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Lieut. Alnod Studd & the Hastings problem solving contest of 1895

Lieut. Alnod Studd & the Hastings problem solving contest of 1895

Feb 2, 2018, 3:44 AM 3

During the famous Hastings Chess Tournament of 1895 a side event took place. On Thursday, August 22, a problem solving contest was organized by Lieut. Alnod Ernest Studd, "the well-known problemist" (as described by Horace F. Cheshire in the Hastings Chess Tournament 1895 (1896), p. 2).

The rules were simple. Three problems, unpublished, should be solved only by diagrams. The solutions should include all possible variations unless a same continuation occured. The quickest wins. The prizes for the three first places of £ 3, £ 2 & £ 1 were a donation by Lt. Studd (£1/1895=£120/2017). The competition was held in the afternoon in the large room of Brassey Institute.


   Brassey Institute, in 1879 c. and some years ago as Hastings Central Library. Now under renovation          Left: Lithographed & printed by James Akerman, in the Building News, Jun 6 1879, p. 632              Right: Photo by N. Chadwick, 2009, in geograph.org.uk (cc-by-sa/2.0)   


The problems were considered difficult, two three-movers by Johann Berger and Samuel Gold, really famous problemists, and a four-mover by some "D.P." No entrance fee was set and about forty solvers participated (Cheshire, p. 216, but just "over twenty" according to London Daily News of 23th August 1895). From the players of the main event the names of Steinitz, Pillsbury, Marco, Schlechter, Albin, Pollock, Mieses and Teichmann are mentioned as competitors.


Left: Wikicommos (Nikolai Griva archive). Right: modified from American Chess Bulletin, 1918, p. 267


Georg Marco was the first with all correct solutions after 1h35min. Carl Schlechter 5 minutes after. And Jaques Mieses third at 1h55min (after an unsuccessful effort).


Photos by Bradshaw, in Cheshire's tourney book (1895)

The Problems
For vintage solvers



For the rest of us




Weren't fine?...


The patron Alnod Studd

Cheshire, in his above-mentioned tourney book (p. 368), after giving the solutions to the problems, indicates: "Unfortunately, No. 1 (Berger's) had an obscure cook which was not discovered at the time; the position as given has been amended by Mr. Studd, with the author's consent, by a slight alteration."

But who was this Alnod Studd who corrected a famous Berger's problem?

As I found almost nothing accumulated about him and guided by pure mind-perversion (as if I must know everything), I found these:

[Note: this is a first-time try on a non-written before bio, so if someone can contribute or correct something, please do... his obituary in BCM 1906 refers to his problem carreer mailnly and BCM 1980, in a 100th year anniversary topic mentions him. I found only some general references on them, not a copy]


Alnod Ernest Studd was born as the second son of Major-General Edward Mortlock Studd at Kenton, Devon, England, in 1857. He was educated at Eton school between the years 1871-1873. He "was appointed sub-lieutenant in the 15th Hussars on September 1O, 1875..." [XVth (The King's) Hussars, Col. H. C. Wylly, London, 1914, p. 454], probably after his father who retired from the same regiment on April 1, 1859, as major-general.


Modified from Carte-de-Visite, studio Owen Angel in Exeter (in hussards-photos). In the back is noted: "Alnod Studd 1857-1906"


In 1877 his father died bequeathing him a life interest in investments, that were managed by his father's trustees! [for more on these, if you like more private info, check Studd vs Studd in Cases Decided in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, 1881, p. 249-269 (pdf's 498-518), in archive.org and (London) Times of Dec 4, 1901, snippet in hussards-photos].

Alnod resigned his commission in the 15th Hussars on March 22 1879.

Can't tell if he took part in the Action of the regiment in Saif-U-din on Jan 4, 1879, during the Second Anglo-Afghan War [[XVth (The King's) Hussars, p. 297], or if that war was a reason for his resignation, but during July 1878 was found in London (returning from India and still in the army) for the Annual meeting of the Counties Chess Association [American Chess Journal, Oct 1878, p. 172] and can't know if he returned afterwards at his regiment in India. The Second Anglo-Afghan War was declared in the end of 1878. As I see it, his father's death must have been a factor for this decision.

In 1880 he married Rose Beatrice Maclean, with which he had 3 daughters and 1 son.

Since 1875 at least, he's been in the chess problem world. His first problem's publication that I've found is in the 1875 Westminster Papers [(Dec 1875), v.8/1876 p. 144]. He had probably met John Watkinson before 1880, when the last one was the editor of the chess column of Huddersfield College Magazine. And Watkinson chose him to be in the first editorial group of British Chess Magazine since first print in 1881. Studd stayed there, under Watkinson's management, until the last one left in 1887.


Left from BCM 1884. He's mid-down. Real bad resolution...


All these years (and after BCM) he's publishing chess problems and participating in problem contests as a competitor, judge or prize donator. He's considered one of the best composers. In 1902 Encyclopaedia Britannica classifies him among the foremost chess problemists. There, is also mentioned that he'd won a Chess Monthly's problem composing contest in 1884 [The New Volumes Of The Encyclopaedia Britannica Vol XXVI, p. 753 in archive.org].

Here's a column about him in Knowledge, v. 9/1886, p. 367



Here're some problems of his, so to judge yourshelves his skill.





As a chess player wasn't considered a really good one. I've found only two games of his, not included in any database (at least as far as I could search).

#1 The first is against greek Amiros within the 2nd International correspondence chess tournament of La Stratégie, 1884-8, found in Battle at long range, Timothy Harding, 2009 (Submitted to the Department of History, Trinity College, Dublin, For the degree of Doctor in Philosophy) p. 528 and 591 in Trinity College's site.


#2 The second is against an anonymous, played around 1888, found in Chess Sparks, J. H. Ellis, London, 1895, p. 118 in archive.org, with as source indicated H. Bird's Modern Chess (probably 2nd edition of 1889). Maybe an analysis game.


As you can see he loved King's Gambit...

Although he wasn't considered a great chess player he stands among great and famous ones (like Steinitz, Blackburne, Mason, Bird, Walker, Zukertort...) in the well known Rosenbaum's Chess oil painting, 1880 c. [more for this can be found here]. He's on right right, middle, standing, looking at you...



In the early 1900s it seems that he'd faced some financial problems, as a business-man,  that were solved somehow...


From London Evening Standard of April 16, 1902


He died tragically on May 14, 1906. Probably by a heart attack due to an accidental fire...


From West Sussex County Times, 19 May 1906


His unpublished legacy can be found in Cleveland Public Library. Just 8 leaves manuscripts of chess problems, set there after his death...


I don't know but I kinda liked this guy. He wasn't a great or a famous chess player but he had been always around... a real chess lover!



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