Yorkshire Chess Association


Year Book 2019-20 Contents

Thing of the Day


 (Click on underlined link)  \/ to end of list \/


Accuracy of club information &

Yearbook: further copies

Message from the President

Officers 2019-20

YCA Honorary Life Members

Annual Fees (as revised 2019)

County Match Fees (as revised 2019)

YCA League Fixtures 2019-2020

YCA League Match Venues

Match Correspondents ‑ Woodhouse Cup

Match Correspondents ‑ IM Brown

Match Correspondents ‑ Silver Rook

Secretaries of Competing Clubs

Junior Chess Contacts

Contact Details Index

Chess Clubs/Organisations in Yorkshire

ECF Aug 2019 Grading List Extract

Notes on Grading List Extract

List of Clubs in Yorkshire-based Leagues

League Tables & Match Results 2018-19

County Match Results 2018-2019

Correspondence Chess 2018-19

Yorkshire Junior Activity 2018-19

Recent Winners of YCA Events

YCA Constitution

YCA League Rules (as revised 2019)

Index to Rules

Individual Championship Rules

Event Calendar 2019-20

Yorkshire Individual Championship 2020

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< Thing of the Day Index


First Yorkshire Chess Champion (unofficial)


In the days of the original Yorkshire Chess Association, the idea of a county individual championship was organisationally way beyond what anyone envisaged.  It was not until 1886, when once again there were a countywide chess organisation as well and an adequate transport infrastructure in place, that a formal Yorkshire Chess Championship came into being.


Before that, it was only possible to express an opinion as to who might be regarded as the county’s strongest player.  In the early years of the first YCA that player would have been John Rhodes of Leeds.  Later on, it was something of a toss-up between John Watkinson of Huddersfield, who was perhaps at the peak of his strength, and Edmund Thorold of Sheffield, who was still improving at that stage.  Thus when in 1861 these two played a match, this was in effect a match for the unofficial championship of Yorkshire.  Watkinson won the match, and soon after that Thorold took up a teaching post in Bath, where he lived during the greater part of his chess career.  The eleven Watkinson-Thorold games of this match can be accessed from Yorkshire Chess History Game Index.


Click here for more details of the match.

Click here for biographical details of John Watkinson.

Click here for biographical details of Edmund Thorold.


John Watkinson might thus be regarded as the first person to win a Yorkshire Championship competition, albeit unofficial.  He went on to edit a chess column in the Huddersfield College Magazine, which column was in 1881 converted into a free-standing chess magazine, the British Chess Magazine.


In 1866, Watkinson contributed the following to the Chess Player’s Magazine (page 124).  It is a position arising from actual play, apparently one of Watkinson’s own games:


White to move and win


The threat of 1. ... Rd1 mate limits White’s, options.  1. Rg6+ seems forced, but what if 1. Rg6+ is met by 1. ... Kh6?  Is a draw by repetition inevitable?  Click here to find the solution on a different page.  (Use browser’s “back” function to return to this page.)


The following position arose in a game between the Rev. A. B. Skipworth, then resident at Bilsdale in North Yorkshire, and John Watkinson, at the West Yorkshire Chess Association Meeting in Halifax, in 1870.  It arose after White had played 14. g3 to keep the black knight out of f4.  One wonders whether White underestimated or miscalculated Black’s reply.


Position after 14. g3.

Click here to play through the full game and see the continuation.


Click here for biographical data on the Rev. Arthur Bolland Skipworth

(who somewhat enigmatically was named merely “Rev. A. B. Skipworth” on his gravestone).