Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

The Ladies' Chess Club: Middle Years

 


In 1895 a group of women chess players formed a club known simply as the Ladies' Chess Club of London.  It wasn't the first women's chess club in England - almost two decades earlier the Ladies' College Club, famous for the skills of Louisa Down and her daughters Florence and Nellie, that played against other, exclusively male, clubs - but it not only filled a void left by the earlier club, but far surpassed it in scope and influence.

As with any pioneer, the club started slow and built momentum, eventually even providing the main thrust for the first Ladies' International Tournament in 1897.   Here, I wanted to present some of the members of the club as well as it's development over the years. The two primary sources were the British Chess Magazine and Womanhood. Other sources were also used, some I've noted.


 

 
1900

-Jan. 29 - Ladies vs. Hentschell, won 4½ to 3½.
-Jan. 30 - Ladies vs. St. Paul's, Brixton, won
5½ to 2½.

-Feb. 5 - Ladies vs. Thorton Heath, lost 9½ to 10½.
-Feb.12 - Ladies vs. Spread Eagle (mixed team), won 8 to 4.
-Feb.15 - Ladies vs. Maida Vale, won 5 to 3.
-Feb. _  - Ladies vs. Polytechnic, won by default.
-Feb. ?? - Ladies vs. Clapham, 2 to 2, with 4 game in judication.
-Feb. _ - "In the Club Tournament the winners are: "A"  Mrs. Anderson, "B"  Miss Dakin, "C " Miss  Read, "D"  Mrs. W. W. White. " Rhoda Bowles' article on the winners of this tournament.  

 

-April _ - The Ladies completed the first of two correspondence games with Farnham Chess Club begun 5 months earlier:

 

 -May 28 - The annual general meeting of the Ladies' Chess Club was held at 18a, Clifford Street, New Bond Street. Since Lady Newnes resigned as president,  Mrs. Atherley-Jones chaired the meeting and Mrs. Rhoda A. Bowles was elected president, with Mrs. Robbis elected hon. secretary.  Miss Fox, the team captain, reported that of the 42 matches played since the previous meeting, the Ladies won 20, lost 18 and drew 4.  Their "C" team won their division, winning 9 of the 11 team matches.
 

 


-June _- The Annual Congress of the Kent Chess Association held in June had some noteworthy results -
"Special Tournaments. — There were three tournaments for those crowded out of the championship contest. In section A, the, competitors were Messrs. W. B. Brooke, C. Chapman, R. Chapman, C. F. Corke, G. E. Dunster, and Mrs. Fagan. Mr. Brooke, Mr. C. Chapman, and Mrs. Fagan tied for the prize, and the two gentlemen very chivalrously resigned the prize in favour of the lady. In section B the entries were Messrs. J. Kearney, G. Fothergill, and A. T. Swinhoe, Dr. Firth, Miss Finn, and Miss Fox. The prize was won by Miss Finn with a score of 4. In section C Messrs. H. McLean, Whiteman, and W. Brock competed, and the prize was won by Mr. G. F. Whiteman."

"Ladies' Handicap.—There were nine entries. Mrs. Bowles and Mrs. Edwards tied for first place with a score of 6 each, and on playing off the tie Mrs. Edwards won.  Miss Robertson was third, 5½ points."

"Mrs. Bowles had created a record by winning five tournament games on one day..."

-Sept. _ -  At the Counties Chess Association at Bath:
"The entries for Class II. proved to be so numerous that it had to be divided into two sections, A and B, the two highest scorers in each section having to contend afterwards for the prizes. Several ladies entered this class, notably Mrs. Fagan and Miss Finn, of the London Ladies' Club. "
"Two extra prizes were added by the committee, which were shared by Miss Fox of London, and Mr. Axtell of Bristol, who made equal scores."

