The British Chess Association, the child of the Northern and Midland Counties Chess Association, gradually evolved during the 1850s.
Its first meeting was at Cheltenham 1855, but although various matches and other games were played, there was no tournament.
The readers of the Chess Player´s Chronicle had to be satisfied with a five-page account of the dinner instead. With one exception the next events were very successful.
This book contains accounts and all available games of three of them -Manchester 1857, Birmingham 1858, and Cambridge 1860. The next two, Bristol 1861 and London 1862, are to be found in existing tournament books. It is worth noting that Kolisch was seen, hi 1860, as the only European capable of matching Morphy. Indeed, after his return to USA, Morphy agreed to play a match with Kolisch, although he later changed his mind.
The other three events reported in this book were not connected with the BCA. The most important was the tournament at Manchester. Unlike others in this book, it was not played at a congress, but spread over several months.
The winner was the mysterious Russian-born Pindar, who then challenged Stanley to a match, offering to give odds. This, considered an insult to the player regarded as the best in America before Morphy, was turned down, but Pindar did defeat the young Blackburne 5-0 shortly afterwards.