27 March 2019

Early Women's Championships

In a recent post on my main blog, Chess and Gender Lines, I highlighted a treasure trove of videos about women's chess, all stemming from the 2019 Cairns Cup:-
Other videos about the same event can be found via Youtube search STLChessClub query=cairns.

See the 'Gender Lines' post for a clickable link. One of the videos focuses on the early events in the Women's World Championship.

2019 Cairns Cup: Women's World Championship History (9:17) • 'Published on Feb 7, 2019'

The description says,

Before the 2019 Cairns Cup, Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade discuss the great women's world chess champions and how World War II changed the course of the game forever.

The video starts with WGM Shahade saying,

[Vera Menchik] won the first Women's World Championship in 1927 in London, went on to win eight titles.

Since that statement is somewhat ambiguous, I checked my page on the World Chess Championship for Women, and counted the number of Menchik titles. I found seven tournaments and two matches, a total of nine titles.

One of the comments to the video said, 'This deserves more views.' Yes, it does. So does The Life and Chess of Vera Menchik by Lucas Anderson, also on Youtube.

20 March 2019

More on 1846 Staunton - Harrwitz

In the previous post, 1846 Staunton - Harrwitz, I added that unusual match to my page on the 1843-46 Howard Staunton Matches and noted,
I ran into a glitch with the match PGN and will add it to the game scores of the other matches as soon as I can.

I took the Staunton - Harrwitz games from my page titled Howard Staunton's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (1840-1866; Last updated 2001-06-16) and expanded the PGN headers before uploading the file. Having some extra time to spend on the Harrwitz match, I looked at what various web authorities had to say about the result.

That last quote, taking only the games without odds into consideration, is typical of other references. The comment section on the second link (Howard Staunton, page=4) has a long discussion from 2004 between GM Ray Keene, a Staunton biographer, and SBC (aka Batgirl), a serious collector of Paul Morphy material.

As for a written reference, the Staunton chapter in E.G.Winter's 'World Chess Champions' (Oxford, 1981), written by R.N.Coles, says that Staunton 'decisively trounced the younger master Daniel Harrwitz'. The summary of Staunton's career in an appendix lists three separate matches with total score of +12-9=1. In my previous post I said, 'It was a close match', taking the cumulative score during the match into account.

13 March 2019

1846 Staunton - Harrwitz

In last week's blog post, 1840s Staunton Matches, I added a new page to my World Chess Championship site covering the 1843-46 Howard Staunton Matches. I mentioned,
The reason for the new page is to prepare for the addition of the 1846 Staunton - Harrwitz match.

I had to put some thought into how to organize the crosstable. The final result is shown in the following image.

It was a close match. In each round of three games, with a different format in each game, Harrwitz consistently won the first game at odds of 'Pawn & move'; Staunton won the second game on equal terms; and the third game at 'Pawn & two moves' was a battleground.

The 13th game was drawn and replayed. The draw was counted in the result of the match as published by Staunton.

I ran into a glitch with the match PGN and will add it to the game scores of the other matches as soon as I can.

06 March 2019

1840s Staunton Matches

I added a new page, 1843-46 Howard Staunton Matches, to the Index of Pre-FIDE Events. This page combines:-
  • the two Staunton - St.Amant matches (London, IV-V, 1843 & Paris, XI-XII, 1843), and
  • the Staunton - Horwitz match (London, II-IV, 1846).

The reason for the new page is to prepare for the addition of the 1846 Staunton - Harrwitz match. The format is consistent with two other pages:-

While preparing the recent post Acknowledging an Important Source (January 2019), I noticed that Gelo's book 'Chess World Championships' included the Harrwitz match, but that my site omitted it. At first I thought this was an oversight on my part, then I realized that I had not included the match because of the many games played at odds.

Since all of the matches played before 1886 Steinitz - Zukertort are considered unofficial, there is no reason to omit the Harrwitz match. I'll add it as soon as I can.