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BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 16th British Chess Championship • 49 of 66 games (plus 2 part-games + 48 games/part-games from subsidiary sections)
Venue: Southsea • Dates: 13-24 August 1923 • Download PGN Last edited: Saturday 25 May, 2019 6:41 PM

1923 British Chess Championship

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pts
1 Thomas,George Alan
&;
1 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 1 1 9.0
2 Yates,Fred Dewhirst 0
&;
1 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 8.5
3 Scott,Roland Henry Vaughan 0 0
&;
1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 7.0
4 Price,Hubert Ernest 0 0 0
&;
1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.0
5 Wainwright,George Edward 0 0 1 0
&;
0 1 1 1 1 0 1 6.0
6 Jacobs,Herbert Levi ½ 0 0 1 1
&;
1 0 1 0 0 1 5.5
7 Gibson,William P 0 1 0 0 0 0
&;
1 1 1 1 0 5.0
8 Uber,Henry Bernard ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 0
&;
0 1 1 ½ 4.5
9 Hamond,Francis Edward 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
&;
½ 1 ½ 4.0
10 Steele,Charles Gilbert 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 ½
&;
½ ½ 3.5
11 Blake,Joseph Henry 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 ½
&;
1 3.5
12 Gooding,William 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 0
&;
2.5

 

1923 British Chess Championship crosstable

1923 Sir George Thomas, British Chess Champion

1923 British Championship photo

1923 British Major Open crosstable

The download includes 8 of the 11 games played by Alekhine in the BCF Major Open. The missing or incomplete games are: round 5 (B) v Groen; round 7 (b) v Kahn; round 11 (b) v Gurnhill.

1923 British Women's Chess Championship crosstable

SUBSIDIARY SECTIONS

In 1923 the remaining sections of leading players were divided up as follows. There was what was called the Premier Open, consisting of six numbered sections, each of six players, with the player finishing first going into another final section of six players for the second week, and so on (second-placed players forming their own section, etc, etc). Again, slightly confusingly, the top Premier final section, composed of preliminary section winners, was dubbed the Minor Tournament, the section of six runners-up was called Premier Final Section A, six third-placers Premier Final Section B, etc.


JS note: Composition of the first-week so-called Premier Open sections (the 1923 use of the term 'open' is, infuriatingly, in opposition to the modern usage, so I am going to rename them Premier Preliminary sections). Note, I am making the assumption that these five-round events were played Monday-Friday in both weeks, with the middle Saturday perhaps being used to resolve the first-week tie-breaks that would have been necessary.

[BCM, July 1923, p239-240] BRITISH CHESS FEDERATION.

This year’s congress of the British Chess Federation will be held at Portsmouth and Southsea, the actual play taking place in the Girls’ Secondary School, Fratton. It will open on August 13th, and will be continued until August 25th. The programme includes, as usual, competitions for the British championship and the British Ladies’ championship, and also the Major Open tournament of twelve players each. Instead of the first, second and third class tournaments which have hitherto been held, however, there will be a Premier Sectional Open Tournament. This will be limited to thirty-six competitors, who will, if necessary, be selected by the executive committee from the entrants. They will be divided into six preliminary sections of six players each, the winners of which will each receive a prize and will proceed, during the second week, to play in a minor tournament, the players who have secured second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth places in the preliminary competition going on to play in Premier Sections A, B, C, D and E respectively.

We understand that some of the regular competitors in the British Chess Federation congresses are not in favour of this innovation. The committee, however, should not be blamed until same has had a trial, and those who are against it because of similar trials made in the Kent congresses, should realise that with a fortnight’s play there is not the same necessity of playing more than one game per day, and it gives fhe opportunity of the best players playing against one another. Whereas, in the ordinary first-class tournaments where there are two 0r three sections, there is no time in the congress for a final to be played ^nd to discover which of the winners of the two or three tournaments ls really strongest.

We hope, therefore, that chess players will give the innovation a fair trial and we are certain the committee are not likely to continue with same unless it proves to be the success for which they hope.

Other entrants will play in a general open tournament, which will, if necessary, also be divided into sections. Entries must be sent to the secretary of the Federation, Mr. L. P. Rees, St. Aubyns, Redhill, Surrey, not later than July 17th. Entry forms can now be obtained. The congress has the energetic support of the Mayor of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Chess Club. The whole of the local arrangement are in the hands of Mr. H. D. Osborn, 30 Clarence Square, Gosport, from whom full information can be obtained with regard to hotels, boarding houses and apartments, and similar details. We are certain that under his organisation all the competitors at this congress are assured of a most interesting time quite apart from chess.

[BCM, August 1923, p281-282] PORTSMOUTH AND SOUTHSEA CONGRESS.

The Executive Committee of the British Chess Federation met at Anderton’s Hotel on Saturday, July 21st [1923], with Rev. A. Gordon Ross in the chair (Major R. W. Barnett, M.P., was absent, leading the House of Commons to victory over the House of Lords at Bisley), and approved of the following entries to the various tournies. The number was slightly smaller than the average, but a very good foreign entry for the Major Open, including A. Alekhine, will make this tourney almost as interesting as the British Championship. For the latter we are glad to see Sir George Thomas has entered, and he will be playing on his "native heath." We miss R. P. Michell, who was unable to get August for his holiday this year, but three veterans, J. H. Blake, G. E. Wainwright and Herbert Jacobs, are playing, while Rev. F. E. Hamond, who never seems to have done himself justice in these contests, will have another opportunity of showing the brilliancy of which he is capable. In addition R. H. V. Scott, the champion of 1920, who has been regaining health for the last six months in Belgium, will with H. E. Price, of Birmingham, W. Gibson, many times champion of Scotland, C. G. Steele, the champion of Victoria, who has come over specially for the contest with W. Gooding and H. B. Uber will give the present champion, F. D. Yates, a hard task to retain his title.

The entries for the Ladies’ Championship, which, besides that of the present champion, Miss Price, who with her usual modesty protests she is out of form, include ex-champions in Mrs. Holloway, Mrs. Houlding, Mrs. Stevenson and Miss Sollas; two Scottish lady champions in Miss Gilchrist and Miss Hutchison Stirling, Mrs. Brockett, Mrs. R. P. Michell, who has frequently come near to obtaining the title, Miss H. Cotton, Miss Abraham and Miss M. Andrews of London, sister to the well-known Sussex amateur.

For the Major Open in addition to A. Alekhine, the selected entrants are Andreas [Endre] Steiner, Budapest; K. Havasi, Hungary; Dr. Seitz, Bavaria; Dr. Vajda, Hungary; Dr. Balogh, Budapest; Victor Kahn, Paris; Dr. Silvain Groen, Haarlem from the Continent, together with J. A. J. Drewitt, Hastings; C. B. Heath, Dundee; K. W. Moses, Wakefield; and A. West, London, late of Yeovil.

For the preliminary sections of the Sectional Tournament, the list is as follows:—

Section 1 : W. Church, A. M. Ewbank, A. H. Crothers, C. R. Gurnhill, Rev. A. P. Lacey Hulbert, Hon. F. G. Hamilton Russell.

Section 2 : Major R. W. Barnett, M.P., W. J. Berryman, E T Brooks, E. T. Jesty, E. E. Shepherd, H. A. Way.

Section 3 : A. Hayes, V. P. Lees, J. H. Morrison, J. Macalister, S. J. Howell Smith, W. H. Watts.

