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Dr Tim Harding  
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  Tim's correspondence chess history

British and Irish chess magazines, 1837-1914

This is a chronological list by start-date of UK chess magazines of the period.

Readers may also wish to consult Nick Pope’s list at his Chess Archaeology site. Although in some cases he gives more detailed publication details that I provide here, Pope’s list is incomplete and sometimes inaccurate, e.g. it omits the very first magazine, George Walker’s The Philidorian.

It should also be noted that G. H. Diggle's article in British Chess Magazine, 'British Chess Periodicals of the Nineteenth Century' (December 1980 and January 1981 issues) has much colourful information about various titles, but some of it is erroneous. Also Diggle omits some of the lesser magazines altogether; he apparently did not know about them.

Distinct series with the same or similar titles are listed separately. Most titles begin with the word ‘The’, so it is omitted here. In a few cases, no copies (or only incomplete runs) exist in British or Irish copyright libraries.

A detailed breakdown of the ‘avatars’ of the Chess Player’s Chronicle can be found separately.

Philidorian, The. London (6 issues, Dec 1837-May 1838). Ed. George Walker.

Palamede. London, 1840-1, ed. J. H. Huttmann. Sold at his chess rooms and through the post, incorporating his previous one-page ‘slips’ Games of Chess and Curious Chess Problems. Unavailable. GM Lothar Schmid may have a complete set.

British Miscellany and Chess Player’s Chronicle. Vol. 1 (May-Oct 1841). Ed. Staunton (successor to the British Miscellany). See separate page on the Chronicle.

Chess Player’s Chronicle, The. See separate page on the Chronicle.

Chess Player, The. London (4 vols, 19 July 1851 to Nov. 1853 [Betts said Dec.]; vol. 3, from Aug. 1852, and vol. 4 were entitled The New Chess Player). Edited by Joseph Kling & Bernhard Horwitz.

British Chess Review, The. London (2 vols, 1853-June 1854). Ed. Daniel Harrwitz, with some involvement by S. S. Boden, C. F. Smith and others.

Chess Player’s Chronicle. See separate page on the Chronicle.

Chess Player’s Magazine, The. London (5 vols, July 1863-Oct. 1867). First series ed. Falkbeer (except Dec. 1864 issue); second series ed. Löwenthal. Many secondary sources (including Diggle) say Löwenthal edited throughout but Philip Sergeant’s A Century of British Chess, following G. A. MacDonnell's obituary of Falkbeer, explains that he bought out the title when it was about to publish an article libeling him in December 1864. Only the second series (1865-7) names Löwenthal as editor.

Household Chess Magazine. Manchester (3 issues, 1865). Ed. by “Toz” (Hopwood) with assistance from Blackburne.

Chess World. London (4 vols, Mar. 1865-Mar. 1869). Ed. Staunton. Subtitled ‘ a magazine devoted to the cultivation of the game of Chess, etc.’.

Westminster Papers. London (11 vols, May 1868-Apr. 1879; no issue for Apr. 1869). The title of the first volume was The Westminster Chess Club Papers. Also included whist and sometimes other games e.g. croquet and piquet, and articles on the drama. The overall editor (at least after volume 1) was Mossop, but the chess was mostly in the hands of P. T. Duffy with contributions by Zukertort, Potter, and others. This was the only British ches smagazine to publish throughout 1876 when two other titles failed.

Chess Player’s Quarterly Chronicle. York (1868-75, but soon became bi-monthly). Ed. A. B. Skipworth. See separate page on the Chronicle.

Amateur Chess Magazine: A monthly miscellany of general literature. London (3 vols. from June 1872 to June 1874; retitled The Amateur after 5/1873; reduced to quarterly shortly before the end). Ed. James T. C. Chatto.

Chess Player’s Chronicle: a monthly record of provincial chess. Ed. in Glasgow by J. Jenkin, See separate page on the Chronicle.

Chess Player’s Chronicle. Ed. C. E. Ranken, See separate page on the Chronicle.

Recreationist. See columns list.

City of London Chess Magazine. London (2 vols, Feb. 1874-Jan. 1876). Ed. Potter; also vol. 3, no. 1 (only, Mar. 1876) ed. Wisker (that issue is rare).

Huddersfield College Magazine. See columns list.

Chess-Monthly, The. London. Sept. 1879-Aug 1896 (17 vols). Ed. Hoffer & Zukertort; Hoffer only from Zukertort’s death in 1888.

British Chess Magazine. Huddersfield, later London. Annual vols., monthly from Jan. 1881 to date. Edited first by Watkinson, and then by R. F. Green (from Nov. 1887 to 1893), and Isaac McIntyre Brown (to Dec. 1919).

Sussex Chess Magazine. Brighton, 13 fortnightly issues (Nov. 1882-May 1883). Ed. Walter Mead, who stopped it when he obtained a column in the Southern Weekly News. This magazine is held at the KB.

