Insurance Chess Club

   4-Handed Chess - 1892 Match

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6


4-H Chess 
1892 Match 

London v Cambridge University

18th March 1892

Notes to all games on this page are reproduced from 'Four Chess' published approximately 1882, by the Senior University Chess Club, Cambridge.

Notation: Descriptive notation seems the simplest to use in four-handed chess. An algebraic version can clearly be employed, but due to the size of a 4H board, can involve a lot more counting! With descriptive notation, all ranks are described from the view point of the player whose turn it is to move. Squares in the board extensions to either side of each player are expressed as that of the player concerned, given in a lower case letter before the square eg yK3 means Yellow's K3, rKB3 means Red's KB3 etc. The same device is used if necessary to avoid an ambiguity, sometimes in relation to a piece, eg bKN means Black's king's knight, etc.

A player who is mated loses his turn and his "move" is therefore shown as a dash.


1892 Match 
1992 Match 

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Top

Game 1

Cambridge: Blythe (White) and Gunston (Yellow)
London: Verney (Black) and Hughes (Red)

     White      Black      Yellow      Red

 1   P-K3       P-K3       P-K3        P-K3
 2   Q-N4       Q-N4       Q-N4        Q-K2
 3   N-QB3      N-KB3      N-QB3       N-KB3
 4   N-B3       N-B3       N-B3        N-B3
 5   P-QN4      Q-Q7

The great objection to this move is that it leaves Black exposed later on to yN-Q5, while White plays BxKP or N-QR4.

 5   ....       ....       B-Q3        Q-Q3
 6   Q-K4

Weak in view of the threatened mate. B-Q3 is better.

 6   ....       P-QN4

At this point White could have been mated thus: 6 ..., QxwP+, Q-KN9, QxwP mate. Black can then proceed with advantage: 7 - , QxyP+ QPxQ, QxyQ.

 6   ....       ....       Q-K4        Q-K4

N-QN5 is stronger.

 7   B-N2       Q-Q5       R-KN1       Q-Q3
 8   P-QR4      P-KR3      P-KN4       Q-Q9
 9   N-QN5      NxN        P-QR4       B-B4
10   PxN        Q-N3       P-KR4       N-QN5

To keep White quiet now that Black's queen is in danger. Black and Red have lost time moving their queens, and White and Yellow are better developed.

11   NxN        Q-Q5

It would be very much better to play NxP.

11   ....       ....       P-R5        B-yR2
12   N-K6       N-QN5

This move gives up his QR, gains no corresponding advantage, and leads to further losses.

12   ....       ....       PxN         Q-K9
13   QxR        K-Q1       NxB         QxN
14   B-Q4       B-Q3       B-B1        N-K5
15   QxB+       K-K2       QxKP+       QxwP+
16   BPxQ       Black & Red Resign.

Black's best move would probably be QPxQ when wQxBR and White &Yellow would soon win by force.

Cambridge 1 - 0 London.

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Top

Game 2

London: Verney (White) and Hughes (Yellow)
Cambridge: Gunston (Black) and Blythe (Red)

     White      Black      Yellow      Red

     First four moves as in Game 1.

 5   P-KR3

This move is played to stop rP-QR4, and prevents rQBxKNP, but is not so forcing as P-QN4.

 5   ....       P-QN4      Q-K4!       P-QN4
 6   Q-QB8

Risky in view of future attack from the Black knight.

 6   ....       B-Q3       P-KR3       B-N2
 7   P-QN4      Q-QB8

Not a comfortable position for the queen, but no other square seems altogether satisfactory.

 7   ....       ....       P-QR4       R-QN1

Tame. Q-Q3 or N-Q1 afford a strong attack on Yellow.

 8   B-B4       N-K4       Q-K10       N-QR4
 9   Q-KN12     QxwKP+

This mate seems expensive, and cannot be held; but if followed up properly should result in Black and Red obtaining the superior game against any defence.

 9   ....       ....       QxbR        NxwP+

NxN+ is much better.

10   K-Q1       Q-wK2      Q-K10!

Much better than QxB+, which would have led to the speedy loss of the game.

