Spens Cup 1951

Played on Saturday, 17 March 1951, at Kilmarnock.

Glasgow College CC
1. C.E.V. Leser
J.M. Douglas
2. R.A. Jamieson
J.W.F. Allan
3. O.A.W. Dilke
A.J. Struthers
4. B.E.X. Touschek
A. Wilson
5. A.C. Crundwell
R. Stalker
6. J.C. Gunn
R. Munro
7. J.D.M. Bell
J. McLennan

An Unusual Club

by A.A. Thomson

From CHESS, May 1951, p 166.

"Glasgow College Chess Club," so called to avoid confusion with chess activities run by the University students themselves, was formed in 1949. It started with the various professors playing chess during lunchtime. Soon there were so many enthusiasts taking part that it was decided to form a club. Local teams were challenged to friendly matches; the results indicated that the team must be of considerable strength. So it was decided to enter for the Spens Cup of 1949/50. The team survived until the 3rd round and, so encouraged, they tried again this season, and won the cup in convincing style, defeating on the way:- Gourock by 5-2; Blochairn by 4½-2½; Newmilns by 4½-2½ and in the final Kilmarnock by 4½-2½.

By winning the Spens Cup (open to all Scotland) they gain promotion to the Richardson Cup which is confined to the eight premier clubs in Scotland, the loser each year falling out to make way for the winner of the Spens.

The team list makes impressive reading:

Dr C.E.V. Leser Political Economy
Mr R.A. Jamieson Surgery
Prof. P.I. Dee F.R.S. Natural Philosophy
Mr O.A.W. Dilke Humanity
Dr B.E.X. Touschek Theoretical Physics
Mr A.C. Crundwell Botany
Prof. J.C. Gunn Theoretical Physics
Mr J.D.M. Bell Economic History
Prof. P. Alexander English (Team Capt.)
Dr T.H. Goodwin Chemistry (Hon. Secy.)

Dr Leser used to play chess in Vienna, Professor Dee at Cambridge, and Mr Dilke at Hull.

Their Strength has taken aback all the Glasgow clubs with whom they have played, and they should do well in next season's Richardson Cup. Their chances can be judged by the result of a friendly match with Bohemians CC, a regular Richardson Cup team, which College Chess Club won by the odd game.

Sources: Glasgow Herald chess column of 23 March 1951; CHESS, May 1951, p 166 (where Dr Leser was wrongly shown with the initials C.A.V.)

Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland