Yorkshire Chess History



1852: Staunton in Halifax











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


Following on from his visit to Sheffield, Howard Staunton similarly visited Halifax, being the guest of honour at a “soirée” of the Halifax St. George Club.  The Chess Player’s Chronicle Vol. XIII, 1852, page 222, reported on the evening as follows:

Chess Soiree of the Halifax St. George’s Club.- On Wednesday, June 9,the members of this club and their friends had the gratification of meeting Mr. Howard Staunton at Crow Wood, where that eminent chess-player and author had been staying a few days, during his visit to Mr. Cronhelm, the President.  A consulting committee, consisting of Mr. S. G. Thomas, Mr. W. Common, and Mr. E. Cronhelm, played two even games with Mr. Staunton, who afterwards gave the odds of pawn and two moves to Mr. Edward Cronhelm in a third game.  In each of these combats a brilliant victory was achieved by Mr. Staunton, who gratified the company with some of the masterly combinations and evolutions for which his style of play has so long been celebrated.  In proposing the health of his distinguished guest and friend at the supper table, Mr. Cronhelm adverted to the injustice of an attempt in some quarters to deprecate Mr. Staunton in consequence of his failure in the short match with Mr. Anderssen at the recent Chess Tournament.  He reminded the company how signally a similar result in the first short match with M. St. Amant had been reversed in the second and longer match, which gave sufficient scope for the development of the superior genius of the champion of England; and expressed his conviction that any future match of sufficient length for a fair trial of skill would compel the Prussian to restore to the English wreath that single leaf of laurel which he had the honour of carrying away.  Mr. Staunton courteously acknowledged the compliment, and in an eloquent address proposed the health of the President, and prosperity to the Halifax St. George Chess Club.  Previously to the termination of the meeting, the secretary announced that the next anniversary of the Yorkshire Chess Association would be held in Hull in the month of October.  This information was the more gratifying, from the circumstances that some doubts had been entertained as to the future meetings of that society.”


“Mr. Cronhelm, the President” was Frederick William Cronhelm, father of Edward Cronhelm.


The results of the games played by Howard Staunton, in tabular form, were:


Howard Staunton


S. G. Thomas

W Common

Edward Cronhelm

S. G. Thomas

W Common

Edward Cronhelm


Howard Staunton

Edward Cronhelm



Howard Staunton

giving odds of P + 2 moves

* It is assumed the two games reversed colours etc in the second game.


At around this time, perhaps immediately after this visit to Halifax, Staunton attended a much larger soiree in Manchester, which F. W. Cronhelm attended also.  This event received a lengthy write-up in the Chess Player’s Chronicle Vol. XIII, 1852, page 219.  Herein Staunton was described as “paying a passing visit to Manchester, on his way to the North, where he was proceeding for a few weeks to recruit his health, . . .”.  Page 210 of the Chess Player’s Chronicle Vol. XIII carried a description, abridged from the Glasgow Constitutional, of a similar event in Glasgow.  No dates are given for either the Manchester or Glasgow events.  A trip by Staunton to Edinburgh Chess Club, on 5th July 1852, is described in Chess Player’s Chronicle Vol. XIII, page 248.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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