Scottish Championship 1926

The 39th Scottish Chess Association Congress opened at Glasgow Chess Club, in the Athenaeum, on Thursday, December 31, 1925 and ran to January 7, 1926. The rules of the championship tournament were amended to allow for a maximum of 12 players.

George Page of Edinburgh, winner in 1925, aimed to defend his title. The entries also included previous champions Gibson, Borthwick, McKee (all Glasgow), and Dr Macdonald (Inverness). Forbes, McKillop and McNaughton were from Perth, James Gilchrist from Falkirk, and John Macdonald and Harris from Glasgow, the last named being the youngest competitor. 

Scottish Championship 1926 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
   1. J.A. McKee 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9
   2. Dr R.C. Macdonald 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9
   3. J. Gilchrist 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
   4. W. Gibson 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 7
   5. G. Page 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 7
   6. J. Borthwick 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 5
   7. H.L. Forbes 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 4
   8. A.J. McKillop 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 4
   9. H.N.J. Walsworth 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3
10. J. Harris 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 3
11. W.R.D. McNaughton 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
12. J. McDonald 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

 The end of the tournament was dramatic. After the last round the final placings were undecided, with further time required to play off five adjourned games, all of which would affect the outcome.

The leading scores at this point were:-
McKee and Gilchrist 8; Gibson 7; Dr Macdonald 6.

The results of the adjourned games were:-
Gibson - Dr Macdonald
McKee 1-0 Gilchrist
Dr Macdonald 1-0 McKee
Dr Macdonald - Gilchrist
Dr Macdonald 1-0 Walsworth

The Gibson-Dr Macdonald game began shortly after 10 a.m. Gibson won a pawn in a Knight and pawn endgame and looked to be winning. However, Dr Macdonald's tenacious defence secured a draw, which still gave him a chance of the title.

Meanwhile McKee and Gilchrist made a late start to their game, McKee having failed to appear at the scheduled time. McKee played a weak move which gave his opponent an opportunity to win, but Gilchrist missed the chance and lost.

 McKee now had 9 points with Gilchrist out of the running, as it was felt that there was no way he could win his other adjourned game against Dr Macdonald and a draw was of no use to him. 

McKee and Dr Macdonald now resumed their game. The former was a pawn down but appeared to have the draw in hand, a result that would have given him the title. However, he blundered and lost in time-trouble and lost, finishing with 9 points.

Dr Macdonald, now with 7, then continued his game against Gilchrist (8). Dr Macdonald had K, R and B against K and R, but was unable to find a win and Gilchrist claimed the 50-move limit. The draw gave Dr Macdonald 8 points, with Gilchrist finishing on 8.

Dr Macdonald sat down at 6.15 p.m. to play off his last game. He was the exchange up against Walsworth and soon secured the win and a total of 3 points for the day, which tied him with McKee on 9 points.

After his remarkable final-day efforts, it would have been appropriate if Dr Macdonald had won the play-off match in April, but victory was taken by McKee with +2, =1.

Scottish Ladies' Championship
There were originally five entries, but Miss Alice Heard withdrew and Miss Adams failed to appear. The event was won by Mrs Brockett (Glasgow) 5, ahead of Mrs Ritchie (Edinburgh) 4 and Miss Wardhaugh (Glasgow) 3.

Minor Tournament
John Macdonald (Paisley) 6; W.G. Coast (Edinburgh) and J.H. Anderson-Robertson (Inverness) 6; A.R. Bryden 4; Dr Bennett 4; J. Russell 3; G.B. Nicol 3; W.M. Inverarity 2.

Bryden, Dr Bennett, Nicol and Inverarity were all members of Glasgow CC. Russell was with Central CC (Glasgow).


Alan McGowan 

updated 5/6/2020