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BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 46th British Chess Championship • All 187 games (plus 4 play-off games & 14 from subsidiary events)
Venue: York • Dates: 10-21 August 1959 • Download PGN • Last Edited: Monday 7 May, 2018 4:12 PM

1959 British Chess Championship

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total
1 Golombek,Harry ◊ 1/27 ♦ ½/26 ◊ 1/15 ♦ 1/18 ◊ 1/8 ◊ ½/2 ♦ 1/6 ♦ 1/4 ◊ 0/3 ♦ ½/5 ♦ ½/7 8.0 / 11
2 Haygarth,Michael John ◊ ½/8 ♦ 1/30 ◊ 1/26 ♦ 1/13 ◊ 1/4 ♦ ½/1 ◊ ½/5 ♦ ½/3 ◊ 1/12 ♦ ½/11 ◊ ½/6 8.0 / 11
3 Penrose,Jonathan ♦ ½/29 ◊ 1/16 ♦ 0/7 ◊ 1/23 ♦ 1/26 ◊ ½/9 ♦ 1/8 ◊ ½/2 ♦ 1/1 ◊ 1/13 ♦ ½/5 8.0 / 11
4 Aitken,James Macrae ♦ ½/9 ◊ 1/23 ♦ 1/6 ◊ 1/14 ♦ 0/2 ◊ ½/8 ♦ 1/7 ◊ 0/1 ♦ ½/10 ◊ 1/15 ♦ ½/11 7.0 / 11
5 Clarke,Peter Hugh ♦ ½/16 ◊ ½/9 ♦ 1/24 ◊ 1/21 ♦ 1/14 ◊ ½/7 ♦ ½/2 ◊ ½/10 ♦ ½/13 ◊ ½/1 ◊ ½/3 7.0 / 11
6 Littlewood,John Eric ◊ 1/12 ♦ ½/15 ◊ 0/4 ♦ 1/16 ◊ ½/18 ♦ 1/13 ◊ 0/1 ♦ ½/8 ◊ 1/22 ◊ 1/14 ♦ ½/2 7.0 / 11
7 Barden,Leonard William ◊ ½/30 ♦ 1/34 ◊ 1/3 ♦ 0/8 ◊ 1/19 ♦ ½/5 ◊ 0/4 ♦ ½/18 ◊ 1/16 ♦ 1/12 ◊ ½/1 7.0 / 11
8 Hallmark,Alfred Maurice ♦ ½/2 ◊ 1/29 ♦ 1/17 ◊ 1/7 ♦ 0/1 ♦ ½/4 ◊ 0/3 ◊ ½/6 ♦ 0/14 ♦ 1/20 ◊ 1/18 6.5 / 11
9 Alexander,C Hugh O'D ◊ ½/4 ♦ ½/5 ◊ 1/22 ♦ ½/19 ◊ 1/15 ♦ ½/3 ◊ 0/12 ♦ ½/11 ◊ 1/18 ♦ ½/10 ♦ ½/14 6.5 / 11
10 Sergeant,Edward Guthlac ♦ 1/28 ◊ 0/14 ♦ 0/21 ♦ 1/30 ◊ 1/27 ♦ ½/18 ◊ 1/15 ♦ ½/5 ◊ ½/4 ◊ ½/9 ♦ ½/12 6.5 / 11
11 Cafferty,Bernard ♦ ½/23 ◊ 0/32 ♦ 1/20 ◊ ½/17 ♦ ½/21 ♦ ½/15 ◊ 1/27 ◊ ½/9 ♦ 1/19 ◊ ½/2 ◊ ½/4 6.5 / 11
12 Hilton,Clifford George ♦ 0/6 ◊ 1/25 ♦ 0/13 ◊ 1/24 ♦ 1/17 ◊ ½/14 ♦ 1/9 ◊ 1/19 ♦ 0/2 ◊ 0/7 ◊ ½/10 6.0 / 11
13 Milner-Barry,Philip Stuart ♦ 1/20 ♦ 0/19 ◊ 1/12 ◊ 0/2 ♦ 1/29 ◊ 0/6 ◊ 1/23 ♦ 1/22 ◊ ½/5 ♦ 0/3 ◊ ½/17 6.0 / 11
14 Mardle,Denis Victor ◊ 1/31 ♦ 1/10 ◊ 1/19 ♦ 0/4 ◊ 0/5 ♦ ½/12 ◊ 0/18 ♦ 1/20 ◊ 1/8 ♦ 0/6 ◊ ½/9 6.0 / 11
15 Pritchard,David Brine ♦ 1/25 ◊ ½/6 ♦ 0/1 ◊ 1/32 ♦ 0/9 ◊ ½/11 ♦ 0/10 ♦ 1/27 ◊ 1/24 ♦ 0/4 ◊ 1/21 6.0 / 11
