1924 British Championships in Southport

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Mick Norris
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 am

John Saunders wrote: Even more so in this case, since it is evident from the auction reference that Herbert Gibson Rhodes, M.C., was a very gallant gentleman of whom British chess can be very proud, along with the Bletchley Park code-breakers of WW2 and others with notable war records (e.g. Lancashire's TJ (John) Beach, who won the DFC during WW2). It is worth reproducing Rhodes's Military Cross citation here.
M.C. London Gazette, 2.12.1918, Lt. Herbert Gibson Rhodes, 2/7th Battalion., Liverpool Regiment, Territorial Force.
'For conspicuous gallantry in attacking parties of the enemy, who were trying to get machine guns into action. He reached his objective and brought heavy fire to bear on them as they retreated. Though wounded, he would not leave his post until it was securely consolidated. His splendid leadership resulted in the capture of fifty prisoners and twelve machine guns.'
That sounds to me close to the level of bravery that would merit a Victoria Cross. Perhaps some sort of competition could be held in his honour, to coincide with the centenary of his award in a few years' time.
Maybe the 2018 British could return to Southport?

Or the ECF could hold a norm tournament, the Rhodes Memorial?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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John Saunders
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by John Saunders » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:57 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Maybe the 2018 British could return to Southport?

Or the ECF could hold a norm tournament, the Rhodes Memorial?
Yes, not a bad idea, Mick. The British was last held in Southport in 1983, when I competed myself, in the Major Open. The venue was King George V College - I wonder if it would still be suitable/available.

Incidentally, I found this game...



What is remarkable about the game was that BOTH players won the Military Cross in the First World War. Captain Percivale David Bolland (1888-1950), M.C., was a strong player and many times champion of Somerset. I haven't found his medal citation yet but I've seen a number of references to it. He would be equally worthy of a memorial.

Perhaps a distinguished member of the forum can comment on both these gentlemen. Leonard Barden played in the ten-player all-play-all Hastings Premier Reserves Major in 1948/49 as the last-minute substitute for someone who had dropped out, losing to Rhodes and drawing with Bolland. Any memories of them, Leonard?
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Mick Norris
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:07 pm

John Saunders wrote: The British was last held in Southport in 1983, when I competed myself, in the Major Open. The venue was King George V College - I wonder if it would still be suitable/available.
Quite possibly, relatively central location, and as you know Southport is a good location, relatively easy to access by train

Maybe Nigel Davies would have a view on suitable venues in Southport?
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Richard James
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Richard James » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:21 pm

John Saunders wrote: What is remarkable about the game was that BOTH players won the Military Cross in the First World War. Captain Percivale David Bolland (1888-1950), M.C., was a strong player and many times champion of Somerset. I haven't found his medal citation yet but I've seen a number of references to it. He would be equally worthy of a memorial.
From the London Gazette 17 April 1917 p3679:

2nd Lt. (actg. Capt.) Percivale David Bolland, Welsh R., Spec. Res.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He set a splendid example throughout and was largely responsible for the success of the operations. He has previously done fine work.

Not as informative as some citations but there you go.

Reference found via https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/.

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Gerard Killoran » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:21 pm

Another game from Southport 1924




[Event "BCF-ch 17th 1st Class Tournament A"]
[Site "Southport"]
[Date "1924.08.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Thomas, William Rowland"]
[Black "Gurnhill, Charles Reuben"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C54"]
[Opening "Giuoco Piano: Moeller (Therkatz) attack"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 Nxe4 8.
O-O Bxc3 9. d5 Ne5 10. bxc3 Nxc4 11. Qd4 f5 12. Qxc4 d6 13. Nd4 O-O 14. f3 Nc5
15. Ba3 b6 16. Bxc5 bxc5 17. Nc6 Qf6 18. Rab1 Re8 19. Rfe1 Bd7 20. Rxe8+ Rxe8
21. Nxa7 Qg5 22. Nb5 Qd2 23. Nxc7 Re2 24. Qh4 Rxg2+ 25. Kh1 Rg5 26. Rg1 h6 27.
Rxg5 hxg5 28. Qg3 Qc1+ 29. Kg2 Qb2+ 30. Qf2 Qxc3 31. Qe2 Qe5 32. Qxe5 dxe5 33.
Ne6 Bxe6 34. dxe6 c4 35. Kf2 g4 36. fxg4 f4 {The Mail (Adelaide, SA) Saturday 15
August 1925 via The Chess Amateur} 0-1

