Kindred’s Special: Chess and War–A Tragic End

NEW IN CHESS, 2009 Issue 5 finally answered some of my questions concerning how and who was famous enough to have his name listed in the Meran Variation called “The Reynolds Variation, namely the pawn push Pawn to Queen’s Five (P-Q5 or d5).

It was 1931 when 21-year old Arthur Reynolds took part in the 24th annual chess congress of the British Chess Federation. He was not in the main championship that saw the likes of Sir G. A. Thomas, C.H.O.D Alexander, P. S. Milner-Barry, Sultan Khan, F. D. Yates, E. G. Sergeant, T. H. Tylor and W. Winter but rather in the Major Reserves Tournament with high class amatuers where he managed to draw is final game to end 3rd-5th. In just two years, in February of 1933 he was the leader of the Warwickshire team battling in the Midland Union Championship and considered one of the strongest players in that event.  He played and defeated the very talented G. Abrahams on 2nd board for his Warwickshire team against Lancashire  in the final of the County Championship of England for 1932-33.

Born April 30, 1910 in Solihull, England, he attended Solihull School where he exceled at sports. He was captain of both the football and boxing teams and won top prize awards with the hockey and cricket teams. Following graduation from the Solihull Grammar School, he turned active in the chess tournaments played at county level in his early 20s.

He was employed by the Lewis’ Department Store branch in Birmingham and in 1935 married.

His slow but steady prowess for chess did not cease but matured more in 1936 when he participated in the annual BCF Congress held in the rooms of Nottingham University in August 1936. He played in Section B of the Major Open Tournament with Miss Menchik, B.H. Wood, J. Cukierman, K. Opocensky and G. Abrahams. It was his first opportunity to observe world-class players at work as the Masters event included Alekhine, Flohr, Capablanca, Tartakower, Fine, Bogoljubow, Reshevsky, Botvinnik, Lasker, Vidmar, Euwe   and Winter. In his section, Reynolds tied for lst with Cukierman, each scoring 8.5 points. Reynolds beat Opocensky, Abrahams, Watts, Collins, Mallison and Cukierman. The British Chess Magazine published a number of his games. Here is his win over 4-time Czech champion Karel Opocensky.


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.g3 O-O 6.Bg2 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6 8.Nc2 d6 9.O-O Be6 10.Nd5 Qd7 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bxf6 exf6 13.Qd2 Rfe8 14.Rfd1 Rad8 15.Rac1 f5 16.b4 Ne5 17.Nce3 Ng4 18.Nxg4 fxg4 19.e4 Kh720.Qc2 Bxd5 21.exd5 b6 22.Re1 Be5 23.Re2 Rc8 24.Rce1 Qc7 25.Bf1 f5 26.Re3 h5 27.Kg2 Qf7 28.Bd3 b5 29.c5 Qxd5+ 30.Kg1 Rf8 31.Bxb5 f4 32.Rd3 Qf7? 33.Rxe5 Qg7 34.Rxd6 fxg3 Black surrendered here without waiting for a reply.

That same year he was included in the invitation to play in the Premier Tournament of the annual Christmas Congress of the Hastings and St. Leonard’s Chess Club to start December 28th 1936 but had to decline due to business. The department store needed his services and probably forced him to decline.

For all of us who find it necessary to lose out on the opportunity to play in a tournament, let alone such a prestigious event, must have been disheartening to Reynolds. However, in April 1937 another where he was again invited and this time he was able to participate, The 1937 Ostend Tournament. He found himself in such company as Keres, Dunkelblum, List, Fine, Grob, Dyner, Landau, and Tartakower. Reynolds lost to List, Grob, Koltanowski, Landau and Keres while drawing with Dunkelblum and Dyner. In the 8th round, he met and defeated Reuben Fine which prevented Fine’s absolute victory having to share with Grob and Keres.



2 Responses to “Kindred’s Special: Chess and War–A Tragic End”

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