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John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 2nd Scarborough Festival • all 46 Premier games plus 4 from other events
Venue: Pavilion Hotel, Scarborough • Dates: 22-29 May 1926 • Download PGN • updated: Friday March 1, 2024 1:43 AM

1926 Scarborough Premier A, 22-27 May, Pavilion Hotel, Scarborough

1926 Scarborough Premier A Residence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  Total 
 1  Dr. Alexander Alekhine Paris
½ 1 1 1 1 1
2 Sir George Alan Thomas London ½
1 ½ 1 1 1 5
3 Victor Kahn France 0 0
1 ½ 1 1
4 Maurice Edward Goldstein London 0 ½ 0
½ 1 1 3
5 Salo Landau Rotterdam 0 0 ½ ½
1 1 3
6 Gerald Mutrie Reid Scarborough 0 0 0 0 0
1 1
7 Climenson Yelverton Dawbarn Liverpool 0 0 0 0 0 0

1926 Scarborough Premier B, 22-27 May, Pavilion Hotel, Scarborough

1926 Scarborough Premier B Residence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  Total 
 1  Edgar Colle Belgium
1 ½ ½ 1 0 1 4
2 Harold Saunders London 0
0 1 1 1 1 4
3 Dr. (Jakob) Adolf Seitz Augsburg ½ 1
½ ½ 0 1
4 Eugene A Znosko-Borovsky France ½ 0 ½
½ 1 1
5 Abraham Baratz France 0 0 ½ ½
1 ½
6 Victor Buerger London 1 0 1 0 0
0 2
7 John Harold Morrison London 0 0 0 0 ½ 1

1926 Scarborough Premier
Photo from BCM, July 1926, colourised by John Saunders. Move the mouse over heads to identify players.

BCM, June 1926, p263


The second Whitsun congress at this popular northern seaside ort commenced at 9 a.m. on May 22nd in the Pavilion Hotel, and lasts until May 29th. The Mayor of Scarborough, Councillor G. Whitfield, welcomed the competitors to the town, and remarked that he had always considered chessplayers looked doleful and brainy until he saw his present audience!

Owing to the Industrial Strike several players cancelled their entries, and in consequence some re-casting of the sections was necessitated. E. Spencer and H. B. Uber found it impracticable to reach Scarborough, A. G[arcia]. Conde was unwell, A. Muffang was prevented from coming owing to professional reasons, and A. Barasz came in place of the Frenchman, H. Bertrand. It was intended to run the Premier tournament in two sections of eight competitors, the firsts and seconds in each section playing a short match of three games for the four prizes; but it was found expedient to reduce the number to seven competitors. Being unable to find anyone to fill a very late vacancy which had occurred in Section A, G. M. Reid was compelled to put himself in to make each section of equal number.

The organiser, G. M. Reid, is to be heartily congratulated on the strong entry he has secured by his arduous efforts, which included a visit to Paris to rope in the foreign contingent; and had times been normal he could have looked forward to an entry of over 100. As it is, an entry of fifty-three players, in three sections of seven, and four of eight, speaks well for his energy and perseverance.

In Section A, there is first and foremost, Alekhine, who is of course, barring accidents, booked for the first prize. The other foreigners are V. Kahn, an ingenious attacking player who obtained fourth prize in last year’s congress at Scarborough, and S. Landau, the young champion of Rotterdam. The English brigade comprises Sir G. A. Thomas, C. Y. C. Dawbam (who came forward to fill a last-minute vacancy,) M. E. Goldstein and G. M. Reid (as mentioned above).

In Section B there are four strong foreigners of approximately equal calibre: A. Barasz, the winner of the Hyères tournament in January; E. Colle, with his success at Amsterdam to spur him on ; the chess journalist, Dr. Adolph Seitz, and the well-known Russian, E. Znosko-Borovsky. The British representatives are V. Buerger, J. H. Morrison and H. Saunders.

After the fourth round the leading scores in Section A were : Alekhine 3 (3), Thomas 3½ (4), Kahn 2½ (3) and Goldstein 2 (3); and in Section B, which has been held up owing to a great crop of aujourned games, Znosko-Borovsky has 2 (2) and Colle 1½ (2).

