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BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 9th British Championship (won by RC Griffith) (37 games of a possible 66, plus 28 from subsidiary events)
Venue: Richmond • Dates: 12-24 August 1912 • Download PGN • updated: Sunday 18 April, 2021 1:15 PM

1912 British Chess Championship, Richmond, 12-24 August

1912 British Chess Championship Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Total 
1 Griffith,Richard Clewin London
&;
0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 8
2 Cole,Harold Godfrey London 1
&;
½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 1
3 Yates,Fred Dewhirst Leeds ½ ½
&;
1 0 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 1
4 Gibson,William P Glasgow 0 0 0
&;
½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1
5 Hamond,Francis Edward (Rev) Norwich 0 ½ 1 ½
&;
1 0 0 1 0 1 1 6
6 Michell,Reginald Pryce Kingston-upon-Thames ½ ½ 0 0 0
&;
0 1 1 1 1 1 6
7 Jacobs,Herbert Levi London 0 ½ ½ 0 1 1
&;
0 0 1 ½ 1
8 Crakanthorp,Spencer Australia 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 1
&;
1 1 0 1
9 Wahltuch,Victor Leonard Manchester ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 0 1 0
&;
½ ½ ½ 5
10 Uber,Henry Bernard London ½ 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 ½
&;
1 1 5
11 West,Arthur George Yeovil 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 0
&;
1 3
12 Billings,Samuel Walter Cheltenham 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0
&;
½

1912 British Ladies Championship

1912 British Ladies Championship Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Total 
1 Mrs Gertrude Alison Anderson Woldingham
&;
1 1 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1
2 Miss Edith Charlotte Price London 0
&;
1 1 0 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1
3 Mrs Mary Mills Houlding Newport 0 0
&;
0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 7
4 Miss Agnes Bradley Lawson West Hartlepool 0 0 1
&;
1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½
5 Miss Florence Hutchison Stirling Edinburgh 0 1 0 0
&;
1 1 0 ½ ½ 1 1 6
6 Miss Charlotte Helena Minchin-Cotton London 0 1 0 ½ 0
&;
1 0 0 1 1 1
7 Miss D Campbell Cambridge 1 0 0 1 0 0
&;
1 1 0 0 1 5
8 Mrs Edith Mary Ann Michell Kingston-upon-Thames ½ 0 0 0 1 1 0
&;
0 0 1 1
9 Mrs Annie Sophia Roe London 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 0 1
&;
0 ½ 1
10 Mrs Helena Eliza Sidney Hove ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 1 1
&;
0 0
11 Miss Alice Taylor Edinburgh ½ 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 ½ 1
&;
½
12 Mrs Rosa Annie Banting London 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½
&;
2

1912 BCF Major Open

1912 BCF Major Open Draw No. Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Total 
1 William Hewison Gunston 5 Cambridge
&;
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 10
2 Abraham Speyer/Speijer ‡ 4 Netherlands 0
&;
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10
3 James Chrismas Waterman 7 Redhill 0 0
&;
1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 8
4 Roland Henry Vaughan Scott 6 London 0 0 0
&;
0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 6
5 Arthur John Mackenzie 2 Birmingham 0 0 0 1
&;
1 ½ 1 0 1 0 1
6 Arthur James Maas 3 London 0 0 0 0 0
&;
1 1 1 ½ 1 1
7 Georg Schories 11 Leicester 0 0 1 0 ½ 0
&;
½ 1 ½ 1 1
8 Carrick Wardhaugh 8 Glasgow 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½
&;
½ 1 1 1 4
9 Allan William Edward Louis 10 London 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 ½
&;
0 1 ½ 4
10 Willem Andreas T Schelfhout 12 Amsterdam 1 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1
&;
1 0 4
11 John James O'Hanlon 9 Portadown 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
&;
1 2
12 Frank Brown 1 Dudley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 0
&;

‡ The Dutch player Abraham Speijer played under the pseudonym "Mr A Green" and nearly all contemporary reports refer to him by this name, placed in quotation marks.
Note that the Major Open crosstable shown in the contemporary BCM issue contains a number of errors in individual scores (though the players' total scores were correct). I have compiled the above crosstable from the accurate one given in The Yearbook of Chess 1913 (ed. E A Michell), adding full names where known. Six prizes: £12, £10, £8, £5, £4, £3, with 5 shillings [25p] to non-prizewinners for each game won.

