Yorkshire Chess History



Philip Norman Wallis











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



19/10/1906, Altrincham, Cheshire


23/02/1973, Barton in the Beans, Leics.


Philip Norman Wallis was not a Yorkshireman by birth, only by temporary residence.  He was traceably resident in the following: Altrincham, Cheshire; Kettering, Northants.; Surbiton, Surrey; Kenilworth, Warks.; Baildon (Bradford), Yorks.; Sheepey Parva, Leics; and he died seemingly at Barton in the Beans which may have been his place of residence at the time.


Non-Chess Life


His parents were Hugh Wallis (born 26/04/1871, Kettering), an artist, and Dora Myfanwy Wallis (née Watkins, 18/01/1876, Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire, modern Powys, 9 miles NW of Welshpool), the couple having married at Llanfyllin in 1904.  His mother spoke both Welsh and English.


A 1902 Cheshire directory listed a Hugh Wallis as an artist at Market Street, Altrincham, so this was perhaps our man’s original family home before a move the 72 The Downs, or else it was a work address.


This couple had had at least three children by 1911, one who died early, Philip Norman Wallis, and Ruby Wallis (born 1907, Altrincham).  There appear to have been too Wallis families producing children in the same area at this time, making identification of P N Wallis’s possible siblings rather difficult.  Nevertheless, the deceased sibling, on circumstantial evidence, looks rather like Watkin Wallis, born and died early 1904, in the Bucklow area, which included Altrincham for registration purposes.  A further sibling was Brian Mills Wallis, born 21/10/1913, Altrincham.


The 1911 census found the mother with her two surviving children at the children’s widowed maternal grandmother’s home, Glanaber, Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire.  They were presumably just visiting, as the father, Hugh Wallis, artist, designer and art metal worker, was recorded at 72, The Downs, Altrincham, which it can be inferred was the Wallis family home.


He was evidently an accountant, and it was perhaps changes in jobs which led him to move from place to place.


He was recorded as living in Altrincham, Cheshire as late as the 1927 Scarborough congress, but evidently moved to Kettering, Northamptonshire, his father’s place of birth, around 1930, give or take up to 3 years.


Sister Ruby married John D Parsons in Altrincham, in 1932.


He himself married Margaret E. Potter (born 28/06/1910, seemingly at Leicester) at Kettering in 1933.  Residence in Kettering is recorded in connection with a Northants v. Hampshire match in November 1933.


Philip and Margaret had by 1939 seemingly moved to 6 Cranes Park, Surbiton, which is where they were living in 1939, apparently as lodgers in the household of one Septimus Beresford Weller (born 24/03/1892, Lambeth; married 1923, Holywell; died 1974, Bath), his wife Henrietta (née Hardy, 20/03/1902, (Dover?)) and their son Paul B. Weller (born 10/12/1931, Luton).  Philip was an incorporated accountant.


Meanwhile, in 1939, parents Hugh and Dora, along with unmarried Brian and married Ruby were still at 72 The Dons, Altrincham.  Brian had taken after his father, being a “handmade art metal worker”.


In 1941, give or take a year, Philip and Margaret moved to Kenilworth, Warwickshire.


Father Hugh Wallis died at Altrincham in 1943.


In 1945 or 1946 our man moved to the Bradford area, being resident, in 1948 at least, at Ivy Lea, Fyfe Lane, Baildon.


Then, seemingly in 1949, he reappeared in Leicestershire.  From 1958 or before to 1968 or after he lived at Moat House, Sheepey Parva, Leics., a hamlet on the east bank of the River Sence, opposite the village of Sheepey Magna.


His place of death suggests he may have made a move of about 10 miles north-east, to the village of Barton in the Beans.


His publications which betray his profession include:

Internal Financial Statements (Society of Incorporated Accountants & Auditors. Research Committee. Practice notes series - 1954),

Management by Budget (Society of Incorporated Accountants & Auditors. Research Committee. Practice notes series - 1954) and

Quality Control in the Office (1961).




He played in the Scarborough Whit Congress of 1927, beating the Mancunian William Albert Fairhurst, but losing his other nine games.


He was reportedly sometime Cheshire Champion.


He played for Northants v. Hampshire in November 1933, which was doubtless one of many county matches.


He played at Bournemouth, 1939.


He won Warwickshire Individual Championship in 1942, 1943 and 1945, vying with the likes of B. H. Wood and W. Ritson Morry, while resident at Kenilworth.


