Scottish Championship 1887

Compiled by Alan McGowan

The fourth Congress was begun on Monday, 11th July, in the Rooms of the Edinburgh Chess Club, 4, Queen Street, Edinburgh. The programme consisted of :
1. Major Tournament (entry money 10s.), Prizes, 1st, Championship Cup, value £25, for one year, and £4 4s. 0d.; 2nd, £2 2s. 0d., and 3rd, £1 Is. 0d.

2. Minor Tournament (entry money 5s.), Prizes, 1st, £3 3s. 0d., and 2nd, £2 2s. 0d.

3. Handicap Tournament (entry money 2s. 6d.), Prizes, 1st, £3 3s. 0d., and 2nd, £1 11 6d.

In the Major Tournament there were 9 entrants, viz., Mr. G. B. Fraser, Dundee; Mr. D. Y. Mills, London; Mr. Christopher Meikle, and Mr. D. M. Latta, Edinburgh; Sheriff Spens, and Messrs. G. E. Barbier, John D. Chambers, James Marshall, and James Young, all of Glasgow. Several well-known players were unable to attend. The following are the results of the play in the Major Tournament :

   
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Total
1 D.Y. Mills
1
½
0
1
1
1
1
1
2 G.B. Fraser
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
6
3 G.E. Barbier
½
0
1
½
1
1
1
1
6
4 C. Meikle
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
5
5 J.D. Chambers
0
0
½
1
0
1
1
1
6 James Marshall
0
0
0
1
1
*
1
0
3
7 Sheriff Spens
0
0
0
0
0
*
1
1
2
8 D.M. Latta
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
9 James Young
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1

The Championship was won by Mr. Mills of London. Messrs. Fraser and Barbier having made the same score, agreed to divide the 2nd and 3rd prizes. [Note. The game between James Marshall and Sheriff Spens appears to have not been played, though this is not specifically clarified in the report. Shown here as * - A.McGowan]

Photo: The Chess Monthly, Vol. XII, September 1890-August 1891, p. 33.

In the Minor Tournament there were 12 entrants, viz., Mr. Robert Brander, Lossiemouth (an octogenarian); Mr. J. Mackenzie, Islay; Mr. James Phillips, Helensburgh; Mr. W. H. Maslin, Alloa; Mr. A. W. Buchan, Portobello; Messrs. Wm. Black, and George Shand, Glasgow; and Messrs. Charles Matthew, A. D. Vardon, W. W. Robertson, George G. Gibson, and John Macfie, Edinburgh.

Minor Tournament

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Total
1
Wm. Black
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
9
2
John Macfie
0
½
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
W.W. Robertson
0
½
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
4
Jas. Phillips
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
6
5
A.D. Vardon
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
6
6
J. Mackenzie
0
0
0
1
0
½
1
0
1
1
1
7
W.H. Maslin
0
0
0
0
1
½
1
1
0
1
1
8
G. Shand
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
5
9
C. Matthew
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
5
10
G.G. Gibson
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
3
11
A.W. Buchan
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
12
R. Brander
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Those games left blank in the score-sheets were not played owing to want of time, but none of them affected the scores of the prize-winners.

Mr. William Black, the Secretary of the Glasgow Chess Club, won the 1st prize in the Minor Tournament, and Messrs. W. W. Robertson and John Macfie tied for 2nd. On playing off a deciding game Mr. Macfie won. Mr. Robertson has now tied for the same prize three times in succession ; he was successful in winning the deciding games on the former occasions.

In the Handicap Tournament there were 16 players, classed as follows :
Class I. Rev. George McArthur, M.A., and David Forsyth, both of Edinburgh, G. B. Fraser, D. Y. Mills, Sheriff Spens, J. D. Chambers, Jas. Young, and D. M. Latta.

Class III. W. W. Robertson, A. D. Vardon, A. W. Buchan, G. Shand, Jas. Phillips, J. Mackenzie, and Charles Matthew. Class V. Robert Brander.

Class I. gave to Class III. Pawn and two moves, and to Class V., Rook. This contest was conducted on the pairing system, one game being decisive.

