ch Senza Quartieri


By Eric Ruch


ch Senza Quartieri
Incontri per corrispondenza tra circoli nel sec. XIX

By Prof. Carlo Alberto Pagni

(Caissa Italia editore, Roma, 296 pages, ISBN 88 88756 18- 3. 28,00)




Prof. Carlo Alberto Pagni has published in the last decade some booklets about correspondence chess games played between cities during the 19th century.

He has now published a revised and completed edition of this work, in Italian, but the books contains almost 600 games in figurine algebraic notation that can be easily understood by everyone interested in CC in general and particularly in chess history.


Everyone interested in CC history knows the labor involved in such research and this book brings a large overview of the games played between the chess clubs that are now readily available in a single volume. It is obvious that such a work cannot be perfect and that some mistakes can be found here and there, mainly due to the fact that Carlo Alberto did not always have access to the original.

source of the games.

Tim Harding, in his review of the book, published in Chess Mail 8/2004 (page 58-59) gives the example of the London Portsmouth games played by telegraph on the 9th and the 10th of April 1845.  In fact, the games were played primarily by H. Staunton and Captain Kennedy on the Portsmouth side of the telegraph and George Walker, Captain Evans, Duncan Forbes and some other players from the capital on the London end of the telegraph. Pagni does not list the games in the chronological order and does not report the correct circumstances in which the games have been played, and probably mistakes about the length of the games.


I did not have time to go into the details of each and every game, but I have spotted some other possible problems / mistakes concerning the games played in the first decade on this history:


Amsterdam - Rotterdam (1824)


Pagni has written that the games have been concluded on 20th of December. the same information can be found in Bruno Bassis CC history, a series of articles published in Mail Chess  in the 40s of last century. Bassis article is probably the source of Pagni.

Von Mauvillon, who was presumably one of the very first authors to have published these games in his book, "Anweisung zur Erlernung des Schach-Spiels mit besonderer Rcksicht auf diejeningen denen das Spiel durchaus unbekannt ist," Essen 1827, page 375 gives the end of the two games on the 15th of  December.

There is no indication where Bassi found the date of 20th of December, but I would probably follow von Mauvillons date.

Manchester - Liverpool (1825)


In the game Manchester Liverpool, Pagni gives a the last two moves of the game 41...g5 42.Ke5. This can also be found in Fernschach, in 1992 in the game annotations by  GM Hermann Heemsoth.

But Bassi gives  another end: 41...f4 42. Ke4 g5 43.h3.

Manchester Liverpool (1825) is a good example of a game that was almost forgotten and was not included in the two major works on CC games in the 19th century, Ludwig Bledows Die zwischen dem Berliner uns Posener Klub durch Correspondenz gespielten Schah-Partien, Berlin 1843 and Max Langes enlarged edition of this early work published in Leipzig in 1872. I have been unable to find any publication of this game before Bassi and it is very hard to conclude what was the actual end of the game.


Hyderabad - Madras (1828)

This classical CC game is often presented up to move 44, concluded by the victory of the Madras team. This was to be found in the earlier works of Pagni, in his newly published book, but also for instance in Tim Hardings article about early correspondence chess in India (Chess Mail, 5/2004, page 19).

I do not know what is the source of this 44 moves game, but all early sources such as Bledow, Lange or the Chess Playerss Chronicle (Vol I, pages 49-51) give the game in 52 moves.


Here is the complete score of this game:


Hyderabad - Madras [A21]

Corr 1828 - 1829


1.g3 f5 2.g2  f6 3.c4 e5 4.c3 e7 5.d4 exd4 6.xd4 c6 7.h3 a6 8.a3 c5 9.d1 0-0 10.0-0 ce4 11.c2 d5 12.d1 e6 13.g5 c8 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.gxe4 fxe4 16.e3 g4 17.d4 g5 18.h3? xf2!



19.f1 xh3+ 20.h2 d8 21.b3 h5! 22.xh3 xh3 23.xd5 e6 24.f5 xd5! 25.xd5 c6
26.xg5 xb3 27.xg7+ f8 28.f1+ e8 29.f6 c2 30.h6  xe2+ 31.h3 f1+ 32.h4 f8
 33.xh5 f7 34.xf7 xf7 35.f5+ e6 36.xf8 xf8 37.xa7 f5 38.h3 d8 39.b6 d3
40.h4 e3 41.g4+ f4 42.c7+ f3 43.g5 e2 44.a5 d1


and here are the missing moves :

45.g6 e1+ 46.xe1 xe1 47.g5 e4 48.g7 g1+ 49.f6 d4 50.f7 c4 51.a4 b3 52.a5 xb2 0-1


I have informed Carlo Alberto Pagni about these and possible other mistakes, so that he can include the correction in a future edition of his book.


In the last issue of ICCF Amici, I have published an article about Miss Gilbert. Tim Harding has informed me that it should have been Mrs Gilbert! and he was right. One has always to be very careful when writing an article about chess history and there is always something to be learned from others!


I recommend the book of Carlo Alberto Pagni to every chess player and especially the CC players who are interested in the history of our game.


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