'. Later, in the index for the magazine we are told that Kennedy's opponent was W. P-g. 1–0

Kennedy,Capt HA - P(ullin?)g,W [C33]
Second match, 1847
Source: Chess Player's Chronicle Vol.VIII of 11.12.1847. Capt. Kennedy's opponent is said to be 'of the London Chess Club'. Although we are not told his name as part of the match score, the index to the 1847 magazine gives his name as W. P-g. The game was played in London. 1–0

Kennedy,Capt HA - Pulling,W [C65]
Second match, 1847
'And, after a few moves, White resigned.' Sources: Illustrated London News of 6.11.1847, Brighton Gazette of 11.11.1847. Also published in Bell's Life in London of 16.1.1848 which tells us that Mr Pulling was Kennedy's opponent. 0–1

Geoff Chandler
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:11 pm

Thanks Brian,

I see one of the games (2nd game down) was an Elephant.

He seems to have rejoiced in the title of being the most brilliant player in London.

Captain Kennedy wrote Waifs and Strays, Chiefly from the Chess-Board, (1862) he may have more information there.


And many thanks for all the help here from everyone. Chessgames.com have now correctly placed the game from post one with Mephisto.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:50 am

Hello again,

I posted earlier.

A Wellington Pulling is given as a subscriber to:

"A Selection of Games at Chess, actually played in London, by the late Alexander McDonelll Esq."

Selected and Arranged by William Greenwood Walker in 1836.

In the 19th game of that book (page 69) McDonnell is giving Knight Odds to Mr. P****** (Pulling?)

"The pre-game note adds:

"Mr.P. Is one of the most ingenious and imaginative players
of the day, and now no one can give him the Knight"

I then gave the game.

I have found the exact same game in the 'Oxford Encyclopaedia of Chess Games Vol 1 1485-1866 ' by David Levy. (page 61)

Only the player of the Black pieces is given the name Pelling.

It could be our man Pulling. No exact date is given other than 183? McDonelll passed away in 1835.
If it was Pelling born 1812 and McDonelll was still playing chess up till 1834 then that would make him 18-22.

365chess.com have 4...Qh4 listed as the Pulling counter Attack.

https://www.365chess.com/eco/C45_Scotch ... ter-attack

Hans Renette
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Hans Renette » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:16 am

I found a bit more on Pulling at Ancestry. He was born in 1813, in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales. He died in April 1866. When the census of 1851 was taken he was visiting his brother Robert Pulling in Penge, Surrey. Ten years later he resided in Camberwell St. Giles, Surrey. His occupation was given, just as his brother, as iron merchant. This is confirmed by a search on "Wellington Pulling" and "iron" at the newspaper archive.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:46 pm

Thank You Hans,

This is good, we are putting some flesh on the bones of a relatively unknown chess player.

Hopefully I can get the lad his own page on chessgames.com. They have a blank page,
under the name Pelling. No DOB-DOD or anything, Just Pelling based on one game v La Bourdonnais.

That game is also in Levy's Enc. as v Pelling. Given that the Pelling game v McDonelll in the same
book is infact McDonelll v Pullng it would appear Pelling and Pulling have been mixed up.

The 'Oxford Encyclopaedia of Games was a mammoth task, a small typo/error may have crept in.
Unless of course we can find a chess player called 'Pelling'.

John Hickman
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by John Hickman » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:20 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Unless of course we can find a chess player called 'Pelling'
This might be a 'pelling error :wink:

Geoff Chandler
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:34 am

Hello again,

One of the researchers at chessgames.com has come up with a bundler of stuff on Wellington Pulling.

Slight discrepancy about the dob. 1813 as from Hans above, however there is record of a baptism in 1812.

The Pelling in the Oxford Enc, almost certainly a typo (and I nicked John's 'pelling error joke.)

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/kibitzin ... 95&reply=1

Think C.G. will soon have a Wellington Pulling page. Thanks everyone. The two sites worked together very well.

Craig Pritchett
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Craig Pritchett » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:45 pm

* 26 May 1866 - "The most rapid, and at the same time the most brilliant, English player of the last thirty years was Mr. Wellington Pulling..."

Many thanks due to very many hard-working contributors to this thread, not least Hans, for digging out those Staunton quotes from 'The Illustrated London News', of which the above most surprised me (my underlining). Mr Pulling was undoubtedly quite a strong and not insignificant player, but Staunton's words are surely way over the top. It's good we are discovering some of Pulling's games (many thanks, Brian!) but he remains to my mind no more than an interesting and relatively minor early 19th century actor.

Re: 4...Qh4. 'My. 'Bilguer' (1891 Edition), actually on long-term loan from Edinburgh Chess Club, also credits Pulling with the move's discovery, so his name did travel. But it doesn't point to any games or published analysis of his ... many others, many of them very great names, indeed, did all the real discovery and deepening analytical work.

Hans correctly points out that Louis Paulsen may only have played the one game in the line with Black (against Wilson 1862) but what a hugely influential game that was. After 5.Nb5, he came up with the refined resource 5...Bb4+ that Steinitz took up, prized and elaborated upon in the London-Vienna (1872-74) correspondence game (plus those famous notes in 'The Field') and then successfully essayed three times in his match against Blackburne (1876), winning in each game (though Blackburne's play especially, it should be said was decidedly wayward). There's clearly no Pulling game(s) or published thoughts (as yet on record!?) that can remotely match that.

A final 'mystery'. Why does 'The Oxford Companion' (1984 edition) grace the line with the title 'Pulling's Counterattack'? Where did that name come from? My Bilguer doesn't use the German word 'Gegenangriff' that you'd expect to see in direct translation. It only uses the term Pulling's 'Gegenzug (...Qh4)', which doesn't quite fully convey the idea of 'counterattack'. Minor stuff, I guess, and the authors are no longer with us to tell us. Presumably it came from somewhere in the historical record!?

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Michael Farthing
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:47 pm

Oxford Companion Contributor: Pulling's counter-move
Oxford Companion editor: Not exactly English that, is it? Don't you mean counter-attack?
Oxford Companion Contributor: Oh, OK then..


Who knows?

Ian Kingston
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Ian Kingston » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:30 am

Michael Farthing wrote:Oxford Companion Contributor: Pulling's counter-move
Oxford Companion editor: Not exactly English that, is it? Don't you mean counter-attack?
Oxford Companion Contributor: Oh, OK then..


Who knows?
Having once worked at OUP and had a discussion about the Companion with the in-house editor (I was trying to get him to commission more chess books - I failed), I can confidently state that the editor concerned did not have sufficient knowledge about the game to make the above scenario plausible.

I think Hooper and Whyld were pretty much left to their own devices, but there must have been some external review of the content. For a typical academic work, reviewers in the 1980s were paid £50-£100 (or books worth about twice that amount), so there probably wouldn't have been any detailed study of the text.

All this with the caveat that someone on this forum may well know who reviewed the book and be able to contradict me.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Michael Farthing » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:06 am

But of course, Ian, my scenario was a tad tongue in cheek.

Ian Kingston
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Re: The Turk v Mephisto

Post by Ian Kingston » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:19 am

Michael Farthing wrote:But of course, Ian, my scenario was a tad tongue in cheek.
:)

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