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John Saunders


BRITBASE - British Chess Game Archive

Tournament: 13th Northern Open • 43 games
Venue: Whitby • Dates: 22 July - 2 August 1968 • Download PGN Last Edited: Monday 1 April, 2024 2:29 PM

13th Northern Open, Whitby, 22 July - 2 August 1968

(in due course I may attempt to construct a full crosstable from results as reported in the Times)

1968 Northern Open Whitby crosstable

[BCM, September 1969, pps 257-262] "The Whitby Congress by W. Ritson Morry

The Whitby Congress was this year known as the “Capt. Cook Bi-Centenary Congress,” partly to conceal the fact that it was the thirteenth of the series. It opened at the Grammar School on July 22nd and, despite the absence of the leading British players, became an interesting struggle for honours, the foreign contingent being a good one. Last year's winner, D. Drimer (Roumania), faced determined opposition from K. Bachmann (West Germany, winner of the last Eastbourne Congress, B. Gasic (Yugoslavia), and the young U.S. Junior Champion, Walter S. Browne.

None of the “favourites” met in the first round and they all duly won their games, there being little hint of any surprises, although both Drimer and Bachmann required more than one session to beat Stoye and O’Sullivan respectively. Gasic finished his game very attractively...

In Round 2 the visiting experts again managed to steer clear of each other and the number of leaders with a clean score was reduced to a select seven consisting of Bachmann, Browne, Drimer, Gasic, Hempson, Lemon, and de Veauce. It was Drimer’s turn to produce a “cliffhanging” finish with the following drastic win against one of the Dutch competitors [Plukker]...

Round 3 saw the start of the “heavyweight” bouts. Gasic suffered a surprising setback at the hands of Hempson, who laid on a powerful attack and sacrificed the exchange to establish strong centre pawns which proved overwhelming. Bachmann gained a very useful point from the young American W. S. Browne, whom he caught with a pretty Queen-sacrifice.

Drimer also won, but only after a long battle which his opponent, Lemon, defended for hours with great tenacity.

In Round 4 Drimer won a 19-move brevity against L. P. Burnett, whereas Bachmann looked none too comfortable against Hempson for some time. Nevertheless, despite mounting Queen’s-side pressure and the establishment of a passed pawn by Hempson, he managed to induce weaknesses around the opposing King and won with a vicious attack in that quarter. Gasic and Browne both won short games, the former’s opponent Eden suffering serious material loss in only 16 moves, whereas Plukker might have continued for considerably longer. Lemon caught Dr. Lachmann’s Queen in an amusing position...

Round 5 saw a quick draw between Drimer and Bachmann and this enabled Browne and Gasic to recover some lost ground by beating de Veauce and Juhe respectively. Browne achieved his objective as much off the board as on it by subjecting his opponent’s games in another tournament to biting criticism the night before the game within the latter’s hearing. Gasic won by more normal, but no less effective means. With Hemp-son’s slump continuing, Lemon, who beat him, Harman, and Ripley now headed the British contingent with 4 points out of 5, only ½ point behind the leaders.

There was a curious happening in this round which, as far as I know was unprecedented (see diagram). In the diagrammed position I noted that White was very short of time but seemed troubled and was protesting that the position was incorrect. Art. 14 of the ‘‘Laws of Chess,” sub-section 6, requires the clock to be stopped whilst the point is settled. Before I could do this White’s flag fell and I pointed this out before leaving the board, but his opponent then called me back saying that he now agreed that the position was wrong, as there should be no pawn at b5. It appeared that this pawn had been at b4 and White had a pawn at a3. In trying to capture it White had put his pawn on b4 but pushed the black pawn to b5 instead of removing it from the board. As White had protested before his flag fell I decided that this was an illegal position to which Art. 9 (2) applied and that the position must be corrected with White’s clock reset to the position I had seen at the moment of his protest. The game thereupon continued for two more sessions and was eventually agreed drawn!

Round 6 concluded the first week’s proceedings and proved eventful. Gasic, after being at a birthday party for most of the previous night came for his important game with Drimer looking bleary-eyed, but soon had the Roumanian struggling. An ending was reached before the adjournment with Gasic the exchange ahead, and he kept awake long enough to win it in 64 moves after the adjournment. Browne beat Lemon with a drastic King’s-side attack which enabled him to join Bachmann and Gasic in the lead because Ripley held the German player to a steady draw.

So the [sixth] round ended with Bachmann, Browne, and Gasic 5; Drimer, Lachmann, Ripley, and de Veauce 4½, and all to play for in the second week.

In Round 7 we had a clear leader for the first time, for Browne beat Gasic, whilst de Veauce emerged from a frantic time-scramble with a draw by perpetual check against Bachmann. Supporters of the “Back to 1851” movement should be well satisfied with the following miniature which accords well with their standards... [Smout-Eley]

Morphy’s ghost was heard moaning softly that night: “I sent Steinitz a message nearly a century ago that his Gambit was unsound—his imitators don't seem to be doing any better!”

