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Tournament: England vs Netherlands • all 22 games
Venue: Cheltenham • Dates: 7-8 October 1961 • Download PGN • Last Edited: Tuesday 12 September, 2023 6:40 PM

1961 England vs Netherlands, 7-8 October

Bd England Round 1 Round 2 Netherlands
1b Jonathan Penrose ½-½ ½-½ Nicolaas (Nico) Cortlever
2w Čeněk Kottnauer 1-0 ½-½ Haije Kramer
3b (Conel) Hugh O’Donel Alexander 1-0 ½-½ Christiaan Gerrit (Kick) Langeweg
4w Peter Hugh Clarke ½-½ ½-½ Johan Teunis Barendregt
5b Harry Golombek ½-½ ½-½ Frits Ernst Roessel
6w Leonard William Barden 1-0 1-0 Jan H. van de Pol
7b Robert Graham Wade ½-½ ½-½ Alexander Kornelis Pieter (Lex) Jongsma
8w John Eric Littlewood 1-0 0-1 Franciscus Antonius (Frans) Kuijpers
9b (Philip) Stuart Milner-Barry 1-0 0-1 Paul de Rooi
10w Adrian Swayne Hollis 1-0 1-0 Constant Orbaan
    8-2 5-5  
11b Elaine Pritchard 1-0 ½-½ Fenny Heemskerk

Board 11 did not count towards the match result but would have done had the match been drawn.

BCM, November 1961, ppn 308-309

The Anglo-Dutch Match by P. H. Clarke

At last we have beaten the Dutch. In this year’s match, played at Cheltenham on October 7th and 8th, the England team ended its disastrous run in this event by winning 13-7. Five consecutive defeats was the gloomy record that preceded, so you can imagine the feeling of relief that accompanied our success. In considering the wide margin of points between the two teams one has to remember that the home side was practically at full strength (only Haygarth was unavailable), while the visitors were without at least six of their regular players. Still, the result is certainly a satisfactory one and somewhat of a good omen too for Mr. V. J. Soanes, the captain, as he takes up his new post as President of the British Chess Federation.

The match took place in ideal conditions. Once again the B.C.F. is indebted to Sir George Dowty for his generosity in sponsoring the event and providing a venue in his Group Headquarters at Arle Court. Everything was arranged for the comfort of the players, while at the same time, through the energy of the local organizer, Mr. A. R. Pitt, and the services of Dr. J. M. Aitken and B. H. Wood the spectators were offered an expert commentary on the games on demonstration boards. All this gave the meeting the true air of an international event. May other industrial concerns show equal enlightenment!

A comfortable English victory had been forecast before the match, but no one expected the "avalanche” of points that came our way in the first round. The early play gave no indication of what was to happen; in fact, some thought the balance slightly in favour of the Dutch. But then there was a sudden swing after which little or nothing went right for the visitors. Our first success came on Board 8, where Littlewood followed a main line of the King’s Indian (but with colours reversed) and made his extra move look very good indeed; Black’s pawn position finally collapsed on all sides. Shortly afterwards the Dutch were struck a mortal blow—Langeweg lost a game which most of the time he had looked certain to win. Taking fine advantage of an early strategic error by Alexander, the young Dutch master built up a dominating position. He had only to increase the pressure and material gains would have been sure to come, but instead he impetuously sacrificed a piece for two pawns. No doubt he was still winning, but it gave Alexander just the chance to fight back. And how well he took it! After some more indifferent play by White the position shown on the diagram was reached.

With White simply threatening to queen his a-pawn, Black must stake everything on his King’s-side attack, and for this he needs his Bishop. So Alexander eliminated its opponent and pressed on as follows: 29...Rxc8! 30 Rxc8 Nh5 31 Bb6 Qh4 32 Kg1 Ng3 33 hxg3 (otherwise 33...gxf3 wins) fxg3 34 R8c3 Rf7. This is the most critical moment in the attack. If White had perceived the threat, he would have made the obscure defensive move 35 b3. Instead he played 35 a6, and after 35...Qh2+ 36 Kf1 Qh1+ 37 Bg1 gxf3 38 Rxf3 Rxf3+ he had to resign. For if 39 gxf3, then 39...Bh3+ wins, while against 39 Qxf3 the Bishop strikes from the other direction—39...Bb5+. Now were there a pawn at b3, this would be foiled by Rc4! In that case Black would have had to find some other way of continuing the attack, the most intriguing idea being to dash forward with the Rook’s pawn; for example, 37...a5 38 a6 a4 39 a7 a3, with fantastic possibilities. Had this game gone against us, who knows how much it would have encouraged our opponents.

As it was, they quickly fell further behind. For while Golombek and I had rather the better of draws, Kottnauer was reducing Kramer to a state of utter helplessness by masterly positional play and Barden was smashing his opponent’s King’s side to pieces. To make matters worse, the Dutch let slip the meagre chances they had of fighting back. Only his opponent’s inexperience saved Wade in the ending and Penrose, after first holding a clear initiative, missed a resource of Cortlever’s and was thankful to be given a draw. Two games remained and they served to drive home our advantage beyond all doubt. Milner-Barry clinched a sharply-fought game by bringing off a mating attack with only a Rook, Knight, and pawn, and Hollis ended his first day’s play for England a sound pawn ahead. Later in the evening this game was resigned, and so the first round ended with the score overwhelmingly in our favour at 8-2. This is the biggest margin ever recorded for one round in these matches. Nor was there any relief for the Dutch in the ladies’ encounter, for Mrs. Pritchard had won with a devastating attack in little over twenty moves.

In spite of past experience it was inconceivable that a second-round disaster could overtake us this time. As a consequence, the lack of tension soon revealed itself in the form of a number of short draws. However, the four games that did have decisive results were interesting enough. Hollis again played in convincing style, and Barden so outclassed his opponent that he was able to destroy his position before he had castled. So the Dutch were still without a win, but then finally their luck changed. Having had the better game for most of the session, Milner-Barry was trying to solve the problems of a difficult Queen and pawn ending when he blundered and lost. And finally, Littlewood had to admit defeat after putting up a strenuous resistance the exchange down. The result was that the second round was drawn!—a rather unexpected consolation for the Dutch.

Now that the handsome silver trophy—the “Seven Provinces”—has been “arrested” on British soil, I hope that we can hold on to it. At the moment the Dutch team seems on the decline, and I believe we could have beaten their best side. In the next few years our prospects should get better and better too, for we have a solid reserve of youthful strength. Hollis went on where he left off at Aberystwyth and made a most promising debut. But there are several others on the fringe of the side also capable of giving a good account of themselves, which makes the selection a difficult task. In view of this I think the B.C.F. could well consider entering a team (often) for the next European Championships. We have sufficient both in quality and quantity to make a good showing.

CHESS, Vol.27, no.395, p1


Lacking Euwe and Muhring (in Israel), Prins (concussed in a works accident), Van Scheltinga (wife indisposed), Bouwmeester, Donner, Van den Berg etc, a woefully weak Dutch team went down 2-8 on the first day of this year’s match at Cheltenham. The second day the Englishmen, relaxing and blundering, drew 5-5. The ladies’ match on board eleven would have counted, had the main match been drawn.

File Updated

Date Notes
30 March 2005 First upload, with all 22 games. Zipped PGN file.
17 January 2023 Some forenames updated, results table.