Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
User avatar
John Saunders
Posts: 1726
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:10 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by John Saunders » Fri May 12, 2023 5:50 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Fri May 12, 2023 4:32 pm
Not the most important thing, but noted the game scorebook upthread had space for 100 moves a game!

70-80 seems to be the norm.
Yes, 70 moves was the norm for the CHESS, Sutton Coldfield scorebooks, and 80 for the TCS hardback ones, but what you are looking at with the 100-move capacity is not actually from a conventional scorebook as such. It was an integral part of the BCF York Congress 1959 tournament programme - Ingrid scanned and posted the red-coloured cover for it further up-thread. It was quite a substantial publication: 44 pages of 9.75" x 7" dimensions, on postcard-quality paper. The first half of the programme featured all the details of the tournament, names of officials, schedules, names of players in tables with space to write in results and scores, round-robin pairings, etc, but the second half of it consisted of 11 two-page scorebook blanks for players to write in their games. Having said which, at the bottom of each page you can see the instruction "not to be used for initial recording of games" so players weren't permitted to use them during the tournament proper. The good news is that Ronnie recorded all 11 games in the programme and I will be posting them online in due course.
Personal Twitter @johnchess
Britbase https://www.britbase.info
(I prefer email to PM - contact me via this link - https://www.saund.org.uk/email.html)

Ingrid Ives
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:38 pm
Location: London

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Ingrid Ives » Fri May 12, 2023 6:44 pm

John, thank you so much for unearthing these obituaries which I don't recall ever seeing before you located them. I would think that Mum was too distraught to have looked for them or saved them.

Alex Schofield from the Wakefield Club, who wrote one of the obituaries, was one of Dad's closest friends. There are photos with him, Derek Paffley and Tony Midgley in Buxton September 1950, further up the thread.

In the text version you've written, you mention that the 'Chess' and BCM obits are uncredited but almost certainly written by B.H. Wood. I just wondered why you think this. Is it because of the style, or because he was the main writer of obituaries in those publications?

My family and I are are very grateful for the work you are doing in looking at my father's chess career and it makes me feel proud that he is being remembered by the chess community having died so unexpectedly and prematurely. I knew he was an accomplished player as I mentioned in my first post but I had no detail, so thank you.

User avatar
John Saunders
Posts: 1726
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:10 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by John Saunders » Sat May 13, 2023 12:25 am

Ingrid Ives wrote:
Fri May 12, 2023 6:44 pm
In the text version you've written, you mention that the 'Chess' and BCM obits are uncredited but almost certainly written by B.H. Wood. I just wondered why you think this. Is it because of the style, or because he was the main writer of obituaries in those publications?
I think it was a bit of both. The reference to 'our dear friend' shows a personal touch and, despite the presence of an assistant editor by the 1960s, CHESS was always BH Wood's platform for having his say on all manner of things. Then, as now, only a tiny number of people would ever be engaged on chess magazine editorial work - rarely more than two, and quite often just the one.
Personal Twitter @johnchess
Britbase https://www.britbase.info
(I prefer email to PM - contact me via this link - https://www.saund.org.uk/email.html)

Leonard Barden
Posts: 1858
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:21 am

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun May 14, 2023 9:16 pm

I have followed this thread for a while but neglected till last weekend to read the first few pages, hence the very belated comments.

Alas, I have no memory at all of giving a 28-board simul (+23=3-2) at Wakefield, even with the nudge from Ronnie’s columns. I cannot use Kevin Thurlow’s excuse that I must have given thousands of simuls, as most clubs at the time preferred to invite Alexander, Golombek, BH Wood, Wade, or a foreign master rather than myself. I doubt if my lifetime simul total was much more than 100.

The simuls I do recall are mostly those where something exceptional happened like the one in Leicester where the car taking me to the station had an accident and I was treated for shock at the hospital, my very first simul at Hereford in 1947 where I got a minus score, or more positively, the prep school championships where the previous year Keene had scored +105-1 and I managed +105=1. As Kevin confirms, I thought I had given only one or two displays at Government Chemists, organised by him, when in fact there were several.

