Empson E. Middleton

Post by Brian J Denman on Aug 28, 2015 at 4:12pm
Ten years have now passed since I wrote about the Middletons on this website. It has certainly proved a challenge to find out information about the family since both the father and the son had the same initials and both travelled around a lot. I am grateful to Richard James and John Saunders for their recent excellent research into the family’s life on the English Chess Forum website.

Empson Edward Middleton (E. E. Middleton Senior) was born in Jamaica in about 1838 and was a captain in the Royal Navy and a writer. His best known book was called ‘The Cruise of the Kate’ (1870) and describes how he circumnavigated the coast of Britain single-handedly in 1869 in a 23 foot boat by what he believed was the most difficult route. In 1880 he married Emma Walker and they had seven children, one of whom was Edward Empson Middleton (E.E. Middleton Junior) born in the Broadstairs area in the June quarter of 1885. Different censuses reveal that the father travelled around the country and in 1871 he lived at Kingston-upon-Thames, in 1881 Kent, in 1891 Rayleigh, in 1901 Southampton and in 1911 Hastings. He died at Hastings on 16.11.1916.

Both father and son were members of Hastings CC, but, whereas the father was an average club player, the son became good enough to be selected to play in a British Championship. The latter was a member of the club in the 1903-04 season, but he was soon making a name for himself in Brussels. He managed to combine playing chess in both England and Belgium and this must have involved a lot of travelling. In 1905 and 1906 he won the Belgian Championship, but he also played on board four for Sussex in a match against Kent in 1905. In August of that year it was almost certainly he rather than his father who scored 7/15 in a strong tournament at Barmen and in the process obtained a draw against the well-known player, Akiba Rubinstein. Shortly after this Hastings CC set out on a tour of Belgium and Holland and the younger Middleton played for Brussels against Hastings on a low board and won against A C Jenour. Later, however, he joined the touring side.

In 1906 and 1907 it was almost certainly he rather than his father who performed creditably in two amateur tournaments in Ostend. In the 1906-07 season he came first equal in the Hastings CC Championship with J C Waterman. Waterman was the eventual winner, but I am not sure whether there was a play-off or whether the junior Middleton was unavailable to take part in such a decider. In September 1908 he played on board three for Sussex in a match against Hampshire.

After this there appears to be a long break in Middleton junior’s English chess activity. In 1913 he took part in the BCF Congress at Cheltenham and did exceptionally well to score 9/11 in the Major Open event coming first equal with A J Mackenzie, a future Hastings player. His residence at the time of the tournament was listed as Brussels, but he was soon to make a quick exit from that city. At the outbreak of hostilities at the start of World War 1 he escaped the German occupation by returning to Hastings. He played a few games for the club early in 1915 and won the club championship.

By 1919 (and perhaps earlier) he seems to have moved to London. In 1920 he was selected to play in the British Championship at Edinburgh. Here he struggled against strong opposition and scored 3.5/11. He also competed in the City of London CC Championship in 1922 and 1923.

In 1923 he retired from a partnership in the hosiery business in London. I have no record of what profession he took up after this, but the birth of a son, John, was registered at Paddington in 1925 and a daughter, Patricia, in Chelsea in 1928. He had married his second wife Adelaide in 1921 and they were still living in England in 1930.

In 1944 his son, John, was killed in the allied attack on Gold Beach in Normandy. He was a member of the East Yorkshire Regiment, though his address was given as Rosettenville, Transvaal, South Africa. It is likely therefore his parents were also living there.

Edward died in England on 19.8.1947 at Knebworth in Hertfordshire. He was 62 years of age.

I enclose a few of his games. Unfortunately in several of my articles on the Hastings website the links to the games no longer function. With regard to Middleton’s games I have had to start from scratch for this article:

Middleton Jnr,EE – Norman,GM [D08]

Hastings v Brighton at Hastings bd 5, 24.10.1903

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.a3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bf4 a5 7.Nbd2 Bc5 8.Qa4 Nge7 9.Nb3 Ba7 10.c5 Bd7 11.Nbxd4 Bxc5 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.Qc2 Bb6 14.e3 h6 15.Rd1 Qe7 16.Be2 Rd8 17.h3 0–0 18.0–0 f6 19.Bc4+ Kh8 20.Nh4 Be8 21.Rxd8 Qxd8 22.Rd1 Qe7 23.Nf5 Bg6 24.Nxe7 Bxc2 25.Rd2 Nxe7 26.Rxc2 Ng6 27.exf6 Nxf4 28.fxg7+ Kxg7 29.exf4 Rxf4 30.Bd5 Rd4 31.Bxb7 Rd1+ 32.Kh2 Rf1 33.f3 Rf2 34.Rxf2 Bxf2 35.b3 h5 36.g3 h4 37.gxh4 Bxh4 38.Kg2 Kf6 39.f4 Be1 40.a4 Bb4 41.Be4 Bf8 42.Kf3 Bc5 43.Kg4 Bf8 44.h4 Bh6 45.h5 Bg7 46.Kf3 Ke7 47.Ke3 Kd6 48.Bg6 Kd5 49.Bf7+ Kd6 50.Ke4 Ke7 51.Bc4 Kf6 52.b4 axb4 53.a5 Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 7.11.1903. 1–0

Middleton (Jnr?),EE – Rubinstein,A [C11]

