Yorkshire Chess History
George Wyville Moses
George Wyville Moses was a Wrexham-born schoolmaster who became one of Sheffield’s strongest players of his day, representing the county, and representing Sheffield in the Woodhouse Cup. He moved to Hemsworth but continued playing in the Woodhouse Cup for Sheffield for some years before switching later to playing for Huddersfield.
Wyville or Wyrille?
In a contemporary newspaper report, Marmaduke Wyville’s surname was once misprinted as “Wyrille”, which also, seemingly, exists as a surname. G. W. Moses is subject to the same confusion. The original 1911 census document listing the Moses family, completed by the head of the household, seems clearly to show a well-formed “r” identical to other occurrences of the same letter in the same document. However, the printed indexes to English birth records and English death records both spell the second name “Wyville”, that being a more famous, if not more common surname. G. W. Moses’s own signature in the Hemsworth marriage register appears to spell his middle name as “Wyville”, so that is here being assumed to be correct.
Origins and Private Life
George was born 15th April 1888 at Wrexham, in the former county of Denbighshire, the son of Peter Edward Moses and Mary Ellen Moses.
In 1891, 3-year-old George W. Moses and his 1-year-old Wrexham-born brother, Harry H. Moses, lived with their parents at 25 Salop Terrace, Wrexham, along with their cousin Annie Griffiths. Their father, who had been born at Prescott in Lancashire in 1852/53, was an insurance agent, while their mother, who had been born at Bagillt in 1855/56, was a dressmaker. Bagillt is on the Dee estuary, about 2½ miles NE of Flint, and lay within the civil parish of Holywell, a market town 2 miles westward and inland. Annie functioned as a general domestic servant.
The family seem to have moved to Chester, as Frederick S. Moses was added to the family in 1893/94, in Chester.
By 1901, the family had moved to the mother’s village of birth, and lived at Bagillt, Flintshire, in what appears to be have been called “Blodwen Cottages”. The father was now a commercial clerk, while the mother was still a dressmaker. George and Fredrick were listed, but young Harry H. Moses seemed to have disappeared, perhaps having died. Annie Griffiths seemed to have gone her own way by then.
At some time from 1901 to 1906, the family moved to Sheffield.
In 1906, G. W. Moses entered the correspondence chess competition organised by The Chess Amateur giving his address as 322 Grimesthorpe Road, Sheffield.
The 1911 census listed the family in Sheffield, at 25 Westonville Terrace, off Winter Street, between 87 and 89 Winter Street. The family consisted of parents Peter Edward Moses and Mary Ellen Moses, aged 57 and 56 respectively, and sons George Wyville Moses and Frederic Stayton Moses, aged 22 and 17 respectively. The father was a clerk, the mother a dressmaker still, and George was now a schoolmaster. Young Frederic(k) was still a scholar.
In White’s Sheffield directory dated 1912, the Moses family is represented at 25 Westonville Terrace, yet it is Mrs. Ellen Moses who is named, both in the street section and in the alphabetic section, rather implying that Peter Edward Moses had died in about 1911. White’s Sheffield directories dated 1913, 1915, 1916, and 1917 all continued to list only Mrs. Ellen Moses, from which we may infer that George was perhaps living with his mother at Westonville Terrace throughout this period.
In White’s Sheffield directory dated 1910 (containing data more likely to relate to 1909) listed a John Thomas Baker at 25 Westonville Terrace, and didn’t list any of the Moses family in the alphabetic section. On the other hand, he is said to have represented Yorkshire from 1910. This rather suggests the Moses family arrived in Sheffield in 1909 or 1910.
In 1911 George was a schoolmaster, presumably at a school in Sheffield. In due course, however, he moved to the mining village of Hemsworth, roughly 6 miles NE of Barnsley, presumably taking a job at a school there. (Reginald Henry Rimington Rimington-Wilson [yes, two “Rimingtons”], son of chess-player James Wilson Rimington Wilson, was joint lord of the manor of Hemsworth at the time.)
White’s Sheffield directory dated 1919-20 listed Wm. Tomlinson, musician, at the former Moses residence on Westonville Terrace, and neither Mrs. Ellen Moses nor G. W. Moses were evident in the alphabetic section, suggesting George Wyville Moses and Mrs. Ellen Moses no longer lived in Sheffield. The move to Hemsworth thus seems to have been in 1911 at the earliest, and presumably occurred in enough time before 1918 to provide time to court and marry a local girl.