-Oct. 8 - Ladies s. Ealing, won 6½ to 5½.
-Oct. 15 - Ladies s. Alma CC, won 6 to 2.
-Oct. 30 - Ladies vs. City Club, lost 8 to 12.
-Dec. 1 - Em. Lasker and Geza Maroczy are feted by the Ladies.Lasker and Marcozy gave a 23 board simul, each moving alternately at each board, without consulting. Masters won 21, drew 2, with Misses Wilkens and Read obtaining the draws.
-Dec. 15 - Mr. Teichmann gave a lecture on "End-game Play.


 

1901

-Jan. 26 - "The "At Home," arranged by the Ladies' Chess Club for January 26th, and postponed in consequence of the death of Her Majesty the Queen, will take place shortly after Easter."

 

-Mar. _ - "The double round tournament for  the club championship has resulted in the success of Miss Finn with a score of 8½, Mrs. Fagan was  second with 8 points, and Mrs. Anderson third with 6½. The ladies contested their return match against  the Brighton ladies, on April 18th, and won by 3½ to 2½.
-April - ". . .a very pleasant outing to Blackheath, where a  match was contested against the local club, and the ladies were successful by 9½ to 3½. The reception  and entertainment provided by the members of the Blackheath Club was charming in every way, and  their extreme kindness was most highly appreciated."
-May 4 - "On May 4th, the members of the Ladies' Chess Club were "At Home," when many  guests were present."
-May 20 - Annual general meeting.  "Lady Newnes was
unanimously elected president by the vote of the large gathering of members present. The hon.  secretary's report showed the continued prosperity of the club, and a considerable increase in the  membership."

-Sept. 27 - "the final of the Ladies' County Championship was contested between Mrs. Sidney  (of Brighton), the holder, and Mrs. Arthur Smith (also a Brighton lady). The first game was drawn, the  second resulted in favour of Mrs. Sidney, and the third, which had to be adjourned and was completed on  the Monday, also resulted in favour of Mrs. Sidney, who thus retains the premier position among the  ladies of the county."
- Sept._ - At the Kent Chess Congress reception: "The toast of the Ladies was responded to by Mrs. L. W. Lewis,  who made the speech of the evening, and pleaded that women as chess-players deserved to be taken  more seriously than the majority of men players were accustomed to do. Mrs. Lewis declared that  nothing was further from fact than the idea that women would not play in ordinary chess clubs because of  the smoking; women who played chess were above trifles of that sort."


 
Mrs. Sidney

 

1902

 

 

-Jan. 7 - Ladies vs. Victoria, won.
-Jan. 18 - 'At Home' at the Grafton Galleries for 7th anniverary.
-Jan. 20 - Ladies vs. Bohemians (2nd team), won.
-Jan. 25 - Ladies vs. Borough Polytechnic, draw.
-Jan. 27 - Ladies vs. Insurance, won.

In the Winter Tournament, Mrs. Bowles wn the "A" section; Mrs. Roe, the "B" section and Miss Barber, the "C" section.  In the Continuous Tournament, Miss Hooke was first prize having won 75% of her 58 games; Miss Barber came in second, winning 69.3% of her 57 games, while Mrs. Hussey won the prize for most games played. She  played 256 games winning 58.6%.

-March -  "The leaders in the championship Tourney at the Ladies' Chess Club are Mrs. Fagan 3½, Miss  Finn 3½, Miss Anderson 2½, and one adjourned game to finish."
- Mar. _ - Ladies vs. North Kensington, won 6 to 4.
-Mar. 4 -Ladies vs. London School Board, draw 5 to 5.
-Mar. 10 - Ladies vs. Lud-Eagle, won 6 to 4.
-Mar. 17 - Ladies vs. Barnsbury, draw 5 to 5.
-Mar. 24 - Ladies vs. Richmond, won 7 to 3.
-April - "
At the Ladies' Chess Club, the Championship Tournament has just concluded, resulting in a win  for Mrs. Fagan, with a score of 8½ out of ten games played. Mrs. Anderson second, 7½ ; Miss Finn third,  6½." 





