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John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 25th British Chess Championship • 66 games (48 games, 13 missing scores, 5 part-games) + 23 games from subsidiary events
Venue: Whiteleys, Bayswater, London • Dates: 15-26 August 1932 • Download PGN • Updated Wednesday June 19, 2019 2:02 PM

1932 British Chess Championship

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pts
1 Sultan Khan,Mir
1 1 1 1 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 8.5
2 Alexander,Conel Hugh O'D 0
½ 1 0 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 8.0
3 Thomas,George Alan 0 ½
½ 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 7.0
4 Michell,Reginald Pryce 0 0 ½
1 1 0 1 1 1 ½ ½ 6.5
5 Tylor,Theodore Henry 0 1 0 0
0 1 1 1 0 1 1 6.0
6 Yates,Fred Dewhirst 0 0 0 0 1
0 1 1 1 1 1 6.0
7 Fairhurst,William Albert ½ 0 0 1 0 1
½ 0 1 1 ½ 5.5
8 Jackson,Edward Mackenzie 1 0 1 0 0 0 ½
0 ½ 1 1 5.0
9 Hunnam,Harold Alexander ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
1 ½ 1 5.0
10 Golombek,Harry ½ ½ 1 0 1 0 0 ½ 0
0 1 4.5
11 Alexander,Frederick Forrest L 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 1
½ 2.5
12 Saunders,Harold 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½

1932 British Chess Championship, Whiteleys, London

1932 British Championship crosstable and progressive scores

[BCM, September 1932, pps 369-370]


The 25th congress of the British Chess Federation opened at the headquarters of the Empire Social Chess Club, Whiteley’s, Queen’s Road, Bayswater, on August 15. The congress this year, therefore, was not entirely under the control of the London Chess League; but there can be no denial that the comfort of players and visitors alike was very well attended to in the new surroundings.

The inaugural ceremony was a luncheon, at which Canon A. G. Gordon Ross presided. There were 178 present including, outside names well known in the chess world, the Maharaja of Burdwan and his son and Mr. Gordon Selfridge. After lunch Sir Ernest Graham Little, M.P., president of the Empire Chess Association, supported by the Rt. Hon. Sir John Simon, G.S.C.I., K.C.V.O., M.P., received the players and visitors.

In his speech of welcome Sir Ernest Graham Little referred to the varied character of the entries to the different tournaments, including, besides the British Islands, India, France, Germany, Holland, and Belgium, and extended the sympathy of the Congress to those who were compelled at the last moment to withdraw. “But for the simultaneous session,” he continued, “of another (but, of course, much less important) congress at Ottawa, we should probably have enjoyed the presence here to-day of a number of other Cabinet Ministers in addition to Sir John Simon, and also of representatives of the Dominions and Crown Colonies, patrons of the Empire Chess Association, who have signified their regret at being unable to accept the invitation to be present, owing to their official duties at Ottawa.”

Sir John Simon said that, in view of the analogy between the Congress and other conferences, it came, he supposed, appropriately into the department of the Foreign Secretary. It was an advantage to have a congress which would attain a definite result, and one that was conducted in absolute silence. In looking through his small collection of chess books that morning, he came across one which he felt compelled to bring with him, The Game of Chess Analysed, by the great master Philidor in the eighteenth century, which claimed to show how “ a perfect knowledge of this noble game may be Acquired ” ! After quoting several extracts from the book, he said that chess was a fundamentally democratic game, requiring no great outfit—such as a set of clubs !—and contenting itself with the simplest materials. But it did demand the highest quality of sportsmanship, and an attitude of mind which made the game the thing, which took success with modesty, and accepted defeat with resolution.

Mr. L. P. Rees, hon. secretary of the B.C.F., expressed on its behalf thanks to Sir John for his presence, and Col. Nawab Malik Sir Umar Hayat Khan, K.C.I.E., C.B.E., M.V.O., replied on behalf of the guests to the welcome extended to them.

