© 1997-2021
John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 25th Hastings Premier 1949/50 (won by Szabo) Go to: Previous YearNext Year • Updated: December 7, 2020 5:04 PM
Venue: White Rock Pavilion • Dates: 29 Dec 1949 - 7 Jan 1950 • Download PGN (45 Premier games + 12 games from subsid. sections)

Hastings Premier 1949/50 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 Szabo,Laszlo
½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 8
2 Rossolimo,Nicolas ½
½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1
3 Euwe,Max 0 ½
½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½
4 Horne,Dennis Morton 0 ½ ½
½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 4
5 Evans,Larry Melvyn 0 0 ½ ½
1 ½ 1 1 ½ 5
6 Fuller,John Arthur 0 0 0 ½ 0
½ 1 1 1 4
7 Barda,Olaf ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½
½ 0 1
8 Koenig,Imre 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½
1 0
9 Winser,W Arthur 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 0
10 Wood,Baruch Harold 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 0


Thursday, December 29th, 1949 to Saturday, January 7th, 1950

By H. Golombek

THE Twenty-fifth Annual Hastings Congress was opened at 3.45 p.m. on December 29th [1949] by Lord Simon at the White Rock Pavilion. With 137 competitors the Congress was clearly maintaining its popularity amongst the average player and with a marked increase in strength in the foreign masters taking part some fine chess could be expected. This last circumstance was due to an increase in the corporation grant that enabled the organizers to make the prizes in the Premier Section really handsome (1st £60, 2nd £50, 3rd £40, and 4th £30). Considering the shortness of the Congress the prizes now compare very well with those given abroad, though it seems to be time that the reward for games won by non-prize winners should now be brought more in line with those awarded on the Continent. The usual amount is £2, at Hastings it was 10 shillings and I suggest this should be increased to £1.

The Congress was favoured by very fine weather, some of the days being bathed with Spring sunshine; but I doubt whether many competitors took advantage of this, nearly all their attention being absorbed underground at the White Rock. However, the external sparkle seemed reflected by the play which was more spirited and carefree than I remember seeing it for many a year. Naturally this was due to the fact that the leading masters, Szabo and Rossolimo in especial, were full of fresh ideas and ingenious invention.

As can be seen from the table and the round-by-round account this was almost entirely a struggle between last year’s winner, Rossolimo, and the Hungarian grandmaster Szabo. Both played fine chess in markedly distinctive styles. Rossolimo’s games were abounding with beautiful little combinations and his style is certainly one of the pleasantest to watch amongst European masters. Szabo’s was true grandmaster chess, stamped with his own originality, positionally correct but combinational when combinations were necessary and above all far-sighted to a really remarkable extent. It was strictly in accordance with the run of the play that these two should tower over the rest of the competitors and that Szabo should be half a point ahead of Rossolimo.

Dr. Euwe’s third prize, two points behind the leaders, was disappointing. But the edge of his play has been blunted of recent years by a number of setbacks that have robbed him of self-confidence. He will have little chance of doing better until this is restored.

The 17-year-old Larry Evans made a good start in his first tournament abroad and played some excellent games. His style is already wonderfully mature and experienced but I doubt whether he is as strong as Fine and Reshevsky were at his age and do not think he will develop into as great a player as either of these two.

So much for the prize winners, now for the non-prize winners who were, alas, almost entirely home-grown. In a picture of some gloom, as far as we are concerned, there is some encouragement (and a lesson) in the circumstance that the two youngest British players did best. Both Fuller and Horne made promising first appearances in the Premier. Fuller is a young player with a fine positional sense who only needs further experience to be really formidable. Horne did well against the foreigners and has a better technique than most British players, these two facts being intimately correlated.

Barda, the only player from abroad not to figure in the prize list, was variable. He played some good games but was never particularly impressive and it would have been wiser to have put him in the Major Section of the Premier Reserves so as to give better practice to some of our other players. For, by no stretch of the imagination can he be called a first-class master and only this class should be invited from abroad, for the Premier Section at any rate. Of the many possible, the name of Stahlberg, who as it happens was available, springs most readily to mind. Though this would have made the foreign opposition still more formidable there is no doubt it would have enhanced the attraction of the tournament.