"Sussex Chess Association.—. . . the Ladies' Championship was won by Mrs. Sydney (third time), . . . and the East Sussex Queen by Miss Watson, of Hastings"

-September - "The Ladies' Chess Club was re-opened on September 1st. The agreement for the rooms at 18a, Clifford  Street expiring the end of the month, has necessitated a removal to new premises. Suitable and  commodious quarters have been secured at 31, Dover Street, Piccadilly, W., and the club entered the  new rooms on September 29th, and on the following Saturday, October 4th, will give an "At Home" to  inaugurate their opening."

" The  services of Mr. Gunsberg have been secured for the delivery of four lectures on chess, the first on  Saturday, October 11th, on the "Chess Openings," and the other three, on the following Saturdays, on the  "Chess Endings." It is proposed to admit hon. members to these lectures on payment of a small fee, and  tickets may be obtained on application to the hon. secretary, Mrs. M. C. Robbins. No less than 28  matches have been arranged for the coming season, and the campaign will open on October 15th, with  an engagement on thirty boards against the City of London Chess Club. On January 24th, the  Metropolitan will be encountered on 24 boards."

-October - "The 'At Home,'  given by the Ladies' Chess Club, to inaugurate the opening of their new premises, at 31,  Dover Street, Piccadilly, was a most enjoyable and successful gathering. The commodious and pleasant  rooms were crowded by members and visitors, and an atttactive programme was arranged, including a  'Knock-out' Lightning Tournament, conducted by Mr. W. W. White, with 32 entries, twenty minutes only  being allowed for each of the five rounds. The whole tournament was over in about one hour and a half. "

"The club-rooms are at 31, Dover Street, Piccadilly, VV C, and meetings are held every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday (Bank Holiday excepted), from 3 till 10 p.m."


-Oct. 11 - Gunsberg gave a lecture at the Ladies' Club on the Guioco Piano.
-Oct. 18 -
Gunsberg gave a lecture at the Ladies' Club on the Middle Game.
-Nov. 1 -
Gunsberg gave a lecture at the Ladies' Club on Chess Endings.
-December - "The Ladies' Chess Club has removed to the Marlborough Rooms, 35, Old Bond Street, at which address  the club has secured very charming and spacious rooms, giving ample accommodation for match  playing and other large gatherings. "
-Dec.13
- Gunsberg gave a 25 board simul, 23 wins, 2 draws (to Mrs. W.W. White and Miss Read) and 1 loss (to Miss Finn)

-Dec. _ - Ladies vs. London School Board, won 5½ to 4½.
-Dec. 20 - Ladies vs. Bow and Bromley CC, won 6½ to 5½.

Winter Tournament results: "Winner of ', A" section, Mrs. Bowles; "B" section, and winner of the "Lewis" Cup,  Miss Beadon; "C" section and winner of the "Rose Johnson" Cup, Mrs. Boyden Barrett."


1903

 

 -Jan. 26 - Ladies vs. London Rifle Brigade, draw.
 -Feb. 2 - Ladies vs. Lud-Eagle, won.
-Feb. 4 - Ladies vs. Hampstead, drew.
-Feb. 21 - An 'AT Home" was held at Mrs. W.W. White's residence in Lee. A team of 12 were arranges to play the Ladies, who won 7 to 5.  "A Lightning Tourney brought this  pleasant function to a close, the winners of the third round and the two prizes being Mrs. Anderson and  the Rev. A. Cyril Pearson."
-April -
  At the Ladies' Chess Club, the Two-round Tournament for the Championship resulted in a tie between  Mrs. Fagan and Miss Finn. Each scored 8½ points out of 10 games. A match to decide the contest will  be played in May. In the Spring Tournament the following" is the result: 1st class, a tie between Mrs. Roe  and Miss Dakin; 2nd class, Mrs. W.W.White; 3rd class, Miss Gregson; 4th class, Mrs. Bennett.
 -May 13 - Ladies vs. Bromley - draw. Held at the residence of Mrs. Lewis W. Lewis
 -May 15 - The annual general meeting of the Ladies' Chess Club: Mrs. Lewis W. Lewis (vice-president) in the chair. The reports of the several officials were of a  highly satisfactory nature, showing the continued prosperity of the club. Miss Finn was elected match  captain in the place of Miss Fox, resigned. There was a pleasant ceremony at the conclusion of the  proceedings, when the members presented the hon. secretary, Mrs. M. C. Robbins, with a handsome  testimonial as a mark of their regard and appreciation of her services to the club.
  -October 6 - Ladies vs. London School Board, won 6 to 4
-October 19 - Ladies vs. Highbury CC, won 7½ to 2½.
 -October 21 - Ladies vs. City Club, lost 12 to 13 - "a team of 25 Ladies was entertained by the City  Club, the programme being afternoon tea with a match to follow. The tables looked charming with a  profusion of lovely flowers filling the club's silver cups; beautiful knots of flowers were also presented to  each lady guest."

