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John Dibbin Chambers
J D Chambers 
Number of games in database: 7
Years covered: 1886 to 1924
Overall record: +2 -4 =1 (35.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Most played openings
D02 Queen's Pawn Game (2 games)

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(born 1845, died Jun-15-1930, 85 years old) United Kingdom

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John Dibbin Washington Chambers was born in the Isle of Man in 1845, the son of Louisa Frances Dibbin Chambers (1805-1884) and Captain John Carr Chambers (1799-1870) of the Royal Hanoverian Regiment in Lucea, Jamaica. He had a sister, Mary (1846-1921). The family moved to St Briavels, Gloucestershire, then to Parton, Cumberland. After his father's death the family moved to Scotland where John was a travelling agent, since about 1890 for a whisky distilling company. He was a co-founder of the Scottish Chess Association (1884), winner of the West of Scotland Challenge Cup (1885), winner of the first correspondence chess tournament in Scotland (1885-87), Scottish Chess Champion (1891), and British Correspondence Chess Association champion (1918-1919). He played in the first class section at several British Chess Federation congresses (1906, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1920) and won the South Wales chess championship (1924, 1927). Known as "The Apostle of Chess", he was the founder of dozens of chess clubs. He passed away in Cardiff, Wales at the age of about 85.

Mainly based on resarch by User: Alan McGowan at Chess Scotland:

Last updated: 2018-04-23 04:42:48

 page 1 of 1; 7 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J D Chambers vs W Nicholls  ½-½581886Irish CA Congress 2ndA13 English
2. G B Fraser vs J D Chambers  1-0351891GBR Fraser corr-96C30 King's Gambit Declined
3. J Comrie vs J D Chambers  1-0441891GBR Fraser corr-96C60 Ruy Lopez
4. J D Chambers vs Andrew Bonar Law  1-0251897Scottish chC50 Giuoco Piano
5. J D Chambers vs P W Sergeant 1-0521906BCF-ch 3rd First ClassD02 Queen's Pawn Game
6. J D Chambers vs S I Groen  0-1461919Hastings-BD02 Queen's Pawn Game
7. J D Chambers vs C Mansfield  0-1311924Cardiff - Somerset and BristolA84 Dutch
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Chambers wins | Chambers loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-16-12  Karpova: Up to 1887, he had played 40 correspondence games without a loss - then came the young Annette Votruba (from Vienna, there were many chessplayers in the Votruba family) and inflicted the first loss on Chambers as he stated.

From page 17 of the October 1887 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: He was probably born 1845 or late 1844. I was only able to find the death of Francis John Dibbin in February 1844. After McGowan identified him it was possible to find a little more:

1836: Louisa F. Dibbin publishes her book "The Stories of Aunt Alice" (Darton and Harvey, London. 143 pp.) (a children's book. Introduction is dated Chiswick 25 May 1836 and dedicated to George Birkbeck)

1837: <MARRIED. On Wednesday, by license, at the new Jerusalem church, Cross street, Hatton garden, according to the rites of that church, and under the authority of the recent act of parliament (6 & 7 Wm. IV, c. 83), John Carr Chambers, Esq. of Jamaica, to Louisa Frances Dibbin, of Chiswick. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. S. Noble, minister of the church, in the presence of the registrar of marriages for the Holborn union, who took a record thereof, as prescribed by law. This, we are informed, is the first marriage which has been solemnized in England among the members of that church by their own ministers.> (The Examiner, 1 October 1837, p. 636)

1844: <Deaths ... Chambers, Francis John Dibbin, aged 5, the beloved son of Johh Carr Chambers, esq., of Jamaica; at Ramsey, Isle of Man, Feb. 14> (The Court Magazine, March 1844, p. 48) (also noted in the London Observer, 19 February 1844, p. 4, with date 11 Feb.)

1851 census St Briavels Gloucestershire: John C Chambers, 40 (?), Landed Proprietor, b. in Jamaica, Louisa F., Wife, 30, John D, Son, 6, Scholar, b. in Isle of Man; Mary A. W., Daughter, 5, b. in Isle of Man

1860: <A few days ago, Master John Dibden W. Chambers, of Birkbeck Cottage, Parton, was angling off the coast with fresh water tackle, and a fly of the smallest size but one, when a fine cod jumped at the lure, and was hooked. The fish was taken by means of the gaff.> (Cumberland Pacquet, 4 December 1860, p. 5)

1861 census Birkbeck Cottage, Parton Cumberland: John Carr Chambers, 61, Landed Proprietor; Louisa Frances Chambers, 54; John Dibbin Washington Chambers, 16, Gardener, b. in Isle of Man>, Mary Ann W. B., 15, Pionoiste (?)

