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BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 66th British Championship (won by Robert Bellin) (all 264 games)
Venue: Chester • Dates: 6-17 August 1979 • Download PGN Updated 21 March, 2019 2:49 PM updates

1979 British Chess Championship (Chester) - Robert Bellin placed first on sum of opponents' scores (Buchholz)

Venue: Chester College of Higher Education, Cheyney Road, Chester

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11  
1 Bellin,Robert 2425 ◊ 1/7 ♦ ½/14 ◊ 1/19 ♦ ½/5 ◊ ½/4 ♦ 1/11 ◊ 1/6 ♦ ½/8 ◊ ½/2 ♦ 1/12 ♦ ½/3 8.0 / 11
2 Nunn,John 2500 ◊ 1/43 ♦ 1/17 ◊ 1/15 ♦ 0/4 ◊ 1/12 ♦ 0/5 ◊ 1/7 ♦ 1/11 ♦ ½/1 ◊ ½/3 ♦ 1/6 8.0 / 11
3 Short,Nigel David 2260 ◊ 1/41 ♦ 0/15 ◊ 1/40 ♦ ½/6 ◊ 1/28 ♦ 1/22 ◊ ½/8 ♦ 1/4 ◊ 1/5 ♦ ½/2 ◊ ½/1 8.0 / 11
4 Miles,Anthony J 2560 ♦ 1/27 ◊ 1/47 ♦ ½/28 ◊ 1/2 ♦ ½/1 ◊ 1/9 ♦ ½/5 ◊ 0/3 ♦ 0/6 ♦ 1/16 ◊ 1/7 7.5 / 11
5 Speelman,Jonathan S 2470 ♦ 1/26 ◊ 1/23 ♦ ½/16 ◊ ½/1 ♦ 1/7 ◊ 1/2 ◊ ½/4 ♦ ½/12 ♦ 0/3 ◊ ½/8 ◊ ½/13 7.0 / 11
6 Littlewood,John Eric 2375 ♦ 1/33 ◊ ½/31 ♦ ½/9 ◊ ½/3 ◊ 1/38 ♦ 1/10 ♦ 0/1 ◊ 1/16 ◊ 1/4 ♦ ½/13 ◊ 0/2 7.0 / 11
7 Large,Peter G 2265 ♦ 0/1 ◊ 1/33 ◊ 1/17 ♦ 1/22 ◊ 0/5 ♦ 1/15 ♦ 0/2 ◊ 1/14 ♦ 1/19 ◊ 1/20 ♦ 0/4 7.0 / 11
8 Botterill,George Steven 2390 ♦ ½/35 ◊ ½/29 ♦ ½/39 ◊ 1/30 ♦ 1/23 ◊ 1/24 ♦ ½/3 ◊ ½/1 ◊ ½/13 ♦ ½/5 ◊ ½/12 7.0 / 11
9 Littlewood,Paul E 2405 ◊ 1/42 ♦ 1/32 ◊ ½/6 ♦ ½/10 ◊ 1/15 ♦ 0/4 ◊ 0/17 ♦ 0/13 ◊ 1/30 ◊ 1/24 ♦ 1/18 7.0 / 11
10 Haygarth,Michael J 2355 ♦ ½/30 ◊ 1/18 ♦ 1/31 ◊ ½/9 ♦ ½/16 ◊ 0/6 ♦ ½/29 ◊ ½/28 ♦ 1/22 ♦ ½/11 ◊ 1/23 7.0 / 11
11 Povah,Nigel E 2325 ♦ 0/47 ◊ 1/34 ♦ ½/29 ◊ 1/31 ♦ 1/18 ◊ 0/1 ♦ 1/20 ◊ 0/2 ♦ 1/28 ◊ ½/10 ♦ 1/22 7.0 / 11
12 Hebden,Mark L 2230 ♦ 0/45 ◊ 1/48 ♦ 1/36 ◊ 1/20 ♦ 0/2 ◊ 1/28 ♦ 1/16 ◊ ½/5 ♦ 1/17 ◊ 0/1 ♦ ½/8 7.0 / 11
13 Chandler,Murray G 2380 ♦ 1/48 ◊ 0/28 ♦ ½/47 ◊ 0/29 ♦ 1/45 ◊ 1/39 ♦ 1/31 ◊ 1/9 ♦ ½/8 ◊ ½/6 ♦ ½/5 7.0 / 11
14 Cooper,John G 2345 ♦ ½/36 ◊ ½/1 ◊ 0/22 ♦ 1/42 ◊ ½/37 ♦ ½/32 ◊ 1/34 ♦ 0/7 ◊ ½/15 ♦ 1/28 ◊ 1/25 6.5 / 11
15 Fuller,Maxwell L 2380 ♦ 1/34 ◊ 1/3 ♦ 0/2 ◊ 1/21 ♦ 0/9 ◊ 0/7 ♦ ½/30 ◊ ½/29 ♦ ½/14 ◊ 1/27 ♦ ½/20 6.0 / 11
16 Mestel,A Jonathan 2475 ◊ 1/22 ♦ 1/45 ◊ ½/5 ♦ ½/28 ◊ ½/10 ♦ 1/19 ◊ 0/12 ♦ 0/6 ♦ 1/31 ◊ 0/4 ♦ ½/17 6.0 / 11
17 Penrose,Jonathan 2420 ♦ 1/39 ◊ 0/2 ♦ 0/7 ◊ 1/26 ♦ ½/30 ◊ 1/47 ♦ 1/9 ◊ ½/19 ◊ 0/12 ♦ ½/23 ◊ ½/16 6.0 / 11
18 Cummings,David H 2265 ◊ ½/40 ♦ 0/10 ♦ 1/42 ◊ 1/23 ◊ 0/11 ♦ ½/25 ◊ ½/22 ♦ ½/30 ◊ 1/32 ♦ 1/19 ◊ 0/9 6.0 / 11
19 Watson,William 2265 ♦ ½/46 ◊ 1/35 ♦ 0/1 ◊ 1/39 ♦ 1/29 ◊ 0/16 ♦ 1/24 ♦ ½/17 ◊ 0/7 ◊ 0/18 ♦ 1/31 6.0 / 11
20 Wells,Ian Duncan 2200 ◊ ½/25 ♦ ½/40 ◊ 1/45 ♦ 0/12 ◊ ½/32 ♦ 1/37 ◊ 0/11 ◊ 1/33 ♦ 1/29 ♦ 0/7 ◊ ½/15 6.0 / 11
21 Britton,Richard 2300 ◊ 0/32 ♦ 1/43 ◊ 1/25 ♦ 0/15 ◊ 0/22 ♦ 0/34 ◊ 1/40 ♦ 0/37 ◊ 1/41 ♦ 1/39 ◊ 1/30 6.0 / 11
22 Hodgson,Julian M 2285 ♦ 0/16 ◊ 1/26 ♦ 1/14 ◊ 0/7 ♦ 1/21 ◊ 0/3 ♦ ½/18 ◊ 1/36 ◊ 0/10 ♦ 1/32 ◊ 0/11 5.5 / 11
23 Knox,Victor W 2345 ◊ 1/24 ♦ 0/5 ◊ 1/32 ♦ 0/18 ◊ 0/8 ◊ 0/33 ♦ 1/45 ♦ 1/41 ◊ 1/39 ◊ ½/17 ♦ 0/10 5.5 / 11
24 Muir,Andrew J   ♦ 0/23 ◊ 1/27 ♦ ½/30 ◊ 1/46 ◊ 1/41 ♦ 0/8 ◊ 0/19 ♦ ½/39 ◊ 1/37 ♦ 0/9 ◊ ½/26 5.5 / 11
25 Knott,Simon JB 2210 ♦ ½/20 ◊ ½/30 ♦ 0/21 ◊ ½/36 ♦ ½/34 ◊ ½/18 ♦ 1/47 ◊ 0/31 ♦ 1/33 ◊ 1/29 ♦ 0/14 5.5 / 11
26 Trevelyan,John 2205 ◊ 0/5 ♦ 0/22 ◊ 1/48 ♦ 0/17 ♦ 0/33 ◊ 1/45 ♦ ½/27 ◊ 1/47 ♦ 1/42 ◊ ½/31 ♦ ½/24 5.5 / 11
27 Steedman,James   ◊ 0/4 ♦ 0/24 ◊ 1/44 ♦ 0/41 ◊ ½/48 ♦ ½/40 ◊ ½/26 ♦ 1/46 ◊ 1/36 ♦ 0/15 ◊ 1/37 5.5 / 11
28 Morrison,Graham   ◊ 1/44 ♦ 1/13 ◊ ½/4 ◊ ½/16 ♦ 0/3 ♦ 0/12 ◊ 1/32 ♦ ½/10 ◊ 0/11 ◊ 0/14 ♦ ½/35 5.0 / 11
29 Hall,John   ◊ ½/38 ♦ ½/8 ◊ ½/11 ♦ 1/13 ◊ 0/19 ♦ 1/41 ◊ ½/10 ♦ ½/15 ◊ 0/20 ♦ 0/25 ◊ ½/36 5.0 / 11
30 Strauss,David J 2345 ◊ ½/10 ♦ ½/25 ◊ ½/24 ♦ 0/8 ◊ ½/17 ♦ 1/46 ◊ ½/15 ◊ ½/18 ♦ 0/9 ◊ 1/34 ♦ 0/21 5.0 / 11
31 Horner,Jeff 2390 ◊ 1/37 ♦ ½/6 ◊ 0/10 ♦ 0/11 ◊ 1/40 ♦ 1/38 ◊ 0/13 ♦ 1/25 ◊ 0/16 ♦ ½/26 ◊ 0/19 5.0 / 11
32 Baker,Chris W 2275 ♦ 1/21 ◊ 0/9 ♦ 0/23 ◊ 1/33 ♦ ½/20 ◊ ½/14 ♦ 0/28 ◊ 1/34 ♦ 0/18 ◊ 0/22 ♦ 1/44 5.0 / 11
33 Lloyd,Kenneth W   ◊ 0/6 ♦ 0/7 ◊ 1/43 ♦ 0/32 ◊ 1/26 ♦ 1/23 ◊ ½/41 ♦ 0/20 ◊ 0/25 ♦ ½/40 ◊ 1/39 5.0 / 11
34 Cooley,Christopher Martin   ◊ 0/15 ♦ 0/11 ◊ ½/37 ♦ 1/43 ◊ ½/25 ◊ 1/21 ♦ 0/14 ♦ 0/32 ◊ 1/40 ♦ 0/30 ◊ 1/41 5.0 / 11
35 Parkes,Tim   ◊ ½/8 ♦ 0/19 ◊ 0/41 ♦ 0/37 ◊ 0/43 ♦ 1/44 ♦ 0/42 ◊ 1/49 ♦ 1/47 ◊ 1/38 ◊ ½/28 5.0 / 11
36 Jackson,Sheila 2095 ◊ ½/14 ♦ ½/38 ◊ 0/12 ♦ ½/25 ♦ 0/39 ◊ 1/42 ◊ 1/37 ♦ 0/22 ♦ 0/27 ◊ ½/44 ♦ ½/29 4.5 / 11
37 Anderton,David W   ♦ 0/31 ◊ ½/46 ♦ ½/34 ◊ 1/35 ♦ ½/14 ◊ 0/20 ♦ 0/36 ◊ 1/21 ♦ 0/24 ◊ 1/42 ♦ 0/27 4.5 / 11
38 McNab,Colin A   ♦ ½/29 ◊ ½/36 ♦ ½/46 ◊ 1/47 ♦ 0/6 ◊ 0/31 ♦ 0/39 ◊ 0/42 ♦ 1/43 ♦ 0/35 ◊ 1/45 4.5 / 11
39 Alcock,Michael   ◊ 0/17 ♦ 1/44 ◊ ½/8 ♦ 0/19 ◊ 1/36 ♦ 0/13 ◊ 1/38 ◊ ½/24 ♦ 0/23 ◊ 0/21 ♦ 0/33 4.0 / 11
40 Quigley,Stephen 2270 ♦ ½/18 ◊ ½/20 ♦ 0/3 ◊ ½/45 ♦ 0/31 ◊ ½/27 ♦ 0/21 ◊ 1/43 ♦ 0/34 ◊ ½/33 ♦ ½/42 4.0 / 11
41 Ludgate,Alan Templeton 2230 ♦ 0/3 ◊ ½/42 ♦ 1/35 ◊ 1/27 ♦ 0/24 ◊ 0/29 ♦ ½/33 ◊ 0/23 ♦ 0/21 ◊ 1/47 ♦ 0/34 4.0 / 11
42 Kilgour,David A   ♦ 0/9 ♦ ½/41 ◊ 0/18 ◊ 0/14 ♦ 1/44 ♦ 0/36 ◊ 1/35 ♦ 1/38 ◊ 0/26 ♦ 0/37 ◊ ½/40 4.0 / 11
43 Macaulay,Simon   ♦ 0/2 ◊ 0/21 ♦ 0/33 ◊ 0/34 ♦ 1/35 ♦ ½/48 ◊ ½/46 ♦ 0/40 ◊ 0/38 ◊ 1/49 ♦ 1/47 4.0 / 11
44 Staples,Maurice J   ♦ 0/28 ◊ 0/39 ♦ 0/27 ♦ ½/48 ◊ 0/42 ◊ 0/35 ◊ 1/49 ♦ 1/45 ◊ 1/46 ♦ ½/36 ◊ 0/32 4.0 / 11
45 McAllan,Ian   ◊ 1/12 ◊ 0/16 ♦ 0/20 ♦ ½/40 ◊ 0/13 ♦ 0/26 ◊ 0/23 ◊ 0/44 ◊ 1/49 ♦ 1/46 ♦ 0/38 3.5 / 11
46 Brangham,Godfrey V   ◊ ½/19 ♦ ½/37 ◊ ½/38 ♦ 0/24 ♦ 0/47 ◊ 0/30 ♦ ½/43 ◊ 0/27 ♦ 0/44 ◊ 0/45 ◊ 1/49 3.0 / 11
47 Jones,Brian   ◊ 1/11 ♦ 0/4 ◊ ½/13 ♦ 0/38 ◊ 1/46 ♦ 0/17 ◊ 0/25 ♦ 0/26 ◊ 0/35 ♦ 0/41 ◊ 0/43 2.5 / 11
48 Branford,John W   ◊ 0/13 ♦ 0/12 ♦ 0/26 ◊ ½/44 ♦ ½/27 ◊ ½/43   1.5 / 6
49 Bye     ♦ 0/44 ♦ 0/35 ♦ 0/45 ♦ 0/43 ♦ 0/46 0.0 / 5