 
1904
 
-January - "At the Ladies' Chess Club, the Winter Tournament has concluded, with the following results : —Class I., Miss Hooke; Class II., and winner of 'Lewis'Cup, Mrs Boyden Barrett; Class III., and winner of  'Rose Johnson ' Cup, Miss M. Robertson; Class IV., Miss Agnes Gardiner."
-Jan. 19 - Ladies vs. G.P.O., won 8 to 2
 -Feb. 29 - The Ladies played, on February 29th, in their rooms, Planover Square, an interesting match against  North London Club, and succeeded in drawing, the score being 4½ each as follows :—

Mrs. Fagan -1  Mr. H. V. Buttfield -0
Miss Finn - ½   Mr. J.P. Savage - ½
Mrs. Anderson - 0  Mr. E. D. Palmer - 1
Mrs. Russell - 0   Mr. E. J. Randall - 1
Mrs. Ludlam - 0  Mr. C. E. Harris - 1
Miss Ellis - 1  Mr. B. Taplin - 0
Mrs. Ros - 1  Mr. F. W. Cower - 0
Mrs. Oakley - 0  Mr. W. P. Green - 1
Mrs. White - 1   Mr. C. P. Tompson  - 0

The Ladies' Chess Club. Mrs. Fagan is to be congratulated on winning for the third year in  succession the Championship Cup, which now becomes her absolute property.

-July 29 - "The annual general meeting of the Ladies' Chess Club was held on the 13th, Mrs. Lewis W. Lewis, vice -president, in the chair. The reports of the several officials was highly satisfactory, and that of the hon.  treasurer showed a substantial balance in hand. Mrs. Russell was elected match captain in place of Miss  Finn, resigned. The club closed for the season on the 23rd, and will re open in September."

-August - "Hastings - In the Ladies' Championship, Miss Finn has compiled the excellent score of eight successive wins, Mrs.  Anderson being only one point behind. "

"Hastings - British Ladies' Championship Tournament. Open only to ladies who are British subjects, and  limited to twelve competitors. First prize, £10; second, £7 10s ; third, £5 ; fourth, £2 10s. The first prize  winner to receive a gold medal and hold the British Ladies' Championship Trophy and the title of British  Lady Champion for one year.
 The Ladies' Trophy, presented to the Federation by Captain A. S. Beaumont, of Surrey, is in the form of  a solid silver rose bowl, supported upon an elaborate wrought openwork base in the style known as  Elizabethan. The rose bowl has a foliated top, so that when the flowers are arranged they can be  disposed more satisfactorily than in an ordinary circular edge. The body of the bowl is chequered like a  chess board, and it is divided by four trophies at the principal parts, and four Rooks or Castles. The first  of the leading ornaments is a circle with the three lions of England upon it, and sceptres crossing, crown  being in centre above. At the sides come respectively the arms of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, each  having the crown of the Empire over. The elaborate base has obverse and reverse a beautiful model  representing each a queen of chess, and the bowl is supported at corners by a silver model of four  Staunton Knights. The bowl and ornaments are placed upon a velvet and ebonised base, with a plate  recording inscription in front."
results:
Miss K.B. Finn, London 10½
Mrs. G.A. Anderson, London 7½
Mrs. F.D.Herring, Reading 7½
Miss Grace Ellis, London 6½
Mrs. E.M. Stevens, Hastings 6½
Mrs. E.H. Sidney, Hove 6
Miss E. Tapsell, Redhill 5½
Miss G. Watson, Hastings 4½
Mrs. C.M. Chapman, Ogbourne 4
Miss F.H. Hallaway, Hastings 3½
Mrs. R. A. Bowles, London 3
Mrs. Seymour, London 1

