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Henry Ernest Atkins
H E Atkins 
Photograph courtesy of 
Wikimedia Commons.
Number of games in database: 214
Years covered: 1890 to 1937

Overall record: +119 -34 =56 (70.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 5 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (20) 
    D63 D60 D55 D51 D52
 Ruy Lopez (18) 
    C84 C66 C65 C60 C78
 Four Knights (8) 
    C49 C48
 Queen's Pawn Game (8) 
    D05 D02 D00
 King's Indian Attack (5) 
 Tarrasch Defense (5) 
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (25) 
    C84 C87 C77 C66 C63
 Tarrasch Defense (9) 
    D32 D33
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (9) 
    C84 C87 C90 C92
 King's Indian (8) 
    E61 E80 E90 E67 E60
 Grunfeld (5) 
    D95 D92 D85 D82 D81
 Old Indian (5) 
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 Gunsberg, 1902 1-0
   H E Atkins vs Rubinstein, 1922 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 Blackburne, 1909 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 J F Barry, 1910 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   DCA Congress 27th (1899)
   13th DSB Kongress (Hanover) (1902)
   London (1922)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Amsterdam 1899 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Henry Ernest Atkins
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(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.

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 Hanover 1902 tournament he was 3rd behind David Janowski and Harry Nelson Pillsbury and ahead of Frank James 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: 2020-03-31 07:05:45

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 214  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Blackburne vs H E Atkins 0-1241890Blindfold simul, 8bC45 Scotch Game
2. John F Ure vs H E Atkins  ½-½26189119th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC45 Scotch Game
3. G D Madgavkar vs H E Atkins  0-140189220th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
4. H E Atkins vs R G Lynam  1-022189321st Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC11 French
5. George Heginbottom vs H E Atkins  0-123189422nd Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC49 Four Knights
6. E Delmar vs H E Atkins  ½-½4118961st Anglo-American Cable MatchD05 Queen's Pawn Game
7. H Jacobs vs H E Atkins  0-1311896Southern Counties' Chess Union chC71 Ruy Lopez
8. H E Atkins vs J H Blake  1-0271896Southern Counties' Chess Union tC53 Giuoco Piano
9. H E Atkins vs W Gunston  1-0251896Southern Counties' Chess Union chC45 Scotch Game
10. H E Atkins vs S Van Gelder  1-0291896Southern Counties' Chess Union chC26 Vienna
11. H E Atkins vs Burn 1-0461897casual gameA07 King's Indian Attack
12. Burn vs H E Atkins  0-1651897casual gameE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
13. H E Atkins vs Burille  1-06318972nd Anglo-American Cable MatchA07 King's Indian Attack
14. H E Atkins vs E Hymes  ½-½3618983rd Anglo-American Cable MatchA07 King's Indian Attack
15. B D Wilmot vs H E Atkins  1-0761899Craigside Amateur CongressD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. H E Atkins vs G Bellingham  1-0291899Craigside Amateur CongressC44 King's Pawn Game
17. H E Atkins vs G A Schott  1-0271899Craigside Amateur CongressC44 King's Pawn Game
18. V L Wahltuch vs H E Atkins  0-1251899Craigside Amateur CongressC49 Four Knights
19. H E Atkins vs Burn  ½-½291899Craigside Amateur CongressC67 Ruy Lopez
20. Showalter vs H E Atkins  1-04518994th Anglo-American Cable MatchC76 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation
21. Burn vs H E Atkins  ½-½381899Midland Counties CongressD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. H E Atkins vs W Meiners 1-0491899DCA Congress 27thD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. A van Foreest vs H E Atkins  0-1431899DCA Congress 27thC50 Giuoco Piano
24. H E Atkins vs F W Pelzer  1-0251899DCA Congress 27thD21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
25. J Moquette vs H E Atkins  0-1261899DCA Congress 27thC53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 214  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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Aug-25-12  Karpova: Oxford, British Chess Congress started on August 15, 1910 (?). Final Result:

