Yorkshire Chess History



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Prior to 1840, there were no chess organisations in the UK at a higher level than that of a club.  There were chess clubs dotted around the country, but there were no associations of clubs, no county or regional chess organisations, and no national chess organisations.


The first chess organisation bigger in scope than a club was the original Yorkshire Chess Association, which was dreamt up in 1840, and came into operation in 1841.  By today’s standards, the activities of this organisation amounted to very little, nevertheless, by those days’ standards they were both popular and unique.  The success of the new organisation with visitors from outside the county was so great that the organisation was soon expanded in geographical scope, by stages, until it became the first national chess organisation, the British Chess Association.


Fairly soon a second national organisation, the Counties Chess Association, was formed in a similar way, from the expansion of another Yorkshire chess organisation.


The early history of organised chess in Yorkshire is thus also an important part the history of organised chess in the country as a whole.  An overview of this process is provided by the chronological Narrative pages.


This web site aims to increase the awareness of these historical developments in organised chess in Yorkshire, and related developments.  It also aims to catalogue events run by the organisations concerned, with details of them, and to identify some of the people involved and furnish biographical data on them.


For present purposes it is convenient to think of the history of organised chess in England as falling into three phases: firstly the period before 1841 when the only chess organisations were the clubs, secondly the period 1841 to 1903 when the first national chess organisations came into being, and thirdly the period from 1904 onwards when the British Chess Federation (now the English Chess Federation) was the national chess organisation.  In those terms, this web site is concerned primarily with the second phase, with greater emphasis on the earlier stages of that phase.


All pages on this site must be considered as work-in-progress, and may not necessarily to be completed, being in the nature of personal research notes shared with whoever wants to look at them.  The scope of the site will probably drift as it develops, reflecting what interests the author.  It is in no way an attempt to set out comprehensive coverage of any subject, though some of it will be more-detailed coverage than is readily available elsewhere.


NB  Regarding apparent hyperlinks, if it isn’t underlined then the page probably hasn’t been set up yet.

Equally, there will be blank pages waiting for content to be written or uploaded.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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