-September- "The Ladies' Chess Club, 26, George Street, Hanover Square,. W., will re-open on Thursday, September  1st. All communications respecting matches to be addressed to the hon. match captain, Mrs. Russell,  64, Watling Street, E.C. A two-round Handicap Tourney will commence on September 15th, and the  Winter Tourney on October 13th. The hon. secretary will be pleased to forward the rules of the club on  application."
-October- "The opening meeting of the season at the Ladies' Chess Club, Manchester, was held on Tuesday,  October 4th, when the president (Mrs. Leo Grindon) gave a brief address, the hon. sec. gave an account  of the Hastings Congress, and the arrangements for the season were announced. There will be two  tournaments—the first a Championship Tournament, in which the prize will be a silver rose bowl, to be  retained by the winner for twelve months, and to become the property of the competitor who shall win it  three times in succession; the second, a General Tournament, in which prizes are offered in the first,  second, and third classes. Various inter-club matches will take place during the season, and also a  match between the members of the Ladies' Club Arrangements will be made for demonstrations and  lectures by well-known chess-players, and two open evenings will be held, one before and one after  Xmas. The club meets on Tuesdays and Fridays, at Parker's, St. Ann's Square, Manchester. Hon. sec,  Miss Marian Millar, Kenilworth, Portland Road, Bowdon."
-Oct. 25- Ladies vs. London City and Midland Bank, won 9 to 3.
"The Ladies' Chess Club has recently removed to new quarters, at 30a, Sackville Street, Piccadilly, W." An "at home" was given at which "A Lightning Tournament was played,  and was won by Mr. A. Eve, of Hampstead"
-Nov. 19- "Mrs. Rhoda A. Bowles took a team of 22 players—9 ladies and 13 gentlemen—to Cambridge, on  November 19th, to play the University Chess Club.

After a very pleasant match the 'Varsity players won by 13½."
-Dec. 12- The Ladies' Chess Club, the Winter Tournament concluded on Dec. 12th, with following results:  first class, Mrs. M. C. Robbins; second class (and winner of '"Lewis" Cup), Mrs. Kershaw; third class  (and winner of "Rose Johnson" Cup), Mrs. Rentoul. In the two-round Handicap Tournament, the first prize  has been won by Mrs. M. C. Robbins; second by Mrs. Lewis W. Lewis; and third, Mrs. Kershaw.
 


1905

 -April- The Championship Tournament at the Ladies' Chess Club resulted in a tie between  Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. A May, with a score of 4½ out of a possible 6 points. Three games were played  for the final. The first of these was drawn, the second won by Mrs. Anderson, and the third drawn. Mrs.  Anderson therefore secures the trophy, Mrs. May taking second prize, and Mrs. J. Walter Russell third.  Mrs. A. May is to be congratulated on showing excellent form throughout the contest.
-May 20-  On Saturday, May 20th, the Ladies' Chess Club held a most successful "At Home," at the Grafton  Galleries. The guests were received by the president of the club, Lady Newnes, and a most enjoyable  time was spent. Mr. Lawrence won a lightning tournament, which was conducted by Mr. Curling. Mrs.  Mayfield, a lady player from Australia, took second prize. In the spring tournament the winners are: first  class, Mrs. P. J. Edwards ; second class, Mrs. Rentoul; third class, Mrs. Joughlin; fourth class, Miss O.  Edwards In the two-round handicap, the first prize Mrs. Theodore Williams; second, Mrs. M. C. Robbins;  third, Mrs. Durlacher. Mrs. Rhoda A. Bowles, in the very interesting chess department which she  conducts with conspicuous ability in the lady's magazine, Womanhood (5, Agar Street, London), gives in  the June number an excellent portrait of Mrs. Anderson, winner of the championship of the Ladies' Chess  Club.


