British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

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Gerard Killoran
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British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by Gerard Killoran » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:44 am

R. E. Lean of Brighton had a reputation for playing of-beat defences with black and doesn't have such a bad position - until he goes pawn grabbing with Qc2, and so provides a contender for worst ever British Championship game:



Next a game from 1936 which Britbase has only as a fragment. Here's the game in full:



[Event "BCF-ch"]
[Site "Bournemouth"]
[Date "1936.06.12"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Israel, Harold"]
[Black "Butcher, C. G."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D25"]
[Opening "QGA: Janowsky-Larsen variation"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e3 Bg4 5. Bxc4 e6 6. Qb3 Bxf3 7. gxf3 Qc8 8.
Nc3 c6 9. e4 b5 10. Bd3 a5 11. a4 b4 12. Ne2 g6 13. Ng3 Bg7 14. h4 h5 15. e5 Nd5
16. Ne4 Bf8 17. Bg5 Nd7 18. Rc1 Rb8 19. Rg1 Qb7 20. Ke2 Qa7 21. Rxc6 Qxd4 22.
Rgc1 f5 23. Rxe6+ Kf7 24. Be3 fxe4 25. Bxe4 Nc3+ 26. Rxc3 Qxe3+ 27. fxe3 bxc3
28. Rb6+ Kg7 29. Rxb8 {Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 16 June 1936 p.6} 1-0

Tim Harding
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by Tim Harding » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:06 pm

Thanks for these games. Only two of the pre-WW1 BCF British Championship had all games preserved (thanks to BCM).

Glasgow 1911 is one of the worst documented - partly because Hoffer was away at a tournament on the continent (Carlsbad/Karlsbad/Karlovy Vary, take your pick) so the coverage in The Field was much thinner than usual.

1914 was also bad because war had broken out and there was no regular chess column in a Chester paper.

I think that, many years ago, Tony Gillam did a trawl through the most likely sources (and many unlikely ones) looking for British Championship games but in the end the only one he put into a book was the first in 1904, which is not quite complete unfortunately.

It is to be hoped the British Newspaper Archive will turn up more games from these events in unexpected sources.
Tim Harding
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by Gerard Killoran » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:46 pm

Thanks Tim. I took this as a challenge and have come up with the following:

Roger Leslie Paige's now defunct website had the following games from BCF Glasgow 1911

Atkins - Blake, Yates - Macdonald, Macdonald - McKee, McKee - West, Atkins - West, Blackburne - Yates, Palmer - Atkins, Blackburne - Parry, Blake - Yates (all in BCM 1911) and Atkins - Parry (Glasgow Herald 1911), West -Yates (BCM 1935), M'Kee - Atkins (Chess Amateur 1911)

I have found the following (The Yorkshire Post of 23 August 1911 has Parry - Palmer Round 08 but unfortunately the game score is completely mixed up):














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John Saunders
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by John Saunders » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:48 pm

This is excellent research work, Gerard. I've got a few more Glasgow 1911 games which I have found on the old StarBase 2.56 database and elsewhere.

Also, I've had a go at disentangling the Parry-Palmer game you referred to (I too subscribe to the British Newspapers archive online). It was a bit tricky, because the scan left a couple of moves (in particular Black's 20th and 25th) off the page, but I think I have figured them out correctly, so I am reasonably confident that the score is as follows...



Incidentally, that struck me as a pretty terrible game! I could hardly believe its naivety as I keyed it in. More fodder for those who compare old-time chess unfavourably with that of the present, I'm afraid.

Gerard - I shall collect together the scores you've put here, plus the handful I already have, and put them on Britbase, so we can appraise what we have and don't have. You don't happen to have the ones that Roger Paige once had on the web, by any chance? If you do and send them to me, I'll put them on Britbase too.
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by Gerard Killoran » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:18 pm

I take it back about Lean's game being the worst ever. At least he was having a go.

Here's another better one I just found on the New Zealand Newspaper Archive. I'm not sure where they got it from - usually it was The Field.



I'll send you all the rest I have.

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John Saunders
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by John Saunders » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:44 pm

Many thanks for the games, Gerard. They have arrived and I am working my way through them, merging them with ones I already had and having another sift through various online sources.

One curiosity about the tournament was that Yates won all six of his first week games. Not a record, of course (at least, not any more - Mestel's 9/9 in 1976 will be hard to beat) but statistically-minded forumites might be interested. Maybe it was the best streak of a non-winner (Yates lost a play-off match with Atkins for the 1911 title in January 1912).

Now, back to 1911...
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John Saunders
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by John Saunders » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:33 pm

With Gerard's help I have now collected together all the games I can lay my hands on from the 1911 British Championship in Glasgow, and put them on Britbase here...

http://www.saund.co.uk/britbase/pgn/191 ... iewer.html

There are now 28 from a maximum 66, plus I've added the three play-off games which Atkins won against Yates in Bradford in January 1912, plus one game from the women's championship (a horrendous game lost by the ultimate winner, Mary Houlding), three from the Major Open (I recommend playing through two of the finishes by Georg Schories, a German player then resident in England - he would have given Atkins and Yates a run for their money had he been admitted to the championship proper) and a couple of others from lesser sections.

It's a pity that the game Atkins-Yates from the tournament proper (rather than the play-offs) hasn't come to light yet but I suspect its non-appearance was because it was 84 moves long, hence regarded as too long (and/or too technical) for publication in a newspaper or magazine.