Koenig was lamentably out of form this time. He has not played in a tournament since the previous Hastings and was consequently suffering badly from lack of practice. This was clearly shown in his games. Whenever he obtained a better or equal position he gave way to a fatal tendency to over-elaboration, got short of time and so threw away many valuable points.

Of the other two it must be sadly recorded that they were outclassed and again both Winser and Wood would have been better placed in the Premier Reserves. There are two main grounds for inviting and selecting British players for the Premier. One is that they should be able to hold their own or do better still against the foreign opposition and the second is that they are young promising players who will benefit from the experience and do better in the future. Neither of these last two players qualify on either of these grounds and it is a pity that their places in the Premier were not given to any one of half-a-dozen of the more promising of our younger players. The present London champion, J. Penrose, and his predecessor, D. V. Hooper, are two possibilities, or if either of these were not available, at least half-a-dozen more could be named.

Considering all the good they have done I may perhaps be considered ungracious in these criticisms of the Hastings Selection Committee, but the Hastings Congress and British chess have become almost synonymous and it is in the true interests of British chess that the Hastings Premier should be as near perfect as possible.

1949/50 PREMIER RESERVES, MAJOR SECTION [BCM, February 1950, p42ff by Harry Golombek]

Hastings Premier Reserves Major 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 Andrew Rowland B Thomas
½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 6
2 Herbert Gibson Rhodes ½
0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1
3 Leonard William Barden ½ 1
1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 5
4 Hugh Edward Guy Courtney ½ 0 0
½ 0 1 1 1 1 5
5 Victor Soultanbeieff 1 0 ½ ½
1 0 ½ 1 ½ 5
6 William Ritson Morry ½ 0 ½ 1 0
½ 1 0 ½ 4
7 Oliver Penrose 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½
1 0 0 4
8 Alan Phillips 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0
1 1 4
9 Lodewijk Prins ‡ 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0
1 4
10 Heinrich Jühe [Juehe] 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0

‡ Played under the pseudonym "L. Smith"

This was a much more levelly contested affair than the Premier. At first, however it looked as though last year’s winner, H. G. Rhodes, was going to repeat his performance and score a runaway success. For he obtained 5½ points out of his first six games. Then something went wrong and he lost his last three games, his initial impetus being sufficient to gain him second prize. A. R. B. Thomas won first prize by lively attacking chess. He is an ardent believer in Gambits such as the King’s and the Wing and plays them with much spirit. Here is a neat little game in which he shows to advantage. [Thomas - Prins/"L.Smith"]

Up to his collapse in the 7th round Rhodes was playing most vigorous chess of which the following brevity is a good example. [Rhodes-Morry]

The triple tie for 3rd and 4th prizes was between three very different types of players. Barden is a player of youthful promise who is, however, over-addicted to opening theory to the detriment of his own native ingenuity, and pays too little attention to endgame study. Courtney is a variable and imaginative player whilst the Belgian master, Soultanbeieff, is perhaps better known as a theorist than a player. In the lower half of the table there were some disappointments. Morry was too much burdened with journalistic work to give of his best, O. Penrose was not in his best form; whilst "L. Smith," a well-known Dutch international master*, who entered incognito, gave hardly a glimpse of his true style. Here is the entertaining finish he lost to Soultanbeieff. Play proceeded: [Soultanbeieff-Prins]

[* Leonard Barden has confirmed that "L. Smith" was Lodewijk Prins - JS]

The results in the other sections were as follows—

Premier Reserves “A.” L. Derby 7½, D. V. Mardle 5, R. M. Bruce, P. Swinnerton-Dyer and J. C. Waterman 4½, E. R. Reifenberg 4, J. B. Goodman 2½, J. T. O'Hanlon 2 and J. Mieses 1½. A strong section and a good win by Derby; it was, however, sad to see the veteran grand master Mieses in so lowly a place.

Premier Reserves "B.” H. F. Moxon and P. C. Tomlin 7, A. D. Whyte 5½, V. Maher and F. S. Woolford 4½, L. Illingworth 4, T. Lindsay Moodie and J. Petersen 3½, H. C. Lewis 3, A. C. S. Pindar 2½.

Premier Reserves “C.” J. F. Barrett 9, J. E. Pike 6½, J. R. Coward 6, P. B. Cook 5½, R. W. Hays and W. G. Whitaker 4, J. J. Hayes 3½, D. C. B. Jones and G. P. Ramsey 3, D. Fawcett ½. A remarkable performance by the Cambridge U.C.C. secretary who quite outclassed the rest of the section.

