R. D. YATES (1857-1883)
Robert David Yates was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., December 22, 1857, and at the age of 20 years held the proud title of world champion.
No player of his years ever had the honor of wearing so high a title in draughts, and even though the honors were greater he was eminently qualified by nature to wear them with becoming modesty. He was noted for his wonderful blindfold playing:
without sight of the board or men he could cope with the best players of the world, allowing them to have full view of both. After winning two matches from Wylie and one from R. Martins he resigned the title in order to devote more time to his professional duties as physician, and while on a voyage to Europe in 1883 to complete his studies he was stricken with typhus fever and died, thus making avoid in checker circles that time can never fill.
In 1873 Wyllie in Boston a playing Yates 6 wins to 1 loss and 6 draws. During Wyllies first America Tour. Oct. 1873-1876
April 1874 Yates plays in a friendly match S. T. Allen with a score 38 to 12 losses and 50 drawn.
June 1874 Priest vs Yates 4 wins to 11 losses and 11 drawn in disfavor of Priest.
In July 1874 it was reported that Yates had the attention of W. R. Barker.
October 1874 Yates played S. T. Allen again 33 wins to 8 losses and 59 drawn.
January 1875 a Mr. Broughton defeats all New York players beside Yates whom did beat him 10 to 9 and 14 draws.
February 1875 third Friendly S. T. Allen 16 to 4 and 30 drawn in favor for Yates.
6th August 1875 W. R. Barker comes to in New York accompanies by his brother C. F. Barker. Yates suffered defeat 5 losses to 1 win and 41 draws. This result was pleasing result for his friends as W. R. was ought to be the U. S. Champion at the time.
It is to note that during the same time he played C. F. Barker 6 wins to 0 losses and 3 draws as well as Priest 7 wins with no losses to 11 draws.
December 1875 Broughton vs Yates with 3 wins to 3 loss and 4 draws. In January Broughton again 3 wins to 1 loss and 3 draws.
Wyllie vs Yates friendly contest 10 March 1876 24 games played 2 wins for Yates.
Second series vs Wyllie 27th March 1876 series of 26 games Yates 5 wins 1 loss and 20 drawn.
As a result of the two matches a match for the World Championship was agreed. Total of 50 games were played on 17 August 1876. No stakes but Wyllie gets the admittance money. Yates 2 wins to 1 loss and 47 drawn.
James Wyllie left as a dethroned world champion after 20 years. During his trip to the USA he played over 12,000 games, winning 11,000 and losing about 50 and drawing the remainder.
John Busby one of Wyllie’s coaches did try his hands on Yates in August 1876 and had lost 7 wins to 0 losses and one draw.
In the September the well known author and problemist R. E. Bowen tried his hands on Yates and some other local players and was defeated by Yates 8 wins to 2 losses and 2 draws.
In October 1876 Yates played the likes of Janvier, Denny and others winning 37 wins to no losses and 6 draws.
Even he had won against Wyllie there was still some doubt in the mind of the supremacy of his claim to be the world champion. So to conclude this Robert Martins made his way over the ocean and in June 1877 they faced of with Yates winning 3 losing 1 and 45 drawn.
In December 1877 he faced of against a few famous players namely Freeman the native American whom he defeated 4 wins to 0 and 4 drawn.
In the following Boston Christmas Week he defeated more famous players namely W. R. Barker, C. F. Barker, A. J. Heffner. R. E. Bowen among others.
In 1878 it turned more and more silent around Yates and he decided to retire from the game and to hand the title back to Mr. Wyllie. The reason being him taking up studies in the field of medicine.
After this time there are just occasional games recorded of him.
The dead of Dr. R. D. Yates occurred after in 1885 aged just 27 having contracted typhoid while serving as ships physician aboard the steamship Scheidam and he was buried at sea.
A game by R. D. Yates
R. D. Yates in the news
This is just a very short bio on R. D. Yates. If you are looking for the real deal then feel free to looks up the book dedicated to him by William Timothy Call called “R. D. Yates Checkers Player”.