16 Wade,Robert Graham ◊ ½/5 ♦ 0/3 ◊ 1/33 ◊ 0/6 ♦ ½/32 ◊ ½/17 ♦ 1/26 ◊ 1/21 ♦ 0/7 ♦ ½/18 ♦ 1/22 6.0 / 11
17 Thomas,Andrew Rowland B ◊ 1/33 ♦ ½/18 ◊ 0/8 ♦ ½/11 ◊ 0/12 ♦ ½/16 ◊ 0/20 ♦ 1/28 ◊ 1/26 ♦ 1/19 ♦ ½/13 6.0 / 11
18 Fazekas,Stefan ♦ 1/22 ◊ ½/17 ♦ 1/32 ◊ 0/1 ♦ ½/6 ◊ ½/10 ♦ 1/14 ◊ ½/7 ♦ 0/9 ◊ ½/16 ♦ 0/8 5.5 / 11
19 Wood,Baruch Harold ♦ 1/24 ◊ 1/13 ♦ 0/14 ◊ ½/9 ♦ 0/7 ◊ 1/26 ♦ 1/21 ♦ 0/12 ◊ 0/11 ◊ 0/17 ♦ 1/28 5.5 / 11
20 Green,Arnold Yorvath ◊ 0/13 ♦ 1/33 ◊ 0/11 ♦ ½/22 ♦ 1/25 ◊ 0/21 ♦ 1/17 ◊ 0/14 ♦ 1/23 ◊ 0/8 ◊ 1/29 5.5 / 11
21 Lloyd,Kenneth William ◊ 0/26 ♦ 1/28 ◊ 1/10 ♦ 0/5 ◊ ½/11 ♦ 1/20 ◊ 0/19 ♦ 0/16 ◊ ½/25 ♦ 1/27 ♦ 0/15 5.0 / 11
22 Edwards,Raymond Brunton ◊ 0/18 ♦ 1/31 ♦ 0/9 ◊ ½/20 ♦ ½/23 ◊ 1/24 ♦ 1/28 ◊ 0/13 ♦ 0/6 ♦ 1/25 ◊ 0/16 5.0 / 11
23 Beach,Thomas John ◊ ½/11 ♦ 0/4 ◊ 1/34 ♦ 0/3 ◊ ½/22 ◊ 1/29 ♦ 0/13 ♦ ½/24 ◊ 0/20 ♦ ½/31 ◊ 1/32 5.0 / 11
24 Freeman,NL ◊ 0/19 ♦ 1/27 ◊ 0/5 ♦ 0/12 ◊ 1/34 ♦ 0/22 ♦ 1/29 ◊ ½/23 ♦ 0/15 ◊ ½/33 ♦ 1/31 5.0 / 11
25 Parr,Frank ◊ 0/15 ♦ 0/12 ◊ 0/28 ♦ 1/34 ◊ 0/20 ♦ ½/31 ♦ 1/33 ◊ 1/32 ♦ ½/21 ◊ 0/22 ♦ 1/30 5.0 / 11
26 Wallis,Philip Norman ♦ 1/21 ◊ ½/1 ♦ 0/2 ◊ 1/29 ◊ 0/3 ♦ 0/19 ◊ 0/16 ♦ 1/30 ♦ 0/17 ◊ 0/28 ♦ 1/34 4.5 / 11
27 Beaty,John H ♦ 0/1 ◊ 0/24 ♦ 1/31 ◊ 1/28 ♦ 0/10 ◊ 1/32 ♦ 0/11 ◊ 0/15 ♦ ½/29 ◊ 0/21 ♦ 1/33 4.5 / 11
28 Ellison,Derek George ◊ 0/10 ◊ 0/21 ♦ 1/25 ♦ 0/27 ◊ ½/31 ♦ 1/30 ◊ 0/22 ◊ 0/17 ♦ 1/34 ♦ 1/26 ◊ 0/19 4.5 / 11
29 Howson,James B ◊ ½/3 ♦ 0/8 ◊ 1/30 ♦ 0/26 ◊ 0/13 ♦ 0/23 ◊ 0/24 ♦ 1/33 ◊ ½/27 ◊ 1/34 ♦ 0/20 4.0 / 11
30 Clough,Fred ♦ ½/7 ◊ 0/2 ♦ 0/29 ◊ 0/10 ♦ 1/33 ◊ 0/28 ♦ ½/34 ◊ 0/26 ◊ ½/31 ♦ 1/32 ◊ 0/25 3.5 / 11
31 Soesan,Joseph ♦ 0/14 ◊ 0/22 ◊ 0/27 ♦ 1/33 ♦ ½/28 ◊ ½/25 ♦ ½/32 ◊ 0/34 ♦ ½/30 ◊ ½/23 ◊ 0/24 3.5 / 11
32 Naylor,John William ◊ ½/34 ♦ 1/11 ◊ 0/18 ♦ 0/15 ◊ ½/16 ♦ 0/27 ◊ ½/31 ♦ 0/25 ◊ 0/33 ◊ 0/30 ♦ 0/23 2.5 / 11
33 Fallone,Michael ♦ 0/17 ◊ 0/20 ♦ 0/16 ◊ 0/31 ◊ 0/30 ♦ 1/34 ◊ 0/25 ◊ 0/29 ♦ 1/32 ♦ ½/24 ◊ 0/27 2.5 / 11
34 Curtis,Donald A ♦ ½/32 ◊ 0/7 ♦ 0/23 ◊ 0/25 ♦ 0/24 ◊ 0/33 ◊ ½/30 ♦ 1/31 ◊ 0/28 ♦ 0/29 ◊ 0/26 2.0 / 11

