Saturday, April 20, 2013

Judy, a Forgotten chess Genius of the 1850s

  • batgirl
  • | Nov 5, 2008 at 9:34 PM
  • |
Rod Edwards, the developer of the EDO historical rating, has uncovered some interesting information. We're all familiar with Mrs. Worrall, Mrs. Showalter, Mrs. Baird, Mrs. Gilbert and even Miss Amalie Paulsen, but before any one these 19th century ladies gained the chess spotlight, there was Judy.
   What we know of Judy is spotty and comes from limited and selective sources, the best being from Howard Staunton.  She corresponded with Mr. Staunton and with his publications using the simple moniker, "Judy," (and later, "Stella") and it seems quite possible that he knew her or had at least met her.   She was a first-rank player (in correspondence as was common with ladies in those days - circa 1850) and a first-class problemist in both creating and solving difficult problems. 
I would encourage everyone to read Mr. Edward's far fuller, and well-researched account,Judy, a Forgotten Genius of the 1850s, at the Chess Cafe Skittles Room.
Since Chess Cafe only features the current article in the Skittles Room
Part 1 can be found in the Skittles Room Archives.
Part 2 can be found in the  Skittles Room.
When a new article is featured in the Skittles Room, then both parts of the Judyarticle will be found in the Skittles Room Archives.
For more on retro-ratings, including EDO see my Journal entries - Retro-Rating and EDO  - and of course, Mr. Edwards' EDO site.
Correction (11/07/08)
Mr. Edwards reminded me, and rightfully so, that although I listed the games as correspondence games, their exact nature was never specified.  The fact that women of the 19th century were far more active in correspondence chess than in OTB play was the basis for my assumption.

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