1862: <A Perilous Adventure Across the Solway. - The passage over the Solway from Parton, in Cumberland, to Balcarry, Scotland - thence to Kirkcudbright, and back home, was made between Monday and Saturday, the 22nd and 27th ult., in a 19 feet keel pleasure boat, the Esperanza, of Parton, by the owner, Mr. J. D. W. Chambers, a youth aged 18, son of Captain Chambers, of Parton. The daring voyager left Parton alone at 10 a.m. on Monday, and merely intended to get some mussel bait. He was, however, overtaken with adverse winds, and was compelled to make for Kirkcudbright. He touched at several ports and fishing villages, at all of which he received the most generous hospitality, and he was eventually enabled to effect a return passage from the Ross lighthouse to Parton between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, the distance being 21 miles.> (Carlisle Journal, 10 October 1862, p. 5)

1864: <Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. - T. H. Naile, agent to the above society, begs to acknowledge from Mr. J. D. and Miss Chambers a donation of 10s., being part of the prize won by the boat Esperanza, at the Parton regatta, on the 19th ult. > (Cumberland Pacquet, 4 October 1864, p. 5)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: (cont.)

1870: <Departed this life, on 26th May, 1870, in his seventy-second year, at his residence, Birkbeck Cottage, village of Parton, Cumberland, Captain John Carr Chambers, of H.M. Royal Hanoverian Regiment, Lucea, parish of Hanover, Jamaica. He was a lineal descendant from the first family who settled on the beautiful island of Jamaica (under a grant from the English Crown 1640), and who were the first receivers and zealous promulgators of the doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg in that island, and indeed among the very earliest receivers of the doctrines of the New Church in any part of the world. From them the heavenly principles have been transmitted faithfully to a fourth generation, — the parents of the venerated subject of this memoir having been distinguished for their active goodness, the exceeding purity of their lives, their unfailing Christian faith, and increasing endeavours to inculcate the same in the minds of all their family and household, and of all whom opportunity offered for influencing. But with none did these impressions sink deeper than with their beloved son John Carr Chambers, whose exemplary life has so lately been brought to a close. Under the influence of the Divine doctrines he evinced the most perfect self-control through a long course of trying vicissitudes and severe family affliction. He was distinguished by an ardent desire to benefit his fellow-creatures to the utmost of his power, alike in prosperity and adversity; in the former ever referring success to the Great Dispenser of all, and in the latter bearing every trial with Christian meekness and manly firmness. Of the most sincere and unassuming piety, of the widest liberality and generosity, of consummate judgment and immutable integrity, combining the boldest bravery with the greatest kindness and sweetness of manhood, he won the friendship and esteem of all who knew him, and has left a chasm in the hearts of his surviving family never to be refilled in their passage through this transitory life. In his native country he filled many important civic posts with honour and superior ability, Besides the undaunted and devoted discharge of his military appointments, during the last unhappy general insurrection of the negroes, when among other beneficial exertions he disciplined a troop under his own directions, which enforced the admiration of the best officers of the British army, and supported by its conduct and that of its youthful commanders the claim long since accorded by the Home Government to the Jamaica regiments to rank with the standard army of Great Britain. He passed from the office of Ensign to that of Captain with unprecedented rapidity, and was so much beloved by the unfortunate blacks themselves, that when some of the poor misguided people were on trial under martial law, they declared that they had refused to fire when they had good aim at Massa John — he had always been so good to them. He also attained in proportionate brief space of time to the highest honours of the Freemasons' Society, of which he became a member at the age of twenty-one, and to which he was always strongly attached. During the last two years of his life he was confined almost entirely to the house by an extremely painful lameness, which he bore with unflinching fortitude and confiding resignation in the wisdom of the Most High, united with the tenderest consideration for all who ministered to him. The last night he was capable of distinct and coherent speech, he uttered a pathetic appeal to his Lord and Saviour for support in his sufferings — concluding with meek submission to the Divine Will in all things. After that, a few heart-rending days and nights of agony, endured in quiet patience, closed his benevolent life.> (The Intellectual Repository and New Jerusalem Magazine, vol. XVIII, No. 205, January 2, 1871)