Locations of players as given in the tournament programme (note: these are the players originally scheduled to be playing - Miles, J. Cooper and Horner must have been relatively late entries): M. Alcock (Nottingham), D. W. Anderton (Aldridge), C. W. Baker (Coventry), R. Bellin (London), G. S. Botterill (Aberystwyth), G. Brangham (Usk), J. W. Branford (London), R. Britton (Sheffield), M. Chandler (New Zealand), C. M. Cooley (London), D. H. Cummings (Brighton), M. L. Fuller (Australia), J. Hall (Leeds), M. J. Haygarth (Leeds), M. Hebden (Leicester), J. M. Hodgson (London), Ms S. A. Jackson (London), B. A. Jones (Sheffield), D. A. Kilgour (Dundee), S. J. B. Knott (London), V. W. Knox (Cheadle), P. G. Large (Orpington), J. E. Littlewood (Skelmersdale), P. E. Littlewood (Daventry), K. W. Lloyd (Truro), Dr. A. T. Ludgate (Liverpool), I. McAllan (Sidcup), S. Macaulay (Southampton), C. A. McNab (Dundee), A. J. Mestel (Lewes), G. Morrison (Glasgow), A. J. Muir (Glasgow), Dr. J. D. M. Nunn (Oxford), T. Parkes (London), Dr. J. Penrose (Hertford), N. E. Povah (London), S. Quigley (London), N. D. Short (Atherton), J. S. Speelman (London), M. J. Staples (Bracknell), J. Steedman (Darlington), D. J. Strauss (London), J. Trevelyan (Bridgend), W. N. Watson (London), I. D. Wells (Morecambe).

Prizes - £900 + Sims prize, 2nd £800, 3rd £650, 4th £500, 5th £400, 6th £300, 7th £250, 8th £200. Time Limit: 40 moves in 2½ hours and 16 moves in each additional hour. Hours of Play: Monday August 6th to Friday August 17th (excluding Sunday August 12th) — 2.00 pm to 7.00 pm (Tournament Programme)

[British Chess Federation (BCF) Yearbook of Chess 1979-80, pps 61-63]

Report on the 66th Annual B.C.F. Congress

held at The Chester College of Higher Education and sponsored by Grieveson, Grant & Co. Chester from 6th—18th August, 1979

The Congress was opened by The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Chester, Councillor Hugh Jones with The President of the Federation D. W. Anderton Esq., O.B.E., in the chair.

