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Tournament: Birmingham International • 34 games, 5 part-games - max.66. 1 game from weekend section
Venue: Portland School, Birmingham • Dates: 17-29 April 1973 Download PGN • updated: Saturday January 28, 2023 11:17 PM

1973 Birmingham International, 17-29 April

1973 Birmingham International Nat'y Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  Total 
1 Anthony J Miles ENG 2285
½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½
2 Andras Adorjan HUN 2475m ½
½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 7
3 Arthur B Bisguier USA 2430g 0 ½
1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 7
4 Bozidar Gasic YUG 2360 0 ½ 0
½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1
5 Bernard Zuckerman USA 2460m ½ ½ ½ ½
1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 6
6 Brian R Eley ENG   0 0 ½ ½ 0
½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 6
7 Mario Bertok YUG 2440m ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½
½ ½ ½ ½ 0
8 Martyn J Corden ENG 2275 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 ½
1 1 ½ 1
9 Andrew E Soltis USA 2440 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0
0 ½ 1
10 Darko Gliksman YUG 2375m ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1
1 1
11 Bernard Cafferty ENG 2370 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0
12 John J Carleton ENG 2285 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 ½

Average Elo: 2366, Category 6, IM norm = 7. Prizes: £100, £75, £50, £30, £20, £15, £10.

CHESS/38/673-674 May 1973, p234

W. Ritson Morry started his international congresses in 1937 when Eliskases, Prins and Znosko-Borovsky were visitors. In 1950 he staged the first Junior World Championship, won by Ivkov, with Larsen, Olafsson, Bhend, Cruz, Nyren etc, among the also rans.

He has organised an Easter congress ever since except when war intervened. This year he surpassed previous efforts with a 4-nation category 6 tournament, and with the expanded finance (page 189, last CHESS) he aims even higher for the future.

A score of 7 would qualify for a first international master title leg. B. R. Eley nearly achieved the norm. A. J. Miles, who celebrated his 18th birthday on the middle Monday, achieved it with half-a-point to spare.

According to Leonard Barden, he is the fourth youngest player in history to take first place in an international tournament. Yanofsky, Mecking and Fischer, at Ventnor City 1942, Buenos Aires 1966 and Mar del Plata I960 respectively preceded him. Yanofsky was 17, Mecking 14, Fischer 17.

He had to postpone resumption of one game to go back to school!

Our following pages reveal him as brilliant an annotator as at play. His parents encourage his chess but he and they keep feet firmly on ground. He intends to go on to university. Despite Jim Slater’s £5,000 for the first British grand master, chess hardly offers the rewards his talents might secure in other directions. Brilliant Malcolm Barker finished second to Ivkov in 1950, (high above Larsen and Olafsson who went on to become grand masters) but within a few weeks had dropped out of chess for life.

BCM, June 1973, ppn 225-233

The Birmingham Easter Congress by W.Ritson Morry

This year’s Birmingham Congress was easily the largest we have ever held with some 317 entries for all sections. It was the 30th in a line going back to 1936 when I started it with the object of arranging the Warwickshire boys championship and giving our youngsters a good grounding in tournament chess.

I do not hesitate to say that the bandwaggon would never have started to roll without inspiration from that great Mecca of chess, Hastings. Whatever hard things may be said of Hastings or any other congress to-day, I do not forget the great debt we owe to H.E. Dobell and his devoted band of pioneers and successors who, for nearly a century have so gladly toiled against heavy odds for the cause they loved. Nor can I forget Arthur Rider and the work he did to establish the British Boys’ Championship. Indeed, had not Hastings put forward a proposition to the Unions in the early 1930’s offering free hospitality for the official representative of each Union to play in the Boys’ Championship, the Birmingham Congress might never have got off the ground. The Midland Union, faced with something it had not seen before turned to me, as one of the very few junior chess organisers then in existence, and a new Warwickshire Boys’ Championship, followed by a Midland Boys’ Championship naturally led to the starting of a Midland junior congress. No. I cannot forget our debt to Hastings, nor will I stand and see the good they have done in such abundance interred with their bones!

Even in 1937 the Birmingham Junior League had realised that the true purpose of congress chess was to bring young players up to international standard, and that year we ran the first of our international tournaments immediately after Hastings. Eliskases, Koltanowski, Znosko-Borovski, Prins and Winter all came straight from Hastings with me and with the late Arthur Reynolds, B.H.Wood, Julius Silverman, R.Blow and R.L. Aldis made up a very good tournament which would not have disgraced this year’s gathering.

