‘The Chess Amateur, P.H. Williams and Australia’ and ‘ACR’ update

31 Jul. 2016 | by Peter Wong

The Chess Amateur was a major British magazine that ran during the early years of the 20th century. Bob Meadley has put together a two-part collection of extracts from this publication, named The Chess Amateur, P.H. Williams and Australia. P.H. Williams was the magazine’s problem editor and Bob regards him as a hero, someone who was a “phenomenon” and the “ultimate chess promoter”. Besides a focus on Williams, the document includes all Australian-related problem items, the coverage of which was extensive. You will find a great assortment of fascinating materials here, consisting of full articles, news, problems, and even some poems and photographs. For instance, it’s curious to read that during the First World War, there was some controversy regarding the use of ‘S’ for knight in problem notation because it stands for a German term, Springer.

Philip Hamilton Williams
777 Chess Miniatures in Three 1900

Mate in 3

You can download The Chess Amateur, P.H. Williams and Australia here: Part 1, Part 2, or from the Problem History page. Above is a selection from the document, a neat miniature in three moves by Williams. The give-and-take key 1.Qc4! involves a short threat, 2.Qxb3. Both of Black’s defences are answered by appealing white moves, which result in two pairs of queen and rook mates. 1…bxa2 2.Ra1 Kxa1 3.Qc1 or 2…Ka3 3.Rxa2; 1…Kxa2 2.Qd4 b2 3.Qa4 or 2…Ka3 3.Ra1.

J. T. Eaton
Australasian Chess Review 1942

Mate in 2

In the Magazines and Columns section of this site, the remaining Australasian Chess Review issues that were missing are now available. Thanks to Nigel Nettheim who kindly scanned his copies of the publication for the years 1934-37 and 1941-43. Consequently, the magazine section of the Oz Archives is actually complete! Here I quote a two-mover by Eaton from the ACR. You will soon notice the position is unusual in that Black is in stalemate. So how does White deal with it?