At the time of going to press Alekhine has won Section A with 5½, including a draw with Thomas; Thomas is second with 5, having drawn also with Goldstein. The struggle in Section B has been very keen, with fuctuating fortunes. After some surprises in the adjourned games, Colle and Saunders have both scored four points, but as Colle defeated Saunders in their individual game, he secures first place, and Saunders second.

BCM, July, ppn 302-314


(Continued from page 263)

We give an account of the Premier Tournament round by round, but owing to Alekhine’s late arrival and the wish of some of the competitors to finish their games early, several of the games were played in advance.

Section A, Rd 1, Saturday morning, May 22
Reid 0-1 Thomas 19
Landau ½-½ Goldstein 36
Dawbarn 0-1 Alekhine 41
Kahn bye    

Thomas, by a smart advance in the centre, gained an early positional advantage, as his opponent was unable to Castle, and White accelerated the end by a blunder.

Alekhine adopted Nimzovitch’s form of the Sicilian, 1 P—K 4, P—Q B 4 ; 2 Kt—K B 3, Kt—Q B 3 ; 3 Kt—B 3, P—K 4 ; 4 B—B 4, P—Q 3, which prevents White from playing P—Q 4. Dawbarn had a bad development and after he Castled Q R Alekhine won the Exchange and a Pawn.

Goldstein in time difficulties lost his Q R P by a sheer blunder, but contrived to get up a compensating attack.

Section B, Rd 1, Saturday morning, May 22
Buerger 0-1 Znosko-Borovsky 57
Saunders 1-0 Morrison 73
Colle ½-½ Seitz 30
Baratz bye    

Seitz adopted safety tactics against Colle, exchanging off pieces with monotonous regularity until an indecisive result was inevitable. The other two games were unfinished at adjournment time.

Znosko-Borovsky adopted a form of the Orthodox Defence and was in difficulties almost from the commencement, Buerger, by very good play, hemming him in more and more until the following position arose. Here Black, with the ingenuity of despair, played 21.., Kt—B 5 ; 22 Kt X Kt, Q—B 4 ; 23 Kt—Q 6, QxKt ch ; 24 K— R 1, Q-Kt 3 ; 25 P-B 5, P-B 3, and White now went wrong, playing 26 KtxB, QRxKt; 27 P—K 6 expecting to win with his supported passed K P, whereas by 26 Q—R 5 ! R—B 1 (best); 27 Q—B 3 ! he could win the Q P while maintaining the attack, and Black could not long survive. In the actual game Buerger, being short of time, allowed his opponent’s Q P to advance too far and at the adjournment White had no satisfactory defence to his Q Kt P, which fell, leaving Black a straightforward win.

Saunders and Morrison had an intricate game with most of the pieces still on the board, and Black left his King in the centre and got up a threatening attack on Saunders’ King, without making the most of it, however. On the resumption the game reduced to a Queen and Pawns end-game in which Morrison won a Pawn and then unaccountably missed two distinct chances of winning offhand, and allowed his opponent to Queen his Pawn first.

Section A, Rd 2, Saturday afternoon, May 22
Goldstein 1-0 Reid 44
Alekhine 1-0 Landau 36
Kahn 1-0 Dawbarn 37
Thomas bye    

Kahn obtained a withering King-side attack against Dawbarn, who without knowing it followed the game between Rubinstein and v. Gottschall in the Breslau tournament (given in the B.C.M., Jan. 1926, page 33) for 20 moves, and the end was foreshadowed many moves ahead. White took skilful advantage of the fact that Black had no Rooks on his back rank to construct an artistic mating net.

Goldstein, with a great positional advantage, relaxed his grip, but at the adjournment had a strong passed Q B P, which proved good enough to win in a few moves.

