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John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 16th British Chess Championship • 48 of 66 games (plus 1 part-game + 33 others from subsidiary sections)
Venue: Southsea • Dates: 13-24 August 1923 • Download PGN Last Edited: Monday 4 April, 2016 12:32 PM

1923 British Championship photo

1923 British Chess Championship crosstable

1923 British Major Open crosstable

The download includes 8 of the 11 games played by Alekhine in the BCF Major Open. The missing or incomplete games are: round 5 (B) v Groen; round 7 (b) v Kahn; round 11 (b) v Gurnhill.

1923 British Women's Chess Championship crosstable

In 1923 the remaining sections of leading players were divided up as follows. There was what was called the Premier Open, consisting of six numbered sections, each of six players, with the player finishing first going into another final section of six players for the second week, and so on (second-placed players forming their own section, etc, etc). Again, slightly confusingly, the top Premier final section, composed of preliminary section winners, was dubbed the Minor Tournament, the section of six runners-up was called Premier Final Section A, six third-placers Premier Final Section B, etc.

Composition of the first-week so-called Premier Open sections (the 1923 use of the term 'open' is, infuriatingly, in opposition to the modern usage, so I am going to rename them Premier Preliminary sections). Note, I am making the assumption that these five-round events were played Monday-Friday in both weeks, with the middle Saturday perhaps being used to resolve the first-week tie-breaks that would have been necessary.

Premier "Open" (Preliminary) Sections (5 rounds, 1st week: 13-17 August)

Premier Prelim Section 1: 1-3 Rev. A. P. Lacy Hulbert (Birmingham), A. M. Ewbank (London), W. Church (Luton) 4/5, 4 E. E. Shepherd 2, 5 A. H. Crothers (Manchester) 1, 6 Hon. F. G. Hamilton-Russell (London) 0 [last score not given explicitly, but presumably must be zero, since that would add up to 15 points in total].

Premier Prelim Section 2: 1 M. E. Goldstein (London) 4½/5, 2 H. A. Way (Portsmouth) 3½, 3 Maj. R. W. Barnett, M.P. (London) 2½, 4 W. J. Berryman (Barnley? Burnley?) 2, 5 E. J. Brooks (London, Southfields) 1½, 6 J. S. West (Portsmouth) 1.

Premier Prelim Section 3: 1 J. Macalister (London) 3½/5, 2-3 J. H. Morrison (London), Allan Hayes (Southsea) 3, 4 S. P. Lees (London) 2½, 5 S. G. Howell-Smith (Hythe) 2, 6 W. H. Watts (London) 1.

Premier Prelim Section 4: 1 Lewis Steiner (Budapest) 4½/5, 2 F. J. Camm (London) 4, 3 A. J. Goode (Rugby) 3½, 4 P. Flower 2½, 5 R. H. Rushton (London) 2½, 6 A. H. Spencer-Palmer (Nairobi) 0. (May be an error here, since Goode went into Final C and Flower into Final B)

Premier Prelim Section 5: 1 P. J. Lawrence (Reading) 4½/5, 2 Dr. V. H. Rutherford (London) 3½, 3 H. J. Stephenson (Hastings) 3, 4 H. D. Osborn (Gosport) 2, 5 Capt. V. R. Ullman, M.C. (Pinner) 1½, 6 F. Wilkinson (Surbiton) ½.

Premier Prelim Section 6: 1 C. Duffield (Bristol) 4½/5, 2 Victor Rush (Hereford) 3½, 3 R. E. Lean (Brighton) 3, 4 P. C. Littlejohn (Rugby) 2½, 5 A. D. Barlow (Southfields) 1½, 6 Oswald Platt (Eastbourne) 0.

Premier Final Sections (5 rounds, 2nd week: 20-24 August)

Minor Tournament: 1 L Steiner 5/5, 2-3 M. E. Goldstein, C. Duffield 3½, 4 P. J. Lawrence 2, 5 Rev. A. P. Lacy Hulbert 1, 6 J. Macalister 0.

Premier Final A: 1 V. Rush 4½/5, 2 J. H. Morrison 4, 3 F. J. Camm — also Dr. V. H. Rutherford, H. A. Way, A. M. Ewbank.

Premier Final B: 1-4 W Church, A. Hayes, H. J. Stephenson, R. E. Lean 3/5, 5 Maj. R. W. Barnett 2½, 6 P.Flower (presumably) ½.

Premier Final C: 1 W. J. Berryman 4½/5, 2 P. C. Littlejohn 3½, 3 A. J. Goode 2 — others E. E. Shepherd, H. D. Osborn, S. P. Lees.

Premier Final D: 1 S. G. Howell-Smith 3½/5, 2 Capt. V. R. Ullman 3, 3-4 A. H. Crothers, E. J. Brooks 2½ — others A. D. Barlow, R. H. Rushton.

Premier Final E: 1 J. S. West 5/5, 2-3 W. H. Watts, F. Wilkinson 3 — others Hon. F. G. Hamilton-Russell, O. Platt, A. H. Spencer-Palmer.

General (Open) Sections (11 rounds, 13-24 August)

General A: 1 F. C. Short (Walsall) 10/11, 2-3 G. K. Nuttall (London), E. H. Smith (London) 9, 4 E. F. Fardon (Birmingham) 8½ — others (scores, rank not known) M. C. Rajada (London), Major F. H. Rawlins (Paris), Mrs Fish (Eastbourne), Louis Ellmer (Southsea), Miss Pannell (London), H. Hinchcliffe (Huddersfield), A. M. Sparke (Lincoln), Miss Malcolm (Edinburgh).

