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Event: Glasgow International • 20 of 25* games • Last Edited: Saturday 6 May, 2023 9:07 AM
Venue: City Chambers, Glasgow • Dates: 27 July - 4 August 1953 • Download PGN

1953 Glasgow International, 27 July - 4 August

1953 Glasgow International 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  Total 
 1  Jonathan Penrose
½ ½ 0 1 1 1 1d 5
2 William Albert Fairhurst ½
½ ½ 0 1 1 1
3 Harry Golombek ½ ½
½ ½ ½ 1 1d
4 Robert Graham Wade 1 ½ ½
½ ½ ½ 1
5 Daniel Abraham Yanofsky 0 1 ½ ½
½ 1 1d
6 James Macrae Aitken 0 0 ½ ½ ½
0 1
7 Norman Alasdair Macleod 0 0 0 ½ 0 1
8 Erwin Knopfler 0d 0 0d 0 0d 0 0

* n.b. Erwin Knopfler (father of the rather more celebrated Mark Knopfler) defaulted the last three rounds, so only 25 games were actually played.

Full report on the 1953 Glasgow International at the Chess Scotland website, by Alan McGowan, with further biographical information about some of the players.

[The Times, 27 July 1953] "GLASGOW CHESS TOURNAMENT — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT — A short chess tournament opens to-day at Glasgow with a strong entry—Dr. J. M. Aitken, W. A. Fairhurst, H. Golombek, E. Knopfler, N. A. Macleod, J. Penrose, R. G. Wade, and D. A. Yanofsky. This is the first event of its kind to be arranged by the Scottish Chess Federation. Fairhurst, Aitken, Knopfler, and Macleod represent Scotland; the first named has been one of the leading British masters for several years. Dr. Aitken won this year’s Scottish championship with a score of eight points out of eight, Knopfler and Macleod coming equal second with five points each. The English players are Golombek and Penrose. Yanofsky is by far the best player Canada has produced, and Wade of New Zealand is the present British champion. The tournament will continue until August 4. Bringing together as it does some of the likelier contestants for the forthcoming British championship at Hastings, the event should provide some useful indications of the probable destination of that title."

[The Times, 28 July 1953] "FIRST ROUND RESULTS — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT GLASGOW, July 27. There was some good and interesting chess m the opening round of the Glasgow tournament at the Civic Chambers here to-day. Though there is no world champion competing, the Commonwealth players are of first-class quality—as Yanofsky demonstrated when he won a bright game against Macleod in 29 moves. Macleod sacrificed material in search of an all-out king side attack: but Yanofskv coolly accepted what was offered and then went over to a decisive counter-attack himself. Golombek obtained some advantage out of the opening against Penrose, but the position was equalized soon enough and a draw agreed after 23 moves. Fairhurst outplayed Knopfler and established the superior position quite early in the game although he had the black pieces. Knopfler overlooked the loss of a pawn and then sacrificed heavily but in vain, resigning when two pieces and several pawns to the bad. Wade and Aitken had the longest game. It lasted all day and for most of the time Wade was trying to win an ending with rook and knight and three pawns against rook and knight and two pawns on the same wing of the board. Eventually Wade exchanged rooks and the game was agreed a draw after 54 moves."

[The Times, 29 July 1953] "YANOFSKY BEATEN BY PENROSE — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT GLASGOW, July 28 The longest and most important game today in the second round of the Glasgow chess tournament was that between Penrose and Yanofsky. Penrose played a quiet but solid variation against Yanofsky’s French Defence and gradually obtained the upper hand. After winning a pawn in the middle game he came down to a rook and pawn ending which was easily won for him. Macleod and Wade had a level struggle which ended justly in a draw. Wade established a strong passed-pawn in the centre but Macleod had little difficulty in blocking this pawn’s further advance by an effective pair of linked knights. Fairhurst emerged from the opening with good possibilities of a king side attack against Golombek, but by a timely pawn thrust in the centre, Golombek equalized and a draw was agreed in 29 moves. Aitken always enjoyed the advantages against Knopfler, who saddled himself with some pawn weaknesses early in the game. The scores at the end of Round 2 are: Aitken, Fairhurst, and Penrose, 1½; Golombek, Wade, and Yanofsky, 1; Macleod, ½; Knopfler, 0."

