by Rod Edwards (edo - dot - chess - at - yahoo - dot - ca)
- 27 Mar. 2018
- I have mined many important primary English-language sources for the year 1869, which turned up a few new results.
- I have added a selection of strong tournament and match results from 1923 and 1924.
- I have also added some additional tournament results over the period 1913 to 1924 from Australia, Belgium and Canada.
- 17 Dec. 2017
- This is mainly a Yorkshire update. I have mined Steve Mann's updated Yorkshire Chess History website for (almost) all material not previously included up to and including 1884, as well as a few later events.
- I have also included as references some nice articles by Michael Negele from the Deutscher Schachbund website, and one by Thomas Niessen on W.M. Popert. This has turned up in particular some early results of F. Riemann that I did not have before.
- Gerard Killoran sent me results for an additional event that took place at Richmond 1912.
- 21 Sep. 2017
- Mined the 1868 issues of many of the most important chess columns and journals of 1868, in English and French. Amongst other things, this turned up some match results for John William Schulten in 1868, which indicate that he had improved since his previous results in the 1850s. It also has the effect of further lowering Ignatz Kolisch's peak in 1867 (from its high level in previous versions of this site), since he did not do so well in later matches, against Schulten, for example.
- In the process of looking through the Westminster Papers, I came across a couple of match results from Dublin in 1870, which I've included.
- I've included now strong events from 1922.
- Steve Mann's Yorkshire Chess History site has been down for some time, but is now back online. I have adjusted all the links.
- 16 Jul. 2017
- More Australian player information and events, obtained from the Australian Chess Annual of 1896, now fully mined, and some primary sources to fill in when only partial results are given. There is much more that could be obtained from the really excellent Australian and New Zealand digital newspaper archives.
- I have mined the Report of the Meeting of the Chess Association in Manchester 1857. This has produced a number of full names where I only had initials before, and initials where I only had surnames.
- I have mined Tim Harding's Eminent Victorian Chess Players fully. While I had most of the results before, having corresponded with Harding frequently while he was writing the book, I've now gone through it carefully, and found more on player identities and biographical details of players. For example, Harding found that J.J. Löwenthal's birth date was probably four years earlier than is usually reported.
- Removed the match result Staunton-Zytogorski 1841. The reports of the result are just too divergent to allow any certainty in the score of this match.
- Removed the second match result between Neumann and Winawer in 1867. Hans Renette has pointed out to me that no primary source for this second match could be found, so its reality is dubious.
- Included the second class and handicap events at the Counties Chess Association meeting in London 1878.
- Mined the 1868 issues of the Chess Players' Quarterly Chronicle.
- I have created a page (accessible from the home page) listing works that cite the Edo ratings.
- 2 May 2017
- An Australian update - events in Australia and involving Australian players from 1856 to 1896, mainly in the 1860s and 1890s.
- 25 Mar. 2017
- I have mined the main primary sources in English and French for the year 1867. This produced some new tournament and match results.
- I spent a lot of time going through 1867 issues of Bell's Life in Victoria and the Australasian, to try to put together a complete crosstable of the Melbourne Club Handicap Tournament of that year. I was eventually successful, apart from a few remaining uncertainties. In a so-far unsuccessful attempt to determine whether the player named Steele at that event was Robert Moore Steele of Adelaide, I found some match results of the latter and other Adelaide players in 1868 and 1869.
- Tim Harding sent me the result of a match Jacobs-Ward in 1901.
- 5 Jan. 2017
- Hans Renette helped me to sort out the identity of H.A. Reeves, who was sometimes known as 'Dr. Farrow' and (probably) sometimes as 'Reeve-Farrow'.
- Steve Mann helped me to sort out the identities of players named Scott in the Newcastle area in the 1860s.
- I have now mined for results and player identities many of the main primary sources for the year 1866, including the Chess Player's Magazine, the Chess World, Le Sphinx (except that several issues are missing in the Google Books versions available), the Era, Bell's Life in London, the New York Clipper and Turf, Field and Farm. This produced some new results and helped to correct some others, such as (surprisingly) the British Chess Association handicap of 1866, for which many incorrect scores are recorded in Feenstra Kuiper, Gaige and Di Felice's results collections.
- 30 Oct. 2016
- Gerard Killoran sent results of matches by Theodore Block against R.J. Loman and H.L. Jacobs, results of events involving F.L. Anspach and N.W. van Lennep.
- Added missing New Zealand Championships up to the 30th in 1920-1921.
- I had previously mis-identified results of H.A. Reeves in 1859 as belonging to T.N. Reeves --- now corrected.
- Michael Kühl sent me some corrections, and a number of new results and biographical information on players in Germany and Austria in the 1890s and early 1900s.
- I have mined most of the main English and French chess magazines and chess columns for 1865.
- I mined Falkbeer's Sunday Times chess column from 1857 to 1859 and other occasional chess items from the Sunday Times back to 1822 and up to 1865. Amongst other things, this gave me a result of a match between 'John Deacon', which I take to be an error for 'F.H. Deacon' and P. Michaëls, an early Belgian player, which allowed me to assign him a rating, as well as some of his opponents from the 1840s, like E. van der Hoeven and F.C. Laigle. There is a possibility that 'John Deacon' is correct, but if so he was otherwise unknown and quite strong. Another notable find from Falkbeer's column was a rather one-sided result for casual games between Harrwitz and Schulten in 1859.
- Falkbeer's Sunday Times column of 9 Aug. 1857 led me to the book Berliner Schach-Erinnerungen by von der Lasa (1859), in which he gives some results among the Berlin Pleiades in 1839 and the early 1840s. Von der Lasa's assessment was that although von Bilguer, Bledow, Hanstein, von der Lasa, and Mayet were all about equal, Hanstein was slightly better, then Bledow, but he chooses to mention scores of particular matches or pairings in which Mayet and von der Lasa came ahead of Hanstein, suggesting that there were other matches with the opposite result. Since I can only use the scores given, my ratings evaluate Hanstein a bit behind, which is probably not correct, only a consequence of the bias in results reported.
- I have mined the 2nd, 3rd and 4th volumes of Joost van Winsen's series on Mackenzie, Mason and Co., covering 1868-1870, and producing a number of new results for New York players in these years, particularly Mackenzie.
- 31 Jul. 2016
- Mined some of the main chess publications of 1864 in English and French, especially the Chess Player's Magazine, La Nouvelle Régence, and the Era, but also Bell's Life in London and the New York Clipper.
- Included some more results from 1918 events in the U.S.A. and Argentina, from Eduardo Bauzá Mercére.
- Gerard Killoran continues to send useful information:
- Michael Kühl sent information clarifying what happened in the match von Bardeleben - Caro 1903, in which two of the games were actually played by von Scheve while von Bardeleben was ill, so those games are now listed separately here.
- 28 May 2016 - Additions and changes:
- Mined several of the main chess publications of 1863, including the Chess Player's Magazine, La Nouvelle Régence, Bell's Life in London, the Era, and the New York Clipper. Amongst other things, this made it clear that the 9-3 result I'd previously used for games between Morphy and de Rivière in 1863 was only the score of published games, and not the actual result of all the games between them, which is unknown, so I have removed this result.
- Zavatarelli, in his new biography of Kolisch, gives the result of a series of games in 1869 between Kolisch and Cochrane, won, surprisingly, by Cochrane. This has the effect of tempering Kolisch's high rating in 1867 somewhat. Zavatarelli also gives results of a couple of matches by Kolisch in 1870 against the otherwise unrated Ziwsa.
- Mined Urcan's book on Albin's years in America for results and biographical information on players.
- Gerard Killoran sent results for the Hague 1902 and the Southern Counties Chess Union events at Plymouth 1903, as well as Counties Chess Association events at Hereford 1885, Nottingham 1886 and Stamford 1887, from the book by Skipworth and various newspaper reports.
- Added Manhattant Club handicap tournament of 1885.
