The last of five consecutive international events organized at the seaside resort of Margate, England was held in the spring of 1939. Former world champion Jose Capablanca made the last of three appearances at this round robin tournament. He was joined by Salomon Flohr, who had won this event in 1936, as well as Paul Keres, who had shared first in 1937. Miguel Najdorf, an up and coming master, journeyed from Poland. The remaining six seats went to masters from the United Kingdom, including Harry Golombek, women's world champion Vera Menchik, Philip Stuart Milner-Barry, Edward G Sergeant, George Alan Thomas, and George Wheatcroft. Capablanca's penultimate event in international chess play saw him play with his usual excellence, but unfortunately for the former champion of the world he had declined and was no longer capable of keeping up with the masters of the new generation. Keres scored wins against over half the participants and finished a full point ahead of Capablanca and Flohr. Najdorf, meanwhile making his English debut, performed less well, but he was on the rise and would soon attain regard as a potential challenger for the world crown. The outbreak of World War II would put an end to these events for many years, but the opportunity for young and old chess masters to mingle and play against one another as well as including local British masters was a boon to those involved, as well as to those of us who have their games to play over today.
Margate, England, 12-21 April 1939
Margate (1938) was the preceding congress in this series.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1 Keres * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 7½
=2 Capablanca ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 6½
=2 Flohr ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 6½
4 Thomas 0 0 1 * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 5
5 Milner-Barry ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 4½
6 Najdorf 0 ½ 0 0 1 * 0 1 ½ 1 4
7 Golombek 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 * ½ ½ 1 3½
8 Sergeant 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ * 1 0 3
9 Menchik 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ 2½
10 Wheatcroft 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ * 2
Original collection: Game Collection: Margate 1939, by User: suenteus po 147.
| page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45
|1. Capablanca vs G Wheatcroft
|2. G A Thomas vs Flohr
||1-0||68||1939||Margate||C78 Ruy Lopez|
|3. Milner-Barry vs Keres
|| ||½-½||35||1939||Margate||C23 Bishop's Opening|
|4. Golombek vs E G Sergeant
|| ||½-½||22||1939||Margate||D35 Queen's Gambit Declined|
|5. Menchik vs Najdorf
|| ||½-½||24||1939||Margate||E67 King's Indian, Fianchetto|
|6. Najdorf vs Milner-Barry
|| ||1-0||29||1939||Margate||D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch|
|7. G Wheatcroft vs G A Thomas
||0-1||37||1939||Margate||B91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation|
|8. E G Sergeant vs Menchik
|| ||1-0||45||1939||Margate||E61 King's Indian|
|9. Keres vs Capablanca
||½-½||25||1939||Margate||C88 Ruy Lopez|
|10. Golombek vs Flohr
||0-1||45||1939||Margate||E60 King's Indian Defense|
|11. Capablanca vs Najdorf
||½-½||46||1939||Margate||E34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation|
|12. G A Thomas vs Keres
||0-1||43||1939||Margate||C91 Ruy Lopez, Closed|
|13. Flohr vs G Wheatcroft
||1-0||25||1939||Margate||E01 Catalan, Closed|
|14. Milner-Barry vs E G Sergeant
||½-½||35||1939||Margate||C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense|
|15. Menchik vs Golombek
|| ||½-½||41||1939||Margate||D14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation|
|16. Najdorf vs G A Thomas
|| ||0-1||54||1939||Margate||D37 Queen's Gambit Declined|
|17. G Wheatcroft vs Golombek
|| ||0-1||35||1939||Margate||B50 Sicilian|
|18. Menchik vs Milner-Barry
||½-½||19||1939||Margate||D02 Queen's Pawn Game|
|19. Keres vs Flohr
|| ||½-½||26||1939||Margate||D13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation|
|20. E G Sergeant vs Capablanca
||½-½||30||1939||Margate||C77 Ruy Lopez|
|21. G Wheatcroft vs Keres
||0-1||35||1939||Margate||C32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit|
|22. Golombek vs Milner-Barry
|| ||0-1||47||1939||Margate||E00 Queen's Pawn Game|
|23. G A Thomas vs E G Sergeant
|| ||½-½||26||1939||Margate||C14 French, Classical|
|24. Capablanca vs Menchik
||1-0||47||1939||Margate||D34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch|
|25. Flohr vs Najdorf
||1-0||37||1939||Margate||D31 Queen's Gambit Declined|
| page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45
|Jul-01-17|| ||offramp: Between the wars, chess tournaments in Europe seemed to be located at central European spa towns or at English or Dutch coastal towns. Off-season, of course.|
I visualize a ramshackle group of scruffy, wet chessmasters boarding a rickety train carriage in Noordwijk for a long slow journey over to Margate. They arrive silently and in pouring rain. The sea-front is deserted. They check into the same hotels that they used the previous year, then hang their coats up above the bath and lie down, staring at the same crack in the ceiling that was there last year while smoking a Strand cigarette.
And then, 10 days later, they all shake hands at the closing ceremony and then, outside, lashed by wind and rain, say to each other, "See you in a week at Ramsgate."
|Jul-01-17|| ||Retireborn: The weather probably wasn't that bad. Oh to be in England, now that April's here....|
|Jul-01-17|| ||Big Pawn: I like that description, <offramp>.|
|Jul-01-17|| ||MissScarlett: Probably the catchiest song ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kz...|
|Jul-01-17|| ||Retireborn: Is that Spike Milligan in the video? Surely not?|
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