[The Times, 30 July 1953] "PENROSE’S LEAD IN GLASGOW — GOOD WIN AGAINST MACLEOD — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT — GLASGOW, July 29 — Penrose took the lead in the Glasgow chess tournament to-day by winning in good style against Macleod in Round 3. Macleod had an even game for some time, but then chose an inferior plan that led to the loss of the exchange, after which Penrose worked up a neat mating attack. Knopfler went badly astray in the opening against Wade. Though he had the white pieces, he soon lost the initiative, allowed Wade to set up a permanent pin, and finally lost the piece. Golombek could make no impression on Aitken and an early draw was forced after a number of exchanges. There was a really stern tussle between Yanofsky and Fairhurst, who played a long game in which the advantage fluctuated from side to side. First Fairhurst won a pawn and looked to have good winning chances; but he then played somewhat carelessly and lost the pawn back through an oversight. The position was looking like a draw when Yanofsky sacrificed a rook for a knight and pawn. On the adjournment Yanofsky had two pawns for the exchange, with good winning prospects. The scores at the end of Round 3 are: Penrose, 2½; Aitken and Wade. 2; Fairhurst, 1½ and one adjourned; Golombek, 1½; Yanofsky, 1 and one adjourned ; Macleod, ½ ; and Knopfler, 0."

[The Times, 31 July 1953] "DRAWN CHESS GAMES AT GLASGOW — MACLEOD THE ONLY WINNER — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT — GLASGOW, July 30 — Three of the games in round four of the Glasgow chess tournament ended in a draw, and this result meant that Penrose was still in the lead by half a point. Aitken played the same line against Yanofsky’s French defence as Penrose did in round two; but Yanofsky varied the line later on and a repetition of position led to a draw. Fairhurst got nothing out of the opening and early middle game against Penrose and, when the draw was agreed, what advantage there was stood in the latter’s favour. Wade played the opening solidly and carefully against Golombek’s Slav Defence, and a number of exchanges brought about a clearly drawn position in which Golombek had queen and bishop against queen and knight. Macleod soon wrested the initiative from Knopfier, and though the game lasted some 44 moves it was only a question of time before he broke through on the king side. The adjourned game from round three between Yanofsky and Fairhurst ended in a victory for Yanofsky, who patiently and skilfully forced his advantage home in a fine ending. Scores at the end of round four: —Penrose, 3 ; Aitken, Wade and Yanofsky, 2½; Fairhurst and Golombek, 2; Macleod, 1½; Knopfler, 0."

[The Times, 2 August 1953] "ANOTHER CHESS GAME WON BY PENROSE — WIN AGAINST AITKEN AT GLASGOW — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT — GLASGOW, Aug. 2 — Penrose drew away from the field in the Glasgow chess tournament yesterday by beating Aitken in a fine game in round five. He now leads by a full point and looks almost certain of first prize. Aitken adopted a risky line of defence, the Schliemann variation, which was rather unwise against a player of Penrose’s calibre. Penrose established a wedge in his opponent’s position, preventing Aitken from ever developing his rooks, and finished the game by a neat mating combination. Fairhurst won well against Macleod, who gave up a piece in an attempt to take advantage of an early king side pawn advance by black. In the end it was Fairhurst who secured the attack. Yanofsky came out of the opening with some advantage in space against Wade, obtained pressure on the king side, and exploited this to win the exchange. This did not prove sufficient to win, as Wade was able to establish a knight strongly on K5 and prevent Yanofsky’s rooks from coming into full action. After the game Wade pointed out that Yanofsky had an alternative continuation to the manoeuvre that gained the exchange by which he could have won quite easily. Scores at the end of round five: —Penrose 4, Fairhurst, Golombek, Wade, and Yanofsky 3, Aitken 2½, Macleod 1½, Knopfler 0... Golombek won against Knopfler by default."