The Congress coincided with the 75th Anniversary of the forming of The B.C.F. and to mark the occasion Messrs Grieveson Grant, who were sponsoring the Congress for the second year running, increased their sponsorship in several directions. They printed the programme, a souvenir number containing games by our four grand masters and three past Champions, together with a precis of the last 75 years. The prize list was extended and enhanced. In the Championship each game won by non-prize-winners was worth £5.00—this had the effect of increasing the won games by 36i% over last year and adding considerably to the enjoyment of the spectators. Extra prestige was given to the Major Open by a top prize of £150 whilst the First Class enjoyed £100 as their top with the Second and Third class following with £75 & £50, the last two classes were reintroduced to encourage the ordinary club player to share the joy of playing in the Congress. Our Sponsors did not forget the juniors, giving two prizes of £75 each to those most successful in the Championship. Medals were provided for the Junior sections and gifts were given to the Officials as a token of The Sponsors' appreciation of the hard work they had put in. It is good news for chess in general and the B.C.F. in particular that Grieveson Grant have stated that it is their intention to continue in supporting us in the future.

As to the Congress itself the tables follow and therefore it is only for me to pick out a few highlights. There was an entry of 520, 48 playing in the Championship and these players enjoyed the privilege of playing with Jacques Staunton sets, as a gift of 12 sets and boards had been made by The Chester Y.M.C.A. Chess Club together with a cheque for £250 to celebrate their own 60 years.

Nigel Short with wins over Miles and Speelman in rounds 8 & 9 jumped into the lead, however a draw in the 10th round enabled Beilin to catch him. These two met in the last round and their draw enabled Nunn to draw level with them by beating J. Littlewood. However, the tie break, in action for the first time, was in favour of Beilin who became a worthy Champion being the only player to go through without a defeat. Knowing that a winner would be declared the press and television were down in force together. Ceefax covered the whole 11 rounds.

The other Championships ran to form although Dr. Miles suffered a defeat at the hands of Miss Sunnucks before clinching The Ladies Title.

The venue was ideal with a third of the players living on the Campus, there was plenty of room both for play and analysis together with recreational facilities.

The Control team contained two newcomers, all worked hard with more adjournments than latter years (probably due to increased prizes). For the first time we had an official recorder, who took both work and responsibility off the controllers. Our Congess Secretary added to the general enjoyment and all in all it could be called a suc-cesful Congress.

V. J. R. Soanes
Congress Director.

British Under-21 Championship (11-round Swiss)

1 N. DAVIES 9; 2= J. J. ADY, S (Ashford, kent). J. FINLAYSON 8½; 4 C. S. M. THOMSON (Ayr) 7½, 5= S. P. Finn (Cheltenham), P. A. Richmond (Nottingham) 7; 7= K. C. Arkell (Birmingham), K. R. Barnes (Manchester), P. J. Dixon (Sheffield), H. Erdogan (London), A. Jackson (Doncaster), S. J. Shutler (Poole), C. Fegan, 6½; 14= J. Anderson (Enfeidl), Ms S. L. Caldwell (London), N. Chan (Harrow), D. K. Evans (Bridgend), R. C. P. Freeman (Bedford), J. C. Hawksworth (Bradford), D, A. Houston (Belfast), G. Senior (Leeds), N. D. Walford (Nottingham) 6; 23= M. D. Burt (Pontefract), C. L. Higgie (Malpas), M. K. Stone (West Kirby), T. L. Milligan 5½; 27= T. R. Carr (London), G. Morris (Buckley), K. Winter (Saltburn-on-Sea), H. A. J. Stewart, A. Smith, S. J. Byrne 5; 33= S. Mulligan (Blackpool), D. C. Perrett (Caerphilly), L. J. Smart (London) 4½; 36= J. B. Henderson (Kirkintilloch), Miss S. J. Wilson (Irby, Wirral), P.C. Thomas 4; 39= D. A. Law (Margate), J. R. Sallares (Manchester), D. J. Thompson (Liverpool), D. Tuddenham (Harrow), J. E. Upham (Camberley) 3½; 44 M. J. Morton (Swindon) 3. O. S. Phillips (Cwmbran) withdrew with 3/7 and D. Reilly withdrew ill with 1/5.

British Under-18 Championship (11-round Swiss)

1= S. G. R. KERR* (London), A. P. LEWIS (Chelmsford), J. J. COX 9; 4 E. O. M. C. TEICHMANN (Cambridge) 7½; 5= K. Allen (Belfast), T. Farrand (Stockport), S. R. Weatherill (Ilkley) 7; 8 J. Friedland (London) 6½; 9= A. T. Brint (Chester), P. G. Donovan (Bexhill), P. F. Hasson (Ponteland), H. R. Hughes (Manchester), J. Hunt (Prestatyn), N. M. Jones (Wolverhampton), P. J. Sullivan (Sutton), S. C. Pike 6; 17= I. G. Cragg (Weymouth), R. Haydon (Swindon), K. B. Hills (Honiton), M. Johnstone (Camberley), A. C. Kearns (Lancaster), A. J. King (Bromley), J. F. S. Menadue (Truro), S. K. Roberts (Wakefield), M. R. Taylor (Rugby), P. P. Taylor (Bromley), M. Vidler (Staines), H. Duckers, A. J. Norman 5½; 30= I. S. Barnett (Leeds), M. C. Jackson (Southampton), T. M. Joslyn (Southampton), N. J. L. Brown, 5; 34= A. Barron (Prescot), R. R. Berry (Glasgow), A. Tankel (Glasgow), Miss H. C. Watkins (Pontarddulais) 4½; 38= J. C. Barron (Prescot), G. M. Jennings (Belfast), I. D. Powell (Wigan) 4; 41 D. M. Jamieson (Pudsey) 3½; 42 M. P. Cleland 3; 43 Miss L. A. M. Pereira (London) 2; 44 Miss T. Hill (Shipley) 1. [HELEN] CLARE WATKINS, AS HIGHEST PLACED GIRL, BECOMES BRITISH GIRLS UNDER-18 CHAMPION.

British Under-16 Championship (11-round Swiss)

1= L. J. PINTO (London), P. K. WELLS* (Portsmouth) 8½; 3 J. LEVITT 8; 4= D. P. FROST (Lewes) , W. T. GIBLIN (Doncaster) , C. A. JONES (Wolverhampton), J. R. RICHARDSON (London) 7½; 8= G. D. Davies (Solihull), N. F. Dickenson (Sevenoaks), J. C. Howell (Harrogate), B. A. Jacobs (Slough), J. R. Kennedy (Belfast), N. Bradbury 7; 14= C. J. Archer-Lock (Plymouth), K. Bowden (Brentwood), S. G. Dighton (Purley), D. J. Edmonds (Bromley), M. J. Goodger (Salford), M. E. L. Griffiths (Shrewsbury), M. C. Smyth (Bangor, Co. Down), T. E. Wiley (Birkenhead), G. O. Roberts 6½; 23= S. D. Bell (Southampton), M. Bennett (London), J. A. Giltrow (London), M. Johnson (Norwich), I. Robson (Brentwood) 6; 28= K. Beedle (Chesham), C. J. Brookes (Bristol), M. J. Hughes (Plymouth), C. Kostick (Chester), K. B. McEwan (Norwich), P. D. Manning (Manchester), S. J. Roe (Dunstable), A. J. Rounding (Blaydon on Tyne), D. C. Spurgeon (Portsmouth), R. M. Whitehouse (King's Lynn), B. L. Baer, J. Sharp 5½; 40= G. W. Derbyshire (Colwyn Bay), R. G. Frew (Belfast), P. S. J. Jones (Wolverhampton), C. A. Pickering (Leeds), K. A. Yeomans (Birmingham) 5; 45= G. L. Brown (London), A. M. Jenkins (Hereford), J. Pickering (Leeds), M. P. Sames (Romford), A. R. Whitehead (Leek), G. A. Novik 4½; 51= D. G. Artt (Belfast), R. A. Cotton (Sidmouth), D. B. Forson (Newtownabbey), I. S. Howarth (Bury), O. Ledbury (Boston), N. Marriott (Manchester), A. I. Wilson (Salford), P. Durnell 4; 59 P. Richards (Hull) 3½; 60= M. J. Melville (Dollar), S. C. Schofield (Bury) 3; 62= Miss C. L. Lane (Croydon), D. J. Williams (Prestatyn) 2½; 64 K. G. Allman (Leeds) 2.

