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Tournament: Kent Easter Congress • 23 / 28 Premier games plus 2 from other sections
Venue: Tunbridge Wells • Dates: 16-23 April 1927 • Download PGN • updated: Friday July 15, 2022 2:35 AM

1927 Kent Premier, 16-23 April, Tunbridge Wells

1927 Kent Premier Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  Total 
 1  Sir George Thomas ENG
½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 5
 2  Fred Dewhirst Yates ENG ½
½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 5
 3  Victor Buerger ENG 0 ½
1 1 ½ ½ ½ 4
 4  Edgar Colle BEL ½ ½ 0
½ ½ 1 1 4
5 Richard Réti CSR 0 0 0 ½
1 ½ 1 3
6 Maurice Edward Goldstein ENG ½ ½ ½ ½ 0
½ 0
7 Edward Guthlac Sergeant ENG 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½
8 Eugene A Znosko-Borovsky FRA ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 0

BCM, May 1927, ppn 193-199


For the usual biennial Kent County Chess Association Easter Congress, the famous Spa, Tunbridge Wells, was chosen as the venue. The Congress was duly declared open by the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Councillor C. E. Westbrook, on Saturday morning, April 16th, and play in all tournaments commenced at 9-45 a.m.

The Premier Tournament was an invitation event, in which four British players and four foreign masters were to compete ; but owing to the winner of last year’s Budapest Tournament, the Italian master, M. Monticelli, finding himself unable to compete, the vacancy was filled by the promotion of M. E. Goldstein from the Major Open. The entry was a strong one, comprising two British champions in Sir G. A. Thomas and F. D. Yates, and also V. Buerger, M. E. Goldstein and E. G. Sergeant, to whom were opposed the famous Czechoslovakian master, Richard Réti, the Belgian champion, Edgar Colie, and the Russian master, Eugen Znosko-Borovski. The time-limit was 36 moves in the first two hours, which proved better in every way than 18 moves an hour. A brief account of the play follows :—

First Round, Saturday, April 16th.
Goldstein v. Yates .. .. Queen’s Pawn Game - **Drawn (65)
Znosko-Borovski v. Buerger Sicilian Defence - *Drawn (40)
Thomas v. Colie .. .. Alekhine’s Defence - *Drawn (44)
Réti v. Sergeant .. .. Queen’s Gambit Declined - Drawn (36)

* Adjourned once. ** Adjourned twice.

Sergeant sacrificed the Exchange for a strong attack, but appeared to miss his way, and the ending was agreed a draw without troubling to adjourn. Thomas had considerably the superior game and should have won comfortably ; but a hasty move just before the adjournment cost him a useful half-point by robbing him of a well-earned win.

That the British representatives were fully capable of holding their own with the foreign masters was also shown in the game between Znosko-Borovski and Buerger. Although the latter lost a Pawn in the end-game, the better position of his King was full compensation, and a draw by repetition of moves resulted shortly after the adjournment.

Goldstein secured the better game by an inroad on the Queen-side with his Rooks, by which he won a Pawn. The Rook-ending, however, proved very difficult to handle and no decisive result was reached. A curious feature was that every game in the first round was drawn.

Second Round, Monday, April 18th.
Znosko-Borovski v. Goldstein Sicilian Defence .. .. Z.-Borovski won (31)
Buerger v. Yates Queen’s Fianchetto Defence *Drawn (46)
Réti v. Thomas Queen's Gambit Declined Thomas won (26)
Sergeant v. Colle .. .. Alekhine’s Defence .. .. Colie won (36)

* Adjourned.

Réti tried a form of development frequently adopted by the German master, Samisch, based upon an early exchange of centre Pawns followed by the development of the Q B on K B 4. He later Castled on the Queen-side and advanced his King-side Pawns to the attack. Thomas met the situation very coolly, and a mistake by Réti in a bad position enabled Thomas to sacrifice the Exchange with decisive results. This was a happy augury for the subsequent British successes in the tournament.

Colle somewhat improved on his defence against Thomas, but, had Sergeant not made a slip costing a couple of centre Pawns, he would have had none the worse of it. Goldstein made a premature attack against Znosko-Borovski, which landed his Queen in difficulties. It cost him several tempi to extricate the Queen, giving the Russian master time to build up a formidable attacking position. Buerger, with a strong position, rather hurried the advance of his King-side Pawns, thereby yielding Yates a slight pull. A series of exchanges just before lunch brought about an equal ending with Bishops of the same colour, and a draw soon resulted.

