© 1997-2024
John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Event: Birmingham Training Tournament • 15 games, 1 part-game • updated: Tuesday 9 July, 2024 10:16 AM
Venue: Digbeth Institute, Birmingham • Dates: 28 June - 9 July 1955 • Download PGN

1955 Birmingham Training Tournament, 28 June-9 July, Erdington CC (rds 1 & 6) / Digbeth Institute (other rds)

1955 BCF Training Tournament
Residence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Total 
1 Geoffrey F Harris Stourbridge
1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 7
2 Derek Geoffrey Horseman Coventry 0
1 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 ½
3 Harry Golombek Chalfont St Giles 0 0
½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1
4 Peter Campbell Gibbs Birmingham Univ ½ ½ ½
0 1 1 ½ 0 1 5
5 Kenneth William Lloyd Quinton ½ ½ 0 1
0 ½ ½ 1 1 5
6 Robert Graham Wade New Zealand 0 0 ½ 0 1
1 ½ 1 1 5
7 Brian J Moore Erdington ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0
0 ½ 1 4
8 John Spencer Purdy Australia ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1
0 ½
9 Derek Francis K Griffiths Moseley 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 1
10 Kenneth Leslie Gardner Solihull 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1

BCM, August 1955, ppn 235-236


By H. Golombek

As part of the scheme for the encouragement and fostering of young players, with an especial eye on their possibilities for representing this country internationally, the Warwickshire Chess Association held a tournament under the auspices of the British Chess Federation at Birmingham, from June 28th to July 9th. The tournament director was W. Ritson Morry, who was also the organiser and chief begetter of the event. For his work in the field of junior chess British chess owes him a great debt and the fruits of his labours will become more and more evident as time goes on.

The idea of this tournament was to try out a selection of the best young Midland players against the opposition of two former British Champions, in the shape of R. G. Wade and myself. Additional stiff opposition was fortunately provided by the young Australian Champion, John Purdy, who himself regarded the event as a training and practice tournament before his participation in the World Junior Championship at the end of July.

The table shows how Harris dominated the tournament. He never lost a game, never looked like losing one, and was as consistently sound as he was attacking. Here clearly is a real prospect for British chess and it is to be hoped that he will be able to spare the time to compete in further tournaments regularly.

Both Wade and myself started badly so that some caustic onlookers were heard to query as to who were the trainers and who the trainees. But we improved as the tournament proceeded to achieve fairly respectable places.

Horseman displayed a fine gift for combination and a tendency to indulge in complications without first seeing whether the end was favourable or the reverse. The talent is there but needs to be tempered by discretion.

Gibbs had a temporary lapse in the middle of the tournament during which he lost two games in succession in somewhat uncharacteristic fashion. In his other games, however, he was steadiness personified and a very difficult man to beat.

Quite a different style was shown by Lloyd, who represents this country in the World Junior Championship at Antwerp this month. His opening play was far from correct but he excelled in finding resources in the middle game. Given a certain amount of methodical study of the openings he should develop into a truly formidable player.

Moore did well against the leading players but was otherwise a little disappointing.

The big surprise in the tournament was the poor showing of the Australian Champion, John Purdy. He only won one game and was nearly always struggling in the others. Possibly his long journey to Europe may have unsettled his form, but it is obvious he will have to play much better than he did at Birmingham if he hopes to do well at Antwerp. This was the bad side of his results in the tournament. The good side is that he is a very likeable young man with very good sporting manners— an excellent ambassador for Australian chess from this aspect.

Griffiths, a former British Junior Champion, has only been playing the game for four years and his development is far from complete. He has good imaginative ideas and should improve with practice.

Gardner was quite out of form, but took his losses cheerfully and should do better next time.

One hopes that in due course similar events can be arranged for the North and the South, as they are of great value not only in determining who are the best of the younger players but also in improving the standard of the chess amongst the youth of the country.

CHESS, 30 July 1955, Vol.20/250, p411


A "Training Tournament" organised by the B.C.F., mainly for the benefit of the nineteen-year-old Australian champion John Purdy, here for the World Junior Championship (in progress in Antwerp as we write) was held in Birmingham from June 28 to July 9.

The visitors besides John Purdy were two ex-British champions H. Golombek and R. G. Wade. Seven young Midland players, none over twenty-five, were pitted against them—and gave them a rare towelling. Horseman beat all three visitors, Harris two (and let Purdy off in a clearly won ending). Golombek noticeably avoided exerting himself in a tournament whose importance and prize list were negligible in comparison with the forthcoming British Championship. Poor playing conditions may have affected open air loving Purdy.

Minor Tournament

(1) George Hill (City of Birmingham) 7/9; (2) John Hubert Watts (Birmingham University) 6; (3) Geoffrey Neil Stokes 5½; (4) Colin Hammersley 5; (5) L G Green 4½; (6-8) John C Dore, P K Hawes, Brian A Heath 4; (9) M E Davies 3½; (10) C(olin G?) Burton 1½.

Venues: Erdington Chess Club, Folk House (Rds 1 and 6); Digbeth Institute (Rds 2-5, 7-9)

File Updated

Date Notes
9 July 2024 First upload: 15 games and 1 part-game, mostly from BCM. Crosstable and report by Harry Golombek