Understanding before Moving 123: Chess history in a nutshell (5)

by ChessBase
4/30/2023 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 123rd instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell". | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Howard Staunton

The fifth part of this series deals with Howard Staunton (1810 - 1874).  After the legendary duel between De La Bourdonnais and McDonnell, which McDonnell lost, Howard Staunton took revenge for the British players by defeating the French Master De Saint Amant, in the lion's den, the famous Café de la Régence in Paris.

Staunton was not only a strong player, he was also the editor of 'The Chessplayer's Chronicle'. In 1848 he lent his name to a new design of chess pieces, the 'Staunton format', which quickly became popular and is still the standard today.

Staunton was also the initiator and main organiser of the London Tournament 1851, the first official international tournament.

Staunton also contributed to the development of chess theory. He advocated the move 1.c2-c4 which, thanks to his contributions, is now known as the English Opening. The Staunton Gambit in the Dutch (1.d4 f5 2.e4!?) is directly named after him.

The position shown in the diagram below is from a game between Saint Amant and Staunton. Staunton played 31...Qd7!, sacrificing the exchange on c4, a kind of sacrifice that would later become standard in grandmaster practice.

In the video we show a famous, very similar example from the eleventh game of the 1969 World Championship match between Boris Spassky and Tigran Petrosian.

Can you explain why Staunton's sacrifice is fully justified?

Master Class Vol. 12: Viswanathan Anand

This DVD allows you to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess and from the explanations of the authors how to successfully organise your games strategically, and how to keep your opponent permanently under pressure.

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.