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Tournament: 7th Hastings Premier 1926/27 Go to: Previous YearNext Year • updated: Wednesday February 15, 2023 4:02 PM
Venue: Hastings Town Hall • Dates: 28 December 1926 - 6 January 1927 • Download PGN • 45 Premier plus 15+1 games from lower sections

1926/27 Hastings Premier, 28 December - 6 January, Hastings Town Hall

1926/27 Hastings Premier Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 Saviely Tartakower Poland
½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 7
2 Edgar Colle Belgium ½
1 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 6
3 Fred Dewhirst Yates England 1 0
0 1 ½ 1 1 0 1
4 George Marshall Norman England ½ 0 1
½ 0 0 1 1 1 5
5 Richard Réti Czechoslovakia 0 1 0 ½
½ 0 1 1 1 5
6 Edward Guthlac Sergeant England 0 ½ ½ 1 ½
1 0 0 1
7 Alfred Teller Austria 0 ½ 0 1 1 0
0 ½ 1 4
8 Victor Buerger England 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
1 1 4
9 Sir George Alan Thomas England 0 ½ 1 0 0 1 ½ 0
0 3
10 Reginald Pryce Michell England 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

BCM, February 1927, ppn 53-65: The seventh annual Christmas congress was opened by the Mayor of Hastings, Alderman W. J. Fellows, at 5-45 p.m. on Tuesday, December 28th. Ninety competitors took part in the nine tournaments, which were held at the Town Hall.

Although the Premier tournament boasted no stars of the calibre of Alekhin or Vidmar, three great international masters, Colle, Réti and Tartakover, were playing against a very strong English contingent, including Sir G. A. Thomas, who was taking part in the Hastings Christmas congress for the first time. As usual, we give a round-by-round description of the play in the chief tournament.

[round 4, December 31] The tit-bit of the round was expected to be the Réti-Tartakower game ; but the former, who was evidently tired out by his six hours’ match-chess plus four hours’ blindfold display the previous day, did not do himself justice. Tartakower secured an end-game advantage on the Queen-side, and. playing with relentless accuracy he won the game in 45 moves. This proved to be the only round in which every game was concluded before the adjournment; and it was also the round productive of the best chess.

[last round, January 6] Tartakower, who retained a small opening advantage, soon agreed to a draw, as that gave him undivided first prize. Colle also drew his game with Thomas, thus making sure of second prize, but the fight for the remaining prizes continued with unabated vigour. Réti had 5 with Yates (4½) to play ; Norman had 5 finished; and Teller (4) with Sergeant to play. Teller could never recover from his faulty opening, so he was ruled out of consideration. Réti, who only needed a draw for third prize, had a satisfactory game until he ran short of time in the second hour. Yates seized his opportunity in excellent style, winning in a few moves from the position diagrammed. He thereby secured third prize for himself and relegated Réti to a division of the fourth prize with Norman.

Despite a surfeit of chess during the past year, which would have proved more than enough for ordinary mortals (he has taken part in .at least eight big tournaments since March), Tartakower’s aggressive style was as conspicuous as ever and he fully deserved his first prize. Another factor in his success was that the time-limit did not have that deleterious effect on him which it had on the other players. His restless spirit is not content with the routine path followed by more conservative and conventional players. This explains why he often enters the middle-game at some positional disadvantage, his opponents having found the right way to answer his opening fads, such as his pet defence to the Queen’s Gambit Declined, and his opening moves 1 d4 d5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bg5 and 4 f3. This factor, indeed, may militate against his greater success in big international tournaments.

Colle played probably the soundest chess, of any of the competitors and finished up a remarkable year’s chess, in which he has only once failed to win a prize. If his health allows it, he should have many more successes awaiting him, for he has all the theoretical knowledge and practical ability necessary.

Yates made a characteristic recovery and added to his growing bag the scalps of the two "grand masters." His attacking style is a menace to the strongest master and his practice in tournaments abroad is evidently doing him good.

Norman put up the best performance of his life, and quite surprised the experienced British players, four of whom he defeated. His success was naturally very gratifying to the Hastings enthusiasts. Réti, who shared fourth prize with him, was distinctly disappointing. He appeared unable to concentrate effectively, and owed several of his defeats to this cause and to the inevitable clock.