Alekhine’s game opened 1 P—Q B 4, P—Q B 4 ; 2 Kt—K B 3, Kt—KB3; 3 Kt—B3, P—Q4; 4 PxP, KtxP; 5 P-K4, Kt—B 2 (probably 5.., Kt x Kt; 6 P X Kt, P—K Kt 3 ; 7 P—Q 4, B—Kt 2, leading into the Grünfeld Defence, is best) ; 6 B—B 4, Kt—B 3 ; 7 Castles, B—K 3 (an unhappy idea, retarding Black’s development) ; 8 B X B, Kt X B and White now played the unexpected move 9 P—Q Kt 4 ! ! P—K Kt 3 (if 9.., P XP ; 10 Kt—Q 5 or if 9.., Kt xP simply 10 R—Kt 1); 10 PxP, KtxP; n B—R3, Kt—K 3 ; 12 R—Kt 1, Q—Q 2 ; 13 Kt—Q 5, B—Kt 2 ; 14 Q—R 4. R—Q 1 ; 15 K R—B 1, Castles ; 16 Q—Kt 5, K Kt—Q 5 ; 17 Kt xKt winning a Pawn, which won easily for White.

Section B, Rd 2, Saturday afternoon, May 22
Morrison 1-0 Buerger 47
Seitz 1-0 Saunders 80
Baratz 0-1 Colle 40
Znosko-Borovsky bye    

Buerger rather neglected his development and this gave Morrison a chance to make an inroad into Black’s game. He never relaxed his grip on the position, and won soon after the adjournment.

Colle, with a very cramped game of Steinitzian appearance, constructed a satisfactory defensive position and lured Baratz on to a premature King-side attack. In a scramble with the clock Colle won a piece by a pin overlooked by Black.

Saunders played the middle game very well, and obtained a marked advantage in position, so that at the adjournment Seitz was reconciled to defeat. From here on Saunders slackened and lost the Exchange for a Pawn by a blunder, but even after that he had excellent chances with his two passed centre Pawns, had he not unfortunately made another slip, and after a second adjournment Seitz gave him no further chance.

Section A, Rd 3, Monday, May 24
Reid 0-1 Alekhine 33
Thomas ½-½ Goldstein 51
Landau ½-½ Kahn 24
Dawbarn bye    

Reid seemed to have a satisfactory opening against the Budapest Defence, but Black by judicious exchanges won White’s weak centre Pawn and the resulting Bishop and Pawns end-game occasioned him no anxiety.

As Kahn admitted, his first move (1.., P—K 3) was inferior, and he had difficulty in developing his Q B, but finally obtained an equal end-game which was abandoned as a draw.

Goldstein obtained a little advantage in the opening, but Thomas gradually built up a formidable King-side attack. Pressed for time at the end of the fourth hour, he blocked the position on the King-side and this gave Black the positional advantage of a supported passed QP in a Rook ending, but owing to the complete block this Pawn could not be advanced.

Section B, Rd 3, Monday, May 24
Buerger 1-0 Seitz 16
Znosko-Borovsky 1-0 Morrison 34
Saunders 1-0 Baratz 50
Colle bye    

Seitz, seeing that his opponent had consumed forty-five minutes for his first eight moves, sacrificed a Pawn for a very strong attack but White, with five moves to make in one minute, successfully threaded his way through the resulting intricacies, and it was Seitz who lost on time, having still two moves to make. He was already the Exchange down.

Znosko-Borovsky did not get a very good opening, and it seems that by energetic play Morrison might have taken advantage of the time wasted by White in regrouping his pieces, including an artificial castling on the Queen side. In the end White obtained an overwhelming King-side attack, and won by a temporary sacrifice of a Knight.

Saunders had a wild game against the Paulsen variation, both players striving for the attack. At the adjournment Saunders, who had sacrificed a Knight for (ultimately) four Pawns, appeared to have good winning chances, and he won an end-game with Rook and three Pawns against Rook and Knight, but only because Baratz tried to win, for the latter demonstrated subsequently that he had a safe draw had he wished it.

Section A, Rd 4, Tuesday, May 25
Kahn 1-0 Reid 44
Alekhine ½-½ Thomas 63
Dawbarn 0-1 Landau 28
Goldstein bye    

Reid played some weak moves in the opening, resulting in a weak Q B P. Kahn soon won this, and the ensuing Rook ending was easy.