-June 26-   The annual general meeting at the Ladies' Chess Club:  Mrs. Oakley,  vice-president, in the chair. The reports of the hon. secretary and hon. treasurer showed a most  successful season and increased membership. Miss Grace Ellis was elected hon. tournament secretary.  The handicap tournament which finished the season resulted as follows: ist prize (best percentage), Mrs.  M. C. Robbins; 2nd prize (best percentage), Mrs. Mayfield; 3rd prize (greatest number of games,  winning half), Miss Finn. The club closed on July 15th, and will re-open on September 2nd.

-October-
OBITUARY.


IT is with deep reeret that we have to announce the sudden and lamented death of Mrs. Waterhouse, of  Ashton-under-Lyne, one of the valued members and hon. treasurer of the Manchester Ladies' Club since  its formation, in 1900. So recently as August, Mrs. Waterhouse competed at the Southport Congress, in  the tournament for the British Ladies' Championship, in which contest she totalled six points. Her loss will  be keenly felt by a wide circle of friends, and is a great blow to the members and officials of the  Manchester Ladies' Chess Club. Mrs. Waterhouse passed away in sleep, on October 9th, and her  mortal remains were interred in Dukinfield Cemetery, the funeral being attended by Miss Marion and  Miss Clara Millar on behalf of the club.

The Ladies' Chess Club, Manchester, opened its sixth season with 24 members and 15 associates. No  matches will be played this season, this course being adopted as a mark of respect for the late hon.  treasurer, Mrs. Waterhouse.

 
 

1906


-February-  The Ladies' Chess Club has won the "Early Division" of the London League by winning five matches,  losing one, and drawing one. The loss was against Sydenham and the draw against Richmond. The  match captain this season is Mrs. J. W. Russell, wife of the hon. secretary of the City of London Chess  Club.
 -June 11- The annual general meeting of the Ladies' Chess Club:  The reports presented  were very satisfactory. While the membership continues good and the financial position sound, the best  evidence of progress is to be found in the fact that the ladies have this season been successful in  winning the Early Division of the London Chess League. Mrs. Anderson, for the second year in  succession, is the winner of the Club Championship Cup; Miss Ellis being second in the Tournament. To  the universal regret of the members, Mrs. Robbins, who has rendered great service to the club during the  past six years, resigned her position as hon. secretary. Appreciation of her successful work was  expressed by a testimonial in the form of a purse containing twenty guineas, which was presented to  Mrs. Robbins at the close of the meeting.

An interesting feature of the current season in London Chess circles will be the appearance of the  Ladies' Club in the A Division of the London Chess League competition. Having won the C Division last  year, the members of the ladies' team are now anxious to try their strength against the players of the  leading clubs. Such spirited enterprise deserves every encouragement, and we hope it will be crowned  with success.

 -Sept. 15- Ladies vs Brixton (first "A" Div. match), lost 8½ to 11½
-Oct.  15- Ladies vs. Ibis Club, won 5½  to  4½
-Oct. 20- The fifty-fourth winter season at the City of London Chess Club was opened on October 20th with a Rapid Transit contest,  in which the club provided twenty-four opponents for twenty-four representatives of the Ladies' Chess  Club. The chief prize, a handsome opera bag, was won by Miss E. Edwards, who is only fifteen years of  age. The club championship tourney has attracted eighteen strong players, and the other events have  been well patronised.
 -Oct.  29- Ladies vs. London Rifle Brigade, won 4½ to 3½
 