1. Atkins 8.5
2-3. Blackburne 7.5
2-3. Yates 7.5
4-5. Blake 6.5
4-5. Wainwright 6.5
6-7. Colman 5.0
6-7. Hughes 5.0
8-9. Gibson 4.5
8-9. Lewis 4.5
10-11. F. S. Smith 4.0
10-11. Dr. S. F. Smith 4.0
12. Brown 2.5

From page 40 of the 1911 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

Sep-06-12  Nosnibor: <FSR> Apropos your bio on wikipedia you might be interested to know that Atkins in playing for both his club and county in Leicester played 76 games between 1887 and 1939 without losing one.This constituted 36 wins and 40 draws ! His obituary in "The Wyggestonian" said that "As a man Mr.Atkins was of simple habits,very shy and reticent,yet possessing a personality commanding respect and lending an air of distinction to any gathering where he was present".source:Chess in Leicester 1860 -1960
Sep-06-12  Nosnibor: <FSR> With reference to my last post I should have stated the years 1887 to 1941. Atkins played his last county match in September 1941.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Nosnibor: <FSR> Apropos your bio on wikipedia you might be interested to know that Atkins in playing for both his club and county in Leicester played 76 games between 1887 and 1939 without losing one.This constituted 36 wins and 40 draws !>

Not <that> surprising, IMO. There probably was a wide gap between Atkins (who would surely be a GM by modern standards) and most of his local opponents.

Sep-27-12  Nosnibor: Since my last post on Sept.6 I have discovered that H.E.Atkins did play one more match for his county and this was after WW2 on the 8th December 1945 on board one against Warwickshire when he beat H.C. Lewis.B.H.Wood on board 2 lost to Alfred Lenton in the same match.
Nov-07-12  Conrad93: He won the British Chess Championship seven times in a row!
Mar-20-13  Nosnibor: Apparently Atkins has a boy of 17 beat Blackburne in a blindfold game where the latter was playing 8 games without sight of the board.This took place on the 19th March 1890 and Atkins was the only player to win out of all the contestants.(source"Daily Post" 20 March 1890)Unfortunatly I am unable to trace a record of this game.However I can supply the record of a game played November 1892 by Atkins in his game at board 2 for Cambridge University against the British Chess Club.This was played at the Carlton Club,H.Q. of the University Chess Club.White: H.W.Trenchard,Black:H.E.Atkins,Centre Game.1e4,e5,2d4,exd4,3Qxd4,Nc6,4Qe3.Nf6,5e5.Ng4,- 6Qe4,d5,7exd6+,Be6.8Be2,Nf6.9dxc7,Qxc7,10Qa4,Bc5-
29f3,Bc4,30Kf2,Rxf1+White resigns 1-0
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Atkins was strong like bull. Had he devoted himself to chess, he would undoubtedly have been a world-class player.
Aug-20-13  SimonWebbsTiger:

IM Andrew Martin looks at him in the link above.

Jan-21-14  Cemoblanca: He looks like the character Daniel Plainview from "There Will Be Blood" played by Daniel Day-Lewis. ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <"Huddersfield Head to retire>

Nine times chess champion of England

Mr. H. E. Atkins head master of Huddersfield College, but perhaps better known as an international chess player, is to retire at the end of this year, after 22 year's service. He has been nine time chess champion of England

When only 15 he joined Leicester Chess Club, and never lost match for many years. In 1899 he made his first appearance the Continent as an International player, and won every match the tournament in Amsterdam. [1]

From 1906 to 1912 he won the British Championship every year,[2] and played many games for Great Britain against America by cable. In August of last year he represented England an international tournament Warsaw. He has been a member of Huddersfield Chess Club for many years.

Last Monday played 12 opponents at once at the Lindley club's opening night, and won every game. Mr Atkins became head master of Huddersfield College 28 years ago. Before that was a master at Wyggeston School Leicester. He has not decided yet whether be will leave Huddersfield or not during his retirement."

