29 March 2019

Chess Player’s Chronicle

Continuing with investigations into early chess periodicals available via Google Books, in last week's post, Le Palamede, I wrote,

After 'Berliner Schachzeitung', my second effort concentrated on 'Palamède'.

My third effort concentrated on 'The Chess Player’s Chronicle'. Once again, I'll use Di Felice's 'Chess Periodicals, 1836-2008' as a starting point.

617. Chess Player’s Chronicle (The) [England] (1841–1862) Vol.1 (1841)–Vol.13 (1852); Second Series Vol.1 (1853)–Vol.4 (1856); Third Series Vol.1 (1859)–Vol.4, no.43 (July 1862). Monthly. Editors Howard Staunton (1841–54); R.B. Brien (1854–56). Publisher R. Hastings (1841–52, 1853–56), J.H. Starie (1859–62). London. England. Illus., 22 cm. Magazine. General. English. Note Vol.1 (first series) has title British Miscellany and Chess Player’s Chronicle (The). Editor of third series not given in the text. Superseded by Chess Player’s Magazine (The).

It's not immediately clear what differentiates the three series, but here is the same information in tabular form:-

  • 1st series: Vol.1 (1841) – Vol.13 (1852);
  • 2nd series: Vol.1 (1853) – Vol.4 (1856);
  • 3rd series: Vol.1 (1859) – Vol.4, no.43 (July 1862).

The first series covers 12 years, but includes 13 volumes. It appears there were two volumes issued in the first year. The following image shows the title pages for the initial volumes of the first and second series.

Left: S01V01, 1841; Right: S02V01, 1853

After locating the 21 volumes (13 + 4 + 4) on Google Books, my next task was to classify the content. Di Felice's description says, 'Monthly', but this seems not to describe the real frequency. The first three volumes (S01V01-V03) are composed of a series of 16-page publications, numbering around 26 per volume. Each publication starts with a composed problem, followed by game scores and text articles. As with all of the early periodicals I've looked at, dates are given infrequently, meaning that other clues are necessary to ascertain the time of publication. Di Felice's book mentions a few other incarnations of Chess Player’s Chronicle.

  • 619 The Chess Player’s Magazine (1863–1867)
  • 621 The Chess Player’s Quarterly Chronicle (1868–1871)
  • 618 The Chess Player’s Chronicle [England] (1872–1900)

I'll look at those another time.

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