US champion Frank Marshall arrived in Richmond and wanted to play in the Major Open but did not enter in time. He played a simul on Friday 16 August: 48 games, scoring +18, =2, -2, with the rest unfinished, mostly in his favour (Falkirk Herald, 21 August 1912). "The members were electrified to hear that Mr. Marshall, the American champion, had applied for admission to the Major Open Tourney and had to be refused, he being too late. A movement was set on foot to get a certain entrant to retire in favour of the 'master.' Its success would have meant the remaining amateurs having the game of their lives, but the genial conspirators found a counter 'cabal' at work which brought their efforts to naught." (Islington Gazette, 14 August 1912)


1912 BCF Lightning Tournaments (10 seconds a move)

(1) Saturday 17 August - 68 players (sections of 4 followed by a knock-out): 1 William P Gibson (Glasgow), 2 Frank J Marshall, 3 PW Sergeant, 4 AB Daniel (n.b. Gibson's win against Marshall appears in the download)

(2) Wednesday 21 August - 68 players: 1 FJ Marshall, 2 RP Michell, 3 HG Scantlebury, 4 G Schories.


1912 British Championship photo

(From the Illustrated London News - my thanks to Gerard Killoran for the photo)

The room shown was the ballroom in the Castle Assembly Rooms, Richmond.
This building still exists and is now known as Whittaker House, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1EH

1912 British champion R Griffith

R C Griffith (photo from the Western Daily Mercury, 24 August 1912)


The 1912 British chess champion, Richard Clewin Griffith (1872-1955), reminisced about his success in BCM, April 1932, p151: "My success at Richmond was unexpected by myself and everybody else. Of course, I was particularly lucky. Atkins retired that year and several players who invariably used to beat me never entered; why they accepted my entry I do not know. I wrote to Rees and said it was the only chance I should ever have of playing for the Championship in the summer and perhaps my special pleading softened the hearts of the selection committee. The work on the M.C.O. [Modern Chess Openings] certainly bore fruit at Richmond and J. H. White backed me up all he could, but the only chess player I could get to bet that I should be in the first half was J. Schumer. I was fortunate to lead throughout, although I made an ass of myself against V. L. Wahltuch. The heading the next morning in The Standard was amusing, "Griffith’s brilliant stalemate." This was adding insult to injury! I found it very hard work and my wife said I looked a wreck at the end of it, but these Congresses are invariably well run and I wish I could afford the time to enter another."

Falkirk Herald, 4 September 1912: "Yorks. Observer Budget has the following about the new British champion:—'Mr Griffith has confided to a Press representative that 'as a married man’ he does not intend to take part in the British Chess Championship ever [sic] any more because ‘it takes up more time than a married man should devote to a hobby.' The effect of this virtuous declaration is somewhat discounted by the further confession: ‘I have never devoted my time exclusively to chess. I play it merely as a relaxation outside my business and regard it as a very pleasant winter pastime. In the summer I play tennis and cricket, and, at all times, golf.' Most people, whilst envying Mr Griffith the possession of leisure which enables him to keep up the simultaneous practice of so many games, would, we think, be vastly interested in the reasons which have led Mr Griffith to fix upon chess as the one which is particularly inimical to matrimonial felicity. A cynic might be inclined to suggest an answer in the fact that it is the only one that can be played at home, but we are quite sure that this is not Mr Griffith’s meaning.”


1912 BCF 1st Class Amateurs A

1912 BCF 1st Class Amateurs A Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Total 
1 Dr Thomas Wilfrid Letchworth ‡ Surbiton
&;
½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1
2 John Crum Inveresk ½
&;
1 ½ 0 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 1
3 Ronald George Dixon Addey   0 0
&;
½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 7
4 Arthur Compton Ellis London 0 ½ ½
&;
0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 7
5 William John Berryman   1 1 0 1
&;
0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1
6 A Beamish   0 0 1 0 1
&;
0 ½ 1 1 1 1
7 Frank Raven Adcock Norwich 0 1 0 ½ 0 1
&;
½ 1 ½ 1 1
8 Grace Moore Curling Tunbridge Wells 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½
&;
1 1 ½ ½
9 C E Ford   0 ½ 0 0 1 0 0 0
&;
1 1 1
10 Ralph Eastman London 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0
&;
1 1 4
11 Edward Davidson Palmer London 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0
&;
1 2
12 H Brigg London 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0
&;
½

‡ minor error in the BCM-published crosstable corrected for this player. Letchworth's name given as Dr W T Letchworth in BCM but I'm 99% sure the name order should be as given here.

