Yorkshire Chess History Site

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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Gerard Killoran
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Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Gerard Killoran » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:54 pm

Steve Mann's site - which has not been updated for some time - has finally gone down.

e.g. http://www.sjmann.supanet.com/People/Wo ... 0Edwin.htm

Does anyone know why?

It can still be accessed - for now - via the Wayback Engine...

https://web.archive.org/web/20160623144 ... 20Home.htm

...but surely it needs a new permanent home on the internet.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:00 pm

For the benefit of anybody who is not aware of which site is being referred to, this is the remnants of an old Yorkshire CA site that was kept online by the owner (a former YCA secretary) as it contained some excellent biographies of former Yorkshire figures.

A non Yorkshire player has since brought this post to the attention of current Yorkshire officials. Choosing my words carefully, given that Steve Mann remains active in Yorkshire Chess, I'm not sure why this query wan't addressed to him directly (or any current member of the Yorkshire committee could have forwarded an email).
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Gordon Cadden
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Gordon Cadden » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:33 pm

The Yorkshire Chess Association was established before the British Chess Association, forerunner of the British Chess Federation.
Any website queries should be directed towards Yorkshire.

Tim Harding
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Tim Harding » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:29 pm

Gordon Cadden wrote:The Yorkshire Chess Association was established before the British Chess Association, forerunner of the British Chess Federation.
...
That is a rather loose and inaccurate picture of events. The first Yorkshire Chess Association was established in 1840 and became firstly The Chess Association and ultimately the (first) British Chess Association which collapsed around 1874.

A West Yorkshire Chess Association was founded about that time (precise date anyone?) to look after local chess and that is what presumably evolved into the present-day Yorkshire Chess Association.

A second B.C.A., founded by Hoffer and others in the 1880s also failed after less than ten years. The BCF was founded in 1904, principally on the initiative of the Northern and Southern counties unions and the London League.

I hope Steve Mann's site can be revived as it was indeed a useful resource. I agree that if he doesn't want to do it any more then the Yorkshire organisation should take it over.
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:42 pm

I have now heard from Steve Mann. There are indeed a few technical issues with the site at present which he is looking to address, however there are other things that require his attention at present. He has also noted that there were a few inaccuracies in my post. The content was not part of an old YCA website but instead replaced the content on an unofficial site Steve used to run when a more formal YCA website was created. Also the site is not a static archive but has been growing constantly.
Tim Harding wrote:
I hope Steve Mann's site can be revived as it was indeed a useful resource. I agree that if he doesn't want to do it any more then the Yorkshire organisation should take it over.
While it would be a shame if the resource was lost, as with a lot of things within Yorkshire it depends on a volunteer coming forward to do it. The current team, including myself, already take on a lot of unpaid work for the county. It's bad enough being told that we should take on extra work by players within Yorkshire, never mind from outside.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:32 am

"It's bad enough being told that we should take on extra work by players within Yorkshire, never mind from outside."

Try retiring from a post after 20 years, only to be told you're betraying the other members by doing so, and who's going to do the work?

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Gerard Killoran » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:47 pm

Thank for the information. I hope my original post did not imply any criticism of anyone involved in Yorkshire chess (who I think are all doing a splendid job). My only concern was that a valuable resource which is used beyond the county's borders might be lost.

For instance this page...

http://www.edochess.ca/players/p4494.html

...has a link to another page on Steve Mann's site showing that F. D. Yates' first name was almost certainly Fred and not Frederick.

A positive outcome could be that Steve finds out how much his site is valued and is encouraged enough to revive it.

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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Tim Harding » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:35 pm

Rod Edwards is aware he has broken links to Steve's site. Yes, Steve did establish that Yates's forenames were FRED DEWHIRST [sic].
Tim Harding
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:34 am

Steve's site has this:
The popular rendering of his name as “Frederick Dewhurst Yates” is erroneous. There seems no evidence of any formal, official documents ever calling him “Frederick”, instead “Fred” seems to appear throughout. “Dewhurst” is a spelling mistake now widely copied in the literature.
Despite this, Wikipedia still has his name as "Frederick Dewhurst Yates" citing as a source, yes that font of misinformation, Chessgames.com.

