View Full Version : 1895-1995 Qld Chess Championships

11-03-2007, 07:18 PM
Some 5 years before my introduction to the Australian Chess scene, Queensland commemorated its centenary of state chess championships. I am fortunate enough to have been sent a commemorative booklet published by Ian Murray to mark the event. Now 12 years hence - probably seems like only yesterday!

Its RRP at the time was $7.95. Anyone interested may wish to contact Ian through the CAQ (or this board) for a back-copy. 56 pages covering both the inaugural and the 1995 event.

I will endeavour to offer extracts of interest in coming posts.

Ian acknowledges the help received from Bob Meadley and John van Manen (chess historians) and Ken Fraser, custodian (and (then) retired) of the Anderson Chess Collection in the State Library of Victoria.

11-03-2007, 07:46 PM
From The Australian Chess Annual 1896

... we find that the beginning of 1895 saw chess fairly popular throughout the colony. There were in Brisbane and suburbs several chess clubs, the senior being that connected with The School of Arts.

There were also recently established
-- Brisbane Chess Club, and suburban clubs at
-- South Brisbane
-- Sandgate
and those formed among the employees of the
-- Railway Department
-- Government Printing Office
-- General Post Office, and
-- Telegraph Newspaper
Mention might also be made of those gathering at the Stock Exchange.

In the country, clubs were in existence (mostly attached to the local schools of art) at
-- Townsville
-- Charters Towers
-- Rockhampton
-- Maryborough
-- Gympie
-- Ipswich, and
-- Toowoomba


In concluding our all too brief resumé, we regert we are unable to chronicle any events such as inter-colonial, telegraphic, simultaneous or sans-voir (blindfold) performances.

Some mention is made of inter-club matches

11-03-2007, 08:26 PM
Andrew Palmer won the Championship at the age of 17 - juniors were terrorists then, too! He went on to win in 1903, 1904, 1907 and 1908. He then dropped from sight.

A letter of his has survived:

C/- Agricultural Bank
Box 123B
GPO Brisbane

8th January 1945

Dear Mr Johnson

I have missed you on one or two occasions at the YMCA on a Thursday night. However, I hope to contact you one day. Meanwhile, if you happen to be in the vicinity of Bayards Building, South Brisbane, I would be very pleased to see you if you would call upon me at the Agricultural Bank.

I have been looking through some records and on account of the lapse of time, I am sorry to say they are not too complete although I have been married only once.

However, I noticed a dilapidated newspaper cutting dated 24th - I think it is December or November 1900 - and included in this newspaper article are certain details of a telegraphic match between Queensland and New South Wales which resulted in a draw.

With regard to this match, the late Mr Apperly who was at one time champion of Queensland and Resident Secretary of the AMP Society, captained the team. My late father, Mr W. Palmer, also a fair chess player is recorded to have acted as an efficient umpire for NSW at the Brisbane end.

I had the opening move at board 2. Evans Gambit Declined. It was recorded that early in the game I established a superiority in position, and playing correctly, soon had a won game. Mr Jonas, who was champion of NSW or champion of Australia at one time, I am not quite sure, did not appear at his best and some of his moves did not reflect the deliberation and correctness which generally characterised his play.

With regard to the Queensland team, I regret to state that Messrs Apperly, Billing, Boyce, Bell, Mr Justice Stumm, leading architect Addison and Messrs Hounslow and Parkinson have passed on.

The two survivors happen to be Mr HE Dix, still an important officer of Edwards Dunlop & Co. Pty Ltd and myself.

Andrew Palmer [age 66]

11-03-2007, 08:59 PM
Here is one of Palmer's games from the play-off against W. Syson (with whom he tied in the round robin 14.5 each). It appears Syson was a little unlucky. He'd beaten Palmer 2-0 in the round robin, tied with him overall, and lost the title but for a single game. Syson never made it to the honour board.

With interruptions, adjournments and play-offs, the 12 player double round robin tournament, which began on 1st July 1895, was not completed until December.

He lost this rather dull affair (but won the play-off 3.5 - 2.5 (3 drawn)). It's fascinating to look at the (relatively) modest standard of play as well as the annotator's notes from the day!

