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Tournament: 25th Hastings Premier 1949/50 (won by Szabo) Go to: Previous YearNext Year • Updated: May 15, 2023 3:41 PM
Venue: White Rock Pavilion • Dates: 29 Dec 1949 - 7 Jan 1950 • Download PGN (45 Premier games + 12 games from subsid. sections)

1949/50 (25th) Hastings Premier, 29 December 1949 - 7 January 1950, White Rock Pavilion

Hastings Premier 1949/50 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 Laszlo Szabo
½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 8
2 Nicolas Rossolimo ½
½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1
3 Max Euwe 0 ½
½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½
4 Dennis Morton Horne 0 ½ ½
½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 4
5 Larry Melvyn Evans 0 0 ½ ½
1 ½ 1 1 ½ 5
6 John Arthur Fuller 0 0 0 ½ 0
½ 1 1 1 4
7 Olaf Barda ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½
½ 0 1
8 Imre Koenig 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½
1 0
9 W Arthur Winser 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 0
10 Baruch Harold Wood 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 0


Thursday, December 29th, 1949 to Saturday, January 7th, 1950

By H. Golombek

The Twenty-fifth Annual Hastings Congress was opened at 3.45 p.m. on December 29th [1949] by Lord Simon at the White Rock Pavilion. With 137 competitors the Congress was clearly maintaining its popularity amongst the average player and with a marked increase in strength in the foreign masters taking part some fine chess could be expected. This last circumstance was due to an increase in the corporation grant that enabled the organizers to make the prizes in the Premier Section really handsome (1st £60, 2nd £50, 3rd £40, and 4th £30). Considering the shortness of the Congress the prizes now compare very well with those given abroad, though it seems to be time that the reward for games won by non-prize winners should now be brought more in line with those awarded on the Continent. The usual amount is £2, at Hastings it was 10 shillings and I suggest this should be increased to £1.

The Congress was favoured by very fine weather, some of the days being bathed with Spring sunshine; but I doubt whether many competitors took advantage of this, nearly all their attention being absorbed underground at the White Rock. However, the external sparkle seemed reflected by the play which was more spirited and carefree than I remember seeing it for many a year. Naturally this was due to the fact that the leading masters, Szabo and Rossolimo in especial, were full of fresh ideas and ingenious invention.

As can be seen from the table and the round-by-round account this was almost entirely a struggle between last year’s winner, Rossolimo, and the Hungarian grandmaster Szabo. Both played fine chess in markedly distinctive styles. Rossolimo’s games were abounding with beautiful little combinations and his style is certainly one of the pleasantest to watch amongst European masters. Szabo’s was true grandmaster chess, stamped with his own originality, positionally correct but combinational when combinations were necessary and above all far-sighted to a really remarkable extent. It was strictly in accordance with the run of the play that these two should tower over the rest of the competitors and that Szabo should be half a point ahead of Rossolimo.

Dr. Euwe’s third prize, two points behind the leaders, was disappointing. But the edge of his play has been blunted of recent years by a number of setbacks that have robbed him of self-confidence. He will have little chance of doing better until this is restored.

The 17-year-old Larry Evans made a good start in his first tournament abroad and played some excellent games. His style is already wonderfully mature and experienced but I doubt whether he is as strong as Fine and Reshevsky were at his age and do not think he will develop into as great a player as either of these two.

So much for the prize winners, now for the non-prize winners who were, alas, almost entirely home-grown. In a picture of some gloom, as far as we are concerned, there is some encouragement (and a lesson) in the circumstance that the two youngest British players did best. Both Fuller and Horne made promising first appearances in the Premier. Fuller is a young player with a fine positional sense who only needs further experience to be really formidable. Horne did well against the foreigners and has a better technique than most British players, these two facts being intimately correlated.

Barda, the only player from abroad not to figure in the prize list, was variable. He played some good games but was never particularly impressive and it would have been wiser to have put him in the Major Section of the Premier Reserves so as to give better practice to some of our other players. For, by no stretch of the imagination can he be called a first-class master and only this class should be invited from abroad, for the Premier Section at any rate. Of the many possible, the name of Stahlberg, who as it happens was available, springs most readily to mind. Though this would have made the foreign opposition still more formidable there is no doubt it would have enhanced the attraction of the tournament.

Koenig was lamentably out of form this time. He has not played in a tournament since the previous Hastings and was consequently suffering badly from lack of practice. This was clearly shown in his games. Whenever he obtained a better or equal position he gave way to a fatal tendency to over-elaboration, got short of time and so threw away many valuable points.

Of the other two it must be sadly recorded that they were outclassed and again both Winser and Wood would have been better placed in the Premier Reserves. There are two main grounds for inviting and selecting British players for the Premier. One is that they should be able to hold their own or do better still against the foreign opposition and the second is that they are young promising players who will benefit from the experience and do better in the future. Neither of these last two players qualify on either of these grounds and it is a pity that their places in the Premier were not given to any one of half-a-dozen of the more promising of our younger players. The present London champion, J. Penrose, and his predecessor, D. V. Hooper, are two possibilities, or if either of these were not available, at least half-a-dozen more could be named.