Third Round, Tuesday, April 19th.
Goldstein v. Buerger .. Queen’s Pawn Game .. *Drawn (39)
Yates v. Znosko-Borovski.. Ruy Lopez *Yates won (53)
Thomas v. Sergeant .. .. Queen’s Gambit Declined.. Thomas won (35)
Colle v. Réti Queen's Gambit Declined . .** Drawn (57)

* Adjourned once. ** Adjourned twice.

Sergeant adopted a form of the defence which gives Black “ hanging Pawns ” and Thomas by accurate play gained first one and then a second Pawn.

Goldstein had the worse of the opening until Buerger yielded bim the majority of Pawns on the Queen-side. Black gave up a Pawn for the attack, and then a second Pawn, the acceptance of which left White open to a perpetual check, from which he could not escape without losing his Queen.

Yates’s game was a typical form of the close defence to the Lopez, not a single Pawn or piece being exchanged until the 40th move! The end came quickly after that, assisted by the offer of a piece and then the sacrifice of the Exchange by Yates. A characteristic “ Yates’s finish.”

Colle opened 1 P—Q 4, Kt—K B 3 ; 2 Kt—K B 3, P—Q 4 ; 3 P—K 3, B—Kt 5 ; 4 P—B 4, transposing back into the Queen’s Pawn Defence. Réti was left with a very indifferent game and lost a Pawn ; but from here on Colle’s play slackened and he allowed Réti to find a drawing continuation.

Fourth Round, Wednesday, April 20th.
Thomas v. Goldstein .. .. French Defence .. .. * Drawn (47)
Colle v. Yates Queen s Pawn Game . .**Drawn (77)
Réti v. Znosko-Borovski .. Réti's Opening *Réti won (51)
Sergeant v. Buerger .. .. Sicilian Defence . . . . Drawn (30)

* Adjourned once. ** Adjourned twice.

Sergeant lost his Queen to Buerger for Rook, Knight and Pawn ; as, however, the latter missed a chance to secure a passed Pawn on the seventh rank a draw resulted. Goldstein secured equality in the middle game, but although Thomas lost a Pawn by a slight miscalculation, Black’s advantage was insufficient to force a win.

Having failed to distinguish himself with the Queen’s Gambit as White, Réti reverted to the opening bearing his name, and scored his initial success. Handling a Rook ending with his customary skill, he forced the win of a Pawn, and the end was not long delayed.

The meeting between two of the candidates for first prize, Colle and Yates gave rise to a hard battle in which Black gained a Pawn. He over-simplified by reducing to an ending where he had two Bishops; but as they were tied down to defending weak Pawns he had no chance of winning.

After the adjourned games had been played out, the scores at the conclusion of the fourth round were: Thomas 3, Colle and Yates 2½, Buerger 2 (none of these four players having tasted defeat), Réti 2, Goldstein and Znosko-Borovski 1½, Sergeant 1.

Fifth Round.
Goldstein v. Colle .. .. Queen’s Pawn Game .. **Drawn (61)
Yates v. Thomas French Defence .. .. Drawn (39)
Znosko-Borovski v. Sergeant Ruy Lopez *Sergeant won (61)
Buerger v. Réti Queen’s Gambit Declined. . * Buerger won (58)

* Adjourned once. ** Adjourned twice.

With the tournament nearing its end, the play became noticeably keener on all boards. Thomas was in rather an unhappy vein in his treatment of the defence against Yates, who was able to build up a formidable attack in his usual style. Yates made a premature move costing him a Pawn, but the resulting ending with Queen and Pawns was agreed a draw at the adjournment, for it would have been very hazardous for Thomas to attempt to play for a win. At the conclusion of this game Yates had, for him, a very unusual score —only one win, four draws and no losses.

Buerger played the whole game in capital style against Réti, building up an overwhelming attacking position. Although making an indifferent move under time pressure, he obtained a strong passed Q Kt P, which cost Réti the Exchange and the game.

Sergeant secured the advantage as Black, ultimately emerging a Pawn to the good in a Rook end-game. It appeared to some of the spectators that he could have won more speedily than he actually did.

The foreign contingent had a sorry day of it, Colle being the only player to emerge with a draw. He had, if anything, the inferior middle-game against Goldstein, but secured a pull in the end-game by sacrificing a Pawn. By careful defence Goldstein secured a division of the points shortly after the second adjournment. Thomas still led the field, Buerger, Colle and Yates following half-a-point behind.

