George William Richmond

22 June 1877, England - 20 October 1941, London

Scottish Champion 1910.

2nd place in the 1911 championship.

Played for Edinburgh CC in the Richardson Cup finals of 1910, 1912 and 1920.

Played for Britain in three International Cable Matches against the USA, 1907, 1908 and 1911.

When Mr Richmond was selected for the first of his Cable Matches, in 1907, the British Chess Magazine provided some information about him.

From the BCM 1907, page 111:

Mr Richmond has earned quite a high reputation in Metropolitan chess circles by defeating in London League matches nearly all the strongest of the Metropolitan players. To be placed at board No. 5 in his first International Cable Match is ample evidence of the high opinion which is held of Mr Richmond's chess skill by the Selection Committee, and when we add that for some ten years he has "dodged" all but skittle chess as much as possible, his strength of play is simply wonderful. He will be thirty years of age in June next. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and Member of the German Federation for Insurance Science, and has written some scores of articles dealing with varied branches of insurance in different parts of the world. He has won five club tournaments, and played in his early days, eight or nine matches, winning all! Some time ago he told us that the game he is most proud of is a draw he secured in a simultaneous performance given by Mr H.E. Bird some six months after he (Mr Richmond) started playing. As a second player, Mr Richmond has a penchant for the Sicilian Defence, which he plays uncommonly well. This is not surprising, as he is thoroughly au fait with all the variations of that opening. He is a member of the Insurance Chess Club (London), and also of the Hastings Club, which he often assists in matches. Mr Richmond's most notable public performance was at Hastings in 1904, when he won first prize in one of the sections of the first class amateurs' tournament. He tied with Mr P.S. Leonhardt, but defeated that player in the deciding game-a Sicilian Defence, which we published in Vol. XXIV., page 487. Mr Richmond is a chess amateur player of the best type-modest, courteous, and ever ready to assist those who labour con amore to forward the interests of Caissa.

Source: Falkirk Herald

Richmond's profession (insurance) brought him to Edinburgh - he was employed by Scottish Widows' Fund Society - and he first played in the Scottish Championship 1910, winning. In reporting on the result, the Falkirk Herald noted that Richmond was a member of Burns CC (Glasgow); President of the Philosophical Institute CC, Edinburgh; hon. member of Morningside CC, Edinburgh.

Neither of the obituaries cited below - the BCM and The Scotsman - gave a date of death.

Jeremy Gaige, in his Chess Personalia, A Biobibliography, 1987, gave November 1941, possibly based on the BCM report of December 1941 that stated that Richmond "...had died in London last month...".

However, The Scotsman reported the death in its issue of 24 October 1941.

In the chess column of the Glasgow Herald of 6 December 1941, a brief mention was also made of Richmond's passing, again with no date of death given.

From the BCM of December 1941, page 309.

We learn with deep regret that G.W. Richmond, the former Scotch Champion, died in London last month after a long illness. We hope next month to give an appreciation of this remarkable man. [It didn't - AMcG]

From The Scotsman of 24 October 1941, page 3:

The death has occurred in London of Mr George William Richmond, F.I.A., a former chess champion of Scotland. Before he went to London about twenty years ago Mr Richmond, who qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1902, was well known in actuarial circles in Edinburgh. He was a brilliant linguist, and acted as interpreter at an actuarial congress. Mr Richmond was also a notable figure in the chess world. He was Scottish champion, and was one of a half-dozen men chosen to represent Great Britain against the United States.

Falkirk Herald
of 20 April 1910, p. 7, report and photo (thanks to Gerard Killoran).
The Scotsman, 22 October 1941.

Alan McGowan
Historian/Archivist, Chess Scotland

revised 23/9/2021