Dawbarn, for no apparent reason, placed all his pieces on his first rank, including his K B, which went successively to K 2, Q 3 Q B 4, QKt3, QR2 and then Q Kt 1 ! The consequent loss of time allowed Landau to get up a smashing attack against Dawbarn’s King, which was still in the centre, the game ending in a sacrificial mate.

Alekhine’s game was the cynosure for all eyes. He secured an advantage in the early middle-game owing to Thomas’ Q P being isolated. In the position diagrammed White continued 18 KtxP, QxQ; 19 KtxBch, K—B 1 ; 20 Kt x Q and Thomas, correctly deciding to give up a piece for complications, played 20.., KtXQ Kt P ! 21 RxRch, R X R; 22 R—K i.Kt (Kt 6)—B 4; 23 Kt—B 5, R—Q 7 ; 24 B—Q 4, Kt—Q 6 ; 25 B x Kt, Kt x R ; 26 KtxKt, BxB; 27 B—B 3, R—Q S ; 28 Kt—Q 4, R—B 8 ; 29 Kt—K2, R—Kt8; 30 P—B4, P—Q R 4 ; 31 K—B 2, R—Kt 6 ; 32 K—K 3, B—B 4 ; 33 K—Q 4, R X P. Having already avoided several cunning traps laid by Alekhine, he had now reached an end-game with Rook and Pawn against two Knights. On resumption of play he won another Pawn and then quite correctly sacrificed the Exchange to reduce the game to a simple ending, four Pawns against Knight and Pawn. The following position arose after White’s 57th move, K—Kt 4, and here Black missed a win by 57.., K—Q 3 ; 58 KxP, K—B 4 ; 59 Kt—R2, P—Kt 4 ; 60 K—Kt 5, P—Kt 5 ; 61 K—B 6, P—Kt 6 ; 62 Kt—B 1, P—Kt 7, etc. Instead he played for an exchange of Pawns by 57.., K—B 3? 58 KxP, KxP; 59 K—Kt 3, K—K 4 ; 60 K—B 3, K—Q 3 ; 61 K—K 3, K—B 4 ; 62 Kt—B 2, P—R 7 ; 63 K—Q 3, Drawn, for White has time to win the advanced Q RP with his King, which holds the Q Kt P while his Knight holds the K B P. [n.b. I have not proof-read or corrected these descriptive moves as the game already appears in the download. Life is too short! JS]

Despite minor flaws this game was a credit to British chess, and moreover it was the only half-point dropped by Alekhine during the whole tournament.

Section B, Rd 4, Tuesday, May 25
Baratz 1-0 Buerger 41
Seitz ½-½ Znosko-Borovsky 37
Colle 1-0 Saunders 63
Morrison bye    

After a quiet start Seitz gave up a Pawn expecting to recover it with advantage, but Black found a way to hold it. Just when he appeared to have the better game he unaccountably offered a draw, whereas he demonstrated afterwards that he had very good winning chances at the end !

Buerger established two advanced united passed Pawns on the Queen-side, and could practically have compelled Baratz to sacrifice the Exchange for one of them ; instead, running short of time, he allowed White to secure two very strong passed Pawns in the centre, which won in a few moves.

Colle played the older form of the Queen’s Gambit Declined, shutting in his Q B by P—K 3, but he later on played P—K 4 with effect, and secured the better game by throwing forward all four of his Queen-side Pawns. Saunders countered on the King-side and compelled Colle to exercise great caution, but after the adjournment Colle’s passed Pawn won for him. The game reflected equal credit on winner and loser.

Section A, Rd 5, Wednesday morning, May 26
Reid 1-0 Dawbarn 30
Thomas 1-0 Kahn 32
Goldstein 0-1 Alekhine 38
Landau bye    

Reid gained his first success, securing the better opening and winning the Exchange in the middle game. He concluded the game in energetic style.

