Blackpool 1944

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Kevin Thurlow
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Blackpool 1944

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:40 pm

I would like to see the cross-table for the above event (won by David Hooper), or failing that a list of the players would be useful.

I am putting some of his annotated games on a database (to make them freely available) and his handwriting is sometimes a bit unclear!

Any help would be appreciated.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Matt Mackenzie » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:22 pm

I vaguely recall, from looking at old volumes, that CHESS magazine had some reportage on it?

There was a nine move miniature (Hirst v Lockwood) from the tourney which can be found in some databases.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Richard James
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Richard James » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:39 pm

Yes, there's a report, scores and a few games in CHESS October 1944.

The games were: Wahltuch 1:0 Gurnhill, Rhodes 1:0 Abrahams, Mieses 0:1 Wahltuch and Rhodes 0:1 Gurnhill.

Final scores in the Premier: DV Hooper 3½, VL Waltuch 3, G Abrahams, CR Gurnhill and HG Rhodes all 2½, and, sadly, J Mieses 1.

Hooper drew on Monday, won on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and lost on Friday. The report gives the number of points scored by each player in each round but not a cross-table. If Kevin could tell me the order in which Hooper played his games it may be possible to construct a cross-table from the available information.

There's no one called Hirst or Lockwood in any of the First Class tournaments, nor among the prizewinners in the Second Class, Third Class or Junior tournaments. There are, however, references in the report to a Major Open section, but the results seem to have been omitted.

"DV Hooper, hope of the South and credited with deep positional insight, brings brightness into the congress in the shape of a bevy of beautiful girls. They have eyes for none but this fair-haired young athlete, square-shouldered and fresh-complexioned, who looks least like a chess player and yet is to prove himself the master of them all."

Meanwhile, on the next page, LW Barden, a 13-year-old Croydon schoolboy, plays as a last minute substitute for Surrey against Middlesex, drawing his game against DM Morrah.

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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Richard James » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:00 pm

Constructing the cross-table from the information available proved to be a simple logic puzzle.

H W A G R M
Hooper x 1 ½ 0 1 1 3½
Wahltuch 0 x 1 1 0 1 3
Abrahams ½ 0 X 1 0 1 2½
Gurnhill 1 0 0 x 1 ½ 2½
Rhodes 0 1 1 0 X ½ 2½
Mieses 0 0 0 ½ ½ X 1

R1
R beat W
G drew M
A drew H

R2
R beat A
W beat G
H beat M

R3
W beat M
H beat R
A beat G

R4
G beat R
H beat W
A beat M

R5
R drew M
G beat H
W beat A

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Matt Mackenzie » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:07 pm

Hirst v Lockwood was definitely in *a* CHESS magazine, even if not that particular issue.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:38 pm

Thanks!

The first game I have is Hooper - Mieses (Budapest Gambit!), then Gurnhill (which I could not read) and Rhodes.

From the way it is annotated, it seems Hooper beat Gurnhill, but I have not got the games on Chessbase yet.

When I have done that, I'll say more. I may be back with more questions on other events later...

David H played for Redhill for many years and regularly corresponded with Fred Andrews (Chairman), who kept a lot of material. When Fred lost interest in chess he passed a lot of historical material to me, later, Surrey CCA auctioned off more (on his behalf), and then Fred's son passed more over on Fred's death (aged 99). I have time at last to sort through some of this. There are many pages of hand-written material, and it is not easy to read! Some of the notes are quite revealing, not the more formal notes used in publications.

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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Tim Harding » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:52 pm

On the British Newspaper Archive I did a search for "Blackpool and chess" in 1944, finding no game scores or results but a few mentions of the event.
Apparently Hooper lived in Wells, Somerset, at this time, and was the current Somerset champion as well as the British Correspondence Champion (Wells Journal, 4 August).
The dates of the Congress were Monday 17 to Saturday 22 July.
The Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 22 July, says the congress was held in the Public Library and was controlled by J[ohn] T[homson] Boyd.
It also says that there were more than 100 competitors in the various sections.
It names the six players in the Major: P.C. Hoad, T. H. Robertson, P. E. Collier (Leicester), H. Rappaport, L. C. Dewing and Dr K. A. Hirsch.
Tim Harding
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David McAlister
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby David McAlister » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:57 am

The crosstables for both the Premier and the Major are at page 202 of the 1944 British Chess Magazine. The relevant volume of Di Felice also gives both, giving the BCM as the source. The crosstable for the Major is also given in Chess (November 1944, Volume X at page 25).

