Yorkshire Chess History
1873: East Ward Central Lib. v Little Horton Lib.
Played at the East Ward Central Liberal Club,
on Saturday, 15/03/1873,
over 11 boards, 3 games per board.
A report on this match was carried by the Bradford Observer of Tuesday, 18/03/1873.
In the earlier days of the increasing popularity of chess, around the 1840s and 1850s, some people who held that games of chance were to be discouraged felt that chess fell into this category. Consequently, some clubs who on moral grounds banned the playing of games of chance on their premises, included chess among those games specifically disallowed. In time, however, chess became viewed as an intellectual pursuit, even a morally beneficial one, and chess started being listed as one of the few games actually permitted, even encouraged, on club premises. Thus gentlemen’s club and similar might in addition to a reading, a smoking room and perhaps a library, would also boast a chess room. A chess room does not in itself constitute a chess club, yet those who played chess at clubs of one sort or another would still arrange chess matches between those clubs. Such clubs included “gentlemen’s” clubs, but for the increasing number of more-humble chess-players these clubs which fostered chess included political clubs, working men’s club, church institutions, mechanics institutes and, in time branches of the Young Men’s Christian Association.
This particular match was played between two Liberal clubs in Bradford, the East Ward Central Liberal Club, and the Little Horton Ward Liberal club situated on Stirling Street. Whether the two teams represented “chess clubs” or not hinges on the precise circumstances and ones personal definition of a “chess club”. A number of players are identifiable as members of Bradford Chess Club.
Chess matches like this, with two or three matches squeezed into a playing session of perhaps only three hours, not unreasonably attracted criticism from some stronger players of being “skittles” matches.
Results were as follows, the order of the three games on a board being unreported:
. . . and not a single draw among the 33 games played.
Identities of the players, in so far as they are currently discernible to the present writer, would seem to be as follows:
 father of T A Guy and J A Guy
 later of Ilkley
 father of B M Hood
 also of Bradford Chess Club
 submitted chess reports to the Bradford Observer
Stephen John Mann