Barmen tournament Barmen (3), 16.08.1905

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 7.Nf3 f5 8.Nc3 Nd7 9.Be2 c5 10.d5 e5 11.d6 Bf6 12.Nd5 0–0 13.Qd2 e4 14.Nxf6+ Qxf6 15.Qg5+ Qg6 16.Qxg6+ hxg6 17.Ng5 Ne5 18.0–0–0 f6 19.Nh3 Be6 20.Nf4 Kf7 21.h3 Rad8 22.b3 a6 23.Rd2 Rd7 24.Re1 Rfd8 25.Nxe6 Kxe6 26.f4 Rxd6 27.Rxd6+ Rxd6 28.fxe5 Kxe5 29.Rd1 Rd4 30.Rf1 g5 31.a4 a5 32.Bc4 f4 33.c3 Rd6 34.Rd1 Rxd1+ 35.Kxd1 f3 36.gxf3 exf3 37.Ke1 f5 38.h4 g4 39.h5 Kf6 40.h6 Kg6 41.Kf2 Kxh6 42.Ke3 Kg5 43.Bf1 b6 44.c4 Kg6 45.Kf4 Kh5 46.Bd3 Kh4 47.Bf1 Kh5 Sources: Tournament book (Olms, Zurich, edition, 1984), and the Big Database 2003. ½–½

Wardhaugh,C – Middleton Jnr,EE [C47]

BCF Congress, Cheltenham, Major Open (7), 18.08.1913

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Be2 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Be7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Re1 Bf6 10.Nd2 Be6 11.Bf3 Bd5 12.Bxd5 Qxd5 13.Ne4 Be7 14.Qf3 Rad8 15.Qg3 f5 16.Ng5 f4 17.Qg4 Bxg5 18.Qxg5 Rf6 19.g3 Qf3 20.Qh4 fxg3 21.Be3 Rf4 22.Qxd8+ ‘and Black soon won.’ Source: ‘The Chess Amateur’ of September 1913. Also published in the Manchester Guardian of 19.8.1913 up to Black’s 21st move. This latter version has been published in BritBase. 0–1

Middleton Jnr,EE – Conde,AG [D30]

2nd match, 4th game , 1921

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.e3 Be7 6.Nbd2 0–0 7.Rc1 c6 8.Bd3 Re8 9.0–0 Nf8 10.Qe2 dxc4 11.Nxc4 Nd5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Bb1 Nb6 14.Nce5 Rd8 15.Rfd1 f6 16.Nd3 Bd7 17.Nc5 Be8 18.a4 a5 19.e4 Bh5 20.Qe3 Nc8 21.Ba2 Bf7 22.e5 f5 23.Ng5 b6 24.Nxf7 Qxf7 25.Nxe6 Nxe6 26.Rxc6 Re8 27.Bd5 Ra7 28.Rdc1 Rd7 29.Bxe6 Source: The Observer of 13.3.1921. 1–0

Thomas,Sir George – Middleton Jnr,EE [D20]

City of London CC Championship, 1922

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.c4 dxc4 4.e4 cxd4 5.Bxc4 Nc6 6.Qb3 e6 7.0–0 Nf6 8.Nbd2 Be7 9.e5 Nd7 10.Bb5 0–0 11.Re1 a6 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Ne4 c5 14.Qd3 f5 15.exf6 gxf6 16.Bh6 Rf7 17.Nh4 Kh8 18.Qg3 Bb7 19.Nd6 Bxd6 20.Qxd6 Bd5 21.Rad1 Qb8 22.Nf5 Qg8 23.Ng3 Qg6 24.Bf4 Bxa2 25.Ra1 Bc4 26.b4 cxb4 27.Qxb4 e5 28.Qxc4 exf4 29.Ne2 Ne5 30.Qd5 Rg8 31.Nxf4 Qg4 32.Rxe5 Rd7 33.Qe4 fxe5 34.Qxe5+ Qg7 35.Qe4 d3 36.Rd1 Rd4 Source: The Field of 15.2.1923. It is uncertain whether this game was played in 1922 or 1923. 0–1

Middleton Jnr,EE – Thomas,Sir George [D06]

City of London CC Championship, 1923

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d5 3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qd8 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Rc1 0–0 8.e3 Nd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Bd3 c6 11.0–0 Nd7 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.Qc2 g6 14.Rfe1 f5 15.g3 Rf6 16.Qc3 Re6 17.Bf1 b6 18.Nh4 Bb7 19.Ng2 Rf6 20.b4 a5 21.a3 Ba6 22.Ra1 Bxf1 23.Rxf1 Qd6 24.Rfb1 axb4 25.axb4 Rff8 26.Rc1 c5 27.Rxa8 Rxa8 28.bxc5 bxc5 29.dxc5 Nxc5 30.Nf4 Ne4 31.Qd4 Rd8 32.Rd1 Nf6 33.Rb1 Rc8 34.Rb6 Rc6 35.Rb5 Rc4 36.Qa7 Rc1+ 37.Kg2 Rc7 38.Qb8+ Kf7 39.Rb6 Nd7 40.Rxd6 Nxb8 41.Nxd5 Rd7 42.Rxd7+ Nxd7 43.h3 Ne5 44.f4 Nc4 45.Kf2 Nd6 46.Nc3 h5 47.Ke2 Kf6 48.Kd3 Nf7 49.Kd4 Ke6 50.Nb5 g5 51.Kc5 gxf4 52.exf4 Nh8 53.Nd4+ Kf6 54.Nf3 Ng6 55.Kd6 Nf8 56.Ne5 Ne6 57.Nd7+ Kf7 58.Ke5 Ng7 59.Nf6 Kg6 60.h4 Kf7 61.Nd5 Ne6 62.Ne3 Nc5 63.Nxf5 Nd3+ 64.Ke4 Nc5+ 65.Kd4 Nb3+ 66.Ke5 Nc1 67.Nd6+ Ke7 68.Ne4 Ne2 69.Kf5 Kf7 70.Kg5 Ke6 71.Kg6 Nd4 72.Ng5+ Source: The Field of 22.11.1923. 1–0

Brian Denman 28.8.2015.E.E. Middleton Junior E.E. Middleton Junior

Est. 1882