- Eduardo Bauzá Mercére sent results for a number of American events in 1918, some with very strong players.
- John Townsend (in CN. 9909) has determined conclusively that the J. Brown who was one of Staunton's early opponents was Joseph Brown QC.
- 23 Mar. 2016 - Additions and changes:
- Added tournament results from Bristol and Clifton in the 1880s, particularly those involving W.H. Harsant. Sent by Gerard Killoran.
- Added tournament results sent to me almost four years ago by Tom Stokoe, descendant of the Yorkshire player, Thomas Y. Stokoe, mostly involving his ancestor. Events up to 1886 now included.
- References to Frank Brown of Dudley, from as early as 1879 when he was only 15 years old, make it very likely that he was the Frank Brown who played for Dudley against Stourbridge in 1876, though he would then have been only 13 at most. I've therefore identified the young Frank Brown as the player at those events, previously listed and rated as a separate player. I've included a couple of new results for him, too, including a match against J. Halford in 1879.
- Both Gerard Killoran and Tim Harding found a source proving that it was Fred Brown, rather than Frank, who played at Ostend 1907.
- Killoran sent corrections for the City of London Club tournaments of 1903-1904 and 1906-1907.
- Added results of a team match by Dutch players in Bromley, England in 1910, and dates for their team match in London on the same visit. These results were pointed out to me by Gerard Killoran.
- Killoran also identified the player 'Letchworth' as Thomas Wilfred Letchworth.
- Added a partial result for a Worcester Club handicap event in 1875, from a source I've just discovered, Berrow's Worcester Journal.
- Fixed links to website La grande storia degli scacchi, which has moved.
- 6 Feb. 2016 - Additions and changes:
- It was pointed out to me by Tom Robillard that the result of the two games that de la Bourdonnais played against Perigal at Pawn and Move odds in 1840 is known. I had missed the information in The British Miscellany.
- Joost van Winsen has pointed me to his article on early New York Club Tournaments. This has given me more complete information on New York 1855 and New York 1856, and led me to include more information also on New York 1853 and New York 1854.
- Major results of the year 1921 from Gaige and Di Felice now included.
- Some women's events from 1901-1911 added.
- A few additional 1911 tournaments added.
- 24 Dec. 2015 - Additions and changes:
- I have included major results from the years 1917 - 1920.
- I have also added additional events from earlier years. In particular, I now cover all usable events from Gaige's Chess Tournament Crosstables and Di Felice's Chess Results up to 1906, and all but a few weaker events for the years 1907 - 1910.
- 14 Nov. 2015 - Additions and changes:
- Mined the New York Clipper from 1853 to 1862, at least those chess columns available at the Chess Archaeology website.
- Mined Pollock Memories by Rowland. This led to searching for more complete results from primary sources for a number of previously unrated events in which W.H.K. Pollock took part.
- Correction of identification of Henry Ward of Croyden, as distinct from H.S. Ward of Surrey. This was pointed out to me by Gerard Killoran.
- 14 Sep. 2015 - Additions and changes:
- Saint James' Club Tournament of 1863 results added, to the extent possible, from reports in the Era.
- I have now mined the rest of Hilbert's Writings in Chess History, covering a variety of eras and players, especially Buckle, Sellman and Philadelphia players of the early 20th century, such as E.M. Edwards and M.R. Eschner.
- Additional results from Hilbert's book on Shipley, covering later years up to 1916.
- Information from Tim Harding has allowed me to correct and add some results from 1915-1916, e.g. results of R.H.V. Scott and L.I. Estrin in London.
- A number of broken web links have been fixed, using the Wayback Machine, especially the old ChessCafe links.
- 29 Aug. 2015 - Additions and changes:
- Selected events from 1915 and 1916 included.
- Some later events incluced from Forster's book on Burn, Hilbert's and Lahde's book on Hodges, and others.
- Some match results of Alekhine's from the book by Skinner and Verhoeven.
- Main English language publications from 1862 mined, including the Chess Player's Chronicle, the Era and Löwenthal's book of the 1862 Congress in London.
- Joost van Winsen's Mackenzie, Mason and Co., Part I mined. This has led to additions and corrections for New York events of 1866 and 1867.
- Some players have been better identified: e.g. H.C. Stewart and H. Catley Steward seem to be the same person; at the London 1862 Handicap tournament, the 'Harris' seems to be E. Harris, not William Harris, and the 'Solomons' appears to be S. Solomons not Moses Solomons (of New York, as identified by Di Felice).
- 9 Jul. 2015 - Additions and changes:
- Mined the main chess publications in English and French in 1861.
- Günther Brunold sent me corrections for a number of Vienna events for which Di Felice's Chess Results (and in some cases Gaige's Chess Tournament Crosstables also) contains errors, mainly in identification of players (Vienna 1901, Vienna 1902 (1), Vienna 1905 (1), Vienna 1905 (3)). For others he sent additional information, such as locations, and he also pointed out that I had previously duplicated entries for a tournament in Vienna in November 1896.
- 26 Mar. 2015 - Additions and changes:
- Results, names and biographical information mined from La Rivista degli Scacchi, published in 1859 only, and the main chess publications in English and French in 1860, including La (Nouvelle) Régence, the Chess Player's Chronicle, the Chess Monthly, the Era and Bell's Life in London. Several new tournament and match results were found here, mainly from 1860, but the Chess Monthly of 1860 also contained letters written by de la Bourdonnais with information pertaining to results of G. Perigal from 1837, and the Chess Player's Chronicle of 1860 contained results of matches between Hanstein and von der Goltz in 1847.
- Some new results on tournaments in Hastings in 1904, sent to me by Gerard Killoran, mainly from the Hastings and St. Leonards Observer.
- 31 Dec. 2014 - Additions and changes:
- I have mined the Chess Monthly from its beginning in 1857 through 1859. This turned up quite a few additional results including, surprisingly, some for Paul Morphy in 1859.
- I had duplicated the New York Chess Club tournament of 1857. The second (partial) copy is now removed.
- Gerard Killoran sent me full results of the Divan Chess Association - City of London Club Match in 1896, from an article in the New York Sun. I also found a report in the British Chess Magazine. He also sent full results of the North-and-South Match of 1894, as well as a Cambridge Past - Oxford Past Match in 1894, involving players who had once played for those teams, and a Hastings Club - Union Amicale de la Régence Match in Paris in 1911.
- More information from Tim Harding has allowed me to further correct the results of the British Chess Association Grand Tourney in London 1872, with respect to draws that were actually played.
- Steve Mann has provided help with identifying a number of players, mostly from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire: several players named 'J. Parker', a different one in the North-and-South Match of 1894 ('J. Parker' of Wakefield, or Leeds) from the one one in the North-and-South Match of 1893 (Joys Parker of Grimsby); players named 'J. Walker' (James Walker of Hull and 'E.J. Walker', possibly Edward Johnson Walker, of Halifax); William Hughes Penny (of Hull) and Henry Francis Penny (of Liverpool); Henry Guilliatt and Ernest Posselt. Mann also sent results of another Grimsby-Hull Club Match of 1877.
- Paul Brown has sent me information on the New York Rice Club Tournament of 1913, allowing me to correct some details, especially of defaulted games by John Homer Stapfer and George J. Beihoff.
- 7 Nov. 2014 - Additions and changes:
- I have mined the main chess publications up to 1859 (mainly
Löwenthal's column in the Era, Walker's in Bell's Life in London, and the Chess Player's Chronicle). This turned up a few new results of Walter Parratt and John Watkinson, as well as helping to clarify that several of Morphy's encounters in Baltimore were single-game encounters, so that I can now include them (although most of his opponenets there are still not ratable, an exception being William C. Miller). Another event that turned up, though with only partial information, was a knockout tournament at the St. George's Club in London, which introduced a newly rated player of not insignificant strength, named Thrupp (first name probably John).