Browne’s supremacy was short-lived for in Round 8 Drimer made every effort to beat him with White and eventually grudgingly conceded a draw in a Rook ending. Bachmann, meanwhile, was luckier in his choice of Rook ending which enabled him to beat Juhe so that the scores now stood: Bachmann and Brown 6j; Drimer, Eley, and Gasic 6. Eley scored a good point at Hempson’s expense whilst Gasic found the going hard against Harman and considered himself fortunate to win a game which had not run in his favour most of the time.

As the three leaders had all played each other they were now under continuous pressure and had to play to win every game right to the end of the tournament. There was, therefore, little prospect of a “Hastings” finish and the spectators had much for which to be thankful!

In Round 9 Drimer had a comfortable win against Eley and his game terminated well before the session ended. Bachmann attacked strongly against Gasic’s King and won near the call of time...

Browne suffered a set-back in this round, for Lees defended a difficult ending very dourly and eventually drew at move 73. This gave Bachmann the lead once more with 7½ points with Browne and Drimer 7 and Ripley 6½.

All the leaders made certain of victory and the situation at the top remained unchanged after Round 10. There was an early disaster for Ripley in the position shown in the diagram. He intended to play 14 B—Kt 3, and to follow with K—B 2, after which he would have a good position; but instead he played the ghastly blunder 14 K—B 2???, after which Browne won a pawn by 14 ..., KtxKtP ch; 15 K—Kt 3, Kt—B3; when Ripley completed his decomposition with 16 BxKt, QxB; 17 Q R— Kt 1, Q—B5 ch; 18 K—B 2, B—B 3; 19 K—K 1, B—R 5 ch; 20 K—Q 1, Kt—R 2; 21 Kt—B 1, Kt—Kt 4; 22 Q—Q 2, Kt—R 6; 23 QxQ, PxQ; White resigns.

The last round was full of interest and all the leaders had to fight hard for their points. Bimpson came through the opening with a very good position and had Drimer under considerable pressure, but then he went astray and Drimer approached the ending with winning chances only to let them slip from him. With a drawn Rook ending Bimpson made a bad move just before the adjournment and was soon forced to resign after the resumption.

Lees put up strong resistance against Bachmann, but eventually the German found a way to sacrifice the exchange for two pawns, and the ending proved easy to win.

Bachmann thought that the ending might have been drawn by bringing Black’s Rook back to its second rank.

Browne also found the going hard against Jiihe and his game ran to 67 moves, being easily the last game to finish in the whole congress.

1½ points separated the three leaders from the fourth prize-winner, J. Ripley, who made up for his lapse the previous day by beating Hempson with the black pieces. This left him ½ point clear of the next six players who tied for the remaining four prizes.

The congress was well supported and last year’s record of 191 entries for all events was beaten by six. Final scores in all events were (prize-winners in bold type)—

Northern Open and Junior Championships.—K. Bachmann 9½; W. S. Browne, D. Drimer 9; J. Ripley 7½; L. P. Burnett, B. Gasic, H. Jiihe, D. Lees, S. O. van Seelen, J. Vogel 7; T. Bimpson, Dr. R. Cherubim, B. Eley, Dr. H. Lachmann, A. van Oosten, J. Steedman 6½; M. Broadhurst, B. H. Coop, C. F. S. Davison, P. W. Hempson, P. van Haastert, K. B. Harman, R. C. Lemon, K. Maudsley, J. R. Mercy, R. P. Ross, L. de Veauce 6; A. Forster, P. D. Porter, H. J. Smout, D. G. Streets, K. Vossen 5½; J. G. Cockcroft, P. E. O. Durrant, M. D. Etmans, K. Goodey, P. R. Kemp, W. D. Muir, H. Plukker, B. F. O’Sullivan, N. Turner, J. F. Turnock 5; G. Blankenberg, H. P. Bruls, M. J. Donnelly, C. H. de Gorter, M. Senior, J. P. Stoye 4½; A. A. Eden, E. H. Goodwin, O. Hardy, P. J. Norton, E. Pfeiffer 4; C. Hatch, G. Jackson, J. M. Scott 3½; F. N. Copping 2; M. Howard 0.

M. Broadhurst and K. Maudsley tied for the Northern Junior Championship and shared first and second prizes.

Premier Fortnight.—A. Milner, M. T. O’Connell 8½; C. F. Randell 8; A. E. Nield 5½; P. Monciunskas 5; A. G. Winkle 3½; J. K. Rodda 3.

Premier First Week.—J. Horner 4; M. J. Conroy 3½; M. H. Hawley, R. W. Howley 3; M. J. Bulford, M. Smith 2½; M. E. Davis, R. J. Edwards 2; Dr. P. D. Ralph 1½; P. C. Wade 1.