1871 census Parton Cumberland: Louisa F. D. Chambers, Widow, 65, Landowner; John D., Son, 26, Grocer, b. in Ramsey Isle of Man; Mary W. B., Daughter, 25, b. in Ramsey Isle of Man

1877: <Chambers, John D., agent for Edward Brothers, iron merchants, Birmingham; office, 132 West Nile st.; house, 25 Kilmailing terrace, Old Cathcart> (Glasgow Post Office Directory)

1881 census Kilmailing Terrace No 25 Cartcart Renfrewshire (west of Glasgow): Louisa Francis D Chambers, 75, b. in England; <Mary Ann Chambers>, 35, Household Manager, b. in Ransay, Isle of Man (his sister Mary Ann)

1883: <Mr. James Blackburne, the celebrated professional chess player, gave a remarkable exhibition of his skill last night at the Athenæum. ... As the contest was over much sooner than had been anticipated, Mr. Blackburne expressed his willingness to play eight more simultaneous games. ... and it was taken advantage of by ... Mr. J. D. Chambers, Glasgow; ...> (Sheffield Independent, 25 January 1883, p. 3) (first mention of chess I can find in the newspapers)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: (cont.)

1884: <NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN That, on an Application to the SHERIFF OF THE COUNTY OF RENFREW by JOHN DIBBIN CHAMBERS, Commercial Traveller, residing in Kilmailing Terrace, Cathcart, in the County of Renfrew, Executor dative quá, one of the Next-of-Kin to the deceased Mrs. LOUISA FRANCES DIBBIN or CHAMBERS, residing in Kilmailing Terrace aforesaid, widow of Captain JOHN CARR CHAMBERS, sometime of Partin, near Whitehaven, Cumberland, craving that the Caution to be found by him in Confirmation be Restricted to Twenty Pounds, - the SHERIFF has appointed any person having Objections thereto to lodge the same with the COMMISSARY CLERK, Paisley, within Ten Days from 5th Inst., with certification. G. A. Thompson, Pror. for Petitioner. 180 West George Street, Glasgow, 4th April, 1884> (Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette, 5 April 1884, p. 1)

1884: <7 May - Confirmation of Louisa Frances Dibbin or Chambers, Kilmailing Terrace, Cathcart, widow, who died 29 January 1884, at Cathcart, intestate, granted at Paisley, to John Dibbin Chambers, Commercial Traveller, Kilmailing Terrace aforesaid, Executor dative qua next of kin. ... Value of Estate, L 1,286, 5s. 5d.> (Scotland Probate Calendar)

1886: <That able and indefatigable champion of chess, Mr. J. D. Chambers, of Glasgow, recently visited Elgin, and inspired the chess players of that town with such enthusiasm for our game that at his suggestion they at once formed a committee, and organized a society entitled the "Morayshire Chess Association."> (Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 20 November 1886, p. 264)

1887: <Chambers, John D., commercial traveller (with Wright & Greig, 90 West Campbell st.), house, 25 Kilmailing ter., Old Cathcart.>

1891 census Queen's Hotel Montrose Angus Scotland: John D Chambers, 39, Visitor, b. in England, Commercial Traveller (no image, text-only collection in A dot com)

1895: <The following game, which we give with poetical notations, was played at the Glasgow Congress of the Scottish Chess Association in July of 1891. This game has won the Scotch Brilliancy Prize on one guinea given by Mr. D. Y. Mills. Mr. A. Guest, Chess Editor Morning Post and Tinsley's Magazine, was judge. Mr. John D. Chambers deservedly won the prize. In North Britain he is known as the "Apostle of Chess." He is a Cumbrian (not a Cambrian) by birth; by occupation a traveller in the spirit business. In the course of the last few years he has established no fewer than 25 Chess Clubs, and has been the means of initiating more than 1,000 willing pupils into the mysteries of the Royal game. Caissa, blessed be thy name!> (The Cambrian (Swansea), 19 July 1895, p. 7) (the game follows, with poetical annotations. If born on the Isle of Man, he is sort of Cumbrian)