1959 British Championship Play-Off (London, RAC Club – 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 November 1959)

    1 2 3 Total
1 Penrose,Jonathan
&;
11 3.0 / 3
2 Haygarth,Michael John
&;
½  0.5 / 2
3 Golombek,Harry 00 ½ 
&;
0.5 / 3

1959 British Ladies' Chess Championship (12-21 August)

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
1 Bruce,Rowena Mary
&;
1 1 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 6.5 / 8
2 Henniker-Heaton,Mary 0
&;
1 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 5.5 / 8
3 Sunnucks,Patricia Anne 0 0
&;
1 1 1 1 1 0 5.0 / 8
4 Bourdillon,Dody 0 0 0
&;
1 1 1 1 1 5.0 / 8
5 Corbyn,Sheila A 1 0 0 0
&;
1 ½ 1 1 4.5 / 8
6 MacLean,Maria (Dr) 0 0 0 0 0
&;
1 1 1 3.0 / 8
7 Colmer,Deirdre ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0
&;
1 0 2.5 / 8
8 Feavyour,Evaline Emily 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
&;
1 2.0 / 8
9 Steedman,Sarah Margaret 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
&;
2.0 / 8

 


All the Championship games, plus 12 from other sections, were input from the book 'York Chess Congress 1959,' published by Chess, Sutton Coldfield, England. I have not gone to the trouble of entering this fact as a textual comment beside each game played in the main tournament as I usually do where games have been collected from a variety of sources.


Other sections:

British Ladies’ Championship.—Mrs. R. M. Bruce (Plymouth) 6½; Miss M. Henniker-Heaton (London) 5½; Miss P. A. Sunnucks (London) and Mrs. D. Bourdillon (London) 5; Miss S. A. Corbyn (Birmingham) 4½; Dr. M. (Maria) Maclean (Abertillery) 3; Miss D. Colmer (London) 2½; Mrs. E. Feavyour (Saxmundham) and Mrs. S. M. Steedman (Bothwell) 2.

