Yorkshire Chess History

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Narrative: 6) Yorkshire Chess Association Meetings of 1846 to 1851











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


The sixth YCA meeting was held at Leeds on Wednesday 13th May 1846.


The seventh meeting was held at Hull on Wednesday 12th May 1847, but, significantly, chess activity continued the following day.


The eighth meeting was held at Halifax on Wednesday 17th May 1848.


The ninth meeting was due held at Huddersfield in May 1849, but no meeting was held that year.  The reason is not clear.  A low turn-out in 1848 was attributed in part to the air of revolution sweeping Europe.  Maybe this played a part in there being no YCA meeting in 1849.


The host town for the tenth meeting would have been decided at the 1849 meeting.  The next club on the rota was Leeds.  It may be that there were preliminary letters between club secretaries to determine who hosted the 1850 meeting.  In the event, the tenth meeting was held in Leeds on 22nd May 1850.  Curiously, Medley, in The Chess Congress of 1862, seems unaware of the Leeds meeting in 1i850.  Conceivably he was basing this part of his “Memoir of the British Chess Association” on the YCA Minute Book, which may have been unavailable to the Leeds secretary to write up the event.  Maybe he didn’t recognise it as an official YCA meeting, though he didn’t even mention it.  The Leeds Mercury described it as “The annual meeting of the Chess Players of Yorkshire and the neighbouring counties” which underlines an evolutionary process which was taking place as to the geographic scope of the Association, and which resulted two years later in the Association becoming the Northern and Midland Counties Chess Association.  As with the 1847 meeting, chess activity continued the following day.  The Leeds Mercury didn’t record where the next year’s meeting was to be held.


There was no meeting in 1851, perhaps due the Great Exhibition and the chess tournament being staged by Staunton.  It was Wakefield’s turn to host the meeting.


Thus two years out of three had not seen a YCA meeting (or three out of three if you believe Medley).


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Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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