Yorkshire Chess History

 

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1883: Yorkshire v Lancashire

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Sheffield Sub-Site

 

played in the Albert Hall, Cookridge Street, Leeds,

on 20/01/1883,

over 79 boards.

 

The first match billed as “Yorkshire v Lancashire” (or vice versa) was played at the West Yorkshire Chess Association annual meeting held at the Victoria Hotel, Bradford, on Saturday 20th May 1871.  It was not until 1883 that another such match was played.

 

There were attempts to resurrect the idea of a Yorkshire-Lancashire match in 1882, but these initially fell through.  Towards the end of 1882, a renewed attempt was made.  A letter send to Lancashire clubs was reproduced in the Chess Player’s Chronicle, Vol. VI, 1882, page 593, as follows:

 

THE following is a copy of a circular send [sic] to the Secretaries of the various Chess Clubs of Lancashire: -

 

19 Brasenose Street, Manchester, 30th November 1882.

 

DEAR SIR, - You will be pleased to hear that the Yorkshire players have renewed negotiations for a match between that county and Lancashire, and have agreed to its being on the basis of 50 players on each side.  You will recollect that the match fell through because last year they insisted on a larger number.  It is proposed that the match shall be played at Leeds, on Saturday, 20th of January next.  We want some of the leading players in your club to take part in it, and I shall be obliged by you ascertaining and informing me which of them will be willing to do so.

 

Yours truly,                  

M BATESON WOOD

 

 

Lancashire seems to have had a change in heart as regards the number of boards.  Whereas the 1871 match had been over a mere 10 boards, this second encounter was arranged to be a match over 80 boards, and as such was hitherto unparalleled.  (In the event there was play on only 79 boards.)

 

In his chess column in the Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement of Saturday 20/01/1883, James White anticipated the event with an article which outlined the unprecedentedly grand nature of the undertaking, went on to liken team selection to game shooting on a country estate, and wound up by respectfully requesting spectators not to audibly discuss games in progress – a matter on which he clearly felt strongly.  The article read as follows:

 

LEEDS.- Soon after these lines meet the eyes of our readers the most important chess match in point of numbers will take place today in the Albert Hall, Cookridge-street, Leeds.  The battle of the Roses will be fought anew, Lancashire players are expected to come over mighty strong, and Yorkshire is pledged to find an equal number to confront them.  The spectacle presented of one hundred and sixty chess players engaged at one time for mastery at the royal game is unique, and the knowledge that such an imposing image was about to take place has awakened interest in chess circles in the four quarters of the globe.  As the space in our column is limited, we must refer our readers to the Leeds Mercury for Monday next for a fuller account than we can possibly hope to give [here] of this great undertaking.  Our county is an extensive one, and like the preserves on a large estate, requires a great deal of beating over.  On the whole the game has been found readily; yet we are inclined to believe the time has been a trifle too short and the arrangements too abruptly closed to allow of the very best bag being obtained from the sport.  Still we believe our county players are eager for the fray, and they have our hearty wishes for their success.  Meantime it will be well for all to bear in mind their opponents are foemen worthy of their steel.  Play begins about 12.30; intending visitors will be well looked after by stewards appointed for the purpose, and without wishing to be thought impertinent in our remarks, we should like to hint to visitors that they keep as silent as convenient, and especially [refrain] from whispering about the game close behind any competitor.  We speak feelingly and from experience.  The Mayor of Leeds will welcome the visitors and open the proceedings.

 

Though the aim was to play over 80 boards, the Lancashire player nominated on board 43 didn’t turn up, so no games were played on that board, which became void, not counting as a default.

 

As far as possible, two games were played on each board, presumably with colours reversed. 

 

The Leeds Mercury of Monday 22/01/1883 duly reported on the match as follows:

 

LANCASHIRE v. YORKSHIRE CHESS

MATCH.