At 2 p.m. the serious business of the Congress began. Owing to withdrawals some rearrangements of the sections had been necessary. The British Championship and British Ladies’ Championship were fortunately unaffected. In the Major Open Tournament S. Landau was missing through illness and A. Ritzen through the illness of his father, their places being taken by C. B. Heath and H. Israel from the Major Open Reserves. In the latter tournament the places of Heath and Israel were filled by R. E. Lean and W. J. E. Yeeles, while A. H. Knight came in for C. G. Palmer, who had met with a serious motor accident. At the last moment vacancies which were created in the other tournaments were filled by C. H. Reid, I. M. Demby, E. J. Brooks, Mrs. Murza, D. Castello, and N. Worobjeff, so that all byes were happily avoided. The total entry was 120.

[BCM, September 1932, p381] Sultan Khan then regained the British Championship, an honour well earnt. The final placings were : I. Sultan Khan, 8½ points ; II. C. H. O’D. Alexander, 8 ; III. Sir G. A. Thomas, 7 ; IV. R. P. Michell, 6½ ; T. H. Tylor, and F. D. Yates, 6 each ; W. A. Fairhurst, 5½; H. N. Hunnam and E. M. Jackson, 5 each ; H. Golombek, 4½ ; F. F. L. Alexander, 2½ ; H. Saunders, 1½.

[BCM, October 1932, pps 421-423]

The 25th congress of the British Chess Federation came to an end on Saturday, August 27 [1932], the early hour of 9-30 a.m. accounting for a comparatively small attendance at the presentation of prizes.

Canon A. G. Gordon Ross was in the chair, and, after expressing the thanks of the Federation to Messrs. Whiteley and to the officials of the London League for the successful conduct of the congress, referred to the Federation’s financial affairs. They had reached a stage, he said, when expenditure had overtaken income, and the reserve funds were now exhausted. There was an urgent need of an increase in the number of Life Members (at £1 a year for ten years) as receipts from this source constituted a permanent fund, which could not be lost. An influx of such members would help the Federation much when extra efforts were required, as for the Team Tournament at Folkestone next year, when £700 would be necessary to carry on one of the best innovations in the chess world of recent years, which certainly should not be allowed to lapse.

Canon Gordon Ross then presented the prizes to the successful competitors.

J. A. Randall moved a vote of thanks to the daily and weekly Press for the publicity given to the congress ; and E. S. Tinsley, as representative of The Times, replied.

W. H. Watts, after mentioning the spadework done by Messrs. Rees and Firth before the congress began, handed over to G. R. Hardcastle and R. H. S. Stevenson, who actually looked after the running of it, small tokens of appreciation which had been subscribed by players and visitors. Mr. Stevenson in his reply emphasized the need of the B.C.F. for an increase of funds, especially in view of what was contemplated at Folkestone in 1933.

A. Firth having said a few words on behalf of the Empire Social Chess Club, G. C. Brown moved a vote of thanks to the President of the Federation, expressing his opinion that it would be heartily joined in by those who had just been “seeking a bubble reputation at the Canon’s mouth”!

Ronald Rix moved a vote of thanks to Messrs. Whiteley for the splendid accommodation and excellent service which they had Provided for the congress. A. E. Cowper, general manager of Whiteley’s, Ltd., replied, and said that it had been a pleasure to the firm to entertain such guests as the chessplayers had proved themselves to be.

The proceedings then terminated. We were able last month, by a slight delay in the publication of our magazine, to get in a report of practically the whole congress ; and little more remains to be said before we give the tables of the various sections.

British Championship.

Sultan Khan’s second win of the title which he first gained in 1929 was well deserved. If it be objected that he had luck, especially against Saunders and Thomas in Rounds 6 and 7, whereby he gained a lead of which he was never dispossessed, it must be admitted that at this point of the tournament he was greatly favoured. But success is nearly always favoured by luck. His style of play did not please some critics, to whom he appears generally to be doing nothing! It is obvious, however, that wins are not gained by doing nothing; and Sultan has proved by his play in the highest company that his style is a paying one. In the end-game he is particularly subtle. The way in which he won his lost game with Saunders is a good illustration. So is his finish with Michell.

C. Alexander’s success was very welcome, following as it does on his second (with van den Bosch) to Sultan Khan at Cambridge last Easter. He never led in the score; but at the finish he was only half a point behind Sultan, having gained a half on him in the second week. He played dashing and adventurous chess, which only failed against Sultan and Tylor, though it might have failed also against Golombek, had Golombek been able to discover the flaw in the combination.

