Cecil De Vere Joins The Masters.


nullOk. First attempt at working this stuff out. will try to post a game all on my own.

As a follow up to the De Vere games I have inflicted on Kamalakanta's postings, will give the game that stood the chess world on it's head all those years ago. Steinitz, shortly before he beat Andersenn to become 'World Champion' , played a match at odds of Pawn and move against a promising 20 year old , Cecil Valentine Brown, as he was then known. No doubts he was taking the opportunity to get in some practice in anticipation of the major test to come.

Up to this point in his career we know of just 4 games played by the young man - this was before Potter entered into his journalistic efforts. For about 6 years he had appeared at the famous 'Simpson's Divan', in The Strand, for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Then, before evening set in, he would return home to his mother, who he doted on. He would always try to play the strongest opponent available - which no doubt cost him many shillings - the normal stake requested by the professionals, such as Steinitz and Bird, at the time, and he would always accept 'the appropriate odds'.

In the Winter of 1862, he had contested, and won, a match with his friend, already established as a 'Master', in the status term of the time, the Rev. G.A Macdonnell, at the odds of the exchange. However, he seems to have played little for the next 2 years - Hindle speculates that he may well have been concentrating on his first job ( with Lloyd's of London )  

Then , in 1865, Some members of the 'City of London' club - some of whom would already have been part of the 'Anti - Steinitz' group decided to finance a match between the Bohemian Professional and the frail, delicate, but talented youth.

In the first game, De Vere's nerves showed, and Steinitz easily outplayed him in the complications. 

However, in the next 2 games Steinitz was simply crushed by beautiful positional play on De Vere's part. So, on to game 4. Steinitz decides to provoke complications again, and after his 25th move is threatening 26... Qxh2 check with a beautiful mate in 6.

  De Vere won the match with a score of 7 to 3 with 4 draws. Within 2 years he had become the first British Champion. The rest however is not such an uplifting story.