The great chess match between the representatives of the Royal game in Lancashire and Yorkshire took place on Saturday in Leeds, when 79 players from each county met to take part in the contest.  The number of the combatants, being larger than on any similar occasion, gave an additional interest to this important event in the history of chess.  The visitors arrived at 11.50, and after taking lunch at the Queen’s Hotel, proceeded to the Albert Hall, Cookridge-street, where arrangements had been made for the match.  The proceedings were commenced by an address from the Mayor (Councillor [Edwin] Woodhouse), who welcomed the visitors.  Mr. Herbert J. Gladstone, M.P. for Leeds, also addressed the assembly briefly.  Mr. Bateson Wood, of Manchester (for Mr. E. B. Hussey) then read out the list of the names of the players, who were bracketed according to their reputed strength; and as each pair was named they took their places at the chess boards which were numbered from 1 to 79.  On each board the pieces were set out, and a white and red rose were laid, which had been provided by the President of Leeds Chess Club (Mr. J. Stringer.)  By half-past one o’clock over 150 players were engaged in earnest conflict, whilst stewards with white rosettes attended to the comfort of the players and visitors.  The score was kept by tellers from each party, and as the result of each game was given in the figures were chalked on a black board.  From the first the figures were against Yorkshire.  About three-quarters of an hour from the commencement the score showed 25 wins to Lancashire and 8 to Yorkshire, then 40 to 15, and afterwards 55 to 22 appeared on the board.  The Lancashire players seemed to be encouraged by the hopeful state of their score-sheet, for those who were losing plucked up new heart, and in many cases turned the tables on their over-confident opponents, whilst such as had an advantage pressed on their yielding foes, and rapidly swelled the number of wins for the Red Rose.  Many of the Yorkshire players, anxious to retrieve their defeat, ventured on a second game with their opponents, and in only too many cases with a like result.  Others battled so long that when at last they were compelled to resign their well-contested game they only allowed their antagonists to score one victory against their names.  Few, indeed, were there of the White Rose host who scored two games for their side.  At 5.30 time was called by Mr. E. B. Hussey, and then Mr. J. H. Blackburne, the English chess champion, adjudicated on the unfinished games, and very shortly the results of the day’s fighting appeared on the black board – Lancahire 84; Yorkshire 37: and 18 drawn games, which latter counting one-half to each side, made the grand total of 93 to the Red, and 46 to the White Rose champions. – The visitors and players, to the number of 200, then adjourned to the Queen’s Hotel, where tea was served.  Among the gentlemen present were the Mayor, the Town Clerk (Mr. G. W. Morrison), the Hon. and Rev. P. Yorke Savile, Mr. Hussey, and Alderman Gaunt.  After tea, the MAYOR congratulated the visitors on their decisive victory, - Mr. HUSSEY then announced the score and remarked that the White Rose came out of the struggle whiter than ever. – Mr. D. Y. MILLS (captain of the Yorkshire party) said that whilst he wished the result had been otherwise he was not disappointed at it, as he was sure it would tend to promote a friendly rivalry between the chess-players of the two counties.  He hoped this would be the first of a series of such meetings. – After a vote of thanks to the Mayor, the proceedings terminated, the whole having been most successful, and conducted on both sides with the utmost good feeling.  A larger number of players were assembled at the gathering than at any similar occasion in the history of the game.  The following is an analysis of the results.  Amongst the visitors, over 60 of the 79 came from Manchester and Liverpool.  The Yorkshire contingent, with the results are as follows: -

 

 

Players

Wins

Losses

Leeds

22

13

26

Bradford

14

6

18

Hull

12

7

17

Wakefield

8

8

6

Halifax

7

2

9

Huddersfield

4

2

4

Twelve other towns sent

12

8

13

 

--

--

--

Total

79

46

93

 

There followed a list of board-by-board results.  A number of spelling mistakes are evident, as was so often the case those days, and a number of initials were missing.  The following therefore includes names as reported, and also, in some cases, as corrected or fuller names as inferred by the present writer.  The order in which two games were played on a board wasn’t evident from the reporting method.  Colours weren’t listed either.

 

Lancashire

  93  

  46  

Yorkshire (as reported)

Interpretation / Fuller Name

1

Rev J Owen (Liverpool)

1-0

D Y Mills (Leeds)

Daniel Yarnton Mills

2

J Baddeley (Manchester)

0-1

½-½

J W Young (Wakefield)

John William Young

3

A Steinkuhler (Manchester)

0-1

0-1

Ald. Crosskill (Beverley)

Alderman Arthur Crosskill

4

H Jones (Manchester)

1-0

T Y Stokoe (Leeds)

Thomas Young Stokoe

5

J Lord (Manchester)

1-0

J Whitaker (Bradford)

6

S Wellington (Liverpool)

½-½

E Francis (Halifax)

Edward Francis

7

W W Rutherford (Liverpool)

1-0

Whitman (Huddersfield)

Channing Wood Whitman

8

R K Le[a]ther (Liverpool)

1-0

0-1

Jas. Rayner (Leeds)

James Rayner

9

I [sic ‑ T] von Zabern (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

H Waight (Halifax)

Henry H Waight

10

J Schiffmann (Manchester)

1-0

½-½

J Petty (Ilkley)

Joshua Petty

11

J S Kipping (Manchester)

1-0

Rev J E Huntsman (Rotherham)

Rev Edmund John Huntsman

12

S Cohen (Manchester)

0-1

½-½

C G Bennett (Leeds)

