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Margate Tournament

Jose Raul Capablanca7/9(+5 -0 =4)[games]
Salomon Flohr6.5/8(+5 -0 =3)[games]
Gideon Stahlberg3.5/6(+2 -1 =3)[games]
Erik Lundin3/6(+2 -2 =2)[games]
Philip Stuart Milner-Barry2.5/5(+2 -2 =1)[games]
Vera Menchik2.5/4(+2 -1 =1)[games]
Brian Patrick Reilly1.5/9(+1 -7 =1)[games]
Edward Guthlac Sergeant1.5/5(+1 -3 =1)[games]
Theodore Henry Tylor1.5/4(+1 -2 =1)[games]
George Alan Thomas1.5/6(+1 -4 =1)[games] Chess Event Description
Margate (1936)

The second of five consecutive international tournaments organized by the Margate chess club at their seaside resort. Former world champion Jose Raul Capablanca was invited a second time and agreed to participate, as did five British players who were also returning for the second time: reigning women's world champion Vera Menchik, Philip Stuart Milner-Barry, Brian Patrick Reilly, Edward Guthlac Sergeant and George Alan Thomas all attended. The six returning players were joined by Czech master Salomon Flohr, Swedish masters Gideon Stahlberg and Erik Lundin and British master Theodore Henry Tylor.

Unlike the other four Margate tournaments from this series, complete records and gamescores are no longer available. Only thirty-one of the original forty-five games remain and have been included here with the appropriate dates and round information where known. (1)

The tournament proved to be a second consecutive disappointment for Capablanca as he again finished in second place, one-half point behind Flohr. This decade was a good one to Flohr, who would have another victory at Podebrady (1936) later in the year, there finishing ahead of Alekhine in the standings.

Margate, England, 15-24 April 1936

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts 1 Flohr * = = 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 7.5 2 Capablanca = * = = = 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 3 Stahlberg = = * 0 = = 1 = 1 1 5.5 4 Lundin 0 = 1 * = = 1 = 0 1 5.0 5 Tylor 0 = = = * 1 = 0 = 1 4.5 6 Milner-Barry 0 0 = = 0 * 1 1 = 1 4.5 7 Menchik = 0 0 0 = 0 * = 1 1 3.5 8 Thomas 0 0 = = 1 0 = * = 0 3.0 9 Sergeant 0 0 0 1 = = 0 = * = 3.0 10 Reilly 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 = * 1.5

Margate (1935) and Margate (1937) were the previous and subsequent congresses in this series.

(1) Missing games: Flohr 1 Sergeant; Stahlberg 1 Menchik; Stahlberg 1/2 Milner-Barry; Stahlberg 1/2 Tylor; Lundiin 1 Menchik; Lundin 1/2 Tylor; Lundin 1/2 Thomas; Menchik 0 Milner-Barry; Menchik 1/2 Tylor; Menchik 1/2 Thomas; Milner-Barry 0 Tylor; Milner-Barry 1/2 Sergenat; Tylor 1/2 Sergeant; Sergeant 1/2 Thomas.

Thanks go to <Benzol> and <Phony Benoni> for their research and help reconstructing this tournament to the level seen here.

Original collection: Game Collection: Margate 1936, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 31  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E G Sergeant vs E Lundin 1-0401936MargateC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
2. E G Sergeant vs Menchik 0-1401936MargateC11 French
3. B P Reilly vs Flohr 0-1351936MargateD04 Queen's Pawn Game
4. Capablanca vs Milner-Barry 1-0361936MargateA25 English
5. Stahlberg vs E G Sergeant  1-0421936MargateD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
6. Flohr vs G A Thomas 1-0451936MargateD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Menchik vs B P Reilly 1-0831936MargateA14 English
8. Capablanca vs E Lundin  ½-½301936MargateD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
9. T H Tylor vs Capablanca  ½-½301936MargateD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
10. E Lundin vs Flohr 0-1491936MargateB03 Alekhine's Defense
11. B P Reilly vs Stahlberg  0-1381936MargateD40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
12. Stahlberg vs G A Thomas  ½-½831936MargateD68 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Classical
13. Milner-Barry vs B P Reilly  1-0321936MargateB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
14. Flohr vs Capablanca  ½-½301936MargateD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. Flohr vs Menchik ½-½521936MargateA90 Dutch
16. E Lundin vs Stahlberg  1-0301936MargateA06 Reti Opening
17. B P Reilly vs T H Tylor  0-1411936MargateD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. G A Thomas vs Milner-Barry  0-1261936MargateE43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
19. Capablanca vs E G Sergeant 1-0341936MargateA09 Reti Opening
20. Capablanca vs Menchik 1-0481936MargateD02 Queen's Pawn Game
21. E G Sergeant vs B P Reilly  ½-½401936MargateB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
22. Stahlberg vs Flohr  ½-½291936MargateD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
23. T H Tylor vs G A Thomas  0-1291936MargateD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. Milner-Barry vs E Lundin  ½-½241936MargateB40 Sicilian
25. B P Reilly vs Capablanca 0-1291936MargateA47 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 31  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-16-13  Conrad93: Did Flohr drop out of the tournament?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Conrad93> Did you miss something in looking at the introduction and crosstable?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Paul>: It is difficult to believe that nearly one-third of the games are apparently lost to posterity.