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John Saunders
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by John Saunders » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:38 am

Thanks to Gerard Killoran, another six championship games and 13 subsidiary event games have been added to the Britbase file...

http://www.saund.co.uk/britbase/pgn/192 ... iewer.html

Many thanks, Gerard.
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Leonard Barden
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:23 pm

John Saunders wrote:
Perhaps a distinguished member of the forum can comment on both these gentlemen. Leonard Barden played in the ten-player all-play-all Hastings Premier Reserves Major in 1948/49 as the last-minute substitute for someone who had dropped out, losing to Rhodes and drawing with Bolland. Any memories of them, Leonard?
Hastings 1948-49 was not the first time I played Rhodes or Bolland. I had beaten Rhodes in the final round of the BCF Premier (effectively the Major Open) at London 1948, so improving my placing from last to joint last.
I remember the ending of our Hastings game because I reached two rooks and bishop against queen and knight, expecting to draw easily but finding myself crushed. Afterwards Rhodes told me that the queen-knight duo was almost always superior, and I took the tip to heart, used it a couple of times years later, and even mentioned it in one of my books.
Rhodes had the air of a slightly diffident scholar, pleasant but restrained. Solicitor suited him well. He never gave any hint of fighting in the war, and I could not have imagined him as a soldier or as a soccer goalkeeper.
I don't know why he didn't play in the 1949-50 Premier. Perhaps he had work commitments. He had serious ambitions then, as evidenced by his six-game match at Southport in April 1950 with Tartakover, presumably financed by Rhodes just after Tartakover had shared first with Bisguier at Southsea. Tartakover won +3=3-0, and used one of the finishes in the book of his best games.
The 1949-50 Premier did include Dennis Horne from the 1948-49 Reserves, but that was after Horne had tied second in the 1949 British championship at Felixstowe. There was also a place for a young Englisn player, for which I played a match with John Fuller which he won.
I have no recollection of my draw with Bolland at Hastings. However, a year earlier, in January 1948, National Service took me for a few weeks to a course at RAF Locking, near Weston-super-Mare. I contacted the Weston club, which met on Saturday afternoons and invited me to give a simul. It was my first ever serious simul, there were 25 or so tough club players, and I emerged with a minus score, the only time that happened.
The club officials put me in touch with Bolland, and one Sunday I visited his house in Winscombe and we played a couple of one-hour games with clocks. Unlike Rhodes, Bolland had a strong military air with a clipped accent. He had a pronounced limp which I assume was caused when he was wounded in action in 1918.
In the 1940s it was normal and polite to address people, unless you knew them well, by their initials and surnames only, so I never knew then that Rhodes was Herbert or that Bolland was Percivale.
Hastings 1948-49 was till then my best result, made most memorable by my first round pairing with the legendary Jacques Mieses. He chose the Scandinavian, got his queen in trouble and lost a piece early, then swindled his way to a draw. I had already played Znosko-Borovsky at London 1948, so achieving a double route to a Morphy 3 (Morphy-Paulsen or Bird-Mieses and Morphy-Mortimer-Z-B).

Leonard Barden
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:22 pm

Brian Denman wrote: I recently wrote about how Arthur Hall seemed to have been largely forgotten about by the chess community after he stopped playing the game and the same may have applied to Rhodes. If chess is to be considered a social game, we should keep in touch with those of our colleagues who become too old to play chess or are forced to be housebound.
In the spirit of Brian's post, I draw attention to Dennis Horne, about whom I wrote in the 2010 Forum:

