Clipped From The Westminster Budget
DEATH OF A CHESS CELEBRITY. Lovers of chess will learn with regret of the sudden death from pneumonia on Saturday of Mr. James Rayner, who, though only thirty-eight years of age, had assumed a foremost position as a player. Up to twenty years of age, singularly enough, he had no knowledge of the game, but within a very short period he became a brilliant player. For the last fifteen years he has been reckoned a crack Yorkshire player, and in 1889-90 he won the championship of the county two years in succession, and became absolute owner of the Faltorini trophy, a set of ivory chess men. He was captain of the Leeds Club for some time. Probably he was more fascinated by problems than by the natural game, and he was author of a standard treatise on this branch of chess. Of his own composition some 500 have appeared in chess columns on both sides of the Atlantic, and as a solver he won innumerable prizes, the most noteworthy being the silver medal of the Mirror of American Sports, a tournament in which competitors joined from all parts of the world. He is said to have been the only competitor who solved every problem. In 1887 he became problem editor of the British Chess Magazine, and that occupied, with his work as judge in problem tourneys, most of his time of late. Few amateurs can claim so fine a record of match play. He was an expressive writer, and no mean orator, and his early death will be regretted by a host of friends.