Sixth Round.
Réti v. Goldstein .. .. Réti’s Opening *Réti won (94)
Sergeant v. Yates . . .. Ruy Lopez *Yates won (86)
Colle v. Znosko-Borovski . . Dutch Defence Colle won (33)
Thomas v. Buerger .. . . Sicilian Defence . . . . *Thomas won (74)

* Adjourned.

The penultimate round brought no lessening of the tension; in fact, three of the four games were still in progress after more than six hours’ play apiece, and this proved to be the most arduous round of the whole tournament.

Znosko-Borovski had rather the better position, with two useful Bishops, until he made a slip costing a vital Pawn ; and he could not prevent the subsequent break-up of his game. This was his fourth successive defeat, after leading at the end of the second round.

Thomas’s game with Buerger was most exciting, and distinguished by clock-trouble on both sides. At the adjournment Buerger had the better position, Thomas having had a winning attack just previously. The advantage oscillated between the two players in a most amusing way (except for them), Thomas losing the Exchange but then winning a piece with a passed Pawn. He ultimately won the end-game after 74 moves.

Yates gradually wore down Sergeant, having two Bishops against two Knights. He won a Pawn after 6| hours’ play, and another couple of hours saw the inevitable win added to his score.

Goldstein had certainly no disadvantage in the opening, but his 16th move enabled Réti to secure two strong Bishops and then to win a Pawn by a Rook sacrifice. From here on Goldstein put up a most determined resistance, and indeed missed a chance to draw on the 55th move. The game reduced to an ending with Rook and two Pawns against Rook and Pawn, Réti stating afterwards that it was a forced win for him. The game ran to no less than 94 moves and 8| hours’ play before Goldstein capitulated—the longest game of the tournament.

With one round to go Thomas had a lead of ½ point, the scores being: Thomas 4½, Colle and Yates 4, Buerger and Réti 3.

At the commencement of the last round, in which all games were played to a finish without adjourning, five players had a chance of coming in the prize list, for were Buerger (3) and Réti (3) to defeat their respective opponents, Colle (4) and Yates (4), there would be a quadruple tie for second and third prize.

Thomas made an inferior move early in the game, and was hard put to it to maintain equality. A draw was agreed on the 19th move, which made it certain that Thomas would at least tie for first prize.

Buerger introduced a new move in his opening against Colle, and playing very finely secured a very strong attack. By giving up the Exchange his attack became quite overwhelming; in fact, about the 30th move all Colle’s pieces were on his back rank. By this well-deserved victory Buerger succeeded in tieing with Colle for third prize.

As in the recent Christmas Tournament, the pairing brought Yates and Réti together in the last round. Réti played a Sicilian on very solid lines, but with Yorkshire tenacity Yates built up a King-side attack with Queen, two Rooks and Knight, by which he won a piece. At 3-30 Réti gave up, this being the last game finished of the whole Congress, and Yates thus tied with Thomas for first and second prizes.

The tournament resulted in a triumph for the British players, only one foreigner coming in the prize-list. For such an agreeable state of affairs one has to go back to the 1880’s, and even so there is no exact analogy.

Both Thomas and Yates went through the tournament without defeat. The former started off well, but eased up in the second half ; Yates, although he himself complained that his play lacked “ fire,” was soundness personified. It was very fitting that the two most prominent figures in British chess of to-day (for Atkins’ appearances are few and far between) should carry off the premier honours.

Buerger, who had not drawn a single game in his three recent tournaments, commenced with four draws. He scored well-deserved wins against the foreign masters, Réti and Colle, and is clearly more than living up to the promise shown in his chess last year. Colle, although making the best score of the foreign players, hardly played as well as in recent tournaments, and on two occasions was assisted by his opponents’ mistakes.

Of the non-prize winners Réti was probably disheartened by a bad start, which means so much in a small tournament. He remarked that he could not play against the British competitors, and as he took ninety-four moves to gain his sole victory against a British player, this remark seems justified. Znosko-Borovski had a bad run of four consecutive losses, which completely wrecked his hopes.

Goldstein played better than recently, having the satisfaction of drawing with all the prize-winners. Had he found the winning lines in two of his early games he would have scored fifty per cent. Sergeant’s form was very in and out; he played better against the foreigners than against the British players.