Section 4: F. J. Camm, A. J. Goode, Rev. E. J. E. Howlett, A. H. Spencer Palmer, R. H. Ruston, Lewis [Lajos] Steiner (Budapest).

Section 5 : P. J. Lawrence, H. D. Osborn, V. H. Rutherford H. J. Stephenson, Capt. V. R. Uhlmann*, F. Wilkinson. [* incorrect spelling - he was Victor Robert Ullman, 1893-1957, who won his M.C. in WW1 when he was with the 21st Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regt Canadian Infantry]

Section 6 : A. D. Barlow, C. Duffield, R. E. Lean, P. C. Littlejohn R. O. Platt, Victor Rush.

For the General Open the sections are :—

A : Miss E. J. Adams, Mrs. F. J. Fish, Miss Malcolm, Miss C Pannell, L. Ellmer, E. F. Fardon, H. Hinchliffe, M. C. Rajada, E. H Smith, F. C. Short, and A. M. Sparke.

B : Miss K. Eyre, Mrs. Ewbank, W. Barker, G. Breese, A. T Canned, A. Hindell, J. W. Thomas, W. G. Perrin, W. A. Way and G. A. Youngman.

C : Mrs. E. Chase, Miss Eveling, H. O. Boger, Rev. A. Ewbank, Rev. M. Hooppell, H. H. Heath, H. D. Lloyd, C. E. Merry, A. W. Stonier, C. H. Taylor.


[BCM, September 1923, pps 313-334 - n.b. I have reordered some of the items in this long and somewhat confusing report, and interpolated some info gleaned from local newspaper reports - JS]

THE PORTSMOUTH AND SOUTHSEA CONGRESS.

The sixteenth congress of the British Chess Federation commenced its session in the Girls’ Secondary School, at Fratton, Southsea, on Monday, August 13th [1923], at 6 p.m. The Mayor of Portsmouth welcomed the players and visitors in the Town Hall in the early afternoon. Major R. W. Barnett, M.P., the chairman of the executive committee, in the absence of Rev. A. Gordon Ross, the president, thanked the Mayor for his hospitality.

At the Fratton School, Mr. Amos Burn briefly declared the congress open and play commenced.

British Championship.

Round 1, August 13th
Jacobs v. Gibson - Giuoco Piano - Jacobs won (14)
Gooding v. Scott - Queen’s Gambit Declined -Scott won (35)
Yates v. Blake - Ruy Lopez - *Yates won (43)
Hamond v. Uber - Queen’s Pawn - Hamond won (22)
Steele v. Wainwright - Irregular - *Wainwright won (57)
Price v. Thomas - Queen’s Pawn *Thomas won (72)
* Adjourned.

Jacobs created a sensation for the first round by defeating Gibson in twenty minutes—a trappy variation with which the Scottish champion was obviously unfamiliar. Hamond beat Uber, and Scott Gooding, in each case on Monday night. In the adjourned games, on Tuesday, Blake only played two more moves against Yates, who was already a piece ahead, with an overwhelming position. Steele’s game with Wainwright was an exciting one, with sacrifices on both sides. Wainwright at the end declared he had won by a fluke; but all wins count the same! The last game to finish was Price v. Thomas, out of which the latter, with Bs of the same colour and three Ps against two, managed to extract a win.

[score Jacobs-Gibson]

Round 2, August 14th.

Blake v. Jacobs - Q.P. (Tchigorin D. in effect) - Blake won (42)
Wainwright v. Gibson - Ruy Lopez - Wainwright won (48)
Scott v. Yates - QP (Tchigorin Defence) - Yates won (43)
Uber v. Gooding - Caro-Kann - *Drawn (40)
Thomas v. Hamond - Queen’s Gambit Declined -Hamond won (47)
Steele v. Price - Queen's Pawn - Price won (35)

Hamond played the spirited, attacking game for which he was noted of old, and with a pretty offer of a Kt sacrifice quite demoralised Thomas’s defence, causing resignation before the adjournment, Wainwright defeated Gibson rather easily. Against Blake Jacobs lost Q for R, and, though he made a prolonged fight, never had a chance of recovering his lost ground. Yates won a P against Scott, and after that he gave nothing away. Price’s vigorous attack proved too good for Steele. Uber, when apparently with a slight advantage, sacrificed to obtain perpetual check.

Round 3, August 15th.
Jacobs v. Scott - Caro-Kann - Scott won (40)
Gibson v. Blake - Queen’s Gambit Declined - Gibson won (43)
Yates v. Uber - Centre Counter - *Drawn (55)
Gooding v. Thomas - Q.P. (Tchigorin Defence) - Thomas won (35)
Hamond v. Steele - Queen’s Gambit Declined - Drawn (40)
Wainwright v. Price - Ruy Lopez - Price won (39)

Gibson had the unusual experience of catching Blake in the opening and, winning a P, he pressed his advantage on to victory—the first game to finish. Jacobs secured a Q side majority against Scott, who, however, attacked on the other wing and won easily. Thomas scored in excellent style against Gooding (we append the game), and Price outplayed Wainwright. Hamond was too impetuous against Steele and lost the Exchange; but he got it back eventually, and drew. Yates reached the adjournment a P to the good, but Uber had a very strong isolated passed P, and Yates had to be content with a draw.

[score Gooding-Thomas]

Round 4, August 16th

Uber v. Jacobs - Centre Counter - Uber won (55)
Scott v. Gibson - Queen's Pawn - Scott won (39)
Blake v. Wainwright - Vienna - Blake won (43)
Thomas v. Yates - Ruy Lopez - *Thomas won (62)
Steele v. Gooding - Q.P. (Tchigorin Defence) - Drawn (40)
Price v. Hamond - Queen's Gambit Declined - *Price won (49)

Scott and Uber both won without great difficulty, and Blake, though the position was a very heavy one, proved the superiority of two Bs over two Kts and registered a win. Gooding, against Steele, gave up a P to break up his opponent’s 0 side. An ending came about with Bs of opposite colours, in which Steele first refused a draw, but afterwards agreed to it without resuming. Of the two games which were adjourned, Price v. Hamond saw the latter .give up his Q, apparently of necessity, but for very good value, so that he got two Rs, two Bs and two Ps v. Q, R and Kt. But Hamond overlooked a combination by Price, which we illustrate below ; and, though he found himself at the adjournment with two Rs for a Q and two Ps to the good, his game was fatally disorganised, Price scoring a meritorious win.

The following diagram shows Price's winning combination :—

[part-score moves 32w-46w, Price-Hamond]

Thomas v. Yates was the last game to finish and yielded Thomas a fine victory, without the British champion making any definite blunder.

Thus at the end of this round Price, Scott and Thomas had scored 3 points each; Hamond and Yates, each ; and Blake, Uber and Wainwright, 2 each.

Round 5, August 17th.

