Rev. George Dickson Hutton

21 February 1866, Cranshaws Manse, Berwickshire - 03 December 1929, Edinburgh

Originator of the 'Hutton Pairing' or 'Cross-Pairing' system: From the Oxford Encyclopaedia: 'a method of matching many teams while demanding only one game from each player. Devised in 1921' [Remember the 'Jamboree' team events? AMcG] Hutton outlined his system to L.P. Rees, the British Chess Federation Hon. Secretary. Mr J.T. Boyd facilitated its application by working out a method of pairing odd numbers of teams and thus avoiding the use of byes.

He was the son of the Rev. William M. Hutton, the minister of Cranshaws Parish, Berwickshire. He was educated locally and at George Watson's College, and then entered Edinburgh University, where he graduated both in Arts and Science and gained the Gunning Fellowship. He entered the ministry and was licensed by the Presbytery of Dunbar in 1889, became assistant in the Scots Church, Melbourne, Australia, and afterwards in the Dean Parish, Edinburgh. In 1893 he became minister at Bothkennar, Stirlingshire, remaining there until he retired in 1919. In May of that year he became Convenor of the Colonial Committee of the Church of Scotland, an office he held for five years. His position involved much administration work, but he also travelled the world visiting Scots Churches. The BCM of 1925, p 17, notes that he was living at The Manse, Simla, India.

He was a member of the Falkirk Chess Club, apparently from about 1893, and in 1905 he became a country member of the Edinburgh CC. He took part in a number of Scottish Chess Association Congresses, including the Championships of 1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910. He was not listed under his full name and title, but played under a pseudonym. The BCM of 1907, in reporting on the Scottish Championship, commented that one of the entrants was 'a Stirlingshire clergyman, who played under the pseudonym of "G. Dickson.' He also entered under this name in the other years. He played In the 1920 Scottish Championship under Hutton.

He played in several Second Class tournaments at BCF Congresses, including those of 1906 and 1907. He also played in 1920, when the BCF Congress was held in Edinburgh. Here, he was listed under G.D. Hutton. By August 1925, after ending his world travels, Rev. Hutton was back in Britain and competing in the First Class Section 'A' tournament at the British Chess Federation Congress at Stratford-on-Avon, again using his own name.

Rev. Hutton, who latterly lived at Belhaven, Dunbar, died at a nursing home in Edinburgh. He was survived by three daughters and one son.

Sources: The Scotsman, 4 December 1929, p 15; BCM 1925, pp 17 and 409; BCM 1955, p 244;

Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland