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John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 23rd Hastings Premier 1947/48 Go to: Previous YearNext Year • Updated: May 4, 2022 2:34 PM
Venue: White Rock Pavilion • Dates: 29 Dec 1947 - 7 Jan 1948 • Download PGN (16/45 Premier + 40 games from subsid. sections)

23rd Hastings Premier, 29 December 1947 - 7 January 1948

1947/48 Hastings Premier Resid. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total
1 Szabo,Laszlo HUN
½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1
2 Muhring,Willem Jan NED ½
½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1
3 Thomas,George Alan London 0 ½
½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½
4 Grob,Henry SUI 0 0 ½
½ 1 ½ 1 1 1
5 Fairhurst,William Albert Glasgow ½ ½ ½ ½
½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5
6 Abrahams,Gerald Manchester 0 1 0 0 ½
0 1 1 1
7 Golombek,Harry London 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1
½ 0 ½ 4
8 Alexander,C Hugh O'D London ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½
½ 1
9 Raizman,Maurice FRA 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½
1 3
10 Spanjaard,Eduard NED 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0

1947/48 Hastings Premier (Major) Reserves

1947/48 Hastings Premier Reserves Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total
1 Z Kovacs Vienna
0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1
2 Richard Hilary Newman London 1
0 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 6
3 Edward Guthlac Sergeant Kingston ½ 1
1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 6
4 Alan Fraser Truscott Royal Navy ½ 1 0
½ 0 0 1 1 1 5
5 Herbert Gibson Rhodes Southport ½ 0 1 ½
½ ½ ½ 0 1
6 Andrew Rowland Benedick Thomas Tiverton 0 ½ ½ 1 ½
½ ½ 0 1
7 James Macrae Aitken London 0 0 0 1 ½ ½
½ ½ 1 4
8 Gerrit R D Van Doesburgh NED 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½
½ 1 4
9 Dr Paul M List London 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½
½ 4
10 Fritz Saenger BRD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½

1947/48 Hastings Premier Reserves A

1947/48 Hastings Premier Reserves A Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total
1 Walter Veitch Netherlands
½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 8
2 Capt. Percivale David Bolland Winscombe ½
0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 6
3 (David) Bernard Scott Hornchurch 0 1
½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 6
4 Ronald Mackay Bruce ENG 0 ½ ½
½ ½ ½ 1 1 1
5 William Ritson Morry ENG 0 ½ ½ ½
1 1 ½ 0 1 5
6 John James O'Hanlon IRL 0 ½ ½ ½ 0
0 ½ 1 1 4
7 Eileen Betsy Tranmer ENG 0 0 0 ½ 0 1
0 1 1
8 Marcel Barzin BEL 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1
0 1 3
9 Henry Holwell Cole ENG ½ 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
½ 3
10 Hugh Edward Guy Courtney ENG 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½

1947/48 Hastings Premier Reserves B

1947/48 Hastings Premier Reserves B Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total
1 John Arthur Fuller Kenton
0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
2 Gustave Pepers Belgium 1
½ 1 0 0 1 1 1 1
3 Alan Phillips Stockport 0 ½
½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1
4 Leo Derby ENG 0 0 ½
1 1 0 1 1 1
5 Theodore Magnus Wechsler BEL 0 1 0 0
½ 1 1 1 1
6 W Arthur Winser ENG 0 1 ½ 0 ½
1 0 1 1 5
7 Harold Horace Watts ENG 0 0 0 1 0 0
1 0 1 3
8 Bruce Hayden East Molesey 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1 ½
9 G S Wallis ENG 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1 2
10 Ralph Carter Woodthorpe ENG 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0