[Qld Chess Championship]
[Brisbane Chess Club]
[Playoff Game]
[White "A. Palmer"]
[Black "W. Syson"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B22"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 { Perhaps with a view to taking his youung opponent out of the
books, 2.c3 or 2.Nf3 was preferable. White does not appear to have made a study
of the principles underlying the development of the Sicilian Defence. } e5 3.
Bc4 Nf6 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 Nxe4 6. Nf3 exd4 7. O-O d5 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Nxd4 Bc5
10. Bxd7+ Qxd7 11. f3 Nc6 12. Be3 Nf6 13. Re1 O-O 14. Nxc6 Bxe3+ 15. Rxe3 bxc6
{ Black now has a strong centre, and retains the pawn plus. Mr Syson has quite
outplayed his youthful antagonist in this partie. } 16. Rd3 Rfe8 17. Nc3 Rab8
18. Qd2 Qd6 19. a3 Qc5+ 20. Kh1 Qe7 21. h3 Nh5 22. b4 Qe5 23. Kg1 Ng3 24. Kf2
Nf5 25. f4 Qf6 26. Kg1 Rb7 27. Rb1 a6 28. a4 Rbe7 29. Kh2 Re3 30. Rxe3 Rxe3 31.
Re1 Rxe1 32. Qxe1 Qe7 33. Qb1 g6 34. b5 axb5 35. axb5 Qe3 36. Qb4 Qg3+ 37. Kg1
Ne3 38. Qb2 cxb5 39. Nxb5 Qxf4 40. Qf2 Qxf2+ 41. Kxf2 Nc2 42. Ke2 f5 43. Kd2
Nb4 44. Ke3 Kf7 45. Kf4 Kf6 46. Nd4 g5+ 47. Kf3 Ke5 48. Ne2 Nc6 49. Ke3 f4+ 50.
Kd3 d4 51. Ng1 Kd5 52. Nf3 Ne5+ 53. Nxe5 Kxe5 0-1

11-03-2007, 09:55 PM
And one from the players that finished 3rd (14 points) and 6th (8.5 points) respectively. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to the standard of play. One thing is for sure; development and king safety weren't priority concepts of the day! Apart from the swashbuckling veneer of yesteryear, I think this observation has much to do with the availability of chess literature and information generally.

I'm truly surprised to learn that even 100 years ago with the above mentioned caveat of education, that play at this level allowed the pawn to queen - perpetrated by the third best in the state.

[Qld Championships]
[Game 25]
[White "A.B. Parker"]
[Black "Wm. C. Poole"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C45"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nxd4 5. Qxd4 Qf6 6. e5 Qc6 7. Nc3 Qc5 8.
Qe4 Ne7 9. Be3 Qc6 10. Qh4 Nf5 11. Qg5 Nxe3 12. Qxe3 Bb4 13. Be2 Bxc3+ 14. bxc3
Qxg2 15. Bf3 Qg6 16. Be4 Qe6 17. f4 Kd8 18. Rg1 g6 19. a4 Qb6 20. Qg3 Qc5 21.
Rf1 Re8 22. Qh4+ Re7 23. Kd2 d5 24. Bd3 h5 25. f5 c6 26. fxg6 fxg6 27. Bxg6 Kc7
28. Qxe7+ Qxe7 29. Rf7 Qxf7 30. Bxf7 Bf5 31. e6 Kd6 32. Re1 Be4 33. c4 Rh8 34.
c5+ Ke7 35. Rg1 Rb8 36. a5 a6 37. Re1 Rh8 38. c4 Rh6 39. cxd5 cxd5 40. Ke3 Bf5
41. Kf4 Bxe6 42. Bxe6 Rxe6 43. Rb1 Re4+ 44. Kg5 d4 45. Rxb7+ Ke6 46. Rb6+ Kd5
47. c6 Kd6 48. Rxa6 d3 49. Rb6 d2 50. Rb7 Kxc6 51. Rb6+ Kc7 52. Rb1 Re1 53.
Rxe1 dxe1=Q 54. Kxh5 Qe5+ 55. Kg6 Qxh2 56. a6 Qd6+ 57. Kf7 Qxa6 58. Kg8 Qg6+
59. Kh8 Qg5 60. Kh7 Kd7 61. Kh8 Ke7 62. Kh7 Kf7 63. Kh8 Qg7# 0-1

11-03-2007, 11:31 PM
To commemorate the centenary, the CAQ staged a group of tournaments befitting the occasion (sponsored by Computer Wreckers):
-- Qld Championship
-- Qld Major (Reserve)
-- Qld Minor
-- Qld Novice

The premier event brought together the strongest field ever in a Qld state event, lured by the prestige attached to this historic occasion and the richest purse ever offered in the Qld Championship.

