© 1997-2024
John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 4th Bolton Easter Congress • 54 games, including all 15 of the Premier games
Venue: Great Hall, Bolton Technical College • Dates: 11-14 April 1952 • Download PGN • Last Edited: Sunday 2 June, 2024 6:43 PM

1952 Bolton Easter Premier, 11-14 April

1952 Bolton Easter
1 2 3 4 5 6  Total 
 1  Slade Milan
½ 1 1 1 ½ 4
2 John H Pollitt ½
½ 1 ½ 1
3 John Wolstenholme 0 ½
1 1 1
4 G Brian Lewis 0 0 0
1 1 2
5 Bernard Landon Wilkinson 0 ½ 0 0
6 Otto Henry Hardy ½ 0 0 0 0

1952 Bolton Easter Premier Reserves A, 11-14 April

1952 Bolton Easter
Premier Reserves A
1 2 3 4 5 6  Total 
 1  Cyril Pollitt
½ 1 ½ 1 1 4
2 RT Lewis ½
0 1 1 1
3 Frank Whitham 0 1
0 1 ½
4 (Derek) George Ellison ½ 0 1
0 ½ 2
5 Arthur Yates 0 0 0 1
1 2
6 W Devery 0 0 ½ ½ 0

1952 Bolton Easter Premier Reserves B, 11-14 April

1952 Bolton Easter
Premier Reserves B
1 2 3 4 5 6  Total 
 1  Alfred Milner
1 ½ 1 1 1
2 Victor Nelson 0
1 ½ 1 1
3 Roy Shilton ½ 0
½ 1 1 3
4 Jack P Lanz 0 ½ ½
0 1 2
5 George Dutton 0 0 0 1
1 2
6 A Whitham 0 0 0 0 0

Text of the bulletin, by Bernard Landon Wilkinson.

Bolton Chess Congress Magazine, Easter 1952

The Fourth Bolton Easter Chess Congress was, as usual, held in the Great Hall of the Bolton Technical College by kind permission of the Mayor and Corporation of Bolton. The players were welcomed on behalf of the Mayor by Councillor C. H. Lucas.

The Congress itself was formally opened by the President of the Lancashire Chess Association, Mr. W. Costain, who thanked Councillor Lucas. Mr. Costain expressed his pleasure at the record number of entries (84).

The Congress as usual was organised by the officials of the Bolton Y.M.C.A. Chess Club —the main burden of the work being done by my Bolton colleagues, Mr. G. B. Lewis, Mr. J. B. O’Hara and Mr. H. W. Corden. Mr. Lewis’ colourful score charts were once more in evidence, Mr. O’Hara was his usual fluent and easy self as controller, and Mr. Corden attended to the financial side of the Congress—the latter not being altogether a job free from anxiety.

The 84 players were divided into 14 sections, making 210 games in all. About 110 games were given in to me and I have chosen 54 for publication. Except where otherwise stated all the annotations are my own. Mr. J. H. Pollitt of Manchester has, however, checked the Premier and both Premier Reserves Sections and added some suggestions which I have acknowledged. I appreciate his assistance deeply.

Bearing in mind the standard of play usual at a Congress like this (after all, Bolton is not Hastings or Southsea and it would be unfair to expect otherwise) I think the average club player will find much to instruct him in this Magazine. Speaking for myself I know I have picked up quite a few ideas from going through so many games.

Most of my annotations are concerned with the opening—for three reasons. First, Opening Theory is the only branch of the game on which I feel any degree of confidence; second, so many players taking part in the Congress are better middle-game players than I am; third, so many Lancashire players are good middle-game players but poor openers.

I make no apology for re-asserting my belief that many Lancashire players would greatly improve their game by a moderately diligent study of the opening. Many games are lost as a direct result of faulty opening play. As proof of this statement I will cite Games, 4, 7, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 26, 47, 49.

The Premier Section was won by S. Milan who, I think, deserved his success. He is a solid sort of player, usually safe and difficult to beat. The one Yorkshire entry to the Premier was disappointing.

Premier Reserves “A” was won by Cyril Pollitt, Bolton’s ex-Junior Lancashire Champion. He. too, well deserved his success.

Reserves “B” was won (also deservedly) by A. Milner. These two winners of the Reserves Sections won by varied middle-game play.

I regret that I have been unable to include more games in the lower sections, but to have done so would have involved me in heavy financial loss. This magazine cannot be produced in its present form at its price of 2/6 and each extra page adds considerably to the loss. I can only hope that players in the bottom sections will study the games in the higher sections and get all their satisfaction from what they learn.


Premier 1. S. Milan 4; 2 and 3. J. H. Pollitt and J. Wolstenholme 3½; 4. G. B. Lewis 2; 5. B. L. Wilkinson 1½; 6. O. H. Hardy ½.

Premier Reserves 'A' 1. C. Pollitt 4; 2. R. T. Lewis 3½; 3. F. Whitham 2½; 4 and 5 D. G. Ellison and A. Yates 2; 6. W. Devery 1.

Premier Reserves 'B' 1. A. Milner 4½; 2. V. Nelson 3½; 3. R. Shilton 3; 4 and 5, G. Dutton and J. P. Lanz. 2; 6. A. Whitham 0.