- Günther Brunold provided me with some useful information, particularly about Andreas Asharin and some of his match results, as well as on Berlin-Vienna 1911, Berlin-Prague 1913, and the British Chess Association Grand Tourney in London 1872 and related events. He also clarified the correct name of Johannes Minckwitz.
- Information from Tim Harding allowed me to rate more of the events at Ipswich in 1873, the North-South Match of 1893, the Kent-Surrey Match of Feb. 1891, the Dudley-Stourbridge Match of 1894 and the Warwickshire-Worcestershire Match of 1900. He also found more details on Charles Hugh Sherrard, clarifying his year of birth.
- I attempted to clear up the incomplete information about the Belfast Handicap Tournament of 1886, partly from the Belfast News-Letter (provided by Tim Harding). I still don't have clear information on which games were defaulted, but I have a better guess at how the handicaps worked now (Forster's account is not complete in this regard).
- 27 Aug. 2014 - Additions and changes:
- I have mined the main chess publications up to 1858 (mainly Löwenthal's column in the Era, and Walker's in Bell's Life in London, since there was no Chess Player's Chronicle in 1857 or 1858). This turned up a few new results and allowed a clearer separation of matches or series of games between Boden and Owen on the one hand and Morphy and Barnes on the other.
- Information from Tim Harding has given a couple of new match results from 1888, Donisthorpe-Gattie and Mortimer-Hunter, the results of the Manchester-Liverpool match of 1865, the Dublin-Liverpool match of 1893, and the minor events at Bath 1900, amongst other things.
- 22 June 2014 - Additions and changes:
- I have mined Max Lange's book Paul Morphy, A Sketch from the Chess World, translated and edited by Ernst Falkbeer. This produced a number of match results of W.W. Montgomery in 1858, including one against A.B. Meek, which finally allows me to assign a rating to the latter, who therefore now gets a web page. This in turn allows Meek's opponent at the First American Chess Congress, W.J.A. Fuller to be rated. Now all players at that event receive ratings. Lange's book also turned up a ratable one-game encounter between Morphy and Julien played on the eve of Morphy's departure for Europe.
- Tim Harding continues to supply me with data. This time, he has supplied some results of matches between some Norwich players. He has found evidence that the blind player George Lumbley scored a draw in his match against G.B. Fraser, previously listed as a 7-0 win for the latter. A score of more than 0% means Lumbley now gets a rating, albeit tentative, and match results of Lumbley against F.G. Rainger and of Rainger against C.T. Atkins and J.O.H. Taylor allow them to be rated as well.
- Harding has been going through Stanley's column in the Manchester Weekly Express and Guardian (which became the Manchester Weekly Express and Review starting in 1862). This has produced some additional results in 1861 and 1862, for Kolisch-Owen, Watkinson-Werner, and several club tournaments in Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff. Harding has also found full results for the return match between Manchester and Liverpool in June 1855 from the Manchester Guardian.
- Finally, another important result sent by Harding is that of an 1883 match between James Mason and B.W. Fisher at odds of a knight, which Mason won 5-2. This somewhat lowers our estimate of B.W. Fisher's rating, but shows just how strong Mason was at his peak.
- 24 May 2014 - Additions and changes:
- I have mined Bell's Life in London and the Era through 1857. The Chess Player's Chronicle was not produced that year, and La Régence seems to have folded after the Jan. 1857 issue. One interesting result from the Era was a match T.C. Oldham - F.G. Janssens 1857 that shows Oldham (previously unrated) as quite a strong player. The timing of the Bird-Falkbeer matches of 1856 and 1857 has been sorted out. Also I now have a full name for the strong Indian player Runchunder Kurunchiker.
- I have mined John Townsend's new book Historical Notes on Some Chess Players, which has a lot of newly discovered biographical information on early players. One point of note is Townsend's assessment of the Staunton-Alexandre match in the late 1830s. While he cautions against speculating about the result from the very unclear information we have, it is at least clear that Alexandre was capable of giving Staunton a hard time (and may well have won the match), so to reflect this, I have changed my 'soft' result of their match to 2-1 for Alexandre, as opposed to 2-1 for Staunton. This is still only a few games, so as not to put too much weight on them when we are unsure, but it does have the effect of raising Alexandre's rating somewhat.
- I have covered a few more events scattered from the 1850s to the 1880s from Steve Mann's Yorkshire Chess History website.
- I have covered a few more Australian events recently posted at OzBase.
- Tim Harding provided additional information on a few events in England from the 1870s to the 1910s.
- 28 Apr. 2014 - Additions and changes:
- I have mined the main chess publications through 1856: the Chess Player's Chronicle, Bell's Life in London, the Era, and La Régence.
- I have covered a few more events of the 1880s from Steve Mann's Yorkshire Chess History website.
- I have entered a few more results sent to me by Tim Harding, mostly from Land and Water or the Field, from the 1870s and from 1912-1914.
- I have corrected a flaw in my algorithm for assigning players to the 'newly created' category - some were being missed.
- 22 Mar. 2014 - Additions and changes:
- The British Chess Club Handicap Tournament of 1888 has been corrected. I had garbled the class assignments of the players when I first added this tournament in the 12 Apr. 2013 update. Some of the lower rated players were given inappropriate ratings as a result, but the most serious error was that Gunsberg was rated too low, and this was his peak year. So now his rating peak is considerably higher than it was before. Zukertort's rating is also higher, but this does not significantly affect his peak rating, many years earlier. Thanks to Tim Harding for pointing this error out to me.
- I have added some additional events from 1883 to 1885, mainly covered in Land and Water, columns from which were sent to me by Tim Harding.
- A few match results from the 1890s, and one from 1912, mostly found in the Field, were also sent to me by Tim Harding.
- Updates were not showing correctly on location pages - now fixed.
- 22 Feb. 2014 - Additions and changes:
- I have included results of main events now up to 1914.
- I have mined Bell's Life in London and the Era for 1855.
- I have included results of English events in 1882 from Land and Water (sent to me by Tim Harding) and supplemented by corresponding reports from the Chess Player's Chronicle.
- Gerard Killoran sent me results of a couple of additional matches of George Edward Wainwright.
- Australian players W.S. Viner and G. Gundersen turned up in events in England and Germany, respectively, in 1914. The pool of Australian players were generally quite isolated from the rest of the world, so their ratings tend to be less reliable (higher rating deviations), so these direct comparisons with European players have an anchoring effect on the ratings of these two players. In an attempt to spread this improved reliability to the rest of the Australian pool of players, I have included some more Australian events in earlier years.
- 6 Jan. 2014 - Additions and changes:
- I have mined thoroughly the 1855 volume of the Chess Player's Chronicle, which, despite extracting some information from it before, did turn up a few new results.
- I have gone through some of Steve Mann's Yorkshire Chess History website for information on Yorkshire and related events, at least up to 1882.
- Tim Harding continues to provide more information, now including some more City of London Club events and other London events in the early 1880s, gleaned from Land and Water and other sources.
- I have now included a somewhat superficial coverage of events from 1912.
- 31 Oct. 2013 - Additions and changes:
- I have been through Steve Mann's fantastic Yorkshire Chess History website, including biographical information on a large number of players from or connected with Yorkshire, mainly in the nineteenth century. I have yet to go through his pages on events, though some event results were found in his biographical pages.
- Eduardo Bauzá Mercére has provided me with crosstables of the Manhattan Club championship of 1900-1901 and the Brooklyn Club championship of 1904, as well as match results for Samuel Passmore against Teichmann and F.J. Lee, and for Magnus Smith - Charles W. Blake.
- Tim Harding provided results for City of London Handicap events in the early 1870s, which I've included up to the 1874-1875 event so far, a couple of match results between Zukertort and de Soyres, a match result Bellingham - Hollins, as well as some information on Passmore's matches against Leonhardt in 1904. He has also helped with identification of several players, such as Frank Brown, Fred Brown, J. William Hampton, Thomas Inglis Hampton, Bodé and G.C. Heywood, with new match results for the latter against Potter.
