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Hastings 1939/40
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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The 20th Hastings Chess Congress was held from December 28, 1939 to January 4, 1940, and those dates tell most of the story. With World War II having begun a few months before and many of the best European players stranded in Buenos Aires after the Olympiad or otherwise occupied, the Congress turned into a strictly national event missing even most of the strongest British players. Here is the line-up:

Harry Golombek, Wilfred Hugh Miller Kirk, Arthur John Mackenzie, Frank Parr, William Ritson-Morry, Hans Georg Schenk, Andrew Rowland Benedick Thomas, William Arthur Winser.

Essentially, the issue was decided in the first three rounds. Parr beat Ritson-Morry in round 1, and finished 1/2-point ahead of him. Ritson-Morry defeated Golombek in round 3, and finished 1/2-point ahead of him. Everyone else was nowhere.

1 Parr 6.0/7 * 1 = = 1 1 1 1
2 Ritson Morry 5.5/7 0 * 1 = 1 1 1 1
3 Golombek 5.0/7 = 0 * 1 = 1 1 1
4 Kirk 3.0/7 = = 0 * = 0 1 =
5 A. Thomas 3.0/7 0 0 = = * 1 = =
6 Winser 2.0/7 0 0 0 1 0 * 0 1
7 Schenk 2.0/7 0 0 0 0 = 1 * =
8 Mackenzie 1.5/7 0 0 0 = = 0 = *

In keeping with the lackluster circumstances, most of the games have not been preserved. In the following list, "#" indicates a missing game.

Round 1
Golombek 1 Kirk; Ritson-Morry 0 Parr#; Thomas 1/2 Schenk#; Winser 1 Mackenzie#

Round 2
Kirk 0 Winser#; Ritson Morry 1 Thomas; Parr 1 Mackenzie; Schenk 0 Golombek#

Round 3
Golombek 0 Ritson Morry; Mackenzie 1/2 Kirk#; Parr 1 Thomas#; Winser 0 Schenk#

Part of the <Parr vs. Thomas> game is available, with White to make his 22nd move:


click for larger view

<22.Kg2 Ned3 23.Bxc5 Nxc5 24.Raf1 Qe8 25.Nhg3 Bc8 26.Nd4 a4 27.a3 Raa7 28.Rf3 Bg7 29.Rhf1 Rab7 30.Kf2 h5 31.Nxh5 Qxe4 32.Qxe4 Nxe4+ 33.Ke1 Rf8 34.Re3 Re8! 35.Bf3 f5>


click for larger view

Now White played <36.Nxg7>, eventually winning in 60 move. The "British Chess Magazine", Feb. 1940, p.46, recommends 36.gxf5.

Round 4
Kirk 1/2 Parr#; Ritson-Morry 1 Winser#; Schenk 1/2 Mackenzie#; Thomas 1/2 Golombek

Round 5
Golombek 1/2 Parr#; Kirk 1 Schenk#; Mackenzie 0 Ritson-Morry; Winser 0 Thomas#

Round 6
Golomber 1 Winser#; Ritson-Morry 1/2 Kirk#; Parr 1 Schenk; Thomas 1/2 Mackenzie#

Round 7
Kirk 1/2 Thomas#; Mackzenie 0 Golombek#; Schenk 0 Ritson-Morry#; Winser 0 Parr#

Yuk. You really hate to see that in the last round.

Round 1 (Thursday, December 28)
Golombek vs W H Kirk, 1939
(A23) English, Bremen System, Keres Variation, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Friday, December 29)
Ritson-Morry vs A R B Thomas, 1939 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Friday, December 29)
F Parr vs A J Mackenzie, 1939
(D70) Neo-Grunfeld Defense, 33 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Saturday, December 30)
Golombek vs Ritson-Morry, 1939
(A12) English with b3, 27 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Monday, January 1)
A R B Thomas vs Golombek, 1940
(B74) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Tuesday, January 2)
A J Mackenzie vs Ritson-Morry, 1940
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 44 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Wednesday, January 3)
F Parr vs H G Schenk, 1940
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 31 moves, 1-0

7 games

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