Yorkshire Chess History

 

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Julius Silverman

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Sheffield Sub-Site

 

Born:

08/12/1905, Leeds

Died:

21/09/1996, Birmingham

 

Non-Chess Life

 

Julius Silverman's parents were Nathan Silverman (born c. 1871, Russia) and Annie Silverman (born c. 1877, Russia).

 

It seems Nathan Silverman had fled from persecution of Jews in Minsk.  Identifying Nathan Silverman is difficult as there were at least two people of that name, and of about the appropriate age, in Leeds in 1891, one a teacher of Hebrew and one a boot maker.  Indeed, there seem to have been at least four Jewish Silverman families in Leeds at this time, all using much the same first names for their children.

 

It would appear this Nathan and Annie were the Nathan Silverman and Annie Weinstein who married in Prestwich, Lancashire, in 1898, so it's possible Nathan came to Leeds from Lancashire.  The family of Nathan and Annie appears in the UK census of 1901, were Nathan is recorded as a drapery dealer, living at Nile Street, Leeds.  The couple in due course had at least the following children:

 

Celia Silverman

born 1900/01, Leeds

Simon Silverman

born 1903, Leeds

Julius Silverman

born 08/12/1905, Leeds

Cissie (or Cissy) Silverman

born 1907/08, Leeds

Philip Silverman

born 1910/11, Leeds

 

Celia was mentioned in the 1901 census but not in the 1911 census, though she appears not to have died in the interval, unless the death went unregistered.

 

Julius Silverman attended Leeds Central High School, as did brother Simon.  Simon won an entrance scholarship to Leeds University, but after leaving school it appears Julius became a warehouseman.  However, he must have sought to “better” himself, as he became a member of Gray's Inn, and around 1931 began practicing as a barrister in Birmingham.

 

He was a Birmingham City Councillor from 1934 to 1945.

 

He'd set his eyes on Parliament, contesting Birmingham's Moseley constituency in 1935, but failing to get elected.  He later met with electoral success, and represented one or other Birmingham constituency, as a Labour MP, from 1945 to 1983.

 

There was a death of a Nathan Silverman at age 76 recorded in Leeds in 1950, and one of an Annie Silverman at age 85 in Leeds in 1962.  These look rather like Julius Silverman's parents, though imprecise knowledge of dates of birth makes identification difficult.

 

In 1982 he was granted the Honorary Freedom of the City of Birmingham.

 

Chess

 

By 1929 he was playing on the lower boards of the Leeds Woodhouse Cup team.  In 1931 and 1932 he was playing board 1 for Leeds in the Woodhouse Cup.

 

By 1931 he was playing for Yorkshire.  He played on board 5 for Yorkshire in the 1933 Yorkshire v Cheshire match, and the 1933 Yorkshire v Lancashire match.

 

After moving to Birmingham, he became Warwickshire Champion in 1936.  He finished 2nd equal in the 1943 Warwickshire championship, with W. Ritson Morry and R. Spitz.

 

He played in the Birmingham International tournament of 1937, finishing 5-6th equal with W. Ritson-Morry.  En route, he beat Eliskases in 20 moves, this being perhaps his most-celebrated game, but it arose from a massive oversight by Eliskases.

 

1937

Birmingham International

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Pts

 

1

Erich Gottlieb Eliskases

X

1

1

½

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

Austria

2

Lodewijk Prins

0

X

1

1

1

1

1

1

½

1

1

Netherlands

3

William Winter

0

0

X

½

1

1

1

1

½

1

1

7

 

4

George Koltanowski

½

0

½

X

1

1

½

½

½

1

1

Belgium

5

William Ritson-Morry

0

0

0

0

X

½

1

1

1

½

1

5

 

6

Julius Silverman

1

0

0

0

½

X

0

½

1

1

1

5

 

7

Ronald Blow

0

0

0

½

0

1

X

0

1

1

1

 

8

Arthur Reynolds

0

0

0

½

0

½

1

X

½

1

½

4

 

9

Eugène A. Znosko-Borovsky

0

½

½

½

0

0

0

½

X

1

½

France

10

Baruch Harold Wood

0

0

0

0

½

0

0

0

0

X

1

 

11

R. (=Ralph?) L. Aldis

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

½

½

0

X

1

 

 

White: J Silverman, Black: E G Eliskases; Birmingham International, 1937

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Nc3 c6 5. Nf3 d5 6. exd5 cxd5 7. Bb3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. d4 Be6 10. Ne5 Bxe5 11. dxe5 Qb6+ 12. Kh1 Ng4 13. Qe2 d4 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. Bxd5 Ne3 16. Bxe3 dxe3 17. Rxf4 Nc6 18. Qh5 (Will he spot it?) Qxb2??? (No he didn't!) 19. Bxf7+ Kh8 20. Qxh7+ 1-0

This must have been very embarrassing for Eliskases.

 

He was regarded as perhaps the strongest of the chess-playing Members of Parliament.

 

He dropped out of serious chess, but returned to it in the 1960s.

 

Death

 

He died at the age of 90, on 21/09/1996, in Birmingham.

 

 

Created

23/11/2018

Copyright © 2018 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

Last Updated

23/11/2018