General B: 1 J. D. Goldstein (London) 10/11, 2 W. A. Way (Emsworth) 8½, 3-5 A. T. Cannell (Norwich), W. Barker (Penkridge Mill), G. A. Youngman (Maidstone) 6½ — others (scores, rank not known) W. G. Perrin (Haywards Heath), Miss Adams (Portobello), G. Breese (Wimbledon), A. Hindell (Staffs), Mrs Ewbank (London), J. W. Thomas (Orpington), Miss K. Eyre (Prestbury), W. H. Pratten (13 names — did someone drop out and another player take over?)

General C: 1 F. Salmony (London) 10½/11, 2 C. E. Merry (Chedworth) 8½, 3-4 A. W. Stonier (London), H. D. Lloyd (Portsmouth) 8 — others (scores, rank not known) J. Tribe, H. N. Heath (London), C. H. Taylor (London), Rev. M. Hoopell (Stoke), Mrs Chase (London), Miss L. Eveling (Margate), Rev. A. Ewbank (London), H. O. Boger (London).

As some of the newspaper reports have errors and variations of spelling, etc, here is some more unedited info from other reports which may help to fill in gaps. Firstly, from Glasgow Herald reports...

The winners of the six numbered preliminary sections were: 1 - Rev. Lacy Hulbert (after a tie-break with A.M. Ewbank and A. Crothers); 2 - ME Goldstein; 3 - J. MacAlister; 4 - Louis Steiner; 5 - P. J. Lawrence (Reading); 6 - C. Duffield (Bristol). So these six made up what was (confusingly) called a 'minor tournament'. Then Section A (the second-placed players from the preliminary sections) was composed of A. M. Ewbank, H. A. Way, J. H. Morrison, F. J. Camm, V.H. Rutherford, and Victor Rush. Section B— W. Church, Major Barnett, A. Hayes, P. Flower, H. J. Stephenson, and R. E. Lean. Section C—E. E. Shepherd, W. J. Berryman, S. P. Lees. A. J. Goode, H. D. Osborn, and P. C. Littlejohn. Section D—A. H. Crothers, A. H. Brooks, S. Howell-Smith, R. H. Rushton, Captain Ullman, and A. Barlow. Section E—Hon. F. Hamilton-Russell, J. E. West, W. H. Watts, A. Spencer Palmer, F. Wilkinson, and O. Platt.

Composition of the preliminary sections: the Northern Whig, 14 August 1923, is helpful — "in addition to the numerous events enumerated above, there are two further open tournaments of 36 players each. The Premier Open Tournament will be played in six sections of six players each, and contains the names of many well-known strong players—namely, section 1. Hon. F. G. Hamilton-Russell; section 2, Major R. W. Barnett, M.P., E. T. Jesty (who was promoted to the Major Open - JS), and M. E. Goldstein; section 3, W. H. Watts and S. G. Howell-Smith; section 4, Lewis Steiner (Budapest); section 5, H. J. Stephenson (Hastings); section 6, R. E. Lean (Brighton). After playing off their sections fresh sections are formed, in which the players take rank according to their final places in their original sections. Finally, there is a General Open Tournament divided into three sections of twelve players each, in which also a number of ladies are competing."

Dugald MacIsaac in the Glasgow Herald, 20 August 1923, was critical: "comparing this rearranged list with the first arrangement of the six players, one is inclined to question whether the result obtained is worth the week’s time it has taken, for the best player does not always win in a short tournament of six players. No doubt the experiment was worth a trial, however. During the third hour’s play to-day a heavy torrential shower fell, and it was amusing to the spectators to see the players look up with worried glances as the noise of the falling rain disturbed their meditations, but it was no use saying “hush " to the elements."

From the Manchester Guardian, 27 Aug 1923:
Premier Sectional Tourney: L. Steiner (5), first prize; M. E. Goldstein, and C. Duffield (3½) divide second and third.
Winners of the other five sections of this tournament were: Victor Rush, section A; W. J. Berryman, section B; Howell Smith, section D; and J. E. West, section E. In section B four of the six players [Church, Hayes, Lean, Stephenson] made an equal score of 3 each.
General Open Tournament: Section A: F. C. Short first; section B, J. B. Goldstein first; section C, E. Salmony first.

From the Glasgow Herald, 25 August 1923: "The minor tourney was finished right out. Hulbert lost to Duffield. Goldstein beat Lawrence, and Macalister lost to Steiner. The scores in this five-round contest were Steiner, 5; Duffield, 3½; Goldstein, 3½; Lawrence, 2: Hulbert, 1; and Macalister, 0. Premier Final Section A was won by Victor Rush with 4½. In Section B, Church, Hayes, Stephenson, and Lean tied with 3 each. Section C was won by Berryman, 4½; Section D by Howell Smith, 3½; and Section E by West, a Southsea veteran of 71 years, with a clean score of five wins. He was a strong Midland amateur in his earlier years.
In the General Open tourney with three sections of 12 players each, Section A was won by Short 10, followed by Nuttall, 8½: Fardon, 7½, with an unfinished game; and Rajada (Siam), 7½. Section B—J. D. Goldstein, 10; Way, 8½: Cannell, Barker, and Youngman, 6½ each. Section C—Salmony, 10½; Merry, 8½: Stonier and Lloyd, 8 each. A quick time tourney in the afternoon with 32 competitors was won by Alekhine, with L. Steiner, Vajda, and Berryman taking the other prizes in order. The prizes will be presented at a final gathering this morning by Lady Margaret Hamilton Russell."