1947/48 Hastings Premier Reserves C

1947/48 Hastings Premier Reserves C Nat'y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total
1 Dennis Morton Horne Kingsbridge
½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1
2 J Visser Utrecht NED ½
0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1
3 Kenneth Preston Charlesworth Bewdley ½ 1
0 ½ 1 0 1 1 1 6
4 Oliver Penrose London 0 0 1
1 0 1 1 1 1 6
5 Dr Kurt August Hirsch BRD 0 ½ ½ 0
1 1 ½ 1 1
6 David Vincent Hooper ENG ½ 0 0 1 0
1 ½ 1 ½
7 Derek Geoffrey Horseman ENG 0 ½ 1 0 0 0
1 0 0
8 David Ewan MacNab Shrewsbury 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0
½ 1
9 Rowena Mary Bruce ENG 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½
½ 2
10 Wilfred Henry Pratten ENG 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 ½

Other Sections

Major A: 1-2 Ronald Frank Boxall (Erith), Arthur Charles Samuel Pindar (London) 7/9; 3 Fenny Heemskerk (Netherlands) 5½

Major B: 1 John Faithful Scott Rumble (Hertford ) 7/9; 2 H C Lewis (London) 6½; 3 Alfred Dempster Whyte (Hastings) 5½ (other players, scores not known: PA Cooke, George Spencer Brown, Francis Harry Senneck, George Arthur Peck, Mary Henniker-Heaton, Ernst Robert Reifenberg, Harry Frederick Moxon)

Major C: 1 H Peter F Swinnerton-Dyer (Cambridge) 6½; 2 (William) George Whitaker (London) 5½; 3-4 William Broome (Barrow in Furness), J Walker (Maidenhead) 5

First Class (Mornings) A: 1 Percy Baldwin Cook (Whitstable) 10; 2 Newman Clissold (Liverpool) 8; 3 W Henderson (London) 7½

First Class (Mornings) B: 1 A Torn (The Hague, Netherlands) 7; 2-4 J Butterworth (London), Thomas Eagle Lovell Chataway (Stourbridge), H R Douglas (Oxford) 6½

First Class (Afternoon): 1 N Griffiths (Wallasey) 8; 2 J Egginton (Tynemouth) 7½; 3-4 Rev Henry Middleton Blackett (Hastings), M O'Gara (London) 6

Second Class (Afternoon) A: 1 Miss Joan Frances Doulton (London) 6½; 2 Eric Leyns (Bishop Stortford) 6; 3 Anthony George Conrad Paish (London), J P [illegible... Norfolk]

Second Class (Afternoon) B: 1 Kenneth Stewart Frisby (Stoney Stratford) 7½; 2 C R Berry (Hillingdon, Middx) 7; 3-4 Leslie Edward Vine (Eastleigh, Hants), Paul M Foster (Hastings) 5½

Third Class (Afternoon): 1 E L T Davis (Hastings) 8; D Simpson (Heswall, Cheshire) 7; 3 Sydney Gothard (Hastings) 6½

[BCM, February 1948, ppn 48-59]


As last year, the Congress was held at the White Rock Pavilion, Hastings, and opened by the Mayor, Councillor F. W. Chambers and Mr. Neill Cooper Key, M.P. Again we had the treat of a speech from the Mayor who has an extraordinary gift of holding his hearers in rapt attention and, although he does not play chess, he is able to talk interestingly and constructively on that or any other subject. He was supported by an array of former mayors all eager to show their interest in the yearly congress which has become a part of Hastings civic life.

On this occasion the great problem has been the participation of foreign masters and visitors. Not only have restrictions on travel and transfers of currency become still more stringent, but there is another serious aspect which particularly affects the professional chess player without whom chess would soon degenerate into a high-class parlour game: while the cost of travelling and hotel charges have more than doubled, the actual purchasing value of the pound is less than half. But prizes have remained the same as before the war, indeed they are smaller than on some former occasions.

If the masters’ tournament at Hastings is to maintain its prestige and its importance in world chess, these dismal facts will have to be taken into consideration. British and world press would not give publicity to a minor tournament. Distinguished players from abroad cannot be expected to give us the benefit and example of their skill at a practical loss to themselves.

In all circumstances the Premier and Premier (Major) Reserves tournaments were strongly manned, the contests interesting and productive of fine chess.

The organization of the Congress reflected the greatest credit on Mr. A. A. Rider, the secretary, and his colleagues, Messrs. H. Ransom and Victor Rush, and last, but not least, Miss Lankey.