Another tournament followed in 1939, but then came the war and the ever increasing cost of organising. It did not stop our running junior international tournaments in 1948 and 1950 and the first World Junior Championship in 1951, but thereafter lack of funds has prevented our doing all those things we should have liked to do.

Last year we decided to try to get back into the international field, for the rising standard of our young players demanded that we should try to do something for them. The tournament we then held was quite a good introductory effort, but it did not reach the standard set by FIDE for title qualification.

Fortunately, a stroke of personal luck made it possible for me to tell the committee that I could guarantee them against loss, and it was decided to go ahead with a full Category 5 event. In the end we reached Category 6 largely through the help of the Friends of Chess and the United States C.F., which agreed to send us two titled and one untitled player and to bear all their travelling expenses.

The tournament opened on April 17th with Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier, who had just won the Lone Pines Tournament ahead of Browne, Szabo and our own Tony Miles, and international masters B. Zuckerman, A. Adorjan, M. Bertok and D. Gliksman.

Our hopes of a useful British performance were encouraged by news of the fine form Tony Miles had shown at Lone Pines and in the U.S.Open. In the latter event he had led throughout until beaten by Walter Browne in the last round, whilst at Lone Pines he had come 4th behind three grandmasters. The result, nevertheless, somewhat exceeded even our more optimistic flights of fancy. How could we have expected that in the last round we should have the wonderful spectacle of the British Champion, Brian Eley, engaged in a rousing battle with Miles for not only at least a share of first prize but also the I.M. norm of 7 points. The only tinge of sadness for all the local fans was that both lads could not have done it for whilst they naturally exulted in the success of the local hero, their sympathy and admiration for the loser was unbounded. He had played his heart out but in the bitterest moment of defeat he behaved with such sportsmanship that should make all Britons proud to have him as their reigning champion, and all would wish that his own progress towards a master title should not be long delayed.

Naturally, the opening round found most of the players in fairly cautious mood and four of the six games were drawn. John Carleton, who was out of practice and could not produce the form of last year, lost a hard fought game to Gasic, but the tit-bit of the round was undoubtedly the game which not only made everybody realise that Miles was serious contender but also had a very important influence on the final result of the tournament:- [Miles-Bisguier]

The first 12 moves were Fischer-Bisguier, U.S.Championship 1963, but White continued therein with 13 P-KN4, N-K2; 14 B-B4, P-QB3; 15 KR-K1, N-N3 with a level game.

The second round also had several short draws, but Miles won again at the expense of Corden whilst Eley went down in a 57-move game with Zuckerman. In round 3 Carleton found a touch of his old form against Bertok and adjourned in a fantastic position which greatly interested the spectators :- [Carleton-Bertok]

The game Cafferty-Eley was postponed and played on April 28th when Eley won a well played positional game.

The fourth round was notable for a very well played positional game by Miles who allowed Gasic play in the central files whilst he exploited weaknesses in his opponent’s K-side and gradually reached a winning ending. It was also notorious for a series of heavy blunders, perhaps the worst being that of Adorjan who threw away a completely won game against Bertok by leaving a rook en prise.

Miles took a rest in round 5 by drawing with Gliksman in 20 moves, but as most of the other players were in a peaceful frame of mind it did not affect his lead. Carleton was still making efforts to find his true form and fought an uphill battle against Adorjan which earned him a very creditable draw in the ending.

The sixth round was certainly more exciting than its two predecessors and Miles had plenty of hard work to do for his 40-move draw with Adorjan. Bisguier started to draw nearer to the leader with a decisive win against Carleton and Eley also took a useful point from Corden. Gliksman produced some of his best chess to defeat Cafferty.

At the end of this round Miles had 4½ points, Gliksman 3½, Eley 3 and 1 postponed (which he later won), Adorjan, Bertok, Bisguier, Corden, Gasic and Zuckerman 3, and the gallery was now flushed with the prospect of his not only making the master norm but also of his winning first prize, but in the 7th round he faltered somewhat in a complicated game against Carleton and was fortunate not to lose before the adjournment. He subsequently recovered in the ending and salvaged a draw. Meanwhile Bisguier beat Corden, Eley beat Gliksman, Adorjan beat Soltis and Gasic beat Cafferty.

In round 8 Miles had his lead further reduced. He should have beaten Soltis, but went astray in an easily won ending and could only draw after the adjournment. Fortunately, only Bisguier was able to take advantage of the situation by beating Gliksman and Miles now led with 5½, with Bisguier 5, Eley 4½ and one postponed, Adorjan and Gasic 4½. Corden, who was having a late run beat Carleton to reach 4.

