The Top Chess Players in the World

Henry Bird

Henry Bird
Photo: Wikimedia, CC.
Full name
Henry Edward Bird
Jul 14, 1830 - Apr 11, 1908 (age 77)‎
Place of birth
Hampshire, England


Henry Bird was an English accountant, author, and exceptional chess player. Although not a professional chess player, he was an elite player in his time. An aggressive player with a tactical style, Bird popularized Bird's Opening (1.f4) and Bird's Defense in the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4). He also played the Sicilian Dragon regularly, an opening considered unsound at his time but widely adopted today.

Bird participated in numerous high-level tournaments while active, including the first international tournament in history, London (1851). His best result came when he finished in fifth place in Vienna (1873) in a strong event with players like Joseph Henry Blackburne, Wilhelm Steinitz, and Adolf Anderssen.

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