Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
IanCalvert
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Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by IanCalvert » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:50 pm

What is the earliest recorded representative chess team match in English/ UK /European/World History?

The modern(?) prevalence of draws and ubiquity of grading makes weaker individual player strategies of going for the draw, before a move is played, a plausible strategy for some members of a team with stronger opponents : see Tigers v Heffalumps. Is there any other chess literature on this?

I guess the Soviets might have had a theory , at least for Moscow v Leningrad? :) References to English sources only please!

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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by John Upham » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:36 pm

The first recorded match between universities was on March 28th 1873 between Oxford and Cambridge over seven boards.

I would have to dig deeper for records about non inter-university matches.
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IanCalvert
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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by IanCalvert » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:13 pm

John

Thanks very much for a reply : I guess I owe you a pint (or a Budweiser).

Perhaps "worst student in chess camp" questions are:

(1) Might it be of wider interest to know whether , in fact, the proportion of draws has increased over almost 150 years and by how much?


(2) Do any explanatory events in English history influence the time series variation in the proportion of, I assume mostly agreed, draws??

Mick Norris
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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:24 pm

Matches between Manchester and Liverpool commenced in 1855, but whether you count these as club, rather than representative matches, is up to you
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IanCalvert
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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by IanCalvert » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:05 pm

Thanks Mick.

I see, IMHO, the opposite pole to Representative Team as a team of players who ALL see the activity as solely playing individual games.

So, I hope reasonably, GUESS any (relatively rich) chess amateur travelling from Liverpool to Manchester (or vice versa) in 1855 is playing both an individual game and for a Representative Team (City or Club): at least for some players at least the "team bragging rights" are important.

I guess more importantly. when did these matches stop and why??

Were there less draws in the 19th century?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:44 pm

IanCalvert wrote:
(1) Might it be of wider interest to know whether , in fact, the proportion of draws has increased over almost 150 years and by how much?
Provided you have a large database and suitable software, it's not a particularly difficult search. I'd suspect it's been done, but nothing remarkable was found.

IanCalvert
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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by IanCalvert » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:32 pm

Thanks Roger

I happily defer to your judgement.

My main interest, is around Representative Team Strategies.

The impetus for the post today was a drawn game yesterday, Metropolitan v Imperial College, against an opponent rated 26 points higher where I did play for a draw from move 1.b3 , where we won the match 5.5-4.5 being more highly rated on the lower boards. "Playing for a draw" naturally involves time constrained choices in opening, middlegame and ending.

Krogius in "Psychology in Chess" has a Section "I want a draw" in the Chapter "Tournament Tactics" but individual player strategies in Representative Teams to maximise the probability of the team winning does not seem to appear in the wonderful chess literature!

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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:01 am

Ian

I've reread your posts a number of times, and I'm afraid I still have no idea what your question is. Perhaps you could have another go?

Mike

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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:03 am

IanCalvert wrote:"Playing for a draw" naturally involves time constrained choices in opening, middlegame and ending.
Here's a Ray Keene example against Spassky from 1968 in the Lugano Olympiad.



Ten years later, Tony Miles was rather less respectful against both Spassky and Karpov.

In fairness, it was the solitary half point. Penrose and Clarke were rested, so Kottnauer faced Petrosian, Lee played Korchnoi and Basman was up against Smyslov.

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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Mick Norris » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:19 am

IanCalvert wrote:Thanks Mick.

I see, IMHO, the opposite pole to Representative Team as a team of players who ALL see the activity as solely playing individual games.

So, I hope reasonably, GUESS any (relatively rich) chess amateur travelling from Liverpool to Manchester (or vice versa) in 1855 is playing both an individual game and for a Representative Team (City or Club): at least for some players at least the "team bragging rights" are important.

I guess more importantly. when did these matches stop and why??

Were there less draws in the 19th century?
No idea, sorry

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The organisation of chess in Manchester dates back to the foundation of the Manchester Chess Club on the 3rd September 1817. A second club was formed at the newly built Artheraeum in 1839. The next major advance occurred while James Stanley KIPPING was the secretary of the Manchester Chess Club, between 1854 and 1863. The club commenced a series of matches with the Liverpool Chess Club in 1855. The series continued for over a century
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IanCalvert
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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by IanCalvert » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:03 am

Sorry for the lack of clarity. I will try to clarify my original questions about Representative Teams.