Jacobs v. Thomas - Giuoco Piano - *Drawn (47)
Gibson v. Uber - Queen’s Gambit Declined - *Gibson won (59)
Blake v. Scott - Caro-Kann - Scott won (12)
Yates v. Steele - Four Knights - Yates won (32)
Gooding v. Price - Queen's Gambit Declined - *Price won (44)
Hamond v. Wainwright - Queen’s Gambit Declined - Wainwright won (35)

Scott got against Blake the same nine opening moves as in their game at the London Congress, 1922; but now a startling development occurred, for Blake went wrong, lost a piece, and resigned after twenty-five minutes’ play! The game is below. Wainwright followed with a win against Hamond in a raging, tearing game, in which Wainwright gave up all his Q side and Hamond all his K side Ps. The latter finally made a slip and paid the penalty. Yates had little difficulty in disposing of Steele. Of the three games that were adjourned, Jacobs v. Thomas was the first to finish, a draw resulting, all Thomas’s well-known end-game craft coming into play at the vital moment. Gibson gave up the Exchange against Uber, probably his best course; but Uber had to return it. After Gibson had gained a P, to lose it again, a tricky end-game came about, which the Scottish champion conducted skilfully to a win. Gooding v. Price was a very interesting, if far from classically conducted, game. Gooding gave up a lot of material, and in the 33rd move got the position shown below. He missed a brilliancy and lost.

[part-game, Jacobs-Thomas]

[part-game, Gooding-Price]

[game score, Blake-Scott]

Round 6, August 18th.

Steele v. Jacobs - Q.P. (Dutch Defence) - Steele won (40)
Thomas v. Gibson - Ruy Lopez - Thomas won (49)
Uber v. Blake - Giuoco Piano - Uber won (24)
Wainwright v. Scott - English Opening - Wainwright won (48)
Price v. Yates - Queen's Pawn - Yates won (33)
Hamond v. Gooding - Queen's Pawn - Drawn (40)

Uber won quickly, his opponent obviously being out of form at the present, so that everything went right for Uber. Yates finished next, having played an absolutely masterly game in which he Castled Q R, cleared his K R and K Kt files, and built up a wonderful attack with Q, two Rs, two Bs and a Knight bearing on White’s K side. When the storm broke, the end came with devastating suddenness. A Q sacrifice prefaced a beautiful mate, which Price escaped by resigning the move before it was delivered. A gem on the part of Yates, though we learn that Professor Genese has discovered an even shorter mate. Thomas crushed Gibson, winning a B for a P, and leading gently onward to success. Jacobs, having shown the previous day how well, in this round showed how badly, he can play. He was early a piece up for two Ps, but had a lamentable position. A little later Steele had Q, R and Kt against two Rs, B and Kt, and though Jacobs wriggled a little the Victorian champion was soon able to administer the quietus, so scoring his first full point. Wainwright and Scott had an exceedingly complicated struggle, to which shortness of time on both sides added a further complication. The elder player showed admirable steadiness under stress, and won handsomely in just under four hours. This left only the Hamond-Gooding game; but that, too, was finished without an adjournment, a draw being agreed to after a steady and not very eventful contest.

[part-game, Price-Yates]

At the end of the first week’s play, therefore, the scores were:
Thomas and Yates, 4½ each; Price, Scott and Wainwright, 4 each; Hamond and Uber, 3 each; Blake, Gibson and Steele, 2 each; Gooding and Jacobs, 1½ each.

Round 7, August 20th.

Jacobs v. Price - Giuoco Piano - *Jacobs won (56)
Gibson v. Steele - Queen’s Gambit Declined - Gibson won (26)
Blake v. Thomas - Vienna - *Thomas won (70)
Scott v. Uber - Queen’s Pawn - Scott won (53)
Yates v. Hamond - Centre Counter - Yates won (30)
Wainwright v. Gooding - Ruy Lopez - Wainwright won (40)

Steele early went wrong and, indulging in quite unsound play, lost a piece and resigned within two hours. Wainwright and Gooding came down to an ending with level forces, but the former refused a draw and won on superior P position. Just before adjournment-time Yates beat Hamond, and Scott beat Uber. Yates himself described his as "a rubbishy game." Without going so far as that, we must admit that it was not a good one. Yet many of the spectators were under the impression for a time that Hamond’s wildcat scheme was going to succeed. We give below the position where he sacrificed the second Exchange. Scott conducted his game against Uber very well, fastening on a weak Q P and, after forcing to give up a piece to stop a mate, won easily. In the evening chief interest centred in Blake v. Thomas, a very hard ending with Bs of opposite colours, with a R and (in time) two Ps each, in which Thomas had a positional advantage. On his 60th move Thomas won a P, and this decided the issue. It is claimed that Blake had a draw earlier in the ending; but this remains to be proved. Jacobs, against Price, after a prolonged struggle, won a good P ending.

[part-game, Yates-Hamond]

Round 8, August 21st.

Hamond v. Jacobs - English - Jacobs won (52)
Price v. Gibson - Queen’s Gambit Declined - Price won (22)
Steele v. Blake - Queen’s Pawn - *Drawn (51)
Thomas v. Scott - Ruy Lopez - Thomas won (45)
Uber v. Wainwright - Vienna (in effect) - *Wainwright won (63)
Gooding v. Yates - Queen's Gambit Declined - *Yates won (54)

Gibson, in a good position, made so bad a blunder that on the 19th move he was a R and three Ps down, and soon resigned. In Thomas v. Scott, after the exchange of Qs, Scott used his K as a fighting piece and brought it up to the 4th rank. On move 29 "a certain liveliness" occurred, as the result of which Scott found himself two Ps down. Thomas then gave no quarter, but despatched him scientifically. Hamond played another harum-scarum game against Jacobs and might have resigned earlier. He has done his undoubted talent little justice in the last few rounds. The other three games went over to the evening; but Yates looked to have had a narrow escape against Gooding, who instituted a terrific attack on the K side, besides forcing the champion to run extremely short of time. However, by the adjournment, Yates had got out of his troubles, with a promising ending, which in the evening he converted into a win. Uber v. Wainwright, after a heavy opening, developed into one of the most entertaining games of modern times, both players enjoying the humour as much as the spectators. We give the ending below. Steele v. Blake was by no means so interesting, neither player being in good form. It was the last game to finish in the section.
The following was the ending Uber v. Wainwright:—

[part-game, Uber-Wainwright]

After this round the leading scores were :—Yates and Thomas, 6½ each; Wainwright, 6; Price and Scott, 5 each; with the rest tailed off.

Round 9, August 22nd.

Jacobs v. Gooding- Caro-Kann - Jacobs won (26)
Gibson v. Hammond - Queen’s Gambit Declined - Gibson won (45)
Blake v. Price - Caro-Kann - Price won (36)
Scott v. Steele - Queen’s Pawn - Steele won (39)
Uber v. Thomas - Irregular - *Drawn (46)
Yates v. Wainwright - French Defence - Yates won (42)

Uber v. Thomas transposed into a form of the Q P (Tchigorin Defence), with White’s KBP at its 4th square. Uber got quite a good game, and indeed seemed to have at his disposal a distinctly promising line of play, which, however, he rejected. The forces were level at the adjournment. The first game to finish was Jacobs v. Gooding, in which a curious incident occurred in the position illustrated below. Blake v. Price and Gibson v. Hamond came to an end close together. Blake, as he observed himself, took half an hour to make a losing move; in Hamond’s case, it was a question of strategy, he having Ps on the wings aganst Gibson’s Ps in the centre, and the centre Ps won. Yates gained an important victory over Wainwright, who adopted an old-fashioned variation in the French and got saddled with a weak P, which Yates, won, leading to ultimate success. On resumption in the evening, Thomas was unable to avoid a draw, so that Yates went half a point ahead of him.

Position in Jacobs v. Gooding. The former had just played 25 Kt—B 5, not announcing check, whereon Gooding blandly replied Q—B 5. The game proceeded 25 KtxR, KxKt; 26 Kt—Kt 3, when the representative of the tournament committee stepped in and pointed out that Black’s 25th move was illegal and that the game must be replayed from that point. It was accordingly restarted, but two moves later Gooding resigned.

