Yorkshire Chess History



1852: Staunton in Sheffield











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


In June of 1852, Howard Staunton made a passing visit to Sheffield as a guest of Dr. John Charles Hall, then, seemingly, a member of the Lyceum Chess Club.


The visit was reported in the Sheffield & Rotherham Independent of 12th June 1852 as follows:

“Chess at the Sheffield Lyceum. – On Friday, the 4th inst., the lovers of chess had the pleasure of meeting the greatest player of the day, or perhaps the most perfect master of the game the world has yet seen, H. Staunton, Esq.  An invitation had been given to members of the [Sheffield] Athenaeum Chess Club, and to several of the leading players of the town.  Accordingly about half-past eight, Mr. Staunton, accompanied by Dr. J.C. Hall, whose guest he had been, Jph. Law, Esq., Dr. Elam, and other friends, proceeded to the Lyceum, where Mr. Staunton was introduced by Dr. Hall to the gentlemen assembled to welcome him.  A game was at once commenced, the united Lyceum and Athenaeum clubs playing in consultation against Mr. Staunton, who gave the odds of a pawn and two moves.  After a hard fight of four hours the great general obtained the victory.”


Lyceum Chess Club, Sheffield, Friday 4th June 1852;

White: Allies, Black: Staunton, Howard (London) giving odds of pawn and move;

remove Black’s Pf7;

1. e4 -- 2. d4 e6 3. Bd3 Qe7 4. e5 Nc6 5. c3 d6 6. f4 Nh6 7. Nf3 g6 8. O-O Bg7 9. exd6 cxd6 10. d5 Nd8 11. Ng5 O-O 12. dxe6 Bxe6 13. Re1 d5 14. Qf3 Qd6 15. h3 Bf5 16. Rd1 Ne6 17. Bxf5 Rxf5 18. Nxe6 Qxe6 19. g4 Rf7 20. Qxd5 Qb6+ 21. Kg2 Re8 22. Qc4 Kh8 23. Na3 Rfe7 24. Rf1 Re2+ 25. Kh1 Qd8 26. g5 Qd7 27. f5 Nxf5 28. Qg4 Qc6+ 29. Kg1 Nh4 30. Rf2 Re1+ 31. Kh2 Rh1+ 32. Kg3 Nf5+ 33. Rxf5 gxf5 White resigns, 0-1 [CPC Vol. XIII, 1852, p.205]


Five days later Staunton was repeating the recipe in Halifax.


The Sheffield players mentioned by name were:

John Charles Hall M.D. of 10 Surrey Street,

Joseph Law M.D. house surgeon at the infirmary,

Charles Elam M.D. of 7 Surrey Street, Sheffield.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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