British Under-14 Championship (11-round Swiss)

1= I. A. WELCH (Portsmouth), G. LANE* 9; 3 K. DAWSON (Ossett) 8½; 4= S. R. MANNION, N. CARR (Barking), A. KLUTH (Southampton), B. T. SHARP (Kidderminster) 7½; 8= D.P. McCarthy (Plymouth), N. Thomas (Northampton) 7; 10= N. J. M. Pelling (Hornchurch), G. A. Waddingham (Nottingham), Miss S. K. Walker (Sutton), A. C. L. Dyson 6½; 14= A. J. Dunnington (Castleford), N. I. Fox (Borehamwood), S. E. Lazarus (London), S. R. Lee (Barkingside), A. J. Mitchell (Annan), C. Pierce (Chester), A. B. Rose (London), D. J. Watts (Harrow) 6; 22= I. Banerjee (London), N. Crickmore (Plymouth), J. D. Hockaday (Harrow), J. T. Hockaday (Harrow), D. A. Knox (Cheadle), M. E. Vernon (Southsea), F. M. Wilson (Rotherham) 5½; 29= J. Beedle (Chesham), P. A. Garrett (Liverpool), R. Ledbury (Boston), M. D. Pridmore (Whitby, Yorks), K. Stanford (London), M. L. Vincent (Billingham), M. I. Watkins (Pontarddulais), N. P. Greer 5; 37= S. J. Hallworth (Mold), A. M. Hynes (Crewe), K. J. Straughan (Sunderland), A. Weinberg (Chester), D. N. Whittaker (Nottingham), A. Jefferson, S. Mitchell 4½; 44= Miss K. A. Cartmel (Thornton Heath), R. J. Oates 4; 46 T. C. Borland (Upton-by-Chester) 3½; 47 Miss S. E. Clarke (Bude) 2½; 48 C. P. Hadden 1. R. Lee (Royston) withdrew ill with 1/7. SUSAN WALKER, AS HIGHEST PLACED GIRL, IS BRITISH GIRLS UNDER-14 CHAMPION.

British Under-11 Championship (7-round Swiss)

1 E. S. LEE (Barkingside) 7; 2 G. MEITINER (Royston) 5½; 3= J. P. BAILLIE (Portsmouth), N. P. CARTON (Newcastle, Co. Down), J. W. FRANKLIN (Ilford), I. P. HASLEGRAVE (Stourbridge) 5; 7= G. K. Brown (Boston), P. M. Brown (Harrow), D. R. Norwood (Bolton) 4½; 10= C. Butt (Plymouth), T. M. Foster (Liverpool), I. Galloway (Sidcup), P. J. Rossiter (Portsmouth), J. P. Sharp (London), R. Maullin, A. M. Stone, J. D. Carlin 4; 18= P. Stevenson (Liverpool), M. J. Thompson (Neston), D. A. Wood (Chatham) 3½; 21= A. J. Fleetwood (Liverpool), J. J. Fleetwood (Liverpool), Miss C. L. Hallett (Waterlooville), K. N. E. Knowles (Liverpool), S. R. Pettit (Rushden), M. A. Wheeler (Walsall) 3; 27= A. J. Bolland (Boston), N. A. Peters (London), Miss J. M. Rawson (Blackpool), M. R. Syrett (Alford) 2½; 31= Miss C. Beckett (Chester), Miss P. A. Clarke (Bude), G. Knox (Cheadle), M. B. Peters (London) 2; 35 S. J. Lamping (St Bees) 1½, A. Pritchard (Chester) withdrew with 0/3.

Major Open Tournament (11-round Swiss)

1 M. PEIN (Liverpool) 8½; 2= J. HENSHAW, G. D. LEE (London) 8; 4= R. GRANAT (London), R. F. HOLMES (Richmond, Surrey) 7½; 6= Prof. J. T. Farrand (Stockport), Dr. R. Johannes (London), A. D. Martin (London), J. T. Pitcher (Stoke-on-Trent) 7; 10= R A. Doney (Altrincham), M. P. Townsend )Upton-by-Chester) 6½; 12= B. J. Denman (Hove), A. D. Gravett (Knutsford), R. J. Jacobs (Westerham), F. Parr (Ewell), A. G. Trangmar (Stevenage), B. R. Smith (Darlington), J. N. Sugden (Cambridge), J. E. Vickery (Leeds) 6; 20= C. A. Frostick (Orpington), O. A. Jackson (Wilmslow), P. J. Sowray (London), A. Hosking 5½; 24= T. M. Clarke (Belfast), P. R. Davies (Leicester), D. M. Denison (Wakefield), K. L. Escott (Sutton Coldfield), C. P. Garwood (Dunstable), M. A. Lee (Sheffield), P. Robinson (Stoke-on-Trent), R. H. Watson (Cheadle), N. Bryans 5; 33= Dr. P. Dean (Sutton), P. F. Habershon (Bedford), S. C. James (Lightwater), R. Moss (Bracknell) 4½; 37= P. B. Cook (Richmond, Surrey), A. P. Taglione (Bardford), P. M. Stevenson (Wallasey) 4; 40= D. M. Andrew (Croydon), Miss C. E. Whitehead (Leek), S. Wiliams (Plymouth) 3½; 43 N. D. Arkell (Birmingham) 3. Sir Stuart Milner-Barry (London) withdrew ill with 3/7.

First Class Tournament (11-round Swiss)

1= S. DEIGHTON (Leeds), L. M. WOOLDRIDGE (Dover) 8; 3= D. R. CARLESS (High Wycombe), B. HALLIWELL (Pulborough), V. B. RUMSEY (Ilford) 7½; 6= P. Morrey (Reading), R. P. Ross (Hull) 7; 8= E. J. Canham (Rossett), M. F. Driscoll (Wallasey), B. R. Ewart (Wallasey), F. Grzesik 6½; 12= P. Coughlin (Leeds), R. Hardy (King's Lynn), R./M. J. Hughes (Sutton Bridge), Rev. P. R. Kings (Ling's Lynn), A. Pinkerton (Belfast) 6; 17= Dr. K. R. Cherubim (West Germany), J. N. McDonald (Aberystwyth), R. A. Walker (Chester), J. Wilman (Cambridge), A. Gaffney, R. W. O'Brien 5½; 23= A. L. Charity (Bury St Edmunds), R. James (Twickenham), P. G. Middleton (Sale), L. Steinhardt 5; 27= M. Bird (Woodford Green), L. Bridges (Liverpool), D. Mayers (Ipswich), J. D. Blore, F. Corrigan 4½; 32= R. V. H. Butters (Stafford), G. S. McCormick (Belfast), O. Doring 4; 35 D. Welch (Liverpool) 3½. N. A. P. McSheehy (Birmingham) withdrew with 2½/6 and R. T. F. Williams (Chichester) withdrew with 1/6.

Second Class Tournament (11-round Swiss)

1 S. M. McKENZIE (Bolton) 10; 2 G. J. MASON (London) 9½; 3= J. M. HAIGH (Wakefield), F. SALT (Hawarden) 7½; 5= K. Clow (Benfleet), S. J. Connor (Wallasey) 7; 7= P. T. Guyan (Bristol), D. G. Woodruff (Bristol) 6½; 9= C. Binns (Keighley), G. A. M. Boswell (Liverpool), A. P. Davies (Chester), L. Fawcett (Bishops Stortford), D. J. Hirst (Chester), M. J. Hooper (London), J. R. M. Moore (London) 6; 16= P. Griffiths (Warrington), P. S. Morton (London), J. D. M. Nicholas (London) 5½; 19= H. J. Draisey (Bristol), G. V. Glover (Carlisle), D. F. Newell (Chester), V. Ramjit (Durham), P. G. Reed (Chester) 5; 24= B. Blackburn (Croydon), J. D. Pratt (Basingstoke), P. A. Statham (London), A. A. Roszkowski 4½; 28= J. R. Beadle (London), B. Welsh (Chester), G. V. Stewart 4; 31 A. Claremont (Chester-le-Street) 3½; 32 A. J. Doherty (York) 3; 33 F. R. J. Martin (Norwich) 2½. A. R. Hitchcock (Sandy) withdrew with 3/8.

Third Class Tournament (American)

1 A. E. GENTRY (Romford) 10½; 2 A. R. HENRY (London) 8½; 3 A. J. SAGE (Bath) 8; 4 J. C. CALVERT (Nottingham) 7½; 5 M. J. Kelly (Belfast) 6½; 6 J. G. Wright (Bromley) 5½; 7= D. Mclndoe (Dagenham), F. A. Winter (Richmond, Surrey) 5; 9 D. I. Dickson (Caergwle) 4½; 10 G. O. J. Melitus (London) 4; 11= J. Reynolds, J. Beddows 0. [?? - not sure how two players in an a.p.a. can finish on zero! - JS]

Over-60 Tournament (American)

1 H. I. WOOLVERTON (London) 10; 2 J. B. HAWSON (Worcester Park) 9; 3= A. LAXTON (London), A. F. STOBO (Altrincham) 7½; 5 P. Doig (Wormit) 6½; 6= J. Johnson, J. Holdcroft 5½; 8 H. Standring (Sheffield) 5; 9 A. Milner (Manchester) 4; 10 A. J. L. Wade (Torquay) 2½; 11 Dr. R. H. S. Phillips (Cwmbran) 2; 12 F. Richardson (St Annes-on-Sea) 1.