The two columns referring to the display are undated, but a clue is the time and venue: George Lee and Sons, Westgate, Wakefield, starting at 3pm on 21 May. This suggests a Saturday afternoon in a store, and the two years in the period when 21 May was a Saturday are 1955, when I was reigning British co-champion, and 1960, when I was on Network Three radio every week as they serialised the consultation game Fischer/Barden v Penrose/Clarke.

It sounds from the 'open to all' wording and the absence of names for successful opponents that the exhibition may have been organised independently from the Wakefield chess club, but the intriguing possibility is still there that Ronnie and/or Cobie took part. The likely outcome is unclear. Ronnie was a strong county player, and I lost or drew plenty of simul games to opponents of that level, while I also made it a policy, at least in later years, to go easy on female opponents and be ready to offer a draw if they were of reasonable standard.

I played in the inaugural Paignton congress in 1951, when Golombek won ahead of Euwe, and in 1952, when I won, but it seems that they didn’t invite me back in 1953. However I have studied the group photo in this thread and can supply a few more names:

Top row: Daniel Castello, George Peck (then around my age now), Harold Matchett, ??, John Beaty. Third row: Henry Trevenen(?), Andrew Nield, William Fry, ??, David Le Brun Jones (listed as DCB Jones by Britbase).

In the Ilford 1952 pic showing Cobie’s section in action the player with the pipe is not Matchett (who was in a much higher section) but a youthful Peter Morrish, later the great organiser who master minded massive GM simuls and made the 1970s junior boom possible. I recall Peter many years later telling me how some congress defeats had persuaded him to stop playing and concentrate on organising, so quite possibly finishing well behind Cobie (who scored 4 out of 5 to Peter’s 1.5 and probably won their individual game) played a part in his personal decision which proved hugely beneficial to English chess.

Not much has been written above in this thread about the quality of Ronnie’s columns and the work which must have gone into them. The late 1950s were when I started out as a newspaper columnist, so I can relate directly to the process. You had to use an old manual typewriter where ribbons needed changing and untwisting and where you had to use a whitener for any typos. To check the moves of a game score in print, you had to use a board or pocket set and find room for it on the table beside the large typewriter. No copy/paste, pgn or the like for us. To produce a diagram in the 1950s, you needed a stamping outfit with pieces on the end and an inkpad, though later stick on pieces became available. Despite these handicaps, Ronnie still managed to produce excellent articles packed with relevant, accurate and interesting material for his Yorkshire readership. Given that he simultaneously had a full-time job in Barclays and a growing family, that was some feat.

If your article was to appear in print, yet more hurdles would appear. The newspaper typesetters were normally non-chess players and could introduce errors where none were present in the original copy. That explains the occasional descriptive notation lower case instead of capitals and even the horizontal c2 pawn in one diagram. I suspect Ronnie didn’t receive proofs of his articles from the YP.

This thread has been a fascinating read, and I look forward to further material from Ingrid as well as John Saunders’s digitising and dating of the columns. I remember the name of RW Ives from long ago, and whether or not we actually played at the Wakefield simul, we were present at the same event at least three times (Buxton 1950, Ilford 1952, York 1959), so that he would probably have been a familiar face.

Finally, the picture of Ronnie, Cobie and their friend feeding the ducks beside the park lake in Buxton evoked a personal echo. In the last couple of days of that congress, I struck up a friendship with a young lady who was part of the group providing refreshments. On the Friday evening after the final round before the Saturday morning prizegiving, we went for a walk in that very park, sat on a bench overlooking the lake, and I exchanged my first kiss with a woman outside my family. We never met again, though.

