General Minchin

General Minchin

Winner of the club championship in 1893.

The information below is from an email by Brian Denman.

Col. Minchin is a very interesting character who is not usually associated with Hastings. There were in fact two Minchin chess-playing brothers, of whom James Innes Minchin was the most famous player. James was born in Madras, India in 1825 and his brother (with whom we are concerned) was probably also born in India in about 1830. The later Hastings champion went by the names of Charles Cherry and he seems to have been a person of some significance in India. He was a political agent in Bahawalpur from 1866 and was responsible for carrying through several major civil engineering projects. He became Commissioner of Lahore.

The Minchin brothers seem to have come to England in the early 1870s and both were active members of the St George’s CC in London. Charles Cherry appears to have gone back to India for a few years from about 1878, but by 1884 he was back in England to become a member of the Eastbourne CC. Unfortunately for him the Eastbourne CC fell into difficulties and he joined the Brighton CC. He also suffered ill-health which reduced his chess activities for a time. He eventually joined the Hastings CC and became champion, but the last reference that I have of his playing chess in Sussex is dated 1894. He died in 1899 at Bournemouth. The following is a list of his ranks: commissioned as cornet 1847, lieutenant 1853, captain 1861, major 1867, lieutenant colonel 1873, colonel 1878, and general c.1890. A few of his games survive, but unfortunately he seems to have lost most of his published games. I enclose a couple of his wins, though they are from a much earlier period to the time when he won the Hastings CC Championship (N.B. I do not believe that there was a Hastings chess column in the year that he won the title). I also have a game score where he and his brother played together against the subsequent world champion Wilhelm Steinitz and managed a draw.
Post by simon on Feb 17, 2005 at 12:18am
General Minchin was elected a member of the club on the 29th June 1892.
His address in the minute book is given as 55 West Hill, St Leonards.

AGM Sept 20th 1893
…..General Minchin played through the preliminary, and also the final stage of the Championship, without losing one game, thereby winning the captaincy, and becoming the first holder of the new trophy. As he had to meet many of the strongest players in the club, his score is really a remarkable one. The committee has been obliged to purchase a new Championship trophy, as the first one has become the property of Mr. Womersley, he having held it three years…..

Est. 1882