Round 10, August 23rd.

Yates v. Jacobs - Centre Counter - Yates won
Gooding v. Gibson - Queen’s Gambit Declined - Gooding won (33)
Hamond v. Blake - Queen’s Pawn - Hamond won (32)
Price v. Scott - irregular - Scott won (42)
Steele v. Uber - Queen’s Gambit - *Uber won (43)
Wainwright v. Thomas .. Ruy Lopez - *Thomas won (48)

Jacobs made an early mistake - 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Qxd5 4. Nc3 Qd8 5. Nf3 g6 6. Bc4 Bg7 7. O-O Bg4? 8.
Bxf7+. Soon Yates, with the Qs off, established a completely dominating position, leading to an easily won end-game. Hamond played in much improved style, sacrificed the Exchange early, and finished prettily against Blake. Gooding quickly followed with his first win in the tournament. Scott had a welcome return to his better form and, keeping himself in hand, won well against Price. Thomas, to whom a win was of vital importance, got considerably the better of the opening against Wainwright, and about an hour before the adjournment looked on the way to a win. Then, under time-pressure, he seemed to miss his way, and a superficial glance at the board at the adjournment might have suggested an advantage for Wainwright. Really, however, Thomas had just initiated an attack to break up the hostile K side, and this on resumption he carried through to victory. Still, it remains to be proved whether he should have won. Uber had broken down Steele’s stolid defence during the morning and was a piece up. He won easily in the evening.

Round 11, August 24th.

Jacobs v. Wainwright - Sicilian - Jacobs won (45)
Gibson v. Yates - Q.P. (Tchigorin Defence) - Gibson won (60)
Blake v. Gooding - Caro-Kann - Blake won (44)
Scott v. Hamond - Queen's Gambit Declined - Scott won (34)
Uber v. Price - Caro-Kann - Price won (34)
Thomas v. Steele - Four Knights - Thomas won (45)

The first game to finish was Scott’s, in about two and a half hours, the ex-champion winning after a very pretty attack and thus making certain of at least a share in the third prize. Price, however, followed with a win over Uber, thus also securing 7 points. Blake succeeded in getting a very dangerous passed P against Gooding, who later gave up the Exchange, with a lost game. Jacobs v. Wainwright was level for a long way, but Jacobs won a P in the ending, and this decided matters. Thomas met with a very stubborn resistance from Steele, but gradually wore it down, and after gaining a P made sure of a win just at the end of the morning’s play. This gave him a score of 9, so that Yates required a win to beat him, a draw to tie. But Gibson had been playing his best game of the tournament, and, keeping Yates entirely on the defensive, built up a terrible-looking attack. At move 29 he was judged by experts to have a direct win, with a Kt sacrifice, but preferred to proceed in a more leisurely way. Winning the Exchange he reached the position shown in the diagram.

[part-game, Gibson-Yates]

So Sir George Thomas won his first British championship, upon which we most heartily congratulate him.

1923 British Championship


1923 BCF Major Open

The Major Open Tournament.—In this event Dr. Balogh (Roumania) and K. Havasi (Hungary) were unable to put in an appearance, their places were filled by the promotion of E. T. Jesty and C. R. Gurnhill from the Premier sections, thus making six foreign and six British competitors in the Major.

In Round 1 Alekhine and Vajda scored against the two promoted players, though Jesty made a good fight against the Russian master up to a certain point. Groen next beat Moses; but Drewitt brought some consolation to the home contingent by a fine victory over Seitz who got into tremendous time-difficulty. After adjournment, Kahn beat West, although the latter had at one time a good game; and Steiner’s win against Heath was gained in spite of a P minus.

[game scores Seitz-Drewitt, Vajda-Gurnhill]

Round 2, Major Open, on Tuesday morning, saw an important win by Alekhine over Vajda, and victories also for Kahn, Seitz, Steiner and West over Jesty, Gurnhill, Groen and Moses. Against Heath, Drewitt looked at one time in danger of a lost ending ; but he played up well, and a draw resulted. Thus all six games were finished before lunch.

In Round 3 Heath scored an early win v. Gurnhill, and Steiner outmanoeuvred West. Jesty was met by an extraordinarily bad defence on the part of Vajda and should have won in the opening. (1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nf3 d6 4. d4 dxe5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxf7! Kxf7 7. Qh5+ g6 8. Qxd5+) The Hungarian improved later, but could only halve the point. Drewitt was unable to prevent a similar half with Groen. Seitz v. Alekhine was the most exciting game of the day, indeed of the congress so far. We give it in full, noting that both sides suffered from extreme time-pressure at the end of the second hour.

[game score of Seitz-Alekhine]

Kahn v. Moses, the only game to be adjourned, ended in a draw. At this point Alekhine and Steiner shared a clear lead with 3 won games each.

In Round 4 Vajda and Moses gained fairly comfortable victories over Seitz and Jesty respectively, and Drewitt also before the adjournment registered a win against West, an extra P accounting for the result. In the games that went over to the evening, Kahn, whose end-game play was very formidable, inflicted on Steiner his first defeat, and Groen accounted for Gurnhill. Alekhine had met with what he described himself as "a very, very good defence" by Heath in a most difficult position. The Dundee man was only a P (and that a doubled one) down at the interval. At last, however, the resistance weakened, and Alekhine smashed his way to victory on the 53rd move.

The Russian master now led with a clear score of 4, followed by Kahn, 3½, and Drewitt and Steiner, 3 each.

Round 5.—Kahn v. Drewitt, was a draw in about twenty moves, Drewitt getting something resembling perpetual check, and characteristically claiming that he was lucky to do so. West won on the time-limit v. Gurnhill, and Alekhine made hay with Groen, who resigned in the 23rd move without waiting to be mated. Seitz outplayed Jesty, getting Q and Kt against two Rs, and carrying the game to a successful conclusion; and Steiner got a stranglehold n Moses, with a similar result. Only Vajda v. Heath was left to be finished in the afternoon, Vajda having gained a P. In an ending with Rs and Ps this might possibly have led to a draw ; but, as a matter 0f fact, Vajda won quickly.

Round 6.—Alekhine played a Queen’s Pawn Game v. West and got his favourite combination of two Kts on the K wing. He completely tied West up, and after an hour and a half the latter resigned rather than wait for mate. Heath, however, scored the first win in the section, showing very good form against Seitz, whom he mated in nineteen moves. Drewitt won neatly against Moses, though aided by some inferior play by the latter. By the end of the morning’s play Jesty had beaten Steiner, a good game, in which the winner gave up a piece, to get it back, with a powerful passed P, which decided the issue. In the evening Gurnhill let slide an advantage against Kahn and could only draw. Vajda v. Groen was left over till Tuesday, when Vajda won.

Scores for the week: Alekhine, 6; Drewitt and Kahn, 4½; Steiner, 4; Vajda, 3½ (1 unfinished) ; Groen, 2\ (1 unfinished); Heath, 2½; Seitz and West, 2; Jesty and Moses, 1½; Gurnhill, ½.

