Tabanus: Millar, Charles ("Charlie") Frederick (January 14, 1882 - October 23, 1954)
Born in Bowmanville, Ontario, of Scottish ancestory. He lived in the Toronto area until 1908, then moved to Regina before finally settling in Vancouver in 1912. Trained in the world of finance (in 1905 he was a teller at the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Hamilton, Ontario), Millar was president of Seaport Agencies (which he also founded) and the British Empire Dock Co. Ltd. He learnt to play chess at the age of twelve, and was a member of both the Toronto Chess Club and Hamilton Bridge and Chess Club. Champion of Regina while he lived there, Millar joined the Vancouver Chess Club soon after moving here. He remained a stalwart member until 1946, when his allegiance went to the newly-founded City Chess Club. Millar won the B.C. Championship four times, 1931-33 and 1937; for the first sequence of three wins he was presented with the Ewing Cup in perpetuity. He also won the Vancouver Championship on a number of occasions, along with various club championships and tournaments. Contemporary reports and those who remember him comment particularly on Millar's rapidity of play. 1951 Champion Maurice Pratt noted that the way to beat Millar was to seemingly concentrate on one side of the board while furtively planning a tactic on the other; a sudden move on this other side would hopefully be met with an equally quick and perhaps superficial response which could then be taken advantage of. Pratt also mentioned that Millar was often tense, a possible contribution to his death. Also noteworthy was Millar's longevity: he played in the first B.C. Championship in 1916 (at the age of thirty-four!) and also played in the championship in the year of his death, some thirty-eight years later. This record has only been matched and surpassed recently, by Jonathan Berry (1969-2007), Dan Scoones, and Gerry Neufahrt (1956-2001).
"Jack M. Taylor, who has annotated and contributed the splendid game which follows, offers this tribute to the late Charles F. Millar: 'The player of Black in the following game was well acquainted with the late C.F. Millar, and counted him a very good friend. For twenty-five years we had met in keen but friendly chess rivalry in tournament and match play. Mr. Millar was a man of strong convictions and opinions. This was clearly demonstarted in his chess play, where the plan of his game was always optimistically conceived, and boldly and vigorously executed on the chessboard. Another outstanding characteristic of his play was his amazing immediate evaluation of a position, and his lightning moves. For thirty years, Charles Millar was a tower of strength in B.C. chess, which has indeed suffered a deep and grievous loss. Finally, Mr. Millar's essential integrity always made him play to win. He loved chess and gave of his best!'" [Vancouver Province, 6 November 1954]