THE LIFE AND CHESS OF PAUL MORPHY                                                                                                                                                                                            Anti-book


This letter appeared in Staunton's chess column on August 28, 1858. The day before, after Morphy's blindfold exhibition at the Birmingham meeting, Staunton had "publicly committed himself [to playing a match], although 'the exact date' had not been set ... It was said that Staunton often used imaginary correspondents in his column and "Anti-book" and others were thought to be such. In Morphy Gleanings, Sergeant states it was "a favorite device of Staunton's. Another was the publication of letters supporting his side of the case, without the writer's real signature." [Lawson}

August 28 --Anti-book. As you surmise, "knowing the authority," the slang of the sporting pages in question regarding the proposed encounter between Mr. Staunton and the young American is "bunkum." In matches of importance it is the invariable practice in this country, before anything definite is settled, for each party to be provided with representatives to arrange the terms and money for the stakes. Mr. Morphy has come unfurnished in both respects; and although both will no doubt be forthcoming in due time, it is clearly impossible, until they are, that any determinate arrangements can be made.
2.The statement of another contemporary that the reduction in the amount of stakes from 1000 a side to 500 was made at the suggestion of the English amateur is equally devoid of truth; the proposal to reduce the amount having been made by Mr. Morphy.