Thomas gained a small positional advantage on the Queen side and Kahn then made a blunder costing a Pawn. The ensuing endgame with only Queen and Pawns each was handled in very good style by Thomas, who won quite expeditiously when most amateurs would have taken many more moves to find the win.

Alekhine defended in original style, opening 1 P—Q 4, Kt—K B 3 ; 2 Kt—K B 3, P—Q Kt 4 ; 3 B—B 4, B—Kt 2 ; 4 P—K 3, P—Q R 3 ; 5 P—K R 3, P-K3; 6 Q Kt—Q 2, B—Q 3 ! 7 BxB, PxB; 8 P—B 4, Q—R 4; 9 PxP, PxP; 10 B—K 2, Castles ; 11 Castles, Kt—R 3 ; 12 P—Q R 4, P X P. Later on he won White’s weak Q Kt P and after forcing White to undouble his Q P the resulting passed Q B P walked straight home to Queen.

Section B, Rd 5, Wednesday morning, May 26
Buerger 1-0 Colle 43
Znosko-Borovsky ½-½ Baratz 34
Morrison 0-1 Seitz 72
Saunders bye    

Buerger played the opening and middle game very finely and obtained a considerable advantage in position. He had, however, to make no less than nine moves in half a minute, and Colle himself said afterwards that he was quite confident his opponent would certainly lose on time. But White kept on finding the right move every time in a difficult position, and at the adjournment had a fairly easily won game. Later he unaccountably sacrificed the Exchange instead of winning the Exchange, and this jeopardised even the draw, had Colle found the best defence. It was a pity that what would have been a very fine finish was marred by this blemish. [score of Buerger-Colle]

Baratz left his King in the centre and undertook a strong attack against White’s Castled King. Although compelled to give up the Exchange he still had a very good game, and at the adjournment had excellent prospects of victory. As explained later, when the adjourned game came to be played off Baratz had no chance of coming in the prize-list, and he consequently agreed a draw without playing on any further.

Morrison had the better position against the Paulsen variation of the Sicilian and won two Pawns by a little combination, leaving him an easily-won end-game two Pawns ahead with Rook and Bishop against Rook and Knight. He then made a slip costing him a Pawn, and at the adjournment was one Pawn ahead with a probable win. The unfortunate conclusion of this game is described below.

Section A, Rd 6, Wednesday afternoon, May 26
Landau 1-0 Reid 18
Dawbarn 0-1 Thomas 42
Kahn 1-0 Goldstein 32
Alekhine bye    

Reid made an unfortunate finger-slip costing him two "tempi" in the opening stages and could never recover from this losing a Rook quite early.

For the first and only time in this section the dreaded Ruy Lopez was played. Dawbarn selected the close variation with 5 P—Q 3 and 6 P—Q B 3 and had a fair game until he once more withdrew his pieces to the first rank. Thomas then won a Pawn and secured a strong chain of Pawns, Q 6, Q B 5, Q Kt 4, etc., which proved speedily decisive.

Goldstein played the opening rather slackly and Kahn never gave him a chance to escape, exerting pressure on a backward Q P while preparing a tremendous King-side attack involving the advance of all four King-side Pawns. He concluded by some effective play and this game, together with that against Reid, were the only two in which he did himself justice in the tournament.

Section B, Rd 6, Wednesday afternoon, May 26
Saunders 1-0 Buerger 52
Colle ½-½ Znosko-Borovsky 53
Baratz ½-½ Morrison 60
Seitz bye    

Saunders had rather a freer game, but could find nothing tangible and at the adjournment an equal Rook end-game resulted. White offered a draw, but Black, playing for a win, refused, and paid the usual penalty.

An early exchange of Queens left Colie and Znosko-Borovsky with Bishops of opposite colour, and a Knight and seven Pawns each, and after some finessing in the end-game, in which Black gained a slight advantage, Colle drew.

Baratz got no more than equality out of the opening, and an endgame with three minor pieces and six Pawns apiece resulted. Baratz, trying to win a Pawn, got a Knight shut off and had to give up two Pawns to save it. The resulting end-game with Bishops of opposite colour should probably have been won by Black, but the play was not at all easy.