In round 9 Miles was content with a short draw against Zuckerman, and Eley also took an early half point against Bertok. This allowed Bisguier to catch Miles on 6, Adorjan 5½, Eley 5 and 1 postponed, and Corden 5. The 7-point norm did not look quite so certain for Miles and some of his supporters were getting a little worried. Their tension was not eased in round 10 when he could not manage to beat Cafferty despite some positional advantage, and only the early draw between Bertok and Bisguier prevented his losing the lead altogether. Eley, too, suffered a blow when Adorjan beat him, and Corden’s chance evaporated when Gasic brought off a smart mating attack.

With the clearance of Eley’s postponed game the last round started with the leading scores:- Adorjan, Bisguier, Miles 6½; Eley 6, Gasic 5½; Bertok, Corden and Zuckerman 5. Adorjan and Bisguier had to play one another and Miles had to play Eley. What more exciting situation could have arisen even supposing the organisers could have had the power to foresee and arrange it? One thing we knew and that was that either Eley or Miles must reach the coveted 7 points, but Adorjan or Bisguier could either share the first prize or win it outright.

After 29 moves Bisguier and Adorjan decided further winning efforts were impossible and agreed a draw. Eley was attacking strongly, but it soon became clear that his position was suffering from possible weaknesses.

Eventually Miles saw his chance emerged from his defensive situation with a counter-attack and won at the 40th move. It had been a nerve wracking 5 hours for the spectators, but they all went away well pleased that they had had wonderful value.

For Miles it meant first place and the master norm plus half a point. He is just 18, having celebrated his birthday during the tournament, and the chess world lies before him. Before the tournament a well known London expert solemnly assured me, ‘None of your boys has a chance’. I hope he followed the ‘Times’ and ‘Telegraph’ reports and saw how well Miles had given his gloomy forecast the lie!

Birmingham 1973 — The General Congress by W. RITSON MORRY

In the previous pages I dealt with the results of the International Tournament but I also stressed that it was all part of a plan to give the young players a proper initiation into top-grade chess which is something in which one cannot hope to succeed without the right experience and training. The structure of the events is accordingly governed by these considerations, and this is why the organising committee is composed of delegates from the Midland Counties Union, the Warwickshire Chess Association, the Birmingham and District Chess League, the Coventry Chess League and the Birmingham and District Junior Chess League.

For many years the principal tournament was the Midland Open Championship for which all chessplayers were welcome to enter. This was aimed to attract not only adults but also our ‘old boys’ who had ceased to be eligible for the various Midland Junior Championships. The process of easing the older boys into senior chess was also furthered by combining with it the Midland Under-21 Championship and the wisdom of this policy has been confirmed on several occasions when the same player has taken both titles. For example, David Anderton, England’s Captain at Skopje, first sprang into prominence by sharing both titles with his clubmate Michael Stevenson.

As other areas of the Union began to develop it was found convenient to divide the junior tournaments so that East Midland players could play in a separate tournament in Leicester, thereafter playing off with the West Midland Champions for the Midland titles, but the Midland Open still continues and has logically become a ‘challengers’ tournament for the right to play in the Master Tournament. This year 37 competitors entered the lists and played in an 11-round Swiss tournament. This settled down to become a tough struggle between the former British Under-21 Champion, Louis de Veauce, the young Doncaster player, G. Andrews, a young Persian student from Aston University, P.Yavari, ex-Warwickshire juniors John Ball and Chris Shephard and the new Warwickshire Under-18 Champion, Michael Pitt.

Louis de Veauce set a hard pace and soon established himself in the lead which he retained throughout to win first prize with the excellent score of 9 out of 11. Only Shephard might really have challenged his supremacy, but his chances were spoilt by a solitary defeat at the hands of Graham Willetts, another ex-Warwickshire Boy Champion now playing for Cheshire.

A new feature of the Congress was the introduction of an opening Week-End Tournament [presumably 13-15 April 1973? - JS] which was divided into three sections, Championship, Major and Minor. This attracted 92 entries, the Championship section of 24 players being very strong and including Tony Miles and the three Yugoslav masters. It also proved to be a hint of things to come, as Tony Miles, thanks to an incredible piece of end-game good fortune against Weeramantry, won the £100 first prize outright.

