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John Saunders


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Tournament: 8th Hastings Premier 1927/28 (won by Tartakower) Go to: Previous YearNext Year
Venue: Hastings Town Hall • Dates: 28 December 1927 - 6 January 1928 • Download PGN • 25 of 45 Premier games available

Hastings Premier 1927/28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
1 Tartakower,Saviely
0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1
2 Steiner,Lajos 1
½ 0 ½ 1 1 0 1 1 6
3 Colle,Edgar ½ ½
½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 0
4 Buerger,Victor 0 1 ½
1 1 ½ ½ 0 1
5 Yates,Fred Dewhirst 0 ½ 0 0
½ 1 1 1 1 5
6 Michell,Reginald Pryce ½ 0 0 0 ½
1 ½ 1 1
7 Kmoch,Hans ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0
1 ½ 1 4
8 Sergeant,Edward Guthlac 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0
0 1
9 Thomas,George Alan 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 1
10 Norman,George Marshall 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

[BCM, February 1928, pages 60-66] (in part – minus the game annotations)

The eighth annual Christmas congress, promoted by the Hastings and St. Leonards Chess Club, was held in the Town Hall as in former years. A record entry was received, 120 players competing in twelve distinct tournaments.

In accordance with the policy of the club, to give British players an opportunity of meeting continental experts, Dr. Tartakower, L. Steiner, E. Colle and H. Kmoch received and accepted invitations to play in the Premier tournament, whilst eight foreign competitors were included in the two sections of the Major tournament. The British contingent in the Premier was the same as last year.

On the first day of the congress, Wednesday, December 28th [1927], a great part of England was covered deeply with snow and a severe gale had caused the suspension of the boat service from the continent. Competitors were pleasantly surprised on arrival in Hastings to find no snow and brilliant sunshine, but when the Mayor, Councillor A. D. Thorpe, opened the congress at 5-45 p.m., news had reached the town that Steiner, Kmoch and Colle of the Premier, Rellstab, Landau and Sapira of the Major, were held up at Ostend, and two English competitors were snowed up in the country. However, all these reached Hastings on Friday [30 December] and the adjourned games concerned were completed by Monday.

We give the interesting features of each day’s play.

First Round, Wednesday, December 28th.

Owing to the absentees only three games were played in the Premier. E. G. Sergeant drew an uneventful Ruy Lopez against R. P. Michell. Dr. Tartakower played the Sicilian against Sir George Thomas and early in the game Thomas gave up two minor pieces for a Rook and Pawn, with three Pawns to one on the Queen’s side. The game was adjourned and ultimately Tartakower won [...].

The remaining two games in the Premier in this round were played later and resulted in a draw between Kmoch and Colle, whilst Buerger beat Steiner.

Second Round, Thursday, December 29th.

Tartakower won a Réti opening very easily against Norman who showed lack of practice throughout the congress, while Yates was disposing of Sergeant with his favourite Ruy Lopez. Buerger outplayed Michell in the middle game of a Queen’s Pawn opening and won. The two games which had to be played later resulted in Steiner beating Kmoch and Colle defeating Thomas.

Third Round, Friday, December 30th.

The missing players all reached Hastings to-day too late to play, but their safe arrival relieved the anxiety of the congress committee.

Sergeant held his own for a long time against Tartakower’s Sicilian but went astray in the end-game and lost. Michell drew a Queen’s Pawn game with Yates, and as Thomas and Buerger were without opponents, their game from round five was played and resulted in a win for Thomas.

In the postponed games played subsequently Thomas underestimated the strength of Steiner’s attack and lost, whilst Kmoch drew a short game with Buerger, and Norman played his one good game against Colle.

In the evening a lightning tournament attracted thirty-two entries. The Roumanian player, A. Baratz, who recently won the championship of Paris and who was leading in one of the sections of the Major, took first place. G. Koltanowski was second, B. Reilly, a promising player from Nice, also included in the Major, was third, and J. W. H. Sayborne fourth.

