H E Atkins

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
User avatar
Gerard Killoran
Posts: 570
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: H E Atkins

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:37 am

From The Standard (London, England)
Date: Monday, Jan. 27, 1896

...and a second game, played in the correspondence match "Men of Kent v Kentish Men," Mr. H. E. Atkins, of Canterbury, the second prize winner in the Amateur Tournament at Hastings, being defeated in a highly interesting game by Mr. H. G. Sturton, of Lee (Kentish Men).


User avatar
Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7627
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: H E Atkins

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:35 pm

That is an amazing game, I would encourage anyone who hasn't yet to play through it.

It did occur to me that maybe 21...exd4 would have been safer than the game, but Atkins can't have foreseen the potency of his opponent's attack. Was there an improvement on 26...a5? And I wonder why 30...e4 rather than 30...gxf3? (I suppose the opening of the g-file is fatal for Black.) Do the silicon beasts applaud or denigrate these and the rest of the moves?

I was astounded by 37.Rxd4 - it takes a while to appreciate the power of the latent battery from the bishop on b2. Please tell me there isn't a stone-hearted computer move that defends everything? (As it is a correspondence game, maybe not.)

User avatar
John Saunders
Posts: 1379
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:10 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: H E Atkins

Post by John Saunders » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:11 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:35 pm
Please tell me there isn't a stone-hearted computer move that defends everything? (As it is a correspondence game, maybe not.)
Good news, Chris - the final combination is sound. Indeed, the last three moves are all 'only moves' to win the game. I agree with you - a very nicely played game by Mr Sturton.

Which begs the question - who was Henry Graham Sturton? Steve Mann's indispensable Yorkshire Chess History site provides a full answer. Born 1843, died 1916, a bank clerk by profession. President of Lee Chess Club (Kent). The biographical details recorded there mention the fact that he had beaten HE Atkins in a correspondence game. But I have checked all the usual places (BritBase, Mega/Big Database, StarBase 4.56, chessgames.com, Chess Notes) and this appears to be the first ever game by Sturton published digitally. Well done, Gerard.

I've just discovered a photo of HG Sturton, in the JG White (Cleveland) collection - link https://cplorg.contentdm.oclc.org/digit ... 0/id/35443

I'm a bit behind with my BritBase work but this one will be added to the collection very soon.
Personal Twitter @johnchess
Personal Website https://www.saund.org.uk
Britbase https://www.britbase.info

Neil Blackburn
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: H E Atkins

Post by Neil Blackburn » Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:29 pm

Big thanks John and Gerard. Lovely, lovely stuff. For those who don't know, the secondary 'amateur' tournament at Hastings was won by Maroczy, who agreed a draw with Atkins in the better position if my rubbish memory serves me right. Thanks guys👍

User avatar
Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7627
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: H E Atkins

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:54 am

It would have been tempting to spoil the combination by promoting the pawn on move 39. Thank, John for the analysis, and my thanks to Gerard as well.

User avatar
Gerard Killoran
Posts: 570
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: H E Atkins

Post by Gerard Killoran » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:40 pm

The following game is not so exciting but the loser was from an interesting family.

Lucien Serraillier (1886–1919) died in the 'Spanish Flu' epidemic and was the son of political refugees from the Paris Commune. His father, Auguste Serraillier was a leading Communard who became a close ally and friend of Karl Marx. Lucien's son, Ian, was a children's author whose most famous book was 'The Silver Sword'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Serraillier


Post Reply