Of the non-prize-winners Sergeant improved greatly on his previous year’s showing, scoring two points against the four foreigners. Had he been able to do a little better against the British contingent he would have come in the prize-list.

Buerger, like many of the players, especially Michell, Réti and Thomas, was handicapped by the one-hour time-limit. He regularly worked up an opening advantage and then, owing to the clock, had no time left to improve upon it . With more experience in master play he will undoubtedly do better. Teller started off well with 2½ out of 3, but fell away subsequently. His style is essentially sound, his theoretical knowledge ample, and there seems no reason why he should not do well in international tournaments, apart from the fact that he has the "amateur temperament."

Of Michell and Thomas it is sufficient to say that nothing went right for them ; and in these circumstances we can only wish them much better luck in their next tournament. We doubt whether Michell has ever played in a tournament in which he has lost eight games off the reel, as here.

1926/27 Hastings Major

1926/27 Hastings Major Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 George Koltanowski Antwerp
1 ½ 0 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 7
2 Victor Ivanovich Soultanbeieff Belgium 0
1 1 1 0 1 1 ½ 1
3 Maurice Edward Goldstein England ½ 0
0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 6
4 Capt. Ion Gudju Paris 1 0 1
1 0 0 0 1 1 5
5 Walter Atkinson England 0 0 0 0
1 1 ½ 1 1
6 Paul König Vienna 0 1 0 1 0
½ 1 ½ ½
7 Salo Landau Netherlands 0 0 ½ 1 0 ½
1 0 1 4
8 Edward Mackenzie Jackson England 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 0
½ 1 3
9 Philip Walsingham Sergeant England ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½
0 3
10 Sandor Grüber Hungary 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1

The Major tournament had much of the nature of an international “haupt-turnier,” no less than six foreign experts contending against four Britishers. After the first week Soultanbeieff led with 4½ out of 5, Goldstein being well up with 4 and another foreign player in Koltanowski had 3½. One of the surprises of the tournament was the good form shown by the Yorkshireman, Atkinson, who had 3 points like Gudju and moreover had already defeated three of the foreign players.

In the sixth round Soultanbeieff lost a Pawn to König by a faulty combination, and the latter never gave him a chance in the end-game, so that Goldstein, by drawing with Koltanowski, came up level with Soultanbeieff. Another change in the order of the leaders followed in the next round, for Soultanbeieff defeated Goldstein in a Vienna game, thus retaining a lead of half a point over Koltanowski, who accounted for Gudju.

In the penultimate round Koltanowski gained a very important victory over Soultanbeieff, the latter losing a Pawn in an inferior defence to the Q.G.D. Goldstein could only draw with Landau, although for nine hours he tried to win; and Gudju, beating Sergeant, came up level with Goldstein.

When the last round started four players had a chance of first prize, viz., Koltanowski, 6; Soultanbeieff, 5½; Goldstein and Gudju, 5. Koltanowski found little difficulty in defeating Landau, thus winning first prize; and Soultanbeieff made sure of second prize by defeating Atkinson. Goldstein won against Grüber with some difficulty; but Gudju lost his Queen for two minor pieces against Jackson. This game was still unfinished when the prize distribution commenced, so that the two players withdrew to an ante-room to thrash out their argument anew, Jackson ultimately winning after six and a half hours’ continuous play.

The winner, G. Koltanowski, is a well-known Antwerp player, who competed in the Meran international tournament of 1924. His style is combinative rather than positional, and he is an accomplished blindfold player, having conducted as many as twenty games at the same time without sight of the board.

Soultanbeieff is a Russian emigré now resident in Belgium. He has good powers of combination and is also a sound positional player who should go far. Indeed, many sound judges consider him to be the second or third player in Belgium.

Goldstein, for the fourth time within a year, won third prize. In accordance with his usual custom, he scored better as Black than as White, having 4 wins out of 5 as Black and only 1 win and 2 draws out of 4 games as White.

Capt. Gudju is a Roumanian now resident in Paris. He might have done better, were it not for the fact that he always plays for a win in every game, whatever his score may be. We have already alluded to Atkinson’s good form in the first week; like Goldstein, he fell away in the second half of the tournament.