10   ....       ....       ....        QxwP mate
11     -        Q-Q8       QxQ         BxQ
12   BxB        B-N2       N-K5        P-N3

An extremely bad move in every way. P-N5 or B-Q4 were both very strong moves, and would make White's position almost untenable.

13   QxN        Q-QN6      N-KB3       B-B3
14   B-Q5       BxB        N-QN5

Yellow must attack Red in order to save his partner.

14   ....       ....       ....        NxN
15   NxB        QxyBP      B-K2

PxN is better, and PxP much better than either, as it renders Red useless for the time owing to the threatened check.

15   ....       ....       ....        P-N5!
16   K-B1       Q-KN9      BxN         BxN
17   Q-B1       QxN

QxP+ is far better, and would have won the game. If then yBxP, Red plays B-wQ1 mate, and the bQxyB. Red has then time for B-R11, and White will be mated again before long.

17   ....       ....       B-KB9!      R-N4
18   P-KR4

QxP+, as intended by his partner, would have relieved White and Yellow from all difficulties.

18   ....       QxB        P-QN3       BxR

This gives away the game. B-wN2 would win, as White would be obliged to play Q-Q1, and will soon be mated or lose his queen.

19   Q-rB1+     Q-KB9      B-rB1 mate   -
20   R-N1       Q-QB12     B-rN2       K-K2
21   QxR        Q-B6       O-O         B-R7

P-Q4 avoids mate.

22   Q-rB1 mate Q-KB9      B-rR3       K-B3
23   Q-rN2+     QxwBP      QR-B1       K-B4
24   QxrBP+     Q-wN1+     R-B7 mate.    -
25   K-N2       N-R4+      R-K7

RxB at once is a quicker way to settle matters.

25   ....       ....       ....          -
26   K-R1       Q-B5       RxB           -
27   B-K3       QxB        RxP+        K-K4
28   R-K1       BPxR       B-rN2+      K-Q4
29   RxQ        O-O        R-B1        B-B5
30   Q-B9+      R-B7       R-B5        K-B4
31   QxN        R-wQ1+     R-R5+       P-Q4
32   K-N2       N-N3       RxbP        K-B3
33   R-K6       Black & Red Resign.

Cambridge 1 - 1 London.

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Top

Game 3

Cambridge: Gunston (White) and Blythe (Yellow)
London: Hughes (Black) and Verney (Red)

     White      Black      Yellow      Red

     First four moves as in Game 1

 5   P-QN4      Q-K4       Q-K4        Q-QB4
 6   B-K2       P-KR3      P-QN4       P-KR3
 7   B-N2       P-QR4      B-N2        P-QN4
 8   Q-Q7

White's queen being strongly attacked, he offers the exchange with Black to get the yellow queen in a good position.

 8   ....       QxQ        QxQ         B-Q3
 9   N-K4       P-R5       N-Q4        P-QR4
10   R-KN1      P-R6

This constant advance of the RP leaves Black's other pieces undeveloped, while White, who also without a queen, has his pieces in better positions.

10   ....       ....       KN-N5       NxN
11   BxrNP      N-Q5

N-QR4 to threaten check is much better.

11   ....       ....       QxN         R-R2

Though bad, R-B1 seems the best move, for if R-KN1 White plays B-N7 and yQxrR+.

12   B-N7       PxP        Q-rN1+      K-K2
13   BxQ        PxP        QxR         BxB
14   B-B4       PxN        BxbP        B-N2
15   B-N8

Played to prevent Black moving R-R7+.

15   ....       N-B6       P-N5+       K-Q3
16   N-B6       N-K8       P-KR4       B-R3

Red has little left to do, but there seems no object in this move. B-Q5 is better.

17   B-B12      P-B3       B-Q4+

Q-B8+ is stronger.

17   ....       ....       ....        K-K2
18   P-KR3      P-QN3      B-B3+       K-Q3
19   PxB        PxP        QxrBP

At this point the game was left unfinished, the odds being queen and rook to a knight in favour of Cambridge. Red can be mated in a few moves against any defence, and the game is in a perfectly hopeless and resignable condition.

Cambridge 1-1- London.

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Top

Game 4

London: Lord (White) and Heppell (Yellow)
Cambridge: Graham (Black) and Barlow (Red)

     White      Black      Yellow      Red

     Same first four moves as Game 1

 5   P-KR3      B-Q3       P-KR4       P-KR4
 6   P-QN4      Q-QB4      P-R5        P-R5

P-QN4 should be played here to prevent wQBxP.

 7   QBxP       N-QN5

Why not R-KN1? If then 7 ..., ..., PxN, PxN; 8 BxN, QxR PxP+ and Black and Red have the better game.

 7   ....       ....       NxN         PxN
 8   BxKP

Black threatens to attack Yellow while Red plays PxP+, if yQxrR, so White creates a diversion.

 8   ....       QPxB       QxR         P-QN4
 9   Q-K6       B-K2

At this point Black should have played QxN, followed, if yPxP, by N-QN5 from Red, when Black will get time to move R-KN1. Even R-KN1 at once is much better than the text move.

 9   ....       ....       NPxP        B-N2
10   BxR        QxN        P-R6!       N-Q4
11   BxN        B-Q2       R-QN1       O-O-0
12   N-QR4      Q-KN5      B-K2        KN-N5
13   NxN        QxQN       BxB+        NxN

The game is now quite hopeless, but Q-B3 offers the best chance of resistance. Taking the knight either with knight or queen is immediately fatal.

14   QxP+       KxB        R-N9 mate    -
15   BxB        KxB        Q-Q4         -
16   O-O        Black and Red resign.

Cambridge 1 - 2 London.

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Top

Game 5

Cambridge: Graham (White) and Barlow (Yellow)
London: Lord (Black) and Heppell (Red)

     White      Black      Yellow      Red

 1   P-K3       P-K3       P-K3        P-K3
 2   Q-N4       Q-N4       Q-N4        Q-N4
 3   N-QB3      N-KB3      N-QB3       N-KB3
 4   N-B3       N-B3       N-B3        N-B3
 5   P-KR4      P-KR3      P-QN4       Q-Q7
 6   P-R5       P-QN4      Q-QB4       N-K2

This move blocks the bishop, and greatly affects the result of the game. N-K4 or QN5 would be better.

 7   P-N4       Q-QB4      P-QR4       QxyP+

See Note b) in the first Game of this series. Red and Black go in for a mate, and suffer loss in consequence, because the red queen cannot get away, still keeping up a check on Yellow, since Yellow pieces cannot be taken.

 8   Q-Q4       QxyP mate    -         QxwP+
 9   QxQ

QPxQ is decidedly better.

 9   ....       Q-Q7       K-Q1

It would be much better to cover with the queen at K4, which would almost force the exchange of queens, and leave White and Yellow with an easily won game.

 9   ....       ....       ....        N-B4!
10   Q-K4       BxB        KxB

RxB should certainly have been played here. Yellow's subsequent difficulties are mainly due to the text move.

10   ....       ....       ....        P-KN4+
11   Q-K14

Q-K13 is better.

11   ....       QxyP       K-Q2        NxP

P-N5 looks strong here, but would not have been good.

12   Q-Q14      Q-B8+      B-Q3        N-B5

Perhaps B-yB1+ might have been better here, followed by bQ-B4+.

13   K-Q1       Q-B4+      Q-B4!       B-yB1+
14   Q-Q12!     N-QN5      KRxB

KxB would have been much safer, as it leaves no further checks on.

14   ....       ....       ....        N-R6+
15   KBxP       BPxB

It would be better to take with the QP. NxN+ or N-R7+ lead to very strong attacks, but White and Yellow seem to be just able to escape.

15   ....       ....       BxN
                Black and Red resign.

White's next move being R-K1, and Yellow's B-bN3+.

Cambridge 2 - 2 London.

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Top

Game 6

(Heppell & Lord v Barlow & Graham?)

In this game, after 1 P-K3, P-K3, P-K3 P-K3; 2 Q-N4, Q-N4, Q-N4, Q-K2 Mr Heppell, playing White, played 3 N-KB3 instead of N-QB3 and was promptly mated by bQxQP and rQxKP. The mate was never raised, and Black and Red soon got such an attack upon Yellow that he resigned.

Cambridge 3 - 2 London.

(If Game 3 is adjudicated as a win for White and Yellow, the final score would be Cambridge 4 - 2 London.)