1912 BCF 1st Class Amateurs B

1912 BCF 1st Class Amateurs B Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Total 
1 Wilfred Hugh Miller Kirk London
&;
½ 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 William Gooding London ½
&;
0 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1
3 Dr Jacob Schumer London 0 1
&;
1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 8
4 Harry Ford London 1 0 0
&;
0 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 0 6
5 John MacAlister London 0 0 0 1
&;
0 1 0 1 1 1 ½
6 Edward Bolland Osborn   0 0 0 ½ 1
&;
½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 5
7 Edmond Tom Jesty ‡   0 0 1 0 0 ½
&;
1 0 1 ½ 1 5
8 Bertram Goulding Brown Cambridge 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 0
&;
0 1 1 1
9 William Henry Watts   0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 1
&;
1 0 1
10 Edward Algernon Michell *   0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
&;
1 1 4
11 H P Thompson   0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 1 0
&;
½ 3
12 Hervey Fisher London 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 ½
&;

‡ E T Jesty is spelt "E. T. Testy" in the BCM crosstable and credited with half a point fewer than he scored. There are a number of other errors in the BCM crosstable which I have endeavoured to correct. * E A Michell: as far as I can tell, not a relation of Reginald Pryce Michell. His dates were 1879-1952, born and lived (mostly) in London, a concert director/promoter by profession. Edited the series of chess yearbooks published prior to WW1.

A match between the players of First Class A and First Class B was played on 23 August and won by the B section.


1912 BCF 2nd Class Amateurs A

1912 BCF 2nd Class Amateurs A Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Total 
1 Alfred Lindsay Densham Croydon
&;
0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 9
2 Major Francis Hooper Rawlins Bath 1
&;
0 ½ 1 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 8
3 H B Williams   ½ 1
&;
0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1
4 R Coman London 0 ½ 1
&;
0 ½ 0 1 1 1 1 1 7
5 George Dickson Hutton Scotland 0 0 1 1
&;
½ 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 6
6 William Penberthy Tredegar ½ 1 0 ½ ½
&;
½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ 6
7 George Arthur Youngman Maidstone 0 0 0 1 1 ½
&;
0 1 ½ 0 1 5
8 Rev. William Thomas Mackenzie Hooppell Stoke-on-Trent 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 1
&;
0 ½ 1 1 5
9 Miss Emily Eliza Abraham Herne Bay 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
&;
1 0 1 4
10 Sydney Gerard Howell-Smith London 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0
&;
½ ½ 4
11 Dr. W J Perry   0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 ½
&;
½ 3
12 Robert Noel Le Fanu London 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½
&;

Once again, BCM made a mess of the above crosstable but it should now be correct.

1912 BCF 2nd Class Amateurs B

1912 BCF 2nd Class Amateurs B Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Total 
1 Wyndham Henry Gundry Exeter
&;
0 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1
2 Arthur William Daniel Bridgend 1
&;
0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 8
3 Harry Bogdanor London 0 1
&;
1 1 0 ½ 0 1 1 1 1
4 H Moss Sleaford ½ 0 0
&;
0 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 7
5 Frederick William Forrest Shrewsbury 0 1 0 1
&;
1 ½ 0 1 0 0 1
6 G M Broadbridge Norwich 0 0 1 0 0
&;
1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1
7 George F H Packer Devonport 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0
&;
1 ½ 1 1 1
8 Rev. Charles Fenton Bolland Bridgwater ½ 1 1 0 1 0 0
&;
0 0 1 0
9 William Rawson Greenhalgh Dawley 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1
&;
1 1 ½
10 Miss G(eorgiana) Watson Hastings ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 1 0
&;
0 1 4
11 W R Todd Crossgar 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 0 1
&;
1 4
12 D Jones Blaina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 0
&;