Premier Second Week.—Miss E. Tranmer 4½; F. M. Akeroyd, A. E. Tilley 4; M. V. Bott, J. A. Speigel 3½; J. P. Irving, W. G. Raines, G. V. Spink 3; M. D. Speigel, P. M. Stevenson 2½; W. M. Dixon, G. Gibbons, J. Gibbons, A. M. J. Hutchings, A. Silvane 2; A. R. Bentley, A. I. Stern, D. Wake, C. Cheetham, W. Oving 1. Oving withdrew after two rounds.

First Class First Week.—A. J. Trafford 5; P. Karmaz 4; R. Brownsord, C. Cashmore, T. Huyzer, N. E. Ramsdale, Miss E. Whyte 3; R. J. Plukker 2½; Mrs. P. Jackson, J. W. Reay, T. E. Smith 2; D. McGregor 1½; Miss A. Livesey 1; I. Rogers 0.

First Class Second Week.—R. Hitchcock 5; N. Spencer 4; E. Hamilton, B. R. Myers 3½; S. Fortt, R. J. Plukker, G. Riding, J. T. Silvane, G. Wood 3; B. J. Broughton, R. Clark, M. H. Johnson 2½; R. Brownsord, C. Clark, T. Huyzer, Mrs. P. Jackson, T. E. Smith, Miss E. Whyte 2; J. W. Reay 1½; A. A. Cameron, S. A. Holtham, Miss A. Livesey 1.

Junior First Week.—G. J. Brindle, P. C. Clarke, R. G. Elton, R. Starkie 3½; S. Boniface, C. Rhodes 3; A. McGregor, S. Todd 2; C. D. McGregor 1; A. C. McGregor 0.

Junior Second Week.—S. Todd 5½; C. D. McGregor 3½; A. McGregor 2½; A. C. McGregor ½.

Whitby Specialty First Week.—B. Gasic 5; W. S. Browne, J. Steedman 4; B. H. Coop, R. C. Lemon 3½; C. F. S. Davison, A. Forster, P. R. Kemp, K. Maudsley 3; S. Boniface, R. G. Elton, K. Vossen 2½; K. Goodey, P. Norton, C. Rhodes, J. F. Turnock, P. Wade 2; P. C. Clarke, R. J. Edwards, S. Todd 1½; N. Turner 1; Miss E. Whyte 0.

Whitby Specialty Second Week.—W. S. Browne 5; M. D. Etmans, B. Gasic, P. Stevenson 4; J. P. Irving, P. J. Norton 3½; H. Bruls, M. J. Bulford, J. Gibbons, P. R. Kemp, B. R. Myers, A. Silvane, R. A. Tilley, N. Turner 3; J. R. Mercy, P. Stevenson, K. Vossen 2½; L. P. Burnett, A. Hutchings, J. Silvane 2; C. T. Cheetham, G. Gibbons, M. H. Johnson, E. Pfeiffer, B. F. O’Sullivan, Miss E. Whyte, G. Wood 1½; F. Gill, S. Todd 1; D. McGregor 0.

Considerable interest was aroused by the participation of the McGregor brothers in the Junior Tournaments. The youngest, A. C. McGregor, is believed to be the youngest player who has ever taken part in a congress of this kind.

[CHESS, September 1968, no.s 561-2, pps 357-364 - also by W Ritson Morry] Before the war chess life was leisurely. At most we had three good congresses a year. Hastings at Christmas, Margate at Easter and the B.C.F. at various seaside resorts. Today’s extensive programme is too large to be satisfactorily covered!

We assembled 58 strong for the Northern Open and Northern Junior Championships, a record number, with a useful foreign contingent, which included last year’s champion, E. D. Drimer, last year’s Eastbourne winner, K. Bachmann and the U.S. Junior Champion, Walter S. Browne.

The players were paired so that none of the strong contenders encountered each other in round I.

Round 1

It seems unfair for White to beat a Marshall Counter-Attack with a direct mating assault, but Browne did it.

Drimer v Stoye and O’Sullivan v Bachmann proceeded on the “Win a pawn and grind them down” programme.

Round 2

The favourites demolished their respective opponents in drastic style...


[Round 11] The defeats of Juhe and Lees relegated them to a sextet of players who shared 5th to 10th prizes and enabled Ripley to recover his lead over the other British players by beating Hempson.

The tournament was interesting despite the absence of the British “heavyweights”, for at least we were spared the depressing sight of frightened men agreeing draws in a dozen moves unable to summon up the courage or imagination to play for a win.

File Updated
Date Notes
14 February 2022 First upload of 43 games to BritBase, culled from BCM, CHESS and the chess pages of Mike Donnelly. Includes all 11 games played by future GM Walter Browne (one of them a part-game).
1 April 2024 Oh dear! No fewer than 22 of these games had been given with the wrong year (1963 instead of 1968 - the day and month were correct). Culpa mea: now fixed, and amended, appropriately enough, on April Fool's Day.