Trophies

This is meant to be a point of reference regarding Scottish chess trophies of all types; championships, team competitions, league, club and regional competitions.

Shortly before he retired as Chess Scotland Treasurer, 'Mac' McKenzie attempted to compile a list of trophies, mainly to confirm their whereabouts - because "some appear to have been 'lost' - but also to have a better record of their history.

This information has been compiled from various sources, and not necessarily from the earliest reference.

Corrections, clarifications and additional information will be welcomed.

SCOTTISH CHESS ASSOCIATION

Founded 1884, now Chess Scotland

When the SCA was formed in 1884, the matter of a championship trophy was discussed:

'...the badge of championship to be a silver cup not to exceed £30 in value, which, however, must be won three years in succession by one person to become his property...'

Sketch from Dundee Evening Telegraph, 19 April 1893, page 2.

The first trophy: it was won outright by D.Y. Mills, who was champion in 1895-6-7.

At the annual general meeting of the Scottish Chess Association in Glasgow, held during the 14th annual Congress on 19 April 1897, Mr A.B. Law, SCA president, announced that he would give a Cup to replace the one retained by Mr Mills. [Glasgow Herald, 20 April 1897, p. 4]

The second trophy was won outright by Dr R.C. Macdonald, champion in 1904-5-6.

The BCM of October 1906, p 393 reported regarding the Scottish Chess Association:

A Council meeting was held on September 10th, at the Glasgow Club, when it was intimated that the president, Mr C.S. Rankin Simson, W.S., had offered a championship cup to the Association, to replace the one won outright by Dr Macdonald. It was unnanimously agreed to accept the gift, and a resolution was passed thanking Mr Rankin[e]-Simson.

The third trophy presented in 1906-7 by Mr Rankine Simson:

British Chess Magazine 1908, page 144

An inscription on the trophy reads:

CHAMPIONSHIP CUP
PRESENTED
BY
C.S. RANKINE SIMSON ESQ.
PRESIDENT 1906-1907

This trophy was won outright by William Gibson, who was champion in 1921-22-23. It was returned to the SCA in 1954 by Gibson's niece, Mrs E.B. Rae, Glasgow, when it was planned to use it for one of the competitions at the annual congresses. [Glasgow Herald chess column, 26 February 1954] It was used for the Major tournament.

A replacement trophy (the fourth) was offered to the SCA by W.T. Logan, a member of Glasgow Chess Club and a jeweller and goldsmith, on the condition that:

'this cup cannot be won outright, but can only be held from year to year by the winners.'

Glasgow Herald chess column, 12 May 1923, p. 4

 

SCOTTISH LADIES CHESS ASSOCIATION

Formed 1905, later amalgamated with SCA.

Scottish Ladies' Championship Trophy
Was in the possession of Ken Stewart

The main inscription reads:
CHALLENGE CUP
PRESENTED IN 1909 BY
ANNE DS CUNINGHAME
CHAMPION 1908

An inscription on the other side reads:
SCOTTISH LADIES CHESS ASSOCT.
INSTITUTED 1905
F. HUTCHISON STIRLING
CHAMPION 1905-6-7

Richardson Cup

Donated to the SCA in 1898 by Mr J.B. Richardson of Stirling for competition between the primary clubs of Scotland.

Edinburgh Evening News, 2 November 1898, page 4.

 

Spens Cup

This was instituted in memory of Walter Cook Spens, L.L.D., of Glasgow, in whose chambers the inaugural meeting of the Scottish Chess Association took place on 2 February, 1884. After his death in 1900 a memorial fund was raised, a portion of which was spent on the purchase of the trophy. It was supplied by W. & W. Logan, goldsmiths, Glasgow. It was a copy of the famous Monteith Cup, a large silver bowl on an ebony pedestal. It measured 15 inches across and 10½ inches in height and contained 115 oz of solid silver.

Edinburgh Evening News, 10 October 1901, page 4.

On one side is the inscription

IN MEMORIAM
WALTER C. SPENS
FOUNDER OF THE
SCOTTISH CHESS ASSOCIATION
DIED JULY, 1900

On the other side is the Spens family crest and motto Si Deus Quis Contra (If God is For Us Who is Against Us).

The original Spens Cup went missing sometime between 1939-1945. See Not the original Spens Cup.