On 31st October 1918, George Wyville Moses married Annie Allen (born 28/10/1891), at Hemsworth. In the marriage register George was described as a bachelor schoolmaster, residing at 16 Barnsley Road, Hemsworth, son of Peter Edward Moses of no occupation. Annie was described as a spinster residing at 22 Barnsley Road, Hemsworth, a daughter of Henry Allen, a surface worker (at a coal mine).
Reports on the 1924 British Championships in Southport, where Moses performed creditably in the Major Open, he was described as hailing from Pontefract. It’s possible he had left Hemsworth for Pontefract six miles away, for a better job, then returned to Hemsworth to take up the headship there.
Hemsworth’s West End School was a Board School, apparently opened on 7th January 1907, with capacity to take 600 children. (Kelly’s directory of 1908 says it was “erected” in 1907.) George became its second headmaster after the first one, George Maxfield, resigned on 31st October 1927. The school also had a headmistress, who in 1927 was Miss Marion E. Palmer.
By 1939, George and Annie had moved to 10 Sunny-Side Avenue, Hemsworth.
A Hemsworth village website records that in the world of education he was for thirteen years local branch secretary of the National Union of Teachers, and twice its president, and in 1933 was of the West Yorkshire NUT president. In Hemsworth’s public affairs he served as a member of the Hemsworth Urban District Council, and as vice-chairman of the Parochial Church Council. He was also involved locally in the National Savings Movement, being from 1939 secretary of the Hemsworth Savings Committee. As befitted a resident of a Yorkshire mining village, he was apparently enthusiastic about brass band music, attending the annual national championships.
Early Chess Career
The debut of G. W. Moses in Sheffield’s Woodhouse Cup team was on 31/10/1908, when he drew with A. Smith of Leeds on board ten. G. W. Moses soon became one of Sheffield’s strongest players, winning the Sheffield Championship, for which the trophy at the time was the Ward Trophy presented by well-known industrialist Thomas W. Ward. As with many trophies at that time, there was a provision for the trophy to be won outright if won twice or three times, as the case may be. Thus it was that G. W. Moses won the Ward Trophy outright by when he won it for the second or third time, possibly in succession, whatever the rules were, in 1913, at which point the Bruce Trophy was presented to replace the Ward Trophy.
He never again won the Sheffield Championship, perhaps choosing not to enter it. He never won the Yorkshire Championship, though that too may have been chiefly attributable to not entering the competition.
After moving to Hemsworth, G. W. Moses remained a member of Sheffield Chess Club, a central chess club which existed for some years, and continued representing Sheffield in the Woodhouse Cup, until eventually switching allegiance to Huddersfield, perhaps due to greater ease of travel, Hemsworth being about equidistant from Sheffield and Huddersfield.
He made a least one pre-war appearance in the British Chess Federation Congress, finishing equal second in the “first class” tournament (weaker than the Major Open) at the 1912 Chester BCF Congress.
He was a participant in the British Chess Federation Congresses of the 1920s. At the London congress of 1922, he played in the First Class Tournament, Section C, which he won 9 out of eleven points, winning seven games, drawing four, and losing none. In the following game Black appears to blunder at move 31. The alternative 31. .. Kf8 looks okay, a perpetual check being an option for White. A crease in the microfilmed page makes decipherment tricky, so maybe the position is slightly wrong, and Black didn’t blunder.