[game scores Seitz-Heath, Jesty-Steiner]

Round 7.—Against Kahn (White) Alekhine chose a drawish variation of the "Rubinstein" defence to the Four Knights; and in 26 moves, with a B and seven Ps, each, a draw was agreed. Moses next defeated Gurnhill, and Vajda followed with a win against West, who, however, had previously missed a winning continuation. Jesty, having gained the Exchange against Heath, held on to his advantage and scored his second successive victory. Drewitt had to give up the Exchange against Steiner, and here again the player with the R won. Groen v. Seitz was the last game to finish but Steiner long had a hopeless I game, with a piece down.

Round 8.—Vajda and Kahn had a friendly draw on the 21st move, this making Kahn’s 5th draw. Alekhine got his usual K side attack, and, though Moses staved it off temporarily at the expense of a P, it came again with renewed force and Moses resigned a hopeless game. Jesty has now obviously got into a winning vein, for he registered his third successive victory, after attacking Drewitt with great vigour. After the adjournment Seitz beat West, after having had much the best of the game—though West missed a mate in 2! Gurnhill, having transposed a move in a winning position against Steiner, ultimately lost. Heath v. Groen was not finished till Wednesday, when Heath won.

Round 9.—Drewitt scored a very early win against Gurnhill, who cannot find his form. Seitz caught Kahn napping in an unfamiliar variation, won a piece for a P, and was enabled to inflict cn him his first defeat. Jesty, evidently thriving on success, added another point to his score at Groen’s expense. Steiner v. Alekhine was the most exciting game of the day, a Falkbeer Counter-Gambit, in which the young Hungarian had the misfortune to miss what would probably have proved a brilliant win. Both players then ran very short of time, but Alekhine (though he appeared far the more "nervy" of the two) kept on finding the right moves and won just at the close of the morning’s play. About the same time Heath beat West leaving, only Vajda v. Moses, which was adjourned but agreed as a draw without replay.

Round 10.—Alekhine met Drewitt and opened with 1.Nf3 d5 2.b4, developing soon into a Queen’s Gambit Declined, of sorts. A K-side attack was soon on foot, which, assisted by some errors on Drewitt’s part, led to success for the Russian in twenty-two moves. Steiner and Vajda had a fairly early draw. Jesty’s winning sequence came to an end, as, after he had given up the Exchange for a P against Gurnhill and had got two pieces against a R, he lost on time—Gurnhill’s first success. Groen beat West, and after an adjournment Kahn and Seitz beat Heath and Moses respectively.

This left the candidates for the four prizes as follows: Alekhine, 9½; Vajda, 7 ; Kahn and Steiner, 6½; Drewitt, 5½.

Round 11.—Gurnhill v. Alekhine was scarcely more than a "skittle," being over in little more than an hour, with the expected result. Kahn and Groen agreed to an early draw. Moses and Heath later also agreed to a draw, the former overlooking that he could win! Drewitt got a strong attack against Vajda and should not have lost; but he went wrong at the end, thus giving Vajda the second prize. In the evening Steiner beat Seitz, gaining third prize; and West drew with Jesty.

1923 BCF Major Open, Southsea


1923 British Ladies’ Chess Championship.

At the end of the first week Miss Price had a clear lead of a point, having won all her six games. Mrs. Michell, conceding draws in the third and sixth rounds, had a score of 5; Miss Gilchrist, 4, and Mrs. Holloway, 3½, coming next.

Ladies’ Championship, second week.

On Monday, Mrs. Price met Miss Michell, and the latter, with a very good game, made the only move to lose her Q. This left Miss Price with a clear lead of 2 points ; but in the next round she suffered her first defeat at the hands of Miss H. Stirling, and Miss Gilchrist by defeating Mrs. Michell came up to within a point of her. The two rivals met next day and Miss Price recorded her eighth win, following with a victory over Miss Holloway, which made her certain to retain her title for another year. The champion played much better chess than her opponents. In the last round Miss H. Stirling lost and as Miss Gilchrist, Mrs. Michell and Mrs. Stevenson all won, they shared second, third and fourth prizes with her.

1923 British Ladies Chess Championship


Premier "Open" (Preliminary) Sections (5 rounds, 1st week: 13-17 August)

Premier Prelim Section 1: 1-3 Rev. A. P. Lacy Hulbert (Birmingham), A. M. Ewbank (London), W. Church (Luton) 4/5, 4 E. E. Shepherd 2, 5 A. H. Crothers (Manchester) 1, 6 Hon. F. G. Hamilton-Russell (London) 0.

Premier Prelim Section 2: 1 M. E. Goldstein (London) 4½/5, 2 H. A. Way (Portsmouth) 3½, 3 Maj. R. W. Barnett, M.P. (London) 2½, 4 W. J. Berryman (Barnley? Burnley?) 2, 5 E. J. Brooks (London, Southfields) 1½, 6 J. S. West (Portsmouth) 1.

Premier Prelim Section 3: 1 J. Macalister (London) 3½/5, 2-3 J. H. Morrison (London), Allan Hayes (Southsea) 3, 4 S. P. Lees (London) 2½, 5 S. G. Howell-Smith (Hythe) 2, 6 W. H. Watts (London) 1.

Premier Prelim Section 4: 1 Lewis [Lajos] Steiner (Budapest) 4½/5, 2 F. J. Camm (London) 4, 3 P. Flower 2½, 4 A. J. Goode (Rugby) 2, 5 R. H. Rushton (London) 2, 6 A. H. Spencer-Palmer (Nairobi) 0.

Premier Prelim Section 5: 1 P. J. Lawrence (Reading) 4½/5, 2 Dr. V. H. Rutherford (London) 3½, 3 H. J. Stephenson (Hastings) 3, 4 H. D. Osborn (Gosport) 2, 5 Capt. V. R. Ullman, M.C. (Pinner) 1½, 6 F. Wilkinson (Surbiton) ½.

Premier Prelim Section 6: 1 C. Duffield (Bristol) 4½/5, 2 Victor Rush (Hereford) 3½, 3 R. E. Lean (Brighton) 3, 4 P. C. Littlejohn (Rugby) 2½, 5 A. D. Barlow (Southfields) 1½, 6 Oswald Platt (Eastbourne) 0.

To-day all the sections in the Premier tournament concluded, resulting on the whole as anticipated. In Section 1 the state of affairs was that Ewbank (4) met Church (3), and Hulbert (3) met Hamilton-Russell (0). Church seized his opportunity to force a win and tie for first place. Hulbert, after giving up a piece for a winning attack, overlooked a simple mate in five, and allowed his opponent to get up a counter attack. Russell missed a mate in two later on, and lost, Hulbert thus sharing in a triple tie. On tossing and playing off, the order was settled as 1, Hulbert; 2, Ewbank; 3, Church. In Section 3 Morrison (3) met Hayes (2), and Macalister (2J) met Lees (2½). As Morrison missed his way against Hayes, and Macalister won, the latter will play in the Minor tournament. In the remaining sections the winners led throughout.

[part-games Brooks-Barnett & Camm-L.Steiner]

[game score L.Steiner-Lawrence]

1923 BCF Premier Preliminary Sections


 


Premier Final Sections (5 rounds, 2nd week: 20-24 August)

Minor Tournament: 1 L Steiner 5/5, 2-3 M. E. Goldstein, C. Duffield 3½, 4 P. J. Lawrence 2, 5 Rev. A. P. Lacy Hulbert 1, 6 J. Macalister 0.

In the Minor Tournament, L. Steiner started off with three wins and encountered in the fourth round M. E. Goldstein, who had conceded a half point to C. Duffield. By excellent end-game play the Hungarian gained the victory and first prize. Throughout the tournament he played very attractive chess, an example of which is given below. He won the section with a clean score, Duffield and Goldstein sharing the second, third and fourth prizes.

