Yorkshire Chess History

 

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1883: D. Y. Mills in Sheffield

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The Leeds player David Yarnton Mills had some ability at simultaneous blindfold play.  He gave a simultaneous display against six players of the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club, in the committee room of the Sheffield Athenaeum Club, George Street, Sheffield, on Thursday 15/02/1883.  This was reported in the Weekly Supplement to the Sheffield & Rotherham Independent of 17/02/1883.

 

Results were as follows:

 

Athenaeum Player

(as reported)

Result

Full and/or Corrected Name

Mr. W. Cockayne

loss

William Cockayne jun.

Mr. Henry Davy

win

Henry Davy

Mr. F. E. Foster

draw

Frederick Edward Foster

Mr. G. A. Askham

won

George Albert Roberts Askham

Mr. Marriott Oakes

draw

Marriott Oakes

Mr. F. E. [sic] Dalton

loss

Frederick George Dalton, junior

 

Whilst Mills was one of the strongest players in Yorkshire at the time, he was not of the same calibre as, say, Joseph Blackburne.  For most players, managing to play more than one game blindfold, simultaneously, is nigh impossible, so to score 50% in this way against six of the Sheffield Athenaeum’s top players is highly impressive.

 

Blackburne had been demonstrating his blindfold skills in Sheffield only three weeks earlier, and this seems to have precipitated a query addressed to Bird via his column in the Independent, as, in the “To Correspondents” section of the column on 17/03/1883, he gave the following;

 

“SANS VOIR” – When Philidor played three games at chess without sight of the board or men, in 1794, it was considered a marvellous feat of memory.  Harrwitz conducted three games similarly about 40 years since, [he’d played two at once at Yorkshire Chess Association meetings in 1847 and 1850,] and it was then regarded as an extraordinary performance.  Subsequently Paulsen, with his 10, 12 or 16 games, eclipsed previous efforts, and now blindfold players are plentiful enough, and of all grades of strength.  Blackburne is considered by many good judges as the readiest and finest blindfold player; others prefer Zukertort.  A match between these two for both to play blindfold was proposed in 1878, after the Paris Tournament, but unexpectedly fell through.

 

 

Created

14/08/2013

Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

Last Updated

14/08/2013