Five-Day Tournament, Week One Morning (5-round Swiss)

1= M. J. LAMPING (St Bees), T. GRZESKI 4½; 3= R. ALSTER (Iver), R. L. SMITH (Barry) 4; 5= J. Alster (Iver), P. R. Bielby (Sunderland) 3½; 7= M. Alster (Iver), A. W. Boggis (Wigan), R. M. Eames (Berkhamsted), S. J. Lingard (Leeds), L. Peters (London), P. B. Pinto (London), G. B. Davies 3; 14= I. Dutton (Warrington), A. Gardner (Bolton), L. Mouillaux (France), J. Whyte (Dumbarton) 2½; 18= J. Ainsworth (Chester), Miss J. Ashdown (Nuneaton), D. Loveday (Nuneaton), E. F. Norris (Rhyl), A. Ries, R. Kiefer 2; 24= H. M. Brown (RAF), C. J. Pierpoint (Norwich) 1½; 26= Miss J. Anthony (Nuneaton), E. E. Croker (Edgware), A. D. Gow (RAF), M. Wurth 1. D. G. Harding (RAF) withdrew with 1/2.

Five-Day Tournament, Week One Afternoon (5-round Swiss)

1= P. GIULIAN (Newton Mearns), M. PRICE, B. ELEY 4; 4= Rev. D. J. CASIOT (Manchester), L. H. A. HARRISON (Chester), A. P. PRIMETT (Haywards Heath) 3½; 7= N. M. Andrews (Teddington), J. J. Hodgkinson (Stoke-on-Trent), D. S. Robertson 3; 10= G. M. Conley (Mold), W. A. Shutler (Poole) 2½; 12= J. E. Hockaday (Harrow), P. R. Locking (Sheffield), E. J. Newton (Stafford), D. Bennion, D. Flannery 2; 17 J. C. Clement-Evans (Liverpool) 1½; 18= G. J. Bromley (Chester), R. S. G. Makin (Liverpool) 1.

Five-Day Tournament, Week Two Morning (5-round Swiss)

1 T. GRZESKI 4½; 2 N. MARTIN 4; 3= G. DAVIES (Hertford), P. C. HOAD (Chester), D. I. HULME (Wallasey), G. SOMMERVILLE (Buckley) 3½; 7= P. R. Bielby (Sunderland), H. T. Jones (Tunbridge Wells), C. L. Ridley (Rugby), A. G. A. Willis (Walsall), S. Schwartz 3; 12= E. J. Downham (Wallasey), R. G. Jones (Aldridge), L. Mouillaux (France), D. Sherwood (Wetherby), L. A. Trangmar (Beckenham), T. Walton (Northwich) 2½; 18= C. H. A. Caldicott (Rugby), P. Dansey (St Neots), I. Dutton (Warrington), P. B. Pinto (London), E. E. Wright (Harrow), D. A. Wood 2; 24 E. S. Lee (Barkingside) 1½; 25= J. Higgins (Wallasey), J. F. Morris (Mold), S. A. Ord (Romford), M. J. Trayford 1.

Five-Day Tournament, Week Two Afternoon (5-round Swiss)

1 B. ELEY 5; 2 N. M. ANDREWS (Teddington) 4; 3= A. P. PRIMETT (Haywards Heath), G. H. JAMES, T. A. RICHARDS 3½; 6= M. J. O'Hara (Bolton), J. E. Turnock (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), J. Gorman, N. Walters 3; 10= F. J. Bradshaw (Runcorn), R. Dickinson (Warrington), D. Bennion, R. A. Coleby 2½; 14= A. Eagle (Formby) [probably not Angela Eagle, who was taking part in the Ladies' Championship - father of same?], W. A. Shutler (Poole), A. Hickling, D. A. Brown 2; 18= L. Nicholas, J. Goffey 1½; 20= G. Cochrane (Norwich), C. E. Jones (Altrincham) 1. G. Wandless-Renton withdrew due to family bereavement with 1/2.

* Unusually for British Championships, ties for first place were decided by sum of opponents' scores at this championship. Thus Robert Bellin was declared champion, Steve Kerr the Under-18 champion, Peter Wells the Under-16 champion and Gary Lane the Under-14 champion, despite tying on the same score as other competitors in their respective competitions. Here is the text from the 1979 tournament programme: "TIE-BREAKING - TIES WILL BE BROKEN FOR ALL TITLES, PROMOTIONS, EXEMPTIONS ET CETERA. However, ties will not be broken for the determining of prize-monies, which in the event of any ties will be shared - save that the Sims Prize (British Championship) and Lander Prize (British Ladies Championship) cannot be shared and will be awarded in total to the respective Champions." Elsewhere on the same page of the programme: "FOR TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURES SEE SEPARATE NOTICE" No copy of that separate notice is available but it seems that sum of opponents' scores was used as the tie-break method.

[The Guardian, 18 August 1979, p2] "Schoolboy Nigel Short, pictured here in combat with Robert Bellin, 27, narrowly failed to win the Grieveson Grant British Chess Championship at Chester last night when their game ended in a draw. Nigel, 14, of Bolton School, tied on points with Bellin, of Great Yarmouth, and grandmaster John Nunn of Oxford. All three scored eight points out of 11 but Bellin was declared the winner under tie break rules based on opponents' scores. Nigel's performance qualifies as an international master result because four of his opponents were non-English. He is the youngest in chess history to achieve this honour, beating by two months the world record set by Mecking of Brazil in the 1966 South American championship. Dr Jana Miles won the British Ladies Championship for the eighth time in 10 years. The British under-16 championship was won by 14-year-old Peter Wells, of Portsmouth; the under-14 title went to Gary Lane, now 14, of Paignton; the under-18 title went to Stephen Kerr, a 17-year-old Australian."

1979 British Ladies' Chess Championship (11 rounds): 1 JANA M MILES (Birmingham) 9/11; 2 Jane Garwell (Pontypool) 8; 3 Helen M Granat (London) 7½; 4 P Anne Sunnucks (Camberley) 7; 5-10 Toni Binns (Keighley), Mrs Margaret E E (Peggy) Clarke (Bude), Debbie Evans (Kenilworth), Elaine Pritchard (Godalming), Wanda Pritchard (Godalming), Dinah M Wright (Wembley) 6; 11-15 Rowena M Bruce (Plymouth), Maria Eagle (Formby), Nancy Elder (Dundee), Jane F Seymour (Portsmouth), Suzzane J Wood (Enfield) 5½; 16 Jean P M Rogers (London) 5; 17-18 Lynne G P Houston (Dundee), Gaynor James (Lightwater) 4½; 19 Christine M Elder (Dundee) 4; 20-21 Angela Eagle (Formby), Margaret J Goodwin (Poole) 3; 22 Valerie Craven (Leeds) 2/6 (withdrew ill). A Miss S. M. Prince (Portsmouth) was listed as a competitor in the tournament programme but must have dropped out. Prizes: First £150 + the Lander Prize, Second £100, Third £50, Fourth £30. N.B. The Lander Prize is approximately £60, which goes to the British Lady Champion and will not be shared. Other prizemonies will be divided in the event of a tie. Competitors' attention is drawn to the Programme Notice on tie-breaking. Time Limit: Forty moves in 214 hours and sixteen in each additional hour. Hours of Play: Monday August 6th to Friday August 17th (excluding Sunday August 12th) — 2.00 pm to 7.00 p.m. The Winner will be eligible to play in the British Championship in 1980. (Tournament Programme)

The 1979 congress programme included the following article by John Poole marking the 75th anniversary of the British Chess Federation. Editorial insertions in square brackets are by me, John Saunders. This is effectively an early draft of what much later became the 100-year history of the federation by the same author in collaboration with Stewart Reuben: it is available online here.


The history of British chess and its development during the 19th Century makes fascinating study. In the early part of that century there was no organised chess as we know it today; serious play was confined to match games between the few masters for a purse, usually played at one of the well-known chess meeting rooms in London. The masters would play amateurs on a piece/move handicap basis. Play was often very slow — up to 2 or 2½ hours a move could be taken — time control was not introduced until the 1862 tournament (24 moves in 2 hours) when hour-glasses were used, chess clocks not being introduced until 1883. London and Paris were regarded as the principal centres of chess and many of the leading foreign players took up residence in London and contributed greatly to the development of chess in this country. Such names as Steinitz, Lowenthal, Gunsberg, Zukertort and others, are closely associated with these early days of British chess. But it is Howard Staunton who is regarded as the doyen of British chess and it was he who was mainly responsible for making London the leading centre in the middle of the century. He perceived and organised the first international tournament in 1851 and was largely responsible for the game's development in many ways, including the internationally agreed code of chess laws first published in 1860.