Premier Final A: 1 V. Rush 4½/5, 2 J. H. Morrison 4, 3 F. J. Camm 3, 4 H. A. Way 2, 5 Dr. V. H. Rutherford 1½, 6 A. M. Ewbank 0.

Section A. Morrison made a good start with three clear wins, but lost in the fourth round to Victor Rush. As the latter defeated Ewbank, who fell into the well-known trap in the Lopez known as "Noah’s Ark," in the last round, he gained a very popular victory, Morrison having to be satisfied with second place.

Premier Final B: 1-4 W Church, A. Hayes, H. J. Stephenson, R. E. Lean 3/5, 5 Maj. R. W. Barnett 2½, 6 P.Flower ½.

Section B. Church won his first three games, but lost the next two. Stephenson and Hayes, adding 2 points each in the last two rounds, tied with him, and Lean also finished with the same score, quadruple tie for first place occurring. Major Barnett was only half a point behind.

Premier Final C: 1 W. J. Berryman 4½/5, 2 P. C. Littlejohn 3½, 3 H. D. Osborn, 2½, 4 A. J. Goode 2, 5 S. P. Lees 1½, 6 E. E. Shepherd 1.

Section C. Berryman drew with Littlejohn in the second round, but won every other game, also the section, Littlejohn conceding too many draws.

Premier Final D: 1 S. G. Howell-Smith 3½/5, 2 Capt. V. R. Ullman 3, 3-4 A. H. Crothers, E. J. Brooks 2½, 5 W. O. C. Stuchbery (Maidenhead) 2, 6 A. D. Barlow 1½.

Section D. At the end of the third round the Maidenhead player, W. O. C. Stuchbery, who, with the consent of the other competitors, had taken the place of Rushton (retired) led with 2, but he lost his remaining games. Howell-Smith, finishing with two wins, came first, Ullman failing to find the correct winning continuation in his final game against Brooks.

Premier Final E: 1 J. S. West 5/5, 2-3 W. H. Watts, F. Wilkinson 3, 4 Hon. F. G. Hamilton-Russell 2, 5-6 O. Platt, A. H. Spencer-Palmer 1.

Section E. The local veteran, J. S. West, gained a very popular victory with a clean score. Watts, losing to Spencer-Palmer in the last round, had to share second prize with Wilkinson.

1923 BCF Minor Events


General (Open) Sections (11 rounds, 13-24 August)

General A: 1 F. C. Short (Walsall) 8/9, 2-3 G. K. Nuttall (London), E. H. Smith (London) 7, 4 E. F. Fardon (Birmingham) 6½, 5 M. C. Rajada (London) 5½, 6 Major F. H. Rawlins (Paris) 5, 7 Mrs Fish (Eastbourne) 3, 8 Miss Malcolm (Edinburgh) 2, 9 Miss Pannell (London) 1, 10 Louis Ellmer (Southsea) 0. H. Hinchcliffe (Huddersfield) and A. M. Sparke (Lincoln) withdrew without playing any games.

In the General Open, Section A - A. M. Sparke and H. Hinchliffe withdrew and lost all their games by default. The leading scores were G. K. Nuttall, 6 out of 7; E. H. Smith, 5 out of 6; and the Siamese player, M. C. Rajada, 4½ out of 6. In Section B the local player, W. A. Way led the field with a clean score of 6 wins, followed by J. D. Goldstein, 5; and G. Breese, W. G. Perrin and W. H. Pratten, each 4. in Section C, F. Salmony also led with a clean score of 6, followed bv H. G. Boger, 5½; C. Merry, 5; and Rev. M. Hoopell and H. D. Lloyd, each 4.

Section A - E. H. Smith lost to Rawlins in the last round but two, and was passed by F. C. Short, who won all his games in the last week.

1923 BCF General A

General B: 1 J. D. Goldstein (London) 10/11, 2 W. A. Way (Emsworth) 8½, 3-5 A. T. Cannell (Norwich), W. Barker (Penkridge Mill), G. A. Youngman (Maidstone) 6½, 6-7 W. G. Perrin (Haywards Heath), W. H. Pratten (Southsea) 6, 8 G. Breese (Wimbledon) 5½, 9 Mrs Ewbank (London) 4, 10 A. Hindell (Stafford) 3½, 11 Miss Adams (Portobello) 3, 12 J. W. Thomas (Orpington) 0. Not sure what happened to Miss K. Eyre (Prestbury)

Section B. In the eighth round J. D. Goldstein, who likewise won all his games in the last week, defeated W. A. Way and came up level with him. Way could only score half a point in the last two rounds, however, and had to be content with second prize. The appended diagram shows how the winner brought his game in the seventh round to a summary conclusion.

[part-game Goldstein-Perrin]

1923 BCF General B

General C: 1 F. Salmony (London) 10½/11, 2 C. E. Merry (Chedworth) 8½, 3-4 A. W. Stonier (London), H. D. Lloyd (Portsmouth) 8 — others (scores, rank not known) J. Tribe, H. N. Heath (London), C. H. Taylor (London), Rev. M. Hoopell (Stoke), Mrs Chase (London), Miss L. Eveling (Margate), Rev. A. Ewbank (London), H. O. Boger (London).

Section C. F. Salmony, who was evidently under-classed, won every game except for a draw in the seventh round, equalling Alekhine’s fine score. Stonier, by scoring 5½ in his last six games, pulled up and divided third prize with Lloyd.

1923 BCF General C


Other Events

On August 15th many of the players visited the Dockyard and H.M.S. Victory; and on August 22nd there was an excursion to Southampton and Lee-on-Solent.

The first lightning tournament was held on August 16th and was won by A. Alekhine; 2, Dr. A. Vajda; 3, C. G. Steele; 4, V. Kahn.

The second, on August 18th, was also won by A. Alekhine; 2 Yates ; 3, F. J. H. Elwell; 4, M. E. Goldstein.

On Saturday evening, August 18th, A. Alekhine played 37 gamed simultaneously, winning 26, drawing 11 and losing none.

The third Lightning tournament, on August 20th, was won by A. Alekhine once again; 2nd, A. Steiner; 3rd, C. Duffield; 4th, Rev. A. P. Lacy-Hulbert. The fourth, on August 22nd, was won by A. [Endre] Steiner, A. Alekhine having to be content with second prize, with R. E. Lean 3rd and L. Steiner 4th. The fifth, on August 23rd, was again won by A. Alekhine, with C. L. Gurnhill 2nd, Dr. A. Vajda 3rd and A. M. Ewbank 4th. The last, on August 24th, was won by A. Alekhine (who scored five first prizes and one second out of six!), L. Steiner being 2nd, Dr. A. Vajda 3rd, W. J. Berryman 4th.

The Problem Solving tournament was won by A. [Endre] Steiner, F. D. Yates and W. A. Way obtaining the 2nd and 3rd places ex aequo.

A Kriegspiel tournament was won by A. Alekhine.

On August 24th Dr. A. Vajda played simultaneously against 34 opponents, winning 23, drawing 7 and losing 4 to C. R. Gurnhill, A. Hayes, F. C. Short and A. H. Spencer-Palmer.

A welcome feature was the success of several of the local players. Sir G. A. Thomas, who learnt his chess at Portsmouth Chess Club when a boy, won the British championship, A. Hayes shared first prize in Premier Final B, J. S. West won Premier Final E with clean score, W. A. Way was second in General Open B and H. D. Lloyd in C.