British Chess Federation Congress, London, 1922
First Class Tournament, Section C
White: Moses, GW (Hemsworth), Black: Brooks, EJ (London)
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 Be7 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. O-O O-O 7. e4 dxe4 8. Nxe4 Nxe4 9. Bxe4 Nf6 10. Bd3 b6 11. c3 Bb7 12. Qe2 c5 13. dxc5 Bxc5 14. Bg5 Qd5 15. Rad1 Qc6 16. Ne1 Kh8 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Bxh7 Rad8 19. Qh5 Kg7 20. Rd3 Rxd3 21. Bxd3 Rh8 22. Qg4+ Kf8 23. Kh1 Qd5 24. Bc4 Qd2 25. Nf3 Qh6 26. Qg3 e5 27. Rd1 Ke7 28. Bb5 Bc8 29. Nxe5 fxe5 30. Qxe5+ Be6 31. Rd7+ Ke8 32. Qb8 mate
At Portsmouth/Southsea in 1923 he finished in the middle order in the Major Open, which was won by Russian-born future World Champion Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine, who by then was resident in France. George’s round-8 game against Alekhine went as follows:
White: Alekhine, Alexander Alexandrovich
Black: Moses, George Wyville
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 b6 3. Nc3 Bb7 4. Qc2 e6 5. e4 d6 6. f4 Be7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. a3 e5 10. d5 Nb8 11. fxe5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Bd6 13. Nf3 Nbd7 14. Bg5 Ne5 15. O-O a6 16. Rae1 Re8 17. Nd1 Qe7 18. Ne3 Nxd3 19. Nf5 Qf8 20. Qxd3 Nd7 21. N3d4 Ne5 22. Qc3 Bc8 23. h3 h6 24. Be3 Bd7 25. b4 Rac8 26. Nb3 Bxf5 27. exf5 Nd7 28. Bd4 Kh7 29. f6 gxf6 30. c5 bxc5 31. bxc5 Be5 32. c6 Bxd4+ 33. Nxd4 Rxe1 34. Qxe1 Ne5 35. Rxf6 Re8 36. Ne6 Qe7 37. Qxe5 fxe6 38. dxe6 Rf8 39. Qf5+ Kg8 40. Qg6+ Qg7 41. e7 and Black resigned.
At the 1924 congress at Southend, he improved his performance, finishing 3rd in the Major Open, with 7½ out of 11. The winner was the Polish Master Akiba Rubinstein with 11 out of 11, with J. A.J. Drewitt of Hastings coming second with 8 out of 11.
British Chess Federation Congress 1924, Southport; Major Open, round 3;
White: Moses, GW (Hemsworth), Black: Duffield, C (Bristol)
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. h3 Bg7 4. Bf4 d6 5. Nbd2 Nc6 6. c3 O-O 7. e4 e6 8. Be2 h6 9. O-O Nh5 10. Bh2 e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Nc4 Qe7 13. Ne3 Nf6 14. Qc2 Ne8 15. Rad1 Nd6 16. Nd5 Qd8 17. Rfe1 Be6 18. Bf1 Rc8 19. Qd2 Kh7 20. b3 Re8 21. c4 f5 22. exf5 Bxf5 23. g4 Be4 24. Bg2 Bxf3 25. Bxf3 Nd4 26. Bg2 Nf7 27. Qd3 Ng5 28. h4 e4 29. Bxe4 Rxe4 30. Rxe4 Ngf3+ 31. Kg2 Nxh2 32. Kxh2 Qxh4+ 33. Kg2 Rf8 34. Qg3 Qxg3+ 35. Kxg3 c6 36. Nf4 c5 37. Ne6 Nxe6 38. Rxe6 Rf7 39. Rd3 Bd4 40. f4 a5 41. Rd6 Bf6 42. Rd7 Be7 43. Kf3 Kg7 44. Rxb7 and Black resigns. [YT&S, 23/08/1924]
British Chess Federation Congress 1924, Southport; Major Open, round 4;
White: Schofield, F (Leeds), Black: Moses, GW (Hemsworth)
1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 Bg7 4. Bd3 d6 5. c3 Bg4 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3 e5 8. Bc4 Qf6 9. Qg4 Qd8 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Be3 Nf6 12. Qf3 Nbd7 13. Nd2 O-O 14. Bb3 Qe7 15. g4 Nc5 16. Bxc5 Qxc5 17. h4 h6 18. O-O-O a5 19. a3 b5 20. Rdg1 Nd7 21. Nf1 b4 22. axb4 axb4 23. Nd2 bxc3 24. Qxc3 Qxf2 25. Rf1 Ra1+ 26. Kc2 Rxf1 27. Rxf1 Qxh4 28. Qxc6 Qxg4 29. Bd5 Nf6 30. Qa6 Nxd5 31. exd5 Qc8+ 32. Qxc8 Rxc8+ 33. Kb3 Rc5 34. d6 Rd5 35. Nc4 Bf8 36. Kb4 Bxd6+ 37. Nxd6 Rxd6 38. Kc5 Rd2 39. b4 f5 40. Rb1 Kf7 41. b5 Ke6 42. b6 Rc2+ 43. Kb5 Rc8 44. b7 Rb8 45. Kc6 e4 and White resigns, 0-1 [YT&S, 06/09/1924]