Perhaps the best is locating back numbers of BCM, which might have the missing games; but my guess is that you and <Phony Benoni> have already gone that route!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Alan> My help to <suenteus po 147> was very superficial. <Phony Benoni> had more input. I don't know if back issues of the BCM have been consulted.
Nov-17-13  RedShield: Should read < Here he beat the former world champion by half a point with wins over over half the field.>
Nov-17-13  Conrad93: Yes, I did read it. No mention of Flohr dropping out, yet one game is missing.
Nov-17-13  Conrad93: In fact, the introduction is missing a lot of details.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I fear that the introduction isn't the only thing missing a few details.
Nov-18-13  Shams: Zing!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The <Tournament Standings> at the top of an Historical Tournament Page can be very misleading since they are based only on the available games. Many of the questions that arise can be answered by consulting the full tournament crosstable in the introduction.

As the introduction states, only 31 of the 45 games have survived. One of the fourteen missing games is Flohr's win over Sergeant.

The introduction was written for the original collection. That didn't have the tournament standings at tge top, so such explanations weren't so obviously needed. I'll do a bit of work on it at home tonight.

So why were aren't games preserved? Just one of those accidents of history. Back then--and this is over 75 years ago, remember--scores were not automatically and instantly archived. You needed somebody to make sure the games were recorded, to check the scores, type them up and make sure they were published. It just didn't always happen.

One good instance of this phenomenon is USSR Championship (1920). Only 36 of the 120 games have survived, including just seven from tournament winner and future World Champion Alexander Alekhine. Yet, we have all fifteen games from the otherwise obscure Nikolay Pavlov-Pianov.

Nov-20-13  Conrad93: So we don't know what result Flohr had?
Nov-20-13  TheFocus: <Conrad> We know his result from the cross-table, but the standings section can be misleading and confusing. Note that in the standings, Flohr finishes behind Capablanca, but the cross-table shows that Flohr won the tournament ahead of Capablanca.
Nov-21-13  Conrad93: All right, thanks for the clarification.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Capa and Menchik (first round I believe):

Jul-24-15  zanzibar: I think the photo in Stonehenge's link is a composition.

I really <CG> leaderboards weren't so confusing - as is they serve as a convenient link table to the games sorted by player -

<but are otherwise confusing as to the actual standings>

Especially without stub-games to adjust scoring (and even then, tie-break complications appear).

I think I've figured out the Margate pairing-schedule, and I'll be back with the stub listing (for the rounds of the missing games).

Jul-24-15  zanzibar: Here are the properly "colorized" stubs (aka missing games):


1936.04.15 (R1) = Thomas -- Lundin
1936.04.15 (R1) = Tylor -- Stahlberg

1936.04.16 (R2) 0-1 Milner-Barry -- Tylor

1936.04.17 (R3) = Sergeant -- Milner-Barry
1936.04.17 (R3) = Thomas -- Menchik

1936.04.18 (R4) 0-1 Menchik -- Lundin
1936.04.18 (R4) = Tylor -- Sergeant

1936.04.22 (R7) = Lundin -- Tylor
1936.04.22 (R7) 0-1 Menchik -- Stahlberg
1936.04.22 (R7) = Thomas -- Sergeant

1936.04.23 (R8) 1-0 Milner-Barry -- Menchik

1936.04.24 (R9) 1-0 Flohr -- Sergeant
1936.04.24 (R9) = Menchik -- Tylor
1936.04.24 (R9) = Stahlberg -- Milner-Barry


Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: About the missing game Flohr vs Sergeant.

During my studies of pawn endings I found a fragment in the "Encyclopardia of Chess Endings", volume on pawn endings, Belgrade 1982, example 735, page 177:

click for larger view

The example is analysed by Minev two pages later. Therein appears the game continuation as follows: 1.♔d1 ♔c3?? 2.f3?? ♔b4?? 3.g4! 1-0.

Minev uses analysis of Voronkov and Averbakh, so the game could appear elsewhere.

In Chessbase's database of 2018 is another fragment:

click for larger view

with these moves: 46... ♔d3 47. ♘xf5 gxf5 48. ♔d1 1-0.

Both fragments fit together and would imply that Flohr won in 50 moves.

However, "The Times" (25th April, p 10) reported: <The ninth and final round in the principal tournaments of the Margate Chess Congress was played this morning, with the result that Salo Flohr won the first prize in the Premier Tournament. Actually, his opponent, E.G. Sergeant, lost on the time limit, but errors in what had been a drawn position meant a lost game for Sergeant at that stage. The forty-eight move saw the end.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: About the missing game Flohr vs Sergeant, pt. 2.

The statements on the evaluation of the position do not help very much, because the pawn ending is quite difficult.

According to SF 10, the move 1.. ♔c3, which got the ?? by Minev, is the only move that holds the game. Minev prefers instead 1.. d4 2.exd4 ♔xd4 3.♔e2 ♔e4 4.f3 ♔e5:

click for larger view

Here he continues 5.♔d3 ( ± Voronkov) ♔d5 6.f4 (6.♔c3 ♔e5 7.♔c4 f4 8.g4? hxg4 9.fxg4 f3 10.♔d3 ♔f4 11.h5 ♔g3 12.h6 f2 -+; 8.gxf4= Averbakh) 6.. ♔c6 7.♔c4 b5 =.

I intend to present analysis of the positions after 1.. ♔c3 and the one in the diagram later.


Does anyone have access to Gillam's book on Margate 1936? I don't expect to much, because Chessbase usually presents the same information, but it should be checked, of course.

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