I start from teams in the UK are picked by officers of chess organisations; clubs, counties, countries etc

A Representative team is a little bit more and relates to the players attitudes to a match result: not just their own game.

To be concrete, I guess we have all seen or heard about the one remaining game at the end of a match where our team needs a draw to win the match. In this scenario we are better in the last game but our player (possibly short of time and/or unaware of the match position) doesn't take a possible forced draw but plays on and loses. Some fellow team members feel the player should have won the match by taking the draw: that the team wins matters to players.

i am thinking about extending this real scenario to thinking about a player aiming for a draw before a match starts at least partly because he believes it is good for the team.

I believe:
(i) Representative teams, teams exist or have existed: Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester,Liverpool, Moscow, Leningrad, England have been mentioned
(ii) Players can and do have strategies to play for a draw before a move is made : most notably in the tournament context but also in the team context.

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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Tim Harding » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:22 am

IanCalvert wrote:Thanks Mick.

I see, IMHO, the opposite pole to Representative Team as a team of players who ALL see the activity as solely playing individual games.

So, I hope reasonably, GUESS any (relatively rich) chess amateur travelling from Liverpool to Manchester (or vice versa) in 1855 is playing both an individual game and for a Representative Team (City or Club): at least for some players at least the "team bragging rights" are important.

I guess more importantly. when did these matches stop and why??

Were there less draws in the 19th century?
I agree with Mike Truran that the meaning of your questions could have been expressed with greater clarity, especially what you meant by "representative".

As I have written elsewhere at great length, most of the early matches were by correspondence. That includes the Oxford-Cambridge university matches which were originally by post.

If we discount correspondence chess (as I think you mean cases where players met face to face) I believe the earliest match was in 1838 between the clubs of Doncaster and Wakefield.
They met at a neutral venue (Kempsall) where the players stayed overnight. Bell's Life in London 9 September 1838 is the source.
However this was a consultation match, one game was played with each colour. Wakefield won one game and the other was drawn.

Generally speaking (both correspondence and over the board) consultation matches were the usual format rather than individual games until the 1870s with a few exceptions.

In 1844-45, as discovered by Dr Adrian Harvey long before the relevant newspapers were digitised, the Mechanics Institutes of Maidstone and Rochester in Kent played three correspondence matches after which they decided to play an OTB match, six a side.
Maidstone Journal 25 June 1844; Maidstone Journal 19 Nov 1844; Maidstone Journal 17 June 1845 (also in the West Kent Guardian of 21 June and at least one other paper).
Unfortunately I have found no reports saying this match actually took place, so failing evidence we must presume it did not.

The thoughts of the players concerned in early matches such as Manchester-Liverpool, about whether they felt they were a "real" team witha strategy (whatever that means) must remain forever speculative. I don't see how your question there can be answered.

I don't understand your question when did these matches stop and why; surely matches still continue?

Yes there were far fewer draws in the 19th c entury.
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Gerard Killoran » Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:02 pm

How about this match?

http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/t7.html
Name: 1st Café de la Régence - Cercle de Paris match
Place: Paris
Start date: 15 Apr. 1849
End date: 16 Apr. 1849

Notes:
Players of the Café were paired against players of the Cercle as available. Any player losing a game was knocked out. The match was won by the team that knocked out all of the opposing team players.

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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:49 pm

There seems to be rather thorough list of early Yorkshire matches on the Yorkshire chess history website: http://www.sjmann.supanet.com/Events/Event%20Index.htm

Don't think it threatens any of these records, but interesting in context.

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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Michael Flatt » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:50 pm

It may not have been feasible to play a match between two teams without some form of time control which might explain why consultation games seem to have been in vogue. Today, we take time controls and chess clocks for granted.
A quick google on chess clocks brings up this article: http://www.chessmaniac.com/the-chess-clock-a-history/

Similarly, we have to remember travel was not so easy before regular rail services (steam trains c1840) and individual motor transport (c1890).

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