British Boys’ [Under 18] Championship.—M. Firth (Chadderton), J. A. Lawrence (Birmingham) and K. M. Oliff (Basildon) 10; D. R. Thomson (Glasgow) and C. B. Wood (Sutton Coldfield) 9½; C. Burton (Birmingham), G. Orme (Wallasey), J. I. P. Simpole (Brighton), D. A. Smith (Stockton-on-Tees) and P. E. Walker (Weston super Mare) 9; D. G. MacDonald (Hoylake) and G. W. Wheeler (Plympton) 8½; N. J. Argyris (London), R. A. Beach (Liverpool), R. A. A. Brockington (Winchester), R. A. Fenn (Bristol), C. C. Parsons (Yatton) and S. J. F. Walsh (Switzerland) 8; P. J. Bennett (Newport), J. D. T. Boyers (Middlesbrough), P. J. Hamblett (West Bromwich), R. H. Mellor (Stockport), J. L. Seppings (York), G. M. Sheldrick (Huddersfield), M. A. Stevenson (Tattenhall) and C. Waring (Manchester) 7½; D. W. Anderton (Wolverhampton), C. J. Byrne (Liverpool), K. R. Emerton (Leicester), J. A. Feavyour (Saxmundham), R. G. Jones (Aberdare), R. C. Lovett (Leicester), R. W. Morgan (Bolton), I. C. Smart (Leatherhead), J. N. Walker (Oxford) and V. H. Woodward (Leicester) 7; F. M. Akeroyd, R. L. Cureton, P. Hampson, A. C. P. Milnes, T. A. Parker, J. E. Scholes and P. Wann 6½; J. G. Calvert, A. A. Collyer, R. A. E. Shaw, A. Slomson and G. P. Webb 6; A. R. J. Arthur, C. M. Bloodworth, M. S. Bodinetz, G. Gildener, T. D. Jenkins, R. Ryan and J. F. Watson 5½; A. G. Summers 5; A. Fradgley, R. E. Graf, D. Holland, A. Holman and R. Julian 4½; M. Neave (withdrew after 8 rounds) 3½.

British Boys’ Under-fifteen Championship.—G. Chesters (Crewe) and D. I. W. Reynolds (Wallasey) 9; V. W. Knox 8½; R. J. Clunie (West Bromwich) 8; M. A. Moore and P. Nicholas 7; A. K. Abel, G. K. Sandiford and C. Waites 6; W. N. Gregory, R. A. Hughes, D. Parr, M. Walsh and G. A. Wright 5½; P. Almond, U. F. Brown, P. J. Burnell, B. Marshall, P. W. Murphy, G. Sanders and J. B. Wigglesworth 5; G. M. Cohen, R. D. Harrison, D. G. Smith and B. Uttley 4½; V. Hodgson 4; B. Jennings 3; R. A. M. Allison (withdrew after 1 round) 1; R. Eisdorfer—disqualified.

British Girls' Championship.—Rosalie Norbury (Liverpool) 5; Myra Ann Wherry 3½; Ann Holmes 2; Jean Pickles 1½.

Major Open.—R. A. Fuller (London) and A. Hall (Kenton) 8½; P. B. Cook (London) and R. Fletcher (Huddersfield) 7½; J. R. Nicholson (Manchester) 7; A. P. Borwell (York), B. R. Ewart (Wallasey), C. M. Malcolm (Glasgow), D. W. McGough (Liverpool), J. M. Myers (York) and A. J. Sutton (Stafford) 6½; L. W. Oliver (South Shields), M. Thompson (Oxford) and D. G. Wells (Bristol) 6; M. R. B. Clarke (Epsom), P. E. Collier (Leicester), H. F. Gook (Croydon), B. Goulding-Brown (Cambridge), C. R. Gurnhill (Sheffield), R. D. Hollands (Normanton), R. W. Ives (Leeds), D. G. Levens (Harrow) and G. N. Stokes (Solihull) 5½; P. R. Bielby, L. R. Kirkaldy, A. E. Nield and R. H. Northage 5; A. Archer, R. F. Bradley and K. B. Watson 4½; Rev. H. M. Blackett 4; E. G. Exell 3½; V. J. Dunleavy 3; D. Fawcett 2; A. White (withdrew after 6 rounds) 1½; R. J. Platt—disqualified.

First Class.—R. S. Scowen 8; P. G. Moore and R. H. Rushton 7½; J. Boyce and P. H. Sullivan 7; A. W. Rayson, W. S. Mackie, N. H. Needham and G. A. Peck 6½; A. Buxbaum, G. Chesters, G. C. Franklin, H. S. Littlechild and J. Taynton Evans 5½; G. O. J. Melitus, Miss J. Pitcher and A. T. Watson 5; H. G. Druce 4½; R. Parry 4; C. J. Vyle 3½; R. L. Constable 3; W. H. Thomas ½.

Second Class.—C. J. Archer 9; L. G. Gibson 8½; T. V. Parrott and R. C. Pentecost 7½; B. Priest 6½; W. N. Boydon and H. G. Smith 6; Mrs. J. D. Pentecost 5; W. Hewitt 4½; J. H. Brown 3; A. Terrett 1½; H. E. J. Stay 1.