The replacement cup. The inscription reads:
THE SPENS CUP
IN MEMORY OF
THE LATE SHERIFF WALTER C. SPENS

 

Robertson Challenge Cup

Was in possession of Ken Stewart (CS Council Meeting, March 22 2009)

'In remembrance of the late Miss Isabella Scott Robertson, the first honorary president of the Scottish Ladies' Chess Association, a handsome silver cup of Irish design has been presented fior the annual inter competition of the various ladies' chess clubs affiliated to the Association. This challenge cup will be competed for by the Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Stirling Ladies' Chess Clubs on Saturday, 6th April, and. it is expected will prove one of the most interestring events of the chess congress about to be held in Edinburgh. The late Miss Robertson, herself a good player and keen supporter of the game, was the daughter of the late Lord Benholm, to whose early training in chess she owed much of her success.'

The Scotsman, Friday, 29 March, 1907, p4.

Cranston Rosebowl

Presented by Sir Robert Cranston, Lord Provost of Edinburgh 1903-06, to the Scottish Ladies’ Chess Association in the year of its formation, 1905. On the amalgamation of this body with the Scottish Chess Association, the cup became the property of the SCA.  

The Cranston Rosebowl was played between representatives of Glasgow and Edinburgh Ladies' Chess Clubs (and Stirling Ladies' CC when it existed). It was run in club sections with the section winners meeting in the final.

The Edinburgh Ladies' CC closed in 1967. Glasgow Ladies' CC closed 1989.

'When it came to "any other business" it was pointed out that the Cranston Trophy was the property of the Edinburgh Ladies Chess Club and not, as might apear from the accounts, of the SCA.'

Scottish Chess No. 20, May-September 1966, p 6, from a report of the AGM of the SCA.

Ken Stewart was in possession of this trophy.

SCOTTISH BOYS' CHAMPIONSHIP

In 1932 Mrs Margaret Gibson offered a trophy in memory of her late husband William Gibson. This became the trophy for the Scottish Boys' Championship

The Glasgow Herald chess column of 17 December 1932, p7 reported:-
The William Gibson Cup has now been presented to the Scottish Chess Association by Mrs Gibson. It is a beautiful silver trophy in the form of a mether, an old style of drinking cup, and is inscribed as follows:-

Scottish Chess Association-Boys' Championship Cup-Presented by Margaret Buick in memory of her husband, William Gibson, 1932.

WEST OF SCOTLAND CHALLENGE CUP

A detailed history of this competition, and its trophies, can be found at West of Scotland Trophy

P.B. ANDERSON MEMORIAL TROPHY

It is appropriate that this new trophy, which will perpetuate the memory of the former Scottish Champion, should take the form of an award for schools throughout Scotland, as P.B. Anderson did so much to encourage school chess clubs. The subscription list for the fund from which the trophy will be purchased remains open and the S.C.A. [Scottish Chess Association] treasurer, A.J. Shaw, will be delighted to receive further contributions.

The trophy, which will be awarded annually, will not be won by competition. Schools wishing to be considered will have to complete a questionaire which seeks information regarding the number of pupils in the club, the number of meetings per week, the local and national competitions entered by teams from the school, details of internal competitions etc. A short leet of four will be drawn up from the replies. Further enquiries will be made before the S.J.C.A. [Scottish Junior Chess Association] Council selects the winning school, based on its contribution to the junior chess scene throughout the season.

Scottish Chess, Nr. 37, February 1975, p. 11.

CLUBS AND ASSOCIATIONS

Ayrshire League

The Ayrshire League trophy [sometimes referred to as the Dunlop Trophy], presented to the Association last week by the donor, Mr Dunlop, Kilmarnock, is of unique design and beautiful appearance. On a mahogany base is a silver board, set with pieces forming a problem, while round the sides are silver panels for the winners’ names.
Glasgow Herald, chess column, 23 April 1932, p 7.

Dunlop Trophy
http://www.kilmarnockchessclub.co.uk/may2012.htm

 

Bohemian CC (Glasgow)

Championship Trophy

The Minute Book indicates that a police detective had passed on information to the club that the fiscal would not proceed with a charge. This suggests that there was some doubt about 'ownership'. Did the club own the cup, or was it the property of the person who won it? It is also shown that the pawnbroker stated that he was prepared to return the trophy to the club for £2 10s, but there is nothing in the notes to show that this was accepted.

The W.E. Brown that pawned it is not a name that I have come across in my historical researches. The Minute Book does record that there were problems with the club championship, in that entries were poor and games were not being played off in good time. Perhaps the club decided not to 'waste' the money recovering the cup.

Letters were sent to the 'culprit' and his uncle, in an effort to resolve the issue. Threats of legal action were made. I have search old Glasgow Herald issues for information, but so far without success.

Sent a note to the seller, who responded with information that they are bullion sellers, based in Hatton Gdns, London, and that they have no information about the provenance of the item. Instead of melting it down, they decided that it was of good enough quality (silver) to try to sell it on.

