Howard Staunton (April 1819 – June 22, 1874) stands as a controversial figure in chess. Not only did he establish himself as the strongest player in the 1840s, but also elevated the comprehension of the game as the most prominent analyst and author of his generation. His influence as a player and organizer contributed to the standardization of the chess pieces and to the development of international competition. Yet, he was also a complex character who made foes out of his competitors and friends alike. | Picture source: World Chess Hall of Fame.