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De Vere 
Cecil Valentine De Vere
Number of games in database: 96
Years covered: 1861 to 1874
Overall record: +41 -35 =6 (53.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      14 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (17) 
    C80 C78 C62 C67 C65
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (10) 
    C01 C00 C15
 Sicilian (8) 
    B46 B21 B44 B40 B20
 Ruy Lopez (5) 
    C60 C61 C65 C84
 Giuoco Piano (5) 
    C50 C53
 Uncommon Opening (4) 
    B00 A00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   De Vere vs Paulsen, 1870 1-0
   De Vere vs J Minchin, 1871 1-0
   S Hamel vs De Vere, 1867 0-1
   Winawer vs De Vere, 1870 0-1
   E D'Andre vs De Vere, 1867 0-1
   De Vere vs Steinitz, 1867 1-0
   G Neumann vs De Vere, 1870 0-1
   S Rosenthal vs De Vere, 1867 0-1
   Burn vs De Vere, 1868 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Dundee Congress (1867)
   Paris (1867)
   Baden-Baden (1870)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Paris 1867 by suenteus po 147
   Dundee Congress 1867 by Calli

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(born Feb-14-1846, died Feb-09-1875, 28 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
Valentine John Cecil De Vere Mathewsą, later known as Cecil de Vere, was born February 14 (Valentine’s Day), 1846. In 1857, at the age of 11, he was taught how to play chess by a strong London player, Francis Burden (1830-1882). In 1859, he joined the City of London Chess Club. In 1860, at the age of 14, he was a regular at Simpson’s Divan. In 1864, he played a number of games against George Alcock MacDonnell, winning the majority of them. In 1865, he won a match against Wilhelm Steinitz (+7-3=2), with Wilhelm Steinitz playing odds of a pawn and a move. In November, 1866, at the age of 20, he won the 1st British Chess Association Challenge Cup, held in London, becoming the first official British Chess Champion. He remained the youngest titleholder for over a century (until Nigel Short). In June 1867, he took 5th at Paris, won by Ignatz Von Kolisch. In September 1867, he took 3rd-4th at the 3rd Congress of the British Chess Association at Dundee, Scotland, won by Gustav Richard Neumann. While he was in Dundee, he learned that he had tuberculosis (consumption). He worked at Lloyd's of London, but gave up his employment when he discovered he had tuberculosis. In 1868-69, he tied for 1st place at the 2nd British Chess Association Challenge Cup, held in London. He lost the play-off to Joseph Henry Blackburne. In 1870, he took 6th-7th at Baden-Baden, Germany. In 1872, he took 3rd-5th at the 2nd British Chess Federation Congress in London. In 1872, he was the chess editor of "The Field" (newspaper), but lost it after 18 months through inattention to work (he had become an alcoholic). In 1874, he lost a match against Johannes Zukertort in London. He died of tuberculosis, and a penniless alcoholic, at the age of 28 in Torquay.

(1) His full name and birth certificate were finally discovered by Owen Hindle and published in British Chess Magazine's Notes & Queries column. See issues Dec. 2003, Feb. 2004, and Nov. 2005.

note: Cecil de Vere played on the teams of Cecil Valentine De Vere & Blackburne / Steinitz / De Vere.