Included were five former champs
-- Craig Laird (89, 93, 94)
-- Stephen Solomon (87, 88, 90, 91, 95)
-- Andrew Allen (92)
-- Tony Truscott (75)
-- John Myers (71, 73. 77, 82)

Also taking part were the two top state juniors
-- Charles Pizzato (95 Junior Champ), and
-- Max Leskiewicz.

Others in the field of 12 were
-- David Stephson
-- Andrew Meldrum
-- Alain Pardoen
-- Murray Campbell
-- Michael Corner

Stephen Solomon won (8.5) with only 4.5 points splitting the field. His ACF rating at the time was 2402 (FIDE 2400). Images in the souvenir booklet of both Palmer (1895) and Solomon bear a striking resemblance to each other!

Ian Murray was appointed to oversee the events and subsequent celebrations. A centenary dinner was arranged for the Saturday following the culmination of the event.

Invited as guests of honour were the surviving 15 Qld champions
-- Garry Koshnitsky (1926-28)
-- Max Salm (1939, 1945-48, 1966-67)
-- Lionel Sapsford (1949, 1952)
-- Vassily Lapin (1958, 1961-62, 1964-65)
-- John Myers
-- Tony Truscott
-- John Harris (1976)
-- Colin Morris (1978, 1980, 1985-86)
-- Juan Kloostra (1979)
-- David Lovejoy (1981)
-- Mark Robertson (1983) *
-- Bruce Holiday (1984)
-- Stephen Solomon
-- Craig Laird
-- Andrew Allen

All attended except apologies from Koshnitsky and Harris. Apparently the event, company and the conversations were enjoyed by all.

* Howard Duggan was board 1 of the BBC school team in 1983 until this fella turned up!

11-03-2007, 11:53 PM
Here's John Myers pinching the full point against the champ (rated a full 600 points upstream at the time!). It was Solomon's only loss of the tournament and proof that Myers who had won the title 21 years earlier was still capable of biting. Myers was rated 2055 FIDE at the time.

[Qld Championship]
[Round 2]
[White Stephen Solomon '2400']
[Black John Myers '1898']
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C60"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. c3 a6 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nxe5 Qg5 7. d4 Qxg2 8.
Qf3 Qxf3 9. Nxf3 Nf6 10. Nbd2 Bh3 11. Rg1 c5 12. d5 Bg7 13. Rg3 Bc8 14. Ke2 O-O
15. Kd3 Re8 16. b3 b5 17. Ba3 Nxd5 18. Bxc5 Nf4+ 19. Kc2 Ne2 20. Nd4 Nxg3 21.
hxg3 Bb7 22. Kd3 Re5 23. b4 Rae8 24. f3 f5 25. exf5 Re1 26. Rxe1 Rxe1 27. N4b3
Rh1 28. fxg6 hxg6 29. Be3 Be5 30. g4 Bd5 31. f4 Bd6 32. a3 Be6 33. g5 Bf5+ 34.
Ne4 Kf7 35. Bd2 Rd1 36. Ke2 Rxd2+ 37. Nexd2 Bc2 38. Ke3 Ke6 39. Nf3 Kd5 40.
Nbd4 Bb1 41. Nb3 Bf8 42. Ke2 Bf5 0-1

12-03-2007, 02:05 AM
Where did John Myers reside at when champ, Townsville?

12-03-2007, 06:31 PM
Here's John Myers pinching the full point against the champ (rated a full 600 points upstream at the time!). It was Solomon's only loss of the tournament and proof that Myers who had won the title 21 years earlier was still capable of biting. Myers was rated 2055 FIDE at the time.

[Qld Championship]
[Round 2]
[White Stephen Solomon '2400']
[Black John Myers '1898']
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C60"]
Beautiful. I cannot believe Solo resigned there though. Perhaps an incomplete sheet? or loss on time?

12-03-2007, 07:33 PM

12-03-2007, 07:47 PM
J Following is my only win against him and one of my best games ever which will surely go down in Qld Chess history.

Hi George

Good win! :clap:

Now get this crap out of the history thread :P Otherwise I'll tell Barry on you. It is worthy of note and should go into another thread. Damn French.

If Barry's not around, I know a great Janitor who will assist ;)