London (1862) – Preliminary results and xtabs.

[Warning – everything on this page is preliminary, and subject to revision.

For convenience, here is a link to the complete <London (1862)> Chess Congress Grand Tourney:

<London (1862)> Grand Tourney z-PGN v0.2   (108 games – 85 from <CG> + stubs) ]


I recently discovered that <CG> was lacking a tournament page for <London (1862)>. A bit of a surprise that.

Luckily, <sneaky_pete> had already built a nice collection of 85 games. I presume they all came from Lowenthal’s 1864 tournament book on the matter. There is a lot of detailed research which I will omit discussing at the moment, in my rush to publish the various xtabs from what I think is the world’s most complete and accurate PGN for the tournament.

The PGN has been processed and enhanced to account for all the forfeits, and includes stubs for two missing games. In total, there are 108 games. Remember, for this tournament, draws were not counted, and pairings were replayed until either a forfeit or decision was reached. There were 91 decisive games, of which 21 were forfeits (two decisive games are missing, as already noted).

Here are the two xtabs from SCID where all the games are include (draws are scored “*”, so total points are accurately reflected for each player):

Round Robin format:

SCID RR xtab (108 games)

(Click on image to enlarge)


Swiss format:

SCID Swiss xtab (108 games)

Here is another view of the RR xtab, utilizing only the decisive games:

SCID RR xtab (91 games)

(Click on image to enlarge)

As they say, “Everyone in his place, and a place for everyone”.

BTW- Hannah, who must be missing from SCID db, was 35 or 36 at the time. Also, this was Blackburne’s first international tournament. He scored respectably, especially considering he forfeited two games.

The definitive source of the tournament results is show as follows, it’s the table on p lxxiv of Lowenthal’s tournament book:

Grand Tourney Winners p lxxiv - totals emphasized I added the orange outline to emphasize the totals used for placement in the tournament. These results should match the results from the SCID’s processing of the tournament PGN (w stubs). I believe the PGN also will accurately match the forfeit wins/losses as well.

The two missing games are as follows:

1862.07.14  A00  0  (R?)  1-0  Barnes, Thomas Wilson -- MacDonnell, George Alcock
1862.07.14  A00  0  (R?)  0-1  Hannah, James -- Green, Valentine

I would like to thank <sneaky_pete> for building the original tournament collection on <CG>. I would also like to thank <jnpope> for his <O’Keefe Timeline Project>, which proved very useful in determining some of the dates of several of the games. A special thanks goes to <Tim Harding> for his wonderful book on <Joseph Henry Blackburne> (published by MacFarland) without which I would have certainly not found my way through the confusing accounting of forfeits in the tournament book.

14 thoughts on “London (1862) – Preliminary results and xtabs.

    • Hello qindarka93 –

      I think the best bet for that would be to get a hold of Gillam’s book on the tournament. I tried my very best to put as accurate and complete a treatment for all of Reichhelm’s Fifty. However, I don’t have as complete access to the contemporaneous newspapers as a British citizen would – because I’m lacking access (almost all the early British papers that aren’t on jnpope’s site (O’Keefe Timeline, etc.) are behind a paywall).

      However, iirc (I did this research awhile ago, and am writing this off the top of my head – wo consulting my notes (sorry)) – this is one of the most poorly published tournaments of all of Reichhelm’s Fifty. Thus, I expect not even Gillam has the complete information.

      OK, thanks.

      PS- If you do manage to find out more, please comment about it!

  1. Z,

    “The definitive source of the tournament results is show as follows, it’s the table on p lxxiv of Lowenthal’s tournament book:”

    While I agree with your statement there is a problem with Lowenthal’s table while left to right it appears fine the totals of played vs. forfeited games contradict themselves.
    total games won by play, there are 71,
    total games lost by play, there are 70,
    total games won by forfeit, there are 20,
    total games lost by forfeit, there are 21.

    I suppose of the 23 missing points awarded if one had a source for the points awarded by forfeit the missing games could be gleaned. Since your forfeit stubs award points I assume you have a source for that information. Is that the case? Did you find a source for the points awarded by forfeit?

    Just ask’in as I want to put this beast of a tournament to rest.

  2. Hi ckr,

    We corresponded over on CG. I should apologize for the delay in both approving the comment and replying, but I realized on first reading your comment that it might not be an easy one to answer, and I thought it would be lame to just post a reply that it might take me a while to both get motivated to reexamine this tournament, and to actually answer your question.

    Which is exactly what I’m going to do here. To tell the truth I have no recollection of the discrepancy you mention in Lowenthal’s tb. I do have very detailed working notes that I try to keep for all the work that’s published on this blog – so I’ll dig those out first to see if I noted anything similar to your observation. Normally, I try to post such info in the blog post, but on rereading I see I was in a rush to get the xtabs (and PGN) out.

    Let me review the old working notes and I’ll try to reconcile your observations with mine, if possible.

    For the record, I’m glad to share the raw notes on an “as-is” basis if need be. I recall cases where sharing the full details with other researchers has helped me in the past, in chess and otherwise. E.g. Rookhouse was very gracious to provide me his working notes for Manchester 1890.

    OK, I have some extra work to do before I can make a more meaningful reply. Thanks for your understanding.

  3. Update – first cursory review pass…

    OK, there is no mention of the discrepancy you found in Lowenthal’s table in my notes. It’s a good catch, and I probably just (too trustingly) trusted one side as good as the other.

    So the question remains, how did I reconstruct the PGN with missing/forfeit stubs?

    I can’t really say – as this was one of the earlier tournaments I did, when I still “trusted” CG. So I used sneaky pete’s collection, as mentioned, and hadn’t developed the Source tag idea at the time. So the comments about forfeits/missing games are basically unreferenced. So another past over this tournament would of course be welcomed.

    I did check for my accounting – and I have an extra forfeit win for Dubois (4 vs 3, ie. using the LHS of Lowenthal’s table).

    Reviewing my notes- I see there was some controversy involving Blackburne for several games that he adjourned and never finished (since he was out of the running for prizes). Originally they were scored as draws, but eventually as forfeits by the committee. There’s more to the story, of course, but interestingly, Dubois was involved. Perhaps this might account for Lowenthal’s discrepancy?

    My detailed notes has a morass of references for various games at various stages. As said, another past over this tournament would be welcome. I’ll post back later with a link to the full notes when I get them on Google drive. I can’t promise if they’ll be either legible or useful, but there’s always a chance.

    If you do rework this tournament, you should probably make your notes available as well. Do you plan to make a stubified version of the tournament available too? (That would be great).

    OK, enough for now – cheers and bon chance!

    • Hello Zanzibar,

      hoping you receive this as my mail app asked me some strange question of what do I want to do? Never before so I said hell, reply to the author.

      First let me share where I came from and where my head is at. I had downloaded a game set from 365chess on this tournament under the name of 5th BCA Congress or something. I recognized it as the 1862 International London tournament and went about scrubbing up its content and when I placed it into SCID it produced a god awful crosstable. I looked at the one on wikipedia and looked at one on Mark Week’s site. Now I had three different tables so which is right? I figured Week’s was right but when I downloaded his pgn it didn’t produce the crosstable on his site. Perplexed I contacted him and after a couple of back and forth’s he explained his was crosstable from Gelo’s Chess World Championships 1834-1984′ (McFarland 1988), that the 2 pgn files were from 1999 and that the second contained 23 forfeited games all having the points awarded to white not knowing how they were awarded. It was at that time I stumbled upon zbase0,0 containing quite a few tournaments including 1862. I pulled the 1862 games and was surprised it produced what I considered to be the correct crosstable. Spotting all the scored forfeit stubs was easy but I missed the missing game stubs, result *. Mark had also given me a link to the Lowenthal Tournament book @ google books with the hope it may answer some of my questions.

      I started with my game pgn file as I had already inserted the player ratings from Chessmetric’s February 1930 list and proceeded to verify each game in my pgn file and noted a few immaterial mis-moves, short games and extended games. Not verified by multiple historic sources just different than Lowenthal’s score. I do have another historical reference that is short six of the games but hopefully will agree with Lowenthal’s scores or then what? Who knows? Cross that bridge when I get there. So back to the mess of a cross table.

      I stole your forfeit stubs, shame on me and my pgn was now closer to the actual tournament results. Here you have to forgive my stupidity. Not knowing there were two buried missing game stubs in your file I took your file and verified it adding the same source tags I used, [Source “The Chess Congress of 1862 – J Lowenthal – GAME ????”] and that is when I came across the missing game stubs. So I stole those too, shame on me. However, some good came of it as after I sourced and ordered your pgn the same as mine. I was then able to do a file compare spotting the few differences. Figuring you weren’t a novice on this I lifted a couple of dates too. So I was feeling pretty good at all my thefts and had a file that produced a cross table like Mark Week’s had on his site.

      Everything went to hell in a hand basket when I was transcribing Lowenthal’s results table and noted the discrepancy on the win vs. lost sides. Were there 20 or 21 forfeits? Are there 2 or 3 missing games? How or why didn’t Lowenthal include all the missing games? Surely he had them, an omission? This is the stuff that drives me nuts.

      Lowenthal’s tournament book throws the question of how many forfeits there were and offers no information of the scoring of the forfeits, not that I found anyway. Since the tournament was all play all awarding a single point to one player I assume one could construct stubs of the 23 games and create the scores but whether they are missing or forfeited another source of information would be required. Did you use that method? You mentioned the Blackburne book assisted you in unraveling this mess but in the email only specific to his games.

      So that is where I stand … knee deep in the muck. I appreciate your reply and your willingness to wade back into this mess as I am sure of your not wanting to ever, ever return to this abomination of a tournament. You will go to heaven though.

      As an aside. Are you interested in the discrepancies in the games moves between your set and Lowenthal’s book as I may never get to comparing the set against the set in Oxford’s Encyclopedia of Chess, Vol. 1? Relatively easy with Notepad++’s add-on but how I miss Multi-Edit not supported in Windows 10 after 20 years.

      In re-reading your mail you are also welcome to your pgn file with the Lowenthal source tags. I won’t tell anyone you stole mine. After revisiting your page trying to figure what the heck LHS meant (left hand side occurred to me) I also realize what the heck my email app was asking me. I imagine it was to post my email to you as a reply. Oh well, I hope it gets to you. I didn’t write it as “public viewing material” but I get an “A” for curbing my language.




    • Thanks Z, more than happy to collaborate and share my research. I passed on a bit directly to let you know where I am on this as well as how I got here. I am sure it will put you to sleep.

  4. My sentence about [result *] was a miss-speak. It actually was about me noting the draws were not scored as 1/2-1/2 which further contributes to the the bogus crosstables. I changed the results of draws as you did to nullify the effect they had on the results.

    • Hi ckr,

      Here is a link to my detailed notes on the tournament – link

      It’s unedited, of course, so caveat emptor. It dates from 2016-01-20, so, about three years ago. Near the beginning of my work on Reichhelm Fifty.

      BTW- did you notice the hand-scribbled note in the margins for Lowenthal’s tb (for the p lxxiv table)? It seems to call attention to the tallies for Dubois and Stenitz – though I can’t quite make out what exactly the note says. Can you?

    • Hi again, ckr.

      I see you’ve already made a few replies since my last post from last night. I posted just now without reading any of them, sorry. I’ll try to read through them tonight or tomorrow.

      Don’t worry about being boring, I like it (insofar as it’s sometime necessary!)

      Also, once I approve a comment I think WordPress puts you on a pre-approved list. So I don’t moderate after the first comment (though I think you can “age out”, after a certain period of time without making comments – I don’t really know the full technical details, thankfully!).

      OK, thanks and back later.

      PS- I see you’ve made a long comment, so later might be a little bit. Hopefully the detail working notes I posted keep you occupied in the duration!

      • Hi back
        I have some stuff to pass on to you. Can you send me an email with your address (like your off-line email) or this page is really going to clog up. I don’t use or am familiar with dropbox etc.

  5. My best guess is he wrote “no?2!” and then overwrote the ? with a cross (a t maybe) possibly indicating the 2 is incorrect. (not 2 !) as in the number of forfeited games to Steinitz. It is a wild guess, would have been better if he drew a fine line through the 2 and next to it the correct number ( 1 or 3). making matters worse of better. He also fails to adjust the games played count relative to the forfeited count if his intent was to correct the table. They say, you can never trust a quill pen.

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