Chess Snippet No.2 Grace Moore Curling (Née Ellis) (1875-1958), 1908 British Ladies' Chess Champion

Grace Curling won the 5th British Ladies' Championship at Tunbridge Wells inwards 1908. Strictly speaking, she didn't genuinely win it until a three-way play-off was completed, inwards London inwards Feb 1909, but she goes downward inwards the tape books equally the British Ladies' Champion for 1908.

Grace Moore Curling, 1908 British Ladies' Chess Champion
(Photo: Chess Pie, publ. BCF, 1922)
My argue for blogging well-nigh her is because in that location doesn't seem to live on much biographical information well-nigh her inwards the criterion works. Jeremy Gaige, inwards his Chess Personalia (McFarland, 1987) records her name, Mrs Grace Curling, too the fact that her initiative scream was Ellis - but no dates were given. (I am aware that in that location is a later, unpublished edition of Gaige's fantabulous work, but I don't accept access to it so can't know if in that location is to a greater extent than information to live on flora there.)

I hence took to the reckoner to run across what I could find. What follows comes mainly from a scan of Ancestry records, too also the online British Newspaper archive. If anyone has something to add, experience gratis to comment on this post.

Here are the basic details I accept found: she was born Grace Moore Ellis inwards the starting fourth dimension quarter of 1875 inwards Bangor, Anglesey to the Welsh-born cleric Rev. David Henry Ellis too Grace (née) Moore, who had married inwards London inwards 1872. Sadly, her mother's expiry is also recorded for the same fourth dimension too place, so nosotros accept to conclude that she died inwards childbirth leaving Grace without a mother.

Subsequent censuses exhibit that Grace lived amongst her maternal grandmother, Mary Yorke Moore (who was born inwards Philadelphia, USA, inwards well-nigh 1831, but who was a British subject). In 1881 Grace too her grandmother were living inwards Bibury, close Northleach, inwards Gloucestershire, inwards 1891 inwards Weston super Mare, Somerset, too inwards 1901 inwards Kensington, London. In the latter census Grace's profession was given equally "professional musician, pianist" but I accept non followed upwards this interesting lead.

In Nov 1906 Grace married Allan Lee Curling, who was well-nigh the same historic current equally her too from Hernhill inwards Kent. Allan's manlike somebody raise was a hop farmer too he himself a merchant, according to i census, although thereafter he was referred to equally a local managing director of the National Telephone Company. Grace's manlike somebody raise had remarried after his starting fourth dimension wife's expiry but died inwards 1902. Grace's half-sister Ada Throsby Ellis attended her wedding.

Grace too Allan Curling lived inwards Tunbridge Wells inwards Kent too were both members of the Tunbridge Wells Chess Club too (I think) Sevenoaks Chess Club. Grace tended to play a board or 2 inwards a higher house hubby Allan inwards matches. In 1912 Grace won the Tunbridge Wells Club Championship inwards what was quite a useful field.

Their names tin live on flora inwards many paper reports inwards the current 1909-1913, peculiarly the Kent & Sussex Courier too the Sevenoaks Chronicle too Kentish Advertiser.

Grace Curling won the 1908 British Ladies' Championship, held inwards her dwelling household town of Tunbridge Wells (an aside - has anyone else won a British Chess Championship inwards their dwelling household town? Quite perhaps but I've non bothered to banking concern check yet.) Despite existence the dwelling household town favourite, the local paper didn't accept much organized faith inwards her:

There does non appear to live on real much prospect of Mrs Curling winning the British Ladles' Championship this time, although she is bracketed 3rd amongst Mrs Anderson In the tournament. It would for certain accept been a cracking laurels for Tunbridge Wells if the British Ladies' Trophy could accept remained inwards the town, as, owing to the absence from dwelling household of several members of the local Club, Mrs Curling is the alone Tunbridge Wells challenger who has the chance of securing the laurels for the town too the Club. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 reference to her scores volition at i time Indicate that she has so far succeeded admirably. having upwards to Midweek night, played nine games, won 6, drawn 1, too lost 2.

