Harris Kirkland Handasyde

11 March 1877, Inveresk-Musselburgh ─ 24 May 1935, Paris

Paris Times, 8 January 1927, p.5
Courtesy of Dominique Thimognier

BCM July 1935, p 319: H.K. Handasyde, the well-known Scottish player, who lived in Paris, died suddenly from heart failure on May 24, at his French home, 16 rue Poirier-de-Narcay, Paris.

Much of his early life was spent in Africa, and during the 1914-1918 war he served in East Africa as an officer in the King's African Rifles, but he retired in 1926, and joined the newly-formed British Chess Club in Paris, and was the leading player in that circle right up to his death. He assisted in the organisation of various chess enterprises in the French capital, and will be greatly missed by a large circle of friends.

The Scotsman of Monday, 27 May 1935, p 18 had a notice of death, supplying the given names of Mr Handasyde and stating that he was the eldest son of the late Thomas Handasyde, and brother of Junia Handasyde, schoolhouse, Davidson's Mains.

The Glasgow Herald chess column of 6 July 1935 adds that before the war Mr Handasyde played in cup matches for the Edinburgh Working Men's Club. The article points out that Handasyde was a member of the Edinburgh CC team that won the Richardson Cup in 1923, and that he left for France soon after.

The BCM of April 1935, pages 166-7 coincidentally, had a detailed history of the British CC in Paris. The club was founded on March 12, 1926, beginning as a small first-floor room of a café in a side-street close to the Opera, with 15 players.Handasyde joined soon after and was elected its first president. [The BCM of April 1926, p 178 gave the address as Café Trianon (1st flooor), 13 bis Rue des Mathurins.]

La Liberté, 31 March 1929 (courtesy of Dominique Thimognier)

In the Scottish Championship 1915, Handasyde came equal 1st with Wenman and Wardhaugh. A play-off resulted in Wardhaugh becoming champion.

Handasyde was part of a triple tie for the Edinburgh CC Championship of 1923, with Lothian and Page, Page winning the title after a play-off. See the Chronicle for 1923.

Regular references to Handasyde participating in chess events in Paris can be found, including club tournaments and the Paris championships of 1925, 1926, 1927 and 1930. He also took part in the FIDE "Olympiad' in Paris in 1924 that was restricted to amateurs.

Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland

updated 24/2/2023