Paul König is a Viennese player whose brother is well known in continental chess circles. König has a thorough knowledge of the openings but owed all his wins to his strong end-game play. He was indisposed during the tournament, a fact which undoubtedly militated against his play.

Landau did not play up to his best form, possibly being depressed by losing a won game to Soultanbeieff in the first round. Jackson, the old cable match player, found the strain of a serious tournament after an interval of twenty years too much to overcome, losing his first five games ; however, he did not lose another game. Sergeant also played some tough games, drawing with two of the prize-winners and missing draws against Atkinson and Grüber. Grüber was manifestly unwell throughout the tournament and did not do himself justice, for he is capable of better things.

A curious feature was that all three prize-winners made the same score against the non-prize winners (5½ out of 7), so that the destination of the prizes was settled by the games between the prize-winners themselves. Many interesting games were played in this tournament, to which we may allude further next month.

1926/27 Hastings Major Reserves

1926/27 Hastings Major Reserves 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 Vera Menchik
½ 1 ½ 1 1 0 1 1 ½
2 (Philip) Stuart Milner-Barry ½
1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 1
3 James Arthur Watt 0 0
½ 1 1 1 0 1 1
4 Leonard Illingworth ½ ½ ½
½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 5
5 Patrick Charles Littlejohn 0 1 0 ½
0 ½ 1 1 1 5
6 Richard Edward Lean 0 0 0 1 1
0 ½ 1 1
7 (William) Arthur Winser 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1
0 0 ½ 4
8 Alfred Dudley Barlow 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 1
½ 0
9 Sydney Gerard Howell-Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½
10 Dr Vickerman Henzell Rutherford ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 0

The boy champion of a few years ago, and present Cambridge undergraduate, P. S. Milner-Barry, led from the start in the Major Reserves, but lost a won game a Pawn ahead in the last round, throwing away several chances. Miss Vera Menchik seized her opportunity to win her game and thus tie with him for first and second place. Both of them played very good chess and fully deserved their success. J. A. Watt, the other prize-winner, is always liable to prove dangerous. It must be a rare occurrence for two sisters to win prizes in "mixed" tournaments at the same congress, Miss Olga Menchik gaining a capital success in the Third Class tournament.

First Class, Section A witnessed a fine fight for first place between the old Pauline and Hampstead player, Scrimgeour, and the boy champion, Alexander, who kept level until the last round, when Alexander lost a won-game. Scrimgeour’s winning score was made up of 5 wins and 4 draws, so that he went through the tournament-without defeat. Scores: (1) E J Scrimgeour 7/9; (2) C Hugh O’D Alexander 6; (3) Capt. Arthur Edward Dickinson 5½; (4) Francis Albert Joyce 5; (5) Edward Buddel Puckridge 4½; (6-7) Miss Minnie Musgrave, George W Powell 4; (8) Philip Ashby Ursell 3½; (9) Charles Henry Taylor 3; (10) P J Penney 2½.

First Class, Section B.—Salmony, the N.L.C. [National Liberal Club] player, made hacks of the field, winning every game and recalling his feat at Southsea in 1923, when he scored 10½ points out of 11. Scores: (1) Friedrich Salmony 9/9; (2-3) Raymond Hampden Blomfield, G Wright 6; (4-6) Mrs. Edith Mary Ann Michell, Henry Edmund Tudor, Frederick Wilkinson 4½; (7) Henry W Wickham Hore 4; (8) Willington Lucette Wakefield 3½; (9) Theodore Magnus Wechsler 3; (10) Hon. Frederick Gustavus Hamilton-Russell 0.

First Class, Section C.—A very keen fight; as all three prizewinners won in the last two rounds, their relative positions were unaltered. (1) Wallace Henry King 7½/9; (2) Sydney Meymott 7; (3) Arthur Eric Smith 6½; (4) Alfred Mortlock 6; (5) Victor Arthur Coates 5; (6) J H Wise 3½; (7) Major Edgar Montague-Jones 3; (8-9) Stephen Poulson Lees, Henry Stanley Shelton 2; (10) S F Ludbrook 1½.

