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Henry Ernest Atkins
H E Atkins 
Photograph courtesy of 
Wikimedia Commons.

Number of games in database: 319
Years covered: 1890 to 1939
Overall record: +186 -42 =80 (73.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 11 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (30) 
    C84 C65 C83 C66 C79
 Orthodox Defense (25) 
    D63 D60 D55 D50 D51
 Queen's Pawn Game (12) 
    D05 D02 D00 A40
 Four Knights (11) 
    C49 C48
 French Defense (11) 
    C14 C11 C00 C10 C02
 Vienna Opening (8) 
    C26 C28 C27
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (40) 
    C84 C66 C79 C87 C71
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (11) 
    C84 C87 C90 C92
 Tarrasch Defense (10) 
    D32 D33
 King's Indian (10) 
    E80 E61 E60 E72 E94
 Queen's Pawn Game (8) 
    D02 A46 D00 D05
 Old Indian (6) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   H E Atkins vs H Jacobs, 1915 1-0
   Tartakower vs H E Atkins, 1922 0-1
   H E Atkins vs Rubinstein, 1922 1-0
   H E Atkins vs Gunsberg, 1902 1-0
   H E Atkins vs Blackburne, 1909 1-0
   G Wainwright vs H E Atkins, 1910 0-1
   H E Atkins vs J F Barry, 1907 1-0
   H E Atkins vs Von Bardeleben, 1902 1-0
   J D Tresling vs H E Atkins, 1899 0-1
   H E Atkins vs Burille, 1897 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   27th DCA Congress, Amsterdam (1899)
   British Championship (1905)
   British Championship (1909)
   British Championship (1908)
   British Championship (1910)
   British Championship Playoff (1912)
   British Championship (1906)
   British Championship (1925)
   British Championship (1924)
   British Championship (1904)
   13th DSB Congress, Hanover (1902)
   British Championship (1911)
   British Championship (1937)
   London (1922)
   Warsaw Olympiad (1935)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Amsterdam 1899 by docjan
   Amsterdam 1899 by Phony Benoni
   1st British Chess Federation championship 1904 by jessicafischerqueen
   2nd British Chess Federation championship 1905 by jessicafischerqueen
   Craigside Amateur Championship (1899) by MissScarlett

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Henry Ernest Atkins
Search Google for Henry Ernest Atkins

(born Aug-20-1872, died Jan-31-1955, 82 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

Henry Ernest Atkins was a schoolmaster who treated chess as a hobby, devoting relatively little time to it and playing in only a handful of international tournaments. He was an extremely gifted player who would likely have become one of the world's leading players had he pursued the game more single-mindedly. Chessmetrics ranks him No. 6 in the world from November 1902 to February 1903.

Atkins was born on the 20th of August 1872 in Leicester, England. He joined the Leicester Chess Club in 1887. By age 17, he was the champion of Leicester.

He graduated from Cambridge and taught mathematics at Northampton and Wyggeston. In 1909, he was appointed Principal of Huddersfield College.

His record in the British Championship is unparalleled. He played in it 11 times, winning on 9 of those occasions: in 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1924 and 1925. In his first attempt in 1904 he finished 1st= with William Ewart Napier but lost the play-off. In his last appearance in 1937 he was 3rd= at 65 years of age!

Atkins' international career consisted of just six tournaments. In the Hastings 1895 minor tournament he finished 2nd= behind Geza Maroczy. In 1899 he won the Amsterdam tourney by a whopping 4 points with a perfect score of 15/15. In the 13th DSB Congress, Hanover (1902) tournament he was 3rd behind David Janowski and Harry Nelson Pillsbury and ahead of Frank Marshall and Mikhail Chigorin amongst others. He was 10th out of 16 at London (1922) and also represented the British Chess Federation in the Olympiads of 1927 and 1935.

In 1950, FIDE awarded Atkins the International Master title in recognition of his achievements. He died in Leicester in 1955.

