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John Saunders


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Event: Netherlands-Great Britain Match • Venue: Birmingham • Date: 23-24 November 1963 • all 22 games
Download PGN • last edited: Thursday September 14, 2023 12:55 PM


1963 Netherlands vs Great Britain Match, played at Birmingham, 23-24 November

Bd Great Britain Round 1 Round 2 Netherlands
1b Jonathan Penrose ½-½ ½-½ Theo van Scheltinga
2w Cenek Kottnauer ½-½ ½-½ Nicolaas Cortlever
3b Peter H Clarke ½-½ ½-½ Haije Kramer
4w John E Littlewood 0-1 0-1 Johan Teunis Barendregt
5b Harry Golombek ½-½ 0-1 Lodewijk Prins
6w Leonard W Barden ½-½ ½-½ Klaas Marinus Bergsma
7b Robert G Wade ½-½ 0-1 Hendrik Jan (Henk) Bredewout
8w Owen M Hindle 0-1 ½-½ Robert Gijsbertus Hartoch
9b Michael J Franklin ½-½ 0-1 Hans Ree
10w Norman Littlewood 1-0 ½-½ Theunis Pieter (Theo) van den Tol
    4½-5½ 3-7  
  Overall score 7½-12½  
  Elaine Pritchard ½-½ 0-1 Catharina Roodzant

BCM, January 1964, ppn 1-2

The Anglo-Dutch Match By H. GOLOMBEK

THIS year it was our turn to entertain the Dutch in the annual double-round contest between teams of ten representing the Royal Dutch Chess Federation and the British Chess Federation. As a matter of fact there are really eleven players on each side since a match is also played between two lady players, but the results of these two games are only counted if and when the men’s match ends in a draw.

The acute financial difficulties that arose through the fact that the firm which sponsored the event last time it was held in England was no longer interested were surmounted by heroic efforts in the Midlands, the moving spirit being that of W. Ritson Morry, who managed to conjure up, not only the necessary finance, but also an ideal venue in the shape of the modern and luxurious Albany Hotel at Birmingham and it was there that the match duly took place on Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd and 24th.

The Dutch match-captain, De Graf, won the toss from his opposite number in the British team, V. J. Soanes, President of the B.C.F., and in consequence the Netherlanders had white on the odd-numbered boards in Round 1, colours being reversed in Round 2.


These figures speak for themselves. The Dutch had a most substantial victory and that without being unduly favoured by luck as the reader will see if he plays through the games. In fact the only time the Dutch team ever looked like being in danger was round about 2.45 on Sunday afternoon when the match controller, W. R. Morry, came into the room and asked for clocks to be stopped whilst he made an important announcement. It appears he had been informed by a Ministry of Works official that at 3 o’clock that afternoon a bridge in the vicinity was due to be blown up and he thought the players should be warned to expect the explosion. Not even this laudable attempt at gamesmanship served to unsettle the Dutch. A treacherous wind, blowing no doubt in the wrong direction, completely muffled the sound of the explosion and on this occasion at any rate the Nimzowitschian precept that the threat was stronger than the execution proved fallacious.

The first round had indeed turned out to be a most stubbornly fought affair. With two games adjourned (J. E. Littlewood v. Barendregt and Wade v. Bredewout), the score was level 4-4; but Littlewood’s ending was clearly lost and Wade, a pawn down in a Rook and pawn ending, could not hope for more than ½ point. These two games were resumed next morning at 9 o’clock and Littlewood duly lost and Wade drew.

So we had lost the first round by 4½-5½. Matters, however, were even worse than this. We were actually 2 points down when the second round started on Sunday afternoon. Since Prins had to get away early to catch a plane that day I agreed to play my second round game against him at 9 that morning. Whether the time of day had anything to do with it or whether I was just in very bad form anyway I can’t quite now determine. At all events, I was soon in a lost position and when my opponent kindly refrained from taking due advantage of my poor form and allowed me to escape into a possibly drawn ending I finished up by throwing away a piece.

This was a most unhappy augury for what proved to be a most unhappy round in which we were beaten to the tune of 7-3. Again it should be observed that luck did not particularly favour the winning side.

The strange thing about all this is that on paper our team looked much the stronger. Of all the leading players in the country only C. H. O’D. Alexander was absent, and he alas seems to have given up active play for the time being. So we had practically our full international team in the field. Not so the Dutch; they had only three of their regular internationals playing, van Scheltinga, Kramer, and Prins, and were without Dr. Euwe, Donner, Bouwmeester, Langeweg, van den Berg, Muhring, and their present Champion, Kuypers. And yet with this so-called second eleven they brushed aside the British team as though they were—well, Luxembourg!

What went wrong it is difficult to say. Some of our team were out of practice; all were out of form and the quality of chess, on the British side, was low. It would seem simplest for me to give the games and let the reader judge for himself.

The Times, 25 November 1963

NETHERLANDS WIN AT CHESS - from our chess correspondent - BIRMINGHAM, Nov. 24

A Netherlands team met the British Chess Federation at Birmingham in a double-round match at the weekend and emerged the decisive victors by 12½-7½.

The result was a little surprising in view of the fact that a number of the better-known Dutch players were absent while the English team was, on paper at any rate, almost the strongest that could be assembled; but there was no doubt that the score was a true reflection of the run of play and the Dutch team well deserved to win by a large margin.

In round 1 the Dutch just won by 5½ to 4½ points. There were steady draws on the top three boards but on the fourth, J. E. Littlewood got into a bad ending which he was unable to save against Barendregt’s accurate play. There were hard-fought draws on the next three boards and another Dutch win came on board 8, where Hindle unjustifiably sacrificed a piece in a levei position. The one win for England was on the bottom board, where N. Littlewood crushed his opponent with ease.

Round 2 proved a much more catastrophic defeat for the home side, which lost no fewer than four games and did not win a single one, so that the Dutch won by seven to three. Again there were three steady draws on the top boards, but after that the Dutch were very much in the ascendant. The nearest an English player got to winning was on the eighth board, where Hindle, after getting into a losing position, recovered and should have won a queen and pawn ending.

In a ladies' match, the scores of which were not to be counted unless the men's match ended in a draw, Mrs. Pritchard drew one and lost one against Mrs. Roodzant.

File Updated

Date Notes
28 August 1997 First uploaded to BritBase with 22 complete games in zipped file format.
12 September 2023 Uploaded in the standard format, scoretable added. Amended Van den Tol's name.
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