Vera Menchik

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John Upham
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Vera Menchik

Post by John Upham » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:47 am

I wonder if you can help ?

I'm attempting to locate the score of a game between Vera Menchk and Sir GA Thomas at Hastings , year unknown.

Getty images has this image :
2e90a458ba01104ee800eb4de989bfab.jpg
Menchik - Thomas, Hastings, ?
2e90a458ba01104ee800eb4de989bfab.jpg (139.99 KiB) Viewed 502 times
which appears to show a position in which Black is about deliver mate in one.

As far as I can tell this is the position :
Pos3.jpg
Menchik - Thomas, Hastings, ?
Pos3.jpg (113.03 KiB) Viewed 502 times
but I cannot locate this game from Megabase 2020.

I have 17 games in which Menchik is White against Thomas but none of them appear to be the above.

Anyone have an idea ?
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Vera Menchik

Post by Leonard Barden » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:17 pm

I would assume this is the usual posed pic taken in advance of the first round, and Vera or somebody else decided to play a little joke by setting up an obviously unreal position to deceive innocent future chess editors.

Note that besides the unreal clock times (I think they were normally set to start at noon for a 2 flagfall, Hastings time limit 36 moves in two hours) there is a score sheet carelessly half -way across the board. Vera has her hat on and her gloves by her side as if she has just arrived after doing her shopping. Also there is a captured black pawn on Black's side of the board.

John Upham
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Re: Vera Menchik

Post by John Upham » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:35 pm

Thanks Leonard.

I fell into the trap hook, line and sinker !

The signs were all there as you point out.
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John McKenna
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Re: Vera Menchik

Post by John McKenna » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:42 pm

Just so you know - the WR in the photo is on f1 and not on d1 as in the diag.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

E Michael White
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Re: Vera Menchik

Post by E Michael White » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:00 pm

Both clocks appear to me to be stopped, adding to Leonard's theory.

John McKenna
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Re: Vera Menchik

Post by John McKenna » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:31 pm

That still leaves open to question when and where the photo was taken -

The last time Menchik,VF-Thomas,GA was seen at Hastings in the main event was in 1936(/7) and Sir George did win it, but not in the way shown in the photo. Vera never played again in the main Hastings event after that, but Sir George played in 1937/8 & 1938/9.

In the photo Vera seems to be wearing a ring.

In 1937, at the age of 31, Vera Menchik married.

Therefore the photo would seem to have most probably been taken in the time period beginning 1937 and the end of 1939.

Is it possible the photo was taken at one of the Margate events held in 1937, 1938 & 1939 where they continued to meet otb? (Again, the position in the photo does not match any of the 3 games they played there.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John Upham
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Re: Vera Menchik

Post by John Upham » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:16 am

See https://britishchessnews.com/2020/06/27 ... niversary/ which includes a curiously worded obituary from EGR Cordingley.


Was she really a pagan or was this a turn of phrase from EGRC ?
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Vera Menchik

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:02 pm

"Was she really a pagan or was this a turn of phrase from EGRC "

I would guess the latter - she possibly didn't attend church every week, which was the custom then, and some would find that shocking!

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Vera Menchik

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:38 pm

Harry Golmbek told me he had few problems handling Vera.

The late Eline Pritchard told me she remembered sitting on Vera's k nee when a child.

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