Considering all the good they have done I may perhaps be considered ungracious in these criticisms of the Hastings Selection Committee, but the Hastings Congress and British chess have become almost synonymous and it is in the true interests of British chess that the Hastings Premier should be as near perfect as possible.

1949/50 PREMIER RESERVES, MAJOR SECTION [BCM, February 1950, p42ff by Harry Golombek]

Hastings Premier Reserves Major 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 Andrew Rowland B Thomas
½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 6
2 Herbert Gibson Rhodes ½
0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1
3 Leonard William Barden ½ 1
1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 5
4 Hugh Edward Guy Courtney ½ 0 0
½ 0 1 1 1 1 5
5 Victor Soultanbeieff 1 0 ½ ½
1 0 ½ 1 ½ 5
6 William Ritson Morry ½ 0 ½ 1 0
½ 1 0 ½ 4
7 Oliver Penrose 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½
1 0 0 4
8 Alan Phillips 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0
1 1 4
9 Lodewijk Prins1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0
1 4
10 Heinrich Jühe [Juehe] 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0

1 Played under the pseudonym "L. Smith"

This was a much more levelly contested affair than the Premier. At first, however it looked as though last year’s winner, H. G. Rhodes, was going to repeat his performance and score a runaway success. For he obtained 5½ points out of his first six games. Then something went wrong and he lost his last three games, his initial impetus being sufficient to gain him second prize. A. R. B. Thomas won first prize by lively attacking chess. He is an ardent believer in Gambits such as the King’s and the Wing and plays them with much spirit. Here is a neat little game in which he shows to advantage. [Thomas - Prins/"L.Smith"]

Up to his collapse in the 7th round Rhodes was playing most vigorous chess of which the following brevity is a good example. [Rhodes-Morry]

The triple tie for 3rd and 4th prizes was between three very different types of players. Barden is a player of youthful promise who is, however, over-addicted to opening theory to the detriment of his own native ingenuity, and pays too little attention to endgame study. Courtney is a variable and imaginative player whilst the Belgian master, Soultanbeieff, is perhaps better known as a theorist than a player. In the lower half of the table there were some disappointments. Morry was too much burdened with journalistic work to give of his best, O. Penrose was not in his best form; whilst "L. Smith," a well-known Dutch international master*, who entered incognito, gave hardly a glimpse of his true style. Here is the entertaining finish he lost to Soultanbeieff. Play proceeded: [Soultanbeieff-Prins]

[* Leonard Barden has confirmed that "L. Smith" was Lodewijk Prins - JS]

The results in the other sections were as follows—

Premier Reserves “A.” 1 Leo Derby 7½; 2 Denis Victor Mardle 5; 3-5 Ronald Mackay Bruce, (Henry) Peter Francis Swinnerton-Dyer, James Chrismas Waterman 4½; 6 Ernst Robert Reifenberg 4; 7 John Bertram Goodman 2½; 8 John James O'Hanlon 2; 9 Jacques Mieses 1½. A strong section and a good win by Derby; it was, however, sad to see the veteran grandmaster Mieses in so lowly a place.

Premier Reserves "B.” 1-2 Harry Frederick Moxon, P C Tomlin 7; 3 Alfred Dempster Whyte 5½; 4-5 Vincent Maher, Frank Samuel Woolford 4½; 6 Leonard Illingworth 4; 7-8 Thomas Lindsay Moodie, J Petersen 3½; 9 H C Lewis 3; 10 Arthur Charles Samuel Pindar 2½.

Premier Reserves “C.” 1 John Frederick Barrett 9; 2 John Edward Pike 6½; 3 John Rycroft Coward 6; 4 Percy Baldwin Cook 5½; 5-6 R W Hays, (William) George Whitaker 4; 7 J J Hayes 3½; 8-9 D C B Jones, G P Ramsey 3, 10 (Edward) Douglas Fawcett ½. A remarkable performance by the Cambridge U.C.C. secretary who quite outclassed the rest of the section.

Premier Reserves “D.” 1 Alan Edgar Nield 8; 2 Harold John Francis Stephenson 6½; 3 Arthur T Watson 5½; 4 Francis Avery Sisley 5; 5-6 Mrs Rowena Mary Bruce, Major A Everard Woods 4; 7-8 Miss Mary Henniker-Heaton, Ralph Carter Woodthorpe 3½; 9-10 (Yvon) Peter Keffler, Willington Lucette Wakefield 2½.

Major “A.” 1 Lawrence Alfred John Glyde 7; 2-3 Frank Arthur Rhoden, Joseph Maurice Soesan 6; 4 Newman Clissold 5½; 5 Alfred Dudley Barlow 5; 6-7 Percival Arthur Cooke, C. Lewis 4½; 8 Ronald Lee-Johnson 4; 9 Mrs Edith Mary Ann Michell (née Tapsell) 2½; 10 Miss Minnie Musgrave 1.