Section A, Rd 7, Thursday, May 27
Thomas 1-0 Landau 26
Goldstein 1-0 Dawbarn 51
Alekhine 1-0 Kahn 36
Reid bye    

Thomas took speedy advantage of a lapse by his opponent in the opening to threaten to cut off his Q B, and he thus provoked a decisive loosening of his adversary’s position. Winning a Pawn, he wound up in most forcible fashion. [score of Thomas-Landau]

Goldstein and Dawbarn played rather lightheartedly, and showed signs of that dread disease, End-of-Toumament-itis. Ultimately, after much finessing, White was able to get up a winning attack.

Alekhine allowed doubled Q B P’s to keep two Bishops and open the K B file. Kahn spent forty-five minutes over a Queen sacrifice which would have given him good winning chances, but Alekhine declined to fall in with his wishes, and won the Exchange, and the end was not long delayed.

Section B, Rd 7, Thursday, May 27
Znosko-Borovsky 0-1 Saunders 29
Morrison 0-1 Colle 36
Seitz ½-½ Baratz 56
Buerger bye    

The section kept its reputation for adjourned games to the end, only one game being finished at one sitting. Saunders had a weak isolated Q B P at B 3, but Borovsky allowed it to advance to B 5 and then rashly won the Pawn, overlooking that it cost him a piece.

Morrison lost a Pawn in an end-game with opposite coloured Bishops, and then played up and not only recovered his Pawn but had a slight advantage in position.

Baratz played the Budapest Defence in original fashion against Seitz: 1 P—Q 4, Kt—K B 3 J 2 P—Q B 4, P—K 4 ; 3 P x P, Kt—Kt 5 ; 4 P—K 6, B—Kt 5 ch ; 5 Kt—Q 2, Kt—K R 3. [n.b. this version of the opening moves of the game appears to be in error - JS] An end-game resulted in which he had the better chances, and playing in very good style he quite outplayed Seitz and at the adjournment had a winning position.

In the afternoon the adjourned games were played off. Morrison continued his game with Seitz, and after losing his extra Pawn reduced it to Bishop and two Pawns against Knight and two Pawns, a dead drawn position, but Seitz refused a draw, and as Morrison had to leave for London he was compelled to resign this game and also his unfinished game against Colle, in which he had none the worse of it. Colle thus received an unexpected half point, and by drawing his adjourned game with Borovsky made a score of 4, equalled by Saunders. As Colle defeated Saunders in their individual encounter he was placed first and Saunders second, according to the rules of the tournament.

The remaining adjourned games consequently had no influence upon the placing of the first two players, and Baratz accordingly conceded a draw to Borovsky when he had good winning chances. He continued his game with Seitz, and reduced it to a simple forced win in a Rook ending, but then suddenly agreed to a draw! It was felt by some of the competitors that Morrison might have deferred his London appointment in order to finish his games and make it fairer for the other competitors. In Section A Alekhine and Thomas were first and second respectively.

The two sections showed a marked disparity in playing strength, but this was partly the fault of the unforeseen withdrawals occasioned by the General Strike. It was unfortunate that the two strongest players, Alekhine and Thomas, were placed in the same preliminary section. They both played very fine chess and stood out head and shoulders above the opposition. Alekhine played very easily without indulging in any of his famous combinations—he merely won a Pawn or the Exchange, and then with a few crisp blows reduced the game to a simple end-game. Thomas evidently found his practice at Weston of service and his return to his old form was particularly gratifying to his admirers. His play was as sound as ever, and quite free from the occasional blunders of the previous tournament.

Kahn is an attacking player with wide theoretical knowledge, who handles combinations with considerable ingenuity; were he less nervous he would do better in tournaments. Goldstein played in-and-out chess, and although the time-limit was reduced to 17 moves an hour he was frequently in clock trouble. Landau will probably do better with more experience ; he gained two very effective victories. Reid came in at the last moment as a substitute, and was greatly handicapped by his necessary duties as Conductor of the tournament; but in several of his games he showed that with more experience and practice he will greatly improve. Of Dawbarn it is sufficient to say that he very obligingly came forward to fill a late vacancy, and that he would have done better had he not delayed the development of his pieces so much.