Mr A.L. Fairbrother presented a cup for handicap competition (Glasgow Herald chess column, 16 May 1936 refers to this trophy).

Branford Cup

Presented for annual competition to the Galloway Chess Association by the Rev Canon Branford, Newton-Stewart.

Glasgow Herald chess column, 7 May 1938.

Dunlop Trophy

See Ayrshire League.

Dykes Memorial Cup

For the Schools Division of Edinburgh League. This Cup and a Quaich were provided by a fund, subscribed to by all League clubs, which amounted to the gratifying sum of £30. The meeting decided that the quaich would be made the trophy for an under 21 tourney to be run each year.'
(Refers to the AGM of the Edinburgh League, where the widow of RD Dykes made a presentation to the winners, George Watson's.)

Scottish Chess Nr. 7, April-June 1962, p 6.

Edinburgh League

Dr Charles Frederick Knight, M.D., President of the Edinburgh Chess League and Portobello Chess Club, presented the Knight Cup and medal to the Edinburgh Chess League for annual competition amongst the affiliated clubs.
The Edinburgh Evening News, 7 May 1904, page 6.

Knight Cup

 

Galloway Championship

See Sheriff Skinner Cup

Galloway Chess Association

See Branford Cup.

Glasgow Chess League Congress

A series of Glasgow Chess League congresses began in 1962 with a Championship and Reserves sections. In 1965 Frank Slotopolsky of the Glasgow Jewish Institute chess club presented a trophy to be awarded in the Reserves section.

 

The Frank Slotopolsky Trophy

 

Glasgow Boys' Championship [began 1954]

A trophy has been presented by Mr Fairhurst to the Glasgow Schools League for their annual Easter competition for the Glasgow Boys' championship, won from an entry of 48 last Easter by Derek R. Thomson, Kelvinside Academy....'

Glasgow Herald chess column, 5 December 1958.

Glasgow Central CC [formed 1860 - disbanded 1962]

Castle Shield – club championship
Hill Cup – Intermediate championship [Gerald Hill]
Dickson Cup – Minor championship [James Dickson]

Glasgow Herald, chess columns, 28 May 1932 and 12 June 1937.

Glasgow Chess Club

Information from unpublished history of the club.

The Macfarlane Cup, the oldest in the possession of the Club was presented by George Macfarlane in 1874 when he became Hon. President in room of Sheriff Henry Glassford Bell. For seventeen years to 1891 it was held by the Club Champions. In 1892 it became the first prize in the Minor Championship of the club and for two years 1908 and 1909 was offered as the trophy in an Intermediate Championship tournament. "Re-transferred to Minor, 1910" the "Macfarlane" has remained the keenly contested award in the Club Minor Championship tournament.

The Outram Cup. When in 1890 D.E. Outram, the Club's oldest member became Hon. President he made a gift to the Club of twenty pounds. After due consideration the Committee decided that the gift should take the form of a Cup to be competed for in the Championship class and in January 1892 that decision was given effect.

There being no space on the Cup itself for the names of winners these are engraved on silver bands fixed to the plinth and thus form a complete record of Club Champions for the years 1892 to 1939 (and now to 1992).

Was in possession of Ken Stewart, former member of Glasgow CC.

The Longwill Cup was originally the fourth West of Scotland Challenge Cup and presented according to the inscription thereon by Mr A Bonar Law. It was an exact replica of the Third Cup. Mr JR Longwill presently (1941) Hon President won the Cup outright in 1901 and eighteen years later presented it to the Club to encourage and develop the Gambit Tournament which was then struggling for recognition among Club competitions.

The Dickson Cup presented by Mr George Dickson, vice-President 1923-4 and President, 1925 "for the encouragement of players not in the first class" was for a time offered in a Reserves competition but became the Junior West of Scotland Championship Cup in 1933.

Glasgow Jewish Institute Chess Club

Charles Hochfield Cup

For a handicap tournament at Glasgow Jewish Institute CC.

Glasgow Herald chess column, 25 June 1938.

Glasgow Ladies' Chess Club (formed 1905 - disbanded 1989)

Margaret Gibb Cup
A silver prize cup with 3 handles and baluster column, inscribed "Championship Cup, presented to the Glasgow Ladies Chess Club in memory of Margaret Gibb, First President." 8" high, Sheffield 1919, on ebonised plinth. (From Miss Ellison S. Gibb, to honour her mother.)

McChlery Cup
A silver prize cup with 2 scroll handles and chased rim, inscribed "Presented to Glasgow Ladies Chess Club by H.H. McChlery for competition between 2nd class players, 1930." 8" high overall, Birmingham 1929, on ebonised plinth. (From Mrs H.H. McChlery.)

