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Event: Great Britain vs Australia Radio Match • 10 games • last updated Monday June 20, 2022 2:08 AM
Venue: London/Sydney/Melbourne • Dates: 4-5 October 1947 • Download PGN

1947 Great Britain v Australia, 4-5 October, via radio, London/Sydney/Melbourne

Bd Great Britain v Australia
1w C Hugh O'D Alexander 0-1 Lajos Steiner (Sydney)
2b Harry Golombek ½-½ Cecil John Seddon Purdy (Sydney)
3w Reginald Joseph Broadbent 1-0 Gary Koshnitsky (Sydney)
4b Gordon Thomas Crown 1-0 Dr Max Gellis (Melbourne)
5w William Winter ½-½ Maurice Edward Goldstein (Sydney)
6b P Stuart Milner-Barry 1-0 Frank Arthur Crowl (Melbourne)
7w William Albert Fairhurst 1-0 Martin Green (Melbourne)
8b Dr James Macrae Aitken 1-0 Bernard Yarnton Mills (Sydney)
9w Gerald Abrahams ½-½ Harry Klass (Sydney)
10b Richard Hilary Newman ½-½ George Karoly (Melbourne)

n.b. the city name after the Australian players' names indicates where they were playing from. All the GB players were located in London.

BCM, November 1947, ppn 345-347


This historic match took place on October 4th and 5th at Australia House, by courtesy of the High Commissioner.

Rarely has a match in Great Britain been played in such beautiful surroundings, where everything possible was done for the comfort of the players, officials, and onlookers.

The meeting was opened by Mr. V. C. Duffy, Australian Government Representative in London. Mr. J. N. Derbyshire represented the British Chess Federation, the sponsors of the match.

Great Britain won by an imposing margin. It must be admitted, however, that they owed something to luck. With more experience the Australians would probably have reduced their opponent’s lead to a minimum.

Steiner played the 3 .... PxP; variation of the French, which tends to leave Black with a cramped position. Relying on a manoeuvre which might have succeeded against a less formidable opponent, White opened the game by exchanges. ... Now White has lost his “ pawn majority ” in return for a precarious passed pawn and Black’s pawn majority on the King’s side won him the game in spite of White’s Rook on the seventh. It must be said that Steiner played the ending superbly. We hope to publish this interesting game next month, rather than now without notes.

Purdy-Golombek was a correctly played positional game. Purdy had an isolated passed pawn at Q 5 and it was hard to say whether it was an asset or a liability.

It survived, however, and Golombek had to be content with a perpetual check.

Broadbent-Koshnitzky was a thrilling encounter in which the Australian, with the better game, failed to find the right continuation which would have given him winning chances on move 18. Two moves later he had also a better line leading to a probable draw. After that Broadbent played magnificent chess until the position in Diagram 2 was reached, in which he achieved a most brilliant finish as follows: 33 R—R 8 ch, K—B2; 34 Kt— K6 ch, QxKt; 35 Q—R5 ch, Resigns, for if 35 .... K—Kt I; 36 B—R 7 ch, and mate in two, and if 35 . . ., P—Kt 3; 36 Q—R7 ch, and mate next move.

Gellis showed to advantage against Crown, and after a curious spell of chess-blindness, when both sides overlooked a fairly obvious Kt fork, Gellis won the exchange. Nothing daunted, Crown held on grimly and showed that he is no fair-weather player, an admirable quality in a match player. In the position shown in Diagram 3 he had managed to drive the White Queen out of play and his 39th move was a gem. The game went on: 39 ..., Q—Q B 2; 40 K—Kt I, P—Kt4; 41 R—Kt 3, PxP; 42 R—Kt 4, P—B6; 43 R—B 2, R—Q 6; 44 R—B I, P—K6; 45 RxP, R—Q 8 ch; 46 R—B I, RxR ch; Resigns, for if 47 KxR, Black mates in three. A curious feature of the game was that up to White’s 15th move it it was identical with Karoly-Newman.

Winter was handicapped in that up to move 17 Goldstein, quite unconsciously, happened to play the the same moves with which Bondarevsky drew with Winter in the Russian match.

Crowl-Milner-Barry was an unusual variation of the Petroff: I P—K 4, P—K4; 2 Kt—K B 3, Kt—K B 3; 3 P—Q 4, just the kind of opening in which Milner-Barry revels. The game was of the cut-and-thrust type and full of complications. The ending after Milner-Barry had overcome many of the difficulties that beset him, was sparkling (Diagram 4): 29...,RxB; 30PxR, QxPch; 31 K—R I, Kt—K5; 32 R—K I, QxR ch; 33 KtxQ, Kt—Kt6ch; 34 K—R 2, Kt—B 8 ch; 35 K—R I, Rx Kt; 36 QxP, KtxR ch; 37 K—R 2, Kt—B8ch; 38 K—R I, Kt—Kt 6 ch; 39 K—R 2, B—B 2; Resigns. The most brilliant and satisfying game of the match.

Fairhurst-Green was a stern and prolonged fight resulting in an ending in which Fairhurst exploited the two Bishops ” with consummate mastery. After 52 moves the game was adjudicated a win for White by Znosko-Borovsky, the official adjudicator.

Mills-Aitken was another disappointment for the Australian team. In trying to maintain a shaky advanced Q P, Aitken lost the exchange in a doubtful position. He, however, held on stubbornly and again the Australian missed his way in the ensuing complications and found himself in a mating net. Full credit is due to the Scottish master for not losing his morale as well as the exchange.

Abrahams-Klass completes the tale of Australian misfortunes. One would think that the position in Diagram 5 is lost for White, yet Abrahams managed to wriggle out of his difficulties and to come within sight of a win. At one time both sides had a lost game. All things considered, not a game worthy of the occasion.

Karoly-Newman was a good game in which Newman secured a distinct advantage. With good judgment Karoly forced the exchange of the major pieces which left Bishops of opposite colours and Newman could not exploit his advantage.

On the whole, and the result notwithstanding, the Australians gave a good account of themselves and, with more experience, will no doubt improve on their performance in the future.

One failing we noticed in several of the games, namely an urge with every move to be up and doing, whatever the position, as if each and every move had to be a sledgehammer blow. As old stagers know very well, it very often is better to let the position fight for you and not to divulge plans before the time is ripe. The gentle waiting move often is a very potent weapon.

The arrangements for the match were all that could be desired. Ropes separated the players from the public who had a clear and uninterrupted view of each board. Inside the ropes there was ample space for players, officials, and the chess press.

May we humbly suggest that, after roping off the player, it seems ludicrous to allow all and sundry within the playing area. A little bit of Zubarev1 would not have come amiss.

1 a reference to the Soviet match official who was complimented on page 361 of the same issue for his firm handling of the 1947 GB v USSR match.

File Updated

Date Notes
18 July 2000 First uploaded as a zipped PGN file.
19 June 2022 Table added, some forenames added or amended.