There were some last minute changes due to the lamented death of G[ordon]. T. Crown and the absence of some players from abroad and the participants in the two chief tournaments were—

Premier: I, H. Golombek; 2, L. Szabo (Hungary); 3, Sir George Thomas; 4, H. Grob (Switzerland); 5, W. A. Fairhurst; 6, M. Raizman (France); 7, C. H. O’D. Alexander; 8, M. H. Mühring (Holland); 9, G. Abrahams; 10, E. Spanjaard (Holland).

Premier (Major) Reserves: I, Dr. J. M. Aitken; 2, F. Sänger; 3, Dr. P. M. List; 4, E. G. Sergeant; 5, F. Truscott; 6, H. G. Rhodes; 7; R. H. Newman; 8, Z. Kovacs (Hungary); 9, A. R. B. Thomas; 10, E. van Doesburgh (Holland).

[I don't think these were the draw numbers for the tournament but I could be wrong - JS]

In addition there were further sections of Premier Reserves A, B and C, to which we shall refer in our next issue, and the usual sections of the Major, First, Second and Third Class Tournaments.

The most notable features of the Premier tournament were—

—the triumphant return to form of Szabo who, following upon an operation, had not done himself justice in recent tournaments. He played throughout chess of the highest class.

—the woeful failure of Alexander for which it is difficult to account. Perhaps his important official duties together with his journalistic and literary labours and consequent lack of preliminary training, may be the reason. His play lacked the usual sure touch and one could discern an impatience to be up and doing, which does not tend to success in master-chess.

—the wonderful achievement of our "Altmeister" Sir George Thomas who played with youthful energy. He started the tournament in bad health, but his experience and determination pulled him through.

Grob fully deserved to share the second prize. He seems to be at home in all types of openings and plays all phases of the game equally well. We hope to see him again.

Mühring showed that Dr. Euwe’s confidence in him is not misplaced.

Fairhurst managed to win only one game, drawing the rest, but one hesitates to call him a "drawing master" for he never seemed deliberately to play for a draw. Had he succeeded to win only one of the several games in which he had some advantage, he would have been one of the prize-winners.

Abrahams was the despair of his friends when he lost several games by really poor play and with unaccountable lapses against common sense, and the wonder of his detractors when playing really fine chess, as against Mühring. He is not too old but that thorough self-analysis might yet put him on the road to some notable success.

Golombek was disappointing, playing most of his openings very well, often obtaining some advantage, but then lacking the driving power and nervous energy to push his advantage home.

Raizman did not play with the skill which won for him the French Championship. A study of his games shows that there is real chess in him and the way he avoided defeat in the last round against Fairhurst, who had two Bishops in a difficult ending, was an object-lesson in the art of defence.

Spanjaard was in poor health and missed several opportunities of bettering his score. He showed what a sportsman he is in a speech he made in English at the prize distribution. He said, in explanation, that his Government had commissioned him to promote the export of eggs (ducks’ we presume)!

The Premier (Major) Reserves was a much more closely-fought contest with the destination of the first prize undecided until the last round when Newman required a full point to win outright. He was unlucky in finding Sergeant at the top of his form and had to be content to share the second prize with him.

Kovacz [sic] started indifferently with three draws and then a loss to Newman, a serious handicap in a short tournament. That he scored five wins in the last five rounds, three of them good wins with Black (one Scotch and two Lopez) says much for his determination. He has the right temperament, is young and should go far.

Newman confirmed the position to which his recent successes entitle him.

Sergeant’s achievement, especially considering his age, is remarkable. He played some very fine games.

Truscott’s success in high company is very welcome. His future will be followed with interest. He again produced two of the finest games in the congress, against Newman and van Doesburgh.

Rhodes and Thomas did reasonably well but from them one would expect more than 50 per cent.

Aitken showed a great falling-off from his remarkable performance at Harrogate and one must conclude that he was out of form. He has the consolation of being bracketed with such stalwarts as van Doesburgh and Dr. List. Van Doesburgh was always interesting and enterprising but List does not appear to have recovered as yet from his serious accident last year. His play showed an uncertainty quite foreign to his style and he kept getting short of time, which probably cost him two points.