Wikipedia article: Henry Ernest Atkins

Last updated: 2023-06-29 02:51:18

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 319  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Blackburne vs H E Atkins 0-1241890Blindfold simul, 8bC45 Scotch Game
2. H E Atkins vs L Stiebel  1-0241891Combined Univs - City of London CC mC45 Scotch Game
3. J A Huckvale vs H E Atkins 0-1111891Belsize CC - Cambridge Univ mC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
4. J Ure vs H E Atkins  ½-½26189119th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC45 Scotch Game
5. H W Trenchard vs H E Atkins  1-0371891Cambridge University - British CC mC51 Evans Gambit
6. G D Madgavkar vs H E Atkins  0-140189220th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
7. H E Atkins vs A A Bowley  ½-½331892Combined Univs - Sussex mC45 Scotch Game
8. H W Trenchard vs H E Atkins  0-1301892Cambridge University - British CC mC22 Center Game
9. H E Atkins vs R G Lynam  1-022189321st Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC11 French
10. G Heginbottom vs H E Atkins  0-124189422nd Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC49 Four Knights
11. H E Atkins vs H Jacobs  ½-½421894North - South mC26 Vienna
12. H E Atkins vs H F Meyer  1-0241894Leicestershire - Derbyshire mC11 French
13. H Sturton vs H E Atkins  1-0391895Kentish men - Men of Kent corr mC59 Two Knights
14. Maroczy vs H E Atkins  ½-½201895Hastings Amateur FinalC49 Four Knights
15. H W Trenchard vs H E Atkins  ½-½371896Metropolitan - North London mC67 Ruy Lopez
16. E Delmar vs H E Atkins  ½-½4118961st Anglo-American Cable MatchD05 Queen's Pawn Game
17. H E Atkins vs J H Blake  1-0271896Southern Counties Chess Union chC53 Giuoco Piano
18. H E Atkins vs W H Gunston  1-0251896Southern Counties Chess Union chC45 Scotch Game
19. H Jacobs vs H E Atkins  0-1311896Southern Counties Chess Union chC71 Ruy Lopez
20. H E Atkins vs S Van Gelder  1-0291896Southern Counties Chess Union chC26 Vienna
21. H E Atkins vs W H Gunston  1-0191897Southern Counties Chess Union chC49 Four Knights
22. H E Atkins vs Burn 1-0461897Casual gameA07 King's Indian Attack
23. F J H Elwell vs H E Atkins  0-1481897Southern Counties Chess Union chC71 Ruy Lopez
24. Burn vs H E Atkins 0-1651897Casual gameE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
25. H E Atkins vs Burille 1-06318972nd Anglo-American Cable MatchA07 King's Indian Attack
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 319  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Atkins wins | Atkins loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member

<Nosnibor> Thank you I have deleted both duplicate games now.


<MissScarlett> Thank you, and as usual you are correct. I will follow your advice on <needs to STFD>.

