This page raises queries about historical research I am doing, mostly concerning 19th century chess players. It will be developed from time to time in future as new questions arise and others are answered.
I have been working hard in recent years on a large biography and game collection about Joseph Blackburne, now published , for which there are separate pages on this site.
One query I could not resolve concerns the game that Blackburne lost to James Mason at Hamburg in 1885. It is not in the book of the 4th German Federation Congress; the editors included a Blackburne win from another tournament by mistake. The correct game is still being sought. Please contact me if you think you have found the game.
In tandem with that, I am also interested in trying to reconstruct all Steinitz's movements between his arrival in England in 1862 and his final departure over 20 years later.
Readers can help by supplying information from their local clubs and newspapers reporting the simultaneous displays and other adventures of both these great players.
Last summer saw the publication of my book Eminent Victorian Chess Players. A related project saw the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography publish three articles by me about Isidor Gunsberg, Mary Rudge, and Captain Evans (inventor of the Evans Gambit). These were first posted online on 24 May 2012 when the ODNB launched many new articles about sporting personalities to coincide with the build-up to the Olympic Games in London.
For a future book, I would like to find out more about the origins and early history of nineteenth century clubs in Britain (chiefly) catering to indoor games: particularly billiards, chess, draughts (checkers) and whist. These could be gentlemen's clubs or working men's clubs. Also, what was the origin and development of whist drives?
I am also interested in the lives and careers of the following players, mostly Victorians: Henry Thomas Buckle (the historian), Frederick Lokes Slous, James Alexander "Porterfield" Rynd (first Irish chess champion), Charles James Lambert (of Exeter), F. A. Vincent (of Dursley), and George Bellingham (why did he suddenly give up chess?), and Adolphus Zytogorski who is mentioned in my Eminents book and has been the subject of two of my recent Kibitzer articles.