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John Saunders


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Tournament: St Bride's Tournament • 8 (out of 45) games plus one stub.
Venue: St Bride's, London • Dates: 29 August - 13? September 1927 • Download PGN • updated: Thursday December 21, 2023 12:17 PM

1927 St Bride's Tournament, 29 August - 13? September, St Bride's Institute, London

1927 St Brides Tournament Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 Maurice Edward Goldstein ENG
0 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1
2 Max Romih1 ITA 1
0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 0
3 John Arthur James Drewitt ENG 1 1
0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 6
4 William Winter ENG 0 0 1
½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 6
5 Fred Dewhirst Yates ENG ½ 0 ½ ½
1 1 1 0 1
6 Simon Ysaye Harwich2 ENG 0 ½ ½ 0 0
½ ½ ½ 1
7 Edward Mackenzie Jackson ENG 0 0 0 0 0 ½
½ 1 1 3
8 Harold Saunders ENG 0 0 1 0 0 ½ ½
1 0 3
9 John Harold Morrison ENG 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 0
10 William Henry Watts ENG 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½

1 as he was then known: later changed his name to Massimiliano Romi.
2 Simon Ysaye Harwich (1906-1987): born in Russia, his original surname was Hurwitz (also spelled Hurowitz or Harwitz). Attended Owen's School, London, and took part in the inaugural (1923) British Boys' Championship, finishing 2nd to the winner, Stuart Milner-Barry, in the four-player final. Played for Hampstead CC and Middlesex in the 1920s. A player named "S. T. Harwich" was listed as playing for Hampstead C.C. versus Combined Universities on 15 March 1949 and this is likely to have been him despite the different middle initial. Just one extant game: he drew a game in a simul versus Emanuel Lasker in Helsingborg, Sweden, on 21 October 1923, in which Lasker's score was +29, =2, -0. (See Tidskrift för Schack, 1999/5, p271ff for an article on Lasker's 1923 Swedish simul tour - it says that Harwich was then working in Landskrona, Sweden)

One press report (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 01 September 1927) indicated that the tournament was due to start on 28 August and would run until 13 September, with play taking place in the evening. The Falkirk Herald (7 September 1927) had more details of the arrangements: that play would take place 6.00pm to 10.30pm, except for the two Saturdays when play was in the afternoon. Every third day would be set aside for the clearance of adjourned games, with adjournments after at least four hours' play. Prizes £10, £7, £4, £2. The Falkirk Herald report indicated that play would begin on 29 August, which is much more likely than starting on a Sunday.

BCM, October 1927, p404



Thanks to the initiative and enthusiasm of J. H. Morrison, who made all the necessary arrangements, it was found possible to hold a tournament at the headquarters of the London Chess League, St Brides' Institute, in which several strong players competed.

Sir George Thomas and R. P. Michell were obliged to decline the invitation to play, and V. Buerger had to retire a week before the start, owing to ill health, which we learn on good authority will necessitate his undergoing an operation immediately after the British Empire Club tournament in October. [Watts replaced Buerger - JS]

A useful entry was, however, received, and J. A. J. Drewitt, M. E. Goldstein, Max Romih, who is in London on a visit, H. Saunders, W. Winter and F. D. Yates seemed to have most chances of winning one of the four prizes.

Winter and Romih made the running from the start, but by winning an ending against Winter, which should have been a draw, Romih gained a lead of half a point in the penultimate round. Drewitt kept well up, but Yates was pegged back by defeats at the hands of Romih and Morrison.

The scores at the commencement of the last round were: Romih (6½) v. Watts (1½); Goldstein (3 with 3 adjourned) v. Winter (6); Yates (4) v. Harwich (3½) ; Jackson (2½) v. Saunders (2½); and Drewitt (5) v. Morrison (2½). Drewitt and Yates won, but Watts created a great surprise by winning very comfortably. Thus Winter only needed a draw to share first prize. Goldstein declined several opportunities to force a draw, which was of little use to him, owing to the state of his score. He ultimately evolved an unsound Pawn sacrifice and got very short of time, but Winter, with nothing to prevent him winning, lost on time.

Goldstein subsequently continued his unfinished games, winning against Morrison and Saunders and drawing a highly exciting game against Yates. He thus succeeded at the eleventh hour in tieing with Romih for first place, and Yates was deprived of a place in the prize list.

Romih must be congratulated on what is probably one of the best performances of his career. His play was characterised by aggressiveness which stood him in good stead when endeavouring to find a win in level positions, and he owed several points to his capital end-game play, which is of a high standard.

Goldstein owed his success to his greater experience of the "catch-as-catch-can" style of game, and although his success may not surprise his friends they still hope that with maturity he will develop a simpler style, giving greater scope to his analytical and theoretical powers.

The other prize-winners played below their form. Drewitt appeared indisposed, and lost two games, breaking a succession of first prizes. Winter threw away his chances by losing to Romih and Goldstein. With normal luck he would have won this tournament, but he must endeavour to conquer his nerves.

Yates was evidently quite unwell throughout the tournament, and we hope that he will be fit for the October toumament. Harwich showed promise and only needs greater incisiveness in his play to make progress. Morrison had the satisfaction of scoring a fine win over Yates with his famous Max Lange, and Watts deserved better luck than befell him.

