Criticism

In the chess column of Illustrated London News of 1869-09-18, Howard Staunton, the editor, responds to a correspondent with the signature Mc about the value of an unidentified problem:

Mc.—The position is not without merit, but is spoilt by its interminable variations. On this point we are quite in accord with an experienced correspondent, who, speaking of perhaps the most eminent composer of the day, says:—“Where is the satisfaction of wading through the interminable variation of Herr — Problems? It may be heresy to say so, but Mr. Lloyd’s productions appear to me higher art. I go through them with pleasure, and through Herr —’s with patience — sometimes with impatience.

(The misspelling of “Loyd” is in the original.)

It is possible to make a reasonable guess at the identity of “Herr —”: it probably refers to Konrad Bayer. It is a little surprising to find that Staunton rates him (or any other German problem composer) as “perhaps the most eminent”: he usually gives that kind of distinction to F. Healey or W. Grimshaw.