Update BC vs WA Matches

From BCCF Bulletin #331 by Mr. Wright. For more info check HISTORY section of NWC website.

BC VERSUS WASHINGTON

Matches between BC and Washington chess clubs or cities have been going on for well over a century, but the first formal matches at a provincial/state level did not occur until the end of World War Two. But when exactly did these matches begin? It has been generally assumed that the first match was in 1944, in part based on an article by Dick Allen in the July 1949 issue of the Washington Chess Letter. He recounts the recent matches (1948 – a draw in Vancouver, 1947 – Peace Arch at Blaine, 1946 – Mount Vernon) before stating “Previous engagements took place at Vancouver in 1945 and Mount Vernon in 1944. To my knowledge, the latter was the opening of the friendly hostilities…” An anonymous article, presumably by editor Gerald Schain, appears in the June 1954 issue of the Washington Chess Letter with the same chronology, noting

Prior to 1946 there were two small informal matches played between B.C. and Northwest Washington and I do not have any record of them. These were the first and second Internationals and the big 1946 affair was the third International.

However, by April 1955 this same author was beginning to backpedal. Based on reports in Chess Review he now acknowledged there were two matches in 1947, one in March and one in August. Thus 1944 was discounted and the first match was indicated in 1945, although “lost.” Yet we know of a second match in 1946 as well, played in Vancouver in July as part of the Vancouver Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Thus there were two events in both 1946 and 1947 before the series became annual. This interpretation is confirmed by Chess Life of 5 April 1947:

Third and biggest of the series, the meeting of March 9 brought happy memories of the original International Tournament at Mount Vernon when the Skagit County Chess Club acted as hosts on March 24, 1946 and Washington won. The second meeting was in Canada in July, 1946 and the Canadians had their revenge with a stirring victory. A fourth meeting is planned for the future.

Given that there is absolutely no documentary evidence for matches in 1944 or 1945, and that it is high unlikely that such a contest would take place while the war was still on, the chronology of the early matches was as follows:

1st 1946 March 24 Mount Vernon 2nd 1946 July 13 Vancouver 3rd 1947 March 9 Mount Vernon 4th 1947 August 17 Peach Arch 5th 1948 August 8 Stanley Park

At the third match an exhibition game was played alongside the team competition between Olaf Ulvestad and Arthur Dake; team participants were given the option of playing a second game with their opponent or watching the exhibition game.

Ulvestad, Olaf – Dake, Arthur William [E26] Exhibition game Mount Vernon, 09.03.1947

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 c5 6.e3 Nc6 7.Bd3 d6 8.Ne2 e5 9.f3 Nh5 10.0–0 f5 11.Rb1 0–0 12.Qc2 Qh4 13.g3 Qh3 14.Rf2 Nf6 15.dxc5 dxc5 16.e4 fxe4 17.Bxe4 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 Qf5 19.Qxf5 Rxf5 20.Be3 b6 21.Rd1 Ba6 22.Rd6 Rf6 23.Rxf6 gxf6 24.g4 Na5 25.Ng3 Nxc4 26.Bc1 Rd8 27.Rc2 Bb7 28.f4 Bf3 29.fxe5 fxe5 30.h3 Rd3 31.Nf5 e4 0–1