V.B. and M.E.G. [presumably Victor Buerger and Maurice Edward Goldstein]

The Observer, 4 September 1927


(By Our Chess Correspondent.)

A number of prominent London chess players have promoted a small tournament amongst themselves, with prizes of £10, £8.
£5, and £3. Buerger was one of the original competitors, but owing to indisposition he was obliged to withdraw at the last moment, and his place was taken by W. H. Watts.

Play started on Monday [29 August 1927] at St. Bride’s Institute, and in the first round Max Romih created quite a little sensation by beating F. D. Yates, the present British champion. The game was actually adjourned, but the result was in no real doubt. Morrison had a strong-looking game against E. M. Jackson, but over-strained his attack, and lost after adjourning. Against Winter, Saunders obtained an even game, but lost his way in some complicated variations, and Winter scored. Drewitt v. Goldstein was postponed until Saturday. Watts, as second player against Harwich, secured a big positional advantage, and should win.

In the second round on Tuesday [30 August] Goldstein had a fluky win against Harwich; Drewitt outplayed and beat Jackson, as did Romih against Morrison. Yates played splendidly against Saunders, as will be seen from the score given below, but Watts, with a slight pull against Winter, lost in trying too much, Winter having a sound defence.

In the third round Harwich v. Jackson stands adjourned in a level position. Goldstein demolished Watts's experimental defence to the Q.P. opening. Drewitt scored aginst Romih, Saunders v. Morrison was adjourned in a perfectly level end game, and Winter will probably win his adjourned game against Yates.

The fourth round (the last of the week) was played on Friday [2 September]. Yates profited by a blunder on the part of Watts and registered an early win, but not before Saunders had succeeded against Drewitt. Harwich brilliantly outplayed Romih, but, as a result of sheer nervousness allowed himself to be trapped into a drawing position when he had the easiest of possible wins. _ Morrison secured an advantage against Winter, but made a slip in the ending and had to he satisfied with a draw. Goldstein is trying hard to win a level game against Jackson, but this game is adjourned.

Winter is leading as the result of the first week’s play. In the adjourned games Saunders beat Morrison, Yates succeeded in drawing with Winter, Drewitt established a won position against Goldstein, and Jackson and Harwich drew. The only other games are Harwich v. Watts and Goldstein v. Jackson, which are now postponed until this week.

Scores at end of first week— Winter 3½, Drewitt 3, Romih 2½, Yates 2½, Saunders 2, Goldstein 2 (1 unfinished), Jackson 1½ (1 unfinished), Morrison ½ [1½?], Harwich 1 (1 unfinished), Watts 0 (1 unfinished).

The Observer, 11 September 1927

... With only round left to play it is fairly easy to to predict the final positions. Winter has played consistently well, and although he lost his adjourned game with Romih he is certain of a high position, and may even be first. Romih will be first if he wins his last round game v. Watts.

The eighth round, Morrison v. Harwich, was adjourned and then drawn. Yates v. Goldstein is also adjourned. Winter beat Jackson somewhat easily, and Saunders v. Romih was an exciting struggle, in which the Englishman strove for an attack, but the defence, or counterattack, rather, prevailed. Watts v. Drewitt was a sad experience for the former. After outplaying his opponent all through the game and establishing an easily won position, he overlooked mate on the move. The game is given below. The pairings for the last round are: Harwich v. Yates; Goldstein v. Winter; Jackson v. Saunders; Romih v. Watts. Drewitt v. Morrison has been played in advance and was won by Drewitt.

The scores to date are:— Romih 6½, one to play; Winter 6, one to play; Drewitt 6, finished; Yates 4, 1 adjourned and one to play; Harwich 3½, one to play; Goldstein 3, 3 adjourned and one to play; Jackson 2½, one to play; Saunders 2½, 1 adjourned, one to play; Morrison 2½, one adjourned; Watts 1½, one to play.

File Updated

Date Notes
14 July 2022 First upload. Two of the 45 games plus crosstable and BCM report. The two games were forwarded by Francisco Antonio Castelló Eduardo, 7 July 2022, for which many thanks.
31 July 2022 A further six games, contributed by Ulrich Tamm, for which many thanks. Ulrich has also drawn my attention to coverage in The Observer newspaper, which has helped to tighten up some details relating to the tournament. I'm now pretty sure that it started on Monday 29 August and may have finished on Tuesday 13 September though it seems that adjourned games may not have been completed by the latter date.
28 November 2023

We now have one fewer game after the discovery that the score previously shown here as Romi-Jackson was identical to that of Havasi-Romi, London Olympiad, rd 5, 21.07.1927. I am making the assumption that the Havasi-Romi score (shown below) is correct, though with scant evidence as I have found no primary sources for either game. (Havasi-Romi wasn't in Ken Whyld's London Olympiad 1927 booklet published by The Chess Player in 2001 so must have come to light since then.) It may turn out that it is indeed the score of Romi-Jackson but we'll have to wait and see.

21 December 2023 Romi-Jackson score restored. Ulrich Tamm has found a primary source for the Romi-Jackson game (see above). So I have reversed my previous assumption that it was the score of Havasi-Romi, London Olympiad, rd 5 21.07.1927 (and deleted the moves of the latter game from the 1927 London Olympiad file). Many thanks to Ulrich Tamm for researching this game.