GrahamClayton: In 1871 Esling was sent by his Danish father to Germany to further his education. He learnt to play after receiving a chess book and set on his 15th birthday. He then started to play at chess clubs in Brunswick and Hanover.
In 1878, Esling finished 3rd in the candidate master tournament at Frankfurt. Esling returned to Melbourne in 1879 with a degree in civil engineering.
Here is a summary of his match and tournament record in Australia:
Match with J Wisker (+5, =2, -4)
Australian Championship match with GHD Gossip (+1, =0, -0). Gossip did not appear for resumption of 2nd game
Esling was recognised in 1950 as the first Australian champion
Australian Championship - Adelaide 1887
2nd (6/9) behind H. Charlick
=1st (8/9) with RL Hodgson (Hodgson won play-off match)
=1st (10.5/13) with RL Hodgson (Esling won play-off match)
Australian championship match, Melbourne
AEN Wallace defeated FK Esling (+7, =4, -5)
Australian Championship, Melbourne
Esling withdrew after losing in the first round to AW Davies
Esling was also a regular participant in the annual telegraph matches that were held between Victoria and the other colonies in the latter part of the 19th century.
Anthony Wright "Australian Chess to 1914", Melbourne 1995
John van Manen "The Records of Australian Chess - Tournament and Match Tables - Volumes I & II", Modbury Heights, 1987