Eliskases in Scotland - 1933

Eliskases in 1932

Erich Eliskases [15 February 1913 - 2 February 1997] was an outstanding Austrian chess master, who, by the time of his visit to Scotland, had already represented his country in the Olympiads at Hamburg 1930 and Folkestone 1933, and defeated Rudolf Spielmann in a match in 1932. He would later go on to have many tournament successes, and further match victories against Spielmann in 1936 and 1937, and against Bogoljubow in 1939.

As a result of his appearance at the Folkestone Olympiad in the summer months of 1933, arrangements had been made to engage Eliskases for a visit to Scotland later in the year. This was not to be without incident, as he was turned back on attempting to enter the country at, of all places, Folkestone. Fortunately, this decision was reversed after representations were made by Glasgow CC.


Eliskases, who was attempting to improve his English language skills, was engaged for three weeks by Glasgow CC to give consultation games and lectures, as well as to play a six game match with W.A. Fairhurst, the leading player in Scotland. They had already faced each other across the board at the Folkestone Olympiad, the result being a draw.

His first evening, Tuesday 17 October, at Glasgow CC was devoted to two consultation games. The visitor had White in both games; one was a Ruy Lopez against Inverarity, Ogilvie and Walker consulting, and the other a Bird's Opening against MacIsaac, Murray and Hastie.

In the first game, Eliskases sacrificed the exchange, which resulted in the break-up of the opponents' kingside and a later mate.

The previous moves had been 29. Rg4 x Nf4 e5xf4, giving the position above. 1.e5! g6 [1...fxe3 2.Nxh6+ g6 3.Nxf7+ etc.] 2.Qxh6+ Kg8 3.exf6 Qxf6 4.Qxf4 gxf5 5.Rg3+ Kh8 6.Rg5 Rg8 7.Rxf5 Qg6 8.Rg5! Qxc2 9.Qf6+ 1-0

In the second game (which finished first) the allies played carefully, reducing the game to a king and pawn ending and a draw.

On Wednesday, 18 October Eliskases played 15 boards simultaneously, with a score of 10 wins, 3 draws (JR Longwill, JW Hastie and AF Cariss), and 2 losses (Joseph Barnes and HNJ Walsworth).

On Friday, 20 October Eliskases gave a lecture on endgames, with examples drawn partly from his own games. The Scotsman reported that "Although it was the speaker's first attempt to lecture in English, he was easily followed by the members.

The Saturday saw the first game of the match against Fairhurst.

Eliskases - Fairhurst [C42] Match (1), 21.10.1933 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Bg5 Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2 Nd5 9.0-0 h6 10.Bd2 Be7 11.c4 Nf6 12.Nc3 Nc6 13.Nb5 Bd8 14.Bc3 0-0 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.d4 Bd7 17.h3 Ne7 18.Nc3 Ng6 19.Rfe1 Kh8 20.Kh2 Rg8 21.g3 Kg7 22.Bd3 c6 23.Re2 Rf8 24.Rae1 Ba5 25.Nd2 Rae8 26.f4 Rxe2+ 27.Rxe2 Re8 28.Rxe8 Bxe8 29.Nb3 Bc7 30.d5 Ne7 31.Nd4 Bd7 32.g4 Ba5 33.Nde2 f5 34.gxf5 Nxf5 35.Ng3 Nxg3 36.Kxg3 Bxc3 37.bxc3 Kf6 38.a3 Bf5 39.Bxf5 Kxf5 40.Kf3 -

The second game of the match was held on Monday, 23 October. An error by Eliskases permits Fairhurst to win the exchange, after which he nurses the game to victory.

Fairhurst - Eliskases [D10] Match (2), 23.10.1933 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e3 b5 5.a4 b4 6.Na2 e6 7.Bxc4 Nf6 8.Nf3 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qe2 a5 11.Ne5 Qb6 12.Bd2 c5 13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.Nc1 Nbd7 15.Nxd7 Nxd7 16.Nb3 Be7 17.e4 Bb7 18.Be3 Qc7 19.Rac1 Qb8 20.f3 Rc8 21.Bb5 Nf8 22.Nc5 Bxc5 23.Bxc5 Qe5 24.Qf2 Ba6 25.Bxa6 Rxa6 26.Bd6 Qxd6 27.Rxc8 Qd7 28.Qc5 Qd6 29.Rc1 g6 30.Qxd6 Rxd6 31.Ra8 Kg7 32.Rxa5 Rd2 33.Rb1 e5 34.Rd5 Rc2 35.a5 Ne6 36.a6 Nf4 37.a7 Rxg2+ 38.Kh1 1-0

On Tuesday, 24 October Eliskases played another two games against consulting teams. In the first game, a Queen's Pawn against DM MacIsaac and HNJ Walsworth, he won the exchange, but the allies found a way to sacrifice a piece and force perpetual check. In the second game, a Ruy Lopez, the consulting players fought hard, taking the game to an ending of King, Bishop and six pawns against King, Knight and six pawns. Eliskases, who at this early stage was already a fine endgame player, had a decided advantage because of a good knight versus bad bishop.

Here is this game.

Eliskases - J. Birch and J. McGrouther [C66] Glasgow, 24.10.1933 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 d6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 Bd7 8.Re1 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 0-0 10.Bg5 Bxb5 11.Nxb5 Qd7 12.c4! a6 13.Nc3 Qg4 14.Qd2 Rad8 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Nd5 Qe6 Defending the pawn at c7 would of course allow his kingside to be broken. 17.Nxc7 Qxc4 18.Nd5 Qd4 19.Re2! Rfe8 20.Rd1 Qxd2 21.Rdxd2 Be7 22.Rc2 Bf8 23.f4 Rc8 24.Rc3 Rc5 25.Kf2 f6 26.Kf3 Rec8 27.Rec2 Kf7 28.b4 Rxc3+ [Better would have been 28...R5c6 for if 29.Rxc6 bxc6! As played, it can be seen that Black will have some problems activating his poorly placed bishop.] 29.Rxc3 Rxc3+ 30.Nxc3 Be7 [Better 30...g6 and ...Bh6.] 31.f5 Bd8 32.Nd5 g6 33.g4 g5? 34.a4 b6 35.Ke3 Ke8 36.Kd4 Kd7 37.b5! a5 38. 38.Ne3 Bc7 39.Kd5 Bd8 40.Nc4 Bc7 41.Nd2 Bd8 42.Nf3 Bc7 43.Nd4 Bd8 44.Ne6 Be7 45.Kd4! h6 46.Kd5 Black resigned. 1-0

Eliskases - Fairhurst [E38] Match (3), 10.1933 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 5.dxc5 Na6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Qxc3 Nxc5 8.f3 d6 9.b4 Na4 10.Qc2 Bd7 11.e3 Rc8 12.Ne2 Nb6 13.Nc3 Nxc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15.Qd3 d5 16.0-0 0-0 17.Bb2 Qb6 18.Rf2 Rfc8 19.Rc1 Qc7 20.Ne2 Rxc1+ 21.Nxc1 a6 22.Nb3 Bb5 23.Qd4 Qc4 24.Qxc4 dxc4 25.Nc5 Nd5 26.e4 Nf4 27.Bc1 e5 28.Bxf4 exf4 29.Nxb7 c3 30.Rc2 Ba4 31.Rc1 c2 32.Kf2 Rc3 33.Nc5 Rxa3 34.Nxa4 Rxa4 35.Rxc2 g5 36.Rb2 -

On Thursday, 26 October another simultaneous exhibition was arranged, this time on 16 boards. The visitor scored 14 wins, 1 draw (GB Nicol) and 1 loss after 2 hours play. The sole defeat was to W. Turnbull, in 19 moves!


Eliskases interrupted his Glasgow stay to travel to Aberdeen, where he was the guest of the Bon Accord CC. Here, he played three games against players acting in consultation, as well as 14 board simultaneous exhibition where he scored 10 wins and 4 draws. There follows two of the consultation games.