As the century progressed, so chess developed. London remained the main centre but provincial activities increased. A number of organisations grew up and two main bodies emerged — the British Chess Association and the Counties' Chess Association. Both of these originated from Yorkshire: the former was originally the Yorkshire Chess Association (formed in 1840), became the Northern and Midland Counties' Chess Association (1852) and as its influence grew the name was changed to the British Chess Association. The B.C.A. organised the 1862 International Masters' Tournament — only the second ever to be held and, incidentally, the first time any tournament was run on the "American" type pairing system. It continued very active under its paid manager, Lowenthal, until his death in 1876. A new organisation under the same name was revived in 1884, of which Leopold Hoffer was secretary, which continued until 1894, when it appears to have become virtually dormant.

The C.C.A. arose out of the North Yorkshire and Durham Chess Association, which in 1868 became the Yorkshire Chess Association and in 1869 the Counties' Chess Association. Like the B.C.A. it ceased to function from 1894, although an effort was made to revive it in 1897. Unfortunately, the B.C.A. and C.C.A. were unable to work together and there appears to have been much wrangling and jealousy. Of significance also were the leading London clubs, especially the City of London formed in 1852 and the St. George's, although several other prominent ones existed and towards the end of the 19th Century the London Chess League emerged, the beginnings of which started in 1883.

But the creation of a truly national organisation was due to the comparatively newly-formed counties' chess unions: the SCCU [Southern Counties' Chess Union] was first mooted in 1891, the NCCU [Northern Counties' Chess Union] in 1894 (but not formed until 1899 after the Lancashire Chess Association had come into being), and the MCCU [Midland Counties' Chess Union] which was founded in 1897. It was these organisations along with the London Chess League, with sympathetic support from the Scottish Chess Association (formed in 1884 after unsuccessful attempts in 1867 and 1872) which formed the B.C.F. in 1904: unfortunately, it was not until 1917 that the City of London Chess Club joined, but the S.C.A. [Scottish Chess Association] did so in 1908.

By the end of the 19th Century chess activities in Britain had increased enormously since the days of Staunton. The B.C.A. introduced a Challenge Cup competition in 1866 but this lapsed after a few years (1872): in the same year it issued a book of Transactions and a Directory of players. Also in that year the first-ever World Championship match was organised — in London, between Steinitz and Anderssen. In 1871 the first county match was played (Yorkshire v Lancashire) but not to be repeated for twelve years. The first telephone game was played in 1878 and in 1896 an Anglo-American cable match series commenced. In 1883 another and very successful international tournament was organised in London. Around this period British players such as Blackburne, Burn, Bird, Mason and others achieved considerable success in international tournaments.

From 1884 until 1902 a British Amateur Championship, the fore-runner of the British Championship, was held and also from 1884 an annual Scottish Championship. The last B.C.A. congress was in 1892 but in that year there was the first congress in Wales. In 1895 the first Hastings Masters' Tournament took place, also the first Ladies' Tournament and a Ladies' Chess Club was formed in London: in 1897 the first London International Tournament. By this time county matches were being played, the SCCU holding its first county championship in 1893/94, and encounters between North and South stimulated appreciable interest. The Oxford and Cambridge annual University match was inaugurated in 1873 and has continued ever since, with the exception of the war years.

Thus the desire emerged for a national body which resulted in the Unions' initiation. After protracted efforts the B.C.F. was formally established on 7th May, 1904, with F.G. Naumann (London) as President, L.P. Rees (Redhill) as Secretary and H.E. Dobell (Hastings) as Treasurer. In view of all the difficulties it was no mean achievement for the new organisation to succeed and much credit is due especially to the sustained work of Messrs. Rees and Dobell, who remained in their offices until 1938 and 1928, respectively. In 1905 Sir John O.S. Thursby succeeded F.G. Naumann as President. The governing council comprised six delegates from each constituent unit and two of those delegates from each unit made up the executive committee.

The early years of the newly-formed national body were relatively uneventful. Fortunately, it was able to start on a satisfactory financial basis, thanks to generous donations. It was recognised that the B.C.F. was regarded as mainly an administrative body with limited inducements to offer individuals: nevertheless, an associate membership class was introduced at 10/6d. and by 1913 twenty such members had been enrolled. A Permanent Invested Fund was established in 1906 (which by 1913 stood at £305) and donors of £10 were offered Life Membership.

The principal work of the Federation during the consolidation period was the holding of its Annual Congress which included the British and Ladies' Championships and other events such as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class tournaments, lightning and problem-solving competitions. It is recorded that during the period 1904/1913, the average number of congress competitors was 109 — the highest being 144 (Hastings 1904) and lowest 74 (Glasgow 1911). These congresses were hosted in turn by each constituent unit, the hosting unit being responsible for half the cost. Admission was by season ticket at a cost of 3/—, or for 6d. per day. The venues were Hastings, Southport, Shrewsbury, London, Tunbridge Wells, Scarborough, Oxford, Glasgow, Richmond and Cheltenham. During this period H.E. Atkins (7 times), W.E. Napier, R.C. Griffith and F.D. Yates became the Champions, whilst Miss Finn (twice) Mrs. Herring (twice), Mrs. Houlding (twice), Mrs. Anderson (twice), Mrs. Curling and Mrs. Moseley won the Ladies'. The average cost of these congresses was £336.14s.4d. and the average prize money £246. Also recorded is the fact that total expenses (excluding congresses) for the 10 years amounted to £869.19s.4d. and a balance existed of £26.4s.4d., it being said that "reasonable economy was exercised."!

The Counties' Championship was started in 1908, this being competed for by the three Union Champions over a minimum of 12 boards: the winners were Middlesex (1908/9/10), Surrey (1911), Kent (1912) and Middlesex again in 1913. In 1905/6 an Inter-Union Correspondence Competition (60-a-side) was held, the NCCU beating the L.C.L. in the final. This was not repeated as the MCCU and L.C.L. were unwilling to raise teams in 1907, but hope was expressed that a Counties' Correspondence Competition could be introduced in due course. In actual fact this was started in 1915/16. Problems and Solving Tourneys were conducted in 1906/10 which attracted "world wide entries", but were discontinued as it was felt that the requirements were catered for adequately by the various chess columns.

The other activities of the newly-formed B.C.F. included the encouragement of chess in (public) schools and the award annually of a Challenge Shield, this award going to St. Anne's School, Redhill, in 1910, Manchester Grammar 1911, Rugby 1912 and to the London Secondary Schools' League in 1913; the issue (free) of a Year Book; provision of an Adjudication service; arrangements for an improved chess clock to be made; the preparation of a new set of chess laws which was submitted for international acceptance and publication of a list of leading restaurants in 24 resorts where chess could be played.

Negotiations regarding membership took place with the North and South Wales Associations and with the New Zealand C.A. (their representative participated in the 1912 Championship), whilst contact was maintained with Australia, Canada, South Africa and India in the hope of strengthening these links. The B.C.F. saw the need for an International Chess Federation and proposed a draft constitution; however, it was 1923 before F.I.D.E. was formed.

Apart from the B.C.F. Congresses, the only important tournaments held in Britian at this time were those organised by the Scottish C.A., the Kent and Sussex C.A.'s and the NCCU Championships. Concern was expressed over our diminishing international chess prestige, our leading players, the veterans Blackburne and Burn, and F.D. Yates enjoying only limited success. In 1911 the young Capablanca made his first visit to Britain. The idea of organising an international tournament in England in 1912 was abandoned due to the large number of Continental events already planned for that year.

Activities in 1914 were, of course, interrupted by the outbreak of war. A match against Holland was played, Britain being represented on the top five boards by H.E. Atkins, F.D. Yates, T.F. Lawrence, G.A. Thomas and J.H. Blackburne: a noteworthy feature of British chess in that year was the presentation made to Blackburne at the conclusion of the great St. Petersburg Tournament in which he competed at the age of 73. The Annual Congress was held at Chester, but there were many enforced withdrawals, the Championship ending in an unresolved tie between Blackburne and Yates.

There was little chess in Britain in the next four years although Individual and Inter-County Correspondence Championships were started. A Library was set up in 1916 but seems to have enjoyed only limited use despite the value of books provided.

The famous St. George's Club closed during the war and the cup they had possessed was later recovered from a dealer and bought by the B.C.F. in 1922 —this is the historic Lowenthal Cup which is now the English Counties' Championship Trophy and commemorates the outstanding contribution which J.J. Lowenthal made to British chess during the last 25 years of his life.

Membership of the B.C.F. increased after the war, the British Problem Society and the South Wales C.A. becoming units, the Calcutta Chess Society joining as an overseas unit and the House of Commons Chess Circle becoming an honorary constituent, all with representation on the Council. In 1923 the B.C.C.A. became affiliated.

As the war drew to its close work started in October, 1918, on preparations for the outstandingly successful Hastings Victory Congress of 1919, which attracted 123 competitors. The Masters' event was won by Capablanca with Sir George Thomas and F.D. Yates sharing 3rd and 4th places. There was no British Championship that year but the Ladies was won by Mrs. Holloway.

