YORKSHIRE CHESS ASSOCIATION
week, the annual meeting of this association was held at the George Hotel,
Huddersfield. Chess playing commenced at 10 o’clock, and the
attendance of players was so great as to occupy three of the rooms in the
second story [sic] of the hotel. The following players honoured the
Honorable the Earl of Mexborough, who on this occasion had done the
association the honour of presiding.
and two Messrs. Hoffmeister from Hull.
Newham, Neuberg, Dobson, and Smith, from Nottingham.
Mr. Maw, from
Crowle, in Lincolnshire.
Rev. W. Blow,
Goodmanham [near Market Weighton, E. Yorks.].
Rhodes, Cadman, Brown, France, and Richardson, from Leeds.
Garvey, and Messrs. W. Robinson, E. Shepherd, A. Shepherd, Walker and
Wilson, from Wakefield.
Messrs. F. W.
Cronhelm, Forbes, Brierley, Hervey, Allen and Boyd, from the Halifax club.
treasurer of the Huddersfield Chess Club; Mr. Parratt, secretary (to whose
vigorous exertions much of the éclat of the anniversary was
owing), and J. C. Fenton Esq., the Rev. J. R. Oldham, Capt. Stanton and
Messrs. Brierley, Mann, Kilner, Dewhirst, J. Brook, Barker, J. Clay, W. H.
Kaye, C. S. Floyd, W. Stables, Pritchett, Freeman, Eddison, C. Atkinson, J.
Swift, Welsh, Boscovitz, Clough, Horn, Starkey, T. P. Crossland, Thomas
Battye, George Kinnear, and J. Armitage.
At one a lunch
was provided, at which the combatants at the mimic tournament refreshed
themselves for further fights; and playing was then resumed, and maintained
until darkness blended the colours of the competing armies into one
undistinguishable grey. The more eager players, however, maintained
their play by candlelight, until dinner was actually upon the table; and
then left the boards with the consolation (if we may parody a well known
“They who fight and pains to eat,
Fight the better when they meet.”
o’clock the assembled chess-players ceased for a time the prosecution
of their amicable wars, and sat down to the enjoyment of a dinner which
combined at once every delicacy of the season and every art of the
cook. Mr. Wigney if anything exceeded all his former efforts in this
department; and we need not add that both his enterprise and the viands he
had provided on the occasion had full justice done to them.
The Earl of
Mexborough occupied the chair, supported on the right by the Rev. J. R.
Oldham (who returned thanks.) Mr. Francis occupied the vice-chair;
and in that office rendered very efficient support to the noble
chairman. The cloth having been drawn, and a rich dessert laid upon
Chairman proposed “The Queen,” observing that as chess-players
they all knew that without a Queen they could do nothing. The toast
was given with three times three and one cheer more.
next gave “The Queen Dowager.” She had long played a good
game, he said, and he trusted it would be a many years ere she was checkmated.
gave “The Yorkshire Chess Association, and long-continued prosperity
to it.” The toast was drunk with three times three and one
secretary of the Huddersfield club, said that he had been deputed by the
President to call on the Rev. J. R. Oldham for the next toast.
Gentleman, on rising, said he felt it the greatest possible pleasure and
privilege in having had the toast confided to him – a toast which he
felt assured they would welcome with eagerness. It was the health of
the noble Earl who occupied the chair. (Loud cheers.)
The toast was
then given by the Vice-President; and drank [sic] with the most hearty
enthusiasm; three time three being followed by a tremendous “one
Earl, in returning thanks, said he could assure them that he did not know
anything which had given him greater pleasure than to have it in his power
to meet them on that occasion. It had very seldom fallen to his lot
to have had the honour to preside over meetings such as the present.
He had often presided over meetings where a great deal of nonsense and
conviviality had gone forward; - (a laugh) – but now he had the
pleasure of presiding over a meeting where intellect was a little called
into operation. (Applause.) It was well known to many of the
gentlemen whom he then saw around him, that he was no maker of
speeches. That was totally out of his usual way of life. But he
always felt, when present among a body of gentlemen who received him in a
kind and hospitable way, that it was his duty to do everything he could to
please them. (Applause.) He had always been an ardent lover of
chess; but unfortunately never could get beyond mediocrity. He began
when a boy at school but was always beaten; he then became a pupil of the
greatest man – Mr. Sarratt – who ever took chess in hand; but whose
precepts did not, as they ought to have done, make him a great
player. It was pretty well known he could only play a very bad game;
- (no, no) – but he had that day had a satisfaction which he should
not soon forget. He had been pitted against one of the best players
in that room or in England, without knowing it, and had been enabled to
play three games against him for a considerable length of time, though of
course he lost them all; - (laughter) – but he did think had he paid
a little more attention to the second game he should have had a chance of
winning. (Renewed laughter and applause.) But as usual he was
too volatile to make any great improvement; but if he could, through life,
do sufficient to please those around him and to be useful to them, depend
upon it, it was everything he wished. (Loud applause.) Many
persons were much more able than he was to be of service to their country;
but not one had their country more at heart; - (applause) – and he
did not think he could show it better than presiding at a meeting like the
present. When he saw around him gentlemen from all stations in life,
happy to meet him as he was happy to meet them, and if he could by any
means promote so delightful, perfect and intellectual a game as Chess, he
did say that he had one great satisfaction, that he could go home to his
bed and say at least “I have not idly spent this day.”