1912 BCF 3rd Class Amateurs A

1912 BCF 3rd Class Amateurs A Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13  Total 
1 L Savage London
&;
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12
2 Christian Vilhelm Loye London 0
&;
0 1 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1
3 Henry Ashwell Cadman Leeds 0 1
&;
1 0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 1 1 8
4 W Frost   0 0 0
&;
1 1 0 1 1d 1 1 ½ 1
5 W F Tudor   0 1 1 0
&;
0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 7
6 Frank Round Pickering London 0 0 ½ 0 1
&;
1 0 1d 1 1 0 1
7 Dr. Charles Frederick Knight Edinburgh 0 0 ½ 1 0 0
&;
1 1d 0 1 ½ 1 6
8 M W Stevens   0 ½ 0 0 1 1 0
&;
1d 0 0 1 1
9 Mrs Amabel Nevill Gwyn Moseley   0 0 1 0d 1 0 0d 0d
&;
0d 1 1 1 5
10 Mrs Hannah Maria Joughin (née Blogg) London 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1d
&;
½ 0 1
11 H J Mansfield   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 ½
&;
1 1
12 Miss Margaret Hunt Barnstaple 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 0 1 0
&;
0 3
13 Miss Thomas   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
&;
1

1d/0d = won/lost by default

1912 BCF 3rd Class Amateurs B

1912 BCF 3rd Class Amateurs B Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14  Total 
1 R Henderson Kew
&;
1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 12
2 J Ough Liskeard 0
&;
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 11
3 Elfric Leofwin Kearney London ½ 0
&;
1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
4 G H Wheeler   0 0 0
&;
1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 8
5 H A Honey   0 0 1 0
&;
1 0 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1
6 Mrs Selina Charity Kershaw (née Davie) London 0 0 1 0 0
&;
1 ½ 0 1 1 1 1 1
7 Philip Leslie Jones Biddenden 0 0 1 1 1 0
&;
0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 7
8 Miss Edith Louisa Corser Reigate 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 1
&;
1 1 ½ 0 1 ½
9 Mrs James   0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 0
&;
1 1 1 1 1
10 M C Barton   ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
&;
1 0 0 1 4
11 Charles Gerald Verey   0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0
&;
1 ½ 0 4
12 Mrs Collier London 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 1 0
&;
1 0
13 Miss Emily Hunt Barnstaple 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 0
&;
1
14 Mrs Tudor   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 1 0
&;

BCM, September 1912, pps 361ff

"BRITISH CHESS FEDERATION CONGRESS AT RICHMOND.

"The National Chess Congress was held this year under the auspices of the London Chess League, whose officials are to
be congratulated upon enlisting the valuable co-operation of the Richmond Chess Club, of which the well-known strong player, Mr. T. F. Lawrence, is president, and Mr! G. Wilkinson is hon. secretary.

"Following the precedent initiated at Southport in 1905 the interest of the Municipality was aroused in the undertaking, with the result that on the opening day, August 12th, His Worship the Mayor of Richmond (Mr. Alderman Simpson) held a reception in the Town Hall to meet the officials of the Federation, the competitors (in), and other interested friends, and he extended to all a most hearty welcome, in which he was supported by Mr. George Cave, M.P. The hon. secretary of the Federation (Mr. L. P. Rees) acknow ledged the cordial welcome and expressed the visitors' great appreciation of their reception at Richmond. Mr. Rees further announced that Mr. Cave would be pleased to see the Congress visitors to tea at his house in the Old Tudor Palace, and for an inspection of the historical portion. The Old Tudor Palace is supposed to have been the birth place and also the scene of the death of Queen Elizabeth.

"At six o'clock the competitors mustered in the Castle Assembly Rooms, a large saloon affording ample and comfortable accommodation for all the competitions. The arrangements were excellent, and also strong testimony of the organising abilities of the local hon. secretary (Mr. Wilkinson) and the officials of the Richmond Club.

"Among the distinguished visitors present during the first evening and afterwards, were Mr. J. H. Blackburne, Mr. F. J. Marshall, Mr. G. E. Wainwright, Mr. J. H. Blake, Mr. W. Ward, and Mr. H. E. Atkins.