British Chess Federation Congress 1924, Southport; Major Open, round 7;
White: Moses, GW (Hemsworth), Black: Rubinstein, A (Poland)
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 c5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. h3 e6 6. O-O Bd6 7. b3 e5 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Bb2 Qe7 10. Nxe5 Bxe5 11. Bxe5 Qxe5 12. Nd2 O-O 13. Nf3 Qe7 14. Re1 Bd7 15. a4 Rad8 16. Qe2 Ne4 17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Nh2 Be6 19. Rfd1 c4 20. bxc4 Qc5 21. Rxd8 Rxd8 22. Rd1 Rxd1+ 23. Qxd1 h6 24. Qd8+ Kh7 25. Qd4 Qxc4 26. Qxc4 Bxc4 27. a5 Kg6 28. f4 Kf6 29. Kf2 Ke7 30. Ke1 f5 31. Kd2 Kd6 32. g4 g6 33. h4 h5 34. g5 Kc5 35. Kc3 a6 and White resigns, 0-1 [YT&S, 30/08/1924]
British Chess Federation Congress 1924, Southport; Major Open, round 10;
White: Watts, WH (London), Black: Moses, GW (Hemsworth)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. h3 Bd7 8. c3 O-O 9. Nh2 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. f4 Nxf4 12. Bxf4 exf4 13. Rxf4 Bd6 14. Rf1 Qg5 15. Nf3 (if 15. Nd2 then Qg3) 15. .. Qg6 (better than 15. .. Qg3 16. Qe1) 16. Kh1 Rae8 17. d4 Qg3 18. Qd2 (if 18. Nbd2 then 18. .. Bxh3 19. gxh3 Qxh3 20. Kg1 Re6 wins for Black) 18. .. Nxd4! 19. Qxd4 Re2 20. Rg1 Bxa4 (if 20. .. Bxh3 then 21. Qxg7+ Kxg7 22. gxh3) 21. Qxa4 Qxf3 22. Qh4 (Black threatened 22. .. Qxh3+ 23. gxh3 Rh2#) Bg3 23. Qd4 Qf5 (again threatening 24. .. Qxh3+) 24. Rd1 Be5 25. Qh4 (25. Qg4 Qxg4 26. hxg4 Rxg2 lets Black win the ending) 25. .. Re4 26. Qd8 Re1+ and White resigns, 0-1 (Notes based on Batley.) [YT&S 25/10/1924]
In George’s the final game, Black needed only a draw to finish third, while White needed a win to secure third place.
British Chess Federation Congress 1924, Southport; Major Open, round 11;
White: Moses, GW (Hemsworth), Black: Rhodes, HG (Southport)
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 c6 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. O-O Qc7 7. e4 dxe4 8. Nxe4 Nxe4 9. Bxe4 Be7 10. Re1 O-O 11. c3 Rd8 12. Ng5 Bxg5 13. Bxg5 f6 14. Bh4 Nf8 15. Qc2 c5 16. Bg3 Qb6 17. dxc5 Qxc5 18. Rad1 Rxd1 19. Rxd1 e5 20. Rd8 Qe7 21. Qd2 g6 22. f3 Kg7 23. Qd6 Qxd6 24. Rxd6 Be6 25. Bxb7 Rb8 26. Bd5 Bxd5 27. Rxd5 Rxb2 28. Ra5 Rb7 29. Kf1 Ne6 30. Be1 Nf4 31. g3 Nd3 32. Bd2 Kf7 33. Ke2 Nb2 34. Be3 Ke6 35. Rxa7 Rxa7 36. Bxa7 Kd5 37. Bb6 h5 38. Bd8 f5 39. h4 e4 40. Bf6 Na4 41. Bd4 Nb2 42. Ke3 Nc4+ 43. Kf4 Nd2 44. fxe4+ fxe4 45. a4 Nc4 46. Be3 Na5 47. Bb6 Nc4 48. a5 e3 49. Bxe3 Nxa5 50. Kg5 Ke4 51. Bf4 Kf3 52. Kxg6 Kg4 53. Kf6 Nc4 54. Ke6 Nb2 55. Kd5 Nd3 56. Bd6 Nc1 57. c4 Ne2 58. c5 Nxg3 59. Bxg3 Kxg3 60. c6 and Black resigns, 1-0 [YT&S 22/11/1924]
In 1925 he was admitted to the British Championship, which in those days was run as a twelve-player all-play-all.