The Premier crosstable given in BCM/di Felice does not tally with the construction by Richard James (the report etc. referred to is actually in the September, not October 1944 issue of chess - so that means it can be found in Volume IX). The BCM crosstable gives what appears to be each player's number in the draw, so hopefully this extra information will assist Richard to resolve the contradictions. Here's the crosstable, slightly re-formatted and omitting the players' place of residence (eg Hooper - Wells).

Code: Select all

                       1  2  3a 3b 3c 6  Total
1  D.V. Hooper (4)     x  0  =  1  1  1   3.5
2  V.L. Wahltuch (3)   1  x  0  1  0  1   3.0
3a G. Abrahams (6)     =  1  x  0  0  1   2.5
3b C. R. Gurnhill (1)  0  0  1  x  1  =   2.5
3c H.G. Rhodes (5)     0  1  1  0  x  =   2.5
6  J. Mieses (2)       0  0  0  =  =  x   1.0


The Gurnhill-Hooper game is given at page 206 of the 1944 BCM and is said to have been played in the third round, which again does not tally with Richard’s construction of the round-by-round results. Here’s the game, so no more deciphering of Hooper’s writing required.

[Event "Blackpool Premier"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1944.07.19"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Gurnhill, C.R."]
[Black "Hooper, D.V."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C01"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "1944.07.17"]
[SourceDate "2016.03.10"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Bd6 5. Bd3 Ne7 6. O-O O-O 7. Ng5 Bf5 8.
Bxf5 Nxf5 9. Qh5 h6 10. Nf3 Qf6 11. Nc3 c6 12. Be3 Nd7 13. Rad1 Nxe3 14. fxe3
Qe6 15. Rde1 Nf6 16. Qh4 Bb4 17. Nd2 Rae8 18. Ncb1 Ne4 19. c3 Be7 20. Qh5 Bg5
21. Nf3 Qc8 22. Nxg5 hxg5 23. Na3 Re6 24. Nc2 Rh6 25. Qe2 Qc7 26. g3 f5 27. Rf3
g4 28. Rff1 Rff6 29. Nb4 Rh3 30. Rf2 Nxf2 31. Qxf2 Rfh6 32. Qf4 Qxf4 33. exf4
Rxh2 34. Re8+ Kh7 35. Nd3 Rh1+ 36. Kf2 R6h2+ 37. Ke3 Rg1 0-1

It seems from the reports in Chess that Hooper was a late addition to the Premier and that Hirsch moved down to the Major. The colourful report by E.B. Chapman in Chess contains this passage about the Premier winner:

“D.V. Hooper, hope of the South and credited with deep positional insight, brings brightness into the congress in the shape of a bevy of beautiful girls. They have eyes for none but this fair-haired young athlete, square-shouldered and fresh-complexioned, who looks least like a chess player and yet is to prove himself the master of them all.”

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:08 pm

Thanks again!

David McAlister
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby David McAlister » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:11 pm

Hirst-Lockwood was played at the Blackpool Whitsun Congress played 21-26 May 1945. There's a backstory to the game, as revealed in "A Blackpool Story" (Chess, Volume X, July 1945, page 165).

