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John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: Blackpool Premier • 11 of 15 Premier games, 2 part-games, 2 stubs + 2 games from other sections
Venue: Blackpool • Dates: 21-25 May 1945 • Download PGN Last Edited: Monday 25 March, 2024 5:16 PM

1945 Blackpool Premier, 21-25 May, Free Library Lecture Hall, Queen Street, Blackpool

1945 Blackpool Premier Draw No. Residence 1 2 3 4 5 6  Total 
 1  Gerald Abrahams 6 Manchester
1 0 1 1 1 4
2 William Ritson Morry 4 Sutton Coldfield 0
1 1 ½ 1
3 Herbert Gibson Rhodes 3 Southport 1 0
1 0 1 3
4 Victor Leonard Wahltuch 1 Manchester 0 0 0
1 1 2
5 Baruch H Wood 5 Sutton Coldfield 0 ½ 1 0
6 Charles Reuben Gurnhill 2 Yorkshire 0 0 0 0 1

1945 Blackpool Congress

From CHESS, August 1945, Vol.10/119, p184: B. H. Wood (left) playing V. L. Wahltuch, who celebrated his seventies: birthday during the congress. Standing (left to right) Herbert Gibson Rhodes, Alfred Milner, John Thomson Boyd, C. Evans, Robert Smith Hustler, Rev. D. Russell Mitchell. Messrs. Boyd and Hustler were congress controllers.

1945 Blackpool Chess Congress
From CHESS, August 1945, Vol.10/119, p185: "Officials and prizewinners at the conclusion of the Blackpool Victory Chess Congress, held at the Library Lecture Hall. In the picture are the president, Mr. H. G. Rhodes (left centre) with young Rappaport of Manchester on his left and Gerald Abrahams (Premier Tournament Winner) behind him to the right; Robert Smith Hustler (deputy controller) and R. Hill (chief librarian)." JS note: if you use the mouse to hover the cursor over some of the faces, you can see the identification. Another player identified is (Charles) Derek Simpson Paffley.

1945 Blackpool Major A

1945 Blackpool Major A Residence 1 2 3 4 5 6  Total 
 1  (William) Arthur Winser Hastings
½ 1 1 1 1
2 Leslie Charles Gwyn Dewing London ½
1 1 1 ½ 4
3 Dr Kurt August Hirsch Leicester 0 0
1 1 1 3
4 F Turner Manchester 0 0 0
½ 1
5 P Riley   0 0 0 ½
½ 1
6 George Marwick Robertson Templecombe 0 ½ 0 0 ½

1945 Blackpool Major B

1945 Blackpool Major B Residence 1 2 3 4 5 6  Total 
 1  Philip Charles Hoad Birmingham
1 1 0 1 1 4
2 Maurice Ellinger London 0
0 1 1 1 3
3 Heinrich Rappaport Manchester 0 1
0 1 1 3
4 H A Burton   1 0 1
0 ½
5 H C Lewis   0 0 0 1
1 2
6 T H Robertson Blackpool 0 0 0 ½ 0

BCM, July 1945, ppn 161-162

"Lancashire has had the distinction of staging the first major chess event after VE day, the "Blackpool Chess Congress."

"Besides the Premier Tournament, there were two sections of the Major, six sections of the first class, four of the second, and two of the third class tournament. In addition there was a junior tournament, a double-round fixture with four entries, against six in the other events; in all ninety-four participants.

"Lack of space prevents us from giving the results of all the tournaments.

"The Premier was won by Gerald Abrahams with four wins and one loss (to H. G. Rhodes). Hitherto his chief fault has been his uncertainty, the usual but not necessary adjunct of imaginative and aggressive play. We hope that after this auspicious start, his undeniable talent will remain to the fore. W. Ritson-Morry was second with 3½. His unaccountably feeble play against G. Abrahams with a hara-kiri expedition by his Queen cost him the chance of first prize.

"The Major "A" was won by L.A.C. [Leading Aircraftsman was William Arthur Winser's RAF rank - JS] Winser, the Sussex star, in convincing fashion with four wins and one draw, with L. C. G. Dewing second, three wins and two draws.

"P. C. Hoad won the Major "B" with four points. Maurice Ellinger and H. Rappaport sharing second and third place with three points, a good performance by Ellinger, for Rappaport should be in good form after plenty of sound practice on high boards for Lancashire and Manchester.