Anyone finding any more missing games from this (or, indeed, any) ancient British chess tournament, please let me know. I'm grateful for all the help I can get (and many thanks to those who have been in touch with me already).
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:10 pm

John Saunders wrote: Anyone finding any more missing games from this (or, indeed, any) ancient British chess tournament, please let me know.
It's also worth looking at material within our lifetimes. There was a game between Martyn Corden and Howard Williams in the 1970 Oxford v Cambridge match which was widely published at the time. It featured an exchange sacrifice by Williams in an Alekhine. Despite being published in numerous columns and magazines, its one off nature means that it seems to elude most or all collections.

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John Saunders
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by John Saunders » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:34 am

It was in BCM, May 1970, and I must have put it on my database a long time ago...

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:03 am

Which player was from Cambridge and which from Oxford?

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John Saunders
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by John Saunders » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:26 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Which player was from Cambridge and which from Oxford?
Martyn Corden was at Oxford (St Edmund Hall), Howard Williams at Cambridge (Downing). Both were Olympiad players in their time, Corden for England and Williams for Wales. Howard could still be, if he wanted to. I think Corden is a maths(?) prof somewhere in America these days and still plays a bit, though not internationally.

P.S. In fact, you can discover the teams from the PGN file - click on the c8 square on the board and it will put up a window with the PGN code, which tells you which team the players belonged to.
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by John Upham » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:23 am

Dr Martyn Corden

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Brian Denman
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by Brian Denman » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:23 pm

John Saunders does not appear to have the following game in his collection:



Lean,RE - Palmer,Rev WC [B56]
British Championship, Glasgow (11), 25.08.1911

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.0-0 g6 8.f4 Bg7 9.f5 Qb6 10.Be3 Ng4 11.Qxg4 Bxd4 12.Nd5 Bxe3+ 13.Kh1 Qd4 14.c3 gxf5 15.Qh4 Qxe4 16.Qxe4 fxe4 17.Nc7+ Kd8 18.Nxa8 f5 19.a4 Kc8 20.a5 Kb8 21.a6 Kxa8 22.b4 f4 23.Ra3 Ne5 24.axb7+ Kxb7 25.Ba6+ Kc7 26.Be2 f3 27.gxf3 exf3 28.Bxf3 Nxf3 29.b5 Bxb5 30.c4 Bc6 31.Rxe3 Nd2+ 32.Kg1 Rg8+ 33.Kf2 Rf8+ 34.Ke2 Nxf1 Source: British Chess Magazine of October 1911. 0-1

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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by Brian Denman » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:29 pm

The following game was played in the British at Bournemouth in 1936:



Noel-Johnson,RC - Winter,W [A45]
British Championship at Bournemouth (4), 11.06.1936

1.d4 Nf6 2.e3 g6 3.Bd3 d6 4.Ne2 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 e5 7.Nbc3 Nc6 8.d5 Nb4 9.e4 Nxd3 10.Qxd3 Nd7 11.Be3 f5 12.f3 f4 13.Bf2 g5 14.b4 Nf6 15.Kh1 g4 16.c5 Nh5 17.fxg4 Bxg4 18.Ng1 Qg5 19.Nf3 Qh6 20.Ne2 Rf7 21.Rac1 Raf8 22.Rc3 Qg6 23.cxd6 cxd6 24.b5 Nf6 25.Rc4 Bh6 26.Nh4 Qh5 27.Ng1 Bd7 28.a4 Ng4 29.Qe2 Bg5 30.Nhf3 Bd8 31.h3 Nxf2+ 32.Qxf2 Rg7 33.Rfc1 Rg3 34.Qf1 Bb6 35.R1c2 Bxg1 36.Nxg1 f3 37.Kh2 Qh4 38.gxf3 Rfxf3 39.Qxf3 Rxf3 40.Nxf3 Qxh3+ 41.Kg1 Qxf3 42.Rc7 Bg4 43.Rxb7 h5 44.a5 h4 45.Rf2 Qg3+ 46.Rg2 Qe3+ 47.Rf2 Bf3 Source: The Field of 27.6.1936. 0-1

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John Saunders
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Re: British Championship games from 1911 and 1936

Post by John Saunders » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:35 pm

Brian Denman wrote:John Saunders does not appear to have the following game in his collection:

Lean,RE - Palmer,Rev WC [B56]
British Championship, Glasgow (11), 25.08.1911

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.0-0 g6 8.f4 Bg7 9.f5 Qb6 10.Be3 Ng4 11.Qxg4 Bxd4 12.Nd5 Bxe3+ 13.Kh1 Qd4 14.c3 gxf5 15.Qh4 Qxe4 16.Qxe4 fxe4 17.Nc7+ Kd8 18.Nxa8 f5 19.a4 Kc8 20.a5 Kb8 21.a6 Kxa8 22.b4 f4 23.Ra3 Ne5 24.axb7+ Kxb7 25.Ba6+ Kc7 26.Be2 f3 27.gxf3 exf3 28.Bxf3 Nxf3 29.b5 Bxb5 30.c4 Bc6 31.Rxe3 Nd2+ 32.Kg1 Rg8+ 33.Kf2 Rf8+ 34.Ke2 Nxf1 Source: British Chess Magazine of October 1911. 0-1
You're right, I don't, Brian. Many thanks. I have added it to the download.
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