Sir George Thomas delighted his friends by recovering so far from a disastrous start as to turn a score of 1 out of 4 to 7 out of 11. He put on four points in the last four rounds. Michell too, usually a good starter, this time began nearly as badly as Thomas, but also finished well, and fully merited his fourth prize.

Tylor and Yates, equal 5th and 6th, both won or lost all their games, drawing none. Whereas Tylor, however, was in-and-out, with some good “ins,” Yates, starting with victories over two of the new aspirants, after the 5th round struck a very bad patch, when nothing went right for him. In the last two rounds, against F. Alexander and Jackson, he was more like his old self. In fact his game with Jackson was a model of good play on his part, and shows that his loss of form was but temporary. His heavy journalistic work was, of course, a big handicap.

Fairhurst was always trying, and produced some good games. He was especially on his mettle in the last round, against Sultan Khan, and strove gallantly to win for C. Alexander’s sake, as well as for his own outside chance of a share in the 4th prize.

Jackson was the surprise of the tournament. He played wonderfully sound chess in the first week, and in Rounds 4 to 6 held or shared the lead. In Round 7 he scored ½, and then not a point more! That he should crack in so hard a contest, seeing that he is the veteran of the lot (he represented Oxford against Cambridge in 1888—1890) is not so surprising as his remarkable form at the start. His win against Sultan was an exemplary game.

Hunnam made a good debut in the Championship, and the practice should be beneficial to him, as he evidently has the makings 0f a good player. Golombek, too, who is already well known in London, did himself credit. With luck, and with more attention to his clock, he would have done better still. As for F. Alexander and Saunders, their form was certainly not true. The latter said of himself that he had “found his right level”; but we refuse to accept this verdict. Against Sultan Khan he played very well to a point, and then lost confidence in himself.


1932 British Ladies' Championship

[BCM, September 1932, p381] To the Ladies’ Championship, in which the joint holders, Mrs. Michell and Mrs. Wheelwright, were entered again, as well as previous holders in the persons of Mrs. Holloway, Mrs. Houlding, Mrs. Stevenson and Miss Gilchrist, additional interest was imparted by the entry Miss Fatima,.from India, who has had the advantage of some mstruction from Sultan Khan and other chessplayers on Sir Umar Hayat Khan’s staff. She had the misfortune to meet Mrs. Michell ln Round 1 and suffered a quick defeat. Mrs. Michell went on to win three more games and then drew two, finishing the first week with 5 points. The other joint-holder, Mrs. Wheelwright, seemed out of form, losing to Mrs. Michell in the second round ; but in Round 6 by beating Miss Hooke (who was rather handicapped in this game by being in charge of Saturday afternoon’s play at the Imperial C.C.), she brought her score up to 3. Mrs. Stevenson, decidedly the most attacking of the lady players, won 4 and drew 2 of her first 6 games. Miss Hooke, but for the mishap in Round 6, should at least have been level with the leaders. Mrs. Holloway, though subject to occasional lapses, worked up to fourth place and Miss Fatima after a poor start, improved markedly, came fifth.

The scores at the end of Round 6 were :—Mrs. Michell and Mrs. Stevenson, 5 each ; Miss Hooke, 4½ ; Mrs. Holloway, 4 ; Miss Fatima, 3½ ; Miss Andrews and Mrs. Wheelwright, 3 ; Miss Crum, 2½; Miss Gilchrist, 2; Miss Abraham, 1½; Mrs. Houlding, 1; Mrs. Brockett, ½.

Mrs. Michell continued her winning form in the second week, gaining an important victory over Mrs. Holloway in Round 7. As the latter in the next round defeated Mrs. Stevenson, Mrs. Michell was enabled to establish a clear lead, while Miss Fatima and Miss Hooke came up to within half a point of Mrs. Stevenson. But on Wednesday Mrs. Michell’s victorious career came to an end, as, seemingly upset by Miss Hooke’s unusual defence, she lost a piece and resigned on the 19th move. This brought her back level with Mrs. Stevenson at 7 points each; and on Thursday they met one another. Mrs. Michell appeared to have the advantage, but if so let it slip and things were level at the adjournment. A draw was agreed to without further play. They stood, therefore, at 7½ points each, while Miss Hooke had brought her score up to the same mark with a win. Mrs. Holloway was close behind with 7.

