Chess history trivia

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby John Townsend » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:12 pm

In D'Arblay's poem Caïssa rediviva (about the De La Bourdonnais - McDonnell encounter), some players' names are disguised. The following passage is an example:

"And L__s, ne'er to be forgot,
Deep master of the far-fetched plot,
The learned veteran of the game,
Destined perchance the pride to tame
Of Gaul's adventurous son, and quell
The idle boast of D___s."

Who were L__s and D__s?
Last edited by John Townsend on Wed May 17, 2017 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mike Truran
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Mike Truran » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:20 pm

Deschapelles? Or is my time line out of whack?

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby John Townsend » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:10 pm

Mike, you are exactly right! Take a bonus mark also for the correct spelling of Deschapelles.

Caïssa rediviva was published in 1836. Suggestions are invited as to what may have been alluded to by "the idle boast".

That only leaves L__s. Any ideas?

Mike Truran
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Mike Truran » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:26 pm

L_s is Lewis. See Le Palamede 1836 pp 318-322. In 1821 Lewis beat Deschapelles +1 =2 -0 in a short match receiving odds of pawn and move. The "idle boast" no doubt refers to Deschapelles' initial wish to: (a) offer pawn and two moves; (b) play for money. Lewis wanted; a) no advantage; (b) not to play for money. The match official apparently "had great difficulty in getting the two redoubtable athletes to play". No doubt pawn and move with no money involved was the resulting compromise.

Apparently after the encounter Deschapelles offered to play 21 games with Lewis at odds of pawn and two moves. In the laconic words of Le Palamede: "M. Lewis ne voulut pas accepter."

Further evidence to support the often voiced contention that Deschapelles was a grade A nutter.

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby John Townsend » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:35 am

Lewis is correct. Well done, Mike.

In 1836, Deschapelles offered odds of pawn and two moves to any English player "for a stake not exceeding £500". George Perigal of the London Chess Club subsequently pursued negotiations in Paris so that an unnamed English opponent could take up the challenge, but they bore no fruit. According to George Walker, an obstacle was that Deschapelles refused to acknowledge that the challenge had originally emanated from France, the point being that, if it were seen as a challenge by the English, the latter would be publicly acknowledging inferiority to the French by asking for odds. See Deschapelles, the Chess-King, in Fraser's Magazine, volume 19, commencing page 310. It includes the text of a letter by Deschapelles about the challenge.

Colin Patterson
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Colin Patterson » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:22 pm

'Chess In Schools' may seem like a fairly modern concept given its current popularity, but which British chess player wrote a University thesis about the idea in the early 1960s?

Richard James
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Richard James » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:58 pm

Colin Patterson wrote:'Chess In Schools' may seem like a fairly modern concept given its current popularity, but which British chess player wrote a University thesis about the idea in the early 1960s?


I think I know the answer but I'll wait for others to have a go first.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Gordon Cadden » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:01 pm

Richard James wrote:
Colin Patterson wrote:'Chess In Schools' may seem like a fairly modern concept given its current popularity, but which British chess player wrote a University thesis about the idea in the early 1960s?


I think I know the answer but I'll wait for others to have a go first.


Bernard Cafferty wrote a Thesis on "Chess in Schools", in 1960, but I have not been able to find a copy.
Gresham College published a paper by grandmaster David Norwood, in 1992, entitled "Chess and Education".

Richard James
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Richard James » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:29 pm

Gordon Cadden wrote:
Richard James wrote:
Colin Patterson wrote:'Chess In Schools' may seem like a fairly modern concept given its current popularity, but which British chess player wrote a University thesis about the idea in the early 1960s?


I think I know the answer but I'll wait for others to have a go first.


Bernard Cafferty wrote a Thesis on "Chess in Schools", in 1960, but I have not been able to find a copy.
Gresham College published a paper by grandmaster David Norwood, in 1992, entitled "Chess and Education".


Yes, Bernard Cafferty was who I had in mind. His thesis was, at least in part, serialised in CHESS in the early 60s. As Gordon and I have been discussing elsewhere this morning, I also, I think, have a copy of David Norwood's paper.

Colin Patterson
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Colin Patterson » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:52 pm

That's correct - well remembered, Gordon and Richard.

CHESS Magazine (25th February 1961, p.186) reports that he "is engaged on a thesis on Chess In Schools", which implies a later date of publication than 1960, but hard to be sure. It is also mentioned that KW Lloyd (Durham Univ) and DJ Mabbs (Sheffield Univ) had their proposals for similar thesis topics turned down.

Tim Harding
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Tim Harding » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:14 pm

Which future chess writer was, in 1907 when a teenager, convicted of stealing two books from a shop but was let off with six months probation?
[The report doesn't say they were chess books, but it seems most likely!]
Tim Harding
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Gerard Killoran » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:57 pm

Was it Julius DuMont?

Leonard Barden
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Leonard Barden » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:34 pm

Gerard Killoran wrote:Was it Julius DuMont?


Julius du Mont, my predecessor as Guardian columnist and a gentle and cultured man who helped me greatly in my early years, was born in 1881 so was evidently not 'a teenager in 1907'.
Guessing at the right answer, I suggest Percy Wenman who was born in 1891, thus fitting agewise, and who as a chess writer became a serial plagiarist.

Tim Harding
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Tim Harding » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:26 am

Leonard Barden wrote:
Gerard Killoran wrote:Was it Julius DuMont?


Julius du Mont, my predecessor as Guardian columnist and a gentle and cultured man who helped me greatly in my early years, was born in 1881 so was evidently not 'a teenager in 1907'.
Guessing at the right answer, I suggest Percy Wenman who was born in 1891, thus fitting agewise, and who as a chess writer became a serial plagiarist.


Congratulations, Leonard!
Reports in the London "Standard" of 21 and 28 June 1907.
I will post an image of the reports later.
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Chess history trivia

Postby Gerard Killoran » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:45 pm

Julius and Leonard went back a long way...

...so which book by du Mont, published in 1947(!) contained this dedication?

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