Source: <Yorkshire Evening Post - Wednesday 7th October 1936, page 13.>

[1]. Amsterdam (1899)

[2]. His six victories were:

1905 Southport
1906 Shrewsbury
1907 London
1908 Tunbridge Wells
1909 Scarborough
1910 Oxford
1911 Glasgow

and then twice in a row at

1924 Southport
1925 Stratford on Avon

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: MR. H. E. ATKINS. The result the match Atkins v. Blake, recently played at Bradford, will very gratifying to Mr. Atkins’ many local and friends For the fifth time in succession he has won the British Championship, and even his detractors (if he has any which is doubtful) must admit that his fine record gives him unassailable title to be considered the strongest player in these islands.

Mr. Atkins was born in 1872 at Leicester, where he as a schoolboy of 12, first became interested chess. Three years later he joined the Leicester Chess Club. and his progress was so rapid that when when he 17 he was playing top board. In 1890 he entered Peterhouse College, Cambridge, and during his four years’ residence there he played a large number of matches, losing only one game.

Mr. Atkins’ excellent performance at Hastings in 1895, where he won his section and finally came out third, Maroczy being first and Lomas second, gave him the title of Amateur British Champion, as first and second man were debarred by nationality from holding that proud position. Four years later, in 1899 Mr. Atkins made his first apperanace in Continental chess at the Amsterdam International Amateur Tournament, where succeeded in defeating every one of his fifteen opponents. Perhaps Mr. Atkins' finest achievement was at Hanover in 1902, where in tournament confined to the world's masters he came out third with 11 1/2 points. Pillsbury (13 1/2) and Janowsky (12).

Below the Englishman were such masters as Mieses, Napier, Tchigorin. Marshall, Gunsberg, Wolff, Bardeleben and Mason. Mr. Atkins has played in nine of the cable matches with America, and can show a score of 4 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws. In the British Chesa Federation Congresss he tied with Napier at Hastings in 1904 and lost the play-off the odd game. Since then, however, he has won the Championship every year with highly commendable regularity. Mr. Atkins' quiet and modest demeanour, combined with gentle geniality, has won him host of friends, and during his residence in Northampton as Mathematical Master at the Grammar School he took so great an interest in local chess that his influence is felt even now. He was greatly missed when left here for the Wyggeston School, Leicester. Now, however, Mr. Atkins is Headmaster of Huddersfield Grammar School, and has become a tower of strength to the local chess club. Happy institution!"

<Source: Northampton Mercury - Friday 14th January 1910, p.11.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: H.E Atkins v R.Blow
British Championship, 1937.
Blackpool, Round 8.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7. Be3 Bg7 8.Qd2 Qa5 9. Rc1 O-O 10. d5 Rd8 11. Bd3 c4 12. Bxc4 Nc6 13. Bb3 Ne5 14. Ne2 b5 15. O-O Ba6 16. f4 Ng4 17. Bd4 e5 18. dxe6 Rxd4 19. Nxd4 b4 20. cxb4 Qb6 21. Rfd1 Be2 22. exf7+ Kh8 23. h3 Bxd1 24. Rxd1 Nh6 25. Qf2 Rd8 26. e5 Qxb4 27. Ne6 Rxd1+ 28. Bxd1 Qb1 29. Qd4 1-0

<Source: Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 15 July 1937, p.20.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Henry Atkins.

I lost twenty pounds on your diet, then gained twenty-five of that back.

Jun-15-17  Nosnibor: At the grand old age of 72 Atkins took on 20 opponents in a simultaneous display in October 1944 at the Leicestershire Chess Club. He won 14 of these and drew the remaining 6 games. One of those that drew G E James I played myself in the early 60`s
Jun-15-17  Nosnibor: In view of my last post it would appear that my Morphy link is Morphy-Bird-Blackburne-Atkins-James. Does this count as a link of4 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Henry Ernest Atkins was a player who had most certainly <not> invaded my consciousness to any extent before yesterday. Then I read that some people, a vague collective of shadowy, unnamed individuals, meeting at night in secret, considered him the strongest English player ever. That meeting was years ago.
Nowadays I imagine Adams or Miles or Short would take the laurel and hearty handshake.

So when I read that, I looked the chap up here and on his first page clicked on the DCA Congress 27th (1899) tournament. What a shocker! He scored 15/15!

Obviously it is time for him to begin invading my consciousness.

Apr-18-19  Nosnibor: No mention in the bio of Atkins playing in the inaugaral match between Holland and England which the Dutch won by 6.5 - 5.5 on home territory. Atkins beat Lodz Prins in the first round but lost the second game.
Apr-18-19  Cibator: At nearly 79 years of age, Atkins gave a simultaneous display on 12 boards against competitors in the Leicester Junior Chess Congress in April 1951.

A photo taken at the time (don't know how to include it here) shows a slender ramrod-straight figure still clearly full of vim, and in no need of eyeglasses either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <In 1903, a "projected match between Mr. H. E. Atkins and Dr. Olland has, unfortunately, fallen through because, it thought, the latter took exception to the place of meeting fixed by the Netherlands Chess Association.">

I consider this too trivial to merit inclusion in the biography, so will remove it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Lots of new Atkins games...if the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain...
Premium Chessgames Member
  roberts partner: I saw Atkins in person in August 1954 when he visited the British Championship at Nottingham during the sixth round, played on the middle Saturday in the same hall as the famous Nottingham 1936 tournament. Atkins was accompanied by the BCF secretary Harold Meek and other officials. He spent several minutes watching the games where his old rivals Gerald Abrahams and Edward Sergeant were playing, and I recall feeling disappointed because he didn't also visit the top board where I was winning what I thought was a nice attack against David Hooper. Atkins stayed for about half an hour. As I remember, he was tall, well dressed, distinguished, and seemed in good shape for a man aged over 80, so I was rather shocked five months later when I read that he had died.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Alas, nobody thought to pick Atkins's brains before he popped his clogs. Of course, things weren't so easy to arrange back then...
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Mr. H. E. Atkins, chess champion of Cambridge, has just won the Ninth Wranglership.> Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, July 29th 1893, p.804

<The difficulty of the examinations is illustrated by the identities of some of those who have performed well, but less well than the Senior Wrangler.

Those who have achieved second place, known as Second Wranglers, include Alfred Marshall, James Clerk Maxwell, J. J. Thomson, Lord Kelvin, William Clifford, and William Whewell.

Those who have finished between third and 12th include Karl Pearson and William Henry Bragg (third), George Green and G. H. Hardy (fourth), Adam Sedgwick (fifth), John Venn (sixth), Bertrand Russell and Nevil Maskelyne (seventh), Thomas Malthus (ninth), and John Maynard Keynes (12th).>

Apr-03-20  Nosnibor: Here is a rare game where Atkins gave odds of a Queen`s Rook.Date: 19/11/1908.Leicestershire Chess Club. French Defence,Steinitz C011 White H.E.Atkins Black V.H.Lovell 1e4,e6.2d4,d5.3Nc3,Nf6.4Bg5,Be7.5f3,0-0.6Bd3,Nfd- 7.7h4,f6.8Be3,c5.9exd5,cxd4.10Bxd4,Nc5.11Bc4,exd- 5.12Bxd5+,Kh8.13h5,Nc6.14Be3,Nb4.15Nge2,Nxd5.16N- xd5,Be6.17Nef4,Bxd5.18Nxd5,Rc8.19g4,Qa5+.20b4,Qx- a2.21Nxe7,Rcd8.22Qc1,Na4.230-0,Qb2.24QXb2,Nxb2.2- 5Bxa7,Rd1.26Rxd1,Nxd1.27Bd4!Re8.28Nf5,Re1+,29Kg2- ,Re2+.30Kg3,Rxc2.31g5,Rc6.32h6,g6.33gxf6,Kg8.34N- e7+,Kf7.35Nxc6,bxc6.36Kg2,Ne3+,37Bxe3,Kxf6.38Kg3- ,Kf5.39Bd4,Ke6.40Kg4,Kd5.41Bc5,Ke6.42f4,Kf6.43Bd- 4+,Ke6.44Kg5,Kf7.45f5,gxf5.46Kxf5,Black Resigns 1-0
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