The next big event was the London 1922 Masters' at which Capablanca, by then World Champion, came first ahead of Alekhine, Vidmar, Rubinstein, Bogoljuboff, Reti and Tartakower: F.D. Yates tied with Maroczy for 8th prize. Miss Price won the Women's Open. The Congress cost over £1,000 — then a considerable expense: there were over 4,500 spectators.

The Annual Congresses between 1920 and 1929 were held at Edinburgh, Malvern, London, Southsea, Southport, Stratford, Tenby and Ramsgate: the Championship was won by F.D. Yates (3 times), H.E. Atkins (twice). Sir George Thomas, R.H.V. Scott and Mir Sultan Khan, (no championship was held in either 1922 or 1927); the Ladies' by Miss Price (4 times), Mrs. Stevenson (twice), Mrs. Anderson and Miss Gilchrist, (no competition in 1927). A small double-round tourney for B.C.F. Champions was held in 1920/21, score Yates 4, Scott 3½, Atkins 3, Griffith 1½. Little success was achieved by our players in the international field in the 1920's, Atkins, Yates and Sir George Thomas being our principal representatives. Sadly, J.H. Blackburne and Amos Burn died in this period.

In 1927 the B.C.F. started the International Team Tournament, the British Empire team finishing 3rd out of 16; also an International Tournament in London in which Nimzovitch and Tartakower shared 1st place, our highest placed competitor being W. Winter, who came 6th with Reti.

Of domestic activities in the 1920's, the Counties' Championship was resumed in 1920, Middlesex, Surrey and Lancashire each winning three times, but it was Yorkshire who broke the Southern monopoly in 1921. Both County and Individual Correspondence Championships were held and in 1923 P.S. Milner-Barry won the first Under-18 Championship. Other interesting B.C.F. activities included participation in the 1925 Exhibition of Sports and Pastimes organised as part of the Annual Marine and Small Crafts Exhibition and Congress, and an invitation to participate in the four-yearly event reviving ancient competitions in Ireland, organised by Aonac Tailteann (Irish Games). In 1928 a B.C.F. Benevolent Fund was set up.

When the B.C.F. celebrated its Silver Jubilee a great deal had been achieved in those 25 years. The financial position showed total receipts of £4,855 and total expenses £4,381, with £347 in the Permanent Invested Fund.

The 1930's saw B.C.F. Congresses at Scarborough, Worcester, London, Hastings, Chester, Great Yarmouth, Bournemouth, Blackpool, Brighton and Bournemouth again. The Championship was not contested in 1930 and 1939 due to the International Team Tournament, but between 1931 and 1938 the event was won by Mir Sultan Khan and W. Winter twice each, F.D. Yates, Sir George Thomas, W.A. Fairhurst and C.H. O'D. Alexander. The Ladies' Champions were Mrs. Holloway, Miss Dew, Miss Musgrave and Miss Saunders. In addition to events already established, a Girls' Under-18 was introduced.

The year 1936 was notable for the Nottingham Tournament in which 15 Masters competed; Botwinnik and Capablanca shared 1st place with 10 points, followed by Euwe, Fine and Reshevsky (9½), Alekhine (9) etc., the British players being T.H. Tylor, C.H. O'D. Alexander, Sir George Thomas and W. Winter. The Congress cost over £3,000 and was made possible by the generosity of Mr. J.N. Derbyshire.

Our international participation was confined to the Team Tournaments in 1930 (Hamburg, 8th out of 18), 1931 (Prague 9/19), 1933 (Folkestone 10/15), 1935 (Warsaw 12/20), 1937 Stockholm 12/19) and 1939 (Buenos Aires - from which our team withdrew after finishing 3rd in their preliminary section, due to the outbreak of war): as Scotland entered their own team from 1933, our teams from then became B.C.F. teams. During this period we were represented by Mir Sultan Khan, Sir George Thomas, W. Winter, R.P. Michell, H.E. Atkins, C.H. O'D. Alexander, H. Golombek, P.S. Milner-Barry, V.L. Wahltuch, G.S.A. Wheatcroft and B.H. Wood. Our only other international events were matches against Holland in 1937, 1938 and 1939. Mrs. Stevenson (Vera Menchik) was nominated as our representative in the World Women's Championship which was held in the Argentine in 1939 and which she won.

British chess suffered a great loss with the death of F.D. Yates in 1932: a Memorial Fund was set up to help British players meet expenses in home and overseas events and for other benevolent chess purposes.

In 1938 the Hon. F.G. Hamilton Russell succeeded Canon A.G. Gordon Ross as President and remained in that office until his death in 1942 when Alderman J.N. Derbyshire was elected. At the same time Mr. R.H.S. Stevenson became honorary secretary and remained so until he died in 1943, when Mr. H. Meek was elected; a Stevenson Memorial Fund was then set up.

The 1939/45 war years saw very little organised chess, most of which was run by the Unions and County organisations, but the B.C.F. were able to support chess in the armed services; they helped the Army Sports Fund and organised matches between the British Forces and Allied Forces in 1941/42, results being 6½—5½ and 6—7, respectively. In 1943 a British Army Championship was held (winner Capt. R.H. Newman) and in 1944 an RAF Championship (won by F/O. E. Brown). The County and District Correspondence Championship and B.C.F. Problem-Composing Tourneys were maintained.

British chess suffered seriously as a result of the war when the National Chess Centre, formed in 1939, was destroyed in an air raid in September, 19040, and with it was lost a great deal of equipment and records. Another tragic loss was that of Vera Menchik, killed in an air raid in 1944.

The resumption of peace-time chess saw the Hastings Congress at the end of 1945, to which the B.C.F. gave a financial guarantee. Between 1946 and 1950 successful B.C.F. Congresses were held at Nottingham (in 1946 with 165 entries), Harrogate, London, Felixstowe and Buxton (1950). The Championship was won in 1946 by R.F. Combe, the following ones by H. Golombek and R.J. Broadbent, twice each: the Swiss system was adopted for the first time in 1949. The Ladies' was won by Miss Tranmer (twice), Miss Saunders, Miss Price and Mrs. Bruce. Middlesex (3 times) and Lancashire (twice), monopolised the Counties' Championship. Other activities included the Boys' and Girls’ Championships, Individual and Counties' Correspondence Championships and Problem-Solving Tourneys.

International commitments were limited due to financial restrictions but matches were played against Holland and Czechoslovakia, radio matches against Australia and Russia, whilst C.H. O'D. Alexander participated in the European Zonal in 1947. The Glorney Cup was recognised in 1947 as a Junior International. An active part was taken in the work of FIDE and a revised version of the Laws of Chess was prepared.

In 1949 there was serious concern about the Federation's financial position. A Capitation scheme had been introduced in 1946 which required all players to subscribe through their county associations and unions: this scheme was not universally acceptable although the position improved when an agreement was reached with the SCCU in 1949 which provided for their increased representation on the Council in return for a guarantee that they would equate the combined subscriptions of the other two Unions. To carry through the increased programme of work envisaged, a full-time paid secretary (F.E. Chetwynd) had been appointed in 1946: it now seemed doubtful whether this expense could be maintained. Therefore, it was decided the Federation should increase its membership very substantially and to do so it needed to provide considerably improved benefits to all club players: the objective was to put Britain back again on the chess map. Accordingly, a special Development Committee was set up, under the Chairmanship of C.H. O'D. Alexander, which spearheaded this drive. New classes of membership were offered (Private and Corporate V.P.'s, Full Members as well as Associate Members) and new activities introduced — opening the British Championship to all players by means of qualifying competitions; the National Club Championship; increased junior activities etc.

Although a great deal was achieved the financial problem remained. An honorary secretary was reverted to in 1951 when H.G. Arnold filled that office and the administrative load was spread over a number of Standing Committees which became responsible for running the various activities. One of the main problems, and this has persisted more or less ever since, was the lack of adequate publicity, both within and outside the chess world. Too few people are aware of the Federation's achievements. To popularise chess and gain support at all levels, National Chess Weeks were held annually from 1953, one of the features being mammoth Teenagers v Oldstagers matches played all over the country, the biggest being in 1955 with a final score of 366½—643½ in favour of the Oldstagers. However, despite all the problems, it was at this time that the basis was laid of the Federation's subsequent activities and growth. A.F. Stammwitz followed H.G. Arnold as honorary secretary in 1952 and did trojan work for the next thirteen years.

The 1950's opened with preparations for the Staunton Centenary Tournament which was held at three venues — Cheltenham, Leamington and Birmingham, in 1951. This was won by Gligoric with 10 points out of 16, our most successful player being C.H. O'D. Alexander who came 5th with 8½ points. Despite the difficulties encountered in the organising and the high cost of nearly £3,000, this tournament proved a great success. 1951 saw also the World Junior Championship played here - this was won by B. Ivkov (9½/11) with M. Barker 2nd (8 points) and P. Harris 4th (6½ points). As part of the 1951 Centenary and Exhibition a Living Chess Display, watched by several thousand spectators was held at the South Bank and a 500-a-side North v South of Thames match was organised.

