The Chess Player's Instructor or Guide to Beginners; containing all the information necessary to Acquire a Knowledge of the Game

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Author: Stanley, Charles Henry (1819-1901)

Year: 1859

Publisher: Robert M Dewitt

Place: New York


iv+72 pages with 11 diagrams. Duodecimo (6" x 4") bound in original green flex cloth with gilt lettering and chess board diagram on front, both front and back blind stamped in a faux jacket. (Hagedorn: 49). First edition.

This clever little elementary manual is from the pen of a gentleman long known to the American chess world as a pleasant writer and a very strong player. It contains several diagrams, and concludes with eleven well selected games.

Charles Henry Stanley (September 1819, Brighton – 1901, USA) was the first chess champion of the United States. When the first U.S. championship match took place in 1845, Stanley defeated Eugène Rousseau of New Orleans, and claimed the title. Stanley was an Englishman who emigrated from London to New York in 1845 to work in the British Consulate, and his English ideas had a great influence on American chess. One of his ideas was to have a regular newspaper column devoted to chess, which he started in 1845 in The Spirit of the Times. He also started the American Chess Magazine in 1846, but others copied the idea (which had originated in England), and competition forced the magazine out of business. In 1846 he published the first US book on a chess match, 31 Games of Chess. In 1855 he organized the first World Problem Tournament. Stanley is a little-known figure who has been eclipsed by the achievements of the world famous Paul Morphy. He played Morphy in 1857, losing the title of U.S. Chess Champion to his much-better opponent.


Points rubbed, previous owner's name on front end paper with small chips, slight stain in pages 59 through 61 not affecting readability a very good copy with a faux dust wrapper not issued with book else a very good copy.