Yorkshire Chess History

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Narrative: 16) The Yorkshire County Chess Club











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


From 1870 onwards, there was a degree of stability is the chess scene as viewed from Yorkshire.  Nationally there were the British Chess Association, intermittently funning events in London, and there was the Counties Chess Association running annual events around the rest of the country.  Within reach of the more affluent Yorkshire chess-players were the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire chess Association.


Most organisations have responsibilities for organising both internal activities and external activities.  For a county organisation the external activities boil down to organising matches with other counties.


Back in 1841, because the original Yorkshire Chess Association was the only county chess association in existence, the need to organise county teams did not arise.


In 1867, Skipworth and others had renamed the N&MCCA as the “Yorkshire Chess Association”.  Their main activity under that banner was to continue running an annual tournament in a series which started with that of Redcar in 1865.  They did however indicate that they considered themselves to represent Yorkshire as a whole by issuing a challenge to other counties.  The Chess Players’ Quarterly Chronicle of 1868, on page 27, carried the following:




The County of York is ready to play a friendly Match at Chess with any other County in England, where the distance is not an impracticable barrier to the arrangements.”


In the fullness of time there arose a desire to organise teams representing Yorkshire against Lancashire.  This function was assumed initially by the West Yorkshire Chess Association which in practice encompassed the bulk of Yorkshire’s chess talent.  Additionally, county-wide inter-town league completions come into being in the form of the Edwin Woodhouse Challenge Cup Competition and the Bradford Observer Challenge Trophy competition.  The Woodhouse Cup competition had in its initial year, 1885, been open only to WYCA clubs, but had been opened up thereafter to all Yorkshire clubs.


There arose the idea that a new county-wide organisation needed to be created.  Another idea was that the West Yorkshire Chess Association ought to become the Yorkshire Chess Association and take on responsibility for all chess activity carried out in the name of Yorkshire.


The upshot was that the Yorkshire County Chess Club was formed in 1886, with responsibility for organising inter-county team events and the Yorkshire Individual Championship.  Though WYCA and YCCC were distinct organisations, but there officials were drawn from the same pool of people.


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Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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