The players in Section B were all of approximately equal strength, and a very keen struggle, not untinged by the influence of blunders, ensued. The British players fully held their own and none of the foreign masters had an easy task before them. The large number of adjourned games bears witness to the equality of playing strength of all the competitors, and until the last rounds had been played it was impossible to predict with certainty what might happen. After the last round Saunders had 3 with an adjourned game to finish against Baratz; Colle had 2½ with Borovsky, Buerger and Morrison to play; Borovsky had 2½ with Colle and Baratz to play and Baratz had 1½ with Seitz and Borovsky. The exciting finish is described above.

Saunders had a little good fortune, but a player must be on the alert to seize any chances which may come along, and he certainly missed a win against Seitz. When having the inferior position, he displayed a dour pertinacity which earned him several points. He was only able to terminate a single game within 4 hours play, all the others running into 50 or more moves. It is noteworthy that he won most games in his section.

Colle also had luck against Morrison, as had the game been played out he could hardly have expected more than a draw. He had two good games against Saunders and Baratz, but scarcely played up to his recent form.

Seitz owed his comparatively high position to good fortune also, but he was out of the running for the first prizes almost from the commencement. He did not play well, having the inferior game against all the British players.

Znosko-Borovsky played hard chess without risking very much, excepting that he conducted a King-side attack in first-class style against Morrison.

Baratz is a very imaginative player who would have done better had he made a better start. He has a very quick sight of the board, and won several lightning tournaments. It was observed that all the foreign flayers without exception were in full touch with the latest developments of current theory.

Buerger had no luck, having the better game against Borovsky and equality against Saunders and Baratz. He played the games in first-class style until he got an advantage, and then relaxed, but as this is his first open tournament he should do better another time, when he has learnt to control his clock better. It will be observed that he was the only player to defeat Colle and Seitz. His style was favourably commented on by the masters.

Morrison is another player who has shown great improvement recently and, could he curb a certain impetuosity still noticeable in his play, would do much better. He puzzled several of his opponents by his unusual openings and defences, and as he keeps in touch with the latest literature and invokes the aid of several first-class players in his own analyses, we expect great things of him in the future.

Play-Offs (28-29 May)

In the finals for the first two prizes Alekhine played a match of three games with Colle, but as he won the first two games a third game was not necessary.

Colle had White in the first game, and played the "Exchange Variation" of the Ruy Lopez without subsequent P—Q 4. He was saddled wth a weak Q P on Q 3, which ultimately fell, but the resulting Rook ending was not easy for Alekhine, because his extra Pawn, being doubled, was of little value. However, he found the winning line and after the adjournment won in 44 moves.

The second game was noteworthy for some very effective play in the middle-game by Alekhine, who won his opponent’s weak Q Kt P and then won the resulting Rook-ending skilfully.

Thomas as Black in his first game against Saunders adopted the Morphy Defence to the Ruy Lopez, and after some finessing he exchanged several pieces to secure a passed Pawn on the Queen-side. After the adjournment he won a Rook and Pawn end-game, in which he was a Pawn to the good, in 62 moves.

In the second game Thomas started up an attack as first player in a Queen-Pawn game, and picked up a Pawn. He then with his usual scientific accuracy reduced it to another Rook and Pawn endgame, and Saunders resigned on his 72nd move.

Thomas thus secured third prize, having gone through the whole tournament without defeat, and with the splendid record of 6 wins and 2 draws out of 8 games; Saunders secured fourth prize.

We have not space for the full tables of the Major and Minor Tournaments, but summarise the results below.

The Major Tournament was played in three sections. Section A was won by P. N. Wallis (Altrincham) with 5½ out of 7, F. Davy, a promising young Yorkshire player [Doncaster], coming second. The remaining scores were P. A. Ursell (Birmingham) 4, C. A. Mann (Leeds) 3½, Miss E. Abraham (Herne Bay), Miss Heard and J. Keeble (Norwich) 3, Miss S. Malcolm (Edinburgh) 1.