Wikipedia article: Cecil Valentine De Vere

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 96  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Paulsen vs De Vere 1-032 1861 BlindfoldC01 French, Exchange
2. De Vere vs Steinitz 0-126 1864 Informal GameC53 Giuoco Piano
3. De Vere vs Steinitz ½-½56 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
4. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-043 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
5. De Vere vs Steinitz 0-134 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
6. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-051 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
7. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-023 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
8. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-028 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
9. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-039 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
10. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-026 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
11. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-068 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
12. De Vere vs Steinitz 0-137 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
13. De Vere vs Steinitz ½-½24 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
14. De Vere vs Steinitz 0-134 1865 odds match000 Chess variants
15. De Vere vs E Thorold 0-132 1866 Counties Chess AssociationC41 Philidor Defense
16. G MacDonnell vs De Vere 0-119 1866 BCA-01.Challenge CupC53 Giuoco Piano
17. Steinitz vs De Vere  1-024 1866 London (England)C01 French, Exchange
18. G MacDonnell vs De Vere  0-131 1866 BCA-01.Challenge CupC01 French, Exchange
19. Owen vs De Vere  0-135 1866 Counties Chess AssociationC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
20. De Vere vs Bird 1-043 1866 LondonC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
21. J Minchin vs De Vere 0-121 1866 LondonC30 King's Gambit Declined
22. De Vere vs J Minchin 1-030 1866 BCA-01.Challenge CupC53 Giuoco Piano
23. De Vere vs Staunton 0-124 1866 London consultC59 Two Knights
24. De Vere vs Steinitz  ½-½50 1866 LondonC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
25. De Vere vs G MacDonnell  1-034 1866 BCA-01.Challenge CupC41 Philidor Defense
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 96  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | De Vere wins | De Vere loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: The feast of Saint Valentine is very old. For reference read I don't think it's an incredible coincidence that a boy born in 1845 is named after the saint of his birthday.
Feb-14-05  Open Defence: <chessgames> As someone posted earlier, that knight looks very lonely, get him/her a Valentine :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: lesiege is a poker player not a chess player nowadays ;)
Feb-14-07  Hafen Slawkenbergius: Such a pity... it's interesting, BTW, a lot of extremely talented players of this generation stopped playing early; not only Morphy, but de Vere, Kolisch, Neuman, Suhle... Just think, what a hell of a time would Steinitz have had, if Vienna 1873 included all of the best living players, and not just all of the best active ones.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kellmano: Looks like a really cool dude. I might copy his hairstyle.
Feb-14-07  setebos: <kellmano> Buy a cow and have it lick your hair in the morning:)
Feb-14-07  DennistheMenace: <He worked at Lloyds Bank...>

No, Lloyd's the insurance market. A different beast altogether.

Trying to think who the picture of de Vere reminds me of. Yes, it's a youthful Christopher Hichens.

Feb-14-08  BIDMONFA: Cecil Valentine De Vere

DE VERE, Cecil Valentine

Feb-14-08  brankat: Seems to have been such a great talent, young Mr.De Vere.

And yet such a short, unhappy and tragic life.

Happy Birthday Cecil Valentine, wherever You may be!

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the Day
At least it gives an explanation why he is sometimes called <The English Morphy>

and it has the beautiful link:

Feb-14-08  Open Defence: <At about the time that he won the national championship his mother died, a loss he felt deeply, 'the only person who ever cared for me'> that indeed is tragic... maybe he had to open up and give a little to receive.. how lucky we are though
Feb-14-08  pawnofdoom: Born on Valentine's Day!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Born on Valentine's Day? What a coincidence! ;-)
Feb-14-08  MichAdams: If born on May 1st, he'd really have been in trouble.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: De Vere's shining moment was a thrashing of Steinitz at the odds of a pawn and two, 7W-3L-2D. CG just put these games in the DB, so enjoy:

Feb-15-08  Open Defence: <Calli> the link states

<Overall record: Wilhelm Steinitz beat Cecil Valentine De Vere 11 to 8, with 2 draws.*>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Yes, that is the correct overall record. De Vere won the odds match 7-3-2.
Feb-15-08  Open Defence: Oh sorry I thought that the statement reflected the Odds Match
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Hmm, well I can do it a different way

Aug-16-09  YoungEd: Does anyone know why he used the pseudonym he did? What's wrong with Valentine Brown? (Yes, I know, normally Valentine red, but seriously).
Feb-14-10  Doc Valentine: Happy Birthday and Happy Valentine's Day, too!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: This person only lived up to age 29.
Feb-14-12  brankat: Born on Valentine's Day :-)

A very talented young chess player.

From the Bio: <..becoming the first official British Chess Champion. He remained the youngest titleholder for over a century (until Nigel Short)..>

Happy Birthday!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: On second of thought, he might be a another candidate. He was POTD last year, I believe.


Feb-14-15  TheTamale: And a fine looking fellow our POTD was, indeed! A perfect Valentine's Day representative for the game.
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