Ingrid Ives
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:38 pm
Location: London

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Ingrid Ives » Mon May 15, 2023 6:24 pm

Leonard, on behalf of myself and my sisters, thank you very much indeed for your long and thoughtful post. When Ronnie died, I was only three years old and my sisters were aged only five and seven so it’s very special for us to be talking to people who knew him or knew of him though chess, which he loved. We’ve never spoken to anyone outside our family who knew Dad because we never got to know them and now, thanks to the internet, we’ve been privileged to ‘meet’ people who were a part of his chess world, which means everything to us. Reading your post and the others from people who have kindly posted here takes us through some of his chess journey and helps us to imagine what his life was like. Mum would have been so incredibly pleased about that. They had a wonderful time together playing chess around the country and it must have been absolutely devastating for her to have had that life so cruelly ripped away when he died. She remained in love with him until we lost her to Covid three years ago, which is when I decided that when I felt up to it, I would try to find out more about his chess life, so here I am. I also thought I might have some material that would interest the chess community but I wasn’t sure.

It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to add some names to the Paignton photo and also to let us know the identity of the pipe-smoking chap on the Ilford photo. I’ve been researching names that have popped up on this thread and some of Dad’s opponents, acquaintances and colleagues have gone on to have very interesting careers. I can see that this applies to Peter Morrish.

With regard to the date of the Wakefield simul, I’m hoping that by the time this thread reaches its conclusion, we might, with our combined detective work, have been able to establish the date. Your having narrowed it down to only two Saturdays to be added to John’s Clouseau-like investigation of the newspaper cuttings makes this seem eminently possible!

Many thanks for your fascinating insight into the production of a chess column in the 1950s. I remember the manual typewriter that Ronnie used because we had it for years after he died and I remember the white corrector. It’s good to know that you find his columns to be interesting, accurate and relevant to his Yorkshire audience.

What a beautiful story you shared about the lady you met in Buxton. I find those old black and white photos to be very evocative and I’m glad the one of my parents feeding the ducks at the lake brought back some happy memories. The chap in the photo with them is Alex Schofield from the Wakefield Chess Club. He was one of my Dad’s best friends.

Thank again for taking the time to post as I’m sure, in common with many others here, that you have a busy schedule.

Peter Shaw
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:22 pm
Location: Wakefield

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Peter Shaw » Mon May 15, 2023 10:55 pm

The simul was in 1960, it looks like Leonard was a replacement for Bob Wade. Here are the four relevant pages from the Wakefield minute book:
Attachments
Image (43).jpg
Image (43).jpg (438.56 KiB) Viewed 1075 times
Image (44).jpg
Image (44).jpg (635.9 KiB) Viewed 1075 times
Image (45).jpg
Image (45).jpg (546.03 KiB) Viewed 1075 times
Image (46).jpg
Image (46).jpg (777.65 KiB) Viewed 1075 times

Leonard Barden
Posts: 1858
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:21 am

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Leonard Barden » Tue May 16, 2023 12:22 am

That's very informative, many thanks for providing all the detail.

Bob Wade and I were friends and colleagues, and it would have been natural at that time for either of us to nominate the other as a substitute for a professional engagement.

I have no memory of the exact circumstances, but the 9 May meeting above, which decided to send Wade a telegrammed request for a decision , was around the time that the BCF asked me if I was available to play in the Buenos Aires tournament starting 23 June.

I believe that others, including Penrose, Alexander, Clarke, Golombek and maybe Haygarth had already turned the invitation down, and I did so too because there was no way I could keep up my Guardian and Evening Standard columns being away so long and so distant from Europe. I have to say also that I didn't feel confident that I could avoid being wiped out in such a high class field.

Wade was next in line to be asked, accepted, and the rest, including his classic endgame win against Korchnoi, is history. https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=79303 Quite possibly Bob knew I had turned Buenos Aires down, and also wanted to take time to prepare himself for such an important opportunity, so it was easy for him to donate me the Wakefield simul in return.

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 5830
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue May 16, 2023 9:26 am

"Bob Wade and I were friends and colleagues, and it would have been natural at that time for either of us to nominate the other as a substitute for a professional engagement."

I can attest to that - my father once approached Bob and asked if he would coach me, Bob apologised, said he was too busy, and said,"Try Leonard Barden". So my father did that and Leonard said, "Sorry, I'm too busy, try Bob Wade". It still makes me smile now! I don't think I would have been a particularly distinguished pupil.