Eliskases - C. Pirie and others [A03] Aberdeen, 28.10.1933 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.b3 Be7 5.Bb2 Nbd7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 c5 8.c4 b6 9.Qc1 Bb7 10.d3 Qc7 11.Nc3 Rac8 12.Ne5! a6 13.Bf3 Rfd8 [13...Bd6!] 14.Ne2 dxc4 15.bxc4 Bxf3 16.Rxf3 Nb8 17.Qc3 Nc6 [Better 17...Ne8 and ...f6] 18.Raf1 Ne8 19.Ng3 f6 20.Nxc6 Qxc6 21.f5! e5 22.e4 b5 23.Nh5 b4 24.Qc2 a5 [Consideration should have been given to reorganising the kingside; 24...Bf8 and eventually ...N-d6-f7] 25.g4 a4 26.g5 a3 27.Bxe5! fxe5 28.f6 Bf8 29.f7+ Kh8 30.fxe8Q Rxe8 31.Qf2 Qd6 32.Kh1 Rcd8 33.Rf7 Rc8 34.g6! h6 [34...hxg6 35.Nf6!!] 35.Nxg7 Bxg7 36.Rxg7 Rc7 37.Rf7 Rg8 38.Rg1 Rxf7 39.Qxf7 Rg7 40.Qe8+ Rg8 41.g7+ Kh7 42.Qf7 h5 43.Qxh5+ Qh6 44.Qf5+ 1-0

WRD McNaughton and others - Eliskases [A00] Aberdeen, 1933 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Be3 d5 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.0-0 c5! Forcing the knight away from its strong central position, and opening a diagonal for the QB. 11.Nb3 Nxe3 12.fxe3 Bb5 13.Re1 Be7 14.Qg4 0-0 15.c4 Depriving himself of the potential use of this square later. 15...f5 16.Qe2 Bc6 17.N1d2 The knights are limited in their opportunities. 17...Qb6 18.e4 Bh4 19.Rf1! a5! To force back the Nb3, thereby accentuating the pressure on the b-file. 20.Nf3 Bf6! Not allowing the knight into e5. 21.e5 Be7 22.Rad1 Rfd8 23.Nc1 Ra7 24.Rxd8+ Qxd8 25.Rd1 Rd7 26.Rxd7 Qxd7 27.Qd2? [An error, as the advantage of the two bishops v two knights is too great in this position. A slightly better attempt to offer the exchange of Queens would have been 27.Qd3 but Black would have then avoided the swap with ...Qe8, aiming for expansion on the kingside, and further restriction of the knights, with ...g5.] 27...Qxd2 28.Nxd2 Bg5 29.Ncb3 a4 30.Nxc5 [If 30.Na5 Ba8! 31.Nf3 Bd8 winning the stranded knight.] 30...Be3+! 31.Kf1 Bxc5 32.b3 Bb4 33.Nf3 Bxf3 34.gxf3 axb3 35.axb3 Kf7 0-1

Eliskases in the Bon-Accord Chess Club
Seated (left to right): W.R.D. McNaughton, secretary; Eliskases; James Iverach, president
From: The People's Journal, November 4th, 1933


On Friday, 3 November Eliskases was busy again in Glasgow. First, he played the 4th game of his match with Fairhurst, another draw. Then he faced 12 opponents simultaneously, winning 10 and drawing 2 (WR Stewart and Professor Muir).

Fairhurst - Eliskases [E60] Match (4), 3.11.1933 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.Ne2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nbc3 c6 10.h3 cxd5 11.cxd5 a6 12.a4 b6 13.Be3 Nd7 14.Qd2 Nc5 15.Ra3 a5 16.Nb5 Ba6 17.Nec3 f5 18.Rb1 Bxb5 19.Nxb5 fxe4 20.b4 axb4 21.Qxb4 Nf5 22.Bxc5 bxc5 23.Qxe4 Qa5 24.Ra2 Rab8 25.Kh1 Rb6 26.Bf1 Rfb8 27.Qe1 Rxb5 28.Qxa5 Rxb1 29.Kg2 e4 30.Qc7 Rf8 31.Re2 e3 32.f4 Nxg3 33.Kxg3 Rxf1 34.Rxe3 Bh6 35.Rf3 Bxf4+ 36.Kg2 Ra1 37.a5 g5 38.Rf2 Ra3 39.Rf3 Ra2+ 40.Rf2 Ra3 -

Eliskases equalled the score in the match by winning the fifth game.

