The Boy’s Own Paper – (part 2)

A link to the previous article on the subject of “The Boy’s Own Paper” magazine: link

And a link to the chess column clippings of The Boy’s Own Paper v13 (Oct 1890 – Sep 1891)  (PDF)

The construction of the PDF clippings collection is really a topic of its own – a very handy and useful convenience for chess researchers allowing a tremendous saving in disk space and searching time.

It turns out there was quite a few interesting items from the volume that I posted on Please allow me to quote these posts for your perusal – if you wish, you can download the PDF to see the original source material referenced:

Johannes Minckwitz

Premium Chessgames Member
zanzibar: What’s in a name?

<J.B. — We understand that Herr Hans von Minckwitz at present at Belgern a. d. Elbe, whose complete name is Johannes G. E. L. von Minckwitz, has inherited “von” from his ancestor, the Freiherr Ehrenfried von Minckwitzburg, who died about 1625, and belonged to ancient Lusatia—Bohemian nobility. Besides several works on chess, he has lately published a pamphlet on “Jungdeutschland.”>

<TBOP v13 N619 (Nov 22, 1890) p127/147 (3)>


Paul Rudolf von Bilguer

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zanzibar: What’s in a name?
Bilguer planned his “Handbuch” in 1839, and the seven editions appeared in 1843, 18.32, 1858, 1864, 1874, 1879, and 1891. Paul Rudolph von Bilguer was born at Ludwigslust on September 21, 1815, and died at Berlin on September 16, 1840. His ancient family name is said to be Bilger, the “u” being inserted in Switzerland in order to make the pronunciation of the “g” suitable to the French and Italian languages. His friend, Baron Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa, attended to the publication of the first five editions. Lasa was born on October 17, 1818, and is now living at Wiesbaden. (See our Vol. X. p. 559, May 26, 1888.) From about 1830 to 1850 there was an assembly of players known as the “Seven Stars” of Berlin, which consisted of L. Bledow, C. Schorn, B. Horwitz, C. Mayet, W. Hanstein, P. R. von Bilguer, and von der Lasa, and of which the latter is now the only survivor.>tBOP v13 N640 (Apr 18, 1891) 463/493 (15)


François André Philidor

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zanzibar: What’s in a name? (golden put-ons or otherwise…)
You have, of course, heard of the great French chess-player, Philidor. He got his Italian name in a curious way. In the Chapel Royal at Versailles there was an orchestra of musicians that took part in the religious services. Among them was an Italian named Philidor. It happened that this man fell ill and died, and his place was supplied by a Frenchman named Danican. One morning the king, Louis XIV., on passing the orchestra on his way to his seat in the chapel, mistook Danican for Philidor, and nodding to him said, “I am glad to see you back in your place, Philidor!” Now it was a point of etiquette in the French court not to allow the king to make a mistake. When he was a child, he said one day, “Portez mon carrosse!” He ought to have said, “ma carrosse,” since the word is of the feminine gender, but the polite French at once adopted the royal infant’s change of gender, and the word remains to this day masculine. In like manner Danican became Philidor, and to this odd circumstance the great chess master is indebted for his name.The ante-room to the Royal Chapel was occupied by the musicians in the intervals of the services, and being so near the sacred precinct they were not allowed to play games of chance, but chess was allowed. The boy Philidor frequently accompanied his father to the chapel, and was fond of watching the chess, and soon became himself a good player. One of the most skilful chess-players among the musicians was a man named Legalle, who frequently played with young Philidor. Now the only game of Legalle’s that has been preserved is one in which he gives the odds of the Q R; …>tBOP v13 N642 (May 2, 1891) 495/527 (17)

Of course this story of the origin is slightly at odds with CW, but has anybody traced the sourcing of the CW?

(I have, maybe will post it later to possibly compare notes)

I do like this story though.

Premium Chessgames Member
zanzibar: Oh, and a word about the source:

<By Prof. Tomlinson, F.R.S.[Professor Charles Tomliiison, F.R.S., who is now the oldest writer in chess living, for he was born in London on November 27, 1808, and among whose works his “Amusements in Chess” (London, 1845) is unsurpassed by any other book of the kind, has forwarded us the following capital short article.]>

Capital, indeed.

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zanzibar: What’s in a name (II)?

And lest you begin wondering what F.R.S. adds to a name……


Wilfred Charles Palmer vs Edward G Sergeant

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zanzibar: Tomlinson spells it <Legalle>.François André Philidor (kibitz #277)


Quite a few tidbits from that year, and perhaps a few more that were missed. Other volumes are waiting to be mined, though as I mentioned in the first article on the magazine, the earlier years seemed to limit the column to just publishing problems and their solution. For some reason Meyer enlarged his treatment, and it might be worthwhile to plow through other volumes to map out the historical trajectory.

To finish the post, then, allow me to extensively quote from Gittins’ treatment of H.F.L. Meyer in his “Chess Bouquet” (1897):

We learn that Meyer was born in Hanover in 1839, and learned the game of chess relatively late, in 1862 at the age of 23. He moved to London in 1868 and continued his career as a chess columnist, apparently being best known for his “The Boy’s Own Paper” column.



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