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Cecil Valentine De Vere
De Vere 
Number of games in database: 96
Years covered: 1861 to 1874

Overall record: +42 -34 =6 (54.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 14 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (17) 
    C80 C78 C60 C62 C67
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (10) 
    C01 C15 C00
 Sicilian (6) 
    B46 B43 B21 B44 B20
 Giuoco Piano (5) 
    C50 C53
 Ruy Lopez (5) 
    C60 C65 C61 C84
 Uncommon Opening (5) 
    B00 A00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   De Vere vs Paulsen, 1870 1-0
   Winawer vs De Vere, 1870 0-1
   De Vere vs J Minchin, 1871 1-0
   S Hamel vs De Vere, 1867 0-1
   S Rosenthal vs De Vere, 1867 0-1
   E D'Andre vs De Vere, 1867 0-1
   De Vere vs C Golmayo, 1867 1-0
   W C Spens vs De Vere, 1867 0-1
   De Vere vs Steinitz, 1867 1-0
   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
   Odds games by WhiteRook48
   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 1865-66, he won a match against Wilhelm Steinitz (+7 -3 =2), with Steinitz giving odds of pawn and 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 playoff to Joseph Henry Blackburne. He took 6th-7th place at Baden-Baden (1870). 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, 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 team of Blackburne / Steinitz / De Vere.

Wikipedia article: Cecil Valentine De Vere

Last updated: 2018-06-04 17:36:07

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 96  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Paulsen vs De Vere 1-0321861BlindfoldC01 French, Exchange
2. De Vere vs Steinitz 0-1261864Informal GameC53 Giuoco Piano
3. De Vere vs Steinitz ½-½241865odds match000 Chess variants
4. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-0431865odds match000 Chess variants
5. De Vere vs Steinitz ½-½561865odds match000 Chess variants
6. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-0511865odds match000 Chess variants
7. De Vere vs Steinitz 0-1341865odds match000 Chess variants
8. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-0391865odds match000 Chess variants
9. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-0281865odds match000 Chess variants
10. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-0231865odds match000 Chess variants
11. De Vere vs Steinitz 0-1371865odds match000 Chess variants
12. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-0681865odds match000 Chess variants
13. De Vere vs Steinitz 1-0261865odds match000 Chess variants
14. De Vere vs Steinitz 0-1341865odds match000 Chess variants
15. De Vere vs Steinitz  ½-½501866LondonC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
16. Steinitz vs De Vere  1-0241866London (England)C01 French, Exchange
17. De Vere vs Staunton 0-1241866London consultC59 Two Knights
18. G MacDonnell vs De Vere 0-1191866BCA-01.Challenge CupC53 Giuoco Piano
19. De Vere vs Bird 1-0431866LondonC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
20. Steinitz vs De Vere 1-0391866LondonA00 Uncommon Opening
21. J Minchin vs De Vere 0-1211866LondonC30 King's Gambit Declined
22. J Minchin vs De Vere  0-1591866London (England)C51 Evans Gambit
23. G MacDonnell vs De Vere  0-1311866BCA-01.Challenge CupC01 French, Exchange
24. De Vere vs G MacDonnell  1-0341866BCA-01.Challenge CupC41 Philidor Defense
25. De Vere vs J Minchin 1-0301866BCA-01.Challenge CupC53 Giuoco Piano
 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
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  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:

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Cecil De Vere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Cecil De Vere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nosnibor: In the introduction it states that De Vere lost a match to Zukertort in 1874 and two games are given both being wins by the latter. This was not a match but an Handicap tournament and De Vere lost by 2-1. The game not in the db was a brilliant win by De Vere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sularus: so dapper. RIP
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sularus: quite a scalp collection
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Anyone have access to the Hindle/Jones book, <The English Morphy?: The Life and Games of Cecil De Vere, First British Chess Champion>?

I'm interested in how strong the evidence is for the claim that, per Wikipedia, Cecil was likely <the illegitimate son of William Cecil De Vere, a naval officer and son of the second Baronet of Curragh>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Freeman's Journal, July 15th 1852, p.4:

<July 8, at Burnham, William Cecil de Vere, Esq. of the Royal Navy, fourth son of the late Sir Aubrey de Vere. Bart., of Curragh Chase, county Limerick, to Sophia, youngest daughter of J. Allen, Esq, of Burnham.>

Dublin Evening Mail, February 16th 1869, p.3:

<Captain William Cecil de Vere, R N, died at the Pleasaunce, Torquay, on Feb 2, aged 45.>

This would mean William was born c.1823, making him 22-23 when Cecil was born, and Cecil almost 23 when William died. And both passed away in Torquay.

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <MissScarlett: Freeman's Journal, ...>

Any relation to the Freeman here?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: William Cecil De Vere:

1843 - Promoted to Mate (rank later equivalent to Sub-Lieutenant) on board HMS Stromboli:

1846 - Promoted from Mate to Lieutenant on board HMS Collingwood:

1849 - Appointed as Lieutenant on HMS Racer:

For our purposes, of interest is that in the spring of 1845 when he allegedly sired Cecil, he was apparently stationed with the Stromboli in/off Ireland, though he may still have had access to the British mainland. His tour with the Racer apparently ended in March 1852, so it can be no coincidence that he married Sophia in July 1852. Haven't yet found what he did then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < In 1865, he won a match against Wilhelm Steinitz (+7 -3 =2), with Steinitz giving odds of pawn and move.>

Newspaper reports indicate this match extended into 1866, but they're not sufficiently clear to tell which games should be redated.

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