Fourth Round, Saturday, December 31st.

All the sections were complete this morning and the regular course of the congress was continued from this point to the end without further interruption.

Steiner signalised his appearance by playing a fine attacking game against Norman’s Sicilian.

In the evening Dr. Tartakower played thirty games simultaneously, winning twenty-five, drawing four and losing one to A. D. Barlow.

Fifth Round, Monday, January 2nd.

Yates played well against Tartakower’s Sicilian and had a draw well in hand, but with his usual fighting spirit he was not content with this, and going for a win he ultimately lost his advantage of position and the game. Kmoch beat Norman, but the sensation of the day was the defeat of Steiner by Sergeant.

Michell lost to Colle and the remaining game in this round was played on the previous Friday.

Tartakower was leading at the conclusion of this round with 4½ points.

In the evening a rapid tournament was played, the time-limit being ten minutes for a game. Dr. Tartakower was first, S. F. Dalladay second, C. H. Taylor third and T. Schafran fourth.

Sixth Round, Tuesday, January 3rd.

Norman played the Sicilian Defence badly against Thomas and allowed the latter to bring off a very pretty finish. Steiner won after the adjournment against Michell as also did Colle against Yates, Tartakower against Buerger and Kmoch against Sergeant. No draws in this round.

In the evening a second lightning tournament was held : Dr. Tartakower was first, H. Kmoch second, B. Reilly third and P. A. Ursell fourth.

Seventh Round, Wednesday, January 4th.

Tartakower agreed to a draw with Colle in a short game of twenty-four moves. Thomas beat Sergeant, Yates drew with Steiner, and after the adjournment Michell won a good game against Kmoch. Norman was soon in trouble with Buerger but emerged with an apparently slight advantage, but Buerger played an end-game in excellent fashion and won.

The leaders in the Major tournament were G. Koltanowski in Section A and Max Romih in Section B. The former defeated R. E. Lean to-day in a short game which is quoted to show the effective manner in which the winner took advantage of his opponent’s error in playing 5.., Q—B 1 instead of Q—Kt 3.

In the evening F. D. Yates played twenty games simultaneously, winning fifteen, drawing four and losing one to Miss Hazelden, a promising young Hastings player who took second prize in one section of the third class.

Eighth Round, Thursday, January 5th.

Steiner defeated Tartakower, playing against the McCutcheon variation of the French Defence; after winning a piece the ending was easy. Yates played a bold game against Kmoch, with his Queen in an attacking but vulnerable position and deserved his victory. Colle drew with Buerger, Norman lost to Sergeant and Michell beat Thomas.

Ninth Round, Friday, January 6th.

Tartakower drew an uneventful game against Kmoch, thereby assuring himself of first place, after playing very good chess throughout the congress.

Yates obtained a storming attack against Thomas and carried it to a successful conclusion.

Michell beat Norman and Colle drew with Steiner after five and a half hour’s play. Sergeant drew with Buerger.

The prize distribution was held in the afternoon, when the prizes were presented by Lady Margaret Hamilton-Russell, and the usual votes of thanks brought an enjoyable congress to an end.

Lack of space has prevented a detailed account of tournaments other than the Premier. The foreign contingent carried off the prizes in Section A of the Major, but in Section B, won by Max Romih, J. A. Watt, of Hastings, played excellent chess and took second place, with W. Atkinson, also of Hastings, and H. E. Price, of Birmingham, tying for third prize. Miss V. Menchik, woman champion of the world, did fairly well in the very strong section won by G. Koltanowski and A. Baratz, and had a splendid victory, with a proffered Queen sacrifice at the finish against A. Baratz.

Two promising players, C. H. O’D. Alexander and A. Mortlock won the Major Reserves and First Class “A” respectively, and altogether young players were prominent throughout, which augurs well for the future of British chess.