Ostend 1906
Ten out of ihe thirteen competitors in the ladies' tournament hailed from Great Britain, which would seem  to be positive proof that the Royal game is more favoured by the women of this country than by their  Continental sisters. Miss Ellis, Mrs. Anderson, and Mrs. Herring, who appeared to be quite a class  stronger than the rest, took the three principal prizes in the order named. Each lady competitor was  presented with a piece of Brussels lace, as a souvenir of the contest.
The three highest scorers, and Miss Crum, have entered to compete for the British Ladies'  Championship, at the Shrewsbury meeting.
Miss Ellis - 11½
Mrs. Anderson - 11
Mrs . Herring - 10
Mrs. Oakley -7½
Miss Crum - 6½
Miss Jansen - 6½
Baroness Greindl - 5½
Mrs. Roe - 5
Mme. de Fries - 4½
Miss Robbins - 4½
Miss Hunt - 2½
Mrs. Rentoul - 2
Mrs. Stevenson - 1

 

 

1907


The Ladies' Chess Club has decided to affiliate with the recently founded Middlesex County Association.

-June 11-  The twelfth annual meeting of the Ladies' Chess Club was held  at the rooms, 30a,  Sackville Street, Piccadilly, Mrs. W. W. White in the chair. The hon. secretary reported an increase in  membership, and the club is not discouraged by the result of the efforts of its team in the matches in the  'A' Division of the London League. The total games won in the fourteen matches is up to expectations,  but it is hoped to increase the total next season. The hon. treasurer's statement showed a substantial  balance in hand. Miss Hooke won the championship cup; Mrs. Anderson, who held it for two years in  succession, was only half a point behind Miss Hooke. Lady Newnes was elected president, Miss Hooke  hon. secretary, Mrs. Anderson hon. treasurer, Mrs. Russell match captain, and Miss Ellen Sparks hon.  tournament secretary. The club will be closed for the summer months, but will re-open on September  2nd.

British Ladies' Championship -Crystal Palace London
2. British Ladies' Championship.—First prize, £10; second, £7 10s.; third, £5; fourth, £2 10s. The first  prize winner will receive a gold medal and hold the British Ladies' Championship trophy and title of  British Lady Champion for one year.
The Ladies' Championship produced a keen contest. Many of the competitors appear annually in this  tournament, and as their relative strength is well known, it was judged that there would be a race for  premier honours between Mrs. Herring, the present champion, and Mrs. Anderson, with Mrs. Houlding  somewhere in the vicinity. This is not quite what happened, though near it. Mrs. Herring held the lead till  the eighth round, when Mrs. Anderson displaced her; but Mrs. Houlding, who defeated both these ladies  and Mrs. Bowles in the last three rounds, brought her score to 8 points, which could only be equalled by  the lady champion defeating Miss Lawson. After a prolonged contest, Mrs. Herring secured the point and  tied with Mrs. Houlding for first and second prizes. A short match will be arranged to decide the  possession of the title and trophy. Mrs. Anderson followed the winner closely, with the score of 6½
Mrs. F. Herring, Hove - 8
Mrs. M. Houlding, Newport - 8
Mrs. G. Anderson, London - 7½
Mrs. E. H. Sidney, Hove - 7
Miss A. M. Gooding, Cheltenham - 6½
Mrs. A. S. Roe, London - 5½
Miss G. Watson, Hastings - 5½
Miss A. Lawson, West Hartlepool - 5
Miss A. Hooke, London - 4½
Mrs. Rhoda Bowles, London - 4½
Miss S. Cunningham, Edinburugh - 2½
Miss E. Abraham, Herne Bay - 1½

The displays of fireworks which were given on Thursday and Saturday evenings are, of course, world  famous. These occurred when many tournament games were in progress, and in many cases play was  postponed. Many ardent spirits, including ladies playing for the championship, preferred to calmly  continue their strategy, though rockets, bombs, and other pyrotechnic devices were bursting all around  the glass room in which they were playing.



