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Stanley, Charles Henry

Charles Henry Stanley (1819-1901) was born in Brigton, England in  September, 1819.   In 1839, he defeated Howard Staunton (+3-2=1), but Stanton was giving odds of a pawn and move.   Stanley emigrated to New York in 1842 and worked at the British Consulate.  He was regarded as the best chess player in New York from 1842 to 1857.  In 1844, he defeated John Schulten in two matches in New York.  He was considered to be America's first chess champion until he lost a match with Paul Morphy in 1857.  He started America's first chess column in the Spirit of the Times on March 1, 1845, which contained the first chess problem published in America.  The chess column ran until October, 1848.  In 1845, he, again, defeated John Schulten in a match in New York.  In December, 1845, he defeated Eugene Rousseau at the New Orleans Chess Club (Sazerac Coffee House) in the first unofficial US Championship (15 wins, 8 losses, 8 draws).  This was the first organized chess event in the United States.  The stakes for the event was $1,000.  Rousseau’s second was Ernest Morphy, Paul Morphy’s uncle.  Paul Morphy attended the match at the age of 8 and became interested in chess.  In 1846 Stanley defeated Charles Vezan in New York and George Hammond in Chicago.  In October 1846, he started the American Chess Magazine: a periodical Organ of Communication for American Chess-Players, which folded in September 1847.    In 1846 he published the first book in America on a chess match, 31 Games of Chess.  From 1848 to 1856, he edited a chess column in The Albion.  In February, 1850 he defeated John Turner of Louisville, Kentucky in Washington, DC and drew a match against Janos Loewenthal (+3-3=0) in New York.  In 1852 he suggested the holding of an international chess tournament at the Great Exhibition in New York in 1853, but nothing came of it.  In 1852, he drew a match with Pierre St. Amant in New York (+4-4=0).  In 1855 he organized the first World Chess Problem tournament.  In 1857 he was knocked out in the first round of the 1st American Chess Congress by Theodore Lichtenhein, winning 2 games and losing 3 games.  In December, 1857, Stanley’s daughter, Pauline, was born.  She was named after Paul Morphy.  In 1859, he published Morphy’s Match Games and The Chess Player’s Instructor.  In 1860 he returned to England and took 2nd in the 3rd British Chess Association Congress in Cambridge, England, losing to Ignatz Kolisch.  From 1860 to 1862, he edited a chess column in the Manchester Express and Guardian.  In 1861, he won a tournament in Leeds, England.  In 1868, he lost a match to George Mackenzie in New York.  He was an alcoholic who spent his last 20 years in institutions on Ward’s Island and in the Bronx.

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