Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

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John Saunders
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Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by John Saunders » Fri Feb 09, 2024 12:45 pm

Forum readers will already be aware of Ronnie Ives and his role as weekly chess columnist for the Yorkshire Evening Post between 1958 and 1964. His daughter Ingrid Ives shared a number of press cuttings of these columns here last year in this thread as well as providing some fascinating material about her chess-playing mother Cobie Ives (in this thread). Ingrid and I also co-wrote an article about her parents which was published in the July 2023 CHESS.

Since then Ingrid has kindly lent me her albums of Ronnie Ives's weekly chess columns and I set about the task of dating, scanning and digitising them for the BritBase website. I'm glad to report that this task is now complete and the resulting material can be found at the following address...

https://www.saund.org.uk/britbase/pgn/ivesr-viewer.html

The game viewer there provides a glimpse of Ronnie's own games, 79 in all. Further down the page are links to the collection of his newspaper columns. There are 306 columns in total, with 11 unaccounted for. It would be great if the forum's chess history sleuths could help track down those missing columns. The Yorkshire Evening Post does appear on the British Newspaper Archive but only up to 1954, so it's no help with the period in question. The task probably needs to be addressed in the old-fashioned way: visiting a library or record office which holds back copies of the said newspaper.

I do hope people enjoy dipping into the columns as there is lots to see there, particularly if you are interested in chess in Yorkshire. Ronnie did a great job of keeping readers informed, with prompt reporting of county and league matches, game scores, problems, forthcoming events, etc. Leonard Barden has already paid tribute to Ronnie's quality as a columnist and I can back that up, having now read every word of his work. I was very pleased to be able to play a part in this project and I must record my thanks to Ingrid Ives without whom none of this valuable material would have seen the light of day.
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GrahamStuart
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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by GrahamStuart » Fri Feb 09, 2024 1:27 pm

Many thanks for your fantastic work on this John. Great to have these available online, categorised and with the games in the articles viewable.

It is obvious that a lot of hard work has been undertaken to complete this and I look forward to reading through the articles. Many thanks to Ingrid as well, for lending you the original archives to allow this work to be completed.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Feb 09, 2024 3:30 pm

"Many thanks for your fantastic work on this John. Great to have these available online, categorised and with the games in the articles viewable.

It is obvious that a lot of hard work has been undertaken to complete this and I look forward to reading through the articles. Many thanks to Ingrid as well, for lending you the original archives to allow this work to be completed."

In the absence of a "like" button, I agree entirely.

Ingrid Ives
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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by Ingrid Ives » Fri Feb 09, 2024 4:51 pm

John,

I have thanked you privately and would now like to thank you publicly for all you have achieved with this project. I know you have been working into the small hours to scan and date these columns, which often involved solving the weekly puzzle to locate the next column, as many of them were not sequentially numbered. As a non-chess player, I could never have done this. On occasions, I know you also researched any news story on the reverse of a column to corroborate with the same news story in other, dated newspapers. Your perseverance and diligence are quite incredible.

I had only just turned three years old when I lost my dad suddenly to a brain tumour and my sisters were aged five and seven. There were only six weeks between diagnosis and his death, which explains why his column came to an abrupt end in early 1964. Perhaps the three missing columns from January and February 1964 were never written because he was too ill, or maybe they were written but Mum had too much on her mind to cut them out. Either way, it would be absolutely wonderful if the chess super-sleuths on this forum could help to locate the 11(?) missing columns.

By coincidence, it’s exactly one year since I posted about Mum in the Women’s Chess section of this forum, on what would have been her 100th birthday. Today would of course also have been her birthday and what a cause for celebration she would have had, to see her beloved Ronnie’s chess columns available online and providing enjoyment to others in the chess world. I’m also delighted to see him on the Player Collection page along with 79 of his games published on Britbase. After a year of reading contributions to this forum and Britbase, I even know the names of some of his opponents and his Yorkshire team-mates, so I have context that I never had before.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I wanted to make this journey through my father’s chess life in order to get to know him better. Mum was (thankfully) a bit of a hoarder so along with his chess memorabilia we have his diaries from WW2, school reports (which were glowing) and various other bits and pieces. They all paint a picture of a highly intelligent, thoughtful man always considerate of others. If there was one word Mum used to describe him all the time it was the word ‘kind’ and that’s definitely what I remember of him the most. Even as a small child, you pick up on and remember this. It’s definitely the most important thing over and above any of his chess achievements.

I think it’s possible that our family lofts might still reveal a few more vintage chess-related items and if they do, I will be sure not to keep them in a dusty box for another 70 years.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped me to put my father’s story together, including all those who have contributed via this forum and to Steve Mann. I read every post that mentions my parents and I will continue to do so. As Kevin says, there’s no ‘like’ button, which is a great shame as I have often wanted to press it!

Ingrid Ives
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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by Ingrid Ives » Fri Feb 09, 2024 9:43 pm

A bit off-topic, but here is a page from their wedding album - Valentine's Day 1948. It sets the scene with regard to the fashion of the times and the fact that post-war, austerity was the order of the day and clothing was still rationed, including their wedding and honeymoon outfits. Obviously in these circumstances, the best strategy for a happy marriage was to take your new wife around the country to play in chess congresses :)
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NickFaulks
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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:18 pm

Ingrid Ives wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2024 9:43 pm
Obviously in these circumstances, the best strategy for a happy marriage was to take your new wife around the country to play in chess congresses :)
My parents married in that year ( with similar photos ), but I don't think my Dad would have got away with that.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a QR code stamped on a human face — forever.

Ingrid Ives
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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by Ingrid Ives » Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:30 pm

Haha Nick 😂 Was your dad also a chess player? Must have been hard for the husbands to get the wives involved with so few women playing in those days.

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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Feb 09, 2024 11:20 pm

No, my Dad's interest ( and line of work ) was public transport, and photo albums dating back to holidays from my early years are full of pictures of buses and trams. They are however conspicuously missing in the first years of their marriage, when holidays were not "busman's holidays".
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a QR code stamped on a human face — forever.

Ingrid Ives
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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by Ingrid Ives » Fri Feb 09, 2024 11:52 pm

And so the phrase “a busman’s holiday” can legitimately be traced back to your youth. I love this story!

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Ronnie Ives and the Yorkshire Evening Post Chess Column

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:35 pm

Many thanks from me also to John for his hard work on this. An amazing resource and hopefully some more to come later in due course. Thank you, too, Ingrid, for making this all available and giving the family context to your chess-playing parents (and your dad's chess column), something that is not always present in the histories.

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