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Parsloe's Coffee-House by Murray

       Harold James Ruthven Murray was possibly the greatest and most influential chess historian ever born.  His monumental work, "A History of Chess," published in 1913, is still valid and quite useful in its centennial year. While researching for his book, Murray published articles in German and English magazines, particuarly the "British Chess Magazine."  His impartial style coupled with his extensive knowledge and understanding cover his articles with an aura of credibility.  Here is Murray's 1907 article on Parsloe's Coffee-House.

 


 





Here are the two games from the article:






Comments


  • 15 months ago

    MomirRadovic

    Hi Batgirl, thanks for such a great incisive comment on cafes. You're absolutely right, it's all about socializing and exchanging ideas and we need to get back to roots instead of playing online (sort of autistic) style.

    Here's some coffehouse chess...

                                          

  • 15 months ago

    gcpolerio

    an additional question:

    There is a "Wilson-Atwood" 1795 played with the "Sarratt defense" ...

    One should assume that it was/is in the Atwood MS.

    Albeit from a recent point of theory 7. - d6 may be eventually the better choice in this line: It looks so modern that I have difficulties to believe that the match "Wilson-Atwood" was actually played in 1795.

  • 15 months ago

    gcpolerio

    Batgirl, great publication!

    I understand that Murray states that the "Muzio" gambit can be found in a Mount Stephen MS compiled by Greco in 1623 (1763 in the property of J.Wilson - following Sanvito 2005). A similar statement was made by T.v.d.Lasa 1857 (Schachzeitung p. 127).

    I think it would be very interesting to know what Greco analysed in 1623 so that the chessfriends at Parsloe's were so fascinated by the gambit.

    In 1579/80 Polerio analysed that 5.0-0 gxf3 6.Qxf3 is favourable for White - every experienced player will see this even without any additional variation. Thereafter follows his analysis (3 lines!) of the Guspatara (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.d4 Qh4+ 4.g3 fxg3 5.and Scotty always beamed the King to g2). Then, finally, follows the analysis of a wonderful defense of the gambit, a defense they play so often in Spain (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Ne5 Nh6). Then follows Polerio's proposal how to defend the gambit: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 Bg7 5.h4 h6 6.d4 c6 7.Bc3 d6 ... followed by a proposal of a gambit how to play against the latter defense ...

    I'm not an so experience player of the Guspatara, but ... following Polerio black was already lost after 5.0-0 gxf3 6.Qxf3. He improved the defense by early deviations (4.- Bg7).

    Which defense Greco may have found in 1623 so the players at Parsloe's wanted to play the line with Black?

    In Jonathan Wilson vs. NN 6.- Qf6 = the defense of Greco?

  • 15 months ago

    adamstask

    I don't want to answer for batgirl, but I know that batgirl and jessicafischerqueen are not the same person. Whether batgirl knows 'jessica' is not something I'm privy to. Given both of their skill in research and interest in chess history (tho very different areas of chess history) I imagine they know of each other. 

  • 15 months ago

    mathijs

    Interesting articles, but boy, those games are awful. Even Philidor hardly seems like more than a 1500 player here.

  • 15 months ago

    Newba

    Or maybe I'M the silly.. LOL!

  • 15 months ago

    Newba

    Why didn't Atwood play 7...g6, after all?

    He did the most silly move!

    Anyway, this article is wonderful for us to see what technology did to our brains, in a more broad way of seeing things..

  • 15 months ago

    johnpseudonym

    Long time reader, first time commenter. I just wanted to let you know I always enjoy your articles, I love the chess history. Thanks for the blog!

  • 15 months ago

    camter

    Batgirl,

    Are you, or do you know, someone in the Chess field who uses the name Jessica when she writes? 

  • 15 months ago

    batgirl

    Chess has almost always associated itself with cafés. Places like the Café  Dominique in St. Petersburg, the Warsaw Café in Kiev, the cafés Kaiserhof, Royal and Bauer in Berlin; the Cafés Procope and la Régence of Paris, Parsloe's on St. James' street, Huttmann's and the Salopian Coffee House at Charing Cross attacted philosophers and, as you say, thinkers... people who embraced chess... and attracted chess players who embraced the intelligentia.  Coffee houses were social places. The French, they say, went out to socialize and chess was part of that exercise while the English were more prone to form clubs where chess itself was the focus- but they still had some more public chess places.

    Cafés and coffee-house chess have a certain appeal, convenience and affordability that tournament halls can't approach. I love the idea of chess cafés and I'm glad to learn there is a resurgence.

  • 15 months ago

    MomirRadovic

    Coffeehouses have been at the center of social interaction for centuries - coffee was considered as “milk” of chess players and thinkers. 

    An increasing number of coffee shops, cafes and restaurants all around the world is now taking on regaining the status of the epicenter of social life. To attract customers, they are experimenting with new menu items–board games such as chess, shogi, and backgammon. The Mind Café in Singapore offers over 2,000 board games...

    Would You Like Some Chess, or Perhaps Backgammon with Your Coffee?

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