In 1942, he played board 7 for Warwickshire correspondence team (Ward-Higgs), beating Rev. W. Bentley of Co. Durham.


In 1943, he played board 4 for Warwickshire correspondence team (Ward-Higgs), when of Kenilworth, beating K. Henn of Staffordshire.


In 1944 he was the first winner of Warwickshire newly instituted County Individual Correspondence Chess Championship.


In 1944, he played board 1 for Warwickshire correspondence team (Ward-Higgs), when of Kenilworth, drawing with T. P. Jones of Co. Durham.


In 1945, he played board 1 for Warwickshire correspondence team (Ward-Higgs), when of Kenilworth, losing to F. W. Neale of Berkshire.


On Tuesday 09/04/1946 he gave a 13-board simultaneous display at Shipley Chess club, in the York Room of Victoria Hall, Saltaire, winning 11 games, drawing with W. T. Wood, and losing to Fred Watson; play lasted an hour and 50 minutes.  (Shipley Times and Express, Wednesday 17/04/1946)


At the 1946 British Championships in Nottingham, he played in Major Open, when he was recorded as from Bradford.


He was Yorkshire Champion (of Bradford) in 1946/7, beating H. Davison (also of Bradford) in the final (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, Monday 28/04/1947).


He was 1948 Northern Counties Chess Union Champion.


At the 1948 British Championships, he tied first to fifth equal in the 12-player all-play-all “Premier” section, while resident at Ivy Lea, Fyfe Lane, Baildon (Shipley Times and Express, Wednesday 15/09/1948 -)


He won the I. M. Brown Brilliancy Prize for 1948-49 with his game on board 2, playing for Yorkshire against Northumberland in March 1949:

Northumberland v Durham, March 1949; White: Fallowes, C (Northumberland), Black: Wallis, PN (Yorkshire), ??/03/1949

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. exd5 exd5 5. Bd3 Nc6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Nge2 O-O 8. Ng3 Re8 9. O-O Bg4 10. Nce2 Ne4 11. c3 Bd6 12. Qc2 Qh4 13. f3 Nxg3 14. hxg3 Bxg3 15. Nxg3 Rxe3 16. Kf2 Rae8 17. Rh1 Qg5 18. Bxh7+ Kf8 19. Bd3 Rxf3+ 20. gxf3 Qe3+ 21. Kg2 Qxf3+ 22. Kh2 Re3 23. Rhg1 Rxd3 24. Rae1 Nd8 25. Qg2 Qf4 26. Qxd5 Qh6+ 27. Kg2 Bh3+ 28. Kh1 Bf1+ 29. Qh5 Qxh5+ 30. Nxh5 Rh3# 0-1


He played in the 1949 Southsea congress.


On Saturday 03/12/1949 he played on board 4 for Leicestershire against Warwickshire.


He played in the British Championship of 1952, at Chester, finishing 2nd to 7th =.


He played in the British Championship of 1953, at Hastings, finishing 18th to 21st =.


He played in the British Championship of 1954, at Nottingham, finishing 11th to 13th =.


He played in the British Championship of 1959, at York, finishing 26th to 28th =.


He was Midland Counties Chess Union Champion in 1954 and 1962.


He played in the British Championship of 1962, at Whitby, finishing 25th to 29th =.


He played in the British Championship of 1966, at Sunderland, finishing 5th to 6th =.


He played in the British Championship of 1970, at Coventry, finishing 18th to 20th =.


He was reportedly many times Leicestershire County Champion.


At Wexford, in early June 1971, he played in one of the 6-player all-play-all sections, finishing 3rd:



Arthur Coldrick



Wolfgang Heidenfeld


Philip N. Wallis



M. Coveney



M. Kennefick



A. Thomson



He is credited as being the first to develop the “English Defence”, 1. d4 e6  2. c4 b6, which was taken up by various strong English players in the 1970s, including Tony Miles, and was even adopted by Viktor Korchnoi, who defeated Lev Polugaevsky in their world championship semi-final match, Évian, 1977, in a game starting 1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.e4 Bb7 4.Qc2 Qh4.




Philip Norman Wallis died on 23/02/1973.  According to Gaige this was at Barton in the Beans, Leics.  The death was registered at Market Bosworth, which covers both Sheepey Parva and Barton in the Beans.


Brother Brian Mills Wallis died 1981, in or around Penzance.







Copyright © 2018 Stephen John Mann

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

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