B. Hirst, his eyes and thoughts riveted on the pocket set in his hands, walked one day into the wrong room in his boarding-house. That evening an indignant landlady, obviously ignorant of the ways of chess-players, told him that he had been seen coming out of a lady's bedroom; and would he please pack up his belongings and leave. His appeals to reason proved quite unavailing and at 10-30 p.m. in war-crowded Blackpool, he had to start tramping the streets in search of fresh accommodation. After numerous fruitless enquiries, he found a place with a bed to spare but on one implied condition - "Would he make up a four at Solo Whist?" Delighted to have found a haven at last, he readily complied, to become more and more worried as two a.m., three a.m., four a.m. came and went and the game continued, but feeling disinclined to be responsible for breaking up the game. At last, shortly after six, he retired for the night. Next day at 9.30 he sat down to play his Congress game with an extremely muddled head and this is how it went: (No. 1927). B. Hirst, White, C.B. Lockwood, Black: 1.P-K4 P-K4; 2.Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3; 3.B-B4 KKt-K2; 4.Kt-B3 P-Q3; 5.KKt-Kt5 P-KR3; 6.BxPch K-Q2; 7.Q-Kt4ch K-K2; 8.Kt-Q5 mate.

The moves 7..Kt-B4 8.QxKt would appear to have been omitted and only then would have come 8...K-K2 9.Kt-Q5 mate.

[Event "Blackpool First Class Section A"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1945.05.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Hirst, B."]
[Black "Lockwood, C.B."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C50"]
[PlyCount "17"]
[EventDate "1945.05.21"]
[SourceDate "2016.03.10"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nge7 4. Nc3 d6 5. Ng5 h6 6. Bxf7+ Kd7 7. Qg4+ Nf5 8.
Qxf5+ Ke7 9. Nd5# 1-0

Suffering from "an extremely muddled head" after a night of dealing with a Blackpool landlady on the warpath and insomniac whist players, one might have expected Hirst to lose quickly in the morning. It seems to me that either the storyteller was deliberately building up to a twist in the tale ending or it was Lockwood who had suffered the misfortunes attributed to his opponent.

My apologies to Richard James for repeating the colour piece he gave about Hooper from Chess in my earlier contribution - not quite sure how i managed to overlook/forget about it.

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John Saunders
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby John Saunders » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:39 pm

I have seven more games from this tournament on my database. If you click where you see the ellipsis below, you can access all seven of them:

[Event "Blackpool Premier"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.17"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Abrahams, Gerald"]
[Black "Hooper, David Vincent"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E07"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "1944.07.17"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Nf3 Nbd7 7. cxd5 exd5 8.
O-O Re8 9. Qc2 c6 10. Bf4 Nf8 11. Rad1 Bd6 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bc1 Bd7 14. Nh4 Qc8
15. f4 Bh3 16. Bxh3 Qxh3 17. Nf3 Ne4 18. Nxe4 Rxe4 19. e3 Rae8 20. Qb3 R4e7 21.
Ne5 Nh7 22. Rf3 Bxe5 23. dxe5 Qf5 24. Qd3 Rxe5 25. Qf1 R5e6 26. h3 h5 27. Qg2
Rg6 28. Kh2 Nf6 29. b4 Re4 30. Rd4 Rxd4 31. exd4 Qb1 32. f5 Qxc1 33. fxg6 fxg6
{Source: BCM, Aug 1944, p187} 1/2-1/2

[Event "Blackpool Premier"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.17"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Rhodes, Herbert Gibson"]
[Black "Wahltuch, Victor Leonard"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "1944.07.17"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 Nd7 5. e4 dxe4 6. Nxe4 Ngf6 7. Nxf6+ gxf6 8.
Bd3 Bd6 9. O-O h5 10. Re1 b6 11. d5 Nc5 12. Bc2 cxd5 13. cxd5 Bd7 14. dxe6 Bxe6
15. b4 Nb7 16. a3 Qc7 17. Ba4+ Kf8 18. Bb2 Rd8 19. Nd4 Bxh2+ 20. Kh1 Be5 21.
Rc1 Qe7 22. Rxe5 fxe5 23. Nxe6+ Qxe6 24. Qf3 Nd6 25. Bb3 Qf5 26. Qd5 Rh6 27.
Bxe5 Qxf2 28. Rc6 Re6 29. Rxd6 Qh4+ 30. Kg1 Qe1+ 31. Kh2 Qh4+ 32. Kg1 {time.
Source: BCM, Aug 1944, p187} 1-0

