Any book is liable to contain a few errors that unfortunately only come to light after publication. Proof reading remains an imperfect science. Familiarity with one's own work can lead to details being overlooked which leap to the eye of readers seeing a work for the first time.
Unfortunately Steinitz in London is no exception. Most mistakes of which we are aware are minor typographical or sourcing issues, while queries have been raised about some games where there are variations between sources.
Here we only mention definite mistakes and misprints, and also provide some clarification about the photograph below.
Additionally, we re-open a query which is not necessarily a correction to the book. Who was the wealthy Epstein featured in a famous anecdote (see page 20) about the young Steinitz? Our note 59 to Chapter 1 (page 376) mentions that Michael Ehn, in his book Geniales Schach about coffee house chess in Vienna, identifies this person as “textile industrialist and banker” Gustav Ritter von Epstein (1828–1879).
We now note, however, that in 1851 the Chess Player's Chronicle (volume 6, pages 347-348) printed a letter congratulating Anderssen on his victory in the London tournament. Unfortunately we did not remember this letter when writing the section of our book "Viennese Chess Before Steinitz" (pages 16-19). It was dated 10 September and signed by 37 Viennese chess players, writing from the Cafe Neuner, one of whom was a C. L. Epstein. At that date Gustav Epstein was only 22 or 23 years old. It is of course quite possible that the two Epsteins were both chess players and even members of the same family.
Other signatories who are mentioned in our book were J. R. von Henickstein, Jos. Matscheko (Matschego according to Ludwig Bachmann), Falkbeer (probably Ernst Falkbeer but might be his brother or both), J. Staudigl (a famous bass singer), and H. P. Schlemm.
Page 19. Meitner was three years younger than Steinitz, not slightly older as our page carelessly states, and he was not born in 1838. Meitner's birth date, according to Ehn in his book (page 98) was 24 August 1839. (Thanks to Jason Radley for noticing the error and supplying some of the other corrections on this page.)
Page 49, Game 49. The date of publication in the I.L.N. was 27 June 1863, not 1862, so The Era of 22 Fenruary 1863 was the first publication so far as we are aware.
Page 57, Game 65. Black's 29th move should be Rf6 but the book has an unfortunate typo, f6, which is obviously wrong because White's pawn on g7 was attacking the rook on f8.
Page 84. NOT "Steinitz-Paulsen match" (there never was one) but Anderssen-Paulsen match. Also, Fabrizio Zavatarelli, who was done research into Dr. W.J. Wilson of Clay Cross, has discovered his date of birth: 29 December 1834.
Page 93. The game that is similar to Steinitz versus Rock (mentioned in the text above that game) is not Game 30 but Game 34.
Page 95. The Rev. David Mede Salter died on 19 October 1915 not in 1914.
Page 103. The inventor of the Danish Gambit, according to Fabrizio Zavatarelli, was a Justice Dreier (citing Nordisk Skaktidende 1873, p. 9), though, as he says, Dr. Lindehn was a very active promoter of it.
Page 106, Game 143. This game cannot have been played in August 1865 as it was published in the I.L.N. on June 17th; this and the next (and possibly also Game 157, on page 112) may all have been played at Simpson's Divan in early summer 1865 but Steinitz's opponent, Taylor, and the primary newspaper sources did not date any of these games precisely.
Page 106, Game 144. This game probably ended (as stated in I.L.N., 17 June 1865) 26. Bg6+ Kf8 27. Ne6+ Kg8 ½-½ rather than the sequence 26. Bh8 Kf8 27. Ne6+ Ke8 ½-½ which we took from Bachmann.
Page 147, Game 222. White's 34th move was Na4 not Nc4.
Page 152, Game 229. This game first appeared in the I.L.N. on 16 (not 23) February 1867.
Page 153, Game 235. This game first appeared in the Dundee Advertiser on 8 February 1867 (as correctly stated in the book) and then in The Era, but on the 28th (not 21st) April 1867, and later in The Chess World. Black's 24th move was …Nxe5, as all the printed primary sources say, but …Rxe5 is in most databases (and our first edition) unfortunately.
Page 154, Game 237. This game was in The Era on 21 April 1867, not 21 May.
Page 165. The Latin phrase facile princeps should have been translated "Easily the leader" not "first among equals," as Fabrizio Zavatarelli has pointed out.
Page 170. We stated that G. R. Neumann and Steinitz made 50 per cent in their tournament games but in fact Steinitz made a plus score against the German master. (Thanks to Hans Renette for pointing this out.)
Page 186: The number of missing game scores from Baden-Baden 1870 appears to be four, not six as the book stated, but this requires re-checking. (A few of Rosenthal's games in the tournament were never played.)
Page 197, Game 346, Amateur v Steinitz. The game header says "Remove White's queen's rook" but the header should say "Remove Black's queen's rook."
This was a rare case where Steinitz gave odds of a piece without taking first move and the exception was forgotten when a global substitution of text was made during the editing of the book. (Thanks to Mark Erickson for spotting this.)
Page 216. See picture below.
Page 235. W. W. Rouse Ball was born in 1850 not 1859; Joseph Shield Nicholson died in 1927 not 1925.
Page 259. The correct date of Steinitz's blindfold display in Burton-on-Trent was Tuesday April 10th, not the 11th (but in the header to Game 483 the correct date is stated.)
Page 270. The date 3 January 1879 should read 3 January 1880 and the reference further on to New Year's Day should also be 1880.
Page 216, caption. In my biography of Blackburne (page 94) everybody in this famous picture was correctly named (which was not the case in some previous books and unfortunately not in Steinitz in London). Somehow, when submitting the captions for the Steinitz book, an earlier version of the caption was sent, in which two of the amateurs in the photograph, were named incorrectly. We took the opportunity of our article in New In Chess 2020/7 to provide the correct caption.
The bearded man standing far left was actually J. Lovelock, a committee member of the City of London Chess Club) not Bussy as the book says. The man with large whiskers standing centre (to the right of Blackburne) was Henry F. Down (the club's Honorary Secretary at the time), not Coburn as named in the book. A corrected caption will appear with my article about Steinitz which is due to be published in New In Chess 2020/7.
The full corrected list of names is as follows. Seated: Steinitz, Gastineau, De Vere. Standing: Lovelock, Horwitz, Potter, Löwenthal, Down, Blackburne and Dr. Ballard.
Thanks to Fabrizio Zavatarelli for spotting this, and he also informs us that this famous group photograph was almost certainly taken not on 14 June 1873 (as we thought in the book) but rather on 5 July, shortly before the 1873 Vienna international chess congress. In the photograph Steinitz is seated to the right of the host, Henry Francis Gastineau, who hosted parties at his home in Peckham, south London, on both those dates.
We also now believe that the two "alternation games" on page 217 (game numbers 391 and 392) may have been played on 5 July, but possibly later at Simpson's Divan rather than at Gastineau's, since one of those involved (John de Soyres) does not appear in the photograph.
Back to main page about the Steinitz book.