The prize-giving took place at 9-30 a.m. on August 25th, Major R. W. Barnett, M.P., taking the chair, in the unfortunate absence of Canon Gordon Ross, through a domestic bereavement. The prizes were presented by Lady Margaret Hamilton-Russell, who with her father, the Earl of Eldon, had been an interested spectator for a great part of the congress.

The introductory speech was made by Major Barnett. After the distribution of the prizes, a well-merited presentation was made to Mr. R. H. S. Stevenson and Mr. H. D. Osborn, the local secretary, as a token of appreciation by both players and visitors. Mr. A. H Spencer-Palmer (Nairobi) proposed a vote of thanks to Lady Margaret Hamilton-Russell, to which she made a graceful response. Mr. H. H. Tucker (Walsall) proposed the Mayor and Mayoress of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth and Southsea Chess Club, Mr. J. S. West responding. The Rev. A. Ewbank proposed "The Press," Messrs. A. Burn and E. S. Tinsley responding. Finally Mr. L. P. Rees proposed "The Chairman," and Major Barnett, acknowledging, mentioned that the Federation now had a reserve fund of £8,000.

This concluded a most successful congress.


[BCM, October 1923, pps 361-364] THE NEW CHAMPION. [Sir George Thomas]

We are very glad to be able to give our readers as frontispiece this month a photograph of the new champion, Sir George A. Thomas. This was his third attempt to win the title; on the other two occasions he was second. His first was in Edinburgh in 1920, where the result was doubtful until the last round, but R. P. Mitchell [sic - should be Michell] defeated him in the last game. At Malvern, 1921, he could have tied with F. D. Yates had he not lost to B. E. Seigheim [sic - should be Siegheim], and as in these contests he has invariably drawn or beaten F. D. Yates, it seems appropriate that on this occasion, especially considering the fact that he was playing at Southsea where he learned most of his chess, it was the late champion’s bad luck to lose his last game and so leave to Sir George the coveted title, which practically everybody anticipated would come his way some time or other.

In style of play, the past champion, F. D. Yates and he are totally different, the former playing more of a combinative game from the start and quick to engineer an attack when possible. Sir George, on the other hand, plays a very careful game, relying more on strategic play with the necessary exchanges to bring about an ending where the advantage is on his own side. This advantage, however slight, he holds on to with wonderful pertinacity and his endgame play is a pattern to all would-be chessplayers. Naturally, his games are not so spectacular as those of an attacking player like F. D. Yates, R. H. V. Scott and Rev. F. E. Hamond, but instances of fine combinations on his part are easily forthcoming, but he does not strive after them as an attacking player does.

His win is a very popular one, and especially so to the inhabitants of Southsea, many of whom remember him as a boy.

Born in 1881, he learned his chess at an early age, first of all from his mother, Lady Thomas, who was herself lady champion at Hastings in 1895.

Some of his successes in the chess world have been as follows:-

In the Kent or Sussex Open congresses he was first at Deal in 1907; Sevenoaks, 1908; Hastings, 1909; Tunbridge Wells, 1912; Hastings, 1913; and Bromley, 1920.

In the Victory tournament of the B.C.F., in which Capablanca, Kostich and several Dutch players were competitors he tied with F. D. Yates for third place. He played in two cable matches with America, winning both games, and also versus Holland, winning both games with White and Black pieces. He has won the City of London C-C. championship five times; Metropolitan C.C., seven times; and that of the Hampstead C.C. once. In the Hastings Invitation tournament of 1922, he was equal third with Bogoljuboff (Alekhine 1 and Rubinstein 2). This was perhaps his finest performance, but it is probably as a Badminton player that he is best known.

He has just completed a book on the subject which will shortly be published by Messrs. Hutchinson & Co., and will no doubt be a standard book on the subject. He has won the All England Singles for the last four years, Doubles seven times, and Mixed Doubles eight times; the Irish All-comers Singles five times, Doubles eight times and Mixed Doubles seven times; the Scottish Singles nine times, Doubles six times and Mixed Doubles nine times.

With one exception he has played for England in every International match since 1903. In addition to this he is also a fine Lawn Tennis player, and has played for England v. Ireland three times and won over 200 open events. For several years he was a regular member of the Hampshire Hockey Team.

We asked him which of his many records gave him the most pleasure, and he replied that his first win of the All England Badminton Singles championship in 1920.

We are glad to be able to add that he has every intention of defending his title as chess champion, in 1924. We hope also that he will represent England at some of the international tournaments and enrich the game with further examples of his undoubted end-game ability.

Like the last chess champion, and so many of the finest exponents of sport in every line, he is modest and unassuming and always appreciative of fine play on the part of his opponent.

He is president of the Metropolitan Chess Club, one of the committee of the city of London and also a member of the Hampstead Chess Club, in which suburb he is at present living.

B.C.F. CONGRESS AT SOUTHSEA.

In our account of this congress in the September number we had no time to make general comments on the play of the various competitors. Probably in none of the congresses has the excitement of the championship been continued to so late a period. It was not till the evening of the last day that the actual decision was obtained. The past champion met in the last round W. Gibson, many times champion of Scotland, and found him in his best form; but the fact that so much depended on the result of the game probably soinewhat unnerved Yates, for one or two of his moves in the opening were strategically bad, with the result that he got a very cramped game. Then the news that Sir George Thomas had won his last game, and therefore it needed an actual win to retain the championship probably tempted him to play for complications instead of for safety. His efforts in the cramped position were not well conceived, and the Scottish champion finished the game off in good style.

We have elsewhere commented on the play of Sir George Thomas. Yates in this contest played some fine games, notably against Price. As he himself admits, the game with Hamond was rather wild but he kept his head in a difficult position and secured a win, though he might have won more easily by not accepting the last sacrifice.

We anticipated the good position secured by H. E. Price, of Birmingham, from his play in the tour with the Hastings Chess Club in Holland and Belgium. He is a fine judge of an attack, and carried through several well-played games in this tournament; but his anxiety to find an attack led him into error on two or three occasions, as generally happens with attacking players. This also was the case with Scott, who shared the third and fourth places with him. Until Scott is able to realise that there other players as good as himself, he will not get very far. To underestimate one’s opponent is bound to lead to disaster.

It was very pleasant to see the veteran, G. E. Wainwright, playing in his usual elegant style, especially when in difficulties. He was fortunate in one or two games, but had bad luck in others. Jacobs also played some fine games, but on occasion made bad blunders. Gibson lost all his games with Black, and won all his games with White, the best of course, being that against Yates in the last round. Uber was a really unfortunate player in his game v. Wainwright. The Rev. F. E. Hamond started in fine style, but later allowed his imagination too much licence and overreached himself on several occasions. Blake was entirely out of form, and undoubtedly the relaxing air of Southsea did not suit him. Steele, the Australian, played better than his score would indicate. Nearly all his games were well fought, and he would probably do a great deal better on a second trial. Gooding was very disappointing and missed in his game with Price what would have been the prettiest win in the tournament, as will be seen on page 316 of our September issue.

In the Major Open tournament Alekhine won with great ease. His opponents either beat themselves, or else failed to grasp some deep scheme of their opponent. The only player who had a chance of winning against him was Steiner, who missed a fine Queen sacrifice.