[Event "Blackpool Premier"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.18"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Abrahams, Gerald"]
[Black "Mieses, Jacques"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B20"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "1944.07.17"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. e4 c5 2. b4 cxb4 3. Bb2 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. c4 Qd8 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. d4 e6 8. Bd3
Bd7 9. O-O Bc6 10. d5 exd5 11. Re1+ Be7 12. Qe2 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Bxf3 14. gxf3 Kf8
15. Nd2 Nc6 16. Ne4 Nxe4 17. fxe4 Qe8 18. Kh1 Rd8 19. Bd5 Bf6 20. e5 Be7 21.
Qf3 h5 22. Rg1 Rh6 23. e6 Bf6 24. Bxf6 Rxf6 25. Qxh5 Rh6 26. Qg5 Rg6 27. exf7
Qe5 28. Qxg6 Qxd5+ 29. Rg2 Qxf7 30. Qh7 Ne7 31. Qe4 Nd5 32. Rag1 Re8 33. Qd3
Nf4 34. Qd6+ Re7 35. Rxg7 Qd5+ 36. Qxd5 Nxd5 37. Rxe7 {Source: BCM, Sept 1944,
p210} 1-0

[Event "Blackpool Premier"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.18"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Hooper, David Vincent"]
[Black "Rhodes, Herbert Gibson"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D58"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "1944.07.17"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 O-O 6. Nf3 h6 7. Bh4 b6 8. cxd5
exd5 9. Be2 Be6 10. Ne5 Ne4 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. Rc1 Rd8 13. O-O c5 14. Bb5 a6 15.
Bc6 Nxc3 16. Rxc3 Ra7 17. Ba4 Bf5 18. Bc2 Bxc2 19. Qxc2 c4 20. e4 f6 21. Ng6
Qxe4 22. Rxc4 Kh7 23. Nh4 Re8 24. Rc3 Nd7 25. f3 Qxc2 26. Rxc2 Nf8 27. Kf2 g6
28. g3 Rae7 29. Ng2 g5 30. Rd1 Ne6 31. Rdd2 Ng7 32. Rc6 Re6 33. Rxe6 Rxe6 34.
Ne3 Rd6 35. Rc2 Kg6 36. g4 f5 37. Rc7 Ne8 38. Re7 fxg4 39. Rxe8 {Source: BCM,
Sept 1944, p215} 1-0

[Event "Blackpool Premier"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.18"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Wahltuch, Victor Leonard"]
[Black "Gurnhill, Charles Reuben"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D04"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "1944.07.17"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 Bf5 4. Bd3 e6 5. Bxf5 exf5 6. Qd3 Qc8 7. Nbd2 Be7 8.
Nf1 O-O 9. Bd2 Ne4 10. c4 c6 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Rc1 Nc6 13. a3 Qd7 14. Bc3 Rac8
15. N3d2 a6 16. Nxe4 fxe4 17. Qe2 f5 18. f4 Bh4+ 19. g3 Bf6 20. Rd1 Qf7 21. g4
Bh4+ 22. Kd2 h6 23. Ng3 g6 24. gxf5 gxf5 25. Qg2 Kh7 26. Qh3 Be7 27. Rhg1 b5
28. Rg2 a5 29. Rdg1 Qe6 30. Nxf5 Rf6 31. Rg7+ Kh8 32. Qg3 Rxf5 33. Rh7+ {
Source: BCM, Sept 1944, p212} 1-0

[Event "Blackpool Premier"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.??"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Rhodes, Herbert Gibson"]
[Black "Abrahams, Gerald"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "1944.07.17"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bb4 6. e3 b5 7. Bd2 a5 8. axb5
Bxc3 9. Bxc3 cxb5 10. b3 Bb7 11. bxc4 b4 12. Bb2 Nf6 13. Bd3 Ne4 14. Qc2 f5 15.
O-O O-O 16. Ne5 Qg5 17. f3 Qxe3+ 18. Kh1 b3 19. Qxb3 Ng3+ 20. hxg3 Rf6 21. Ng4
fxg4 22. Bxh7+ Kxh7 23. Qxe3 gxf3 24. gxf3 Nd7 25. d5 Rh6+ 26. Kg2 exd5 27.
cxd5 {Source: 'A History of Lancashire Chess 1871-2009' by Mike Conroy.} 1-0

[Event "Blackpool Premier"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.20"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Hooper, David Vincent"]
[Black "Mieses, Jacques"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A52"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "1944.07.17"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 Qe7 7. Qd5 f6 8.
exf6 Nxf6 9. Qd3 Ne4 10. e3 d6 11. Nd2 Bf5 12. Ndxe4 Bxe4 13. Qd2 O-O 14. O-O-O
Qf6 15. f3 Bg6 16. Bg3 Qxc3+ 17. bxc3 Ba3+ 18. Qb2 Bxb2+ 19. Kxb2 Rae8 20. e4
Ne5 21. c5 dxc5 22. Rd5 Nf7 23. Bxc7 b6 24. Bc4 h6 25. Rd7 Kh7 26. Rhd1 a5 27.
Bd6 Ne5 28. Bxe5 Rxe5 29. Rb7 Rg5 30. Rd2 Rf6 31. Rb8 Re5 32. Bg8+ Kh8 33. Rdd8
{Source: BCM, Sept 1944, p211} 1-0
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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Richard James » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:59 pm

Two games from CHESS September 1944 p188.

I'm not entirely sure that the round numbers are correct as I was unable to reconstruct a full pairing table from the information available, but CHESS claimed that Wahltuch-Gurnhill and Rhodes-Abrahams (see John's post above) were played in round 2, Mieses-Wahltuch in round 3 and Rhodes-Gurnhill in round 4.

[Event "Blackpool Premier (3)"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.19"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Mieses, Jacques"]
[Black "Wahltuch, Victor Leonard"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B07"]
[PlyCount "38"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Bd3 e5 4. f4 exd4 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. c3 Bg4 7. Nbd2 Qd7 8. h3
dxc3 9. bxc3 Bxf3 10. Nxf3 d5 11. e5 Ne4 12. Bb2 Rd8 13. Qc2 Ng3 14. Rh2 Bc5
15. Rd1 Qe7 16. Nd4 Qh4 17. Qf2 Nxd4 18. Ba3 Nc2+ 19. Qxc2 Ne4+ 0-1

[Event "Blackpool Premier (4)"]
[Site "Blackpool"]
[Date "1944.07.20"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Rhodes, Herbert Gibson"]
[Black "Gurnhill, Charles Reuben"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D15"]
[PlyCount "90"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. e3 b5 6. a4 b4 7. Na2 e6 8. Bxc4
Nbd7 9. O-O Qb6 10. Qe2 Bb7 11. e4 Be7 12. Rd1 O-O 13. d5 cxd5 14. exd5 exd5
15. Qxe7 dxc4 16. Be3 Qc7 17. Nxb4 a5 18. Nc2 Nd5 19. Bf4 Qc8 20. Qg5 N7f6 21.
Be5 Ra6 22. Ncd4 h6 23. Qg3 Ne7 24. Nh4 Nh5 25. Qa3 Ng6 26. Nxg6 Rxg6 27. f3
Re8 28. Bd6 Kh7 29. Kf2 Qd8 30. Nf5 Qg5 31. Ng3 Qh4 32. Qc5 Ree6 33. Qxh5 Qxh5
34. Nxh5 Rxd6 35. Rxd6 Rxd6 36. Rc1 Rd2+ 37. Kg3 Ba6 38. Nf4 g5 39. Nh3 Kg6 40.
Nf2 f5 41. Nd1 f4+ 42. Kh3 Bc8+ 43. g4 h5 44. Rxc4 hxg4+ 45. fxg4 Bb7 0-1

A small point: Wahltuch's middle name is given as Lionel in some sources but a quick BMD check confirms that Leonard is correct.

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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Roger de Coverly » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:07 am

Richard James wrote: but CHESS claimed


BH Wood and his magazine were perhaps never the most reliable source.

From a social and historical context, why was the event able to take place? Perhaps by August 1944, the end of the war was in sight and maybe travel and holiday restrictions had been relaxed. The context suggest it was an unofficial British Championship, or at the very least a "holiday" tournament.

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Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby John Saunders » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:58 am

I found daily reports of the tournament in the Manchester Guardian and the round numbers were exactly as I had them in the PGN file.