Major 'A' 1. K. A. Hume 4; 2. J. T. Smith 3½; 3. C. Burnett 3; 4. H. Chapman 2½; 5. G. N. Chase 2; 6. F. B. Lomax 0.

Major 'B' 1. R. Crellin 4; 2, 3 and 4. J. Hammond, C. F. Cooper and W. B. Smith 3; 5. F. Knighton 2; 6. J. B. O’Hara 0.

First Class 'A' 1. W. Bainbridge 44; 2. P. D. Ehrenzweig 34; 3. J. R. Nicholson 3; 4. A. W. Boggis 2; 5 and 6. D. Cronshaw and H. Burton 1.

First Class 'B' 1. G. C. Corcoran 4½; 2. H. George 3; 3. M. Goldblum 2½; 4 and 5 A. Morrell and A. A. Wheeler 2; 6. A. W. Guest 1.

Second Class 'A' 1, 2 and 3. J. Wearmouth, W. P. L. Phillips and D. Lloyd 3½; 4. C. G. Vandoorn 3; 5. R. Wood 1; 6. V. Burns ½.

Second Class 'B' 1. J. G. Lavin 4; 2, 3 and 4. B. Park, E. Fowles and B. Halliwell 3; 5. L. Davies 1½; 6. J. G. Jones ½.

Third Class 'A' 1 and 2. R. K. Mosley and H. Robinson 4; 3, 4 and 5. W. Cartwright, J. J. O’Toole and S. J. Twigg 2; 6. E. T. Mills 1.

Third Class 'B' 1-2 H. Perris and E. Fowles 3½; 3. A. Hindley 3; 4. J. Young 2½; 5. Miss E. Scobie 1½; 6. T. Evans 1.

Junior 'A' 1, 2 and 3. A E. Plows, C. P. Cartwight and Peter Furlong 4; 4. G. F. Yates 2; 5. J. Welsby 1; 6. R. W. Morgan 0.

Junior 'B' 1 and 2 . M. O’Connell 4½; 3. R. G. Hiller 3; 4. M. C. Killcross 2; 5. J. Dalzell 1; 6. M. Jones 0.

Junior 'C' 1. W. Malcolm 5; 2. L. S. Holden 3½; 3. R. Wadsworth 3; 4. A. Moran 2½; 5. B. E. Holt 1; 6. D. J. Ratcliffe 0.

Obituary of BL Wilkinson, from the Lancashire Chess Association (LCA) Bulletin, Dec 1972, by Clifford G Hilton

I am sorry to have to report the death of 'B.L.' - on 24.10.72, after returning home suddenly part way through his holiday in Rome. He was a tremendously active organiser, being LCA Secretary from 1949-57, NCCU (Northern Counties' Chess Union) Secretary 1958-65 and LCA President 1959-62. When he decided to retire from chess, the LCA had no hesitation in making him a Life Vice-President.

These are the bare facts. Those of us who knew him well will remember him for his 'cut and dried' attitude to everything. Those train journeys to county games were always enlivened by the discussions (arguments) going on between BL and Jack Wolstenholme. It was great fun—the way BL always took one side, whether it was a chess position or a political view.

Up to the age of 40 he played tennis. Then because he thought nobody should play tennis beyond that age, he took up chess. Just like that. He reasoned he would learn to play good chess by combining postal and over-the-board play. Not doing things by halves, he took up 100 postal games. Yes—one hundred, and he kept that going for a few years. Not many of us could afford that now—and even fewer of us could cope with about 20 moves to make per evening. He always said that it was easier to become an International Grandmaster at postal chess than it was to become a British Master (OTB). (When one sees people like Estrin have OTB Grading figures no different than Hollis or KB Richardson, it seems that he is right!). Certainly BL's methods worked and he was soon playing for the county team: he was a strong player in 'orthodox' positions. So much so that players used to try and play wild chess in order to 'bamboozle' him. Often this meant playing weak moves, which just played into BL's lap - so one had to be very careful.

Besides being an energetic organiser and a strong player, BL excelled at his job as a maths teacher. A letter I received a week before he died said:

"... I am still teaching and my classes are very large. In the Lower Sixth there are 52 boys and girls doing 'A' Level Maths - my own class is 32 of these, including 17 girls. Last June my Fourth Form took GCE 'O' Level and all 33 of them passed (28 with top three Grades) and it is for this reason (exam results) that the Governors asked me to stay on even though I am nearly 70."

" ... I now play Bridge for Wigan. In the course of six years I have acquired a British Bridge League 'Master Player Certificate (5000 pts). If you win the first prize in a pairs competition at Wigan you win 24 points, so I have had to win a lot of competitions."

So, it is with sadness that I record all these details - there must be many more stories to be told about 'BL'. Whether one got on with him or not, one always benefited from his company, and as such the world will be a poorer place now that he has died. He left a sister and two (i think) brothers, to whom we extend our sympathies.

JS note: BL Wilkinson's full name was Bernard Landon Wilkinson, and, if I'm right, he was born on 26 August 1904 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and died on the date Clifford Hilton gives, 24 October 1972, in Wandsworth, London. In 1952 he lived in Chorley in Lancashire.

File Updated

Date Notes
7 March 2021 Games input from a bulletin containing 54 games, compiled by Bernard L Wilkinson and kindly sent on to me by Mike Conroy (via Chess & Bridge), for which many thanks.
2 June 2024 Replaced crosstable images.