© 1997-2024
John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Player: Henry Ernest Atkins (1872-1955) • 387 game entries (of which 6 are part-games and 33 are stubs)
Career Games Played (1890-1939) • Download PGNUpdated: Tuesday 7 May, 2024 7:06 PM

HE Atkins (1872-1955) - WikipediaChessgames.comH E Atkins at the Yorkshire Chess History website

1951 HE Atkins simul, Leicester
Photo published in CHESS Magazine, Vol.20, no.240, 15 February 1955, page 227

"The most astonishing, as it is the most welcome and well-deserved, success has attended the first efforts of Mr. H. E. Atkins in an International contest. He is close on 30 years of age, and has been known as a player for about ten years. It is a sad commentary on the provincial and parochial character of chess in England that Mr. Atkins had to go to Germany in order to be discovered as a great English player." (Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 13 August 1902, following Atkins' participation in the 1902 DSB Master Tournament in Hannover)

"THE CHESS CONGRESS AT HASTINGS. [Hastings Victory Tournament, 11-22 August 1919]
The opinion of one of the regular attendants at the B.C.F. Congresses was that this meeting was the most enjoyable of any. The weather practically throughout was delightful. The presence of Señor Capablanca was a great attraction and drew large attendances daily. The withdrawal of Mr. Atkins, at the last moment, caused universal disappointment; he was present throughout, but looked very poorly when he arrived. After the first week he was feeling so much better that he regretted he had not come down a week earlier. He played several games of "skittles" with the competitors, and [Boris] Kostich, after playing with him, said he thought he had a deeper knowledge of the game than any of the British players taking part." (BCM, 1919, p345)

"ATKINS GETS CHESS 'OSCAR'"—"The eventful career of Harry Atkins, Leicester chess star, has been culminated in fitting style by his official nomination for the premier award in chess, the International Master. Highlights have included nine British titles and a memorable success over Rubinstein in the London tournament, 1922. Something of an infant prodigy, he first represented the county at the age of 15 and then burst into the national field with seven successive victories in the British Individual championship. He then retired from the tournament, but staged a spectacular comeback 13 years later." (Leicester Evening Mail - Monday 10 July 1950 - a salutary reminder that terrible English was as much a feature of journalism in the 1950s as it is in the 2020s. But I wonder if this is the first ever reference to a 'chess oscar'?)

File Updated

Date Updated Notes
13 January 2021 First upload (328 entries, including about 35 stubs and part-games). I decided to create this file when Alan A Smith sent me 50+ club and county games played (and won) by HE Atkins which Alan had culled from an extensive newspaper search. Alan's is an admirable compilation, containing many previously undigitised scores and providing corrections to others (including errors in RN Coles' book of Atkins' games, H. E. Atkins Doyen of British Chess Champions, published by Pitman in 1952). I have added other Atkins games from BritBase, plus some more which I have found myself, while Brian Denman has provided others. There are also games culled from ChessBase's Mega/Big Database 2020 (mainly from Atkins' infrequent competitions outside Britain) and chessgames.com. Thanks to Alan and Brian, and also to Gerard Killoran for help with names and dates. Steve Mann's Yorkshire Chess History was also extremely useful in discovering opponents' forenames.
14 January 2021 Gerard Killoran has sent me three more games: (1) Atkins-Fred Brown, Midland Counties Congress, 1899.04.07; and (2) Alfred Eva-Atkins, Cheshire v Yorkshire, 1933.01.21. And sent later the same day (3) simul game vs Georgie Hahn, 1939.01.07. Many thanks for those, Gerard.
16 January 2021 Some additional games, a couple of deletions, plus full dates for games which only had the year identified. Gerard Killoran contributed the following games: Atkins-Wahltuch (1915.03.27), Atkins-Yates (1912.11.02), Atkins-Schofield (1936.08.02), Schofield-Atkins (1933.10.21), Spencer-Atkins (1925.03.21). Brian Denman has contributed Atkins-Draycott (1902.05.31), Atkins-Gurnhill (1927), Staynes-Atkins (1927.10.15). Brian has also flagged a misattribution: the game Atkins-Jacobs, London 1915, was actually played by a different player, MG Atkins, vs Herbert Jacobs in the 1915/16 City of London Championship, so has been deleted. Also, there was a duplicate of Atkins-Moses (1924.10.18) which has been removed (I have amalgamated the source notes). Brian has kindly searched through the database and provided a great many full dates where only the year had appeared previously. Many thanks to Brian and Gerard for their contributions.
16 January 2021 One of BritBase.info's longest standing contributors, Eduardo Bauza, sent me a Christmas present of 4,000 games he had collected during the year. Amongst them I found the 85-move game Gunston-Atkins, Craigside Llandudno 1899, which I have added to the collection. Thanks, Eduardo.
3 March 2021 A somewhat belated update. Nine games added: (1) Sturton 1-0 HEA, Kentish Men vs Men of Kent 1896; (2) C Lambert ½-½ HEA, SCCU Championship 1897; (3) HEA 1-0 J Serrailler, Kent Open B, Folkestone 1901; (4) T Marriott ½-½ HEA, Notts v Leics, 29.11.1902; (5) HEA 1-0 HB Lund, Yorkshire v Cheshire, 19.03.1910 (there is already a game between the same two players with the same colours, opening moves and result in another Yorks vs Cheshire match some six weeks later but they are from different matches, the second being a play-off match to break a tie for the Northern Counties' Championship); (6) E. Spencer ½-½ HEA, Lancashire vs Yorkshire, 25.01.1913; (7) F.Elwell 0-1 HEA, SCCU Ch, Southampton 1897; (8) HEA 1-0 J.Allcock, SCCU Champ 1900; (9) B.Cohen ½-½ HEA, Lancs v Yorks, 16.01.1926. Other alterations: (1) Brian Denman has identified two near duplicates of the game HEA 1-0 C Draycott, Leics v Staffs, 31.05.1902 - I've removed the duplicate and given the game as published in the Leicester Chronicle with the Sunday Times version as a variation. (2) Alan Smith and Brian Denman both alerted me to a wrong result in E.Spencer - HEA, Lancs-Yorks, 21.03.1925 - Spencer (White) won. The running total of games is now 347. My thanks to Gerard Killoran, Brian Denman and Alan Smith for their invaluable contributions.
12 April 2021 Added photo.
7 August 2021 Two more games: (1) P.Wallis 0-1 H.Atkins, Cheshire v Yorkshire, 16.03.1929; (2) R.Broadbent 1-0 H.Atkins, Lancashire v Yorkshire, 07.03.1931. My thanks to Gerard Killoran, who posted these on the English Chess Forum, 6 August 2021.
4 September 2021 An undated simul game won by Atkins against an unknown opponent at Huddersfield CC added. It was published in a newspaper in August 1913, which referred to it being played "a little time ago" so I've assumed it was played in early 1913 for the purposes of putting it in the appropriate place in the games chronology. Running total of games now 350.
8 October 2021 Alan Smith has contributed a further game: G.Barron 0-1 HE.Atkins, Hull v Huddersfield, 11.03.1922. Many thanks to Alan. Running total now 351 games.
11 January 2022 One more game, contributed by Gerard Killoran: H.E.Atkins ½-½ F.D.Yates, Woodhouse Cup 14.11.1914. Thanks, Gerard.
5 April 2022 Having seen a comment in BCM (October 1897, ppn 283-285) that Atkins "lost but one game in all the matches he played for [Cambridge] University" I managed to find the score of the game he lost to H. W. Trenchard in a Cambridge University vs British Chess Club match on 20 March 1891. Source was Morning Post, 30 March 1891.
7 April 2022 Added one game: Atkins ½-½ H.Jacobs, North v South, 7.4.1894, found in BCM.
14 April 2022 Added one game: H.E.Atkins ½-½ W.Stallmann, MCC Championship, 13.02.1910. Contributed by Gerard Killoran via the EC Forum, 14 April 2022.
21 April 2022 Correction applied to the game Atkins-H.B.Lund, 19.03.1910. The result was a draw, not a win for White, as the accredited source (Manchester Guardian) and BCM both attest. I have also added in the location, which was Stockport. My thanks to Paul Brown for alerting me to this and also providing the following information: "The 30 April 1910 game with Lund was the 'replay' match to decide which county would compete for the Counties championship. That game was adjudicated by Blackburne. There was a bit of controversy as Gunsberg was suggesting a line of play in the Manchester Guardian while the game was still being adjudicated! Of course, BCM took Gunsberg to task. These two items were covered in the June 1910 issue of BCM (p.257 and 258)".