[BH Wood, in the tournament book] "Most expert opinion seemed to put the odds, for the play-off tournament in London in November, at about 5 to 2 against Penrose, 3 to 1 against Golombek and 4 to 1 against Haygarth."


[Report from the tournament book, unattributed, but certainly by BH Wood - he notes that "these comments date, in the main, from November 1959"]

"People grumble about chess congresses being held inland, but they seem to continue to turn up for them well enough.

"The B. C. F., going to York this time (as a sequel to Leamington last year), attracted over 200 entries. How many will go to Leicester next year, when the venue is the University, in August? Of the two hundred-odd, well over half were juniors, or rather boys, for the fantastic entry of 62 for the British Boys’ (under-eighteen) Championship, with another 29 in the under-fifteen, contrasts amazingly with that of four for the Girls’..

"The B. C. F., nobly aided by the teaching profession, has developed boys’ chess splendidly; but it would do well to bear two facts in mind; firstly that it took over the Boys’ and Girls’ Championships from other hands; secondly, that its congress attracted fewer adult competitors this year than in 1938—or indeed, than either the Whitby or the Paignton events which followed it.

"This year’s British Championship gained an entirely new flavour from the raising of the first prize to £170, as a result of the bequest of William Sims of Cape Town which we mentioned last month.

"Penrose and Barden captured the first-round limelight by getting into difficulties against Howson and Clough respectively. Howson won the exchange and a pawn by a fine combination but Penrose, with desperate ingenuity, picked up pawn after pawn and soon it was he who had winning chances. Just before the adjournment however, he weakened again and his irrepressible opponent was quite alive to his chances of a draw.

"Barden dropped two pawns and, with some 20 moves to make in two minutes, seemed doomed. Clough thought for twenty minutes then blundered away a piece. Controlling his nerves well, he conjured up a simple trap into which Barden, forced to make every move on the instant, fell headlong. On adjournment Barden was a pawn down in a simple B v Kt ending, but Clough simply did not know how to win it.

"In round two Wood managed to bury his Milner-Barry hoodoo, shepherding a pawn gained in the middle-game to queening Wallis gave Golombek a rough passage but could not find the win. Penrose neatly opened up the game to create situations in which his bishops had Wade at his mercy: a heartening point, for not only is he inclined to be a poor starter in these championships but he has more than once come unstuck against Wade.

"Mardle and Wood, the only 100-per-centers after two rounds, naturally clashed in the third. Wood sacrificed a piece unsoundly and though the game dragged on to 54 moves, it was only because of a faint chance that Mardle might be left with two bare knights. The surprise of the round was Penrose’s defeat : he overlooked a sacrifice of rook for knight which left his game full of holes: Barden followed up with one smashing blow after another.

"The Daily Mail announced that Penrose had lost his title of British chess champion!

"Haygarth came into the picture, defeating Wallis in a faultless knight-v-bad-bishop end game ; Golombek ground out a typically quiet but effective positional win against Pritchard.

"In round four, the last 100% score went west. Defending a Sicilian, Mardle created too many weaknesses in his game: Aitken just played solid, sound chess and took everything that came his way. Haygarth won beautifully, trapping Milner-Barry’s king in the centre and murdering it there. Barden went wrong against Hallmark : both players got horribly short of time and the gallery which materialised out of nowhere when the news went round that twenty moves had to be made in four minutes, saw Hallmark blunder away a piece in the mad scramble but still keep enough advantage to win. This is the stage at which the more experienced hands normally begin to assert themselves. The Golombek v Fazekas, Clarke v Lloyd, Penrose v Beach encounters all had a slight flavour of inevitability. Alexander blundered a pawn away to Wood who, however, underestimated the subsequent drawing dangers.

"Green, plodding on in a dead drawn position against Edwards, “lost” on time. He appealed on the grounds that his flag had fallen before the hour, and his appeal, on examination of the clock, was upheld. The controllers Peter Shaw and G. H. Simmons proceeded to test every clock in the hall before the next round commenced. (It was not a CHESS, Sutton Coldfield clock).

"It was about here that Mr. Shaw sternly criticised the players for their noisiness, singling out “past British champions” for special condemnation. His remarks hit the headlines more than any rational comments on the play.