Edington Cup
A silver prize cup of ogee form with 2 scroll handles, inscribed "To the Glasgow Ladies Chess Club in memory of Eleanor Edington...October 1936." 8" high overall, Birmingham 1928, on ebonised plinth. (Donated  by members of Miss Edington's family. For best league/match scores.)

Gibb Rose Bowl
A silver prize rose bowl embossed with scrolls and flowers, inscribed "Glasgow Ladies Chess Club, presented by Mrs Peter Gibb, President, 1908." 8 diameter, Sheffield 1907, on ebonised plinth. (Presented by Mrs Margaret Gibb.)

Lawrie Trophy
A silver square Comport with canted corners, inscribed "Lawrie Trophy, presented to the Glasgow Ladies Chess Club by Mrs J.S. Lawrie, 1937." 8" x 8", Birmingham 1934. (For third-class competition.)

Glasgow Ladies CC Trophies
Top left: Margaret Gibb Cup; right: Edington Cup
Middle: McChlery Cup
Bottom left: Lawrie Trophy; right: Gibb Rose Bowl

Glasgow Herald chess columns, 5 May 1934, 7 May 1938 and 5 May 1939.

After the club disbanded three trophies in the club's possession ─ the McChlery Cup, the Lawrie Trophy and the Eddington Cup ─ were given to Kelvingrove/Glasgow Museums. It is not known what happened to the other two trophies; the Gibb Cup was won by Anne McGrory that year; she moved to the Middle East to get married and lost touch.

Information from Val Corbett, daughter of former club member Rose Shedden, in e-mail of 22 February 2017.

Glasgow League

Abel Klibanskie-Miller donated the A.K. Miller Cup to the the Glasgow League for a tournament which was run as a handicap knock-out.

But there was also one within the Jewish CC. (See Jewish CC yearbooks images.)

Scottish Chess Nr. 81, June 1984, p 18.

Glasgow Schools' League

'A trophy has been presented by Mr Fairhurst to the Glasgow Schools League for their annual Easter competition for the Glasgow Boys' championship, won from an entry of 48 last Easter by Derek R. Thomson, Kelvinside Academy....'

Glasgow Herald chess column of 5 December 1958.

Jack Campbell Rosebowl

MacIsaac Trophy

National individual knock-out championship between club champions, or other club nominees.
D.M. MacIsaac died in February 1961. An obituary notice appeared in the next Scottish Chess and included the following information: 'To commemorate his service to Scottish Chess the new Champions' Tournament is to be known as the MacIsaac Tournament.'

Scottish Chess Nr. 3, Spring 1961, p 3.

Questions raised by Mac McKenzie re the MacIsaac Trophy:

In a picture in the Centenary Book [1984] I think it shows a cup on a plinth but the picture isn't all that clear. That was in 1984. Unfortunately the MacIsaac isn't one of the competitions listed in the book. The cup now doesn't have a plinth. The names of all the winners are listed from 1975 to 2007...Is the current trophy a replacement for the original or wasn't there a trophy for this competition before 1975? Alternatively is it possible that pre-1975 winners were listed on the missing plinth and the cup is the original. If a replacement what happened to the original?

Nancy Elder Trophy

Paisley Chess Club

In December 1897 it was reported that J.B. Richardson had presented a silver inkstand to the recently-formed Paisley Chess Club, to be competed for by the members in a tournament.

Polytechnic (Glasgow)

From the Glasgow Herald chess column of July 7 1939, p 9: an obituary on Mrs F.F. Thomson, mentions that during the last winter she " presented the club with a valuable competition trophy."

Peter Lyon Trophy (championship)
Thomson Cup (intermediate)
Spencer Macmartin Cup (minor) – this should probably be the Semple Macmartin cup after J. Semple Macmartin

Glasgow Herald chess column of 19 September 1958.

Scotsman Trophy

Sponsored by The Scotsman newspaper, this was for the Scottish Schools' Team Chess Championship. The first season of the competition was 1967-68, when it was won by Boroughmuir School, Edinburgh. Allan Glen's, Glasgow, won in 1968-69, with Boroughmuir winning again in 1969-70.

The Scotsman Trophy.

Sheriff Skinner Cup

Awarded for the Galloway Championship.

Scottish Chess Nr. 4, July-September 1961, p 8.

Slotopolsky

Frank Slotopolsky of the Glasgow Jewish Institute Chess Club donated the Slotopolsky Shield to the Glasgow League.

Stirling CC

Richardson Memorial Championship Trophy.
Donated to the club by Mr J.B. Richardson in memory of his deceased son, Robert.

Edinburgh Evening News, 15 February 1896, p. 4.

Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland

Updated 25/05/2023