1927/28 Hastings crosstables

["Miss Menchik" in Major A is Vera Menchik]

The remaining sections resulted as follows :— [n.b. as published in BCM – I have added fuller names in square brackets]

Major Reserves.—1 C. H. O'D. Alexander (Birmingham), 7½; 2 F. Salmony (London) and Rev. C. F. Bolland (Eastbourne), 5; F. Wilkinson and W. A. Winser, 5; A. H. Crothers, 4½; T. M. Wechsler, 4; A. E. Smith, 3½; A. D. Barlow, 3; G. W. Powell, 1½.

First Class “A.”—1 A. Mortlock (Hastings), 7½; 2 P. A. Ursell (Birmingham), 7; 3 S. Nirenberg (London), 6½; Miss [Emily Eliza] Abraham and H. J. Kemp, 4 ; C. H. Taylor, Mrs. [Edith Mary Ann] Michell and Major [Edgar] Montague Jones, 3½; H. W. W. Hore, 3; J. H. Wise, 2½.

First Class “B.”—1 A. J. Butcher (Birmingham), 8; 2 L. Vine (Bridgwater) and A. H. Hart (Teignmouth), 6; G. Wright, 5½; S. P. Lees, 5 ; S. Meymott, 4½; A. J. A. Goetzee, 4; Miss [Minnie] Musgrave, 3½; S. G. Hayes, 2½; E. Atkinson, 0.

First Class “C.”—1 Captain A. E. Dickinson (London), 7½; 2 H. E. Tudor (Hastings) and W. E. Sandbach (Cambridge), 6½; E. B. Puckridge, 6; Miss [Hilda F] Chater, 5; A. F. Kidney and M. Demby, 4; A. V. Brignall and Professor R. W. Genese, 2½; A. L. Densham, ½.

First Class Reserves.—1 T. Schafran (Hungary), 7½; 2 Captain H. G. McMullon (St. Leonards), 6½; 3, W. Stevens (Hastings) and A. H. Reeve (Great Missenden), 6; Dr. M. Wechsler, 5; S. F. Dalladay, 4; J. W. H. Saybourne, 3½; Rev. W. Harvey, 3 ; W. G. Watson, 2; T. Moody, 1½.

Second Class “A.”—1 W. Barker (Wolverhampton), 9; 2 A. E. Ruddock (Fairlight), 7; 3 L. S. Hanson-Powter (Hastings), 5½; P. Leslie Jones, 4½; O. [Olga] Menchik, E. Behrndt and A. W. H. Matthews, 4; F. M. Turner and R. Crouch, 3½; W. Howgrave 0.

Second Class “B.”—1 Hans Kennedy (New Zealand), 7; 2 E. R. Pigrome (Rye) and A. J. Kidney (Caterham), 6; Miss Home and E. A. Hewitt, 5½; H. N. Collins, 4½; W. E. Leffler, 4; S. Deitz, 3½; L. Crouch, 2 ; Mrs. [Grace Catherine] Ewbank, 1.

Third Class “A.”—1 A. E. Fox (London), 8½; 2 H. W. Tidball (Birmingham), 7; 3 R. N. Murray (Reading), 5½; Mrs. Ayris and A. E. Harding, 5 ; Mrs. Fish, J. E. Coleman and Mrs. [Pauline] Peckar, 4; G. Shoesmith, 2 ; S. H. Hanson-Powter, 0.

Third Class “ B.”—1 J. E. Bond (Lincoln), 8 ; 2 Miss [Ena F] Hazelden (Hastings), 6½; 3 P. A. Turley (Birmingham), 6 ; Mrs. Mackereth, 5; Mrs. Frankfort Moore, Mrs. Vine, Rev. A. H. Brayne and G. H. B. Fox, 4; T. Gasson, 3 ; H. W. Weston, ½.

Biographical Notes

Major Edgar Montague-Jones (born 11 June 1866, Bristol, died 30 June 1938, London). Headmaster of St Albans School, 1902-31. Chairman of the executive committee of the BCF (British Chess Federation); President of the Hereford Chess Association and Dorset Chess Association and hon. treasurer of the SCCU (Southern Counties' Chess Union). A county chess competition bearing his name is still played for a trophy he donated. Full obituary in St Albans School magazine (including a photo) • more biographical detailphoto in the Cleveland Public Library collectionTweet showing him in military uniform.

Captain A E Dickinson - Arthur Edward Dickinson (born 1880, Greenwich, died 26 October 1931, Blackheath). BCM obit, December 1931, p531: "The news of the tragic death of Capt. A. E. Dickinson at Blackheath, early in November, was received with great regret among London clubs. A strong player in the Kent County team, he often played at the Hastings Congresses, and was the keenest supporter of the St. Mark's, Lewisham, Chess Club. He was severely wounded in the war, where it was found impossible to remove from his body a considerable number of pieces of schrapnel." (Capt. in the 11th Royal West Kent Regiment). Belfast News-Letter - Wednesday 28 October 1931: "Verdict of Murder and Suicide at Inquest — At the inquest at Lewisham (London) yesterday on Captain Arthur Edward Dickinson (51), private secretary, of 1, Eliot Cottages, Blackheath, and his sister, Miss Kate Maria Dickinson (57), of the same address, where they were found shot dead on Monday, the jury found that Captain Dickinson murdered his sister and committed suicide whilst of unsound mind. Miss Jessie Margaret Dickinson, of Quentin Road, Lee, who identified the bodies, said that her brother had suffered from war wounds, and was dangerously wounded in the head and in the spine in 1914 or 1915. He was a single man, but had thoughts of getting married about five years ago. His fiancée, however, died. That was a terrible blow to him, she thought." (Several other regional newspapers report the case, some in more detail)

Mrs Pauline Peckar (born 1873, Lithuania/Poland/Russia, died 5 June 1936, London) - BCM obit, July 1936, p331: "wife of Rev. N[ahum] Peckar* [married c1895], died on 5 June [1936]. She joined Hampstead C. C. in 1920, and was a very active member up to 1933. After that she joined the Social Chess Club at Whiteleys... played in several B. C. F. tourneys ... in third and second classes..." * minister of Jewish religion, according to 1911 census.

Mrs Mackereth - I am by no means certain but I think this may be (Lady) Muriel Ivy Scobell Mackereth (née Watson) (1894-1979) who was married in 1921 to Sir Gilbert Mackereth, M.C. (1892-1962), a soldier and career diplomat (knighted in 1952). She was born in Littlehampton, Sussex.

File Updated

Date Notes
2018 Originally part of the bulk Hastings download, then hived off into a separate file, circa 2018
30 August 2020 Added crosstables, results, BCM report and 14 games from lower sections. I am grateful to Tony Gillam for providing me with a copy of Hastings 1927/28, Cheltenham 1928 & Scarborough 1928, the 36th in the Chess Player series of rare and unpublished tournaments and matches, published in 1999. To date, 25 of the 45 games from the Premier are available.
30 August 2020 Brian Denman has kindly sent all nine games played by (Arthur) Eric Smith in the Major Reserves section, including a draw with the very young Hugh Alexander. Meanwhile I have added a little more detail to the biographical notes.
1 September 2020 I've supplemented the game score of Baratz-Menchik from the Major section with a very long textual note discussing an anomaly in the score. Contemporary sources give 24 Qc1 for White but later books published by Reinfeld and Tartakower & du Mont had 24 Qf1. Without further evidence one might be inclined plump for the earliest score published and 24 Qc1, but Brian Denman makes out a compelling case for 24 Qf1 based on the general context of the position. I tend towards Brian's view but we're leaving the game move as 24 Qc1 until further evidence is forthcoming. One wonders if Menchik herself published an annotation of the game. Does anyone know?