[The Times, 4 August 1953] "WADE’S CHESS WIN OVER PENROSE — FIVE TYING FOR FIRST PLACE — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT — GLASGOW, Aug. 3 — Penrose met with his first defeat to-day in the Glasgow chess tournament, and at the moment there is a tie among five players for first place, with the destination of all the prizes depending on the results of the last round to-morrow. Penrose’s game with Wade was an instructive example of plan and counter-plan, with white (Wade) attacking along the queen’s bishop file and black countering with a king-side advance. Wade’s attack was the more powerful. He sacrificed the exchange to win two pawns, and although Penrose put up an ingenious defence there was no saving the game, which Penrose resigned after 51 moves had been played. Golombek had a quick win over Macleod. Taking advantage of his opponent’s slow development he had seized the initiative as early as the twelfth move. Macleod’s queen was harried by Golombek’s minor pieces to such effect that he found himself faced with either the loss of his queen or an equivalent amount of material on the twentieth move when he resigned. Aitken was hardly out of the opening against Fairhurst when, by a number of exchanges, a minor piece ending was reached in which Fairhurst had three pawns to two on the queen side and an easily won end game. Fairhurst achieved the win with a sure hand in 37 moves. The scores at the end of round six:— Fairhurst, Golombek, Penrose, Wade, Yanofsky, 4; Aitken, 2½; Macleod, 1½; Knopfler, 0... Yanofsky won by default against Knopfler."

[The Times, 5 August 1953] "CHESS AT GLASGOW — PENROSE IN FAVOURABLE POSITION — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT — GLASGOW, August 4 — In spite of some eight hours play in the seventh round of the Glasgow Chess tournament to-day, only one of the two main games has been brought to a definite conclusion. As Penrose scored a win by default against Knopfler, he was left with five points and a certainty of being at least equal first. His four rivals all had to play for a win in order to come up level with Penrose, so the games were fought out with more than the usual sternness. That between Yanofsky and Golombek has already lasted 68 moves and been twice adjourned. Golombek obtained an equal position out of the opening, his favourite Caro Kann Defence. Indeed, during the middle game he secured some attack on the King side by the offer of a pawn, which however Yanofsky wisely refused. A large number of exchanges resulted in a rook and minor piece ending, where Yanofsky had the better possibilities owing to Golombek’s weakened King side pawn position. The other vital game, between Fairhurst and Wade, was agreed as a draw after 60 moves. Fairhurst attacked along the Q.B. file, while Wade countered on the King side. For most of the game Fairhurst had the initiative, but Wade established a strong passed K.R. pawn and this was enough to hold the draw. The adjourned game between Yanofsky and Golombek, on which hangs the destination of the first prize, will be played off to-morrow morning. The scores at the end of round seven are: Penrose 5, Fairhurst and Wade 4½, Golombek and Yanofsky 4 and one adjourned, Aitken and Macleod 2½, Knopfler 0."

[The Times, 6 August 1953] "PENROSE’S WIN — FINAL SCORES IN GLASGOW CHESS — FROM OUR CHESS CORRESPONDENT — GLASGOW, Aug. 5 — The adjourned game between Yanofsky and Golombek from the seventh round of the Glasgow chess tournament was agreed at a draw to-day without further play, both sides having satisfied themselves by overnight analysis that nothing more could be done with the ending. This made the final scores as follows: Penrose, 5; Fairhurst, Golombek, Wade and Yanofsky, 4½; Aitken and Macleod, 2½; Knopfler, 0. This is Penrose’s first outright victory in a strong tournament, but it will not be long before he adds many successes to his list. The London University student, in spite of his youth—he is 19—has been one of England’s leading players for some years. In the Glasgow tournament he displayed all the merits that belong to the accomplished master—deep strategy and a capacity for producing the right combination at a critical moment; a versatile knowledge of the opening and end game; and an enviable equanimity in both victory and defeat The level nature of the tournament, at any rate in the top half of the table, was shown by the tie for second place between four players, any one of whom with a little luck might have won first prize. Golombek and Wade were the only unbeaten players, but drew too many games. Yanofsky redeemed a bad start by a brilliant finish. A loss always seems to have the happy effect of spurring him on. Fairhurst was variable. He had the habit of marring fine chess by oversight; nevertheless, some of his games in this tournament were of excellent quality."

File Updated

Date Notes
1 May 2018 First uploaded - games received from Alan McGowan, historian for Chess Scotland, for which many thanks. 16 games plus 3 stubs for the defaulted games.
6 May 2023 Added games from the Aitken file: (1) Wade, rd 1; (2) Knopfler, rd 2; (3) Golombek, rd 3; (4) Macleod, rd 7. Running total 20 games plus 3 default stubs.