- I have now mined the main chess publications through to the end of 1854. Progress has been slow, because of the other information that has been coming in.
- Some of my location information has been corrected (thanks to some comments sent to me by Christopher Baker) and I have simplified things by using mainly regional designations, and not attempting to give precise names of 'nations' appropriate to the era of the events. Thus, I use regional names like 'Silesia', 'Poland', 'Austria' and 'Ireland', even though these areas were within larger political units at least part of the time under consideration.
- 23 Aug. 2013 - Additions and changes:
- I have identified an opponent of William Lewis, previously known only as Z.A., as given in the Chess Player's Chronicle (i.e., 'A--, Z.' with last name first here). An article by Murray in the British Chess Magazine in 1906 identifies this as none other than George Walker. This raises the estimate of Lewis' rating markedly, since we now know that he got 1.5/3 while giving Knight odds to a strong player, not an unknown, and therefore probably weak, player. Since Lewis played Deschapelles, de la Bourdonnais and Cochrane early in their careers, the estimates of their ratings also increase.
- I have finished mining Sergeant's A Century of British Chess for results and information on players and events, at least up to 1902, and selectively from 1903 to 1911. The main additions are Oxford - Cambridge University Matches, which I included up until 1902.
- I have gone through the Chess Player's Chronicle of 1854 thoroughly, now, though few results emerged that I had not already included.
- I included a few newly posted results of Australian events from OzBase.
- I've made some modifications to the Dundee 1867 handicap and the Baden-Baden 1870 tournament, with information from Tim Harding. Also, I've added the Scottish tournament at Dundee 1867.
- A few new match results from batgirl's web blog postings have been added, particularly several of Dadiani, including a soft result of a tied match with Dubois in 1880.
- The 'new and updated' page that I brought online in my last update did the job only partially, now corrected. Aside from players who I update directly, there are others whose pages are updated or even created due to indirect effects. I produce all my web pages afresh automatically from my database at each update, and I only produce pages for players for whom I have ratings. There are other players, whose information is in the database, but for whom no ratings can be generated. New results of other players, however, can render these players ratable, so these players then get newly created pages. Also, the number of games of existing players that are usable for rating can change with altered results of other players. Such indirect updates are now tracked as well as direct ones.
- 24 July 2013 - Additions and changes:
- New website banner and tabs for navigating the site. I have always been more focussed on content than on having a glitzy web site, but it seemed time to make a small effort to do a bit more. I designed some nice tabs, only to find that they do not appear correctly in Internet Explorer (at least up to version 8), though they work fine in Safari, Firefox and Chrome. At this point I am not prepared to go to great lengths to redesign them to work in all browsers, so I can only offer apologies to Internet Explorer users.
- I have added a location index for events and have standardized place names. Some choices about how to represent place names had to be made. A number of places have changed names and/or country since the time of the events included here. I have opted not to list locations by their modern names and countries, since in many cases the events are traditionally known by the name at the time of the event, e.g. Carlsbad 1907, which was played in Carlsbad, within the German Empire, whereas now this city is in the Czech Republic and called Karlovy Vary. Where different, I have noted the modern name and country on the main page for the location. This leaves the problem, in some places in Europe in particular, of changes in national boundaries during the period covered by my ratings. Thus, for example, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was formed in 1867, including modern Austria and Hungary, but also parts of other modern countries such as the Czech Republic and Italy, and a unified German Empire was formed in 1871. I have chosen, for the most part, to list countries as they existed in the period 1871-1914, during which time national boundaries were fairly stable, and during which the majority of chess events considered here occurred. I have, however, made an exception for places in Austria such as Vienna, for example, which I have listed as belonging to Austria rather than Austria-Hungary, because I have events from the time both before and after Austria became part of Austria-Hungary.
- I have introduced a list of 'New and updated' player and event pages, under the 'New' tab. Also, I have marked them by asterisk in the list of players (under the 'Players' tab) and in the lists of events that appear on year pages and the new location pages. The players and events marked 'new' are those first appearing in the current update. Players and events marked 'updated' are those for which the information has changed in any way since the previous update, including changes as minor as new references or modified notes. I also now put the creation date or date of the last update at the bottom of the player page or event page if it has been created or updated more recently than 12 June 2013. Note that I do not consider as updates any changes to the ratings themselves, which can always change as new results are included in the big results matrix. I have also refrained from considering as updates the minor changes in place names resulting from the standardization.
- I have included new information on events in Russia in the 1870s from Shakhmatniy Listok (forwarded to me by Geert Van der Wulp). This includes events not previously included as well as updated information on events that were included before. In particular, I had included (following Di Felice) two versions of the Saint Petersburg 1877 tournament result as different events, now combined into one.
- I found the result of a single game encounter Carroll - Schlumberger, Schlumberger operating the automaton, in 1827 from the Macon Telegraph, which is, however, not currently ratable, because we have no other results of Carroll.
- I have added results and references to player and event information covering the period 1892 to 1911 from Sergeant's A Century of British Chess. I have still to go through his final chapter on Oxford and Cambridge, and his lists of crosstables at the back of the book.
- 12 June 2013 - Additions and changes:
- New results and clarification of results I already included for early Russian players and events, especially Petrov. These were sent to me by Geert Van der Wulp, from the Russian chess journal, Shakhmatniy Listok, of 1859-1863. Some information on tournaments in Saint Petersburg over those years allows a few additional Russian players to appear in the rating lists. Of particular note, Van der Wulp has given a compelling argument that the result given by Wade for Petrov against Baranov was just an error for the match Petrov-Kopev, so I have removed the Petrov-Baranov result. There is also a result of a match against a Kalmykian Prince, tentatively identified as Prince Tundutov in 1821 and a soft result (just proportion of games won) against F.A. Hoffman over a number of years, which I have assigned to the year 1844, so as to include it in the rating calculations. As a result of these new results, Petrov's peak rating in 1853 has increased, showing him to be among the very top players at that time, but there are still not enough earlier results to give him a reliable rating before the 1850s and he was no doubt much stronger than his Edo ratings would suggest in those years (as it is, his peak appears to come at age 59, which is unlikely).
- Results from the 1880s and 1890s involving S. Lipschütz sent to me by Stephen Davies, as well as follow-up investigation into primary sources. This includes exhibition games by Janowsky against 15 New York players in 1899, only 2 of which I previously had included, and a number of New York team matches.
- Clarification of some Blackburne results, and some new results for English players in 1872 and 1873, such as Colburn and A. Hunter from Tim Harding, and primary sources, especially Land and Water.
- Results for Nicolai Gedalia and Charles Gedalia separated.
- Results from the first five chapters of Hilbert's Writings in Chess History, including a number of new casual match results for Steinitz and Zukertort.
- A few British team match results of 1890 and 1891 from Sergeant's A Century of British Chess.
- 12 Apr. 2013 - A few additional tournament (or team match) results, mainly dated 1887-1890 from Sergeant's A Century of British Chess and further digging in primary sources, as well as some matches I came across, mostly of R.J. Loman and Nellie Showalter, but also of Harriet Worrall and some early match results between Henderson and Shaw in Canada.
- 3 Mar. 2013 - Additions and changes:
- As new results are added, the ratings shift slightly and I monitor the consistency of the average of the top few players, at least from about 1860, when we have enough of the top players rated. Previously, I had seen a slight deflation over time in the average of the top 10 (or the average rating of players 6 to 10), and had corrected by putting the self-game percentage at 50.1% in favour of the later year. This time, that deflation seemed to have disappeared between 1860 and 1900 at least, which makes me think that the slight decline between 1900 and 1911 might be real and not a deflation effect. Thus, I have gone back to an exact 50% self-game score. This means that very early players are rated slightly higher again, and players towards the end of the period covered (after 1900, say) are rated slightly lower.
