Fred Dewhirst Yates. Some Games and Pictures.

Fred Dewhirst Yates. Some Games and Pictures.

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'Mr. Yates has left a heritage of beautiful and artistic games of which any master might well be proud'. Tartakower. 500 Master Games of Chess.

A few days ago I took the liberty of posting a game of Fred Yates in the comments to someone else's blog. Having 2 whole days off, I thought I would quickly have a look at some of his games and post them.

Whilst digging out the above quote I noted that Tartakower included quite a few of Yates' games in the book, so, rather than do a 'best games of' selection, I went through those and added a few quick comments as I went along. I will also include a couple more that came into my head, as well as a relevant picture or two that I have in my files! ( at one point - a couple of years ago - I had intended to do full articles on Yates and Thomas, but my life has changed since then, and time trouble a permanent enemy!)

No need to do a biography - you can find an excellent one by John Upham - who is doing wonderful work - on BritishchessNews here.   

So, the wonderful Freddie Yates. One of those rare things - a British chess professional. Never one of the World's elite, and his life was - as you will find in the mentioned biography - way too short. He reminds me of Jackson Showalter - a very straightforward style, and always a danger to the very best.

Also a rarity - I have never seen a bad word written about him - he seems to have been universally liked and respected and, in the ego driven world of chess, that means something to me.

The inestimable Vlastimil Fialla has done some research into his early career, and he was not a chess meteor - he worked his way to the top slowly and through hard work.

While most preferred the security of a proper career and played chess for pleasure, he gave up his work as an accountant to play the game full time. He must have REALLY loved the game, and it shows in his chess.

Let's get to the games - as they come out of the folder - and some pictures.

Firstly the game that started this - 'Yates' Immortal'. Not only is it a beautiful - very!! - game, it has two side issues. Firstly he outplays, in spectacular style, one of the greatest. Secondly, it shows him as a pioneer of the King's Indian Defence ( indeed, elsewhere I have posted a game where he was Black in the debut of the 'Saemisch Variation'.)

One of the last pictures of Yates shows him and Alekhine.
via britbase.

That game reminded me of one not in the Tartakower book. Again one of the very best is on the wrong end of a beautiful Yates effort in the King's Indian. He was a true pioneer in that opening - the Soviet School took such things on board like ducks to water right from the start, but very few before them had the courage to play in such a way. Yates - as usual - in the background - Bogoljubov far right.

What next? O.K. Yates - like most - didn't have a great record against the mighty Akiva Rubinstein. he did, however, play two games given by Tartakower against him. First up a rarity in Rubinstein's career. OUCH!!

The next is a fantastic battle. Yates was a fighter, and so too, although that is not his reputation, was Rubinstein. This isn't 20 moves of computer generated Petroff theory blitzed out in 2 minutes, shake hands and have the rest of the day off. many Yates games are like this - two gladiators fighting on the edge of a precipice, each stumbling in turn, then dragging themselves up by their fingernails to start throwing punches again. I love chess like this!!

A picture with both players - Yates in the background, as usual. Carlsbad 1929.

W.S. 1929. pg 243.

Let's give two games with related openings. Neither is 'perfect chess', but both are fascinating chess.!

Bogoljubov-Colle. San Remo 1930.

A fantastic fight between Yates and Nimzowitsch.

Next a game to which I can add a picture that I love - my old subject, the inestimable  Reginald Pryce Michell in here - Marienbad 1925.

Let's give an early game. Isidor Gunsberg had to give up playing, after the death of his wife, way too soon. He did, however, make a small comeback for a couple of events in 1914, and in the British championships of that year came in a creditable 3rd. It would have been better, but Yates beat him in a typical dogfight - in a theoretical debate of the time.

A relevant picture from the previous year's championship, via britbase.

Let's go to the famous New York 1924 tournament. Yates was in really bad form - despite a draw with Lasker - but for a few days he payed fine chess! Firstsly he beat tartakower, then, in the next round, he played Reti. 

Reti was a curiosity - you expect players to have a poorer score with Black than with White, but Reti actually played much better with the White pieces than with Black! He outdid himself in that regard in this tournament.

Again, an imperfect game, but Yates finds a wonderful move to finish the game. Go look at the position for yourself and see if - knowing it is there - you can find the idea!

In the next round Yates missed - probably twice - the chance of the chess immortality that comes with having beaten Capablanca in a tournament game. The only explanation I can think of is the well known thing of being intimidated by Capablanca, as otherwise he would no doubt have found the win. 
His record against Capablanca - way below what he was capable of - supports that. He saw a draw and took it, without looking for the win. A shame!

Let's go forward a few years to the San Remo tournament of 1930.

W.S. 1930. pg 34.

Yates at the back - again!!

One of my favourite tournaments of all time. the one where I learned about Milan Vidmar. the cheap tournament book of the event is a treasured possession. Alekhine was just magnificent, so the others tend to get forgotten. However, Yates had a fine result.
Along the way he won a fantastic battle against one of my favourite of the Barmen Generation ( my term - must copywrite it!!) the wonderful Milan Vidmar. Alekhine called it one of the three finest games of the post war ( i.e.1914-1918 war) period. what a fight!! I can understand why he loved it so much. Just a magnificent battle.

Yates international debut. there is a story - like all these good stories, it may not be true - that Tarrasch objected to his entry to the event, and Yates duly smashed him. Shades of Bernstein, with Capablanca in 1911, and the pathetic 'Becker 'Vera Menchik Club', thing that sad people seem to be amused by.

Anyway - the picture!

W.s. 1910 pg. 348.

And to finish, lets go back to the tournament that the game that started this little journey came from. A game that looks simple - such is the way with outstanding players, they make the very difficult look like anyone can do it.

Monticello - Yates, from the San Remo files as above.

Fred Dewhirst Yates, you could play mate!!