"Mr. Marshall desired to compete in the Major Open tourney, but, unfortunately, his entry was not received until after the pairing had been drawn and the lists printed.

"The programme, in addition to the tournaments, included the usual attractions of solving contests and lightning tourneys. On Wednesday, August 15th, 14 competitors entered the contest for the solving of direct-mate problems—one two-mover and three three-movers. Mr. J. W. Dixon, of Hanley, secured first prize with 61 points, and Mr. J. Keeble, Norwich, second, with 56 points. On Monday, August 19th, a Retractor Solving competition was held. The successful prize-winners were Messrs. J. Keeble, F. R. Adcock, and A. C. Challenger in the order named. The prizes were 21s., 15s., and 10s. 6d. Donors : Mrs. W. J. Baird, Mr. E. J. Winter- Wood, and Mr. Carslake Winter- Wood, of Devonshire.

"On Saturday, August 17th, there was a lightning tourney with 68 entries. The list included Mr. F. J. Marshall, who is staying in England until November, and who will be pleased to accept engagements for professional tuition or simultaneous play. The competitors were divided into sections of four players, and the winners passed forward until the final round was reached. The prizes were carried off by (i.) W. Gibson, Glasgow; (ii.) F. J. Marshall; (iii.) P. W. Sergeant, London; (iv.) A. W. Daniel, Bridgend.

"On Wednesday, August 21st, a second lightning contest took place, again with 68 competitors. This time Mr. Marshall secured first prize, followed by (ii.) R. P. Michell, (iii.) H. G. Scantlebury, and (iv.) Mr. G. Schories. Mr. L. P. Rees acted as conductor and time keeper. He fulfilled these duties so efficiently that the contest was completed in about 2½ hours!


"Chief interest centred, naturally, in the contest for the British Championship, which, this year, seemed more open than usual by reason of the fact that Mr. H. E. Atkins was not competing. Mr. J. H. Blackburne and Mr. J. H. Blake were also notable absentees.

"Of the 12 competitors the following five had not hitherto taken part in the contests :—Billings, Cole, Crackanthorp, Griffith, and Uber.

"Mr. Billings, who is a well-known Gloucestershire player, justified his inclusion by previous successes in the competitions of the Federation. Mr. Cole has established his reputation as a strong player, particularly in London chess circles. In 1901 and 1902 he won second prize in the championship of the Metropolitan Chess Club, Mr. O. C. Müller being first. In 1903 he easily won the championship of the Bristol and Clifton Chess Club, playing 30 match and tournament games without loss. At Southport in 1905 he tied for third place in the 1st class amateurs' contest. In 1907 he was fifth at Ostend in the amateurs' competition, finishing half point behind Leussen and Johner. He also represented England in the last Cable Match.

"Mr. Crackanthorp ranks among the strong players of Australia, and therefore was sure of cordial welcome. His play seems to favour the old forms of development, and he is very good at analysis. With the advantage of strong practice he would soon rank high in English chess circles. His record of seventh in the present contest may be gauged by the fact that he is higher in the score sheet than such notables as Jacobs and Wahltuch. We hope that Mr. Crackanthorp will take part in future contests. If he does so we are sure that he will have the best wishes of all British and Colonial chess players for a greater measure of success. In some of his games in the present tourney he has not done his chess powers full justice.

"Mr. Griffith has been an ardent chess enthusiast for 20 years, but has properly regarded the game as a pleasant means of relaxing the strain of the demands of his profession of assayer. He finds that the change of mental activity acts as a brain tonic. He is also a devotee of golf, and plays an excellent game, as his handicap of 9 indicates. He also plays tennis and cricket. For many years Mr. Griffith has been a leading player and one of the mainstays of the Hampstead Chess Club, of which he is vice-president, and of which his esteemed father, Mr. D. C. Griffith, was the founder.