(Applause.) The sooner they got back to fighting again the better, -
(laughter) –and he should therefore conclude with thanking them, and
with expressing the hope that the Yorkshire Chess Association would be a
model for other counties to follow, and that Chess Associations would make
much many better players than there now are, though he did not believe that
there was any country in which there were so many good players as Great
The Rev. Mr.
GARVEY proposed “The health of the strangers who have this day
honoured us with their company.” He agreed most cordially in
all that had fallen from his reverend friend. He was happy to see so
large an assemblage to show his Lordship that they appreciated his kindness
in presiding over them. This was true old English style, and he hoped
it would be kept up to the end of the chapter. The war cry of
“Savile to the rescue” would still find many an echo in the
cannie [sic] hearts of Yorkshire. In proposing his toast, however, he
would not, if possible follow the dangerous example of his
predecessors. They indeed promised to be brief, but they made as much
of it as most counsellors did of their maiden “brief” -
(laughter) – with this exception – they spoke a little more to
the purpose. His toast, however, would speak for itself, and when he
mentioned the name of Mr. Newham, of Nottingham, whom he believed to be not
only the first player present, but out of London, and when he felt Mr.
Newham’s followers had tried the strongest of the Wakefield club, and
yet the club only came off second best, he thought he ought to speak of Mr.
Newham and the strangers he had brought with him with the highest
respect. (Hear and applause.) At the same time he must admit
that he knew just so much of chess as only to be able to appreciate Mr.
Newham’s abilities in chess-playing as he could the satellite of
Juniper, that is, he could only have a faint glimmering view of them from a
The health of
“Mr. Newham and the strangers” was then drunk; the Noble Earl
proposed “the honours,” which Mr. Francis led off and met with
a vigorous response.
returned thanks, expressing the pleasure he always felt in coming to chess
meetings. He had attended one of the previous meetings of the Yorkshire
Chess Association; and that had created in him such a desire to renew his
visit that nothing but ill health had prevented him from attending then
Halifax meeting. Now, however, he had brought with him three other
players; he only regretted their numbers were so small. But this he
thought was owing to the season of the year in which the meetings were
held; and he therefore begged the committee to consider this hint. It
gave him great pleasure at these meetings to meet with veteran players, men
who like the noble Earl and Col. Staunton, had known all the great players
of the last century. (Hear.) The noble Earl had thrown out a
hope that the example of the Yorkshire Chess Association would be followed
by other counties. He would say for Nottingham, that when he and his
friends returned they would do their best to establish a Nottingham Union;
- (hear) – but he feared they were so situated, not being in the
centre of a chess neighbourhood, as not to be able to get up a meeting
except they had a sort of pledge or promise from the best Yorkshire players
that they would venture to Nottingham. However, the Nottingham Chess
Club would be proud and happy if any of the Yorkshire players would visit
their chess assembly for chess, dancing and cards – (a laugh) –
on the 7th of December.
said he dare almost guarantee the attendance of all the strong players of
Yorkshire in the event of the formation of a Nottingham Union.
Perhaps he was presuming too far. – (Cries of “No, no.”)
said he believed he could guarantee an attendance of six from Leeds.
– And four from Halifax. (Renewed applause.)
– And I think I may without any presumption guarantee five from
Wakefield. (Renewed applause.)
Mr. FRANCIS -
And I think I can without any presumption guarantee one from
Hull. (Laughter and applause.)
Chairman then gave “Mr. Parratt and the Huddersfield Chess
Club;” and in so doing said it would be long ere he forgot the hospitality
with which he had been received on that occasion. (Applause.)
acknowledged the honour in a brief speech.
Cronhelm then proposed “The health of Mr. Staunton, of London, and
success to him in his combat with M. St. Amant, of Paris.”
[This match was played in
Paris from Nov. 14th to Dec. 20th 1843, and resulted
in a win for Staunton.]
It was then
after some discussion agreed that the next meeting of the Yorkshire Chess
Association should be held at Leeds in the month of May, on the first
Wednesday – the period of the meeting being changed from winter to
spring with a view to obtain a still greater attendance of members.
at the request of the meeting than [sic - then] sang “Willie
brew’d a peck of maut.”
then rose and playing was resumed and continued (with a slight interruption
for coffee) to a late hour. Among the games played during the day the
following call for especial notice:-
The Earl of
Mexborough’s play was worthy of a veteran trained in the campaigns of
the great Sarratt. His Lordship won 3 games, giving the Knight, from
a strong Wakefield player.
of Hull, won 3 games from Mr. Dodson, of Nottingham, and 2 games from Mr.
Cadman, of Leeds; but in a subsequent contest between these gentlemen, Mr.
Cadman was the winner.
of Nottingham, won 1 game from Mr. Shepherd, of Wakefield; and their second
game was drawn.
[Wyvill] won 2 games of Mr. Cronhelm and 2 games of Mr. Francis. In a
contest of 4 games with Mr. Edwd. Cronhelm he won 1, drew 1, and lost 2.