The First English Chess Explosion

‘To show the progress Chess had made of recent years, Mr. Staunton observed “that many now living could remember when there was but one Chess club in the kingdom, and the only allusion ever made to the game in our public prints was when Philidor or some other famous player, once in twenty years, perhaps, performed some prodigious exploit in the way of blindfold play. We have now above a hundred clubs devoted to the practice of the game; we find chess games and chess problems in many of the London and many of the country newspapers; we find that it is of sufficient interest and magnitude to support its own exclusive periodicals; and, above all, that its votaries, instead of being reckoned, as they might formerly have been, by scores, can now be counted by thousands.” ’

Illustrated London News
23 April 1853

first English chess explosion, ILN 23 April 1853

Howard Staunton

Howard Staunton

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