Charles George Bennett

13

I [sic – T] B Wilson (Manchester)

1-0

0-1

R H Philip (Hull)

Robert Harris Philip

14

J Fish (Manchester)

1-0

A Knoth (Bradford)

A Knoth

15

J J Lewis (Manchester)

1-0

Mielziner (Bradford)

Emil Mielziner

16

H E Kidson (Liverpool)

½-½

½-½

E Bishop Hussey (Leeds)

Edward Bishop Hussey

17

A Hvistendahl (Liverpool)

1-0

0-1

A Bilborough [sic] (Leeds)

Alfred Bilbrough

18

H Blanchard (Lancaster)

1-0

0-1

E Pulsford (Hull)

Edward Pulsford

19

E Hall Wood (Bolton)

1-0

F F Ayre (Hull)

Frederick Fearnley Ayre

20

B M [sic, means M B] Wood (Manchester)

1-0

½-½

C G Clarke (Hull)

Charles G Clarke

21

R C Boyer (Manchester)

0-1

S R Meredith (Leeds)

Samuel Redhead Meredith

22

H Heap (Manchester)

1-0

C L Brook * (Huddersfield)

Charles Lewis Brook

23

G Newnes (Manchester)

1-0

H Glaser (Bradford)

Henry Glaser

24

G Ferguson (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

H Cassel (Bradford)

Hartwig Cassel

25

J S Edgar (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

W Common (Halifax)

Arthur Welsh Common

26

R F Green (Liverpool)

1-0

0-1

M S [sic] Cockin (Halifax)

Samuel Moulding Cockin

27

R B Hardman (Bury)

1-0

1-0

F H Wright (Halifax)

Frederick Henry Wright

28

I [sic – J] Green (Blackburn)

1-0

1-0

Fieldsen [sic] (Bradford)

Thomas Fieldsend

29

J Riddell (Manchester)

1-0

½-½

J Crake (Hull)

James Crake

30

J B Burnett (Manchester)

0-1

Sutcliffe (Halifax)

Joshua Sutcliffe

31

W Jones (Manchester)

1-0

½-½

Wall (Bradford)

Ernest Wall

32

E Mitchell (Manchester)

1-0

0-1

I S Shaw (Leeds)

J S Shaw

33

W McClelland (Manchester)

1-0

0-1

Hunter (Wakefield) **

William Wilks Hunter

34

J Steel (Manchester)

0-1

0-1

Day (Wakefield)

Samuel Day

35

C Brevig (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

M Wright (Leeds)

Murrell Wright

36

O Hockmeyer (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

Baley (Bradford)

Bailey

37

J T Palmer (Rochdale)

1-0

0-1

G W Farrow (Hull)

George Wright Farrow

38

H Turner (Leigh)

1-0

1-0

H H Ayre (Hull)

Horatio Harriman Ayre

39

J F Callender (Liverpool)

0-1

0-1

Holliday (Huddersfield)

Thomas Holliday

40

J R Barling (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

Downs (Hull)

J J Downs

41

A Mongredien jun (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

Thompson (Hull)

42

T Higginbottom (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

Carr Smith (Sheffield)

J Carr Smith

43

G Worrall (Manchester) was absent

(no game played, and no default)

44

J M Pollitt (Manchester)

1-0

0-1

J Woodhead (Dewsbury)

45

J Heap (Manchester)

1-0

0-1

J W Stringer (Leeds)

John William Stringer

46

I G Boulaye (Manchester)

1-0

0-1

C H Armstrong (Middlesborough)

47

E Thompstone (Manchester) ***

0-1

J Shepherd (Masbrough [Rotherham])

John Shepherd

48

J Greenleaves (Manchester)

1-0

½-½

J Jordan (Sheffield)

James Jordan

49

C A Dust (Manchester)

1-0

R Macmaster (Bradford)

Robert McCheyne Macmaster

50

R O Cooper (Manchester)

1-0

½-½

J Rhodes (Leeds)

John Rhodes

51

W Horrocks (Manchester)

1-0

J Craven (Leeds)

John Craven

52

Dr. Blumberg (Southport)

1-0

½-½

Battinson (Bradford)

George Adam Battinson

53

L Glass (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

Robertson (Huddersfield)

J R Robertson

54

Dr Dean (Burnley)

1-0

E Wallis (Scarborough)

Edward Wallis

55

J Whittaker (Burnley)

0-1

0-1

Eddison (Leeds)

Thomas Eddison

56

T Bayne (Burnley)

1-0

½-½

J Roe (Barnsley)

John Roe

57

W H Todd (Heywood)

1-0

0-1

G H Bays jun. (Wakefield)

George Henry Bays jun

58

Jas. Lister (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

Hudson (Leeds)

Joshua Gibson Hudson

59

A Myers (Liverpool)

1-0

½-½

Ash (Wakefield) “amateur”

William Ash

60

T L Cater (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

Hein (Wakefield)

George Gustav Hein

61

T Whitehead (Liverpool)

0-1

0-1

Schofield (Wakefield)

(W R Scholefield ?)

