Yorkshire Chess History



1838: Doncaster v Wakefield











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



Played at Campsall,

August 1838,

by consultation


Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, of 12/08/1838, in its “Answers” column, said,


CHESS – We understood some time back that the chess clubs of Wakefield and Doncaster were to meet halfway the beginning of August, and play a match at chess, to be preluded or followed by a social dinner, en plein cour.  The particulars must be authenticated, or we cannot insert them.


A report was evidently submitted, as Bell’s Life of 09/09/1838 carried a report which gave curtailed moves of the two games, but was singularly lacking in detail.


The locality was given by Bell’s Life simply as “Kempsall”, which clearly meant Campsall, a village 7 miles NNE of Doncaster and 15 miles ESE of Wakefield.


The dates of the games were not given, though the month of August can fairly safely be assumed, though they could conceivably have been 1st and 2nd September 1838.  The identity of the venue in Campsall was not given.  Also, none of the players involved was named.


On each of two days, a consultation game was played between the two clubs, each occupying a different room, then the players all dined together.  Presumably they were staying in Campsall overnight, though that was not stated, so the venue was presumably an inn, since such a venue could supply, in one building, the rooms in which to conduct the matches, and dinner and overnight accommodation for a group of people.


Searches of sundry newspapers held on microfilm at Doncaster Local Studies Library, covering the Doncaster area at the time, have yielded no information on this event, so we are left with only the account in Bell’s Life.


The only public house in Campsall listed in a directory dated 1881 was the “Old Bell” inn, which is now called “Old Bells”.  This seems likely to have been the venue.


Doncaster players are likely to have included one or more of the following:

George Johnson gent, of Brunswick Terrace, Doncaster,

John Egleton Morey, surgeon, of High Street, Doncaster,

Samuel Maw, farmer (landowner) of Crowle and

John Pearson, solicitor, St George Gate, Doncaster.


Wakefield players likely to be those involved are William Ledgar Robinson, Edward Shepherd and Rev Edwin Colman Tyson, and possibly John Morrell France but less probably James Milnes Gaskell.


The games went as follows:


Doncaster v Wakefield, Consultation Match, Campsall, August 1838

White: Wakefield, Black: Doncaster

1. e4 e6 2. f4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. c3 Bd7 6. Bd3 Qb6 7. Bc2 Nh6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 Bb4+ 10. Nc3 f6 11. O-O O-O 12. Kh1 fxe5 13. fxe5 Nf5 14. a3 Be7 15. Na4 Qc7 16. Bxf5 Rxf5 17. Nc3 Qb6 18. b3 Nxd4 19. Be3 Qd8 20. Qxd4 etc.  going on to 55 moves, 1-0


Doncaster v Doncaster, Consultation Match, Campsall, August 1838

White: Doncaster, Black: Wakefield

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Bc5 3. c3 Qg5 4. Qf3 Qg6 5. Ne2 d6 6. h3 Nf6 7. d3 Be6 8. Bb3 c6 9. Be3 Bb6 10. Nd2 Na6 11. Nc4 Bc7 12. O-O d5 13. Nd2 O-O 14. Ng3 Rd8 15. Qe2 Bb6 16. Nf3 Nd7 17. Nh4 Qf6 18. Nf5 Bxf5 19. Nxf5 Kh8 20. Qg4 h6 21. exd5 cxd5 22. Bxd5 Nc5 23. Bxc5 Nxc5 24. Qf3 Rxd5 25. Qxd5 Qxf5 26. d4 Rd8 27. Qxe5 Qxe5 28. dxe5 Nd3 29. Rd1 Nxe5 30. Rxd8+ Bxd8 thrn going on to over 100 moves, ½-½






Stephen John Mann

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