"Mr. R. C. Griffith is also a member of the City of London Chess Club, and is held in high esteem as a member of the committee. He is joint author, with Mr. J. H. White, of Modern Chess Openings, a valuable and, we are glad to say, successful contribution to the literature of Caïssa. The time expended upon this work has doubtless borne fruit at Richmond. His style may be described as steady, enterprising and sound. His coolness when dealing with difficult positions is very noticeable. His enterprise may be gauged by his play against West. Here he is seen opposing attack with counter-attack — " the best of all defences." In his game versus Hamond his play reveals much theoretical knowledge and the ability to put it to the test.

"Mr. Uber, the last of the new aspirants to championship fame, is a strong Metropolitan player of the distinctly improving type. We recall with interest a very enterprising and instructive specimen of his play which appeared in B.C.M., Vol. XXVIII., 1908, page 132. In the final round of the present contest Mr. Uber encountered Mr. Hamond, and after conducting the defence to the Queen's Gambit Declined exceptionally well, he mated his opponent in brilliant fashion.

[the game referred to in the previous paragraph is given below...]

"Pressure on our space, and the desire to give as many games as possible, prevents our reviewing in detail the play in the championship contest, in which the interest was fully sustained from the start to nearly the finish. Before play commenced it was generally thought that Yates possessed an excellent chance of securing premier honours, but his prospects were discounted considerably so early as the completion of the fourth round, at which stage his record was 1 win (Gibson), 2 losses (Hamond and Wahltuch), and 1 draw (Jacobs). Even with this set-back he might have realised his desires but for missing an opportunity against Griffith in the seventh round. As a "set-off" against this must be recorded the fact that Griffith should have won against Uber in the fourth round. But such incidents are always more or less a factor in tournament contests, so Yates, notwithstanding his good form in winning his last four games, finished by tieing for second position with Mr. Cole.

"Wahltuch's record in the final score will be a disappointment to his Lancashire friends. In several games he secured positions which, handled with more care and soundness, should have produced better results. But his efforts to carry the fortress of the enemy by storm proved futile, and relegated him to a place in the final list which is not in keeping with his reputation nor his chess strength. Against Michell he was certainly caught napping in a variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined. Billings also should have drawn against Wahltuch but for careless play; as it was he lost.

"Griffith proved, we fancy, a distinct revelation to many of the other contestants. Nevertheless his success is fully deserved. He played excellent chess, though possibly towards the end the strain was beginning to influence his play. In the ninth round he met Wahltuch, who ventured on an unsound sacrifice. At the adjournment Griffith had two Rooks and Bishop against Queen, with an easy game, but at the evening sitting he allowed his opponent to escape with a stalemate.

"By defeating Billings in the tenth round Griffith was assured of first prize and the championship, and was heartily congratulated upon his success, which is very popular. In the final round he met Cole and sustained his only loss. At the 19th move misjudgment of position resulted in the isolation and capture of one of his Bishops; resignation followed on the 31st move. Of the other competitors Mr. Gibson, the Scotch representative, by finishing fourth, improved on his record at Oxford in 1910, when be finished eighth with a score of 4½ points. In the early stages of the contest Mr. Hamond played fine chess, and was regarded as a probable winner of the championship, but reverses in the later rounds reduced his prospects, until, in the end, he was bracketed fifth and sixth with Michell. In the tenth round Hamond lost to Crackanthorp by infraction of the time-limit; in the eleventh he was defeated by Uber in brilliant style.


"In the contest for the British Ladies' Championship the interest was sustained from start to finish. In the early stages it seemed as though Mrs. Houlding would repeat her success of last year at Glasgow, but defeats inflicted by her two strongest rivals, Mrs. Anderson and Miss Price, and losses against Miss Lawson and Miss Taylor, reduced her score until her reward was third prize.

"Mrs. Anderson, who won the championship at Scarborough in 1909, but did not compete at Glasgow, proved in excellent form, losing only one game. Her victory was much appreciated and thoroughly earned by consistent good play.

"Miss Price, who carried off the second prize, had not hitherto competed at the Federation Congresses. She is the manageress of a somewhat notable London cafe where strong chess players foregather, and there is no doubt that she has gained much of her chess experience by observation and practice with strong exponents of the game.

"Miss Lawson started badly, but recovered materially in the later stages of the contest.

"Miss Cotton's score is not so high as was expected, though she defeated Miss Price in the ninth round when victory would have proved of great service to the " new-comer."