In the final round luck played a great part, won games being pitched away! The leaders’ positions were, however, unaltered and the final placings were: I—III. Miss Hooke, Mrs. Michell and Mrs. Stevenson, 8 all; IV. Mrs. Holloway, 7½; Miss Andrews, 7; Miss Fatima, 6½; Miss Gilchrist and Mrs. Wheelwright, 6 each ; Miss Crum, 3½; Miss Abraham, 3; Mrs. Brockett, 1½; Mrs. Houlding, 1.

[BCM, October 1932, pps 423-424] As we indicated last month, this event had a breathless finish! Any of the three who shared in the triple tie could have had the title as a gift by a better control of nerves. In the circumstances, perhaps, a tie was the fairest result.

For the first seven rounds Mrs. Michell kept herself well in hand. In the 8th she showed indecision, and after that she was clearly very nervous. Mrs. Stevenson’s attacking spirit sometimes betrayed her, but also gained her points to set against her one loss. Miss Hooke showed some of the best chess among the ladies, and was decidedly unfortunate on the afternoon of the 6th round, in having to keep an eye, on what was going on around her at the Imperial C.C.

Mrs. Holloway, the calmest (outwardly at least) of all her section on the last day, was only just outside the triple tie. A win against Mrs. Wheelwright would have made her share in a quadruple tie; but she could not quite bring it off.

Miss Andrews was variable, but at her best was a match for any of her rivals. Miss Fatima made a very good first appearance in the event. She is only eighteen, has never played in a tournament before, and very little in public at all. The experience should give her confidence; and she has been well taught.

Mrs. Wheelwright did not come up to her form at Worcester last year. The Scottish ladies, Miss Gilchrist, Miss Crum, and Mrs. Brockett, were rather disappointing, and the first two seemed unable to press home advantages gained. Miss Abraham played with wonderful energy to the very end, but Mrs. Houlding perceptibly tired under the strain.

1932 British Ladies Championship - progressive

1932 British Ladies Champions, Edith Michell

Edith Mary Ann Michell, née Tapsell (1872-1951)

[BCM, November 1932, p477] THE LADY CHAMPION.

Everyone was pleased at the success of Mrs. R. P. [Edith Mary Ann] Michell in the British Ladies’ Championship. She has shown untiring support of the competition and made plucky attempts to win the title over a period of many years. Last year she shared the honour with Mrs. Wheelwright, for after a prolonged struggle to decide the winner they asked the B.C.F. to be allowed to hold the cup jointly; in the present case there was a triple tie, and after Mrs. Michell had lost her first game with Mrs. Stevenson, she made no further mistake, and won the tie-matches with a point to spare.

Mrs. Michell has played in the Congresses held by the British Chess Federation from 1904 except on six occasions, and in the Ladies’ Championship—all these except 1909. She learned the game from her father, a keen player, and on joining the Redhill Chess Club came under the tuition of L. P. Rees, with the inevitable result. Apart from this it is probably impossible to live with a player like R. P. Michell without increasing one’s chess strength, and the only regret which may be felt is that he did not amplify the family success by taking the British Men’s Championship.

As tournament secretary for several years at the West London Chess Club and for the last eight years at Kingston and Thames Valley Club, she has met many players and organised many events.

The following is from her own pen:—

“I have found that the success of a club largely depends on plenty of tournaments, in spite of the skittle player type who complain that there is no opportunity for frivolous play! Since I came into the chess arena, the number of women players has increased considerably, and a certain amount of young competitors are coming forward. Past are the days when a woman in a chess club was a subject for remark. When I played in the first 100 a-side match of Croydon v. Rest of Surrey, I was the only woman in the room, but now all big matches have a sprinkling of women in them.

“Many years ago, when I first played in a club tournament, a first-class player, having to give me odds, took his opponent too lightly, and lost the game. He rose from the board muttering half under his breath ‘Beaten by a woman!’ put on his coat and went out of the door, never to enter the club again.”

British Ladies' Championship Play-Off (8-29 September 1932)

                              11  22  33  Total

1 Michell, Edith Mary Ann     xx  01  11    3
2 Stevenson, Agnes Bradley    10  xx  10    2
3 Hooke, Alice Elizabeth      00  01  xx    1

[The Times, 12 September 1932, p8] The first game in the match to decide the tie for the British Ladies’ Championship was played at the Empire Social Chess Club, Bayswater, last Thursday [8 September 1932], and the result was a win for Mrs. R. H. Stevenson against Mrs. R. P. Michell. The next game will be played when Miss Hooke returns from her holiday.

[The Times, 26 September 1932, p3] Three more games have been played in the triangular match to decide the tie for the British Ladies’ Championship, with the result that Mrs. Michell and Mrs. Stevenson are equal with two games each, and one game each to play. This year two rounds are being played to decide the tie. In the games played last week Mrs. Michell beat Miss Hooke ; Mrs. Stevenson beat Miss Hooke ; and Mrs. Michell beat Mrs. Stevenson. During next week Miss Hooke will meet both of the others, and has yet to score a point.

[The Times, 3 October 1932, p12] BRITISH LADY CHESS CHAMPION - MRS. MICHELL’S VICTORY - FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT - The match to decide the tie for the British Ladies’ Championship has ended in a win for Mrs. R. P. Michell, who defeated Miss Hooke on Tuesday [27 September 1932] last. There was a possibility of another tie between Mrs. Michell and Mrs. Stevenson, but Miss Hooke put this out of the question by defeating Mrs. Stevenson on Thursday [29 September 1932], and the final scores are:—Mrs. Michell 3 points, Mrs. Stevenson 2, and Miss Hooke 1. Mrs. Michell was in another triple tie for the Championship in 1921, when Mrs. Anderson and Miss Price fought the issue out with her, Mrs. Anderson eventually winning. Mrs. Michell had another tie last year with Mrs. Wheelwright, and, the deciding match ending in a draw, the British Chess Federation agreed that the two ladies should hold the Championship jointly for that year.

[Manchester Guardian, 17 August 1932, p8 (Court & Social column)] MISS FATIMA AND THE CHESSMEN
The youngest competitor in the British Chess Congress in London is Miss Fatima, an eighteen-year-old Indian girl, whose thick plait of black hair falls over her shoulders. Miss Fatima came to England about two years ago as a companion in the household of Sir Umar Hayat Khan. Sir Umar, who is a member of the Council of India and an A.D.C. to the King, is a famous patron of chess. With his bright blue turban and silver-blue uniform he was a prominent figure at the congress.

"I have been playing myself for forty-five years now," he told a reporter, "and like to have good players about me." Sultan Khan, who won the British championship at his first attempt, is his Court chess player. Dr. Singh Bassalvi, who is also playing in the congress, is Court physician. All the eleven members cf Sir Umar’s retinue play a good game of chess. "When Fatima came to such a chess-loving house it was not long before she became interested," Sir Umar said. "About eighteen months ago she had her first game, and was such an apt pupil that now she can beat all of us except Sultan and the doctor." Among other women players Miss Vera Menchik is outstanding. "The finest woman player in the world" was how an expert described her. "She studies day and night, and thinks and dreams of nothing but chess," he said, "and there is hardly a flaw in her game." Her young sister Olive* was playing not far away. [*sic - Olga]

Alice Elizabeth Hooke (born 20 Oct 1862, died 28 Dec 1942). In 1939, her occupation was recorded as "civil servant (retired)" when she was living in Fulham, London. BCM obit (Feb 1942, p32): "We regret to announce that Miss Hooke passed away on December 28th, 1942. She was the sister of G. A. Hooke, who played for England in a cable match [George A Hooke, born 1857]. A regular competitor in the Ladies' Championship tournaments; she took part in the women's big tournament in London in 1899. Her best performance probably was when she tied with the late Agnes Stevenson at Scarborough in 1930, although she lost the play-off."

1932 Major Open

[BCM, September 1932, p382] In the Major Open Tournament the two withdrawals before play commenced reduced the foreign entry from 4 to 2—since we cannot regard Miss Menchik as a foreign entry!— but left in the two who had won the event before, Koltanowski in 1928 and Dr. Seitz, ex aequo, in 1929. Both of these, together with Miss Menchik, won their games in the first sitting of Round 1. In Round 2 Dr. Seitz and Miss Menchik met, and the outcome was rather unfortunate. After 18 moves the Woman Champion offered her opponent a draw, which after long deliberation he accepted. Then it was pointed out that by the rules 30 moves must be played before an agreed draw can be registered, so the game was resumed. Seitz drifted into an inferior position and finally lost—decidedly hard lines. Miss Menchik continued to carry all before her, though she had an arduous struggle in Round 5 with Stronach in a variation of his own, in which he gave up a Pawn. The game lasted about 5½ hours, at one sitting, before Stronach resigned.

