World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Henry Edward Bird

Article Id: WHEBN0000183246
Reproduction Date:

Title: Henry Edward Bird  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Chess, Paul Morphy, Wilhelm Steinitz, Adolf Anderssen, Emanuel Lasker, Joseph Henry Blackburne, Bird's Opening, Rudolf Charousek, History of chess, Dutch Chess Championship
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Henry Edward Bird

Henry Edward Bird (Portsea in Hampshire, 14 July 1830 – 11 April 1908) was an English chess player, and also an outstanding author and accountant. He wrote a book titled Chess History and Reminiscences, and another titled An Analysis of Railways in the United Kingdom.

Although Bird was a practicing accountant, not a professional chess player, it has been said that he "lived for chess, and would play anybody anywhere, any time, under any conditions."[1]

Tournament play

At age 21, Bird was invited to the first international tournament, London 1851. He also participated in tournaments held in Vienna and New Jersey. In 1858 he lost a match to Paul Morphy at the age of 28, yet he played high-level chess for another 50 years. In the New York tournament of 1876, Bird received the first brilliancy prize ever awarded, for his game against James Mason.[1]


In 1874 Bird proposed a new chess variant, which played on an 8×10 board and contained two new pieces: guard (combining the moves of the rook and knight) and equerry (combining the bishop and knight). Bird's chess inspired José Raúl Capablanca to create another chess variant, Capablanca chess, which differs from Bird's chess only by the starting position.

It was Bird who popularized the chess opening now called Bird's Opening (1. f4), as well as Bird's Defense to the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4). Bird's Opening is considered sound, though not the best try for an opening advantage. Bird's Defense is regarded as slightly inferior, but "trappy".


  • Bird, H. E. Chess Masterpieces (London: Dean, 1875)
  • Bird, H. E. The Chess Openings, Considered Critically and Practically (London: Dean, 1877; New York: Lockwood, 1880, 1886)
  • Bird, H. E. Chess Practice (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1882; Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1892)
  • Bird, H. E. Chess History and Reminiscences (London: Dean, 1893)
  • Bird, H. E. Chess Novelties and Their Latest Developments (London, New York: F. Warne, 1895)

See also



External links

  • games at
  • Henry Bird download 22 of his games in pgn format.
  • Project Gutenberg the full text of Bird's book on chess history: Chess History and Reminiscences
  • Statistics at
  • Henry Edward Bird

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.