1897: <CHESS. PERTH CLUB. - Mr John D. Chambers, the well-known Scottish chess "apostle," fresh from a triumphant progress in Wales, tackled all comers in the Perth Chess Clubrooms in the Grand Hotel, Perth, last night. Ten gentlemen sat down to play, and after a stiff fight it was found Mr Chambers had swept the boards of all the games. He received the hearty thanks of the Club for his interesting exhibition. Scores: - > (a table follows, here edited) <J. Hood 0, C. Robertson 0, W. Muirhead 0, R. Stewart 0, Rev. A. J. B. Baxter 0, J. R. Henderson 0, W. R. Johnstone 0, J. Dewar 0, P. L. McDonald 0, W. Walker 0 .. Total, Perth 0 Chambers 10> (The Evening Telegraph (Dundee), 16 March 1897, p. 3)

1898: <On Monday evening Mr. John D. Chambers, ex-Scotch chess champion, gave an exhibition of simultaneous playing at Bentley's Central Hotel, Merthyr. He competed against fourteen players, and won every game with the exception of one, in which he was defeated by Mr. P. R. Willoughby, assistant surveyor of the urban district council.> (Evening Express (Cardiff), 15 March 1898, p. 3)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: (cont.)

1901 census 124 Northenden Rd Sale Cheshire: John D Chambers, Boarder, Single, 50, Spirit Agent, b. in Scotland (yet good chances this is him)

1901 census Dumfries Dumfriesshire: <Mary Ann Chambers>, 55, Voluntary Patient (Patient), Living On Own Means, Crichton Royal Institution (his sister)

1908: <ABERDOVEY. CHESS. On Thursday evening at the Institute, Mr John D. Chambers, the well-known amateur chess player, essayed the task of playing twelve games simultaneously. The boards were taken by the following players: Messrs J. M Jones, Owen Jones, William Jones (R.O.), Ffestin Williams, Tom Walter Evans, Robert Richards, Richard Williams, Edwin Hughes, William Ives [Eves?], C. L Burgess, D. L. Davies, and A. N. Other. Mr Chambers succeeded in winning all the games, but one or two hard struggles took place.> (The Aberystwyth Observer and Cardigan County Times, 13 February 1908, p. 7)

1908: <An interesting gentleman was staying at the Boar's Head Hotel the other day, in the person of Mr. John D. Chambers, B.A., the champion amateur chess-player. He began chess when only six years of age, and having initiated over a thousand pupils into the mysteries of the royal game, he has been designated "The Apostle of Chess." He secured the Scotch championship in 1891, and amongst his recent conquests are the Lee Cup, Manchester, the Cheshire Cup, and the Rainer Shield. At Aberystwyth College, Mr. Chambers recently played 15 games and won them all. He is now actively engaged in promoting chess in Wales, and greatly deplores that the cause of Caissa does not attract greater interest in Carmarthen, where he cannot get a game. Mr. Chambers would like to see a chess club formed there.> (The Carmarthen Journal and South Wales Weekly Advertiser, 29 May 1908, p. 5)

1911 census 81 Claude Road Cardiff Wales: John Dibbin Chambers, Lodger, 56, Single, Commercial Traveller Scotch Whisky Distilling, b. in Edinburgh.

1928: <Veteran J. D. Chambers, of Cardiff (the oldest living member of Glasgow C.C., which he joined in 1872), is still as enthusiastic in chess as ever, especially playing by correspondence, and he has twice won the South Wales championship, "over the board," recently. Further, we note he has been “interviewed” the other day by the “Evening Express," Cardiff, and a few extracts may interest his Scots friends: - "On learning that Mr Chambers would be unable, through failing health, to attend the Tenby Congress I took the opportunity of interviewing him, as I felt sure that he had much of interest to relate from his long experience as a player and promoter of the game. He has many interesting souvenirs. Among other things he has some copies of "The Hastings Victory Congress" with names under each player. This publication is now out of print, so that anyone desiring a copy may be glad to know where it can be obtained. He also has some pictures of the great Paul Morphy, taken in his schooldays about 1850. These were presented to Mr Chambers when, quite a lad in 1858, he played with the celebrated master. He has some interesting souvenirs of the celebrated Duke of Wellington — the Victor of Waterloo — consisting of a board and men with which he played in 1790, as Arthur Wellesley, aged 19, ensign of the 93rd regiment of Highlanders; the report in the 'Times', June 22, 1815, in which are mentioned the names of several soldiers who were killed at Waterloo, who had played chess with the Iron Duke, among them being the Duke of Brunswick, General Sir Thomas Picton, his Adjutant Major John Chambers, and Captain R. Chambers; the two last-named were grandfather and grand-uncle respectively of Mr J. D. Chambers. All the above were killed within a few yards of each other at Waterloo. Many of my readers will recollect the series of chess talks given by Mr Chambers from Cardiff Broadcasting Station in the autumn of 1924. These were: — 1, A. Bonar Law; 2, Origin of Chess; 3, Empress Eugene; 4, Queen Elizabeth; 5, Shakespeare; 6, Caxton; 7, Marriage Tests by Chess; 8, Tay Bridge Disaster; 9, Duke of Wellington; 10, Lord Nelson. The author intends shortly to publish these talks (at 2s per copy full-set), and they will no doubt prove as interesting in print as they were by radio."> (Falkirk Herald, 11 July 1928, p. 14)

