Scottish Ladies' Chess Association


At a meeting of ladies in Edinburgh on Saturday, 18 March 1905, presided over by Mrs Edwin Jack, Edinburgh, it was resolved to form a Ladies' Scottish Chess Association, on similar lines to the Scottish Chess Association. Twelve ladies joined, Miss Malcolm, Edinburgh, being elected hon. secretary and treusurer until October, when the first annual general meeting will be held, and a programme drawn up.

At the time, Sir Robert Cranston donated a trophy for competition by members of the Association. Nine ladies entered the tournament, which was won by Miss F.H. Stirling with 7/8, losing only to Mrs Jack. The other scores were: Mrs Jack and Miss Orrock 4; Miss Mair and Miss Stracey 3½; Miss Taylor and Mrs Campbell 3; Miss Malcolm 2; Mrs Baxendine 1. [Winners of the Cranston Trophy]

The first Ladies' Championship of Scotland was held on Saturday, 22 April 1905 in the Station Hotel, Stirling. There were only three entrants and it was won by Miss F.H. Stirling (Edinburgh), ahead of Miss E. Ure (Stirling) and Miss Robertson (St Ninians). Florence Hutchison Stirling would go on to win the championship in 1906, 1907, 1912 and 1913.

The first Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Ladies' Chess Association was held on Tuesday, 24 October 1905 in the rooms of the Edinburgh Chess Club, 4a St Andrew's Square - Mrs Richardson in the chair. It was resolved to take part in the Spens competition, and to play two tournaments during the winter for the Cranston trophy and the Scottish Chess Association Medal; the competition to take place in two divisions, one for players in the Edinburgh district and the other for players in the Glasgow and Stirling district, the winners in each division to play in the final for each trophy.

The application of the Victorian Ladies' Chess Club [later, the Edinburgh Ladies' CC] for affiliation was agreed to, and it was resolved that the competition for the Lady Championship should, if possible, be held in connection with the annual Congress of the Scottish Chess Association. The rules of the association were revised and adopted, and office-bearers for 1905-1906 were elected:-

Hon. President Miss Robertson, Edinburgh
President Miss S.E.S. Mair
Vice-Presidents Mrs Campbell, Mrs Gibb, Mrs Edwin Jack, Mrs Forbes Mackay,
Mrs Rayburn, Mrs Richardson
Chess Champion Miss Florence Hutchison Stirling
Council the presidents, vice-presidents, chess champion, hon. secretaries,
Mrs Baxendine, Mrs Goodfellow, Mrs Marshall, Miss M.G. Orrock,
Miss Robertson (St Ninians), Miss Maud Stracey, Miss Alice Taylor,
Miss Edith E. Ure
Hon. Secretary and Treasurer Miss S. Malcolm, 26 Hermitage Gardens, Edinburgh
Hon. Organising Secretary Dr Knight, Portobello

In 1921 the SLCA amalgamated with the Scottish Chess Association. The terms allowed for ladies to always be on the SCA Council.

Further references to some of the ladies can be found under the Edinburgh Ladies' and Stirling Ladies' CC entries.
Mrs Gibb, one of the vice-presidents, was likely Mrs Margaret Gibb of the chess playing family in Glasgow.

The Scotsman, 20 March 1905, p. 5.
Falkirk Herald, 26 April 1905, p. 8 and 1 November 1905, p. 8.

Alan McGowan
Archivist/historian, Chess Scotland

Amended 24/3/2020