Koltanowski meanwhile had been scoring well, with wins over Cross, Jacobs, and Watts, and draws against Wallis and Seitz. The last-named perhaps influenced by his early upset, seemed unable to get into his stride. The sixth round promised good sport, and the promise was not belied. Miss Menchik had as opponent, Damant, the well-known Hampstead and Middlesex player. In a level position he offered her a draw, but she pointed out that 30 moves had not yet been played. They went on, and Damant won a Pawn. Then the adjournment arrived and instead of resuming in the afternoon they agreed to play the game out at the first available opportunity in the next week. (This practice, it may be remarked, tends to a congestion of the programme and should, where possible, be checked). Koltanowski in this round beat Heath, while Seitz added another to his 3 draws—too many, it would appear, to give him any chance of first place.

The week-end scores were :—Miss Menchik, 5 (with one game unfinished) ; G. Koltanowski, 5 ; Rupert Cross, 3½; C. A. S. Damant, 3 (one unfinished) ; Dr. Seitz, 3 ; P. N. Wallis, 2½ (one unfinished) ; H. Israel and H. Jacobs, 2½; B. H. N. Stronach, 2 (one unfinished) ; H. T. Reeve, 1½; C. B. Heath, 1.

On Monday, August 22, the most important game was between Koltanowski and Miss Menchik. The Belgian master, against a Grünfeld Defence, built up a commanding position, and Miss Menchik became much behind the clock. Her game grew worse and finally collapsed when she had only five minutes in which to make five moves. Damant, in his game against Stronach, had an hallucination, making a move which he thought won, but which lost instead. Cross and Seitz drew their game and Wallis beat Jacobs.

Miss Menchik resumed her adjourned game with Damant the same afternoon and fought so hard as to force a second adjournment, when she had Rook, Knight and two Pawns v. two Rooks and two Pawns. She lost at the third sitting, which left Koltanowski at the head of the score. He remained there to the end, the final placings being : 1. G. Koltanowski, 9½; 2. Miss Menchik, 9 ; 3. Rupert Cross, 7 ; 4. Dr. A. Seitz, 6½; C. A. S. Damant, 5½; C. B. Heath, B. H. N. Stronach and P. N. Wallis, 5 all; H. Jacobs and W. H. Watts, 4 each ; H. T. Reeve, 3 ; H. Israel, 2½.

[BCM, October 1932, 425]

Koltanowski’s final position in the Major Open Tournament was not unexpected, and was well deserved. He played throughout with calm determination, never giving anything away, and never looking like losing a game. Miss Menchik could not repeat her last year’s triumph at Worcester, though she scored the same number of points as there, with the difference that then she drew 4 games, now she lost 2. She was outplayed by Koltanowski; against Damant she went wrong unexpectedly, and under time-pressure could not recover. She was apt to get very short of time. Otherwise she wore down her opponents admirably, often contriving to get a Pawn advantage early. A short, incisive example of her play will be found below. Rupert Cross’s winning of the third prize was very popular, as the applause at the presentation showed. He seemed to enjoy the tournament thoroughly. Dr. Seitz, with his journalistic work and his mishap against Miss Menchik, did not appear at his best. He drew too many games, though he finished up with wins against Stronach and Watts, which secured him fourth prize.

Of the rest C. A. S. Damant was the most impressive but looked to be putting considerable strain on himself. Herbert Jacobs as the veteran, had good flashes, and lasted out the tournament very creditably.

1932 BCF Major Open Reserves

The Major Open Reserves Tournament was considerably weakened by the alterations necessary in the tables and was reduced to respectable First Class strength. An interesting entry was that of F. W. Flear, who at the age of 74 displayed much of his old mental subtlety, though he found four-hours sittings rather a severe strain. The first week’s leading scores were as follows :—S. R. Crockett, 5 ; E. W. Carmichael, 4½ ; C. Wreford Brown, 4 ; N. M. Bach, 3½ ; A. H. Knight having 3, with an unfinished game.