Note. The detailed pairings are not being given here. The final was played between Fraser and Mills, who drew their game. They then decided to share 1st and 2nd prizes. - A.McG]

Annual General Meeting

The annual general meeting of the members of the Association was held on the evening of Friday, 15th July, at 8 o'clock. There were about 25 members present. Sheriff Spens presided. The following office-bearers were appointed for the ensuing year:-
President, Sir Wyndham C. Anstruther, Bart., of Carmichael.
Vice-Presidents, G. B. Fraser, Dundee; Sheriff Spens, Glasgow; Christopher Meikle, Edinburgh, and John C.[D] Chambers, Glasgow.
Directors, John S. Pagan, Crieff; Dr. James Clerk, Rattray, Edinburgh, and Blairgowrie; Arthur Russell, Cupar-Fife; D. Y. Mills, London; A. I. McConnochie, Aberdeen; Rev. George McArthur, M.A., Edinburgh; John Russell, Glasgow; D. M. Latta, Edinburgh; W. W. Robertson, Edinburgh, and Peter Fyfe, Glasgow.

The Chairman then said that, as they were aware, Mr. David Forsyth, who had been secretary of the Glasgow Chess Club, and, since its commencement, secretary and treasurer of the Scottish Chess Association, had now removed to Edinburgh. His (the Chairman's) idea as to this fact was that it should in no way whatever interfere with Mr. Forsyth continuing to be the secretary and treasurer of the Association. Personally, he had felt Mr. Forsyth's loss in Glasgow very much. For several years Mr. Forsyth had assisted him in regard to the Chess editing, and, as secretary of the Glasgow Chess Club, had done very good work. At the time he left Glasgow, a movement arose among the West of Scotland players to recognise his services by presenting him with a Chess testimonial; and, on behalf of the subscribers, he (the Chairman) had pleasure in handing him a set of Chess-men, and asking him to accept of the gift, with best wishes for his success. (Applause.) Mr. Forsyth's re-election as secretary and treasurer of the Association having been unanimously agreed to, Mr. Meikle bore testimony to Mr. Forsyth's merits, and Mr. McArthur called special attention to his invention of an excellent Chess notation. Subsequently Mr. Forsyth suitably acknowledged the testimonial.

The Treasurer's statement showed that at the beginning of the present year there was a sum of £58 3s. 6d. in bank at the credit of the Association, and it was estimated that the receipts for the current year would more than meet the expenditure.

The place of next meeting was the subject of some discussion, Dundee having been suggested as a suitable place. As, however, there is to be an International Exhibition in Glasgow in 1888, it was unanimously resolved that the meeting should be held in Glasgow in July or August, the particular date to be announced in Scottish Chess columns in the month of April.

The programme of the Problem Tournament suggested at the previous meeting was considered, and it was remitted to the Rev. George McArthur of Edinburgh, and Mr. John Russell of Glasgow,
to adjust the conditions.

It was reported that the prize in the Correspondence Tournament which has been in progress for 2½ years, was won by Mr. John D. Chambers. It was remitted to Mr. Chambers, and to Mr. John Gilchrist of Glasgow, to arrange a new Correspondence Tournament among members of the Association, and a sum of £8 was voted towards the prize fund, provided there was a satisfactory number of entrants. Votes of thanks to the Chairman for presiding, and to the Edinburgh Chess Club for the accommodation afforded to the Association during the week of Congress, concluded the proceedings.


This photo, by Marshall Wane of Edinburgh, which appeared in the Illustrated London News of 6 August, 1887, was taken at the close of the meeting. Edinburgh Chess Club has a framed copy.

Seated, left to right:
George Gibson, George B. Fraser, Robert Brander, Daniel Y. Mills, Christopher Meikle, Rev. G. McArthur, Georges E. Barbier.

Standing, left to right:
John D. Chambers, William Black, A.W. Buchan, David Forsyth, John Macfie, John Russell, James Marshall, Dr James Cappie, W.W. Robertson, W.H. Maslin, James Phillips, A.M. Broŭn, Alfred D. Vardon, James Pringle.

Sources
British Chess Magazine 1887, September issue, pages 343-6.
The Chess Monthly, Vol. XII, September 1890-August 1891, p. 33 (photo of Mills).
Illustrated London News, 6 August 1887: group photo.