"The six first class sections were won respectively by: (a) M. Feldman and B. Hirst, (b) J. Edge (Birkenhead), (c) J. W. McMillan (Manchester), (d) H. Ashton (Stockport), (e) N. Clissold (Wallasey, with a 100 per cent score!), F. C. North (C North? - Sheffield). In the junior tournament P. Helliwell scored a good win with four wins and two draws."

CHESS, July 1945, Vol.10/118, p161 & CHESS, August 1945, Vol.10/119, p184 - B H Wood / W Ritson Morry

"We congratulate all concerned, and especially Mr. J[ohn] T[homson] Boyd and Mr. R[obert] S[mith] Hustler, on a most successful and enjoyable "repeat" performance of the Whitsuntide congress at Blackpool. The Premier, composed of six British Championship players, was won by Abrahams who played more consistently than usual and well earned first place. His good luck against Wood only offset bad luck against Rhodes. Morry played soundly after a bad start. Wood per contra tailed off with three losses, having obviously not shaken off the effects of his duodenal ulcer yet. Rhodes’ good luck was laughable. Wahltuch overstepped the time-limit against him (exactly as last year!!), Gurnhill with the better position sealed an impossible move, Abrahams made an incomprehensible blunder to give away a won game. Wahltuch and Gurnhill never recovered (in this brief event) from bad starts.

"Wahltuch celebrated his seventieth birthday during the congress, the occasion being signalised very pleasantly. [Victor Leonard Wahltuch was born on 24 May 1875 in Manchester - JS]

"The First Class Tournaments were won by Messrs M. Feldman and B. Hirst; J. Edge (Birkenhead), J. W. McMillan (Manchester); H. Ashton (Stockport); N. Clissold (Wallasey) and C. North (Sheffield) respectively.

"The Second Class Tournaments were won by Messrs. E. J. Bowley (Banstead); C. G/A. Harnden (Blackpool) [possibly tied with D. Paffley, Wakefield, according one report]; T. Buchwald (Blackpool) and Messrs. T. W. Crabb (Sheffield) and R. W. Shaw (Leicester) respectively; the Third Class by A. Whitty and Mrs. C[lara] B[eryl] Mongredien [I think she was actually unmarried - Clara Beryl Mongredien (1882-1968), grand-daughter of Augustus Mongredien (1807-1888)] and by K. W. Thorpe (Worksop) [also named in Lancashire Evening post, 26 May 1945, F C Wilson (Shrewsbury) and G W Hewitt (Blackpool)] and the Junior tournament by P. Helliwell (Whitefield)."

n.b. the results of subsidiary events vary considerably between BCM, CHESS and newspaper reports. The above is mainly based on what appeared in BCM and CHESS but I have added players' place of residence where the magazines failed to append this information - JS


"The first post-European War Chess Tournament has come and gone, leaving pleasant memories in the minds of all who competed and raising the spirits of those who can now look forward to something approaching a return to the pre-war congresses. Naturally Blackpool had its limitations, particularly the fact that the play could only last for six days, but this could not be helped in war-time and the organisers are to be congratulated on the enterprise which has launched this series of congresses and the excellent manner in which they carried through their difficult task.

"Of course the strength of the Premier and Major Tournaments was not of international standard, but it was sufficiently high to inspire awe in the mind of any player but a potential world champion. All the players in the Premier had been competitors in former British Championships, and they proceeded to go for each other right from the kick-off in a way which guaranteed that there would be plenty of interesting skirmishes. Mistakes were made by all of us, but when has there been a tournament where this did not happen? We found the time limit a little strange, and it was a great pity that four-hour sessions could not have been arranged. Curious as it may seem to the average player, it is not half as easy to make 24 moves in 1½ hours as it is to make 34 moves in 2 hours.

"I have tried to discover as many points of interest as possible and hope they will be both entertaining and useful to the reader."


Rd 1 1 v 2 5 v 3 6 v 4
Rd 2 3 v 1 4 v 5 6 v 2
Rd 3 1 v 4 2 v 3 5 v 6
Rd 4 5 v 1 4 v 2 3 v 6
Rd 5 1 v 6 2 v 5 3 v 4

File Updated

Date Notes
23 March 2024 First Upload. 11 of 15 Premier games, 2 part-games, 2 stubs + 1 game from a First-Class section. The Morry-Wood game is given in two parts (opening moves & endgame).
25 March 2024 Added the game W.A.Winser 1-0 K.A.Hirsch from the Major A section. Many thanks to Brian Denman for the game score.