- Additional results on events in Britain up to 1887 added from Sergeant's A Century of British Chess, in some cases supplemented by more complete reports from original sources, including match results for Steinitz against E. Healey.
- Some results from the first number of the Chess Player's Quarterly Chronicle of 1868, including match results of M.E. Werner and a team match between the North and West Ridings of Yorkshire, all in 1867 or 1868.
- A result for Zukertort against Adair, from an article by Hilbert at ChessCafe.
- A single game result for Morphy against F.H. Lewis in 1858, from the Chess Monthly.
- I have decided that it is likely that three of the players named 'J. Wilson' I had previously listed separately were identical and have combined their results and references (under 'Wilson, J. (1)').
- I also tried to distinguish appearances of the players W.S. Gover and F.F. Gover, F.C. Howell and A. Howell, C.G. Puller and A.G. Puller.
- 3 Jan. 2013 - Results for some major events for 1911 added.
- 26 Dec. 2012 - Additions and changes:
- Date of Marco-Kaufmann match corrected to 1892 (from Kaufmann biography by Urcan and Braunwarth).
- New Austalian tournament results from OzBase as of 25 Oct. 2012 entered.
- The first few chapters of Sergeant's 'A Century of British Chess' mined for results.
- Casual match between Anderssen and Löwenthal in 1851 removed, as result is too uncertain.
- 24 Oct. 2012 - Additions and changes:
- I have mined Owen Hindle's biography of Edward Pindar, which has turned up quite a few additional match results for him, and, with some additional detective work, the result of a match between the Dundee and Glasgow clubs in 1865.
- I have searched through the Liverpool Mercury from 1811 to 1853 for results and information on players, which turned up a couple of new match results from 1839, Walker-Mongredien and Alexandre-Samuel, an unratable result between de Lavalette and Tascher in 1815 (famous in connection with the French revolution and Napoleon, not really chess players), and a single ratable game between Löwenthal and H. Stanley in 1853.
- I have now mined La Régence through 1851, where I obtained a few additional match results from 1851 by Delannoy, Journoud and Kieseritzky, as well as a new, somewhat uncertain, result of Alexandre against the 'Automaton', probably directed by Weyle, in 1818. This latter brought into play a result I had already found in Le Palamède for play between Weyle and Saint-Elme-le-Duc in about 1824, for which only approximate results can be used. A closer examination of that report allowed me to extract a soft result between Mouret and Saint-Elme-le-Duc in about 1826. Finally, although I am reluctant to use too many soft results, I decided to include another between Mouret and Saint-Amant in about 1835, from a later report in the Illustrated London News. These results all give some indication at least of the strengths of Weyle, Alexandre and Mouret.
- Bell's Life in London, the Home Circle and the Era have now been mined for results through to 1853, which did not produce much in the way of new results (one ratable game in the Era between Staunton and E. Cronhelm, also appearing in the Chess Player's Chronicle), but I also came across a result between Petrov and Salter in the Era of 1863.
- I mined the four volumes of The Chess Player (1851 - 1853), turning up an additional ratable game between Anderssen and Lange, and the Chess Player's Chronicle up to 1853, obtaining a ratable game between Staunton and E. Cronhelm, some games or brief matches of Löwenthal, against Harden, H. Stanley and F.D. Zachary, and a match between R.B. Brien and Forshall.
- Mining of the first volume (1853) of the British Chess Review turned up a number of additional match results of the early 1850s, particularly by Harrwitz, but also two new results for J.A. Laroche.
- Information from Tim Harding provided some additional results for Paulsen in 1861, an additional casual match result between Blackburne and Burden in 1862, a second match result between Blackburne and Bird in 1879, an additional casual match result between Blackburne and Owen in 1881 and the result of a team match between the City of London Club and the St. George's Club in London in 1881.
- A reference from the Westminster Papers, via Tim Harding, seems to make it clear that the only match between Blackburne and Steinitz in 1870 was a 2-game match with score +1-0=1 for Steinitz. The result +5-0=1 given in some sources seems suspect and I have replaced it. However, Harding also sent me a result from the Westminster Papers of 1869 giving another formal 1-game match result of +1-0=0 for Steinitz over Blackburne in that year. This slightly changes our assessment of the ratings of these two players around those years.
- I added the result of another Potter-Heywood match, finishing in 1880, which I came across in the Illustrated London News.
- Updates to Alan McGowan's historical pages at the Chess Scotland website led to my inclusion of the minor tournament at Edinburgh 1895.
- 28 Aug. 2012 - Additions and changes:
- The Hodges biography by Hilbert and Lahde has now been fully mined for information up to 1910, with additional material on New York chess events obtained from original chess columns and chess magazines (particularly in the early 1890s).
- Some additional results on New York events were sent to me by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére.
- Eduardo Bauzá Mercére also sent me a column from the Turf, Field and Farm of 1877 in which G.H. Mackenzie mentions the result of a match he played with Bannerjee (or Bonnerjee) when he as in India (about 1857). This result is very significant as it helps to compare Bannerjee, and therefore Cochrane, more directly with later players, even though Mackenzie was still young. It dramatically increases the assessment of Bannerjee's strength made by the Edo ratings, and indirectly increases the assessment of Cochrane's rating in the early 1850s. There is then a slight increase in the rating of other early players connected to Cochrane in the early 1840s.
- Some results of additional Yorkshire events of the 1870s have been added, from the compilation of results of events in which Thomas Stokoe participated sent to me by his eponymous descendant.
- Bell's Life in London for 1851 and the first half of 1852 has been mined, producing a few new results: offhand sets of games by Anderssen against Medley and Mongredien, and an additional game from the London Club tournament of 1851 (a draw between Löwenthal and Ehrmann).
- The name of Staunton's opponent John Brown has been corrected. I had misidentified him as Joseph Brown, who appears in the subscription list to Williams' book Souvenir of the Bristol Chess Club.
- List of contributors page added.
- 5 Jul. 2012 - Just a few additional results and biographical information from the book on A.B. Hodges by Hilbert and Lahde, from the Era, now up to 1851, and some corrected biographical information (particularly H.E. Bird's birth year!) from Harding's new book, Eminent Victorian Chess Players. I have also now made the player named E. Schneider in the Coburg 1904 Nebenturnier different from the player named E. Schneider at Dresden 1892, as it is not clear that they are the same (considering them the same had produced some improbably high ratings for some other players in these lesser events at Coburg 1904).
- 19 Apr. 2012 - I have been attempting to make updates approximately every two months (and lately this has been roughly in time with FIDE rating updates). This update is coming a little early and the next one will probably be a little late. Changes:
- I have now been through Hilbert's books on W.E. Napier and W.P. Shipley, mining them thoroughly for results and information on players, up until 1910. I have also started going through the biography of A.B. Hodges by Hilbert and Lahde. These have resulted in a number of additional events being rated, though for many, only partial information has been obtained. In a few cases, I have gone back to contemporary journals, such as the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, for further information on these events.
- 29 Feb. 2012 - Additions and changes:
- Mining of Bell's Life in London and La Régence up to 1850, the Chess Player's Chronicle up to 1851, and The Era up to 1844 has turned up some additional match results from the late 1840s up to 1851, and some more information on players.
- Sarah (a.k.a. Batgirl) sent me a link to a Russian website with information on another early match by Petrov (versus Kopev in 1809), now included.
- I have modified the results I've used for Petrov versus von Jaenisch in 1844. The result from Di Felice looks likely to be just a result of some recorded games, not a full match score, or else missing a statement about odds given. Typically, Petrov was giving von Jaenisch at least Pawn and Move odds, and was winning matches against him, so I have decided to just use a soft result of 1-0 for Petrov giving Pawn and Move odds. This slightly increases the assessment of his rating in 1844 and earlier.
- I received a compilation of results of events in which T.Y. Stokoe participated, from his descendent, also named Thomas Stokoe. These include many minor Yorkshire events, but so far I have only included the first tournament result in 1870 (but with several classes playing in separate groups).
- Results from the Victorian Tournament (Melbourne 1866) from the first issues of the Australasian.
- 22 Dec. 2011 - Additions and changes:
- Errors corrected in dates and identification of a few players, including Jan Vančura, Jan Kleczyński, Béla Bayer, Wilberforce Tribe, Hubert Greenwell, and less famous players named Marshall and Neumann.
- Added a few British results from the 1850's to 1870's (references sent by Tim Harding).
- Added a number of results from the Chess Player's Chronicle of 1855.
- Added fairly complete results from Feenstra Kuiper, Gaige and Di Felice for the years 1909-1910 (though still not some events with only weaker players).
- Mined van Winsen's book James Mason in America, covering the period 1867-1878.
- Added additional results from OzBase and the Canadian Championships site to 1910.
- Added a couple of 1830 match results from Forster's book on the Zurich Chess Club.
- Updated the Rynd-Harvey match result with new information from David McAlister.
- Mined the chess column of Bell's Life in London from 1845 to mid-1846.
- 1 Nov. 2011 - Additions and changes:
- Inclusion of additional results from Feenstra Kuiper, Gaige and Di Felice for the years 1905 - 1910. Now years up to 1908 are covered fairly completely from those sources at least. Matches and just a few strong tournaments from 1909 and 1910 are included so far.
- Forster's biography of Burn now mined up to 1910.
- Gilberg's book on the 5th American Chess Congress mined.
- Hilbert's book Young Marshall mined. I also followed up some of his references to reports of New York events from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
- A few casual matches of Steinitz' in 1882 included from The Steinitz Papers, by Landsberger.
- New information on French players from Dominique Thimognier's Héritage des Echecs Français website. In particular, he has identified the two mid-19th century players named Laroche.
- An additional match of J.A. Laroche against de Rivière in 1860 included from La Nouvelle Régence.
- 24 Aug. 2011 - Two main changes:
- Results extended to 1908. For the 19th century I have tried to include every rateable result I can find. I will not be able to cover 20th century events as thoroughly. For now, I have concentrated on results from Feenstra Kuiper, Gaige and Di Felice, including all results listed there for 1903 and 1904 and a selection of stronger events from 1905 to 1908. For 1903 to 1904, I also consulted the Canadian Championships website and the OzBase website as well as Forster's book on Amos Burn.
- Deflation adjustment. There seemed to be increasing evidence of a slight deflation in the ratings over the years, though this is not certain and is really a matter of judgement. However, the trend seemed to be more noticeable in the years after 1900, so I have now set the self-game results to be 50.1% in favour of the player in the later year to correct for this (see the section on Long Term Consistency in the Explanations Page).
- 28 June 2011 - I have now included results from the Illustrated London News up to 1878, and I have extracted results and information on players from Forster's biography of Burn up to 1902. These have produced a significant number of new results, particularly of county events in Britain. Some new results have been added to OzBase since the last time I checked it, and these have been included, too.
I also received information from Tim Harding that allowed me to include some additional county and minor events in Britain, and more detailed information on some I already had partial results for, including Redcar 1865 and 1866, Birmingham 1877, Llandudno 1893 and others.
I had already included Cochrane's result against Mouret (playing as the Turk) in 1820, because it was referred to as a result of all games played, though Hunneman's book, from which these games were taken only claims that they are a selection of 50 games played by the Turk. However, it does seem likely that Hunneman was recording all the games by the Turk against notable players during the period he was recording games, so I have included all the results for opponents of the Turk for which at least 2 games are given.
As usual, a few other errors have been corrected (e.g. the Blackburne-Zukertort match given by Di Felice as +2-1 in 1876, which seems to have been, in fact, +1-1 in 1877; the identity of the 'Hodges' who played at Cheltenham 1876, given incorrectly as 'A. Hodges' by Di Felice; and Popert's initials, given incorrectly by William Greenwood Walker and almost everyone since).
- 31 Mar. 2011 - I have extended my mining of results from the Illustrated London News up to June 1874, with a bit of additional information from other contemporary sources.
- 25 Jan. 2011 - New results and player information mostly from going through the Illustrated London News (now up to 1868) and Bell's Life in London (now up to 1844). The Illustrated London News, in particular, produced results of a number of county tournaments and inter-club matches in England in the 1850s and 1860s, which included a few relatively strong players like John Watkinson and James Kipping. Some correspondence with Tim Harding has led to more complete results for some of Gunsberg's events, such as the Simpson's Divan tournament of 1888 and the 2nd BCA congress, London 1886, as well as for Dublin 1868. I found a further source that enabled me to rate the handicap tournament in Dundee 1867, which I had left out for lack of full information. I have also now included some previously missing Canadian Championships from the late nineteenth century from Stephen Wright's Canadian Championships website.
- 14 Nov. 2010 - A few minor changes:
- One of the unexpected consequences of switching my programming language from SPlus to R was a different alphabetical ordering of player names on my Players page, as a result of R's different default handling of character comparisons. I've now coaxed it to put the ordering back to the way I had it before with initial 'de', 'la', etc., ignored.
- I have decided to remove the few matches involving the versions of chess known as 'the game of pawns'. These were a strange species of odds game, in which one player gives up the queen (or queen's rook) in exchange for being given some number of additional pawns at the start of the game. I have some results of this kind of game for Deschapelles against de la Bourdonnais, de Saint-Amant and Boissy d'Anglas as well as Kieseritzky against Dumoncheau. The reason for including these in the first place was that in that era when these games were played a great deal in some circles, a well-defined system of equivalences had been worked out with the more standard types of odds, so we had a way of gauging the rating effect. On the other hand, this really is quite a different version of the game, and might be compared to rating FischerRandom Chess with regular chess nowadays. Some players (like Deschapelles) were more practiced at these strange odds games than others and this may have biased the results. So now I have removed them from my rating calculations, which has lowered the estimates of Deschapelles strength a bit.
- I have continued to go through Bell's Life in London (now up to the end of 1843), mining for results and information on players. This has resulted in a few new match results and new information about others.
- 20 Aug. 2010 - I have continued to add material from early sources available to me, covering most of them thoroughly
up to 1849. I have also recently discovered that I have online access to Bell's Life in London, an important early source,
and have so far mined it for information from its beginning in 1822 up to the end of 1837.
The entire Morphy website of Sarah (a.k.a. Batgirl) and her Chess Journal have been removed from the web. I cite both of them heavily in my player and event references here, so, with Batgirl's cooperation, I have installed the majority of that material on my own webspace at www.edochess.ca/batgirl/ (for the Morphy site) and www.edochess.ca/batgirl/archives.html (for Sarah's Chess Journal).
Also, I've transferred all my software to R from an old version of SPlus. This has no visible effect on the website but has enabled me to calculate the ratings and produce the web pages far more efficiently. I worried about doing this for a long time but it turned out to be fairly easy and I'm thrilled at the increase in processing speed and additional automation that it made possible.
Graphs of tournaments with more than 20 players now include the highest rated 20 players.
- 8 June 2010 - A few minor enhancements:
- Errors of previous version corrected: B.V. Ljubimov and Boris Vasilievich Liubimov merged; Buckle-Tuckett 1842 score corrected; German results of Roberts disassociated from Albert Roberts; Manhattan Club tournament, 1886, handicaps accounted for, etc.
- A few additional results found or corrected by mining early chess sources up to 1845 (books by W.G. Walker, G. Walker and E. Williams, the chess journals Le Palamède and the Chess Player's Chronicle, and the chess column of the Illustrated London News). Also, some results added from reminiscences of John Donaldson published in the Illustrated London News between 1878 and 1880. It is interesting to note that as I have been adding additional results and correcting other results from the first half of the nineteenth century, the ratings of these early players have been increasing over previous versions of the Edo ratings. They are still very uncertain (as shown by the rating deviations) but Deschapelles and de la Bourdonnais, in particular, now appear very highly rated and comparable in strength to many top players later in the century.