Denis Horne became a strong player at Oxford University immediately after the war in which he served in the army, possibly reaching the rank of captain. His greatest success in an individual game was at Plymouth 1948 where he defeated ex-world champion Max Euwe in fine style. He liked sharp openings, notably the King's Gambit.
He was joint second with Hooper behind Golombek at Felixstowe 1949, the first Swiss system British championship, and did quite well at the 1949-50 Hastings Premier. He would have been in the top 6-10 in England then. He had a military style moustache, smoked a pipe and enjoyed solving the Times crossword. He continued to perform well in the early 1950s and so was selected for the 1952 Olympiad team, where he played on Board 5. He was awarded the British Master title.
Horne became a prep school master with less time for chess and a growing involvement with bridge. His last top class event was the Hastings 1953-54 Premier (where Alexander famously beat Bronstein) where he finished last but beat the world class Fridrijk Olafsson and drew with O'Kelly. After that he played little.
He made a brief reappearance at one of the Evening Standard/National Bank of Dubai Opens in the late 1970s where following a slow start he was playing around Board 30. This was pointed out to John Nunn and it was suggested that he too would be playing down the boards at Horne's age, which Nunn rejected saying "No, I'll still be on the top boards!".
Horne was still alive about nine years ago, retired from teaching and playing bridge though still following chess. At Hastings 1948-9 he played Mieses and so has a Morphy 3 (ie Horne played Mieses who played Louis Paulsen and Bird who both played Morphy).
While preparing my previous post about Hastings 1948-49 I realised that Horne, if still living, will reach 95 next week, on Monday 19 October. He would be England's oldest living master, and possibly the first English chessplayer of international class to reach this landmark. We have had one or two centenarians in the past, but they were just club level players. Tim Harding or Richard James will correct me if I am wrong.
Horne lived for many years in Tunbridge Wells, but 192.com does not list him on the electoral register after 2003. If he has left his old address, bridge people in Tunbridge Wells might know where he lives now. Perhaps Richard Haddrell, who lives in Tunbridge Wells, could investigate.
In view of Horne's distinguished place in English chess history, I think that the ECF, possibly in collaboration with the EBU, should at the very least send him birthday greetings on reaching 95 on 19 October. If 85, 80 or even 50 merit a pat on the back, 95 should not be ignored.
Wearing my journalistic hat, I think that a photo of Horne receiving birthday greetings from ECF and EBU officials would at least make a story for chess columns and magazines, accompanied by the moves of his victory over Euwe at Plymouth 1948 and/or the fastest win at Hastings 1948-49:
ARB Thomas v DM Horne, King's Gambit
1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 Bc4 Bg7 5 d4 d6 6 0-0 h6 7 c3 Be6 8 Bxe6 fxe6 9 e5 Nc6 10 Qg3 Qd7 11 d5 Nxe5 12 Qxb7 Qc8 13 Qb5+ c6 14 dxc6 Qxc6 15 Nd4? Nf3+! 0-1
But, of course, all the above is only valid if he is still living.

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John Saunders
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by John Saunders » Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:53 pm

I regret to say that Dennis died earlier this year. I only discovered this just now.

Gaige records his name and date of birth as Dennis Morton Horne, b 19 Oct 1920. I googled his name and found this URL, http://www.greshams.com/old-greshamians-ogs, where we learn that he was an Old Greshamian (Gresham's School, Holt, in Norfolk) and that he died on 3 May 2015. (EDIT: Another record of his death here - https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/2363261)

Many thanks for your comments, Leonard. As always they are fascinating.
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Gary Kenworthy

Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:22 pm

John Saunders wrote:
Brian Denman wrote:.
John Saunders: I echo these sentiments. Even more so in this case, since it is evident from the auction reference that Herbert Gibson Rhodes, M.C., was a very gallant gentleman of whom British chess can be very proud, along with the Bletchley Park code-breakers of WW2 and others with notable war records (e.g. Lancashire's TJ (John) Beach, who won the DFC during WW2).....

GK: I found this thread. I strongly take it that T J Beach, is the RAF officer, T J Beach of No5 Group, 61 Squadron. [Who often flew with 617 squadron, from the same base]. The squadron took part in many raids, including the attacks on Peenemunde, (V-I and V-IIs) and the Tirpitz (without guns to save weight, for the sake of the tallboy bombs).

Can anyone confirm this information -
He was also Yorkshire individual champion 1936/7 when at Leeds. Played board 1 for the armed Forces v Lt G Cartier.
regards Gary Kenworthy.