The English players in this tournament get some very useful practice with the Continental players, and will undoubtedly be improved by their experience. At times they played extremely well against their strong opponents. Drewitt was not as consistent as usual, and threw away one or two points. After a bad start Jesty played well in the second week.

We could wish that the committee of the B.C.F. were prepared to accept the suggestion of R. P. Michell that four strong Continental Players should compete in the tournament for the British championship, the British player making the best score to take the championship.

The strongest player probably won the Ladies’ championship, but the play generally was very poor. In the last few years the play ln this contest has not gone forward as we should have expected, seeing that the players have had so much practice with first-class players. Some have studied the openings quite deeply and can play quite well up to about the 20th move. Others, probably from fear of their opponent’s knowledge, make gross errors in the opening but play a good combinative middle game. All are weak in end-game play.

We do not think there are many people who would be prepared to favour a second trial of the Sectional tournament system in Federation meetings; at any rate we have heard nobody speak in its favour. We believe that without doubt the strongest player won the first prize in the Premier event. The position of some of the other players is very unexpected.

The brothers Goldstein did well in the respective tournaments and both should further improve. There is another brother, R. F., who was not playing but is also likely to become one of the leading players. It is rare to find three brothers in one family all keen on the game.

The winners of the sections of the General Open Tournament thoroughly deserved their places, and will no doubt take part in stronger tournaments in future.


As some of the newspaper reports have errors and variations of spelling, etc, here is some more unedited info from other reports which may help to fill in gaps. Firstly, from Glasgow Herald reports...

The winners of the six numbered preliminary sections were: 1 - Rev. Lacy Hulbert (after a tie-break with A.M. Ewbank and A. Crothers); 2 - ME Goldstein; 3 - J. MacAlister; 4 - Louis Steiner; 5 - P. J. Lawrence (Reading); 6 - C. Duffield (Bristol). So these six made up what was (confusingly) called a 'minor tournament'. Then Section A (the second-placed players from the preliminary sections) was composed of A. M. Ewbank, H. A. Way, J. H. Morrison, F. J. Camm, V.H. Rutherford, and Victor Rush. Section B— W. Church, Major Barnett, A. Hayes, P. Flower, H. J. Stephenson, and R. E. Lean. Section C—E. E. Shepherd, W. J. Berryman, S. P. Lees. A. J. Goode, H. D. Osborn, and P. C. Littlejohn. Section D—A. H. Crothers, A. H. Brooks, S. Howell-Smith, R. H. Rushton, Captain Ullman, and A. Barlow. Section E—Hon. F. Hamilton-Russell, J. E. West, W. H. Watts, A. Spencer Palmer, F. Wilkinson, and O. Platt.

Composition of the preliminary sections: the Northern Whig, 14 August 1923, is helpful — "in addition to the numerous events enumerated above, there are two further open tournaments of 36 players each. The Premier Open Tournament will be played in six sections of six players each, and contains the names of many well-known strong players—namely, section 1. Hon. F. G. Hamilton-Russell; section 2, Major R. W. Barnett, M.P., E. T. Jesty (who was promoted to the Major Open - JS), and M. E. Goldstein; section 3, W. H. Watts and S. G. Howell-Smith; section 4, Lewis Steiner (Budapest); section 5, H. J. Stephenson (Hastings); section 6, R. E. Lean (Brighton). After playing off their sections fresh sections are formed, in which the players take rank according to their final places in their original sections. Finally, there is a General Open Tournament divided into three sections of twelve players each, in which also a number of ladies are competing."

Dugald MacIsaac in the Glasgow Herald, 20 August 1923, was critical: "comparing this rearranged list with the first arrangement of the six players, one is inclined to question whether the result obtained is worth the week’s time it has taken, for the best player does not always win in a short tournament of six players. No doubt the experiment was worth a trial, however. During the third hour’s play to-day a heavy torrential shower fell, and it was amusing to the spectators to see the players look up with worried glances as the noise of the falling rain disturbed their meditations, but it was no use saying “hush " to the elements."

From the Manchester Guardian, 27 Aug 1923:
Premier Sectional Tourney: L. Steiner (5), first prize; M. E. Goldstein, and C. Duffield (3½) divide second and third.
Winners of the other five sections of this tournament were: Victor Rush, section A; W. J. Berryman, section B; Howell Smith, section D; and J. E. West, section E. In section B four of the six players [Church, Hayes, Lean, Stephenson] made an equal score of 3 each.
General Open Tournament: Section A: F. C. Short first; section B, J. B. Goldstein first; section C, E. Salmony first.

From the Glasgow Herald, 25 August 1923: "The minor tourney was finished right out. Hulbert lost to Duffield. Goldstein beat Lawrence, and Macalister lost to Steiner. The scores in this five-round contest were Steiner, 5; Duffield, 3½; Goldstein, 3½; Lawrence, 2: Hulbert, 1; and Macalister, 0. Premier Final Section A was won by Victor Rush with 4½. In Section B, Church, Hayes, Stephenson, and Lean tied with 3 each. Section C was won by Berryman, 4½; Section D by Howell Smith, 3½; and Section E by West, a Southsea veteran of 71 years, with a clean score of five wins. He was a strong Midland amateur in his earlier years.
In the General Open tourney with three sections of 12 players each, Section A was won by Short 10, followed by Nuttall, 8½: Fardon, 7½, with an unfinished game; and Rajada (Siam), 7½. Section B—J. D. Goldstein, 10; Way, 8½: Cannell, Barker, and Youngman, 6½ each. Section C—Salmony, 10½; Merry, 8½: Stonier and Lloyd, 8 each. A quick time tourney in the afternoon with 32 competitors was won by Alekhine, with L. Steiner, Vajda, and Berryman taking the other prizes in order. The prizes will be presented at a final gathering this morning by Lady Margaret Hamilton Russell."


File Updated

Date Notes
11 March 2016 Initial post of the file. My thanks to Gerard Killoran for help in compiling the file.
13 March 2016 Included three games by WH Pratten in one of the minor events, contributed by Andy Ansel.
25 March 2016 Added Championship game, Steele-Jacobs (Rd 6). Many thanks to Gerard Killoran.
4 April 2016 Added some new games from subsidiary events, corrected errors and tried to make sense of the so-called Premier and General tournaments used that year. My thanks to Brian Denman for proof-reading and supplying additional games.
12 Nov 2017 Cosmetic amendments
23 May 2019 Update of text, photos and part-games as follows: photo of Sir George Thomas (from the September 1923 BCM); text from October 1923 BCM; correction of the score of Jacobs-Thomas (Rd 4); additional part-game Price-Hamond (Rd 4); additional Major Open games Vajda-Gurnhill (Rd 1), E.Steiner-Kahn (Rd 4), Seitz-Jesty (Rd 5), Jesty-Steiner (Rd 6), Groen-Jesty (Rd 9); additional Major Open part-game Jesty-Vajda (Rd 2); additional Minor tournament game L.Steiner-P.Lawrence; corrected Minor tournament game to show Lajos (not Endre) played White; additional Premier Final part-game J.Goldstein-Perrin (but with an improbable starting position). Two further games from simuls - Alekhine-Pratten & Vajda-Pratten. Current tally of games: Main tournament, 49 complete of 66, with two part-games; Major Open, 19 complete plus 6 part-games; Women's Championship, 3 games; General B and C, 5 games, Premier Prelims/Finals, 7 complete plus 2 part-games; Minor, 2 games; Lightning, 1 game; Simuls, 3 games.