Chess Snippet No.1: Kate Belinda Finn (1864-1932)

As I mentioned inward my final spider web log post, I'm spending to a greater extent than of my fourth dimension as a chess detective these days, amongst a stance to updating the game files on BritBase. That link should stimulate got you lot to the Britbase 'What's New' page where you lot should discover a abrupt spurt of activeness merely about August/September 2015 later a relatively long fallow period.

H5N1 by-product of my excavation for sometime game scores is the strange historical snippet. I sometimes ship service these to the Chess History department of the English linguistic communication Chess Forum but some of the things I discover are maybe a chip likewise long or involved for a forum post.

So I suggest to part them hither on my hitherto largely neglected blog. Here are the showtime 3 such snippets. They won't necessarily hold upwardly written inward flowing prose: I don't intend to pass likewise much fourth dimension turning them into the form of finished articles that I write for CHESS Magazine; they may hold upwardly picayune to a greater extent than than notes of facts together with information, amongst a stance to sharing information amongst other chess history researchers.

Chess Snippet No. 1 

Kate Belinda Finn (born sixteen Dec 1864, died 8 March 1932)

Kate Belinda Finn (right, wearing pince nez) at the 1905 British Championship inward Southport (Photo: Cleveland Collection)
Kate Belinda Finn's claim to chess fame is that she was the showtime British Chess Federation Ladies' Chess Champion inward 1904 together with she retained her championship inward 1905. The of import slice of novel information hither I'm imparting is her appointment of birth, which has hitherto been quoted as 1870.

Her entry inward Jeremy Gaige's Chess Personalia (McFarland, 1987) reads as follows:
Gaige wrote:Finn, Miss Kate Belinda
b 16-12-1870
d 08-03-1932, London ENG
BCM, 1932, p. 167-168
London Times, March 9, 1932, p.1, c.1
Here's her quoted British Chess Magazine obituary inward full:
BCM, Apr 1932, pps 166-167 wrote:Miss K. B. Finn, showtime British Lady Champion together with i of the strongest women players of her day, died of bronchial pneumonia on March 8 [1932] at 12 Rugby Mansions, Kensington. She was the solely fille of the belatedly Eugene Finn, M.D., of Patricks Hill, Cork. Her mother, who died inward 1906, was fond of chess, encouraged her fille to play together with accompanied her to the diverse meetings. When the British Chess Federation was formed inward 1904 she entered the Ladies’ Championship at Hastings together with won amongst a grade of 10½ out of 11, a wonderful performance. In the next year, at Southport, she over again won the trophy, but the opposition was keener, her grade existence 9½. In neither lawsuit did she lose a game, the points she dropped existence the resultant of drawn contests. Her mother’s serious affliction prevented her from appearing at Shrewsbury inward 1906, together with as events turned out, she never over again competed, but her push clit a fantabulous thespian was maintained till quite recently, when ill-health together with failing eyesight made her appearances to a greater extent than rare. For years she played top board for the master copy Ladies Chess Club, which thence played inward the “A” Division of the London League. Here she held her ain amongst the leading London players. Latterly she joined the Imperial Chess Club, together with was a regular together with valued attendant.
And the Times reference is as follows:
The Times, ix March 1932 wrote:FINN - On March 8, 1932, at 12, Rugby Mansions, Kensington, W.14, of bronchial pneumonia, KATE BELINDA FINN, solely fille of the belatedly Eugene Finn, M.D., of Patrick's Hill, Cork. Funeral strictly private. No mourning, no flowers.
Neither mentions her historic menses or appointment of birth. But Ancestry reveals a nascence registration as Catherine Belinda Finn on sixteen Dec 1864, Cork, county of Cork, Ireland, parents Eugene Finn together with Belinda (née) McCarthy, who were married on thirty January 1864 inward Cork. Eugene was the eldest boy of James Finn, esq, Kanturk [town inward the NW of county Cork], together with Belinda was the youngest fille of Dr McCarthy, Newcastle, County Limerick.

In 1901 Kate Belinda Finn was living (on her ain means) at a well for you lot address inward Kensington amongst her widowed woman nurture Belinda. Her historic menses was given as 34, which is out yesteryear ii years (should hold upwardly 36). Her woman nurture died inward 1906 together with I can't discover Kate inward the 1911 census, nor as yet inward the censuses prior to 1901. Tim Harding has pointed out that she may withal stimulate got been abroad at the fourth dimension of the 1911 census as she played inward (and won) the 1911 San Remo Ladies' International.

In the 1920s she lived at 12 Rugby Mansions, where her flat-mate was Eileen Florence Hodson Moriarty (1921 together with 1931 electoral records). Eileen (b 1880, Ireland, d 1945, Wales) carried on living at that spot for some fourth dimension later Kate's expiry together with eventually left £35,000 inward her ain will.

Here is Kate Finn's probate record:
Index of Wills together with Administrations, 1932 wrote:FINN Kate Belinda of 12 Rugby Mansions Addison Bridge Kensington Middlesex spinster died 8 March 1932 Probate London 10 May to John Charles Fitzmaurice Finn esquire. Effects £6000 12s. 3d.
£6,000 looks quite a tidy amount for those days. I holler back that John Finn was her (younger) brother. He spent a lot of fourth dimension abroad together with I suppose it is possible Kate did also, either amongst him or somewhere warm, for the sake of her health, which mightiness explicate where she was inward 1911.

The BCM obituary comment that "she never over again competed" is a chip misleading as it is quite clear she carried on playing guild chess for the residue of her life. References to her appearances for the Imperial Chess Club tin hold upwardly institute inward the Times. One of her final recorded appearances was inward a rather grand tally played on board the Union Castle rider liner Llangibby Castle moored inward Royal Albert Dock inward London inward 1930. (Ref. The Times (London, England), Wednesday, May 21, 1930; pg. 14; Issue 45518.) Mir Sultan Khan played on top board together with solely drew against W.Veitch - who may stimulate got been related to the Walter Veitch (1923-2004) who played inward the 1950 British Championship, etc. The older Veitch was referred to as "of Union Castle".

I've since institute a duad of Times inward memoriam notices for Kate Finn, on the anniversary of her expiry inward 1934 together with 1935, inward both cases signed "J.F. together with E.M." - presumably her blood brother John Finn together with her friend together with flat-mate Eileen Moriarty.

Here is a game which Kate Finn won at the 1905 British Championship inward Southport. The Manchester Guardian was coy nearly giving Black's name, for some reason.

By the way, you lot may banking concern annotation that Kate Finn's final home, Rugby Mansions, is inward Bishop Kings Road inward W14 - rather a wonderful route bespeak a chess player. And, every bit wonderfully, this is but a stone's throw from where the London Chess Classic is played.
Some of the content of this ship service showtime appeared on the EC Forum on 29 August 2015.

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