1 July 2022 Added one game: H.Atkins ½-½ W.Bridgwater, Northampton v Birmingham, 1898. Many thanks to Gerard Killoran for contributing it via the English Chess Forum.
8 July 2022 Added one game: the disputed and annulled game between Kostich (Yugoslavia) and Atkins (Great Britain) from round five of the inaugural Chess Olympiad in 1927. The game had to be replayed but the score of the replayed game (a 3-move draw) is not available.
1 August 2022 Brian Denman sent me a game which Atkins lost to Oliver Harcourt Labone at Leicester CC on 9 December 1897 (for which many thanks). It seems to have been a one-off game and was perhaps an informal or skittles game. Given the infrequency with which Atkins lost games, no doubt the winner was keen to see it in print. Coincidentally, Richard James recently wrote a piece about Oliver Harcourt Labone who was (if you'll forgive the clichéd euphemism) a colourful character.
5 September 2022 Added a game which Atkins lost in a Birmingham simul on 8 December 1904 to A H Hudson. My thanks to Gerard Killoran who posted the game on the English Chess Forum.
13 October 2022 Added one game: H.Atkins ½-½ C.Draycott, Leics v Staffs (1st Replay), 12 April 1902. My thanks to Gerard Killoran who posted the game on the English Chess Forum.
6 February 2023 Added one game: H.Atkins 1-0 F.Moore, Leicester Simul, 12 April 1910. My thanks to Brian Denman for the score.
12 February 2023 Added two more games: (1) H.Atkins ½-½ J.Dunford (Leics-Notts, 23.11.1905); (2) J.Parry 0-1 H.Atkins (Shropshire-Leics, 09.02.1907). Many thanks to Alan Smith.
14 February 2023 Added two more games: (1) H.Atkins ½-½ F.Hollins (Leics-Warws, 23.02.1901); (2) T.Lawrence ½-½ H.Atkins (City of London-Birmingham, 02.03.1901). Many thanks to Gerard Killoran who contributed them via the English Chess Forum.
16 April 2023 The game Blake ½-½ Atkins, BCF-ch 1910, rd 10, which was here previously as a stub, is now a complete game score. My thanks to Gerard Killoran for supplying the score via the English Chess Forum.
21 April 2023 Added the game T.Lawrence ½-½ H.Atkins, City of London vs Midland Counties, 23.05.1903. Game submitted by Brian Denman, for which many thanks.
25 April 2023 Two games added: (1) H.Atkins ½-½ G.Schories, Woodhouse Cup, 13.11.1909; (2) H.Atkins 0-1 Ramsden & Hinchcliffe, Huddersfield Simul 1930. Also, a third game, G.Schories 0-1 H.Atkins, Woodhouse Cup, 14.02.1914, replaces a previously posted game which had been given a tentative date of 1918. Many thanks to Gerard Killoran for submitting these games via the English Chess Forum.
26 April 2023 Added one game from a simul: H.Atkins 0-1 H.Dransfield, Huddersfield, 3.10.1936. Not Henry's finest hour... thanks to Gerard Killoran for submitting it.
27 April 2023 Added one game: H.Atkins 1-0 A.Mackenzie, Leics v Warws, 11.02.1905. Many thanks to Brian Denman for submitting the game.
2 May 2023 Added the game H.Atkins ½-½ W.Palmer, SCCU Championship, 31.08.1897.
9 May 2023 Added the game J.Dunford ½-½ H.Atkins, Notts v Leics, 19.01.1907. Many thanks to Brian Denman.
19 May 2023 Added the consultation game H.E.Atkins & I.Gunsberg 1-0 J.H.Blackburne & T.F.Lawrence, London, 29 December 1908. Many thanks to Brian Denman for submitting the game.
27 June 2023 Added the consultation game H.Atkins & T.Lawrence 1-0 O Duras & R Loman, City of London CC, 07.01.1911. Many thanks to Brian Denman for submitting this game. Also added the consultation game Atkins+Mannheimer+Dimer 0-1 Olland+Foreest+Tresling, Amsterdam, August 1899. Running total: 338 complete games (including consultation & odds games) + 6 part-games + 33 stubs = 377 game entries.
21 September 2023 Added two more games, both from the Midland Counties Chess Association Championship held in Birmingham in April 1899: (1) H.Atkins 1-0 G.Bellingham; (2) F.Hollins 0-1 H.Atkins. Many thanks to Alan Smith for submitting the scores. Running total: 340 complete games (including consultation & odds games) + 6 part-games + 33 stubs = 379 game entries.
4 October 2023 Added three more games: (1) Atkins 1-0 W.Withers, Leicester CC, 1895 (circa Feb); (2) W.Gunston ½-½ Atkins, Cambridge Seniors vs Juniors, 1895 (circa April/May); (3) Dr SF Smith 0-1 Atkins, Hastings Amateur, 08.1895. Many thanks to Alan Smith for submitting the games. Running total: 343 complete games (including consultation & odds games) + 6 part-games + 33 stubs = 382 game entries.
23 November 2023 Added three more games, all submitted by Brian Denman, for which many thanks: (1) Atkins ½-½ H.Hodgkinson, Woodhouse Cup Final, 05.04.1930; (2) Atkins 0-1 H.Mellor, Huddersfield simul, undated; (3) Atkins 0-1 H.Mellor, Huddersfield simul, undated. One of the two undated simuls was probably played on 1 October 1932 as there is a newspaper report stating that Mellor beat Atkins in a simul on that date - but which one? I have no way of knowing. Having undated games causes me technical problems, so I have decided to include them both as being played on 01.10.1932 though this is obviously wrong in one case, but hardly matters since they are only simul games anyway. Running total: 346 complete games (including consultation & odds games) + 6 part-games + 33 stubs = 385 game entries.
28 February 2024 Added the game H.Atkins ½-½ R.Michell played on top board of the County Semi-Final between Yorkshire and Surrey on 11 October 1924. Many thanks to Gerard Killoran for submitting the game (English Chess Forum). Running total: 347 complete games (including consultation & odds games) + 6 part-games + 33 stubs = 386 game entries.
7 May 2024 Added the game Rev. A.B.Skipworth 1-0 H.E.Atkins, Horncastle 1898 (I am assuming it was played on 19.01.1898 as the second of two match games played at the Rev. Skipworth's residence at Holbeck Hall. The first match game, played the previous day, was drawn. Its score is unavailable.) I am grateful to Alan Smith for submitting the score. Running total: 348 complete games (including consultation & odds games) + 6 part-games + 33 stubs = 387 game entries.