Scotland v England

The match was held on November 26, under the auspices of the Scottish Chess Association, at the Glasgow University College Club. This was the second such match, the earlier encounter being in 1951.

The playing sessions were reported to be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., with a time limit of not less than 40 moves in 2½ hours. The team were to be entertained to dinner in the evening in the Central Station Hotel, hosted by the S.C.A.

The English selectors used the match as an opportunity for their younger players. Golombek and Wade's experience was blended with the youth of the other team members, all of whom were under 23 years of age.

Scotland, lacking the breadth of choice available to the English selectors, tried to field their strongest possible team. However, youth did play its part here also as Michael Fallone was only 16 years old.

Scotland     England
1. Dr J.M. Aitken H. Golombek
2. W.A. Fairhurst 0 1 J. Penrose
3. P.B. Anderson 0 1 R.G. Wade
4. Dr R.C. Nairn 0 1 G.F. Harris
5. N.A. Perkins 1 0 B.J. Moore
6. A.A. Thomson 0 1 P.C. Gibbs
7. M. Fallone 1 0 M.J. Haygarth
8. I. Middleton N. Honan
  3 5  
Aitken - Golombek
Scotland v England 1955

1.Ne5 Bxe5 2. dxc5 Qc6 It is hard to understand the objection to simply 2...Qxc5 here. After, for instance, after 3.Bxe5 White's control over the black diagonal to b8 guarantees him a slight advantage but the bridge-head at d6 has been removed.(3.b4 is not terribly unpleasant.)
3.Bxe5 Qxg2 4.Bd6 Qg6+ 5.Ka1 Qf5 6.Rd3 The exclusion of the black queen has rather deprived her king of his main defence.
6...Nd7 7.Rf3 Qh5 8.Qe3 f6 9.c6! Nb6 9...bxc6 10.Qxa7 and wins, as Black cannot prevent mate. 10.cxb7+ Kxb7 11.Qe4+ Nd5 Clearly forced.
12.Rb3+ Ka8 13.Bc7? Simply 13.Bh2 winning a piece is easiest. A strange lapse after his previous good play. [The machine says 13.c5 - Ed.]
13...Rc8 14.Qh1 14.cxd5 exd5 15.Qh1 Rxe1+ 16.Qxe1 Rxc7 is bad for White.
14...Rxc7 15.cxd5 Rc5 15...exd5 16.Qxd5+ Qxd5 17.Rxe8+
16.dxe6+ Qd5 17.Qxd5+ Rxd5 Threatening 36...Rxe6.
18.Kb1 Re5 19.Rxe5 fxe5 20.Rg3 Rxe6 21.Rxg7 Rf6 22.Re7 Rxf2 23.Rxe5 Rf1+ 24.Kc2 Rf2+

Final position

Here, in view of the position of the match, although half an hour or more was required till adjournment, Aitken, after consulting Fairhurst, announced his intention not to make further moves so throwing the onus on the adjudicator. Although the ending is tricky, White's extra pawn should be made to tell.

The BCM reported that the position had been sent to Dr Euwe for adjudication. Aitken's notebook indicates the result was a draw.

