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“Silent Chess Champions” in Belfast, 1913

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 22 March 2013

The following image and story is from the Belfast Evening Telegraph for Monday 4th August 1913.

A party of twenty deaf mutes, who arrived in Belfast on Friday.  The following “conversation” which took place – on paper, of course – between our photographer and one of the company will explain their mission:- “Could you give me a few details as regards your visit?” “We have come to play the Belfast deaf and dumb in a games tournament.  We are the holders of the London Federation of Working Men’s Social Clubs’ Chess Challenge Cup.  I hear the Belfast Deaf are hot stuff at chess, but I have no doubt we can lick them.  I am a Belfast man myself, but I have been away for fourteen years and hardly know the old place.  They are giving a party here to-night, and I hope to meet a good many old friends – and see a bit of the town meantime.  We are staying here till Monday evening, when we go over to Glasgow on the same errand – to lick them at chess, etc – and then we go on to Edinburgh, also on the same errand, returning to Belfast to-morrow week en route for London.”  “How many men compose your team?”  “Nine.”  “And how many are Irishmen?”  “Only myself; the others have never been out of England before.  In profession they are analyst, engraver, photographer, saddler, compositor, and bookbinder.  The rest are independent.”  The names of the group are:_ Back Row – Messrs. J. Hast, F.B. Caulfield, W. Baird (hon. Secretary), G. Howe, J. Longman.  Front Row – Messrs. E.T. Gausden, A. Padkin, C.H. Rymer. -. Jones, and H.H. Windsor.Silent Chess

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