Week-end Tournament

Championship: (1) Anthony J Miles 4½/5; (2-3) Mario Bertok, Louis de Veauce 4; (4-5) Ronald J M Farley, Chris C W Shephard 3½; (6-11) Stephen H Berry, D Fox, Bozidar Gasic, Darko Gliksman, Michael Macdonald-Ross, Sunil Weeramantry 3; (12-14) John J Carleton, B E Milner, Ronald H Watson 2½; (15-18) Brian A Jones, Nigel McSheehy, David J Robertson, W P Taylor 2; (19-22) A G Burbidge, H Ditmas, M B Squires, A F Woodland 1½; (23) M Cassells 1; (24) P Griffiths (Holmrock) 0.

Major: (1) D Johnson 4½/5; (2-3) A J Girling, D Taylor 4; (4-6) M J Edwards, G Kaye, C Searle 3½; (7-12) T Corish, A D Lloyd, J O’Donohue, M Owen, D Pardoe, H C Satow 3; (13-18) W Clayton, M Curtis, G Hall, D Price, P Rans, D R Steele 2½; (19-23) H B Angel, B Barlow, D W Hadley, J Druce-Powell, F W Small 2; (24-27) D Jukes, C C McConkey, P McEvoy, J Mildenhall 1½; (28-30) L Cardy, D W Daniels, S S Zimnowodski 1.

Minor: (1-2) B H Cooke, C Hicks 4½/5; (3) A A Roberts 4; (4-8) P W Alldridge, J F Birch, R Birch, D I Pearson, Wang Mong-Lin 3½; (9-17) R M Ewan, P Hanks, D Heron, R G Jones, G N Linthwaite, A Marsh, K Thomas, N J Wilson, J Walker 3; (18-19) D J Dennick, D W Harper 2½; (20-28) R Brown, R Challoner, D W Heilbronn, H F Ross, C L Rhodes, J Robinson, P Ryrie, S Wagstyl, W G Wakenell 2; (29-31) M Alcock, D Curtis, P Gregory 1½; (32-35) S Atkinson, K D May, Dr. A K Mitra, Richard E Windle 1.

Midland Open Championship: (1) Louis de Veauce 9/11; (2) Chris C W Shephard 8½; (3-6) G Andrews, John D L Ball, Michael J Pitt, P Yavari 7½; (7) G J Willetts 7; (8-11) N Andrews, J R Crampton, Ronald J M Farley, Andrew J Stoker 6½; (12-14) G Homer, K R Ingram, David J Robertson 6; (15-17) I Mutton (withdrew after 9 rounds), C Packwood, M B Squires 5½; (18-24) J Birch, D T Fairbank, A G Fox, R Jackson, G Kaye, J Smith, S S Zimnowodski 5; (25) P Rooney 4½; (26) W P Taylor 4; (27-29) G Hall (withdrew after 9 rounds), A Woodland (withdrew after 9 rounds), Wang Mong-Lin (withdrew after 7 rounds) 3½; (30-31) E J Flood (withdrew after 9 rounds), C V Snaith 3; (32-33) R J Barnes, G Jelfs (withdrew after 6 rounds) 2½; (34) V Homolka (withdrew after 4 rounds) 2; (35) R Brown (withdrew after 7 rounds) 1½; (36) M V Edwards (withdrew after 5 rounds) 1; (37) N E Ardin (withdrew after 5 rounds) ½.

West Midland and Warwickshire Under-18 Championship: (1) Michael J Pitt 8/8; (2) N McSheehy 5½; (3-6) P W Alldridge, S Hicks, M J Mineter, C L Proctor 5; (7-15) P Bullen, J S Collins, N J Innocent, A M Jennings, P M Norris, N Sampays, A Singh, G.Dickel, M J Hodson 3½; (16-17) M K Dunn, A Mashadi 3; (18) L Patton 2; (19) R.Broaderwick (withdrew after 6 rounds) 1½. [these scores look suspect - there may be a couple of missing score groups]

West Midland & Warwickshire Under-16 Championship: (1) Chris W Baker (holder), R Greening 6½/8; (3) S.Wagstyl 6; (4) M R Coombs 5½; (5) A Sodhi 5; (6-10) M O Picken, N A Pitt, G D Reason, K Spillane, B Tedd 4½; (11-13) H Grainger, M Jones, A N Vickers 4; (14-16) G Anderson, A Phillips, P D Ryrie 3½; (17-18) J France, T Raymond 3; (19-20) M Price, I M Watson 2½; (21-22) J Aston (withdrew after 5 rounds), I Stanley 2; (23) W.G.Thomson 1½. Baker won the title play-off 2½-1½.