Penrose - Fairhurst
Scotland v England 1955 (Bd 2)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 d5 5.exd5 Qxd5 6.cxd4 Nf6 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Be2 0-0 9.0-0 Qa5 10.Bd2 Rd8 11.a3 Be7 12.d5 Nb8 12...Nxd5 then 13.Na4 wins a piece.
13.Bc4 c6 14.Ne5 Qc7 White threatened 15 Nb5 winning material.
15.Nxf7! cxd5 16.Ba2 Kxf7 17.Nxd5 Nxd5 17...Rxd5 18.Bxd5+ Nxd5 19.Qh5+ Kf8
18.Qh5+ Kg8 18...g6 19.Bxd5+ Ke8 20.Qxh7; Or 18...Kf8 19.Bxd5 Bf6 (to counter both Qf7 and Qf3+) 20.Bb4+
19.Rfe1 A beautifully nonchalant move. Penrose is in no hurry to regain the sacrificed material. 19...Nc6 20.Bxd5+ Rxd5 20...Kh8 fails against 21.Bc3! with the threat of Be4.
21.Qxd5+ Kh8 22.Qf7 Threat: Bcs, as well as Qe8+
22...Bg4 23.Bc3 Rg8 24.h3! Bc8 25.Rad1 h6 26.Rd5 With Rh5 and Rxh6 mate in the offing, Black's position now crumbles to bits.
26...Bd6 27.Qg6 A. Eccles of Morecambe, quoted in Chess, February 11, 1956, pointed out a quicker (and more appropriate) finish with 27.Rxd6! Qxd6 (27...Qxf7 28.Rxh6#) 28.Re8!! and apart from a few spite checks, Black has no reply to the various threats of mate.
27...Be5 Meeting the threat of 28 Qxh6 mate, by unpinning the g-pawn; at some material cost, of course.
28.Bxe5 Nxe5 29.Rdxe5 Bd7 30.Re7 Qd8 31.Qf7 Bc6 32.R1e6 Qd1+ 33.Kh2 Qd2 Warding off 34 Rxh6+ followed by mate, but the threats against the g-pawn are too strong.
34.Rg6 a6 35.Rxg7 Qd6+ and without waiting for White's reply, Black resigned. he is mated in at most two moves. 1-0

In the following game Anderson builds up a good position. Black's 15th move was an attempt to 'mix' things, and it worked. Instead of keeping things simple and taking the pawn, Anderson aimed to win the exchange. The result was that Black's game suddenly came to life and in a few moves he had completely turned the tables.

Anderson - Wade [B37]
Scotland v England 1955 (Bd 3)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 6.Nc2 In keeping with the theory of the Maroczy bind, Whie avoids exchanges, attempting to keep Black cramped. Wade's next move seems less sharp than the ...d6 as played by Botvinnik against Alexander in the team tournament at Amsterdam last October.
6...Nh6 7.Be2 0-0 8.g4 Opinion fluctuates on the value of this type of attack at the expense of development. Botvinnik, in the above mentioned game, got in an early ...f5 so possibly Anderson is trying to anticipate a similar procedure.
8...f5 9.exf5 gxf5 10.g5 Nf7 11.Nc3 e5? This move is the cause of his ensuing troubles. The best is 11...b6 keeping back the e-pawn in order to drive off the white knight, when it moves to d5, by ...e6.
12.h4 b6 13.Nd5 Bb7 14.Rg1 f4 Shutting out one white bishop at the expense of opening up a much more dangerous diagonal for the other. Black's game is probably lost now.
15.Bd3 e4 A desperate try which succeeds. White should simply take the pawn. After 16 Bxe4 Re8 17 f3 he now threatens to win the f-pawn followed by Nd4. Black has simply not enough compensation.
16.Qh5 Nd6! 17.Nf6+ Rxf6 Clearly the only move.
18.gxf6 Qxf6 19.Be2 Ne5 20.Bd2 e3! 21.fxe3 f3! 22.Rf1 22.Bf1 f2+
22...Qe7! 23.Bxf3 Bxf3 0-1 For if 24 Rxf3 Qxh4+!! 25 Qxh4 Nxf3+ and ...NxQ. Cool play on Wade's part.

Harris - Nairn [E14]
Scotland v England (Bd 4)
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.e3 Bb7 5.Bd3 Ne4 6.Nbd2 f5 7.Qc2 Nxd2 8.Bxd2 Nc6 9.a3 Be7 10.d5 Nb8 11.e4 g6 12.exf5 gxf5 13.0-0-0 Bf6 14.Rhe1 Kf7 15.Bf4 Qc8 16.Bxf5 exf5 17.Qxf5 Rg8 18.Ne5+ Kg7 19.Bh6+ Kxh6 20.Qxf6+ Rg6 21.Nf7+ Kh5 22.Re5+ 1-0