Jan-31-21  Nosnibor: In 1940 Atkins became President of the Leicestershire Chess Club for the first time and Don Gould in his 100 year history of the club wrote " The A.G.M. of 7th September 1940 (23 present) very fittingly elected to the Presidency H. E. Atkins, who ( it was reported ) had been successful in the Club handicap tournament, giving odds to all comers and not losing a game. ( He gave me Pawn and move, I remember, took it quite seriously, recorded the game, and when I took longer than a minute over a move, made a note of the time also: this, it seemed, had been his normal practice for years. I soon lost the initiative, and every bright idea I produced seemed to bring forth some horrid reply. Playing Atkins could be a chastening experience!) Has I am writing these lines today it is 66 years to the day when Atkins passed away.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Next year will be the 150th anniversary of Atkins's birth. Time for the ECF to get off its backside and organise a special event to mark the occasion.
Feb-01-21  Nosnibor: <MissScarlett> I fully agree with your sentiment. However, until last year Leicester has run an annual event since 1972 commemorating the great Master. Although in recent years it was held under quick play regulations which is something I do not participate in. In the inaugural event of 1972 I managed to be the highest ranked Midlands and Leicester player with 4.5/6 comprising 3 wins and 3 draws. A share of fourth place with three others secured me the princely sum of £2.50 ! This result came about after a last round draw with then the reigning British Champion Brian Eley where perhaps he was lucky to escape with a draw but has also escaped justice in this country.
Feb-25-21  Nosnibor: Games 205 and 206 are duplicated between Yates and Atkins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Not that I can see. I think there’s a foible on <> which sometimes shows a game twice. Load both games and see if the gid in the address bar matches. Not sure if you can do this on a tablet, but you can on a PC.
Feb-25-21  Nosnibor: <MissScarlett. I can now see that the duplicated game is no longer there. So the total amount of games in the db is now 301 and not 302.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: You probably dreamt it. It might be back tonight.
Feb-25-21  Z 000000010: I wonder if this quirk is due to editing updates to the games?

Not sure how robust the db updating is, code-wise or other-wise.

Premium Chessgames Member

<Nosnibor> I saw your notice yesterday, and deleted one of the two games. One of them had no annotations, and the one that's there now has extensive annotations.

So I deleted the one with no annotations.

I think maybe the software does not recognize a duplicate if it contains a set of annotations that are absent from the original?

I submitted the game with annotations a few weeks ago.

<MissScarlett> I have experienced that foible before as well. A related foible is a game that appears in the database but does not appear in the list of players.

Mar-22-21  Nosnibor: "Leicester Mercury" report 6/10/1897. "CHESS- The winter season of the Leicestershire Chess Club was inaugurated on Tuesday evening at the Clarendon Park Restaurant by an exhibition of simultaneous chess play by our talented townsman, Mr. H. E .Atkins, the amateur champion of England. The following gentlemen took boards:- Rev. J. Elgood, Dr. Mason,Messrs. E.H.Collier, A.A.Allnutt, A.V.Hopcroft Ald. Bumpus, A.W.Stavely, F.Moore, A.Garratt, F.S.Ashby, T.W.Jeays,C.Greig, A.F.Atkins, J.E.Saunders, W. Bailey, and F. Snow. Mr. H.E.Atkins won all 16 games in the most masterly style, though it will be noticed several of his opponents are well known strong exponents of the game."
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Leicester Evening Mail, October 26th 1946, p.3:

<MR. H. E. ATKINS, Leicester's internationally - famous exponent of the art of chess, who has been playing in top-class chess for 50 years, is planning to spread the benefit of his long experience by writing a book under the title of "My Best Games of Chess."

Associated with the Leicestershire Chess Club since he first played for the county at the age of 15, Mr. Atkins recently accepted an invitation from the committee to edit a selection of his games for the club library. Now, however, a firm of publishers have suggested that a book of his games is worthy of a wider public.

In order to keep faith with the Leicestershire club, Mr. Atkins has decided that he has enough material for both purposes, so is now busy on two manuscripts - one for the benefit of his fellow-members and the other for the public at large.>

Needless to say, no book ever appeared. Atkins, otherwise, wrote next to nothing on chess. The <Oxford Companion> mentions a 1952 book, <H. E. Atkins, Doyen of British Chess Champions> by Richard Nevil Coles, which must be pretty rare. It's possible that Atkins had some input into it.

What are the Leicester CC hiding?