West Midland & Warwickshire Under-14 Championship: (1) R Borcherds 7/9; (2-4) K Day, K Desmond, G P Tait 6½; (5-8) S N Atkinson, R Doran, M Greaves, C O’Callaghan 6; (9-11) P Kenning, M J Tait, A S Whitten 5½; (12-18) J R Brittan, D Challenor, B Chidlow, M Doran, G C Hodson, R Peters, P Salt 5; (19-22) M S Ardin, D Barlow, D Stanley, K Stewart 4½; (23-28) S Bailey, P Halloran, M Kelleher, M McArdle, R Ormesher, P Stevens (withdrew after 7 rounds) 4; (29-32) M J Bradbury, J Denton (withdrew after 7 rounds), S G Madeley, A Powell 3½; (33-35) S Berry, M Bull (withdrew after 7 rounds), C Dolphin 3; (36-37) M Chauhan (withdrew after 7 rounds), A McCormack 2½; (38-39) T H Payne, A Stevens (withdrew after 7 rounds) 2; (40) J Bingham (withdrew after 3 rounds) 1½; (41) P Mudie 1.

West Midland & Warwickshire Under-12 Championship: (1-2) T N Ardin, C P Webley 8½; (3-6) J D Morgan, M G Porter, P West, Miss S Whitehall 6; (7-9) M Holland, K Kefalas, A Tipper 5½; (10-18) P Bickley, A Bowen, P Coupland, John J Cox, G Gentry, G Holt, P Jennings, J Lawrence, K Yeomans 5; (19-20) Pravin Patel, K I Robinson 4½; (21-24) M Burnham, N Kane, R Law, P Raymond 4; (25-28) J Hobday, J O’Sullivan, D Whitehouse, J Williams 3½; (29-31) P Gatenby, T Keogh, G P Sergeant 3; (32) Ahmad Dard 2½; (33) C Coyle 2; (34-35) R S Ferguson, Rivendar Singh (withdrew after 3 rounds, ill) 1; (36-37) A Umerski and P Yardley withdrew after one round with 1 point; (38-40) J Hobday, M McCarthy, P.Price withdrew after one round with 0. Ardin won the title play-off 1½-½.

West Midland & Warwickshire Girls’ (Under-18 and Under-15) Championship: (1) O Kaur 7½/9; (2) P Kaur 7; (3-4) J Davies, S Whitehall 5½; (5) S Goodson 4½; (6) C Donnigan 3; (7) E Little 1½; (8) J Mercer 1; (9) G Challoner ½.

Birmingham Open & Midland Boys’ (Under-18) Speed Championships: (1-5) Robert Baker, John D L Ball, Peter C Gibbs, Michael J Pitt, David J Robertson 5½/7; (6-10) Chris J McSheehy, J Mildenhall, M J Mineter, Chris C W Shephard, Andrew J Stoker 5; (11-12) D Price, B Whitehouse 4½; (13-20) N Andrews, P Alldridge, R Borcherds, T A Burley, Ronald J M Farley, P Rooney, C Searle, D Taylor 4; (21-24) C O’Callaghan, C L Proctor, N F Rodway, A F Woodland 3½; (25-32) C Baker, J Freeman, M Hodson, R G Jones, A Lusty, Nigel McSheehy, A Singh, C V Snaith 3; (33-37) M Doran, M Greaves, G Kaye, C McConkey, S Zimnowodski 2½; (38-41) S Atkinson, G C Hodson, R Peters, S Wagstyl 2; (42-43) G Dickel, P West 1; (44) J Fleming 0. Pitt won the Under-18 title; Mineter, Alldridge, Borcherds were the remaining prize-winners in that section.

File Updated

Date Notes
28 January 2023 Initial upload. 30 games, 5 part-games, 1 stub from a maximum of 66, plus a game from a weekend section. Only a handful of these games have previously been digitised, which is a bit surprising as it was quite a strong tournament and a significant one for Tony Miles as it was his first international tournament success and the occasion of his initial IM norm. EDIT: small correction made to the score of Bisguier-Carleton (rd 6). My thanks to Andy Ansel.
28 January 2023 Added four Andrew Soltis games (one replacing an existing stub): (1) A.Soltis 1-0 B.Eley (rd 1); (2) A.Bisguier ½-½ A.Soltis (rd 2); (3) M.Bertok ½-½ A.Soltis (rd 6); (4) J.Carleton 0-1 A.Soltis (rd 9). Many thanks to Andy Ansel for sending the games.