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  Tabanus: (cont.)

1930: <I hold a copy of His Death Certificate. Died in Cardiff on 15 June, 1930, aged 87 years. His last address is given as 23 Grosvenor Street. Cause of death: Bronchitis. His occupation is described as Commercial Traveller, dealing in Wines and Spirits.> (Gordon Cadden in English Chess Forum, 11 April 2018)

1930: <The Late Mr J. D. Chambers: According to Mr J. D. Chambers’ autobiography, which we possess, he had been playing chess for fully 80 years, since he learned the game, at six years of age, from his father, a shipcaptain, while at sea. In his more mature years, he became a strong player, and his enthusiasm was generally at fever heat during his long life. He founded chess clubs everywhere he went, if none already existed, and in the most out-of-the-way places. As a traveller, he traversed Britain from end to end, many a time, and was equally at home in Ireland and Wales. Some his clubs were "still-born,” or at any rate only lived during his own magnetic presence. In the north of Scotland and the Western Isles, he was familiarly known fifty years ago as the "Apostle of Chess.’’ He managed to affiliate himself, at some period or another, to every club, county, or national association he encountered in his travels. He was a strong optimist, with an infallible belief in chess, and in himself as a chess player. The curious :hing was, that he thought his own style was really "brilliant,’' whereas his match games were invariably of the most stolid, and strongly defensive, character. Mr Chambers simply tried to block every possible avenue of attack, and let the “other fellow" initiate and knock his head against the stonewall erected by J. D. C. Occasionally, his armour was badly holed, although the attacker often got damaged by an unsound effort; for the “old man” was a good analyst, and a very correct correspondence player. He assisted in founding the Scottish Chess Association, and won the "S.C.A.” championship in 1891, and tried to win it often since. He knew, and played frequently with, all the old masters, for we think he reckoned himself as in the same class. For a dozen years he has been the oldest members of Glasgow Chess Club, which he joined in 1872, keeping up his membership till his death about a fortnight ago. Mr Chambers had outlived practically all his chess-contemporaries, even although he kept his chess-friendships in a "state good repair.” Altogether, he was man of rather extraordinary personality, with an enormous knowledge of life, and an unfailing supply of stories and anecdotes. He never married, and his only known relative was a sister in Banffshire, who predeceased him some years ago. He won innumerable championships, one of his latest being that of South Wales; and he was quite as proud of being "champion" of a remote Welsh or Highland stronghold as of being a city champion. Hyperbolical optimism marked his writings and conversation in chess; and in other matters it sometimes led him astray to his own financial loss. At one time Mr Chambers was quite affluent, but he made a series of risky investments, which turned out badly. Mr Chambers was generous in disposition, and he gave, and lost, generously many a time. Nearly all his life he suffered from a weak chest, and bronchitis, chronically. He always carried scent to neutralise what he called "chess congress tobacco-smoke,” which he suffered for hours on end, and hated violently! A great lover of flowers, he always appeared with a fresh buttonhole; and, in autumn, was very “heathery.” His nationality was a hard problem to himself. He claimed to be Scotch, but partly American, partly Welsh, partly English, also, and partly Irish. He knew a little Erse, and a little Welsh, and a little Gaelic — and he had a good deal of the "Lavengro" about him. Some of his habits of life were distinctly Borrovian. Peace to the ashes of a great, and nearly unique, chess-player.> (Falkirk Herald, 9 July 1930, p. 11)

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