Eliskases - Fairhurst [D35] Match (5), 11.1933 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.e3 Be7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.Qc2 b6 9.Nf3 Bb7 10.0-0 Re8 11.Rac1 a6 12.Ne5 h6 13.Bf4 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Ng4 15.Bf4 Bd6 16.Ne2 Bxf4 17.Nxf4 Re7 18.Bf5 Nf6 19.Nd3 g6 20.Bh3 Qd6 21.b4 Ne4 22.g3 Rae8 23.Bg2 f5 24.a3 Rg7 25.Ne5 Rxe5 26.dxe5 Qxe5 27.f4 Qe6 28.Bxe4 fxe4 29.Qc3 Re7 30.Rf2 h5 31.Qd4 Qd6 32.f5 gxf5 33.Rxf5 Rg7 34.Qe5 Qxe5 35.Rxe5 h4 36.Re8+ Kh7 37.Kg2 hxg3 38.hxg3 c6 39.Rh1+ Kg6 40.Rhh8 Rc7 41.Reg8+ Kf6 42.Rh6+ 1-0

The sixth and final game of the match was played on Tuesday, 7 November. The result was another draw, the match ending therefore +1, -1, =4.

Fairhurst - Eliskases [E18] Match (6), 7.11.1933 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Nxe4 Bxe4 9.Ne1 Bxg2 10.Nxg2 d5 11.cxd5 Qxd5 12.Qa4 b5 13.Qc2 c5 14.dxc5 Qxc5 15.Qe4 Qc6 16.Qb1 Nd7 17.Be3 Qb7 18.Rd1 Rfd8 19.Qc2 Rac8 20.Qb3 Nc5 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Bxc5 Bxc5 23.Rd1 Qb6 24.Rxd8+ Qxd8 25.Nf4 -

Although it can be seen that Eliskases had a very busy schedule during his three weeks at the Glasgow CC, he also took on other engagements in Glasgow, and elsewhere in the country. The Falkirk Herald stated that he would be involved with the Glasgow League, the Glasgow Ladies CC, and the Central CC in Glasgow. At the latter club, there was a 14 board simultaneous display, with the visitor scoring 12 wins and 2 draws (HNJ Walsworth and Jas. Russell).


Eliskases visited Dundee Chess Club for two days in November. On the 14th, he played two consultation games in the afternoon, both of which he won. In the evening of the same day he played 12 games simultaneously, winning all of them. He also gave a lecture.

Dundee. Facing Eliskases, from left: H.J.M. Thoms, H.J. M'Inally, H. Deas and J.E. Lamb.


On Thursday, 30 November Eliskases was back in Glasgow, giving a lecture and a simultaneous exhibition against 18 boards at the Bohemian CC. After three hours' play he had won 14 games and allowed 4 draws, against Korensky, Towers, Ferrie and Weetch.

  • NOTE: The was some confusion regarding the results of this simultaneous display. The Glasgow Herald of December 02 recorded the result as 18 played, 14 won and 4 draws. However, the December 9 edition (p 2), mentioned that J.W. Hastie had also played and drew. The Minute Book of the Bohemian CC, in recording the notes of the May 16, 1934 meeting, states that 19 boards were played, with Eliskases winning 15 and drawing 4.


The [Manchester] Guardian,
October 10, 11 and 16, 1933.
The Scotsman,
October 18, 21, 25 and December 1, 1933.
Glasgow Herald of December 2 and 9, 1933.
Courier and Advertiser, 15 November 1933, p. 8. 
Bohemian CC Minute Book (16 May 1934).
Wiener Schachzeitung
1933, p 347. Wiener Schachzeitung 1934, p 74.
The Story of Dundee Chess Club,
by Peter W. Walsh. 1984.
by Erich Eliskases. Caissa Chess Books, 2000.
Aberdeen City Council Central Library (Morag Penny).

Alan McGowan Historian, Chess Scotland