George Edward Anslow

This has been written by Brian Denman. If anyone has further information please let us know, by posting a message here or emailing the web editor (see the contact page).

Update 15 April 2013: Brian Denman writes: that Anslow was the first winner of the Sussex Veterans Championship in 1966.

(“George Edward Anslow was born on 13th November 1900 in Eastbourne. In 1918 he began his career with the South East Gas Board. He did not effectively start his chess career until 1926 or 1927, when he joined the Eastbourne Chess Club. Soon afterwards he also became a member of the Hastings Chess Club. His county debut was made about five years later.

In the early 1930s Sonja Graf gave a simul at Eastbourne and lost against George. In 1938 the club was again visited by a famous player, Georges Koltanowski, and George Anslow was one of three players to obtain a draw in the simul. At the end of 1955 George travelled to Brighton to play Viacheslav Ragozin, who was giving a simul in the Royal Pavilion. Again George obtained a draw. He also played in a simul conducted by Baruch Wood at Eastbourne in 1962 and won his game.

In 1934 he won the East Sussex Queen and he followed this a year later by becoming the Eastbourne Chess Club champion for the first time. He was now clearly the best player in the club and altogether he was to win the club championship 19 times (this includes the two occasions when he came tied first).

In 1937 he donated his first trophy. The Sussex Correspondence Championship did not have a trophy even though it had been an officially recognised annual competition since 1903. After about 1972 the trophy went missing and was only retrieved about 28 years later. The Sussex correspondence competition was not restored, but from 2003 the trophy has awarded to the nominated Sussex correspondence player of the year.

George also presented two other trophies. In 1939 he donated the Anslow Cup to the Hastings Chess Club for a summer tournament involving the top players in the club. In 1977 he presented a trophy to the Eastbourne Chess Club for a best game competition. This was called the ‘George Cup’.

In 1940 the Eastbourne Chess Club closed down because of difficulties caused by the war. George continued playing at Hastings and took part in friendlies arranged between that club and Brighton. In the second part of the German war he was called up and joined the RAF. In 1944 he reached the semi-final sections of the RAF Championship where he lost against AWW Tulip.

After the war the Eastbourne Chess Club was restored and George once again resumed his membership. He also continued playing at Hastings and at the end of the decade he began his most successful period. He decided to join the Brighton Chess Club and in 1949 won the championship of that club. In that same year he also won the Eastbourne club championship as well as the Hailsham club knock-out tournament. In 1950 he reached the final of the county championship, but lost a long game against George Self, the county secretary, which lasted about 90-100 moves. Meanwhile he was gradually climbing the order in the county team and in 1951 played on board 2 against Hampshire.

After this high point in his career it was not long before he decided to take a break from chess and this lasted for about three years. In 1956 he again reached the county final, but the deciding game proved a disaster for him. He lost quickly against Rev. John Bickerstaff and the Brighton and Hove Herald of 23.6.1956 mentioned that George was affected by ‘nervous strain’ as on the previous occasion that he had reached the final.

For the next fifteen years or so George continued to be a prominent member of both the Eastbourne and Hastings clubs, but it was probably considered somewhat surprising when he won the Hastings Chess Club Championship in 1972 after 45 years of membership. He thus became one of the oldest players to win the competition. In the following season he played on board one, but struggled against some strong opposition.

In 1980 George took part in the Eastbourne centenary match against Seaford. It was intended that he act as reserve for the Eastbourne team, but, when a player was absent, he filled in on board 19, winning his game. In 1982 he played in the friendly match at the AGM of the Eastbourne club, but he was looking frail. He died a few days later on 18th October. He was 81 years of age.

He acquired the nickname of ‘Punch’, though he may not have been aware of this. This was apparently because of the length of his nose and may have been a little cruel. However, another report referred to the firmness of his jaw, which seemed to personify his resolve to win games. He was a very modest man and on three occasions published wins by himself without mentioning his opponents’ names out of respect for them. He presented to Colin Worsley, the former Hastings club librarian, 22 of his wins, but declared that they were not to be published. In this collection were four wins against Arthur Winser, but as George maintained that Arthur won three times to every one victory of his, he did not want the scores to be made public. Unfortunately when Colin died in 1992, the games were probably destroyed, though the list of George’s opponents plus the number of moves, dates and openings involved remains.

I enclose the scores of four of his games:

Anslow,GE – Stubbs,AG [B03]

Eastbourne CC Championship 1960

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 exd6 6.Nc3 Bf5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Be2 Be7 9.0–0 0–0 10.Be3 Re8 11.a4 a5 12.d5 Nb4 13.Bxb6 cxb6 14.Nd4 Bg6 15.f4 f6 16.f5 Bf7 17.Ne6 Qc8 18.Bh5 Qxc4 19.Bxf7+ Kxf7 20.Qh5+ Kg8 21.Rf4 Qc8 22.Rg4 Bf8 23.Qh6 Qd7 24.Qxf6 Nd3 25.Ne4 Re7 26.Ra3 Nf4 27.Rxf4 gxf6 28.Nxf6+ Source: A G Stubbs. 1–0

Anslow,GE – Williams,RH [D69]

