Yorkshire Chess History

 

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1869: Yorkshire Chess Association (2), 2nd Annual Meeting, York

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Yorkshire Chess Association

Annual Meeting

De Grey Rooms, York

Week Commencing Monday 2nd August 1869

 

Details of the Event Itself (Click here for details of the preparatory build-up, on page one.)

 

The event was reported in Skipworth’s Chess Players’ Quarterly Chronicle of 1868-69, pages 283 & 284, the text being fairly evidently written by Skipworth himself.

 

Noted as being among the visitors present were the following:

 

The Lord Mayor of York

The Lady Mayoress

A. G. Johnstone (Hackness)

Rev. J. Waltham (Brough)

Rev. O. A. Manners (Hawnby)

George White (Henwick)

James Walker (Hull)

 

The Lord Mayor of York was Alfred Ely Hargrove, who held that office just the once, in 1868-69.  He and his son, William Wallace Hargrove, were proprietors and publishers of the York Herald, at 34 Pavement, York.  Hackness is about 5 miles inland from Scarborough.  Brough, in this case, is on the north bank of the River Humber, about 10 miles west of Hull.  Hawnby is 6 miles NW of Helmsley, North Yorkshire.  Henwick is a district in the west of Worcester.

 

The number of participating chess-players was seemingly less than Skipworth had hoped for, yet the entrants in the Class 1 were strong by “provincial” standards, though the tournament looked rather like the 1869 Church of England Clerics’ Chess Championship, as the participating clerics were among the strongest in that category, if not the strongest.

 

Class I

 

The following were the results in Class I:

 

 

Skipworth

Ranken

Wayte

Thorold

Total

Place

Rev. Arthur Bolland Skipworth (Bilsdale)

X

b1

w0

w1

2

1

Rev. Charles Edward Ranken (Oxford)

w0

X

b1

2-3=

Rev. William Wayte (Eton)

b1

X

w0

2-3=

Edmund Thorold (Bath)

b0

w0

b1

X

1

4

w & b denote colours

 

Skipworth thus won the first prize, worth £10.  There was no reference to a second or third prize being awarded.

 

All six games were given in the Chess players’ Quarterly Chronicle, 1868-69, on pages 257 et. seq.

 

The report in the Chess players’ Quarterly Chronicle included the following comment which sounds rather like Skipworth making excuses for losing a game:

 

The games were generally stoutly and steadily contested, if we except one, a rather hasty skirmish, between Mr. Wayte and the winner, who was unexpectedly called away on account of some parochial work; and the class contest was a very close one.

 

Class II

 

The Class II tournament was contested by eight players.  A number of players failed, for whatever reason, to play all their games, and it appears only 19 of the 28 games due to be played were actually played.

 

The totals credited to the players, presumably scored from games actually played, were as follows:

 

As in C.P.Q.C.

Score

Apparent Identity

Fisher

6

Bernard William Fisher (Great Malvern)

Semple

6

Thomas Semple (Stockton-on-Tees)

Finlinson

4

Joseph Henry Scott Finlinson (Huddersfield)

Park

3

William Park (West Hartlepool)

Rev. W. L. Newham

0

Rev. William Leighton Newham (Barrow‑on‑Soar)

Jeffrey

0

possibly Thomas Jeffrey (Huddersfield)

Ball

0

probably Alfred Ball (York)

Grimshaw

0

Walter Grimshaw (Whitby)

 

There would have been a play-off, but Semple had to leave before the end, and could not return to contest the play-off, so Fisher was deemed the winner of the £5 prize and a trophy of value £10.

 

Class III

 

The prospectus for the event advertised a Class III tournament, essentially a “novices” section, but this seems not to have taken place.

 

Lady Contestants

 

Skipworth seems to have liked to have ladies at his events.  The prospectus advertised that ladies would compete alongside men in the different tournaments.  In the event, it seems, there were no lady contestants, not even Edmund Thorold’s sister, Eliza Mary Thorold.

 

Handicap Tournament

 

Though it was not mentioned in the prospectus, there was a knock-out handicap tournament.  The competitors seem all to be one also competing in Class I or Class II.  Results were given in the Chess players’ Quarterly Chronicle in the form X “won of” Y, without saying if there were any draws along the way, though one would expect some draws.  Round-by-round results, excluding any draws were as follows:

 

Round 1

 

 

Finlinson

1‑0

Semple

Fisher

1‑0

Ranken*

Ball

1‑0

Wayte*

Thorold*

1‑0

Newham

 

 

 

Round 2

 

 

Finlinson

1‑0

Thorold*

Ball

1‑0

Fisher

 

 

 

Final

 

 

Finlinson

1‑0

Ball

* Ranken, Wayte and Thorold, as Class I players, gave odds of pawn and 2 moves to Class II players.

 

Ball had been winning the final game, but blundered away a rook, allowing Finlinson to walk off with the first prize of value £4, while Ball had be satisfied with a second prize of value £1.

 

Problem-Setting Tournament

 

There was a problem-setting tournament for which entries had had to be submitted in advance.  Entries had been received from J. W. Abbott (presumably Joseph William Abbott, London), W. Bolt (presumably William Bolt), G. O. Cutler (Sheffield), J. H. S. Finlinson (Huddersfield) and A. B. Skipworth (Bilsdale).  The judges were Rev. W. Wayte and Rev. C. E. Ranken, who awarded the prize, worth £4, to W. Bolt.

 

Conclusion

 

A luncheon was given at the end of the event, on Friday 06/08/1869, at which the Lord Mayor of York, Alfred Ely Hargrove, presided.

 

It was decided to hold the next meeting at Scarborough rather than York, perhaps in the belief that Scarborough would be a more attractive venue and so increase numbers, but it was subsequently decided to convert this “Yorkshire Chess Association” into a national organisation called the “Counties Chess Association”, and a venue outside Yorkshire was therefore chosen.

 

 

Created

26/12/2013

Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

Last Updated

2612/2013