Made in Yorkshire
The idea of a
formal inter-club team competition among Yorkshire clubs came from the
Bradford Exchange Chess Club, which was admitted into membership of the West
Yorkshire Chess Association at that association’s twenty-ninth annual
meeting on (26th April ?) 1884, at Leeds, at which Edwin Woodhouse, Mayor of Leeds,
meeting, Mr. Hartwig Cassel, as president of the Bradford Exchange Chess
That the hon. secretaries of all the clubs of the association should meet in
the month of October each year, and arrange the match fixtures for the
ensuing year; that it should not be considered incumbent upon either club to
entertain each other at the matches; that a challenge cup should be
subscribed and competed for.
continue quoting from the Leeds Mercury:
These propositions were confirmed by the meeting, whereupon the MAYOR asked
to be allowed to present the said cup. It would not be worth a thousand
pounds, but it should be worthy of the West Yorkshire Chess Association and
the gentlemen he had the pleasure of presiding over the day. – Ald.
GAUNT and Mr. E. B. HUSSEY concurred in thinking this concurred in thinking
this would tend to stimulate chess in the county, and pave the way probably
to successful inter-county matches. – Mr. Hussey subsequently announced
that the hon. secretaries, together with an additional representative from
each club, would meet for the first time at the Leeds Chess Club on Monday,
13th October next, at 7.30m p.m., to discuss and draw up a code of rules.
– It was proposed by Mr. PARRY, and seconded by Mr. STRINGER, that a
hearty vote of thanks be given to the Mayor for his great generosity and for
In the minute book
of ther West Yorkshire Chess Association, the secretary appended the
following handwritten comment beneath the cut-out report from the newspaper:
Cup has instituted at this meeting to be presented by the Mayor of
Leeds. Edward Bishop Hussey, Hon. Sec. 1884.
The meeting of
secretaries duly took place, and the following set of rules resulted from it:
R U L E S
Woodhouse Challenge Cup.
1. – That
the name of the Cup be “The Woodhouse Challenge Cup,” and that
it be the property of the West Yorkshire Chess Association. The
winning club shall hold it for one year, and it shall be presented at the Annual
Meeting of the Association.
2. – That
it be open for competition between the Clubs belonging to the West
Yorkshire Chess Association for the time being.
3 – That
each Club shall play one match with each other Club engaged in the
competition, and that each Club play home or away in the order decided by
4. – That
the contending teams be composed of not less than eight, and not more than
twenty players, the town with the smallest population having the privilege of
fixing the number of players within these limits.
5. – That
all players taking part in these matches be Subscribing Members of their
respective Clubs, and that no player contend for more than one Club during
6 – Any
Club failing to keep an appointment duly made shall lose the match by
forfeit, one hour’s grace being allowed.
7. – That
each player play not more than two games, drawn games to count one-half;
the second game not to be commenced within one hour of the time fixed for
the conclusion; the duration of play in each match to be five hours; and
that a player may claim an interval of fifteen minutes between his
games. Two games to be scored by each player for whom no opponent is
provided. This rule to apply equally to matches in which more than
the minimum are engaged.
8. – That
the Club having the highest score of matches wins the trophy; drawn matches
counting half. In the event of an equality in the scores of two of
more clubs, that they play off with each other, and any succeeding tie to
be dealt with in the same manner.
Before commencing a match each Club shall produce a list of its team in the
order of playing, and the competitors shall be paired accordingly.
10. – The players
at the first board shall draw for the move, the odd numbers of the Club
wining the draw shall move first in the first games; in the second games
the order shall be reversed.
11. – That
the play be governed by the rules laid down in Staunton’s Chess
Unfinished games to be decided by a representative of each club in
consultation; in the event of disagreement, the game to be referred to an
13. – That
the representatives of the respective teams decide all disputes between individual
players, and their decision be final.
14. – That
the committee shall consist of two delegates from each Club in the
Association, and who shall be empowered to add to or vary these rules, and
to decide all disputes.
The first season
of the competition was generally acknowledged to be unsatisfactory, with two
clubs withdrawing. Bradford was the winning club. After
discussion at the 1885 WYCA annual meeting of how to remedy the low level of
participation, it was decided, with the agreement of the Cup’s donor,
that the competition me thrown open to all chess clubs throughout
Yorkshire. Thus it remained a competition run by the West Yorkshire
Chess Association, and the Cup remained the property of the West Yorkshire
Chess Association, but the competition became the first county-wide chess
competition in Yorkshire. The competition was been contested ever
since, except for breaks during the two world wars.
(Click here to see a list of
successive winners, and index to seasons’ event details.)