Last round pairings (first named had White): Wahltuch 1-0 Hooper (QP opening, Hooper played 3...Bf5); Gurnhill 1-0 Abrahams (Ruy Lopez, Black tried something irregular); Mieses ½-½ Rhodes (Sicilian). Played on 21 July 1944.

In the first round Mieses was Black against Gurnhill and played a Sicilian. In the fourth round Wahltuch was White against Abrahams.

Unfortunately the Manchester Guardian didn't give any game scores.

Re round numbers: I'm not quite sure what the difficulty was in understanding these. But perhaps people need to be aware that Berger pairings have not always been fixed as they are today. The all-play-all pairing system used for pre-1950s(?) BCF/British tournaments seems to have been slightly different from the modern one. I wrote something about this on Britbase recently.

The MG suggested that it was an NCCU event - only the second since Liverpool 1923...

Manchester Guardian, 17 July 1944 wrote:The committee of the Northern Counties Chess Union showed a year ago the confidence that all reasonable chess players have always had in the favourable progress of the war when they set to work to organise the congress that starts to-day. This, incidentally, is the second Northern Counties Chess Congress in twenty-one years, the first having been played at Liverpool in 1923.
Some interest is lent to this tournament by the fact that the veteran Jaques Mieses, the winner of the Liverpool Tournament in 1923, is once again playing in the Premier. In 1923 he was already a doyen of German, chess. Indeed, he was a master of high rank far back in the days of Steinitz, Lasker, and Pillsbury, and is the sole survivor of the great Hastings Tournament of 1895, having survived the winner of that tournament by forty years Ten years ago, when hard on seventy, he was driven from Germany at approximately the same date that the Germans decided that they could live better without Einstein and other great names that had enriched their land. Mieses has been sufficiently resilient to continue, in exile, to play very fine chess and will undoubtedly do so this week.
Manchester readers will further be interested to learn that that very strong Manchester player Victor Wahltuch, ex-champion of the North of England, who also played in the Premier at Liverpool in 1923, is playing at Blackpool. The same tournament includes Gerald Abrahams, who made his chess tournament debut in 1923 at Liverpool; H. G. Rhodes, more than once champion of Liverpool and Lancashire; Gurnhill, ex-champion of Sheffield and of Yorkshire: and Hirsch. late of Vienna.
There will also be a number of minor tournaments, in which an aggregate of nearly one hundred players will be playing.
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Gordon Cadden
Posts: 461
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:57 pm

Re: Blackpool 1944

Postby Gordon Cadden » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:44 am

Richard James wrote:Yes, there's a report, scores and a few games in CHESS October 1944.

The games were: Wahltuch 1:0 Gurnhill, Rhodes 1:0 Abrahams, Mieses 0:1 Wahltuch and Rhodes 0:1 Gurnhill.

Final scores in the Premier: DV Hooper 3½, VL Waltuch 3, G Abrahams, CR Gurnhill and HG Rhodes all 2½, and, sadly, J Mieses 1.

Hooper drew on Monday, won on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and lost on Friday. The report gives the number of points scored by each player in each round but not a cross-table. If Kevin could tell me the order in which Hooper played his games it may be possible to construct a cross-table from the available information.

There's no one called Hirst or Lockwood in any of the First Class tournaments, nor among the prizewinners in the Second Class, Third Class or Junior tournaments. There are, however, references in the report to a Major Open section, but the results seem to have been omitted.

"DV Hooper, hope of the South and credited with deep positional insight, brings brightness into the congress in the shape of a bevy of beautiful girls. They have eyes for none but this fair-haired young athlete, square-shouldered and fresh-complexioned, who looks least like a chess player and yet is to prove himself the master of them all."

Meanwhile, on the next page, LW Barden, a 13-year-old Croydon schoolboy, plays as a last minute substitute for Surrey against Middlesex, drawing his game against DM Morrah.


Jacque Mieses was 79 years old age when he competed at Blackpool 1944. He had one of the longest careers of any Master. After the war he gave many simultaneous displays in South Wales. He would have been in his eighties.


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