"Hallmark, hero of the fourth round, bit the dust in the fifth. His king caught in the centre, he resigned after 21 moves. One suspects that Golombek had something ready in the opening. Aitken lost a pawn by an overventuresome “cross-attack” and was given not a chance by Haygarth who played his moves throughout the session at nearly twice the speed the time-limit allowed. He showed similar confidence more than once in subsequent rounds, whenever he could see his way clearly. Mardle shattered himself against the Clarke brick wall.

The leaders were now Golombek and Haygarth 4½; Clarke 4; Aitken, Alexander-Barden, Hallmark and Penrose 3½.

"The sixth round, the last of the first week, often seems to produce signs of exhaustion. The top six pairs all drew: Golombek-Haygarth, Clarke-Barden, Penrose-Alexander, Aitken-Hallmark, Hilton-Mardle, Fazekas[-]Sergeant ; only the last two went to a second session.

"Resumption on the Monday saw Golombek emerge alone in the lead, by beating Littlewood, whereas Haygarth, a pawn down without any very apparent compensation was, we imagine, very happy when Clarke, short of time, agreed a draw.

"Barden placed a rook en prise to Aitken’s knight and resigned.

"Alexander nicely won a pawn from Hilton who, however, made it a doubled and isolated one. Continuing to resist stubbornly, Hilton unsettled Alexander whose king was soon in as tight a mating net as we have seen. If any reader, noting Alexander’s last move thinks he had taken leave of his senses—far from it! His placing his queen en prise was a last desperate throw, and as good as anything the position offered. Hilton might have overlooked that his own queen was en prise! When Hilton did take the queen, there was a shout of laughter from the spectators which the controllers, just for once, did not quell.

"So : Golombek 6; Haygarth 5½; Aitken, Clarke and Penrose 5; Hilton, Sergeant and Wood 4½.

"The eighth round saw Golombek edge a point ahead of the field, Haygarth was possibly in his most dangerous situation in the whole tournament when he lost a pawn to Penrose but he coolly worked out the one saving chance. Meanwhile Golombek was giving Aitken no chance at ail. Veteran Sergeant kept among the challengers by efficient wood-chopping against Clarke.

"Penrose stood now 1½ points behind Golombek but was to meet him in round nine. Only three rounds to go! Everybody was asking “Can Penrose win”. He could, and did. Golombek helped a little by baseline strategy, playing too placid a game. By razor-edge combinative play, Penrose picked up two pawns in succession without making any concessions to speak of. This gave Haygarth a chance to join Golombek in the lead by beating Hilton, which he proceeded to do with great determination. Clarke had his worst passage yet against Milner-Barry who won two pawns but allowed a draw by inadvertent repetition of moves.

"Round ten—last but one: Golombek, matched against Clarke, soon drew.

"Haygarth went in for a ‘book’ sacrifice; had ample positional compensation for the pawn in the final position where Cafferty offered the draw.

"Penrose could now come level first and soon revealed his ambitions when, to avoid exchange of queens, he accepted his second pair of doubled pawns. Soon, however, his KB5 square was wide open for profitable occupation. He let his QP stray to K6, surrounded by enemy men, rightly judging it more strong than weak there. His opponent Milner-Barry blundered discouragedly when a desperately impeccable defence might yet have held the draw.

"Thus the last round started with Golombek, Haygarth and Penrose 7½; Aitken, Barden, Clarke and Littlewood 6½. A terrible lot might depend on the toss of a coin. Golombek had to play Barden—but the toss of a coin would decide who got White, and Barden is better with White. Penrose could play either Aitken or Clarke; pure chance would decide which, and it is far harder to win against Clarke (who has lost one single game in the British Championship since 1955) than against Aitken who has lost four in the same period. Haygarth, having had the hardest programme of the three, faced—in theory—the easiest task. He may yet regret that he did not go all out to beat Cafferty and Littlewood at all costs.

"In the event, all three games were drawn. A result not surprising to those who have experienced the psychological issues behind top-rank tournament chess. To attempt to win always involves some risk: this risk is enormously enhanced when the would-be attacker is under the nervous tension of having a championship at stake whereas his adversary (as in each of the three games here) has virtually no “nerves” to contend with as his serious aspirations are over.

"It is curious that the two “finds” of this year’s Championship, should both have failed to qualify. Haygarth was knocked out in the preliminaries by Ellison. Later, Gibbs withdrew, as he could not spare time both for the Championship and for the Students’ Team Tournament at Budapest. Mainly, we understand, through the enthusiastic advocacy of H. Golombek, M. J. Haygarth was given Gibbs’s place.