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Gerard Killoran » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:33 pm

Thomas John Beach (as was T J Beach, the chess player) is listed as an Acting Flight Lieutenant with 61 Squadron here:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/iss ... 8/data.pdf

How did he do against Tatatakower?

Gary Kenworthy

Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:36 pm

Thanks for the gazette for the DFC, Gerard, positive id on his serial number. They match 2 of three other war records I have found. The third record is beyond highly probable. No other person names matches so well.
March 1943, which means he might have taken part in bombing U boats in July and august 1942 as well.
He was not part of the second attack on the Tirpitz, as that was 9 squadron and 617 squadron.
Whilst 617 and 61 squadron I knew shared a base in Lincolnshire, and often flew together.
5 Group had some of the worst losses of any unit in WWII. They also had that VC from a Scottish Flt Lt.- William Reid.

He lost to Dr Tartakower in 33 moves -- see also the thread Bletchley Park code breakers.
Once again, thank you Gerard.

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:55 pm

The Northampton Mercury of Friday 07 January 1949 reports, 'Squadron-Leader T. J. Beach will play chess simultaneously against 40 of the county’s best playes. Squadron-Leader Beach is a former Yorkshire chess champion.'

The Peenemunde Raid By Martin Middlebrook contains the following...
The Peenemunde Raid - Martin Middlebrook - Google Books.jpg
The Peenemunde Raid - Martin Middlebrook - Google Books.jpg (48.75 KiB) Viewed 721 times

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:28 am

For those unfamiliar with "OBOE", see http://www.rquirk.com/cdnradar/cor/chapter13.pdf

Gary Kenworthy

Re: 1924 British Championships in Southport

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:46 am

This is hugely important. Bennett will be Air Vice Marshall Tom Bennett, head of Patherfinders. Fantastic guy. He is on record as a big critic of Cochrane in various television documentaries (e.g. the decision to attack Nuremberg without any ECMs - in Nov 1944 --- as an Australian officer put it - the Germans scored a century before breakfast. (96 heavy bomber crews lost).

Also confirms my suspicion that the DFC was earlier- as gazetted above by Gerard -- March 1943 (other exploits-- like U boats - (secondment to Coast Command, by 61 Squadron to hunt U- Boats -- (((prove new equipment for two months - successfully find and pin point targets in the vast space of the Atlantic?)) , by the Lancasters of 61 squadron ) or both, or now more in the frame, likely connected with Bernard Lovell OBE -- the OBE was for H2S work -- given after the war - but won June 1942--- But, you would then need an excellent precise navigator --- within 5 Group to prove it . H2S (code name Stinker) was even better than OBOE). Someone who had that type of experience would be favourite.

Speculation: Who did those secrets tests in the RAF for Bernard Lovell? Who was the prize navigator in 5 Group?
Bernard Lovell helped win the Battle of the Atlantic - cited by son as his greatest war time achievement.

(Afterward WW II Lovell was at Jodrell Bank, Patrick Moore was at Herstmoneux-- BTW: The East Grinstead Chess Club, individual title holder, gets the Patrick Moore trophy).

Leonard Barden told me that T J Beach was a navigator -- A squadron leader - when large numbers of pilots were Flight Sgts. [That's odd, that's interesting and gold dust information]. That meant he should be/ could be the lead navigator for 61 squadron.
Whilst here, as found by Gerard, in Black and White -- for the entire 5 Group in August 1943 !

Peenemunde must be bombed was the big debate by Dr RV Jones v his old boss Prof Lindemann, back by Air Chief Marshall Arthur Harris, refusing to believe in rockets. At that table was Churchill who had the final say, he backed Dr R V Jones. The crucial evidence was also heavily based on petrol coupon (gold dust) pecking order of distribution. Excellent lateral thinker Dr R V Jones. Whatever it was, it was highly important, and Jones was right about the German beams said Churchill-- that weighed it - [the beams technique as used to attack Coventry, as predicted by Jones]. (cf Bletchley Park - has several more connections).
rgds (FM) Gary Kenworthy, Bletchley

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