Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

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

Post by Gerard Killoran » Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:12 pm

I think I've found the first club match not played by correspondence - it consists of two consultation games.
Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle - Sunday 09 September 1838.jpg
Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle - Sunday 09 September 1838.jpg (254.21 KiB) Viewed 630 times

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Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by IanCalvert » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:40 pm


Thanks very much for posting these Yprkshire, 1838 games with the comments from "Bells Life in London & Sporting Chronicle" on time controls.

As a child of the twentieth century, much less deferential than the nineteenth, I hadn't appreciated that then civic pride might well have ,made a consultation match rather than a modern match, of two ordered sets of individuals playing games, seem natural for Representative Chess Teams "of fine Yorkshire towns".

I guess nothing survives of how disputes over the next move were resolved in such nineteenth century , Yorkshire matches ?

Is it known when the modern form of Representative Matches first appeared, in Yorkshire... the world?

Best wishes

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:04 pm

Another nice find Gerard,

For the location, try Campsall, in Askern Spa.
Because try also as a possible location, the noted pub, the Ring of Bells (now called the Old Bells) this famous pub is believed to be one of the oldest in Yorkshire.

Hi Ian,
Disputes in Yorkshire?
Although Mike Haygarth did tell me that one match against a team called Lancashire, did end up on one board with blows. Fancy that. Imagine that - LOL

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19213
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:38 pm

IanCalvert wrote: Thanks very much for posting these Yorkshire, 1838 games with the comments from "Bells Life in London & Sporting Chronicle" on time controls.
It's interesting to see a prototype of English Descriptive notation in action. If we used it for reporting on the New York world championship, would Agon take exception?

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Representative Chess Teams: History & Literature

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:29 am

Note that this Gentlemanly match in Campsall is between two West Riding clubs (Yorkshire from the early 1840s there was the West (Riding) Yorkshire Chess Association. Wakefield is still the Capital of the West Riding. (The court rolls exist, e.g. the verdict of a trial of a local robber Robin Hood is still in the vaults).
Note there were adjournments plus food and drink. Such was standard in League matches until 1974/5 (e.g. later called the Edwin Woodhouse and the I M Brown competitions)
Then in 1974 : -
The People Republic of South Yorkshire (out of the West Riding) was decreed by the London Government. Included a new Police force etc.
Motorways were increasing the speed of movement and players in the post Fischer-Spasski boom.
More juniors playing, a time of much inflation. Analysing during adjournments was considered like cheating

Take an example fixture in Feb 1974 of the Woodhouse Cup. Wakefield at Home to Bradford c.c. We stopped the clocks, as instructed by the match captains. Captains were Captains and had power. We adjourned for lunch and proceeded to a relatively up market fish restaurant. The host buys lunch, and the away team selects, per board, what they want. My gentlemanly opponent somewhat admonished me for offering to pay my share, or contribute. (In today's terms about ten quid each). It was about a full hour, we discussed the newspapers headlines of the day - the death of CHO'D Alexander - news of literally that day - a massive figure in British Chess.
Expensive for a junior. On a Saturday, many old gentleman still wore their Sunday best, or similar at chess matches.

Next year, I heard my opponent and host had died at the board against a Varsity side, in a Woodhouse Cup match. The match was stopped due to Alex's death. The result declared a draw in his memory. Not long after that the Secretary of Wakefield Chess Club also died at the board, again, in a Varsity match (Believe the order was Sheffield U, then Leeds U - both Div I sides). Again declared drawn game and match. It lead to the end of Wakefield playing League (Saturday) games [BTW I saw a post saying Yorkshire Evening League. Sorry, Yorkshire is too big to play a County Evening League- simple logistics. Saturday for the League, Sunday for the National Club, and we did play the same weekend).
With inflation, the standard of food had dropped off. Odd incidents of buffet food did not turn up, standards dropped in the inflationary times for price. I believe somebody could not pay and refused to pay at a match. You could get home quicker, there were blunders after a heavy meal, etc. So, the lunch break was then written out of the rules. Wakefield were the last to do restaurants. Times change.
Post the War with Boney, according to J Cochrane thousands and thousands were playing chess in London Gentleman's clubs. Club first, type of activity comes afterwards. Then you later see adverts for clubs like Liverpool c.c Chess first, the primary focus of the club. Yet, still gentlemanly exclusive and costly. Chess clubs had late evening Supper meals. Saturday was a working day.

(BTW: I expect researchers to find that the overnight stay of this 1830s and 1840s could possibly include
Either a hearty Saturday night out followed by a bird shoot, or a horse and hounds across the countryside. As per Napoleonic Times
However, it was possibly more modern, like a church service as times were changing in early Victorian Times.Changing soon from horses and carriages to very soon steam trains of Railway Mania. It was a time of innovation and new gadgets of timepieces and travelling with the latest forms of transport.

However, Yorkshire has always been innovative, often due to logistics and practicalities. The Fattorini clocks were probably the first ever to be used in a County match, at Bradford, for a Yorkshire v Lancashire fixture.
Many early aspects of the 4*NCL come from the Woodhouse Cup principles. etc The rule of Chris Dunworth's, of the team: at least one player from another gender was a massive and great leap forward idea for that competition, in integration and equality. (BTW: Chris went to University in the People's Republic of South Yorkshire.).
Rgds (FM) Gary Kenworthy, Bletchley

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