Chess in 1845

by Bill Wall


In 1845, the first 2-dimensional pocket chess set devised by Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869).

In 1845, a chess club was set up in Boston with 20 members.  It disbanded in 1848 with only 10 members left as they tried to sell the club’s few pieces of furniture at auction.

In 1845, a chess club was formed at West Point Military Academy by Hyacinth Agnel.

In 1845, the defeat of Paris in a correspondence match ended French supremacy.


In 1845, the "Indian" problem, was published in Chess Player’s Chronicle, which started chess compositions.


In 1845, Martinius Rorbye (1803-1848) painted “Orientals at a Game of Chess.”


In 1845, John White, book collector, was born.


In 1845, Elijah Williams become editor of The Field column.


In early 1845, Howard Staunton (1810-1874) was proposed playing chess by telegraph and brought up the idea to Professor Wheatstone.  He suggested that a game should be played by telegraph between two persons only, one stationed at each end of the telegraphic line.


On February 6, 1845, Mary Rudge was born.  She won the first international women's tourney, 1897.


On February 14, 1845, Cecil de Vere (ne Brown) was born in England.  He was the winner of first British championship, 1866.  He died in 1875.


On February 15, 1845, Howard Staunton wrote the most influential chess column in the Illustrated London News.  He was a columnist for 29 years, until he died in 1874.  His chess column was the most influential chess column in the world.  He wrote over 1,400 weekly articles.


On March 1, 1845, the first US chess column appeared in The Spirit of the Times in New York by Charles Stanley.


In April 1845, the first chess problem to appear in the US appeared in The Spirit of the Times.

On April 9. 1845, Howard Staunton and Captain Hugh A. Kennedy (1809-1878) traveled  to Gosport, on the west side of Portsmouth Harbor, southwest of London to play  a team of players in London (Vauxhall terminus) by telegraph.  The two teams of players were 100 miles apart.  The telegraph ran along the tracks of the South Western Railway.  Staunton and Kennedy  lost their first game to the team of Henry Thomas Buckle, Captain William Evans, George Perigal, William Tuckett,  and George Walker (Staunton only says the first game was unfinished).  According to Staunton, the first game was to test the powers of the telegraph with the signals that would be used in the next day’s game.  Staunton wrote, “the first day’s play is a sort of rehearsal merely to familiarize the men to our chess notation.”  Getting the moves back and forth involved a ten minute delay.    The game lasted 8 hours and was transmitted in Gosport by Mr. Hoffmeister.  For Staunton and Kennedy, the moves were made in their hotel, and a messenger took it to the telegraph offices a few blocks away.  During the first game, several mistakes occurred in transmission of the moves.  One case had a bishop on the wrong square for several moves in the game.

On April 10, 1845, a second game was played between Staunton and Kennedy at Gosport vs. the team in London.  The draw in the second game was agreed after 43 moves so that Staunton and Kennedy could catch the last (half past 5 o’clock) train of the day back to London.  Staunton was the first player to recognize the potential of the telegraph as a medium for playing chess and played several games by telegraph in April, 1845.


On April 11, 1845, Johann Berger was born in Graz.  He was a strong player, editor, and chess author. 


On April 17, 1845, der Humorist reported a telegraph game between Howard Staunton of London and Matthew B. Wood of Southampton


On July 8, 1845, Henry Charlick, the first Australian chess champion (1887), was born in London.


In October 1845, Nathan Taylor of Montgomery County, Texas, was shot dead by an unknown assassin while playing a game of chess with his wife.  (source: Republican Banner, Oct 3, 1845)


On November 10, 1845, Miksa (Max) Fleissig was born in Csenger, Hungary.   He was an Austrian chess master.


On December 26, 1845, Charles Stanley defeated Eugene Rousseau in New Orleans - 15 wins, 8 losses, 8 draws.  It was the first US chess championship (although the term “US Chess Champion” did not exist at the time).  The match was for $500.  (source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, Dec 27, 1845)  This was the first organized chess event in the U.S.  The match took place at the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans.  Rousseau’s second in the match was Ernest Morphy, who took his 8-year-old nephew, Paul Morphy, to the match.