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Tournament: Clare Benedict (Team Tournament) • 60 games
Venue: Paignton • Dates: 6-10 April 1970 • Download PGNuploaded Thursday, 15 February, 2024 7:09 PM

1970 Clare Benedict Team Tournament, Oldway Mansion, Paignton, 6-10 April

1970 Clare Benedict 1 2 3 4 5 6 M/Pts G/Pts
 1  Spain
2 - 2 2½ - 1½ 2 - 2 2½ - 1½ 3 - 1 4 12
2 West Germany 2 - 2
1½ - 2½ 2½ - 1½ 3 - 1 3 - 1 12
3 England 1½ - 2½ 2½ - 1½
3 - 1 3 - 1 2 - 2 12
4 Switzerland 2 - 2 1½ - 2½ 1 - 3
2½ - 1½ 2 - 2 2 9
5 Netherlands 1½ - 2½ 1 - 3 1 - 3 1½ - 2½
2½ - 1½ 1
6 Austria 1 - 3 1 - 3 2 - 2 2 - 2 1½ - 2½

Spain took gold by virtue of their superior tie-break (match points) while England took silver ahead of West Germany by virtue of their head-to-head victory. Similarly, Netherlands placed fifth ahead of Austria for the same reason.

BCM, May 1970, ppn 117-118

The 17th Clare Benedict International Team Tournament, Paignton, April 6—10

By Harry Golombek

This historic event (it was the first time we have ever held it in England), which in the course of time has become a sort of unofficial team championship of Central and Western Europe, suffered somewhat on this occasion from coming at the tail-end of that remarkable match between the U.S.S.R. and the rest of the world. Suffered that is from the publicity point of view; but in actual tension of interest and drama it was at least as good and probably better than any of its predecessors.

And, even if momentarily the wide publicity was not there the Torbay Council will have occasion in the future to congratulate and affirm its foresight in donating so liberally to this event. By its very nature the returns in the shape of publicity and fame are enduring and recurring. So it may rest confident that in the end there will be solid returns, both publicity and prestige-wise, for its £500. Here too is the place to point out to those of my readers who are members of the Friends of Chess and to those who will become members (and I hope these two sections embrace all my readers) that this event could not have been held at all in England had it not been for the considerable financial aid given to the B.C.F. by the Friends—a first substantial sign of the success of the efforts of the Society to further the cause of British chess in the international field.

The milieu of the event—the Oldway Mansion—was one of the best possible for the staging of an international chess tournament in the country. One wonders whether that great pioneer of sewing-machines, the millionaire Singer, had any inkling that the remarkable building he had constructed would eventually serve to hold an international chess team tournament! At any rate, the art of Isidora Duncan was succeeded by another kind of art—that of chess, and the beautiful themes of ballet were followed by the no less beautiful ideas of the game.

Descending from perhaps too high-flown flights of fancy, I must give the names of the teams and the players. Perhaps I should observe that the mental state described by the previous sentence is parallelled by my physical feeling, recovering slowly as I am from some vilely obdurate form of influenza.

Austria.—(1) A. Prameshuber, (2) H. Holaszek, (3) K. Rohrl, (4) P. Schrafl, (5) G. Schubirz (non-playing captain).

England.—(1) Dr. J. Penrose, (2) R. D. Keene, (3) W. R. Hartston, (4) P. N. Lee, (5) M. J. Corden, (6) H. Golombek (non-playing captain).

The Netherlands.—(1) H. Ree, (2) K. Langeweg, (3) H. Bouwmeester (captain), (4) C. Zuidema, (5) R. Hartoch.

Spain.—(1) A. Pomar, (2) A. Medina (captain), (3) R. Toran, (4) J. M. Bellon, (5) F. Visier.

Switzerland.—(1) H. Schaufelberger, (2) H. Glauser, (3) E. Bhend, (4) J. Kupper, (5) M. Blau (captain).

West Germany.—(1) R. Hubner, (2) H. J. Hecht, (3) Dr. M. Christoph, (4) C. Besser, (5) J. Eising, (6) W. Fohl (non-playing captain).

To the dramatis personae one must add the names of the chief controller, George Simmons, indefatigable secretary of the B.C.F., and his three assistant controllers, N. J. Holloway, G. H. Stokes and T. F. Thynne. Nor must I omit the local officers, R. M. Bruce and Col. R. H. Newman, two eminences grises of the highest quality who worked like Trojans behind the scenes but with the utmost effect.

Finally, the editing of the daily bulletin was in the capable hands of W. Ritson Morry whose slow but sure methods were a perpetual wonder to that most intelligent-looking of any kiebitzer I have ever seen at any chess congress and who, occupying as he did a post very near to the seat of operations of the bulletin editor, was able to make a close study of Ritson’s system for producing the much sought after sheets—I refer of course to Mrs. Pitt-Fox’s whippet.

An account of the course of play from his hands follows: I mean Ritson, not the dog, but perhaps I may be permitted a few reflections on the results as a whole. Members of the Friends of Chess (a phrase synonymous with that of the well-informed reader) will have realised after a study of the names of the teams that, with the exception of the host country, no team was at full strength. The West German team was without its three grandmasters, Unzicker, Schmid and Darga. The Netherlands missed Donner and Kuijpers and whilst Donner seems almost perpetually absent nowadays the substitution of Hartoch for Kuijpers was a definite blow at the strength of the Dutch side. Spain was without Diez del Corral, the player who had done so well in the last and exceedingly strong Palma de Mallorca tournament. Switzerland had neither Lombard nor Keller and the Austrians suffered the worst handicap of all in being without Duckstein and Robatsch. They came with only four players and of these the last two, in particular the fourth board, were about as long away from master class as is compatible with a knowledge of the en passant rule (I was going to say as I am from being world champion but on reflection it’s an over-modest estimation of my own powers).

So the English team was presented with a golden opportunity of winning the event for the first time. That it did not quite manage to achieve this was due factually to a bad start and a still worse finish. Of the individual units that went to make up the team, Keene and Hartston were in excellent form and had fine results. Penrose was, alas, quite out of form and only gave occasional glimpses of his true powers. Corden made a most promising debut and Lee held his own.

Considering the play as a whole I think the final result of a triple tie between Spain, England and West Germany was eminently fair. Equally, Spain, as the most consistent side, deserved to be classified as first. Though England did not quite manage to win the trophy it should be remembered that this was its best result in the history of the competition. We look forward to seeing how the side will fare in the next Clare Benedict which is due to be played in Vienna in 1971.

File Updated

Date Notes
8 July 2001 First loaded as a zipped file on BritBase. All 60 games.
15 February 2024 Reloaded as a PGN with crosstable and report.