Sunday, May 24, 2020

Corrections and updates: Chess Player's Chronicle, 1854?

Earlier publication dates of most of the problems have been found: several were published in Illustrated London News before they appeared in Chess Player's Chronicle. However, they were not all identified belonging to the tourney.

At present the report in Chess Player's Chronicle is assumed to be correct. As it doesn't seem to correspond with what was published earlier in Illustrated London News, ... and by Staunton, who could be expected to know, ... things have become slightly more confusing.

One additional problem added to Angas's set.  That problem had appeared in CPC but without any indication it belonged to the prize set.  In ILN it was so identified.

Also corrected a mistake in the Angas set: one diagram had been duplicated.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Chess Player's Chronicle, 1854?

Added a problem tourney page for the Chess Player's Chronicle, 1854 tourney.

This is a bit of a mystery tourney: there's no known announcement or termination date, no known judges and no judges report.  The published prizewinning problems comprise more than the three best problems that are mentioned in the requirements, but there's no indication of just which of the respective set problems actually were the best three.

It is very probably the fallout of the 1852 tourney which was announced be terminated in the same issue as the results from this tourney were announced.

Monday, April 27, 2020


Here are some on-line sources I have used recently:

Nick Pope provides links to many major on-line chess sources in the Library section of his web site Chess Archaeology. ( Scans from several chess columns (mainly US, but UK and other countries are represented) are in the Excavations section, and part of the Jack O'Keefe project (

Cleveland  Public Library have scanned Miron Hazeltine's scrapbooks, with cuttings of early US chess columns. While somewhat difficult to use for reference, you can find some material that would otherwise require physical access to locate. They're considered to be Chess Manuscripts, and can be found at together with other manuscripts in the White collection.

The British Newspaper Archive ( is commercial, but provides reasonable access for anyone who don't happen to be near British Library.

The Austrian National Library provides scans from many Austrian newspapers at .

Problem Tourney Problems

I wish there was something like Jeremy Gaige╩╝s great work on chess tournaments for chess problems: a more or less well-researched, trustworthy list of chess problem tourneys (I include studies in the term for brevity) that could be used to see what is known about problem tourneys, and preferably also what problems were awarded with prizes, with accurate source references.

It was Breuer's Beispiele zur Ideengesichte des Schachproblems that caused this post, and particularly entry 218, which is a #3 by Walter Grimshaw that is said to have won 1st prize at an “Englischer Turnier” in 1852.

The immediate question is clearly ‘which tourney is that’? And is it the same or a different one from that mentioned in entries 206 and 207 (“Londoner Schachturnier, 1852”)?

I haven’t found anything to help avoid such confusion, so perhaps it is time to make a first attempt.

See page  gadget 'Problem Tourneys' in side column.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

PGN Problems 1

For some time I have been toying with Harold van der Heijden's magnificent study database (see for the latest release). It comes as a PGN database, and requires a chess database or closely related software, such as CQL programs, to use. If I want to use it with software more closely adapted to chess compositions, there seems to be no alternative than to create the software to do so.

The first problem in that task is getting to grips with PGN, and for that a copy of the PGN Standard is needed.  As with most Internet-distributed material, it should preferably be as close to its latest  publication as possible in order to avoid any later modifications, intentional or not.

Where can I find one? 

The Short story 

The web page is the best I have found so far.


The focus of this blog won't be on chess problems, but rather on digital aspects of chess problems and closely related matters. It may also touch on problems with computer chess.

And as I regularly dig around in old sources, I will probably use it for information that I'm digging up about old chess problem tourneys and similar events.

Posting frequency will be fairly low.

/Anders Thulin (athulin977 at gmail dot com)