"To many of the visitors at the Congress the Major Open tournament proved as great an attraction as the competitions for the championships. The players were a decidedly stronger contingent than at Glasgow. The interest was also increased by the presence of two noted and strong Dutch players, Speijer and Schelfhout. The first named elected to compete under the pseudonym "A. Green." Perhaps he intended to try to tickle the English sense of humour, but he proved anything but a "Green" chess exponent. As the tabulated record indicates, the contest proved a neck-and-neck race between Speijer and Gunston, and finally ended in a dead heat and division of the first and second prize money.

"The surprise of the competition was the poor score of Schories, who hitherto has nearly always done well. On this occasion he did very badly in the early stages of play, throwing away one or more games by bad blunders. A "new-comer," R. H. V. Scott, made a successful debut. He is a young player who will be heard of in future contests if he keeps in good practice.

"A new feature, and one worth repeating at future Congresses, was a match, Championship v. Major Open tourney. The competitors entered readily into the spirit of the contest, which ended as shown by the appended detailed score :—

  Championship 19 August 1912 Major Open Opening
1 Victor Leonard Wahltuch 0-1 Abraham Speyer/Speijer ("Green") English
2 Fred Dewhirst Yates 0-1 William Hewison Gunston Ruy Lopez
3 Reginald Pryce Michell 1-0 Georg Schories Ruy Lopez
4 Richard Clewin Griffith 1-0 James Chrismas Waterman QP
5 Herbert Levi Jacobs 0-1 Arthur John Mackenzie QP
6 Rev. Francis Edward Hamond 1-0 Roland Henry Vaughan Scott QP
7 Harold Godfrey Cole ½-½ Arthur James Maas English
8 Henry Bernard Uber 0-1 Carrick Wardhaugh QP
9 William P Gibson 0-1 Willem Andreas Theodorus Schelfhout Three Knights
10 Arthur George West ½-½ Allan William Edward Louis QGD
11 Spencer Crakanthorp 1-0 John James O'Hanlon QGD
12 Samuel Walter Billings ½-½ Frank Brown Centre Counter
    5½-6½    

"Summarised results of the other competitions are appended. The full detailed tabulated records we hope to publish in our next number.

"In the First Class Tournament (Section A) the first prize was won by W. T. Letchworth, the second by J. Crum, and R. G. Dixon Addey and A. Compton Ellis tied for third place. In Section B the winners were : W. H. M. Kirk, W. Gooding, and Dr. Schumer. The winners in the Second Class Tournament (Section A) were A. L. Densham, Major Rawlins, and H. B. Williams; in Section B, W. H. Murray, A. W. Daniel, and H. Bogdanor. In the Third Class Tournament (Section A) the prizes were won by L. Savage, C. V. Loye, and H. A. Cadman; in Section B by R. Henderson, J. Ough, and E. L. Kearney.

"The farewell meeting and presentation of prizes took place on Saturday, August 24th, in the Castle Assembly Rooms.

"The Rev. Canon Gordon Ross presided, and was supported on the platform by Councillor and Mrs. Metzner, Mr. L. P. Rees, and Mr. Wilkinson, the local hon. secretary.

"Before asking Mrs. Metzner to present the rewards to the victors, Canon Ross expressed the thanks of the members and officials of the Federation to His Worship the Mayor and the Corporation of Richmond. He also announced that the Congress for 1913 will be held in Cheltenham.

"After the prizes had been presented Mr. R. C. Griffith, on behalf of the competitors and other friends, made presentations to Mr. and Mrs. Rees, Miss Bacon, and Mr. Wilkinson as marks of esteem and appreciation of their arduous labours. Mr. Rees replied and said the success of the Congress had been due in a great measure to the assistance and forbearance of the competitors.

"Mr. Wilkinson hoped the Federation would come back to Richmond at some future date, and Councillor Metzner acknowledged the vote of thanks to the Mayor and Corporation. He said the Congress had been a source of great and wide-spread interest, and had focussed attention on the town. He congratulated the Federation on the success of the Congress, but regretted that bad weather had prevented Richmond from being seen to best advantage."