First Class Reserves.—(1) E Atkinson 8½/9, dropping half a point to the second prize-winner; (2) Albert Henry Hart 6½; (3) Max Demby 5½; (4-5) Arthur John Adrian Goetzee, William Gordon Watson 4½; (6-8) Miss Emily Eliza Abraham, Wilfred J Baumgartner, Allan Ferguson Kidney 3½; (9) Walter Ernest Leffler 3; (10) Samuel Frederick Dalladay 2.

Second Class Reserves.—(1) Capt. Hubert George McMullon 8½/9; (2) Alfred Herman Reeve 7; (3-4) Leonard Stanley Hanson-Powter, T Moody 5; (5) Rev. W. Harvey 4; (6-8) (Philip) Leslie Jones, Allan James Kidney, H J Salter 3½; (10) John E Coleman, Miss Home 2.

Third Class Reserves.—(1) Simeon Deitz 7½/9; (2-3) Ernst Hermann Albert Behrndt, Miss Olga Menchik 7; (4) Eric Henry K Beecher 6½; (5) Keith Reginald Bruce Macleod 6; (6) Miss Ida French-Lucas 4; (7) J A Bond 3; (8) George Shoesmith 2; (9-10) Miss Margaret Keith-Dowding, A E Grey 1.

The Lightning tournament on December 29th resulted as follows: 1st. Dr. S. Tartakower; 2nd, V. Buerger; 3rd, M. E. Goldstein; 4th, Sir G. A. Thomas. The second tournament, on January 3rd, fell thus: 1st, M. E. Goldstein; 2nd, R. Réti; 3rd, E. Colle; 4th, Sir G. A. Thomas.

On December 30th Réti played eight games blindfold simultaneously. After more than four hours’ play there were still four games unfinished, which were adjudicated by Dr. Tartakower. Réti, who was evidently tired out by eight hours’ chess previously, won 4, drew 2 (against R. H. Blomfield and A. E. Smith), and lost 2 (to E. J. Scrimgeour, against whom he lost a piece on the 10th move by a sheer blunder, and to H. E. Price).

Dr. Tartakower played twenty-five games simultaneously on January 1st, winning 20, drawing 4, and losing to A. T. Watson.

F. D. Yates played twenty-three games simultaneously on January 4th, making the fine score of 20 wins and 3 draws.

The prize distribution was held on Thursday, January 6th, when the Mayoress distributed the prizes. The Mayor, addressing the foreign competitors, mentioned that the present congress was probably the last which would be held in the Town Hall, as it was expected that the new Pavilion would house next year’s congress. The usual vote of thanks was carried with acclamation and Dr. Tartakover expressed the gratitude of the foreign contingent for the splendid hospitality they had received.

File Updated

Date Notes
(some time ago) Premier games uploaded as a batch
2020 Separate file for Hastings 1926/27 with a single crosstable.
3 June 2022 Further details of 1926/27 events added, plus some games from the subsidiary sections.
7 February 2023 Added a game, R.Blomfield 0-1 F.Salmony (First Class B). Many thanks to Ulrich Tamm.
12 February 2023 Added the game R.Lean 0-1 V.Menchik (rd 5, Major Reserves). Many thanks to Brian Denman.
12 February 2023 Added eight game entries: five games, one part-game and one stub from the Major Section: (1) E.Jackson 0-1 M.Goldstein (rd 2); (2) V.Soultanbeieff ½-½ P.Sergeant (rd 3, stub); (3) M.Goldstein 0-1 I.Gudju (rd 3); (4) I.Gudju 1-0 G.Koltanowski (rd 4); (5) G.Koltanowski 1-0 P.König (rd 5); (6) M.Goldstein ½-½ G.Koltanowski (rd 6); (7) S.Grüber 0-1 I.Gudju (rd 7, part-game). And, from First Class B: (8) G.Wright 0-1 F.Salmony. Many thanks to Ulrich Tamm.
13 February 2023 Corrections applied to E.Jackson 0-1 M.Goldstein (Major, rd 2) and V.Soultanbeieff 1-0 I.Gudju (Major, rd 5). Many thanks to Andy Ansel and Brian Denman.
13 February 2023 Minor correction to the score of Michell-Teller (Premier, rd 2). Thanks to Andy Ansel.