In 1924 he was appearing on board 1 for Sheffield in the Woodhouse Cup. In the first match of 1924-25 Sheffield was at home to Huddersfield, so the honour of losing to H. E. Atkins fell to George. A strong Sheffield team nevertheless won 7-3.
Woodhouse Cup, Sheffield, 18/10/1924
Sheffield v Huddersfield
White: Atkins, HE (Huddersfield), Black: Moses, GW (Hemsworth, Sheffield),
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 Nbd7 6. e3 O-O 7. Rc1 c6 8. Qc2 h6 9. Bf4 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nb6 11. Bb3 Nbd5 12. Bg3 Nxc3 13. bxc3 b6 14. O-O Nh5 15. Be5 Bd6 16. Qe2 Nf6 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. e4 Qe7 19. c4 Rd8 20. Rfd1 Bb7 21. e5 Ne8 22. Qe4 c5 23. d5 exd5 24. cxd5 Nf6 25. d6! Nxe4(a) 26. dxe7 Re8 27. Rd7 Bc6 28. Rc7 Bb5(b) 29. Bd5 Rac8 30. Rxc8 Rxc8 31. Bxe4 Re8 32. Rd1 Rxe7 33. Rd8+ Re8 34. Rxe8+ Bxe8 35. Kf1 and Black resigned.
Note by Batley based on Amos Burn’s notes in The Field:
(a) Black had a choice of three other moves, none of which, however, would have saved the game.
1) If 25...Rxd6, then 26. Qf5 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 Bxf3 (if 27...Ne4 or 27... Nh7, then 28. Rd7, winning the bishop) 28. gxf3 and wins.
2) If 25...Bxe4 then 26. dxe7 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 Ne8 28. Bd5 Bxd5 29. Rxd5, threatening Rd8, and wins.
3) If 25...Qd7, then 26. Qh4 Nh7 (if 26...Ne4, then 27. Re1 winning at least a pawn) 27 e6 fxe6 28. Ne5 Qe8 29. d7 Qf8 30. Bxe6+ winning the queen.
(b) If Rac8, then 29. Rxc6 Rxc6 30. Bd5 and wins.
Away against Hull he drew on board one with A. G. Conde, Sheffield winning 5½-4½. In the match at home to Leeds, he lost to P. Wenman.
In the Yorkshire v Lancashire match played at Leeds on 21st March 1925, he played J. Lewis of Manchester. The game which started out as nothing special from White’s point of view, but it got more interesting as it progressed.
Yorkshire v Lancashire, Leeds, 21/03/1925
White: Moses, GW (Hemsworth), Black: Lewis J (Manchester)
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 Bg4 4. h3 Bxf3 5. Qxf3 e6 6. Nd2 c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. Bd3 Qc7 9. O-O Rd8 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. e4 O-O 12. exd5 Ne5 13. Qe2 Nxd3 14. Qxd3 Rxd5 15. Qc2 Rfd8 16. Ne4 Nxe4 17. Qxe4 Rf5 18. Be3 Re5 19. Bf4 Rxe4 20. Bxc7 Rd2 21. b4 Be7 22. Bb8 a6 23. Rfd1 Ree2 24. Rxd2 Rxd2 25. Bf4 Rc2 26. Rd1 Bf6 27. Rd7 g5 28. Be3 b5 29. h4! Rxa2 30. Bxg5 Ra1+ 31. Kh2 Bxc3 32. Bh6 f5 33. h5 a5 34. bxa5 Rxa5 35. Rd8+ Kf7 36. Rd7+ Ke8 37. Rxh7 b4 38. Rb7 f4 39. Bxf4 Rxh5+ 40. Kg1 Rd5 drawn on adjudication.
He died at Hemsworth during the period July to September 1971. His grave is not evident in Hemsworth cemetery. It’s possible he was cremated.
Copyright © 2012 & 2017 Stephen John Mann
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