- A website (one of Spinrad's sources) by Marco A. Alberti turned up some additional information, for example on the odds that appear to have been given in the match de la Bourdonnais-Church, 1837.
- Small tweaks to the graphs of top players by decade, 30-year span, and the whole period.
- 23 Jan. 2010 - Here at last is a major update. This has taken a rather long time (my spare time being really very spare),
but it was difficult to do piecemeal. My original intention was to add basic biographic information on players and to document my
references for this information as well as the match and tournament results I had already obtained, and cross-check everything as I
went. However, I had already started collecting information from other sources, and in the process of trying to verify results and
player identifications, I inevitably started including additional information. It also seemed essential to try to date
and locate events and document this information as well. I have erred on the side of inclusiveness in citing sources, despite their
variability in quality, except in the case of very well-known players for whom there are too many references. I do not necessarily
endorse or recommend any of the sources I've cited; rather I have been interested in reporting discrepancies in the information given.
A number of other modifications to the Edo ratings have also been made. I summarize the main changes below:
- Addition of biographical information (full name, alternate names, birth and death dates) where available on all player pages, as well
as all references used for the information on each player from books, periodicals and web pages. Generally, only sources where a first name
or initial or name variant is given, or biographic information, are cited, not just the occurrence of a surname. The single most
important source here is Gaige's Chess Personalia.
Discrepancies in information and other comments are included in 'Notes' on these pages where needed.
- When the birth year is known, approximate ages (years since birth year) are marked in decades at the top of the rating graph for a player.
(Note that I only give a graph for players with ratings in more than 2 years.)
- Addition of event lists on the pages for each year, with links to the new pages for each individual event.
- Addition of pages for each event, with links from the tournament and match data at the bottom of the player pages
and from the event lists on the year pages.
These event pages list results in the form of scores (and number of games) for each player involved, rather than
reproducing entire crosstables. For matches that occurred as part of a tournament (knockout matches or tie-break matches),
scores are given for each pairing. Also, event information (name, place, start and end dates) are given where available, along with
notes covering especially any discrepancies in information among sources, or any uncertainties about the information.
Finally, all references used for information on the event are indicated, from books, periodicals and web sites.
'Matches' are here defined as two-player events, while 'tournaments' are defined as events involving structured play
between more than two players (to determine one or more prize-winners).
Thus, inter-club matches are counted as 'tournaments', as is the triangular contest in Paris, 1821,
while a series of games between a pair of players at
unstructured events count as matches (like at the gathering at Blue Lick, Kentucky in 1847, and early meetings of the Chess
Associations, under various names, in Yorkshire from the 1840s).
- Rating graphs are included for each event with more than one rated player
(limited to the highest-rated 16 players where more than 16 were involved).
- Event results are now classified as 'formal', 'casual', or 'soft'. These are only guesses in many cases and should not be taken as being
definitive. All results have in any case been used equivalently in the rating calculations (except in the case of Adolf Anderssen). 'Soft' results
are numerical results that I have essentially made up to match as closely as possible what information is known about an event, without giving it too
much weight, in cases where it would be a serious mis-representation not to include the event at all.
- Addition of bibliographic lists (books, periodicals and
main web sites).
- A complete revamping of results, with improvements in accuracy as far as is possible with the
sources I've currently searched. Many errors have been corrected and a significant number of new
results have been entered into the data set for rating calculations.
- I have begun to do more historical work to make the often tricky
identification of players more reliable, and to accurately locate events
(matches and tournaments) in time (and place), as well as to pin down accurate results of events.
I have begun to look at primary source material,
rather than relying exclusively
on secondary sources that are of varying accuracy. So far, I have mainly
been using such nineteenth century sources as are available
to me for making sporadic checks of results of events I already knew
about, though I have occasionally picked up other events.
- Results from a number of additional sources have been included. In particular, I have made a thorough search through
Fiske's book of The First
American Chess Congress, Reichhelm's on Chess in Philadelphia, Lawson's Paul Morphy, Hilbert's Essays
in American Chess History and The Tragic Life and Short Chess Career of James A. Leonard, 1841-1862, Winter's
four books from his Chess Notes column, Chess Explorations, Chess Facts and Fables, A Chess Omnibus and
Kings, Commoners, and Knaves, and Cornil's collection of excerpts from nineteenth
century sources covering goings-on at the Café de la Régence. A number of additional web sites have
proven very useful, including Paul Dunn's
Ozbase site, and David Cohen's
Canadian Chess site. Actively updated websites, like
have been mined for data
up to the end of 2007 so far, with only occasional bits and pieces since then. I have also received some
valuable information on Canadian events and players via correspondence with David Cohen and Erik Malmsten.
- The Explanations page has been updated to reflect the latest round of changes. Rather than rewriting the text,
I have added the updates in red and dated them, except in the 'Results' and 'Future Enhancements' sections, which have been rewritten.
- I have added comments on two new rating systems that are similar to Edo ratings, 'TrueSkill Through Time' and 'Whole History Ratings',
on the Explanations page.
- I have now included events involving more varied odds, based partly on 19th-century assessments of the effects of giving these odds,
and partly on (educated, I hope) guesses. See the changes on the Explanations page for details. Of particular note
are matches of Deschapelles involving the 'game of pawns' as it was called, in which one player gave up his queen in exchange for some number of
additional pawns. Eight pawns for the queen was considered to give an even game, and other numbers of pawns were given equivalencies in effect to
more traditional odds games. These assessments allow such contests to be rated (with an admittedly very rough idea of the rating effect of the handicap),
and Deschapelles phenomenal results against de la Bourdonnais in 1836 and de Saint-Amant in 1842 at odds of this type considerably increase his resulting
ratings. I would like to point out that these high ratings correspond to Deschapelles' enormous reputation at the time.
- I have also now rated more tournaments with only partial information, where information about relative playing strengths can
still be extracted from them in a mathematically correct way. See the new information on the Explanations page for
- After running the entire rating calculation on my updated data set, I discovered a few errors that will have to wait for the next update. The errors
are corrected in the reported data, but are not yet reflected in the ratings. In particular: a result of Valson
in 1849 was mistakenly attributed to Davessac;
a similar confusion occurred between Sam Loyd and Thomas Loyd; the
Buckle-Tuckett match of 1842 was scored 9-7 when it should have been 7-9;
B.V. Ljubimov presumably should have been recognized as identical to
Boris Vasilievich Liubimov;
although Di Felice identifies the player named Roberts at Edinburgh 1892 as Albert Roberts,
who was active in Philadelphia in the 1870s, I doubt that these are the same player (without more supporting evidence), and should have separated them.
- I have just learned through
Edward Winter (Chess Note 6450) that
the Manhattan Chess Club tournament of 1886 was a handicap event, though neither Gaige nor Di Felice give
any such indication with their crosstable, so my ratings are distorted by not taking the handicaps into account. In particular,
Hyde and Hartshorne appear
very highly rated, but should not be since they received heavy odds from the stronger players in this event. This will also be corrected in the next update.
- 30 Aug. 2006 - 3 main enhancements:
- New algorithm: block-structuring of data and efficient exploitation of block structure in calculating variances (which in principle involves inverting a huge matrix). The effects of this change in procedure are entirely invisible: The results are not affected.
- More data: I have included additional results, particularly some that were added to Spinrad's list for the years 1836 - 1863 after its initial compilation. I have also extended my results database up to the year 1902.
- Better handling of odds games.
I have changed some of my 'educated guesses' at rating effects of giving various odds. I have left the rating disadvantage corresponding to odds of the move at 28 and to odds of pawn and move at 174. Odds of pawn and two moves are set at 226 and knight odds at 347. Previously, I did not include games at any other odds because there were too few to gauge the appropriate rating from the data. However, in some cases it distorts the results more seriously if other odds matches are left out, than if they are included with admittedly speculative rating effects. So I have guessed at a rook odds effect of 500 rating points and an exchange-odds effect of 300 rating points.