It is not possible in this brief review to enumerate all the activities in the 1950's. The Annual Congress and the various Championships were continued, new events introduced were a Boys' Under-15 in 1956, an Under-21 in 1953, British Lightning in 1953, the National Works' Championship (sponsored originally by the Daily Herald) in 1953; a News Letter was started; a scheme for the training of young players was set up in 1954; the Sunday Times' Schools' Championship was inaugurated in 1956. The National Chess Centre was reopened in 1951 but unfortunately, due to accommodation and financial problems, could not be maintained after 1957; in 1953 the National Grading Scheme was started. In 1956/7 the unpopular Capitation scheme was replaced by a new Registration Scheme. Help was given to chess in the Services and to the disabled and blind.

Efforts were made to see that our players continued to participate in international events to the extent of the financial constraints; success also was limited although H. Golombek qualified for the Inter-Zonal in 1952. Mention must, however, be made of C. H. O'D. Alexander's outstanding performance in tieing with Bronstein for 1st place at Hastings in 1954, when he won his epic 120-move game against the Russian. This created great publicity and demonstrated how international success can benefit the game in general.

Alderman J.N. Derbyshire retired as President in 1950 and many tributes have been paid to this generous benefactpr to whom British chess owes so much. Since that time the office of President has been for a maximum period of three years and has been filled by distinguished chess personalities who have contributed much to the game.

Between 1945 and 1960 a number of organisations joined the Federation, including the Anglo-Soviet Chess Circle and the Malta Chess Association, but both withdrew in 1957. The British Universities C.A. (in 1950) and the British Ladies C.A. (in 1957) became non-territorial units: upon their formation in 1954, the Welsh Chess Union (which replaced the South Wales Chess Federation which had been a member), and in 1957 the West of England Chess Union, became constituent units. Happily an agreement with the Scottish C.A. was reached in 1952 and this has continued until the present.

The outstanding features of the B.C.F. story since 1960 concern, on the one hand, administrative and financial problems, and on the other the enormous growth in chess activities all over the country, the development of junior chess and the emergence of this country as a serious contender again in the international field.

The most significant work has been development and coordination of junior chess activities under the control of the Junior Committee working in collaboration with other Junior chess organisers. By the mid 1960's junior training schemes and tournaments were started and by the end of the decade there was evidence of our emerging strength. In 1971 the Slater Young Masters' Tournament was inaugurated: 1975 was a year to remember for A.J. Miles won the World Junior Championship, J.D. Nunn the European Junior and A.J. Mestel was the World Cadet — the latter feat being repeated the following year by D.S.C. Goodman. Also in 1976/77 the English team won the Junior International Team Tournament. These successes were a great tribute to the work of those dedicated organisers of junior chess.

Two new Junior Championships were started in this period — the Girls' Under-14 (1970) and the Under-11 (1975): a Certificate of Merit Scheme was started in 1969/70. In 1968 the Chess Educational Society was wound up, its assets being transferred to the Junior Trust Fund which was set up in 1966, whilst its other work was developed by the Junior Committee.

The successful junior work has been reflected in this country's new international image: we now have four International Grand Masters (A.J. Miles, R. Keene, J.D. Nunn and M.F. Stean), 16 IM's, 31 BM's and 4 International Women Masters — this compared with only 5 IM's and 3 BM's in 1966. Despite Government aid, through the Sports Council which to some extent is now available, invaluable help from the Friends of Chess, formed in 1969, and sponsorship of certain international matches, the continued tight financial facilities with which the Federation has to grapple, plus the high cost of overseas travel, force them to limit very strictly the extent to which our players and teams can participate in world events.

Two events should be mentioned: in 1970 England had the privilege of acting hosts for the Clare Benedict Team Tournament, (played at Paignton) and in 1975 the Student Olympiad was held at Teesside. However, the outstanding international event of recent years held in England was the Alexander Memorial Masters' Tournament in 1975 — in commemoration of the late C.H.O'D. Alexander, whose death in 1971* was such a loss to British chess. [*in fact, Alexander died in 1974. Also, it is very surprising that the author makes no reference to the hosting of the 1973 European Team Championship, played in Bath and won by a USSR team featuring Spassky, Petrosian, Korchnoi, Karpov, Tal, Smyslov, etc.]

No account of the Federation's involvement in international chess would be complete without mention of the work done by H. Golombek, who has been their FIDE delegate for the past 30 years and who is greatly respected in that organisation.

The domestic programme in the 1960's and 1970's developed steadily along the lines already established — the annual congress with ever-increasing numbers and events, individual and team tournaments, national grading and the provision of an extensive service to chess at all levels, including grants to congresses, etc. New events introduced include the British Lightning Team Championship (1960), the Minor Counties' Championship (1972/73), an Annotation Service and publication of a Chess Calendar in an effort to co-ordinate the dates of the ever-growing number of congresses, tournaments, meetings etc., throughout the country. News Flash is now published regularly. Two of the most significant features of the last 20 years have been the tremendous increase in local congresses, particularly the short week-end ones, which have been held so successfully and which the B.C.F. have welcomed: and the increasing amount of sponsorship which is now developing — The British Championship was first sponsored in 1973 when Cutty Sark supported the event : in 1977 the Queen's jewellers, Collingwood of Conduit Street Ltd. sponsored the event in the Royal Jubilee year and had on display a unique chess set in gold and steel, silver and ivory, valued at £100,000 — a remarkable example of British craftsmanship. In 1978 the British Championship was sponsored by Grieveson, Grant & Company, one of the leading firms of London stockbrokers who have a keen interest in chess and whose computer has been made available to help the SCCU with their grading work. The Federation is fortunate to have their support again this year and also in 1980. The present sponsors have enabled the prize fund to be increased considerably and made comparable to that of similar events in other parts of the world. Grieveson, Grant increased the prize fund for the Ayr Congress 1978 by over £4,000 and are providing this amount and more for Chester 1979 and Brighton 1980. The significance of such sponsorship cannot be over-estimated and is of the utmost benefit to the game.

Thus it will be seen the enormous extent to which chess has grown and the B.C.F., through its constituent members, has successfully developed not only wide interest in the game but also an appreciably higher standard of play. However, the work load has increased correspondingly and the burden has, in the main, been undertaken voluntarily. True, a full-time paid secretary was reverted to in 1966 when Alan Stammwitz relinquished the honorary post but by then work had become too much to expect an honorary officer to handle. A great amount of the activities' work was delegated to specialist committees and constant attention has been given to ways of improving the representation and status of bodies within the Federation. It was recognised that greater financial discipline was necessary in order to meet the ever-growing demands on a slender income, particularly as inflation loomed, and an effective budgeting system now operates. For 20 years I. Cohen was honorary treasurer and his efficient handling of the finances was a most important factor: he handed over to Peter Ezra in 1970 and posterity must speak for the present treasurer. Since 1975 Government aid has been made available to meet some of the administration expenses but welcome though this grant is, without even greater help, we will remain at a constant disadvantage against those countries where chess is nationally supported.

The Registration Scheme had its short-comings and was replaced in 1975 by the present Levy System; at the same time county organisations became territorial affiliates with direct representation on Council. In 1978 a major re-organisation was effected, whereby the whole administration was streamlined. Standing Committees were replaced by Activity Directors, each responsible for his own function and to a small management board, which replaced the cumbersome Executive Committee.

The Federation membership is still growing and seven new non-territorial units have joined since 1970, although unfortunately, the Welsh Chess Union withdrew from membership when the Welsh national organisation was created in 1970.

The history of the B.C.F. would be incomplete without reference to the work of its three full-time secretaries — George Simmons (1966/72), Ann Hopton (1972/75) and Paul Buswell (1975 to date): the Federation's Registered Office is now in Norwich and reference to the existence of a chess club in that city is made as long ago as 1836.

And so we reach our Anniversary in 1979: although the B.C.F. can look back upon 75 years of great achievement, clearly there is much still to be done if we are to reap the rewards of the past endeavours. The strength of a voluntary organisation such as the B.C.F. and the extent of its achievements depends upon the support it receives. It is hoped this support will be forthcoming so that the next 25 years will see exciting rewards for British chess. The opportunities are great if we can grasp them.

John Poole

Past President, Southern Counties Chess Union
Publicity Director, British Chess Federation


Date Notes
26 Nov 2018 Score of Hebden-I.Wells, Round 4, updated. 24.Qxg6 (not 24.Qg5 as previously given). Thanks to Andy Ansel.
25 Feb 2019 Added results from the BCF Yearbook 1979-80.
21 March 2019 Added a substantial amount of text, including John Poole's history of the BCF 1904-1979, from the 1979 congress programme, kindly lent by James Pratt.