1927 Kent Major

1927 Kent Major Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  Total 
 1  John Arthur James Drewitt ENG
½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 6
 2  John Harold Morrison ENG ½
0 1 ½ 1 1 1 5
 3  William Winter ENG ½ 1
½ 1 1 1 0 5
 4  Edmund Tom Jesty ENG 0 0 ½
1 1 1 1
5 Vera Menchik USSR 0 ½ 0 0
1 ½ ½
6 Richard Edward Lean ENG 0 0 0 0 0
1 1 2
7 Sydney Gerard Howell-Smith ENG 0 0 0 0 ½ 0
8 John James O'Hanlon IRL 0 0 1 0 ½ 0 0

Winter won his first four games but could only add one more point from his last three games, and Drewitt came home a well-deserved winner. Morrison, by beating Lean in the last round, caught Winter “ on the post,” and so it happened that the three prize-winners at the London Christmas congress repeated their success at Tunbridge Wells.

1927 Kent Major Reserves

1927 Kent Major Reserves Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  Total 
 1  H Brown ENG
1 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 5
 2  G Hanson ENG 0
½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1
 3  Percival John Lawrence ENG 0 ½
0 1 ½ 1 ½
 4  Mrs Agnes Bradley Stevenson ENG ½ 0 1
1 ½ 0 ½
5 George Wright ENG 1 0 0 0
1 ½ 1
6 Patrick Charles Littlejohn ENG 0 ½ ½ ½ 0
1 ½ 3
7 Mrs Edith Martha Holloway ENG 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0
8 John MacAlister ENG ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½

Brown fully deserved his success in the Major Reserves, winning some good games.

1927 Kent First Class A

1927 Kent First Class A Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  Total 
 1  William Montagu Brooke ENG
½ 1 1 1 1 1 1
 2  Edward Latimer Nickels ENG ½
½ 1 1 ½ 1 1
 3  Dr Vickerman Henzell Rutherford ENG 0 ½
0 1 1 ½ 1 4
 4  H Loeffler   0 0 1
½ 1 0 1
5 Stephen Poulson Lees ENG 0 0 0 ½
½ 1 1 3
6 F Wilkinson ENG 0 ½ 0 0 ½
1 1 3
7 Miss Hilda Florence Chater ENG 0 0 ½ 1 0 0
8 Willington Lucette Wakefield ENG 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

1927 Kent First Class B

1927 Kent First Class B Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  Total 
 1  William James Fry ENG
½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 6
 2  Rev. Charles Fenton Bolland ENG ½
0 1 1 1 1 1
 3  (Alfred) Rupert Neale Cross ENG ½ 1
½ 1 0 1 1 5
 4  Charles Henry Taylor ENG 0 0 ½
1 0 1 1
5 C D Morton ENG 0 0 0 0
1 1 1 3
6 Mrs Amabel Nevill Gwyn Sollas ENG 0 0 1 1 0
0 ½
7 H Thompson ENG 0 0 0 0 0 1
8 F Taylor ENG 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½

Kent First Class [C?].—1 Robert Don Gillon-Ferguson, 6½/7; 2 S. J. Osborn, 5; 3 Capt. Arthur Edward Dickinson, 4½; 4 Prof. Robert William Genese, 3½; 5 Geoffrey Kendall Nuttall 3; 6 Hon. Arthur James Beresford Lowther, 2½; 7 Miss M Andrews 2; 8 Miss Emily Eliza Abraham 1.

Kent Second Class A—1 H. H. Harley, 5/7; 2-3 Mrs. Rosa Annie Banting, Lieut.-Commdr. Henry Otway Boger 4½; 4-6 Dr. J. Lamond, Miss Brown, Miss Olga Menchik 3½; 7 Mrs. M Healey 2½; 8 Miss O’Connor 1.

Kent Second Class B—1 Leonard Wolfe Passmore 7/7; 2-4 Miss Lillie Eveling, Mrs. Fitzgerald, Richard Geoffrey Sell 5; 5 Miss Weatherhead 2½; 6 A. Pardon 2; 7 F. W. Jordon 1 ; 8 Mrs. Poirin ½.

The Knock-out Tournament on Easter Monday was won by E. J. Gibbs.

The first Quick-Play Tournament (10-minute games) was won by M. E. Goldstein, with P. C. Littlejohn second; the second was won by R. Réti.

The first Lightning Tournament was won by R. Réti with V. Buerger second; the second tournament was won by R. E. Lean.

R. Réti gave a simultaneous display on April 19th, winning 12 games, drawing 1 and losing 2.

F. D. Yates gave a small simultaneous display on April 22nd, winning all seven games.

The prizes were distributed by the Mayoress on Saturday, April 23rd, after the usual votes of thanks. This terminated a very enjoyable congress, due largely to the admirable organisation of the Kent committee.

File Updated

Date Notes
15 July 2022 First upload. 23 of the 28 Premier games plus two from other sections, crosstables and BCM report.