Another site that should know better is the publisher Moravian Chess e.g. http://www.moravian-chess.cz/encycloped ... rst-yates/

Matthew Sadler was gracious enough to correct this error for his fascinating analyses of Yates' best games, which are very much worth a look at... http://matthewsadler.me.uk/lessons-from ... -champion/

Perhaps it is understandable when from 1982, the British Chess Magazine - Volume 102 - Page 457 has 'Frederick Dewhurst Yates'

I suppose it is possible that a parish record or birth certificate could be found showing Fred was christened 'Frederick' but it is equally likely that it was 'Alfred'. Surely he would have used 'Frederick' on official documents if that was his birth name?

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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Colin Patterson » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:14 am

Hmmm. I can't say I'm altogether convinced by this Yates name change stuff.

WH Watts and W Winter (W&W) posthumously arranged and edited his best games collection (published 1934, two years after his death) and name him in the biography as Frederick Dewhurst Yates.

I can only suppose, being entrusted with completing his book, that W&W knew him well. And if Yates had been aware that chess folk had been calling him by the wrong name all his life, AND OBJECTED TO IT, then surely this would have been something that W&W would have known about, and rectified in the book.

Isn't it more likely that he simply preferred the nobler ring of Frederick Dewhurst to his actual birth name? Perhaps he allowed the innocent mistake of a journalist to be perpetuated, or even gave it to someone that way in the first instance, for reasons best known to himself. Either way, it seems to me that he was always Frederick Dewhurst Yates whenever not just plain old FD Yates. And if he was complicit in the error, shouldn't we just retain the name he went by? When Garry Kasparov finally departs this planet, are chess folk going to start calling him Garik Weinstein again, because that was his real name? I think not.

Anyway, just my take on it. I haven't researched the very first appearances of his full name, so I'm quite prepared to be shown to be wrong.

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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Richard James » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:33 am

His birth and death records give his name as plain Fred Yates. No Frederick and no Dewhirst or Dewhurst.

His parish burial record gives his name as Frederick Dewhirst Yates (as Steve Mann explains, Dewhirst, not Dewhurst, was his mother's maiden name). I suppose the vicar thought he should be dignified by using the more formal version of his first name.

The records of his trip to New York for the 1924 tournament are available online. On the outward journey he's Fred Dewhirst Yates, and on the return journey just Fred Yates. He gives his profession as journalist and an address in Birstall, Leeds.

So Fred, not Frederick, is undoubtedly correct. Dewhurst is undoubtedly wrong. Dewhirst is an optional extra used in tribute to his mother.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:41 am

Anyone looked at how he gives his name in census records?

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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Richard James » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:55 am

Michael Farthing wrote:Anyone looked at how he gives his name in census records?
Your wish is my command.

In 1891 and 1901 he was just Fred Yates. By 1911 he'd acquired a middle initial: Fred D Yates.

His humble background is very striking. The rest of his family were employed in the wool trade. His father was a millwright, as was his brother. In 1911 two of his sisters were weavers, and the youngest girl a dressmaker's apprentice.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Gordon Cadden » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:34 am

The York Chess History page has the last word. Fred Dewhirst Yates is on his grave Memorial.
His last address was Russell Court, in Coram Street, London WC1. According to his landlady, he spent much of his time in his rooms, with few visitors.
The Coroners Court gave his death as due to gas fumes from a faulty pipe. A claim of suicide was rejected.

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Re: Yorkshire Chess History Site

Post by Tim Harding » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:17 am

Colin Patterson wrote:Hmmm. I can't say I'm altogether convinced by this Yates name change stuff.

WH Watts and W Winter (W&W) posthumously arranged and edited his best games collection (published 1934, two years after his death) and name him in the biography as Frederick Dewhurst Yates.

I can only suppose, being entrusted with completing his book, that W&W knew him well. And if Yates had been aware that chess folk had been calling him by the wrong name all his life, AND OBJECTED TO IT, then surely this would have been something that W&W would have known about, and rectified in the book.
...

Anyway, just my take on it. I haven't researched the very first appearances of his full name, so I'm quite prepared to be shown to be wrong.
I think you have been shown to be wrong.

This matter was discussed on page 472 of my Blackburne book after checking Steve Mann's findings. The "Frederick Dewhurst" seems to have come from Sergeant's obituary in BCM December 1932 and copied by all other writers until recently.

Lots of people are called Fred so Sergeant and W & W probably just assumed it was short for Frederick in Yates's case too. If people had called Yates "Frederick" to his face or in print when he was alive, then presumably he would have corrected them, but not everyone necessarily knew what was on their birth cert if their parents kept it.
Clearly the Dewhirst spelling comes from the mother.
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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