Perkins - Moore [D85]
Scotland v England (Bd 5)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Qb3 0-0 8.Nf3 c5 9.Be3 Qa5 10.Bc4 Nc6 11.0-0 Qc7 12.dxc5 Na5 13.Qb4 Nxc4 14.Qxc4 Be6 15.Qb4 a5 16.Qb2 Bc4 17.Rfd1 Rfd8 18.Qc2 Qc6 19.Bd4 a4 20.Rab1 a3 21.Rb6 Qa4 22.Qxa4 Rxa4 23.Ra1 Ba6 24.h3 f6 25.e5 fxe5 26.Nxe5 Bxe5 27.Bxe5 Rd2 28.Bd4 Scottish hopes revived when Moore, who had played with insight, bungled the position and now played...
28...Kf7... Instead of 28...Re2 keeping control of the king's file. He could then bring his king into play with effect. White took immediate advantage of this lapse with...
29.Re1! Re2 30.Rxe2 Bxe2 31.Rxb7 Bc4 32.c6 Bxa2 33.Bc5 Be6 34.Rxe7+ Kf6 35.c7 Bf5 36.Re1 a2 37.Ra1 Ra8 38.Bd4+ Ke6 Better 38...Kf7 with drawing chances still.
39.c8Q+? 39.Rxa2! was the move so that if 39...Rxa2 then 40.c8Q+ winning at once.
39...Rxc8 40.Rxa2 Even if the rooks went, the ending is won, as White can succeed in setting up distant passed pawns. The game was adjudicated a win for White. 1-0

Gibbs - Thomson [D36]
Scotland v England (Bd 6)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bf4 c6 7.Qc2 Nh5 8.Bd2 Nhf6 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bh4 Be7 11.e3 0-0 12.Bd3 Re8 13.0-0 Ne4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Rab1 Ng5 16.Nd2 Nf8 17.b4 Be6 18.Na4 Rac8 19.Nc5 b6 20.Nxe6 Ngxe6 21.Nf3 c5 22.bxc5 bxc5 23.dxc5 Nxc5 24.Bf5 Nfe6 25.Rfc1 Qf6 26.Nd4 Nxd4 27.exd4 Ne6 28.Qxc8 Rxc8 29.Rxc8+ Nf8 30.Bd3 Qxd4 31.Bf1 Qd2 32.Rbb8 1-0

And now we have an early example of Fallone's use of a favourite opening system: 1. d4 and 2. f4.

Fallone - Haygarth [A48]
Scotland v England (Bd 7)
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.Nbd2 Nbd7 6.c3 0-0 7.Bd3 Re8 8.Nc4 c6 9.Qc2 b5 10.Ncd2 Qb6 11.0-0 Bb7 12.e4 c5 13.d5 a6 14.c4 Ng4 15.h3 Nge5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Bxe5 Bxe5 18.f4 Bg7 19.f5 a5 20.Kh1 Ba6 21.Rab1 bxc4 22.Nxc4 Bxc4 23.Bxc4 Reb8 24.Qf2 Bd4 25.Qf3 Bf6 26.fxg6 hxg6 27.g4 Qb4 28.b3 Rf8 29.a4 Qd2 30.Rf2 Qg5 31.h4 Qxh4+ 32.Rh2 Qg5 33.Qh3 Rfb8 34.Rf1 Bg7 35.e5!! Qxe5 Just what else is there? White threatens 36 e6 f6 37 Qh7+ Kf8 38 Rf3, after which the double threat is R(f)h3 followed by Qh8+, mating speedily or, if the Queen leaves its protection, Qxg6 and mate at f7. [35...Bxe5 36.Qh7+ Kf8 37.Qxf7#;
35...dxe5 36.d6!! e6 37.Bxe6! etc]
36.Qh7+ Kf8 37.Qxg6 Ke8 38.Rxf7 Kd7 39.Qxg7 Qe4+ Here, the game was adjourned, but Haygarth, after ascertaining that his checks soon exhaust themselves, resigned. 1-0
NOTE: The Glasgow Herald gave the following additional moves. 40.Kg1 Qe3+ 41.Rhf2

Several Glasgow Herald columns.
Report in 'Chess' December 10, 1955, pp 87-92 and p 100, article by G.F. Harris.

Alan McGowan
Archivist/Historian, Chess Scotland

updated 14/5/2021