I had been handling odds games by adjusting scores of individual matches or tournaments in an attempt to compensate for a supposed rating disadvantage of giving odds. This worked well for long matches such as the 69-game odds match between Dubois and Wyvill in 1846. But for short matches or knockout tournaments, the approach was not very successful at achieving this compensation. In the extreme case of a 100% or 0% score, the odds adjustment made no compensation at all, because the indicated rating difference in such a case is infinite (i.e. the larger the rating difference, the larger the probability of a 100% - 0% score) with or without the odds. This applied in many results in knockout tournaments, for example, where only one or two games were played between a pair of players. In matches where the score was close to 100% - 0%, the compensation for the odds obtained by adjusting that score alone tends to be insufficient. The more even the result, the better the odds adjustment.
The improvement I made was to include an odds-giving player as a separate entity in the huge results crosstable, so, for example, there would be a player 'Staunton-1845 giving pawn and two moves' who is distinct from 'Staunton-1845' (not giving odds). The rating we want is the one for the 'real' Staunton, but the matches with Williams, Spreckley and Mongredien in 1845 were with the odds-giving fellow, a sort of 'ghost' Staunton who will be rated lower than the 'real' Staunton by an amount corresponding to the rating adjustment for pawn and two move odds. To fix the relationship between the odds-giving Staunton and the 'real' Staunton, I simply posit 100 games between them with a score that corresponds to the desired rating difference, which will force them to come out of the rating iteration with approximately that desired difference. (Only approximately, because the real games that are played will pull at the two players' ratings - ghost and real - to some extent, but the 100 games should be enough to set the rating difference fairly firmly.) All odds effects are thus fully accounted for, and integrated with the network of other results.
A particularly problematic example is that of the Wayte vs. Lowenthal matches of 1852. Lowenthal gave Wayte odds of pawn and two moves but lost 6-0. Then, giving odds of the exchange, he lost only 3.5-1.5. By itself, the 6-0 match would have avoided adjustment by my old method, and thus Wayte's rating would be driven well above Lowenthal's. I didn't include exchange odds matches previously, so I also left out the pawn and two move odds match, since by itself it would have given a very misleading picture. With the new system, both can be included.
The net effect of handling all odds games properly is quite significant. It is not primarily the small changes in my built-in rating differences corresponding to various odds that have caused these significant rating changes. Rather, the main difference is that the rating effect is now fully accounted for by the procedure. The main odds-giving players of the early period have benefitted from this change (or rather, the rating procedure now gives them due credit). In particular, Staunton has higher ratings than in previous versions of the Edo ratings, and now looks more like the dominant player his reputation suggests, though von der Lasa's ratings in the same period are also higher. The most dramatic change, however, is in Morphy's rating, which is not surprising since he played so many games giving odds of one kind or another. He now appears as the strongest player of the nineteenth century, exceeding (just) even Steinitz' peak.
- 15 Apr. 2006 - layout rearrangement
- 12 Apr. 2006 - Edo version 2: Major revision of the whole project.
- I have improved the Edo method, particularly in the way it adjusts for the supposed underlying rating distribution. The reference games I used in the previous version were too ad hoc and despite many attempts to tune them to produce reasonable results, there were always instances where they made obvious distortions to the ratings. I now use a different type of adjustment, with a better theoretical basis and no need for tuning. First, as before, I calculate the 'raw' ratings based on competition scores using the Bradley-Terry method (with the usual self-matches between the same player in consecutive years). This produces a rating estimate along with a rating deviation, which together characterize a distribution of ratings that could have produced the observed results (with the most likely being the mean). But this estimate needs to be adjusted to account for our prior knowledge of a universal distribution of ratings of all chess players. This is done by finding the maximum of the combined rating distribution formed by the product of the score-based individual distribution (the 'raw' rating estimate) and the underlying universal one. This also provides an adjustment to the rating deviation.
- The rating deviations in the old version were all too large, by about 1.4 times. This resulted from my naive calculation of the standard error of the mean from the Bradley-Terry method, without considering the effect of drawn games. In effect, the possibility of draws in chess means that a single game gives finer information than a binary decision and therefore less uncertainty. These are now correctly calculated, and lowered still further (if only slightly in most instances) by the adjustment described above.
- The project now covers the entire nineteenth century up to and including the year 1900. Early results are still very sparse, especially before 1840, with only one result before 1821.
- As well as adding on results for the last 5 years of the nineteenth century, I have included additional results, mostly from Gino Di Felice's Chess Results: 1747-1900. Partly with the help of this book and also with the help of Jeremy Gaige's Chess Personalia, I have also made a further effort to identify players. I give initials as well as last names wherever possible to distinguish players with the same last name. There is still the likelihood that some errors have been made, either because two players have been confused as one, or because one player has been confused as two (or more). This is a surprisingly difficult problem when we are dealing with more obscure players from the nineteenth century. For example, I had decided that the Carlo Schultz who played at Livorno 1878 was not likely the same as the Carl Schultz who played at Dusseldorf 1863 or the Schultz who played at Berlin 1881 or later tournaments in Germany. According to Di Felice, the first two are the same person, but not the third, though he lists this Carl Schultz as a participant in 3 other German tournaments between 1894 and 1900. Though Di Felice is not always completely reliable, I have trusted his identification of players here and in other places.
- Comparitive ratings by other rating systems are no longer included.
- 9 May 2005 - Extended results to 1895. Added a few early results, such as the Lewis-Cochrane match of 1821, as reported by Murray in A History of Chess. Re-evaluated the identities of some players, such as Carlo Schultz (who played at Livorno 1878) who I now think is unlikely to be the same person as Carl Schultz, who played at Dusseldorf 1863, or the Schultz who played at Berlin 1881. Adjusted the explanations page, especially the 'interesting examples' to reflect the new results. Added comments on comparison with the new Chessmetrics ratings to the explanations page.
- 6 Apr. 2005 - Added "World champions by Edo rating" list and "Top 40 peak Edo ratings" list.
- 27 Mar. 2005 - Added results up to and including 1890, and modified the explanations page to reflect new results. I also included an additional early result here and there, like the match between Cochrane and Mouret (playing as the Turk) in the early 1820's (I've listed it as occurring in 1821, though this is uncertain).
Also, I attempted to reconcile player names, to avoid the two types of error that can result from incorrect identification: the same player listed as two or more players, or different players confused as one. The latter is probably the more serious. This can be very difficult for some less well-known players. Which results listed for "Bauer" for example belong to J.D.Bauer and which to W. Bauer, both active in the 1880's? I went through references with a reasonable amount of care and sorted out a number of problem cases, but an error-free accounting of which results belong to which players would be a historical research project requiring a huge amount more effort and time. Players for which I know first names or initials are now indicated with initials. This is extremely helpful in sorting out who is who, but many sources (including Gaige in vol.1) only give surnames. Many potential errors remain. For example, a "Lowe" played in a tournament in London in 1886. Is this the E. Lowe who was active in London from 1847 to 1858? It's possible (barely) but I don't know. In unlikely cases like this, I've listed them as two separate players.
- 29 Jan. 2005 - Added results up to and including 1885 (which changes all the ratings somewhat, of course, given the nature of the method), and modified the 'interesting cases' on the explanations page in the light of the new ratings. Added this update page.
- 12 Jan. 2005 - Added tournament and match results to player pages, so that you can see what data is going into the rating system. Remember that tournament scores may not always agree with published results, because I've endeavoured to exclude all defaulted games and to include draws that were not counted towards scores in some early tournaments. Also, made some minor formatting corrections and fixed up an occasional data error.
- Sept. 2004 - Web site created with years 1809-1883.