Major “B.” 1 (Sidney) Roy Hossell 6½; 2-3 Jean Duthilleul, Herbert Francis Gook 6; 4 Capt. Hugh Windsor Fiesch Heneage 4½; 5 Patrick Humphrey Sullivan 4; 6 Miss (Patricia) Anne Sunnucks 3; 7-8 William Henderson, Brian Gluss 2½; 9 S G Hayes 1.

Major “C.” 1 (Henry) Alec Samuels 6; 2-4 Edmund George Ansell, L Calvert, Francis Harry Senneck 5½; 5 E F Norris 5, 6 Edward Paice 4; 7 T Edmundson 2½; 8 E J Fairchild 2; 9 Archibald Snelling Dance 0.

Major “D.” 1 Bernard Landon Wilkinson 7; 2 A M Edmonds 6½; 3-4 George Arthur Peck, Alfred Herman Reeve 6; 5 Eric Leyns 5½; 6-7 C R Berry, T Greenwood 4; 8 Thomas Eagle Lovell Chataway 3½; 9 Reginald John Manfield 1½; 10 Albert Charles Holliday 1.

First Class (Mornings). 1 Ian R Plummer 7; 2 Miss Kate Harris Passmore 6; 3 H B Howard 5½; 4-5 Geoffrey George Homan, Ernest John Seymour 5; 6 Edmond Julien Thomas Leyns 4½, 7 E C Baker 4; 8 Ernest Ephraim Weedon 3½; 9 John Jonas Soesan 2½; 10 Stanley Charles Hilliam 2.

First Class (Afternoons). 1 Cyril Maxwell 8½; 2-3 L L M Jones, F Willan 6; 4 Charles Thomas Kelk 5½; 5 Samuel Frederick Dalladay 4; 6-7 Cecil Oswald Perring, W G Watson 3½; 8-9 S S Greig, Mrs C Lewis 3; 10 R E Webb 2.

Second Class. 1-2 L[awrence] H[enry] Appleby, Michael Fryer 6½; 3 R. F. Rowe 6; 4-5 A. E. Harris, Percy Archibald Turley 5½; 6 F Tanner 4½; 7-8 Mrs Helen Muriel Cobbold (née Blagg), William Gilbert Lyon Gilbert 3½; 9 Ernst Hermann Albert Behrndt 2½; 10 J. Holmes 1.

Third Class. 1 M Grimstead 7; 2 Miss J Passmore 6; 3-4 H P Goodman, C B Stone 5½; 5 P Rowbotham 5; 6 M Finch 4½; 7-8 W J Baker, E Gasson 4; 9 Mrs Jessy Hilliam 3½; 10 Edward William James Chainey 0.

[The Times, 30 December 1949] "Opening the congress, Lord Simon said that chess was, perhaps, the only activity which was pursued under the same rules to-day on both sides of the iron curtain. It was therefore one of the unifying forces of humanity, and the more thoroughly it was understood the greater would be its contribution towards international good will. He commented on the increasing popularity of chess in Britain among young people as well as old, and added: "Chess is the only game I know in which you cannot cheat." (if only... - JS)

Western Daily Press - Saturday 07 January 1950: "CHESS TRAGEDY • Tragedy hit the International Chess Congress at Hastings, yesterday when it was learned that Dr. M. W. Radcliffe, (46), of Hastings, who became ill while taking part in the event had died. His wife was expecting a child yesterday." [Dr. Martin Walter Radcliffe, 2 December 1903 - 4 January 1950 – he was Czech: his pre-naturalisation surname had been Rabl - and yet no one of either surname appears amongst the competitors listed above - JS]

File Updated

Date Notes
(some years ago) Games previously uploaded as part of a collection of Hastings games
9 August 2020 Uploaded in the current format, adding some games from subsidiary sections, crosstables and results. Note that one game score has been corrected - Rossolimo-Winser (round 7) was sourced from the Mega/Big Database file some years ago but White's move 22 was given wrongly as Bf5 (B-B5) rather than the correct Bc4 (B-B4). All contemporary sources show 22.Bc4.
10 August 2020 Four more games from subsidiary sections contributed by Brian Denman: H.Rhodes 0-1 O.Penrose (Premier Reserves Major); H.Stephenson 1-0 A.Nield (Premier Reserves D); P.Cooke 0-1 J.Soesan (Major A); F.Rhoden 1-0 A.Barlow (Major A). Many thanks to Brian.
12 November 2020 Cosmetic changes to crosstables.
7 December 2020 Four more games added from subsidiary sections contributed by Ulrich Tamm: O.Penrose-Courtney, Courtney-Phillips and O.Penrose-Juehe from the Premier Reserves Major and a part-game, Mieses-Swinnerton-Dyer, from Premier Reserves A. Thanks to Ulrich.