Yorkshire Chess History

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Narrative: 4) Proceedings at Yorkshire Chess Association Meetings











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


From the outset it was the practice to invite eminent players from nearby counties, and also to admit all from outside the county who wished to attend and were able so to do.


Stronger Yorkshire players might test their strength against the eminent visitors, and weaker players would have the benefit of watching their play.  The idea of a competition or tournament was not part of the original plan.  With only about half a day for play, no competition bigger than an eight-player knock-out could be envisaged, though in time that idea caught on.  Games played between players from different clubs made up the main chess activity.


A feature of all the meetings was a sumptuous dinner, at which toasts and pompous speeches were always a prominent feature.


Meetings were usually reported promptly in one or more of the local newspapers, and in the chess magazines and columns of the day.  Reports usually listed the more important or skilled people attending the meeting, though sadly often omitting any forename of initials, but they dwelt mostly, however, on the speeches during dinner.  Who played whom, and with what result, were matters not necessarily mentioned at all.  Nevertheless, the odd game or so usually found its way in the chess magazines and columns.


Those who attended these meetings were mainly from the wealthier strata of society.  This has the advantage that they are usually traceable in contemporary directories of their home towns.


In was not unusual for a collection to be made around dinner for some worthy cause such as the support of the widow of a recently-deceased nationally or internationally renowned chess-player.


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Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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