The final placings in the Major Open Reserves were : 1. E. W. Carmichael, 9½; 2. C. Wreford Brown, 8½; 3. S. R. Crockett, 8 ; 4. N. Mudie Bach, ; A. H. Knight, 6 ; Rev. A. P. Lacy Hulbert, 5 ; F. W. Flear, W. Ritson-Morry and W. J. E. Yeeles, 4 all; E. M. Jellie, R. E. Lean and A. T. Watson, 3½ all.

[BCM, October 1932, p425] The sensation of the Major Open Reserves was the performance of England’s old Association Football captain, C. Wreford Brown, in his first chess tournament of importance. Starting with 2 losses in 3 rounds, he went on to pile up 7 victories in succession and finished with a draw in the last round, when he could not get first prize but was sure of second. E. W. Carmichael, who came from Gateshead with a big reputation, justified it. His only loss was to Wreford Brown at the end of the first week. He thoroughly earnt his place at the top of the score. S. H. Crockett made a good impression, though both Carmichael and Wreford Brown beat him. N. M. Bach, the recent Cambridge University player, was well advised to enter for the Major rather than the First Class, and though inconsistent, deserved his fourth prize. A. H. Knight, promoted, at the last moment from the First Class, only just missed the prize-list.

In the First Class the week’s leaders were :—

Section A : J. Montgomerie, 6 ; E. A. Jones, 5 ; M. Benger, 4½; I. M. Demby and C. H. Reid, 3½.

Section B :—C. Stacey, 6 ; S. van Mindeno and A. J. Duke, 5 ; J. R. Vesselo, 4½; E. E. Shepherd, 4.

Section C :—Dr. Bassalvi, 5 ; P. Reid and Lt.-Col. Stuart Prince, 4½; F. N. Braund, 4.

In the Second Class the leaders were H. V Mallinson, 5½; D. H. Caw, 4½; W. Henderson 4.

In the Third Class, Division 1, the leading scores were :— Division 1: N. A. Perkins, 6 and J. H. Ellam, 5½, well ahead of the rest. Division 2 : S. Black, D. Rabinovitch, R. T. Spencer, and R. O. Young all 5 ; J. P. Kirby, 4½.

... prize list in the First, Second and Third Classes...

First Class, Section A : I. J. Montgomerie, 9 ; II. Michael Benger, 8½; III. E. A. Jones, 7.

First Class, Section B : I. C. Stacey, 10 ; II. S. van Mindeno, 9 ; III. A. J. Duke, 8.

First Class, Section C : I. Peter Reid, 8½ ; II—III. Dr. Bassalvi and A. Mortlock, 8 each.

Second Class : I. H. V. Mallison, 10½; II. N. Worobjeff, 7 ; III. D. H. Caw and W. A. Hardy, 6½ each.

Third Class, Division 1 : I. N. A. Perkins, 11 ; II. J. M. Ellam, 9½; III. G. A. Peck, 7.

Third Class, Division 2 : I. R. T. Spencer, 9½ ; II—III. S. Black and D. Rabinovich, 9 each.

[BCM, October 1932, p426] The Other Tournaments.

We must let the tables of the First. Second, and Third Class Tournaments speak for themselves. Attention may be called to the youthfulness of some of the prize-winners—J. Montgomerie, M. Benger, C. Stacey, P. Reid, N. A. Perkins, D. Rabinovitch, and S. Black. R. O. Young, too, who just missed a prize, is like his name, and has not yet left school. Perkins’s victory was the most sweeping of all at the congress. He is obviously too strong for the Third Class. Such mistaken entries, however, frequently occur at the Federation congresses, due, we suppose, to the excessive modesty of the entrant.

There were remarkably few games forfeited throughout the fortnight. One player lost a game by late arrival from holiday in France; and one lady was compelled to scratch her last two games through indisposition. We believe that this is the best record the B.C.F. has had in this respect since its inception.

1932 BCF First Class A


1932 BCF First Class B

n.b. a photo of Mrs Murza can be found in a photo archive (Topfoto.co.uk) and gives her name in a contemporary caption as "Mrs Perin Mursah". She played wearing a sari, unlike Miss Fatima who wore European dress.

1932 BCF First Class C

1932 BCF Second Class

1932 Third Class Division 1

1932 BCF Third Class Division 2

[BCM, October 1932, p428] The prizes were, in the First Class, £10, £8, and £6 ; in the Second Class, £6, £4, and £2 ; and, in the Third Class, £4, £2, and £1.