"J. E. Littlewood was beaten by Sutton Coldfield’s P. J. Oakley in the final of the Forrest Cup competition for the Midland Counties’ Championship. Oakley did not wish to take up the place allotted to the Midland Champion in the British Championship, so Littlewood was admitted, and did well. A quaint sequel is that Littlewood is in the British team against Holland whereas we doubt whether Oakley (who has also won the Birmingham Post cup and the individual championship of the Birmingham and District League this year!) was even considered. Sequel: Oakley again beat Littlewood in the final for the Midland Counties’ Championship of 1960!

"York and its chessplayers served us magnificently. The Assembly Rooms were a perfect venue and their programme was something to show to one’s grandchildren (produced during a printing strike, too)!

"Called on to speak at short notice at the prizegiving, T. J. Beach voiced criticisms of the controllers which received general support. They had sometimes sounded like sergeant-majors handling raw recruits. The subject is prickly. We [BH Wood uses the royal plural! - JS] pride ourselves on the pleasant, informal atmosphere of our own Chess Festival—but undoubtedly benefit a lot from the “training” players receive at the B. C. F.’s!

"When she heard of the poor entry for the British Ladies’ Championship, Mrs. (Elaine Saunders) Pritchard offered to come in. Her entry was declined. It seemed to us that the other competitors would have welcomed it. At Blackpool in 1957, when Tabakiernik fell ill at the last moment, Alexander was admitted. He won !—it clearly helps any competitor for most of his rivals to remain ignorant of his participation until the opening day. Alexander’s admission, it was pointed out, created a bye. So would Mrs. Pritchard’s. He was a past title-holder. So was she ! In short, the two cases were similar enough to prompt the question “why the precisely opposite decision?”

"Stringent closing dates are set for entry, and for completion of play, in the Championship qualifying tournaments. Every year, some players by-pass this time-consuming competition. One well-known player is said to have boasted at the England-Holland match “I would never bother to qualify for the British Championship; I just apply.’’ If the B.C.F., or the group who control it, tacitly waive the necessity to qualify for certain players, would it not be more straightforward to publish a list of their names ?

THE PLAY-OFF

"The triple tie for first place in the British Championship made necessary a deciding match-tournament of six games (theoretically!). This took place in the conditions of privacy which the B.C.F. seems to favour for such events, in November 1959. Two week-ends were allocated to the event.

"Jonathan Penrose soon revealed his intentions, outplaying Golombek and Haygarth in turn.

"Golombek adjourned with a fairly even endgame against Haygarth. This game was left suspended and the first item the next week-end was the return Golombek-Penrose encounter, in which again Golombek bit the dust.

"So Penrose had scored three straight wins.

"When Golombek and Haygarth, resuming, could only draw, the contest was over; the remaining two games, which could not affect the destination of the championship, were not played."


[The Times, 8 Aug 1959] "CHESS CHAMPION TO GET BEQUEST PRIZE - This year’s British chess champion will receive an additional prize of £135 under a bequest in the will of a South African, Mr. William Sims, of Cape Town. The Championship will be decided at the British Chess Federation congress which opens at York on Monday. Mr. Sims left a half share of the net income from the residue of his estate to provide a prize for the Bntish champion. This year it will be £135, but in future years it is likely to be about £170."


[The Times, 10 Aug 1959] "ENTRY OF OVER 200 IN CHESS CONGRESS – PENROSE FAVOURITE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP – FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT – There is a record entry of 209 competitors for the British Chess Federation congress which opens at York to-day. The British championship entry, probably the strongest since the Swiss system was instituted for that event in 1949, is as follows: Dr. J. M. Aitken (Cheltenham), C. H. O'D. Alexander (London), L. W. Barden (London), T. J. Beach (Liverpool), J. H. Beaty (Doncaster), B. Cafferty (Blackburn), P. H. Clarke (London), F. Clough (Birmingham), D. A. Curtis (Cardiff), R. B. Edwards (Harrogate), D. G. Ellison (Iver Heath), M. Fallone (Hamilton), Dr. S. Fazekas (Buckhurst Hill). N. L. Freeman (London), H. Golombek (Cbalfont St Giles), A. Y. Green (London), A. M. Hallmark (Harrogate), M. J. Haygarth (Leeds), C. G. Hilton (Manchester), J. B. Howson (Romford), J E. Littlewood (Skegness), K W. Lloyd (Birmingham), D. V. Mardle (Cheltenham), P. S. Milner-Barry (London), J. W. Naylor (Liverpool), F. Parr (Sutton), J. Penrose (London). D. B. Pritchard (Brampton), E. G. Sergeant (Kingston Hill), J. M. Soesan (Ilford), A. R. B. Thomas (Tiverton), R. G. Wade (Ilford), P. N. Wallis (Sheepy Parva) and B. H. Wood (Sutton Coldfield).