Sorry for the digression - this thread really is very interesting, and anything Leonard writes is always worth reading.

Ingrid Ives
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:38 pm
Location: London

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Ingrid Ives » Sun Jun 25, 2023 9:58 am

A quick update for anyone who has contributed to, or has been following this thread and the thread on my mother, Cobie Ives in the Women's Chess section. John Saunders and I have co-authored an article to appear in the July issue of 'Chess' magazine:

https://twitter.com/CHESS_Magazine/stat ... 6770906115

I never imagined that posting on this forum would lead to so many interesting conversations about my parents and I would like to offer my thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, especially to John Saunders. I feel very privileged to have a chess historian and journalist of his calibre take such a special interest in my parents' story.

User avatar
Gerard Killoran
Posts: 1008
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Gerard Killoran » Sat Jul 29, 2023 11:42 am

An example of Ronnie Ives play:


User avatar
John Saunders
Posts: 1726
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:10 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by John Saunders » Sat Jul 29, 2023 12:10 pm

That's a very good find, Gerard, thank you. I have a brief fragment of this game already, as published by Stanley Wilkinson, I think in 1964 after Ronnie Ives sadly died, as a tribute to him in an (as yet) undated article in the Yorkshire Evening Post. I don't yet have a precise date for the game but your approximate date tallies with what I have. I think it was played in the 1958/59 Yorkshire Championship.
Personal Twitter @johnchess
Britbase https://www.britbase.info
(I prefer email to PM - contact me via this link - https://www.saund.org.uk/email.html)

Ingrid Ives
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:38 pm
Location: London

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Ingrid Ives » Sat Jul 29, 2023 8:50 pm

Gerard Killoran wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2023 11:42 am
An example of Ronnie Ives play:

Thank you very much, Gerard. This is, as John says, a very good find. The game is mentioned in Stanley Wilkinson's Yorkshire Evening Post tribute to my dad in 1964, after he died, posted earlier on this thread (Mum wrote the date on the article). Part of the game seems to have got lost with time until you rediscovered it; the press columns I have lent to John are incomplete.

I'm reposting Stanley's 1964 tribute here.

Out of curiosity and not knowing who Stanley Wilkinson was, I did some research and found that he was the General Secretary of the Yorkshire Chess Association in Ronnie’s era, thanks to Steve Mann's Yorkshire Chess History website -> https://mannchess.org.uk/YLeagueArchive ... ec1982.pdf Please see page 3 onwards.

The link above also contains information about Boris Petkevitch.
Attachments
Screenshot 2023-07-29 at 20.59.13.png
Screenshot 2023-07-29 at 20.59.13.png (635.98 KiB) Viewed 532 times

User avatar
Gerard Killoran
Posts: 1008
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Gerard Killoran » Sun Jul 30, 2023 10:17 am

deleted
Last edited by Gerard Killoran on Sun Jul 30, 2023 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Gerard Killoran
Posts: 1008
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Gerard Killoran » Sun Jul 30, 2023 12:13 pm

Ronnie's opponent, Boris Vladimirovich Petkevich (Petkevic) was the brother-in-law of Vladimir Nabokov.

https://www.geni.com/people/Boris-Vladi ... 9012798158


An interview with his grandson.

https://www-advojka-cz.translate.goog/a ... _tr_pto=sc

Ingrid Ives
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:38 pm
Location: London

Re: Ronald (Ronnie) Wilson Ives, Yorkshire Chess

Post by Ingrid Ives » Sun Jul 30, 2023 7:54 pm

Thanks Gerard, I read the interview. How absolutely fascinating. Even as a non-chess player, I can see how easy it would be to want to become a chess historian. One piece of information leads to another..... and so many of these people who were my father's chess contemporaries seem to have led, or gone on to lead, such interesting lives. The Vladimir Nabokov connection with a seemingly random opponent is incredible.

Post Reply