British Championships Hastings 1904

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Gerard Killoran
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British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Gerard Killoran » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:21 am

The Leeds Mercury of 1904 has just come online at the British Newspaper Archive and gives us the following games:





Brian Denman
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Brian Denman » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:02 pm

Thanks for this, Gerard. The game between Richmond and Dr Dunstan was also published in the West Susssex Times and Standard of 8.10.1904, but without any information about the competition in which it was played. It may be of interest that according to my notes the date on which the players met at Hastings was 31.8.1904.

Tim Harding
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Tim Harding » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:31 pm

Maybe it should be pointed out (though I'm aware some of you know this already) that there was no Major Open tournament in the first few BCF Congresses. I expect somebody can remind me which year was the first to have a Major Open.

So there were three First Class Amateur sections, the original idea being that the winners of each would play off for 1st to 3rd prizes and the runners up of each would play off for 4th-6th.
But some sections had ties for first or second which had to be played off and eventually there was no time to play off between the section prizewinners.

Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 10 September 1904
Tim Harding
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Michael Farthing
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Michael Farthing » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:17 pm

Now we don't often get messes like that nowadays. You see, some things have improved!

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John Saunders
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by John Saunders » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:41 pm

Tim Harding wrote:Maybe it should be pointed out (though I'm aware some of you know this already) that there was no Major Open tournament in the first few BCF Congresses. I expect somebody can remind me which year was the first to have a Major Open.

So there were three First Class Amateur sections, the original idea being that the winners of each would play off for 1st to 3rd prizes and the runners up of each would play off for 4th-6th.
But some sections had ties for first or second which had to be played off and eventually there was no time to play off between the section prizewinners.

Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 10 September 1904
The Major Open was introduced in 1910 in what was the 7th BCF Congress, held in Oxford. The following newspaper snippet gives us some details, as well as demonstrating that the national federation's policies were subject to adverse criticism nearly a century before the advent of the EC Forum... :)
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, Tuesday 16 August 1910 wrote:A New Tournament.
The Committee of the Federation have this year devoted £50 for prizes to a new tournament open to the world, having possibly been influenced by many adverse criticisms of their policy of keeping the British championship contest for British subjects only. Foreign players have, however, not crowded in for this event, which is practically a selected section of what has been usually known as the first-class.
Many thanks to Gerard for the two extra 1904 games, which I have added to the Britbase file. Also to Brian for finding a date for the game.

I've also revived my blog in order to showcase some of the historical bits and pieces which show up when trawling through old material. I've already posted something here about Kate Belinda Finn but I've now tidied it up a bit and put it on my blog. As well as the Finn piece, I've collated some biographical information about the 1908 British Ladies' Champion, Grace Moore Curling, which I don't think has been published previously (including the fact that her middle name was 'Moore').
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Mick Norris
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:14 am

John

Fantastic bits of detective work, and I get the sense that you and everyone else are having fun tracing down the info about the players

I think the actual locations of the Championships are interesting - is there anywhere that has pictures of the venues used?
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JustinHorton
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:39 am

I remember once before trying to figure out the venue of the 1910 Oxford event from a photo alone. Couldn't do it though.
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John Saunders
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by John Saunders » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:43 am

Hi Mick,

I can only speak for myself but, yes, I enjoy researching chess history. The only minor problem I have is, when looking one thing up, I tend to stumble on something else of interest and get distracted. But since my life is no longer geared to monthly deadlines and I'm not beholden to anyone, it doesn't really matter. I've no particular end product in mind though things I find occasionally lead to magazine articles. And it's great to find like-minded people on the forum who clearly share my interest in British chess history.

Good question about photos of venues. Other forum members have made a large contribution to our knowledge about venues. I recommend Gerard Killoran's historical articles on the Ilkley Chess Club blog. A good starting place is here, where he has a photo of the 1905 British Championship in the art gallery in Southport, which links to here, where he has more photos of the same place, both from 1905 and now, showing the same paintings on the wall. Gerard has also posted a fascinating photo from the 1908 British Championship in Tunbridge Wells, which was held in the Pump Room there. (It might be an interesting diversion for someone to try to match the 1908 photo with a contemporary photo.)

The venue for the first British Championship at Hastings has been discussed here previously but I can't find the thread. Gerard mentions it in his blog: it was held in a place called 'the Music Hall' in Hastings. The following quote may be useful...
1859 Jan 12 - Opening of the big new Music Hall, fronting Robertson Street and backing on to Havelock Road. It was on the first floor, above shops and pubs. Later it was called the Public Hall and eventually it became the Orion Cinema. The pub Yates now occupies the ground floor.
... which I found in the Hastings Chronicle. Brian Denman is bound to know more as the Sussex chess historian. (I assume the pub is not named after the former British Champion.)

I vaguely remember seeing photos of the 1904 venue, possibly linked to from the forum. I think there are also links on the forum somewhere to photos of the 1912 venue in Richmond, Surrey, which Richard James posted but again I can't find them.

There is certainly plenty of scope for research into British Championship venues, comparisons of 'then' and 'now' photos, etc. Despite the temptation I'll try not to hog the opportunity to research it myself but leave the opportunity open to someone else who fancies doing a bit of historical research. It would make a nice feature at Britbase or on someone's blog.
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John Saunders
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by John Saunders » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:51 am

JustinHorton wrote:I remember once before trying to figure out the venue of the 1910 Oxford event from a photo alone. Couldn't do it though.
The 1910 British Championships were held in the Examination Schools, Oxford, as were the 1967 ones. I guess some forum members may have played in the latter event. I don't recall seeing a photo from either event. Does anyone have one?
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Mick Norris
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:51 am

John

Thanks for that

I must have walked past the Atkinson Gallery in Southport on one of many treks down Lord Street over the years, I'll have a better reason to actually go in next time
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Richard James
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Richard James » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:23 am

John Saunders wrote: I vaguely remember seeing photos of the 1904 venue, possibly linked to from the forum. I think there are also links on the forum somewhere to photos of the 1912 venue in Richmond, Surrey, which Richard James posted but again I can't find them.
http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=4507

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JustinHorton
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:19 pm

John Saunders wrote:
JustinHorton wrote:I remember once before trying to figure out the venue of the 1910 Oxford event from a photo alone. Couldn't do it though.
The 1910 British Championships were held in the Examination Schools, Oxford, as were the 1967 ones. I guess some forum members may have played in the latter event. I don't recall seeing a photo from either event. Does anyone have one?
I wonder whether anybody sat exams (or attended lectures) in that building in 1967 and then proceeded to play in the event. (Or in 1910.)
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Tim Harding
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Tim Harding » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:51 pm

JustinHorton wrote: I wonder whether anybody sat exams (or attended lectures) in that building in 1967 and then proceeded to play in the event. (Or in 1910.)
I did (in 1967) with more success in exams than the chess. Also I attended countless lectures there, mostly for my courses (PPE) but memorably also one by Noam Chomsky when he was visiting professor and it was practically standing room only in the largest lecture hall. (I don't recall the exact date but the unusual circumstances are probably on record.)

I cannot recall why I stupidly entered the Major Open when I could have played in the U-21s.

I cannot answer for 1910.
Tim Harding
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Michael Farthing
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:07 pm

Well my Round 7 game at Oxford in 1967 is the pride of my collection! The quality of the game is not something to be celebrated by either player, but I have another reason to be proud of it, which the reader is invited to discover. I cannot claim to have used the venue for examinations but I can claim, however, that my wife did, and I think that ought to count.


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John Saunders
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Re: British Championships Hastings 1904

Post by John Saunders » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:22 pm

Let me guess: your opponent was AJ Miles.
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