George Brunton Fraser

Died: 01 December 1905, Edinburgh (age 74)

Associated with the Angus Chess Club and later the Dundee Chess Club; organiser and administrator; possibly the strongest player in Scotland in his day; opening analyst; supporter of correspondence chess; Scottish Champion 1898.

Fraser did much to advance the cause of chess in general, and of the Dundee CC in particular. During the 1850's he played matches against Wormald, Falkbeer and Hannah, amongst others. Kolisch, one of the leading masters of the time, visited Dundee in 1860 and played a match of seven games with Fraser on level terms. Fraser won 2, lost 4 and drew 1, a very creditable score.

In 1867 Steinitz, at the time recognised as the leading player in the world because of his defeat of Adolf Anderssen the year before, visited Dundee. He played a match with Fraser in January, giving odds of pawn and move. Steinitz won 7, lost 1 and drew 1. In February another match took place, this time on level terms, the winner being the first to win three games. Fraser drew the first game, won the second and lost the third. A break in the match then occurred as Steinitz had a commitment in Glasgow. On returning to Dundee Steinitz won game four after Fraser blundered, game five was drawn, and Steinitz won game six and the match. Still, another creditable performance.

The same year, 1867, the British Chess Association proposed to hold its annual congress in Dundee in the autumn. This acted as an incentive to Fraser and others, who organised the famous tournament won by Neumann, in front of Steinitz, De Vere, MacDonnell, Blackburne and others.

Mr Fraser was recognised as a noted opening analyst, and his name is attached to lines in the Evans Gambit, the Scotch Game, the Greco Counter-Gambit, the Vienna Gambit, and the King's Gambit Accepted.

Fraser also organised and conducted a number of correspondence tournaments, he was the author of 200 Games of Chess (1896), a collection of games played by correspondence.

In 1886, a testimonial was presented to Mr Fraser for his great services to chess. The sum given to him was £44 15s, apparently corresponding to around £1500 in 1984.

Compiled by Alan McGowan