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1870: Steinitz at Leeds

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Steinitz at Leeds Chess Club 27/05/1870

 

Amongst those present at the West Yorkshire Chess Association meeting at the Mechanics Institution, Halifax, on Saturday 21st May 1870, were Wilhelm Steinitz as chief guest, Arthur Bolland Skipworth, another guest, and E. Riley of Leeds.  It appears Steinitz was staying for a few days in Leeds as guest of Mr. Riley, who had arranged for Steinitz to appear at Leeds Chess Club on the Friday following the WYCA meeting in Halifax.  Mr. Riley evidently invited the Rev. Skipworth along at the same time, but Skipworth had declined.

 

Accordingly, the Chess Player’s Quarterly Chronicle of 1870-71, Vol. II, p.9, carried the following:

 

MR.STEINITZ was engaged to play at Leeds on Friday last.  Mr. Skipworth was unable to accept Mr. Riley’s kind invitation to meet Mr. Steinitz, who was Mr. Riley’s guest during his stay at Leeds.  We hope to give full particulars in our next.

 

There followed on page 121 of the same publication:

 

THE LEEDS CHESS CLUB AND HERR STEINITZ

 

The members of the Leeds Chess Club had a numerously-attended meeting on Friday evening, May 27th, 1870, at the Great Northern Station Hotel, to welcome Herr Steinitz, the well-known chess player, to Leeds.  Mr. Steinitz played a consultation game against some of the best players in the club, and members of the Huddersfield, Halifax, and Bradford clubs united.  The game, although well sustained by the numerous players for a time, was resigned in favour of Mr. Steinitz in about two hours and a half.  Mr. Steinitz also played ten games simultaneously during the evening, winning every game in less than an hour.  Numerous other interesting games were played by members of the Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, and Huddersfield clubs.

 

The identity of “Mr. E. Riley” is probably that of Edward Riley, metallurgist and analytical and consulting chemist of 31 Park Square, Leeds, as he was listed in White’s General and Commercial Directory of Leeds etc, 1870, whose residence in Leeds seems to have been relatively brief.  There were a boatman and a passenger railway guard of the same name living in Leeds at the time, but they seem much less likely hosts of Herr Steinitz.

 

This Edward Riley, metallurgist, may have been to be the chemist of that name (born 1831/32, London) living in 1881 in Hampstead with wife Emma (born 1837/38, Kirkheaton, Yorks.) and three servants.

 

 

Created

17/03/2013

Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

Last Updated

17/03/2013