In conclusion, we should like to add our own tribute to the excellent management of the congress by the organisers, and to the share taken in it by Messrs. Whiteley, who put a very fine room at the Federation’s disposal, installed a clock and telephone, and in every way fell in with any suggestions for the comfort of all present, besides making a donation of five guineas towards expenses.


Of the sixty-six games played in the championship, thirty-three opened with 1 P—Q 4, thirty with 1 P—K 4, two with 1 Kt—K B 3 (both by Sultan Khan) and one with 1 P—Q B 4. Seventeen of the P—Q 4 games developed into the Queen’s Gambit Declined, one into the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, and the remaining fifteen were, of course, ordinary Queen Pawn Games. Thirteen of the thirty P—K 4 games became Ruy Lopez, five were Caro-Kann, two were Petroff’s Defence and two Ponziani. The remaining eight were all different openings, viz., Alekhine’s Defence, French Defence, Evans Gambit, Hungarian Defence, Vienna, Bishop’s, Giuoco Piano, and lour Knights. Of the two games which opened with White playing Kt—K B 3, one developed into a Queen’s Pawn Game and the other into Reti’s Opening.

It is interesting to note that the Queen’s Pawn first move was more popular than the King’s Pawn. The Ruy Lopez still retains its everlasting (?) popularity, and it seems as if the recently popular Caro-Kann Defence has now superseded the French Defence which was only played once (by Sir George Thomas). The Giuoco Piano and Evans Gambit games were played by C. H. O’D. Alexander and were both extremely enterprising. While Mr. Alexander continues to play the classical opening it can never be “decently buried.” In spite of Tartakover’s theory that the English Opening (P—Q B 4) is the strongest first move for White it was only used once in the championship, when Golombek played it against Michell.

R. P. Michell, W. A. Fairhurst, F. F. L. Alexander, and H. Saunders played 1 P—Q 4 every time they had White, while C. H. O’D. Alexander, Sir George Thomas, H. A. Hunnam, and E. M. Jackson played 1 P—K 4 every time when playing White. As already stated, Sultan Khan when playing White twice played 1 Kt—K B 3. On the four other occasions when he had the first move he played 1 P—Q 4. T. H. Tylor, when opening the game, played 1 P—Q 4 five times out of six. He played 1 P—K 4 once, against Sultan Khan, in a game that developed into a Ruy Lopez. There is some evidence to suppose that Sultan Khan prefers a Queen’s Pawn Game, and possibly Mr. Tylor thought that the dangerous Ruy Lopez might disconcert the champion, but those who have played through his defence to the Ruy Lopez when drawn against W. Rivier in the Berne Tournament know how ably the Indian master can stand up to the famous opening. F. D. Yates, the former champion, had White in six games and played 1 P—Q 4 and 1 P—K 4 alternately. As already mentioned H. Golombek once played 1 P—Q B 4, but on the other occasions when White he used 1 P—K 4. In two games he played the Ponziani. Incidentally, Mr. Golombek was the only English player at the congress who I saw scoring his games in the continental notation.

A point of interest is that H. A. Hunnam was allowed to play the Ruy Lopez no less than four out of the six times he had White! Three of the five Caro-Kann defence games were played by Golombek; the others being played by Sultan Khan and Sir George Thomas.

[credited as writer] L. E. Fletcher.

File Updated

Date Notes
2009 First uploaded
17 April 2016 48 of the 66 games, plus 4 game fragments and 17 games from the Major Open. Added all of William Fairhurst's games - many thanks to Alan McGowan for these. Corrected a number of errors, one of which was from the 1932 BCM, and three others which were down to me. Games affected were Yates-Fairhurst (Rd 3) - which has now been superseded by the complete score anyway - Yates-C.Alexander (Rd 7), result corrected; Saunders-Yates (Rd 4), result corrected; and Tylor-Yates (Rd 5), which had been given with the wrong colours in the 1932 BCM.
17 June 2019 Added results and crosstables of lower sections, and a photo of Edith Michell. Added sources to some of the games. One game fragment added (Lean-Carmichael).
19 June 2019 Added 13 more games and part-games from subsidiary events and provided round numbers where known. I have also added more sources to championship games where known.