So wrote the Kent too Sussex Courier on Fri 21 August 1908, the twenty-four hr current on which the in conclusion circular was to live on played at Tunbridge Wells. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 calendar week afterward they had to consume their words:
In the Ladies' Championship Tournament an exciting incident marked the in conclusion day's play. Miss Lawson had too so lost 1½ points [the newspaper's weird agency of referring to her score of 8½/10 - JS], spell Mrs Anderson too Mrs Curling were 2½ downward [scores of 7½/10]. The starting fourth dimension named had alone to depict to secure the starting fourth dimension prize too the championship. She was playing a real careful game against Mrs Curling, her in conclusion opponent, when of a precipitous she overlooked a trap which had been ready for her Queen, too Mrs Curling won. This number has produced a triple necktie betwixt Miss Lawson. Mrs Curling too Mrs Anderson, who are 8½ each. In our notes in conclusion calendar week nosotros stated that although Mrs Curling had made a real practiced score, it appeared most improbable that she would live on inwards running for the Championship. However, the unexpected happened, too Tunbridge Wells will, nosotros experience sure, experience proud of so able an exponent of the cracking too intellectual game of chess too fervently promise that when the Championship is played off inwards London inwards Jan next, Mrs Curling may live on successful inwards bringing the trophy dorsum to Tunbridge Wells.
For the tape hither are the scores of the 1908 British Ladies' Championship (with total names): 1-3 Gertrude Alison Anderson, Grace Moore Curling too Agnes Bradley Lawson (later Stevenson) 8½/11, 4 Frances Dunn Herring 8, 5-6 Agnes Margaret Crum too Annie Sophia Roe 5½, Helen Eliza Sidney 5, Miss (Georgiana?) Watson 4½, Mary Mills Houlding too Emily Margaret Stevens 4, Hannah Maria Joughin too Anne Dick Smith-Cunninghame 2. (Crosstable here) Incidentally, roughly interesting articles well-nigh these women's tournaments may live on found here, written past times 'Batgirl'.

The play-off took house inwards Feb inwards London too the scores were Grace Curling 2½, Agnes Lawson 2, Gertrude Anderson 1½.

Thereafter Grace Moore Curling seems to accept concentrated on mixed chess. In 1912 she played inwards the First-Class Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 department of the British Championship, scoring 5½/11 inwards a potent section.

Returning for a minute to statutory data, at the fourth dimension of the 1911 census Grace too Allan were living at 147 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells, Allan was listed equally the managing director of a yell upwards company, spell Grace's profession was blank, They must accept been reasonably off equally they had a live-in domestic servant, 25-year-old Fanny Bridger, from Tunbridge Wells.

The Kent & Sussex Courier, on thirteen September 1912, recorded the fact that Mr too Mrs Curling were moving to Sunderland. This was quite a blow for the Tunbridge Wells club. The Curlings had Tunbridge Wells CC’s best averages too didn't miss a gibe inwards the preceding season. They nevertheless played social club matches until well-nigh Nov 1912, too correspondence chess for Kent until good into 1914. Allan Curling, although the lesser player, was also valuable equally an organiser, having run the Easter 1912 Kent Congress at Tunbridge Wells.

The motility to Sunderland didn't in conclusion long because, at the terminate of July 1914, simply equally the footing country of war was well-nigh to begin, Grace too Allan Curling sailed for Africa, landing at Beira inwards Mozambique. Thereafter I accept non been able to notice out anything well-nigh them until the fourth dimension of their deaths. Grace died on thirteen April 1958, at the Arthur's Seat Hotel, Sea Point, Cape Town. Her dwelling household address at the fourth dimension was 'Dunholm' Farm, Inyazura (now Nyazura), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). She died leaving well-nigh £7700 inwards England. Allan Lee Curling died on nineteen May 1964 at the above-mentioned address inwards Rhodesia.

That's well-nigh it - hopefully the entry for the 1908 British Ladies' Chess Champion inwards up-to-date chess records volition henceforth read equally follows:

Grace Moore Curling (née Ellis) (born 1875, Bangor, Wales, died 1958, Cape Town)

Finally, since I accept it to hand, hither are to a greater extent than items from Grace Curling's chess CV. As Grace Ellis she won the 1906 Ostend Ladies’ tournament amongst 11½/12, ahead of Gertrude Anderson 11, Frances Herring 10, etc. (Year-Book of Chess 1907, p96); too and so articulation winner (with Kate Finn) of the June 1907 Ostend Ladies’ Tournament (The Field 1907, p327 too p331, amongst 9/10. She musical rhythm out Kate Finn inwards their private game but lost to Mrs Roe. My agreement (I've non seen a straight source) is that in that location was a afterward play-off which was won past times Kate Finn, scoring i win too 2 draws.

I alone accept the i game played past times Grace on my database. Here it is:

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