Premier Reserves “D.” A. E. Nield 8, H. J. Stephenson 6½, A. T. Watson 5½, F. A. Sisley 5, Mrs. Rowena M Bruce and E. Woods 4, Miss Mary Henniker-Heaton and R. C. Woodthorpe 3½, Y Peter Keffler and W. L. Wakefield 2½.

Major “A.” L. A. J. Glyde 7, F. A. Rhoden and J. M. Soesan 6, N. Clissold 5½, A. D. Barlow 5, P. A. Cooke and C. Lewis 4½, R. Lee-Johnson 4, Miss E. M. Michell 2½, and Mrs. M. Musgrave 1.

Major “B.” S. R. Hossell 6½, I. Duthilleul and H. F. Gook 6, Capt. H. W. F. Heneage 4½, P. A. Sullivan 4, Miss A. Sunnucks 3, W. Henderson and B. Gluss 2½ and S. G. Hayes 1.

Major “C.” H. A. Samuels 6, E. G. Ansell, L. Calvert and F. A. Senneck 5½, E. F. Norris 5, E. Paice 4, T. Edmundson 2½, E. J. Fairchild 2 and A. S. Dance 0.

Major “D.” B. L. Wilkinson 7, A. M. Edmonds 6½, G. A. Peck and A. H. Reeve 6, E. Leyns 5½, C. R. Berry and T. Greenwood 4, F. E. L. Chataway 3½, R. J. Manfield 1½, and A. C. Holliday 1.

First Class (Mornings). I. R. Plummer 7, Miss K. H. Passmore 6, H. B. Howard 5½, G. G. Homan and E. J. Seymour 5, E. J. Leyns 4½, E. C. Baker 4, E. E. Weedon 3½, J. J. Soesan 2½, and S. C. Hilliam 2.

First Class (Afternoons). C. Maxwell 8½, L. L. M. Jones and F. Willan 6, C. F. Kelk 5½, S. F. Dalladay 4, C. O. Perring and W. G. Watson 3½, S. S. Greig and Mrs. C. Lewis 3, and R. E. Webb 2.

Second Class. L. H. Appleby and M. Fryer 6½, R. F. Rowe 6, A. E. Harris and P. A. Turley 5½, F. Tanner 4½, Mrs. H. M. Cobbold and W. G. L. Gilbert 3½, E. Behrndt 2½, and J. Holmes 1.

Third Class. M. Grimstead 7, Miss J. Passmore 6, H. P. Goodman and C. B. Stone 5½, P. Rowbotham 5, M. Finch 4½, W. J. Baker and E. Gasson 4, Mrs. J. Hilliam 3½, and E. W. J. Chainey 0.

[The Times, 30 December 1949] "Opening the congress, Lord Simon said that chess was, perhaps, the only activity which was pursued under the same rules to-day on both sides of the iron curtain. It was therefore one of the unifying forces of humanity, and the more thoroughly it was understood the greater would be its contribution towards international good will. He commented on the increasing popularity of chess in Britain among young people as well as old, and added: "Chess is the only game I know in which you cannot cheat." (if only... - JS)

File Updated

Date Notes
(some years ago) Games previously uploaded as part of a collection of Hastings games
9 August 2020 Uploaded in the current format, adding some games from subsidiary sections, crosstables and results. Note that one game score has been corrected - Rossolimo-Winser (round 7) was sourced from the Mega/Big Database file some years ago but White's move 22 was given wrongly as Bf5 (B-B5) rather than the correct Bc4 (B-B4). All contemporary sources show 22.Bc4.
10 August 2020 Four more games from subsidiary sections contributed by Brian Denman: H.Rhodes 0-1 O.Penrose (Premier Reserves Major); H.Stephenson 1-0 A.Nield (Premier Reserves D); P.Cooke 0-1 J.Soesan (Major A); F.Rhoden 1-0 A.Barlow (Major A). Many thanks to Brian.
12 November 2020 Cosmetic changes to crosstables.
7 December 2020 Four more games added from subsidiary sections contributed by Ulrich Tamm: O.Penrose-Courtney, Courtney-Phillips and O.Penrose-Juehe from the Premier Reserves Major and a part-game, Mieses-Swinnerton-Dyer, from Premier Reserves A. Thanks to Ulrich.