Section B was won by P. C. Littlejohn (Nuneaton) with 5 out of 7. B. Barton-Eckett (Durham), Miss D. Gilchirst and F. Moore (Leicester) tied for second place with 4½, but Barton-Eckett (who did not lose a game) went forward to the final pool, as he had the best score against the other two. The other scores were Mrs. A. Sollas (Oxford) 3, S. P. Lees 2½, C. R. Mitchell and Mrs. R. H. S. [Agnes Bradley] Stevenson (London) 2.

Section C (7 players only) was won by Mrs. [Edith] Holloway (Bromley) with 5 points (without losing a game), and J. Jackson (Dewsbury) was second with 4½. The remaining scores were D. E. MacNab 4, J. G. Hayes (Ilford) 3, J. R. Deacon, Miss F. Hutchinson-Stirling and Mrs. M. Ritchie (Midlothian) 1½.

Major Section Play-Offs

The play-off for the six prizes resulted as follows :—

1926 Scarborough
Major 1st/3rd Play-Offs
Residence 1 2 3  Total 
 1  Philip Norman Wallis Altrincham
1 1 2
2 Patrick Charles Littlejohn Nuneaton 0
½ ½
3 Edith Martha Holloway Bromley 0 ½
1926 Scarborough
Major 4th/6th Play-Offs
  4 5 6  Total 
 4  F Davy Doncaster
1 ½
5 Joshua Jackson Dewsbury 0
1 1
6 Bernard John Barton-Eckert Durham ½ 0

n.b. BCM did not give places of residence - I have added them from other newspaper sources - JS

The Minor Tournament was played in two sections. In Section A, Arthur T. Watson (Brighton) won with 5 out of 7. H. Bardsley (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), who is the secretary of the British Correspondence Chess Association, and who is competing in an open tournament for the first time, tied with Prof. R. W. Genese (Tunbridge Wells) with 4½ each, but Genese went into the final, having won their individual game. The other scores were A. Lindsay-Densham and F F. Finch 4, D. Byass (Scarborough) 3, W. H. Eyles (Birmingham) 2 and Mrs. M. L. Battrum (Malvern) 1.

R. A. Wale (Leicester) 5½ (without loss) and Hon. A. J. Lowther (London) 5, came first and second in Section B, and the remaining players scored A. W. W. Tulip (Durham) 4½, Miss F. Chater (Penzance) and W. L. Wakefield (Coventry) 4, E. Lake (Norwich) 3, V. Lewis (London) and A. Schofield (Pontefract) 1.

In the finals R. A. Wale beat A. T. Watson twice, and thus won first prize while his opponent received second prize. Prof. Genese and Hon. A. J. Lowther played three games, and as they each won one, drew one, and lost one, they divided third and fourth prizes.

The Lightning Tournament on May 25th, both preliminary and final heats being played in sections, resulted in a tie for first and second prize between A. Alekhine and E. Colle (who beat Alekhine in their individual encounter). V. Kahn and H. Saunders came third and fourth respectively.

On May 28th [an error - it took place on 26 May - JS] A. Alekhine played 29 games simultaneously, scoring 23 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses to H. Bardsley and P. N. Wallis [also probably an error - reports vary as to the number of opponents faced by Alekhine - JS]. A Quick-play Tournament on May 28th, in which however some of the strongest players did not compete, was won by E. Znosko-Borovsky with F. Davy second. The Kriegspiel Tournament was won by Alekhine, who is an adept at this lighter branch of the game, and Mrs. Stevenson gained a popular success in coming second.

The prizes were presented to the successful players by Sir Meredith Whitaker [Sir Meredith Thompson Whittaker, note correct spelling, (1841-1931), was a newspaper magnate in North Yorkshire] on Saturday, May 29th, and Mr. G. M. Reid received suitable acknowledgment from the players in recognition of the great part he had played in the success of the Congress.

File Updated

Date Notes
29 February 2024 First upload. All 46 games from the Premier sections and play-offs, plus 4 from other events, crosstables, colourised photo and BCM report.