 
1908

-June 1- The thirteenth annual general meeting of the Ladies' Chess Club:  Mrs.  Oakley, vice-president, in the chair. The reports presented were highly satisfactory, the membership  continues good, and there is a comfortable cash surplus. Interest in the tournaments and matches is well  maintained. Comparing the results in the matches played in the 'A' division of the London Chess League  with the results of the previous season, there had been an increase of more than 25 per cent, in the  number of games won; and on one occasion only—that of a very foggy night—had any games been lost  by default. The best scores were made by Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. J .Walter Russell, and Mrs. Kershaw  Over 1,000 games have been played in the various tournaments and handicaps since January 1st. In the  Winter Tournament the prizes had been won by the following ladies, in the order named :—Mrs.  Durlacher, Mrs. Nelson Harness, Miss Home, and Mrs. Fellows. Miss Home holds the Lewis Cup and  Mrs. Nelson Harness the Rose-Johnson Cup for the year. Prizes in the Spring Tournament were won by  Mrs. W. W. White, Mrs. Latham, Mrs. Boyd, and Mrs. Turner. The championship cup was won for the  second time by Miss Hooke. Handicap tournaments were won by Mrs. Boyd and Mrs. Kershaw.

The address of the Ladies' Chess Club is still 30a, Sackville Street, Piccadilly, W.; but a much larger and  more commodious room than they have been occupying hitherto has now been obtained for the  accommodation of the members.

The following officials were re-elected :—President, Lady Newnes; hon. secretary, Miss Hooke; hon.  treasurer, Mrs. Anderson.

In the Ladies' Tournament of the Ostend Congress of 1901, Miss Finn and Mrs. Curling tied for first  place, and agreed to play a match for the gold medal offered. The contest was recently decided, Miss  Finn securing the medal with one win and two draws.


British Ladies' Championship.—First, £10; second, £y 10s.; third, £5; fourth, £2 10s. ,
The triple tie for first place in the Ladies' Championship Tourney, with the present (or late) holder, Mrs.  Herring, only half a point behind, shews the remarkable equality of these ladies' skill. Miss Lawson, who  has exhibited greatly improved form, seemed to be a certain winner, but lost in the last two rounds to  Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Curling. She has greatly improved in both strength and style of play since her  first appearance as a competitor at Southport, in 1905. Mrs. Curling will probably be better known to  some of our readers as Miss Grace Ellis. She did not compete in 1905 and 1907, but took part in the  Hastings and Shrewsbury tournaments. Mrs. Anderson has competed in all the five tournaments that  have been held, and on each occasion has carried off a prize. At Shrewsbury, in 1905, Mrs. Anderson  was second, half a point only behind Mrs. Herring. Mrs. Houlding, who last year tied for first place, was  quite out of form. It is understood that the three leaders will meet, probably in December, to decide who  shall hold title, medal, and trophy.
Mrs. Lawson, West Harlepool - 8½
Mrs. Anderson, Woldingham - 8½
Mrs. Curling, Tunbridge Wells - 8½
Mrs. Herring, Hove - 8
Mrs. Roe, Wandsworth - 5½
Mrs. Crum, Kilmacolm - 5½
Mrs. Sidney, Hove - 5
Miss Watson, Hastings - 4½
Mrs. Houlding, Newport - 4
Mrs. Stevens, Hastings - 4
Miss Smith-Cunninghame - 2
Mrs. Joughin, London - 2

                          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Related Postings:
The Ladies' Chess Club: The First Year
The Ladies' Chess Club: early years
Little Mother, Part 1
Little Mother, Part 2
Madame Ludovici of Wiesbaden
HN Pillsbury vs. MR. Rhoda Bowles
Pillsbury and the Ladies
Houlding, Herring and Sidney
Some Turn-of-the-Century Ladies
Miss Nellie Down and the Devil

Comments


  • 3 years ago

    lsur01

    Impressive article and very informative - thank you!

  • 3 years ago

    kyldyl

    :)

  • 3 years ago

    millvillage

    Amazing amount of work in this. 

    I hope historians will appreciate.

    Mrs. Sidney would have been interesting to get to know.
    Good photo of her.

Back to Top

Post your reply: