Charles Henry Stanley

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Charles Stanley (left) during his match with John Turner (right) in Washington in 1850

Charles Henry Stanley (September 1819, Brighton – 1901, USA) was the first chess champion of the United States. When the first-ever U.S. championship match took place in 1845, Stanley defeated Eugène Rousseau of New Orleans and thus claimed the title.

Stanley was an Englishman who emigrated from London to New York in 1845 per USA Federal Census of 1900, to work in the British Consulate, and his English ideas had a great influence on American chess.

One of his ideas was to have a regular newspaper column devoted to chess, which he started in 1845 in The Spirit of the Times. He also started the American Chess Magazine in 1846, but others copied the idea (which originated in England), and competition forced the magazine out of business.

In 1855 he organized the first World Problem Tournament.

In 1846 he published the first US book on a chess match, 31 Games of Chess.

Stanley is a little-known figure who has been eclipsed by the achievements of the world famous Paul Morphy. He played Morphy in 1857, losing the title of US Chess Champion to his much better opponent.

He was married and later had a daughter Pauline, who was named after Morphy.

Preceded by
none
United States Chess Champion
1845–1857
Succeeded by
Paul Morphy

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