Photo of St Bride's, former London chess venue

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MartinCarpenter
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Re: Photo of St Bride's, former London chess venue

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:21 pm

I'm pretty sure the clocks used in 1981 would have been very old too :)
(They tend to only get replaced when they absolutely stop working. A few might even have directly survived that long.).

Fascinating photos.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Photo of St Bride's, former London chess venue

Post by Gordon Cadden » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:11 pm

Can now identify the Hampstead players in the 1931 photograph.
On Bd.24 nearest the camera, is Ernest Montgomery Jellie 1866 - 1949
On Bd.23 is A.J. Field, who died August, 1944, aged 71 years
On Bd.22 is Harry Israel, whom I met socially.
On Bd.20 is T.I. Casswell 1902 - 1989 Played several match games with him.
On Bd.17 is Julius du Mont 1881 - 1956
The lady with the hat, on board 18, is J.W. Morling. Mrs Stevenson was playing for the Kent Team.

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John Saunders
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Re: Photo of St Bride's, former London chess venue

Post by John Saunders » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:49 am

Gordon Cadden wrote:Can now identify the Hampstead players in the 1931 photograph.
On Bd.24 nearest the camera, is Ernest Montgomery Jellie 1866 - 1949
On Bd.23 is A.J. Field, who died August, 1944, aged 71 years
On Bd.22 is Harry Israel, whom I met socially.
On Bd.20 is T.I. Casswell 1902 - 1989 Played several match games with him.
On Bd.17 is Julius du Mont 1881 - 1956
The lady with the hat, on board 18, is J.W. Morling. Mrs Stevenson was playing for the Kent Team.
Interesting stuff, Gordon. You're nearly there as regards which boards we are looking at but the lady in the hat can't be J.W. Morling, because the latter was a man called John William Morling! (I think I'm on fairly safe ground in ruling out the possibility of transvestism in 1930s competition chess.) He was born in 1864 and died in 1940. Obituary in June 1940 BCM.

So the Middlesex players are on the right as we look at the photo with the nearest players being board 24. The guy on the right nearest camera does look a fair bit like Andrew Stone's g-grandfather as depicted in the S&B article previously referenced. We can then count off the visible clocks in the row - seven (or count heads - also 7) - so that's boards 24 to 18, from foreground to background. That accords with the lady in the hat being on the penultimate board on the left - Mrs Stevenson, playing for Kent on board 19. We can't see board 17 because it must be in the next row so no Julius du Mont, I'm afraid.

Thus, from nearest to furthest as we look at the photo...

24 left: J. Stuart Hodgson right: E. M. Jellie
23 left: P. Sullivan right: A. J. Field
22 left: H. R. Lorch right: H. Israel
21 left: J. P. Goodfellow right: A. T. Stow
20 left: J. C. Thompson right: T. I. Casswell
19 left: Mrs. Stevenson right: A. G. Kershaw
18 left: H. Vine right: J. W. Morling

And the chap watching play on the left is Middlesex captain Harold Meek - readily recognisable from the other photo taken that day.
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Photo of St Bride's, former London chess venue

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:09 am

So John Crittenden Thompson already had his beard (though a tidier version than later) and his crouched stance at the board 20 years before he achieved his pioneering fame with the Hippopotamus, while Harold Israel's hair was darker in his youth. I am rather relieved to learn that my mentor and Guardian predecessor Julius du Mont was not, after all, in the picture, as following Gordon's post I looked for him in vain.
For more on JC Thompson, see this old Forum thread: http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=553

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Photo of St Bride's, former London chess venue

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:32 am

>Fascinating to see A.J. Bernfield as a healthy schoolboy. A stalwart member of the Metropolitan club, I remember him with a cigarette permanently attached to his lips, coughing his lungs out. Surprisingly, he played a reasonable game.<

Indeed. We played and drew in the British Championship in Aberystwyth in 1961. From memory it was a 90 move marathon 3 sessions in which I played about 15 blunders which should have lost half point and he played about seven. This included my failing to claim a draw by repetition on at least two quite separate occasions. This success enabled me to avoid coming bottom. He had that distinction. No, I do not have the game. It delayed publication of the pairings by some hours.

1955 we played the London Boys at St Bride's. The rate of play was something like 40 moves in 2 hours. Some of the clocks we used would have been of the older rectangular TYPE shown in that 1931 photo. The clocks were set at 11.30. I, an innocent schoolboy, asked why they were set at that time considering the rate of play. 'Because that is the way they are set for the London League.' My reply, 'But this isn't the London League.' The following round they were set at the hour. Thus, in the 2015 FIDE Competition Rules: 6.3 If mechanical chessclocks are used, they shall be set so that each unit registers six o’clock at the first time control. English chess has had a considerable effect on the Laws and Rules.

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