The 1950's Chess Scene in British Columbia

Jack Taylor contemplating his next move

John Monteith Taylor (1907-1974) was a student of the game of chess, and his daughter recalls many an evening when he would set up his chess board on a card table in the living room, and analyze games from his collection of chess books.

Jack, as he called himself, grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was fortunate enough to be gifted with significant skill in the game. He won the B.C. Provincial championships a total of five times, and represented the province at the Canadian championships four times (1945, 1951, 1953, 1957). During that era he competed against the likes of Abe Yanofsky, Frank Yerhoff, Nathan Divinsky, Peter Vaitonis and Frank Anderson.

In addition to a large collection of books covering the game of chess, Jack compiled an extensive scrap book of his competitions, interesting newspapers clippings, and stories related to B.C. chess around the 1950's.

Using excerpts from his collection, this web site provides a glimpse of the dynamic chess world that existed within British Columbia around the 1950's.

In memory of Jack Taylor, a tournament trophy was donated to the British Columbia Chess Federation in 1974. This trophy was initially presented to the winner of the B.C. Diamond Jubilee Chess Tournament, which continued until 1978. Since 1984, the trophy has been presented to the winner of the Jack Taylor Memorial Tournament, usually held in Victoria, B.C. in late November. The 27th anniversary of this tournament was held in 2012.