Friendly match (1), 25.07.1962

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Rc1 0–0 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.0–0 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 e5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Qxe5 15.f4 Qe7 16.f5 Qg5 17.e4 Rd8 18.Qb3 Qe7 19.Rg3 Rd6 20.Qc3 Rf6 21.Bd3 Kf8 22.e5 Rh6 23.Rxg7! Qh4 24.f6 Qxh2+ 25.Kf2 Qf4+ 26.Ke1 Qe3+ 27.Kd1 Be6? 28.Rg8+! Kxg8 29.Bxh7+ Rxh7 30.Qxe3 Rd8+ 31.Kc1 b6 32.Qg3+ Kf8 33.Qa3+ Kg8 34.Qxa7 Rh4 35.Qxb6 Rc4+ 36.Kb1 Bf5+ 37.Ka1 Rcd4 38.b3 Be6 39.Qxc6 Bd5 40.Qc1 Rg4 41.Rd1 Rxg2 42.Rxd5 Ra8 43.Rd2 Source: R H Williams. 1–0

Gurd,AD – Anslow,GE [D00] Undated

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nd2 d5 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 c5 5.c3 Nbd7 6.Ne2 e5 7.0–0 e4 8.Bb1 Bd6 9.dxc5 Bxh2+ 10.Kxh2 Ng4+ 11.Kg3 Ndf6 12.Nxe4 Nh5+ 13.Kf3 Nh2# Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 5.9.1953. The article does not give the circumstances of the game. 0–1

Anslow,GE – Mr ? [B01]

McArthur Cup

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 e6 7.Ne5 Bd6 8.Nc4 Qc7 9.Nxd6+ Qxd6 10.Ne2 Nbd7 11.0–0 b6 12.Bf4 Qe7 13.Ng3 0–0 14.Re1 Qd8 15.c3 Bb7 16.Qc2 h6 17.Rad1 Rc8 18.Qd2 c5 19.Bxh6 gxh6 20.Qxh6 cxd4 21.Nh5 Source: British Chess Magazine of August 1938. The article does not tell us in which year the game was played. It seems certain that George Anslow would have been playing for the Eastbourne Chess Club. The game was probably played on 11.11.1935 against Rev. HBW Dennison of the Bexhill CC. The reason for assuming this is that the list of 22 wins by George (see above) mentions a 21 move win against the vicar in a Centre Counter opening 1–0

Simon Smith was George Anslow’s last opponent.  G.E. Anslow made an appearance in a friendly fixture at Eastbourne Chess club: a match between the Club President’s team (R.H. Williams) and the Club Match Captain’s team (L.S. Halliday). The date was 11th October 1982 and he match took place after the Club’s AGM. At the AGM I was presented with a book for winning the Club Championship aged 17, which was then the youngest anyone had become champion. I had no forewarning that G.E. Anslow would be present. Although he had been present at the club’s centenary event, we had no been introduced: I just knew him from his name which appeared multiple times on the wooden honours’ board of past Club champions. Robert Williams selected G.E.A. as his top board and I found myself sitting down to play him. The game score appears below – not for publication but just for interest. The time control was 1 hour for all moves. I used 52 minutes and G.E.A. used 20 minutes! He moved his Queen’s Knight 5 times in the first 10 moves and on move 15 chose a passive continuation but I did not play the correct positional continuation (19..exf5) and so gained no advantage. On move 27, I opted for a continuation with a trap (27..b4) and unfortunately G.E.A. fell into it as he kept moving very quickly. All I can remember about George Anslow is that he was a very quiet, polite gentleman. He congratulated me on the win but I didn’t feel it was especially deserved. On the next occasion I saw Robert Williams, he told me that G.E. Anslow had died which came as a shock and made me feel very sad. G.E. Anslow – SDS, Eastbourne Chess Club: President vs Match Captain (Team), 11.10.82 D02 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nbd2 Bf5 4 c3 c6 5 Nb3 (5 Nh4) 5..e6 6 Bf4 Bd6 7 Bd6: Qd6: 8 Nc5 b6 9 Nd3 Nbd7 10 Nde5 o-o 11 e3 Qc7 12 Bd3 Ne4 13 Nd7: Qd7: 14 Qc2 c5 15 Qe2 (a. 15 g4!? c4 16 gf5: cd3: 17 Qd3: [17 Ne5 dc2: 18 Nd7: Rfe8! ∆19 fe6:? f6 -+] 17..ef5: 18 Ne5 Qb7 19 Qb5 =; b. 15 Ne5 Qc7 16 f3 Nd6 17 e4 de4: 18 fe4: c4 19 ef5: cd3: 20 Qd3: ef5: =; c. 15 Nd2?! Nd2: 16 Qd2: c4 17 Bc2 b5 18 o-o a5 ->) 15..c4 16 Bc2 (16 Be4:) 16..b5 17 a3 a5 18 o-o Nd6 19 Bf5: Nf5: (19..ef5: =+) 20 e4 Nd6 21 Nd2 Ne4: (21..Qb7) 22 Ne4: de4: 23 Qe4: Qd5 24 Rfe1 Rfe8 25 Re3 (25 f4) 25..Qe4: 26 Re4: f6 27 f4 b4!? (27..Kf7) 28 ab4: ab4: 29 Ra8: Ra8: 30 Re6: Ra2 31 d5? (31 Rc6 =) 31..Rb2: 32 cb4:? (32 d6! bc3: 33 d7 Rd2 34 Re3 c2 35 Rc3 Rd7: 36 Rc2: Rc7 37 Kf2 Kf7 =+) 32..c3 33 d6 c2 34 Re8+ Kf7 35 Rc8 Rb1+ 0-1 by Simon Smith

I should like to thank Chris Ravilious for sending me very useful biographical notes on George’s life several years ago.


Est. 1882