Sänger (Serg. Fritz Sänger), a prisoner of war and hospital orderly in a camp near Hastings, was an interesting competitor. In ingenuity and fighting spirit he was second to none. He lacks knowledge and experience without which success in first-class company is practically impossible. One could but admire the pluck with which he fought to the last against odds; none of his games was short, some lasted over 60 moves. With a thorough course of training he might do well.


The prizes were distributed by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mrs. A. W. Farnfield who carried out her duties with great charm and dignity. The usual speeches were made suitable for the occasion and we would like to quote from all of them. One was surprised at the excellent English in which Messrs. Szabo and Spanjaard were able to express themselves. Mr. Bruce Hayden spoke about the Press and the importance that good reporting has for a chess congress. We fully agree and for that reason we give here the short speech made in reply by the Editor of the "British Chess Magazine" [Julius du Mont] in the hope that competitors who may read it will in future help the Press by handing in promptly legible and correct scores of their games as required by tournament rules, instead of making the reporter’s task more difficult than it need be and demanding quite twice as much of his time.

"I am conscious of the honour conferred on me in being asked to reply for the Press. There are in this Hall a number of journalists of outstanding ability as speakers, and the fact that the only really bad speaker has been chosen makes me strongly suspect that a Selection Committee must have been at work.

"I wanted this opportunity of correcting a few fallacies which are current concerning the journalist. He is supposed to be fairly ignorant, to have a nice easy task for which he collects huge amounts. When reporting a game, all he has to do is to ask both players what they thought of the game and take a middle course. If any difficult problem arises he just leaves it out. Then he strolls leisurely to the telephone and leisurely transmits his report, and then leisurely goes to dinner. In fact, matters are very different. If he sends a nice long report to the Paper, the Night Editor cuts it in half, and what remains makes no sense, if he sends a short report which is accepted, the public thinks he is either lazy or inefficient. If he is conscientious he will try to play through every game in the Tournament—a truly terrifying task, but not nearly as terrifying as getting hold of the games themselves. Whenever he is in one part of the room, a game is sure to be completed in another part, and when he gets back the table is empty, the birds have flown, nobody tells him anything, so he goes to the Secretary in quest of the game score, and then one of five things happens. The game has not been handed in, if it has been handed in somebody has taken it away, if it is there it is illegible, if it is legible it is unplayable, and if by a miracle it is playable he sometimes wonders why it was played at all. His tribulations do not end there. When he gets to the ’phone box and at long last gets through his long distance call, who would envy him when he tries to convey to the operator that Znosko-Borovsky is playing the Nimzowitch variation of the Zytogorski Gambit?

"Incidentally I am sure everybody will be pleased to hear that the "New York Times" has had a column every day on this Tournament as well as games. I also must confess that there is nothing I enjoy more than these gatherings, except that I get very sad when the last round gets near, when the last round is gone."

The competitors were invited to tea at the Town Hall at the end of the first week by the Mayor of Hastings, a charming and hospitable function.

A Lightning Tournament for which the "British Chess Magazine" gave two book prizes was won by Dr. List (The Basis of Combination in Chess). The second prize was won by W. Broome (British Chess Magazine, bound volume, 1947).

Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 3 January 1948: "Sergt. Fritz Sanger, a German prisoner-of-war from Normanhurst camp, who has been attending the Hastings club of late, is a strong player of Cassel. He has been showing good form against some of the leading club players and was placed in the Premier Major section. In his first game he was opposed to Dr. J. M. Aitken, a former Scottish champion, and the game drew a biggish crowd at the opening session." [elsewhere on same page] "One of the most interesting new personalities at the Congress is Sergeant Fritz Saenger, a German Army prisoner of war, who is a hospital orderly at the Normanhurst P.O.W. camp. He was granted special permission by the Camp Commandant to take part in the Congress, in which he is playing in the Premier Reserves Major Section, but without much success so far. He has been a regular visitor to the [Hastings] Chess Club on Saturday nights where he has played against some of the club’s best players. Before the war he was an engineer and his home is at Kassel in the American Zone. Aged 32, he was captured at Bergen on the River Maas in Belgium, in 1944."

[Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond, jrg 56, 1948, no 2, 01-02-1948, page 42, via Google Translate, plus some interpretations by JS]

"In Major A, the Dutch champion, Fenny Heemskerk, managed to rank among the prize winners for the first time. She was 3rd with 5½ out of 9. Pindar and Boxall shared the first and second prize. Fenny played some very good endgames, one of which we publish here. Her endgame against one of the Englishmen was both marked as a draw by Szabo and Grob, after Mrs. Heemskerk showed crystal clear that the masters were wrong, and won convincingly. An incident occurred in the second round. She had achieved a splendid performance against the Englishman [Alfred Herman] Reeve when the match had to be adjourned. The Brit was very disrespectful, however, by scrambling the position while Fenny studied the position which she had every right to do§. Fenny made no secret of her annoyance at this discourtesy. After the resumption she had so little mastery of her temper that she left a whole rook en prise! Yet she still managed to reach a draw, proof of how dominant she was. The Englishman certainly understood that he had acted very wrongly and offered her a cup of tea to make things 'right'." [§ Re the 'scrambling' of the position by Alfred Herman Reeve (1884-1951): I suspect this may have been a clash of culture and/or generations. A similar thing was done by Reginald P Michell at Marienbad 1925: "... "the only thing that arouses him is a crowd round the adjourned game he has just quitted. Comments and suggestions to his opponent are being freely expressed, till Michell, striding quickly to the centre of the group, with a single movement of the hand sweeps all the pieces off the board. The group breaks up, and his opponent flushes at the unspoken criticism." (BCM, July 1925, ppn 295-296). Perhaps it was only in early 20th century British chess culture that analysis of adjourned games was considered discourteous. The 1947/48 example differs in that the player at the board was not consulting or being assisted by others - JS]

File Updated

Date Notes
(some years ago) Games previously uploaded as part of a collection of Hastings games
9 March 2022 Loaded as an individual file, with 13/45 Premier games plus 29 games from subsidiary sections, crosstables, etc. I am grateful to 'Tabanus' (chessgames.com) for sending me the score of Spanjaard-Grob (Rd 6, Premier), making it 13 games out of 45 in the Premier. He tells me also that "Golombek vs Raizman 0-1 [is] in the French Magazine «Bulletin Ouvrier des Échecs» 1948 page 40" which neither of us has access to. If somebody out there does, please send me the score.
10 March 2022 I am once again grateful to 'Tabanus' for drawing my attention to two games which have just been added to the 1947/48 Hastings collection at chessgames.com and which I have now added here: (1) H.Golombek 0-1 M.Raizman (Rd 5); (2) W.Fairhurst ½-½ G.Thomas (Rd 6). I have also corrected the date of Spanjaard 0-1 Grob (Rd 6). Running total of games for the Premier now 15/45. As a result of checking out references given by 'Chessist' at chessgames.com, I have also added the final part of W.Muhring 0-1 G.Abrahams, Rd 6, and a part-game TC Granville Jones 0-1 F.Heemskerk, from Major C. Finally, just arrived via email, the game D.Hooper 1-0 O.Penrose, Premier Reserves C, sent by Andy Ansel, for which many thanks.
10 March 2022 Thanks to 'Tabanus' for alerting me to another Premier tournament addition: Grob 1-0 Abrahams, Rd 2.
5 May 2022 Brian Denman has kindly sent me all nine games played by John Faithful Scott Rumble (1919-1971) in winning Major B with 7/9. Many thanks to Brian. I confess I hadn't heard of JFS Rumble before. I discovered from this website that he was known as 'Jock' and became a dentist in Sevenoaks but died after a long battle with Hodgkin's disease. JFS Rumble was the co-author (with Max Euwe and Martin Blaine) of a book entitled The Logical Approach to Chess of which a 1982 Dover edition still seems to be available (the original publishers were Pitman in 1958).