FORMER CHAMPIONS

"The struggle for the leading places is likely to be acute with four former champions, Alexander, Dr. Fazekas, Golombek and Wade, and one former co-champion, Barden, taking part. Nevertheless, the titleholder, Jonathan Penrose, must be regarded as a clear favourite, since he has proved himself to be Britain’s best player in the last couple of years.

"Possibly the chief opposition may not come from any of the former champions but from the young Essex international, Peter Clarke. Nor must one overlook the chances of Denis Mardle who played so well at Bognor this year. Three other names to bear in mind are those of Dr Aitken, Milner-Barry, and Parr.

"Nine players have entered for the British ladies championship: Mrs. D. Bourdillon, Mrs. R. M. Bruce (Plymouth), Miss D. Colmer (London), Miss S. A. Corbyn (Birmingham), Mrs. E. Feavyour (Saxmundham), Miss M. Henniker-Heaton (London), Dr. M. MacLean (Abertillery), Mrs. S. M. Steedman (Bothwell), and Miss P. A. Sunnucks (London). This list is perhaps a little disappointing, since it fails to include two of the best British women in Mrs. Pritchard and Miss E. Tranmer.

"A remarkable feature of the congress is the entry of 62 for the British boys under-18 championship."


[The Times, 20 Aug 1959] "TALKATIVE CHESS PLAYERS WARNED - Players at the British Chess Federation congress at York were warned yesterday to stop talking during play or face disqualification. Mr. Peter Shaw, a joint controller, said to them: "We had to warn you last week about making a noise while play was in progress. For a while things were much better, but I am afraid old bad habits are beginning to reassert themselves again. So this is the final warning. If we find in future players making a nuisance of themselves to other players, we may have to disqualify those players." Later Mr. Shaw said: "It is difficult to remember to keep quiet for several hours at a time, but the lady competitors seem to have no difficulty in doing
so."


[Sunday Times, 30 Aug 1959 - C. H. O'D. Alexander] "'This year’s British championship was an outstandingly good one and encouraging for British chess. The standard of playing was higher than usual, it was an extremely close contest, and two of the younger generation, M. J. Haygarth, of Leeds, and J. E. Littlewood. of Skegness, established themselves as players of real class.
One of the most striking features, if we take the top ten players— Golombek, Haygarth and Penrose (8 points), Aitken, Barden. Clarke and Littlewood (7) and Cafferty, Sergeant and myself (6½)—is the very curious age pattern which emerges.

The evergreen Sergeant first played in the British championship in 1907: Golombek. Aitken and myself follow at a respectful gap of twenty-five to thirty years and the other six are twenty to twenty-five years younger than our group. The missing thirty-forty-five age group is, of course, the one most hit by the absence of first-class chess in the war years.

Of the winners, the surprise result was that of the twenty-four-year-old Haygarth, who went through the tournament unbeaten, playing with confidence, energy and good positional judgment, and seldom looked to be in trouble. Golombek showed much better form than he has done for some time, playing with great accuracy and drastically punishing any faulty strategy by his opponents: until his decisive defeat by Penrose in the ninth round he looked like running away with the championship.

I thought Penrose played best of all: the way he beat Golombek with Black was most impressive, and he had better ideas than anyone else in the tournament. The tie will be played off in November (two games between each pair of players) and I fancy Penrose will retain his title. In the coming weeks I shall give games by each of the three from the championship."


File Updated

Date Notes
15 April 2018 Uploaded for the first time
15 April 2018 The game Beach-Green (Rd 9.12) corrected (39...Rxg6 replaces 39...Rxb2, which is clearly wrong despite the tournament book specifically giving '39...RxQNP'). My thanks to Andy Ansel for drawing my attention to this. Also, Hallmark-Fazekas (Rd 11.7) amended - 66...Ra6 rather than 66...Rf1. (The book gives the illegal '66...R-B3'). Also, Freeman-Beach (Rd 8.11) - corrected to show 51...Kd5 (the tournament book shows '51...K-Q4').