Blackfriars Chess Journal. Norwich (twelve issues edited by schoolboys F. & G. Howitt, Feb.-July 1884). Not 1936 (misprint in Whyld’s Columns). A few issues held in the BL St Pancras; Norwich public library may have a full set.

St Patrick’s Chess Club Pamphlet. Ireland (WAT 3238). Weekly from No. 1 (23/3/1885) to No. 7-8 (undated: May?). Manuscript magazine, for members of the St Patrick’s Chess Club, Dublin, around the time the Irish Chess Association was founded. Editor not named. Reproduced by trypograph. Reissued with some minor changes as a booklet in 1887. AVAILABILITY: Originals and MF at Cleveland.

Irish Chess Chronicle, The. Ireland (WAT 1784 but misleading). Two series published, probably edited throughout by Alfred S. Peake although his name appears as editor on the first four issues only.

a) Manuscript series (reproduced by trypograph, cyclostyle or similar device): Seven issues from No. 1 (10 January 1887), no. 2 (1 February), fortnightly (it used the term ‘bi-monthly’ incorrectly) to no. 7 (15 April). The first four are said to be edited by Peake, numbers 5-7 to be 'edited by a member of the "Dublin", "Dawson St." and Belfast [Hon] Chess Clubs.' This matches Peake. Available for consuktation at the John G. White Collection, Cleveland, Ohio

b) Printed series (fortnightly) 16 numbers from 1 May to 15 Dec 1887. No editor is named but William McGee of Nassau Street, Dublin, is stated to be publisher and W. W. Morgan of London as printer. Felice's Chess Periodicals names McGee as editor but internal evidence (e.g. page 16 of number 2) suggests it was still Peake. AVAILABILITY: Edinburgh Public Library (which attributes Peake as editor in its catalogue); Cleveland; the Koninglijke Bibliotheek, Den Haag; and elsewhere.

Sussex Chess Journal. Brighton, 4 vols. (nos 1-48, Nov. 1889-Dec. 1892). Editor was H. W. Butler (at least for the latter issues). In Cleveland. Continued as Southern Counties Chess Journal.

Chess Review: a monthly journal for chess and whist . Manchester (ed. N. T. Miniati; five issues in 1892-3). Moravian Chess have published a photographic reprint.

London Chess Fortnightly. Ed. Lasker, 1 vol (15 Aug. 1892-30 July 1893). Moravian Chess have publshed a photographic reprint.

Southern Counties Chess Journal. Brighton; continuing the Sussex Chess Journal after the formation of the Southern Counties Chess Union. Betts’s bibliography lists them as one entry (item 7-39, p. 40). Ran from vol 4, no. 49 (Jan 1893) to vol 7. no. 4 (Jan 1896). Editors stated to be Crosse and Womersley with the cooperation of W. V. Wilson. The Cleveland Public Library have microfilmed their set and Sussex Chess Association possibly has a copy of that.

Chess Chronicle, The. London (2 vols, numbered 17 and 18; Sept. 1901-June 1902. See separate page on the Chess Player's Chronicle.

Four-Leaved Shamrock, The. Ireland. Chess magazine edited by Mrs Frideswide Rowland between January 1905 and July 1914. Originally subtitled ‘ An Irish monthly paper devoted to the royal game of chess’. Actually sometimes bi-monthly, sometimes quarterly, irregular. Usually four pages; some double issues and photographs. AVAILABILITY: Almost complete in NLI (minus a few excisions). Partial sets in BL St Pancras (fortunately including the parts missing in Dublin) and in Cleveland.

Chess Amateur, The. Stroud, monthly (24 vols. starting Oct. 1906, ending June 1930). The editor is never named; Frideswide Rowland said it was (W.) Moffat. Publisher named as Harry Harmer to volume 7; then Stroud News Publishing Co.

Chess Review: a fortnightly magazine. Manchester (three issues in August 1907). Eds. F. Baird and E. Millins. (Not seen: available in Cleveland.)

British Correspondence Chess Association Magazine. London. Began in 1909 (probably Oct.), not in 1906 as stated by Betts. Some early issues are unavailable: see pp. 178-9. Publication became irregular from 1914. Editors were: Platt & Dickinson (issues 3-4 at least); J. Jackson (issue 8 at least), Griffiths #13-23 (July 1918); H. E. Matthews #24-29 (1919-1923); #30 (Jan. 1925) unknown; #31 (June 1927) H. Bardsley, and #32 (June 1931) S. G. Duffell.

British Chess Bulletin. London (four issues 1910-11). Ed. Dickinson.

Chess Board, The. Edinburgh, 1913-15. Manuscript magazine with hand-coloured diagrams, ed. J. Stewart. Very rare; probably only three sets of the first volume were created. One of which is in the Cleveland Public Library, and an English collector has another; the whereabouts of A. C. White's set are unknown. Some mimeographed copies of volume 2 exist. Edinburgh Chess Club has some original issues from volume two, which I have seen.