62

R A Beaver (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

W Trickett (Leeds)

William Trickett

63

C Probst (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

Carter (Leeds)

William Carter

64

A M Holland (Liverpool)

1-0

½-½

Whitley (Halifax)

P Whitley

65

Rev N S Jeffrey (Blackpool)

1-0

0-1

Gresham (Hull)

66

Dr Hewitt (Manchester)

1-0

0-1

Ray (Wakefield)

(William Rea ?)

67

W Becker (Manchester)

0-1

North (Hull)

William George North

68

J P Clarke (Manchester)

0-1

S Taylor (Leeds)

Samuel Taylor

69

R Lewis (Manchester)

1-0

0-1

Nachber (Bradford)

Nathan Nachbar

70

F [J] Hamel (Manchester)

½-½

½-½

Groux (Bradford)

William Groux

71

S Blackstock (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

R Taylor (Leeds)

Richard Taylor

72

C Holmstrom (Manchester)

0-1

½-½

Spencer (Shipley)

Thomas Spencer

73

J Hurry (Blackburn)

1-0

1-0

Dr Groves (Leeds)

Dr Edward Groves

74

R P Arnold (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

W W Fox (Dewsbury)

W Wilson Fox

75

Rev G Sumner (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

Cllr Ward (Leeds)

John Ward

76

F Loewenthal (Manchester)

1-0

1-0

Huckvale (Leeds)

Frank Huckvale

77

Rev E V Schuster (Denton)

1-0

0-1

Musgrave (Bradford)

Edgar Musgrave

78

J T Greenhalgh (Preston)

0-1

0-1

Pemberton (Leeds)

C Pemberton

79

- Cook (Liverpool)

1-0

1-0

Smith (Hull)

80

[T] Whitehead (Liverpool)

1-0

0-1

O North (Bradford)

Oliver North

(* The Leeds Mercury gave “H Brooke”, who is unidentifiable; the British Chess Magazine gave the more plausible C. L Brook.)

(** The British Chess Magazine gave Drury (Hull), suggesting perhaps that one player substituted for another – but which for which?)

(*** The British Chess Magazine gave merely “amateur”.)

(****The British Chess Magazine gave the more plausible “Thompson”.)

 

[Suggested corrections and clarifications to Lancashire player’s name are given in square brackets.]

 

The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent of 27/01/1883 included a brief report of the match, appearing after the end of Bird’s column, and hence presumably penned by another writer rather than Bird.  It reported from the humorous introductory remarks of Mr. Herbert Gladstone, MP, then president of Leeds Chess Club, as follows:

 

He said he was very glad to take the opportunity of expressing his very great interest in the noble game of chess.  He could not personally boast of any great merit in the game.  The most he ever accomplished was to win a chess tournament on a mail steamer going out to the Cape, which might be attributed to his superior qualities as a sailor.  (Laughter.)

 

Bird himself put an article about the match in his syndicated chess column which appeared in the Sheffield & Rotherham Independent Weekly Supplement of 03/02/1883.  He didn’t give board-by-board results, saying things had already been reported in the press, but instead discoursed on how wonderful and important the event had been.  Whist he himself hadn’t been present, he said that to witness the event “would have been to us a source of inexpressible pleasure – which he then nevertheless expressed as follows:

 

We should have gazed upon the scene with feelings akin to those when we looked upon a Raphael, a Rubens, or a Corregio in Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Dresden, and Paris; or a Rembrandt or Gerald Dow in Holland; and also have had the satisfaction of noting the forms of opening and styles of play adopted by the various representatives.

 

Bird then encouraged the Yorkshire players not to be disheartened by the loss, and even wished them a better result in the next meeting.  He then ventured the interesting theory:

 

The Lancashire forces being, on the whole, more centralised, we shall not be surprised to find that their knowledge of the openings of the game is somewhat in advance of their opponents’.

 

Bird’s final remark before giving the overall score was:

 

We make bold also to add our congratulations to two of our oldest patrons, whose names appear among the Yorkshire victors, viz., Mr. Croskill [sic], or Beverley, and Mr. Holliday, of Huddersfield.

 

He then gave the overall score as 84 wins to Lancashire, 36 wins to Yorkshire, with 18 draws, so seemingly denying Yorkshire one of their victories.

 

 

Created

22/06/2013

Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

Last Updated

13/08/2013