1912 BCF Continuous Handicap Tournament

1st Harry Bogdanor, 2nd L Savage, 3rd FJ Marshall, 4th W Frost, 5th A Rivoche, 6th GE Wainwright, jun. FJ Marshall won all his games but his handicap was such that he could only finish third.


[BCM, October 1912, p432] "The following tabulated records show the full results of play in the First, Second and Third Class Amateur contests of the British Chess Federation Congress at Richmond. We also append a few brief notes on the respective first prize winners:
Dr. W. T. [Thomas Wilfrid] Letchworth (Surbiton) is a surgeon connected with the London Ophthalmic Hospital, a member of the City of London Chess Club, and a rising player. This victory is the best thing he has done.
Mr. W. H. M. Kirk (Putney) is a well-known fine player in the Civil Service League, but does not play much otherwise.
Mr. A. L. Densham is a Croydon (Surrey) player, and a frequent competitor in the Congresses. He has taken second prize before.
Mr. W. H. Gundry is a noted Devonshire player, and has been the runner up for the Devon Championship on more than one occasion. He is a member of the Exeter Chess Club, but lives at Exmouth; was secretary of Devon Association for a short time.
Mr. L. Savage is a young London player, a member of the Toynbee Chess Club. He showed fine ability and is likely to be heard more of in the future.
Mr. R. Henderson is a Richmond player, about 70 years old, but this is the best thing he has done."


Linlithgowshire Gazette, 15 November 1912: "The Australasian's chess-editor writes:— “We have just had a letter from Mr S. Crakanthorp, the New South Wales champion, who took part in the late British championship contest, in which he scored 5½ points out of a possible 11. He started off badly, losing 3 out of his first four games, and his letter is written just after his reverses. He says:—‘Do not, however, say that I am not displaying my true form. The fact is, the others won’t let me. In Australia we have no idea to what a pitch chess in England has been brought. It is not a game, it is a science. Every opening is known almost 20 moves deep. One casual opening move, and you have to wriggle and squirm for 30 more. I feel that I am playing better than I ever did in Australia, but it is of no avail. Every man against me is a champion, and our games have, so far, averaged over 60 moves, and 7 hours’ stolid play is very wearying. The chess-players are a very nice crowd. Wainwright, Gibson, Gunsberg, Wahltuch are very nice fellows. Old Blackburne is as genial as reputed. Atkins is, in many ways, not unlike your Victorian champion, Mr Gundersen. Jacobs and Yates are very tricky and ingenious players. Wahltuch is very deep, perhaps too much so. Uber and Cole are very sound and solid.’"


File updated

Date Notes
19 August 2015 Two more Major Open games added, thanks to Brian Denman.
20 August 2015 Three more Major Open games added, thanks to Tim Harding.
23 February 2016 One more game added, Jacobs-Gibson (Rd 11), many thanks to Gerard Killoran.
25 March 2016 Added Scott-Speyer, Major Open. Thanks to Gerard Killoran.
10 April 2016 Additional championship game: Gibson-H.G.Cole, Rd 10.
16 May 2018 Additional championship game: Billings-Hamond (Rd 6) - many thanks to Gerard Killoran.
07 Dec 2018 Additional championship game: Michell-Wahltuch (Rd 10) - many thanks to Alan Smith
30 May 2019 Added RC Griffith's reminiscences.
29 October 2020 Added crosstables for all sections.
31 October 2020 Added a game, Ford-Kirk, from the First-Class B section, submitted by Brian Denman for which many thanks.
31 October 2020 Three more Major Open games contributed by Brian Denman: Waterman-Schelfhout (rd 1), Speyer-Mackenzie (rd 4) and Mackenzie-Gunston (rd 5). Thanks to Brian.
6 April 2021 Added the game Griffith-Gibson, Championship Rd 1. Many thanks to Brian Denman for sending the game.
6 April 2021 Added five more game scores from subsidiary groups and ancillary events: (1) Scott-Schories, Major Open, Rd 4; (2) Campbell-Stirling, Ladies' Championship, Rd 1; (3) Letchworth-Berryman, First Class A; (4) Uber-Wardhaugh, Championship vs Major Open match; and (5) William Gibson's notable victory over US champion Frank Marshall in the first lightning tournament. I have also added the full September 1912 BCM report, added more forenames, round numbers and dates.