Friday 22 March 2024

Recent auctions part 3 - Steinitz and Tchigorin, and Lancashire Chess Association

Two further interesting items from the LSAK auction held in November 2023.


The Games of Steinitz and Tchigorin. Two Matches at Havana. Cable Match. London and Vienna Tournaments. Published (and compiled?) by W. W. Morgan Jun. New Barnet 1892. Morgan's Shilling Chess Library, Book 10. 74 + 4pp


This item achieved the amazing price of €825. Morgan's Shilling Chess Library consisted of 13 titles published between 1882 and 1901, although No. 9, How to Solve Chess Problems by Bernard Reynolds is a ghost and was never published. All of these are rare and almost impossible to find. This is probably because few of these fragile stapled booklets have survived. 

The series is mainly made up of games collections from tournaments or individual players but the tournament records are frequently incomplete and none of the games have any notes. 

This particular book gives the 46 games played between Steinitz and Tchigorin in the following events: Vienna 1882 2 games, London 1883 2 games, world championship match, Havana 1889 17 games, cable match 1891 2 games and world championship match, Havana 1892 23 games. The two masters were closely matched with an overall score of Steinitz 21 wins, Tchigorin 19 wins and 6 draws.


The games are given without notes but each page of moves is accompanied by two diagrams at interesting positions.


The content of these booklets can generally be found in other sources and, as mentioned above, the tournament reports are very incomplete. The attraction and value of these publications is purely because of their rarity due to the low survival rate.  Will. H. Lyons, the bookseller from Newport, Kentucky, was selling these booklets for .50c each in his catalogues around 1900. A digital copy is available at

I will write more about Morgan's Shilling Chess Library when I move on to reviewing the Klittich auction held in November 2023. 



The Lancashire Chess Association - Season 1910-11


Lancashire is a county in England incorporating the major cities of Liverpool and Manchester. The Lancashire Chess Association was incorporated in 1897 and, in common with many chess associations, issued Annual Reports/Year Books/Handbooks, containing the usual information of officers, rules, reports, statement of accounts, list of affiliated clubs, match and congress results etc. etc. plus, hopefully, a few games and problems to give the publication at least some spark of interest to the average chess player.

Most of these Annual Reports/Year Books/Handbooks were quickly discarded and, as a result, one hundred years later, the few surviving copies are of great interest to collectors. This is epitomised in the current item which, although of a parochial nature and of little interest globally, fetched €198 as a result of its limited initial circulation and very low survival rate.

These Lancashire Chess Association Annual Reports/Year Books/Handbooks are indeed rare; the Koninklijke Bibliotheek only has the Handbook for Season 1925-26. Cleveland has a batch of six; for the years 1904, 1905-6, 1908-9, 1910-11, 1914-15 and 1925-26. The British Library is bereft of these publications, and I can trace no further copies; unfortunately there are no digital copies available.


However, I have the Annual Report/Year Book/Handbook for Season 1924-25, and I can reveal that the contents of this 24 page booklet are as follows:

Title page, verso blank

Executive Council for 1924-25; the only well known names being Victor Wahltuch and Amos Burn. I also notice that the Hon. secretary was the Rev. H.C. de Barathy, author of Chess Made Clear (absent from Betts) which was printed in Kent (another English county incorporating Dover, Canterbury Cathedral etc.) c1940.

Rules of the Association. (the Annual General Meeting is held on the first Saturday in April, unless the next day be Easter Sunday, in which event... )

Council's Report 1924-25. (the Association in indebted to the indefatigable energy of.....)

Statement of Accounts (they made a small profit).

Lists of Lancashire champions from 1901 to 1924, Affiliated Clubs etc.


Also... but, you've had enough of this. Luckily there are seven games and a couple of chess studies. One of the games is a win by A.R.B. Thomas, author of Chess for the love of it and Chess Techniques, who, according to Edward Winter, "gained a dose of immortality through being quoted by Bobby Fischer in My 60 Memorable Games" (Chess Notes 4854 and feature article Fischer's Fury). (Memorable game 26)


The production of this pamphlet is very good with stiff card covers, good quality paper, clear layout and coloured diagrams. 



These Lancashire Chess Association Annual Reports/Year Books/Handbooks are not recorded in Betts' Bibliography and are also missing from Di Felice's Chess Periodicals which has a section for Annual Reports/Year Books/Handbooks.


I would like to thank Per Skjoldager for permission to use images and information from the LSAK website.  There were many other scarce and valuable works sold in the November auction and all can be viewed at The next LSAK auction is scheduled for 1st June 2024.











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