London v Edinburgh (Game Five) The Crafty Scots.

London v Edinburgh (Game Five) The Crafty Scots.

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London v Edinburgh (Game Five) The Crafty Scots.

London one

I’m not too fact I have no idea at all of what the London Chess
Club badge looked like, if indeed it had one, so I have made that one up.
I’ve also guessed at the year of foundation, it could have been in the 1790’s.

Of course their badge could have looked something like this.

London two

But not like this because Queen Victoria was not Queen in 1820.


(and Big Ben was not built till 1843 but I had run out of badge ideas.)

I like designing badges. I did the badges for all the chess teams in Edinburgh.



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GREENPAWN!! enough with the badges already. Get on with it......Russ.

This is a continuation of the last blog see Blog Post 526

Before we go any further I had better make a stab at explaining the rules of the match.

The odd rules allowed Edinburgh to move first move in four of the five games. If a game
was drawn then who ever started that game moved first in the next game (they did not
swap sides.) If a game was won then the winner would go first in the next game. (got it?)

Edinburgh drew game one when going first so started a new game (game three) and they
also won game two where London went first, so moved first in the next game (game four).

London won the 4th game and should have started another game but the 3rd game had been
going on so long, an opposite coloured Bishop ending with Edinburgh a pawn up. This
was a game Edinburgh had little chance of winning and no chance of losing but it did
not stop them playing on and on. London never had the chance to open another game.

And just to add to the confusion. Why am I saying Edinburgh moved first and not
Edinburgh had White? That is because Edinburgh had Black in all five games!

This match was played before White moving first became official so London had
the White pieces, Edinburgh the Black (but could move first) So when Edinburgh
played what is known as the Scotch Game this is the actual position they were looking at.

But for the sake of clarity and sanity from now on when I refer to White I am talking
about the side that moved first. and not the London club who were White in every game.
(I wished I never mentioned this, I’ve re-written it half a dozen times...what a shambles.)

Now we come to a devious ploy by the Edinburgh Club. I’ve come to this conclusion by
looking at the London club letters, I do not have the letters sent by the Edinburgh club.
However it makes good reading and there might be a grain of truth in it. (but it is theory.)

With the match dragging on (especially game 3) London in an effort to get Edinburgh to
quit Game 3 suggested they start another game. Edinburgh agreed and started game 5.

Game 3 was approaching 100 moves when London suggested, though it appears that
Edinburgh hinted at the idea first, that game 5 should be the last one in the match.

This was the position when London suggested that game 5 be the last game.

Edinburgh (white to play)

You can see that London are going to win the pinned h2 Bishop.

This was a trap by Edinburgh hoping that London would not look any deeper.
Edinburgh accepted the new ruling. Game 5 was to be the last game and few days
later game 3 was drawn on move 99. London never a chance go first in another game.

So the assumption is Edinburgh prolonged Game 3 so London would not get another
game going first and when the time was ripe hinted that maybe Game 5, win, lose or
draw, should be the last game in the match. London took the hint and suggested that idea.

Edinburgh - London Game 5. Started on the 6th Oct 1826
This was the game London asked Edinburgh to start whilst game 3 which began in
December 1824 was still in progress. Possibly hoping Edinburgh would be done with it
and agree to a draw, in which case Edinburgh, due to the rules would start another game.

Game 3 lasted another 17 months and agreed drawn only after game 5 had reached the
critical position above. and London being coaxed into suggesting that game 5 be the last one.

After this was posted A genuine chess historian got in touch.
The London Chess Club was founded on the 25th March 1807.
(I knew it would be before Queen Victoria.)

The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 194371
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