Oct-31-21  Nosnibor: The Leicester Chess Club has been defunct for nearly 20 years now. However it would appear that Atkins was somewhat lazy in snippets that I have been able to pick up from Donald Gould the chess historian of Leicester. A conversation between Atkins and Gould (22/04/1939) on a train journey following a County match in Nottingham began when Don asked Atkins whether the standard of Leicestershire chess had improved since he played for his county at the age of 15,over 50 years ago."Mr. Atkins stroked his moustache and was non-committal. He agreed ,however ,that the vast increase in the number of really good text books gave the modern youngster, with an aptitude for the game, a big advantage. Fifty years ago, natural ability and reference to the sprinkling of masters` games published in the press were all the average player had to rely on. Niemzowitsch and the "hyper-moderns" have had little effect on the master`s style,which remains, if I may coin an expression, "Scientifically aggressive". "I have made three attempts to read Niemzowisch`s book ("My System"), but have been too lazy to finish it."
Aug-20-22  Dionysius1: Before the rush starts, let me point out that Atkins was born 150 years ago today.

Worth celebrating for those of us who are alive, but I won't wish him Happy Birthday because he's dead.

I know Google wishes dead people happy birthday sometimes, but if I do before I know it I'll be wishing him many happy returns. And even for someone with vague Buddhist leanings (are there other kinds?), that would be extracting the Michael.

Aug-20-22  Nosnibor: <Dionysius> I agree with your sentiment. I was just learning the rudiments of the game when Atkins passed away. He was probably in the top six in the World between 1898 and 1912.
Aug-20-22  Dionysius1: Thanks <Nosnibor> I'll play through some of his games tonight.

It's a shame he didn't get round to publishing annotations or memories :-(.

I don't want to cavil on his birthday (I'm trying to give up cavilling any time). So the gentlest of enquiries: what's with his British Championship record being unparalleled (9 wins), and Jonathan Penrose's being a record (10 wins).

Are there nuances that make these claims both true?


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It's the ratio of success rather than the vulgar number of wins.
Aug-20-22  Dionysius1: So different people could hold the record for the championship, and it could be for number of titles, number of titles compared to efforts, amount of money earned, weight of silverware, number of titles won when there was an r in the month, years between first title and last, smallest aggregated number of moves taken to win the title, shortest aggregate length of time taken to win, least calories used in winning, least weight lost in winning the title?

Maybe so. But that's just debasing the words (record, unparalled, never exceeded etc)

Pah! They don't all have to be top of the tree: that's like everyone has to have a prize for participating. Yuk.

Dang, and I wasn't going to cavil. I don't expect Jonathan Penrose or Henry Atkins mind that much anyway.

Aug-20-22  Nosnibor: <Dionysius 1> The comparisons are that Atkins played in 11 events and won 9,only losing in his first attempt after tying for first in a playoff. Then finishing 3rd equal at the age of 65 in 1937! Penrose played in 21 events and won 10 times. He gave up O.T.B. chess at 54 years of age due to health problems.
Aug-20-22  Dionysius1: Thanks again. I just prefer one pespective when I'm tired, though of course there will be many anyway. And all perspectives of excellence.

I totally take your and <MissScarlett>'s points. No disrespect to Penrose or Atkins.

Best for me to stick to the games today :-)

Aug-21-22  Dionysius1: I like Atkins' style. He seems to "just" play sensible moves, acquire a positional advantage and find winning tactics on the basis of what he's done.

I'm envious. It's like watching a golfer play great strokes all the time and wondering why when I think I'm doing the same thing it mostly doesn't work.

Aug-21-22  Dionysius1: Here's an example of what I mean. H E Atkins vs J W te Kolste, 1899

Atkins has played 14 blameless moves. Just putting his pieces on good squares. Not moving a piece twice unnecessarily (well, 13.Rfe1 and 14.Bb3 hardly count).

click for larger view

Now 15.Ne5 Nd5, and boom! The game's all over, with two of the nastiest N moves I've seen.

Aug-21-22  Dionysius1: Just to clarify: 15.Ne5 Nd5 aren't the 2 nasty N moves I meant. They come at 16 and 19. Have a look anyway :-) H E Atkins vs J W te Kolste, 1899
Jan-09-23  stone free or die: I like the photograph <CG> currently has of him well enough, but there's an even better one here:


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