• My Image

    Glasgow Polytechnic

    Chess Club

    1919 - 2019

Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club Logo

Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club History

Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club History

Ancient History

Glasgow Polytechnic Chess club was founded in 1919. The club’s name derives from its original meeting place, the John Anderson Royal Polytechnic, which was situated on the site now occupied by Debenhams in Argyle Street. (At that time the word polytechnic meant what we now call a department store.)

Polytechnic has been present in Glasgow ever since, and we believe that it is the oldest active chess club in the city. (Glasgow Chess Club is much older but is currently inactive).


Florence Frankland Thomson (née Wilson, 8 December 1885 - 2 July 1939)

In the days where women were commonly referred to in publications by their husband’s initials - Mrs W. Thomson, Florence was Scotland’s first female insurance broker. (more)

She gave birth to Alexander Aird Thomson on the 20th February 1917 who later became a distinguished player for the Polytechnic.

Although known for her close association with the Glasgow Ladies’ Chess Club in the 1920s and 1930s, Mrs Florence Franklin Thomson (née Wilson) was known to have won the Polytechnic Club Championship on two occasions, and played for the Polytechnic on the top board in the Richardson Cup for a number of years.

An outstanding chess player, Florence was Scottish Ladies Champion six times - 1929,1930,1932, 1934, and 1937. She participated in the British Women’s Chess Championship on four occasions:- 1935 (3rd equal), 1936 (2nd equal), 1937 (2nd), 1938 (2nd).

In 1937, Florence took part in the Women’s World Chess Championship. (more)

The Thomson Trophy was donated to the Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club in 1938 by Mrs Thomson.

The trophy is inscribed “Mrs F.F. Thomson and Mr A. Aird Thomson 1939”.

J.S. Macmartin (1900 - 1957)

One of the leading figures in the early years of the Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club was James Semple Macmartin. From the various historical documents, he could have been a member of the club for approximately 25 years or more. He was an extraordinary player. (more)

In 1931 he played in the final of the Spens Cup. The Polytechnic played against Motherwell on March 14th 1931 which resulted in a draw 3.5 -3.5. There was a replay in Motherwell on Saturday, April 4th, 1931. This was the first win of the Spens Cup by the Polytechnic 4.5-2.5. J S Macmartin won his game against A.J.Honeyman, playing on board 7. (more)

J S Macmartin again played in the final of the Spens Cup in 1935, which resulted in a win for the Polytechnic 4-3. (more)

1938 was another great year for J S Macmartin. On 21st September 1938 he played Dr Alekhine - World Champion - in Glasgow at the Glasgow Jewish Institute in a simultaneous display. He was one of two players that won against Dr Alexander Alekhine. (more)

Vera Menchik, Women’s World Champion was in Glasgow in October 1938. On 27th October she gave a display at the Polytechnic club rooms on 21 boards. After four hours she had 13 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws. J S Macmartin took part again beat a world champion! (more)

In 1952 the Polytechnic won the Richardson cup. Polytechnic play the Bohemians in the final, winning 4.5 to 2.5. J S Macmartin played on Board 1 and beat N. Singh. (more)

In 1955 Macmartin played board 2 on the winning Polytechnic team that won the Spens cup. (more)

Aird Thomson(1917 - 1991)

The son of F. F. Thomson was a member of the Polytechnic for many years, between 1937 until 1953. It is probable that he was a member well before 1937. However, the first recorded instance is jointly-winning the Polytechnic Club Championship in 1937. He was also Club Champion in 1947,1949,1950, 1951, 1953 (equal-first). (more)
Aird Thomson was Scottish Boys' Champion in 1932, and 1933 ( equal-first). (more)
In 1951 he was Scottish Champion. (more)
In 1954 he moved to London. He married Susan Mary Hamilton in 1961 who went on to become Scottish Ladies' Champion in 1965. (more)
Aird represented Scotland's Olympiad teams at Moscow 1956, Munich 1958 and Tel-Aviv 1964. He played for the London League until his death.


Modern History

Polytechnic won the prestigious British National Club Championship in 1988. We were the first Scottish club to do so. Polytechnic thus qualified for the 1989 European Club Championship, in which we were drawn against C.S.K.A. Moscow. Our tremendously strong opponents (none graded below 2485) proved much too strong, but nevertheless it was a memorable occasion. [ Match report by Alison Condie on Chess Scotland.]

Polytechnic have won the Richardson Cup (the premier team competition in Scotland) 16 times, including a record-breaking run of six consecutive wins between 1999 and 2004, and four further wins since then. Polytechnic have also been the most successful club in the history of the Glasgow Chess League, having won the division 1 championship 22 times.

Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club Trophies

British National Club Championship
- 1988

Winning Years


1931 - Polytechnic vs Motherwell

1935 - Polytechnic vs Queen's Park

1955 - Polytechnic vs Central

( The Spens Cup was named after Walter Cook Spens (1842-1900) - also known as Sheriff Spens. He was Scottish Champion in 1894. After his death, a public subscription raised sufficient funds to purchase the Spens Cup. more )

Winning Years (Divison 1)


1938, 1939, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991,1995, 1998, 2002, 2014.

Winning Years (Divison 2)


1921, 1951, 1961, 1976, 1980, 2009

  

© 2018-19 Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club

Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club Logo

Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club History

Ancient History

Glasgow Polytechnic Chess club was founded in 1919. The club’s name derives from its original meeting place, the John Anderson Royal Polytechnic, which was situated on the site now occupied by Debenhams in Argyle Street. (At that time the word polytechnic meant what we now call a department store.)

Polytechnic has been present in Glasgow ever since, and we believe that it is the oldest active chess club in the city. (Glasgow Chess Club is much older but is currently inactive).


Florence Frankland Thomson (née Wilson, 8 December 1885 - 2 July 1939)

In the days where women were commonly referred to in publications by their husband’s initials - Mrs W. Thomson, Florence was Scotland’s first female insurance broker. (more)

She gave birth to Alexander Aird Thomson on the 20th February 1917 who later became a distinguished player for the Polytechnic.

Although known for her close association with the Glasgow Ladies’ Chess Club in the 1920s and 1930s, Mrs Florence Franklin Thomson (née Wilson) was known to have won the Polytechnic Club Championship on two occasions, and played for the Polytechnic on the top board in the Richardson Cup for a number of years.

An outstanding chess player, Florence was Scottish Ladies Champion six times - 1929,1930,1932, 1934, and 1937. She participated in the British Women’s Chess Championship on four occasions:- 1935 (3rd equal), 1936 (2nd equal), 1937 (2nd), 1938 (2nd).

In 1937, Florence took part in the Women’s World Chess Championship. (more)

The Thomson Trophy was donated to the Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club in 1938 by Mrs Thomson.

The trophy is inscribed “Mrs F.F. Thomson and Mr A. Aird Thomson 1939”.

J.S. Macmartin (1900 - 1957)

One of the leading figures in the early years of the Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club was James Semple Macmartin. From the various historical documents, he could have been a member of the club for approximately 25 years or more. He was an extraordinary player. (more)

In 1931 he played in the final of the Spens Cup. The Polytechnic played against Motherwell on March 14th 1931 which resulted in a draw 3.5 -3.5. There was a replay in Motherwell on Saturday, April 4th, 1931. This was the first win of the Spens Cup by the Polytechnic 4.5-2.5. J S Macmartin won his game against A.J.Honeyman, playing on board 7. (more)

J S Macmartin again played in the final of the Spens Cup in 1935, which resulted in a win for the Polytechnic 4-3. (more)

1938 was another great year for J S Macmartin. On 21st September 1938 he played Dr Alekhine - World Champion - in Glasgow at the Glasgow Jewish Institute in a simultaneous display. He was one of two players that won against Dr Alexander Alekhine. (more)

Vera Menchik, Women’s World Champion was in Glasgow in October 1938. On 27th October she gave a display at the Polytechnic club rooms on 21 boards. After four hours she had 13 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws. J S Macmartin took part again beat a world champion! (more)

In 1952 the Polytechnic won the Richardson cup. Polytechnic play the Bohemians in the final, winning 4.5 to 2.5. J S Macmartin played on Board 1 and beat N. Singh. (more)

In 1955 Macmartin played board 2 on the winning Polytechnic team that won the Spens cup. (more)

Aird Thomson(1917 - 1991)

The son of F. F. Thomson was a member of the Polytechnic for many years, between 1937 until 1953. It is probable that he was a member well before 1937. However, the first recorded instance is jointly-winning the Polytechnic Club Championship in 1937. He was also Club Champion in 1947,1949,1950, 1951, 1953 (equal-first). (more)
Aird Thomson was Scottish Boys' Champion in 1932, and 1933 ( equal-first). (more)
In 1951 he was Scottish Champion. (more)
In 1954 he moved to London. He married Susan Mary Hamilton in 1961 who went on to become Scottish Ladies' Champion in 1965. (more)
Aird represented Scotland's Olympiad teams at Moscow 1956, Munich 1958 and Tel-Aviv 1964. He played for the London League until his death.


Modern History

Polytechnic won the prestigious British National Club Championship in 1988. We were the first Scottish club to do so. Polytechnic thus qualified for the 1989 European Club Championship, in which we were drawn against C.S.K.A. Moscow. Our tremendously strong opponents (none graded below 2485) proved much too strong, but nevertheless it was a memorable occasion. [ Match report by Alison Condie on Chess Scotland.]

Polytechnic have won the Richardson Cup (the premier team competition in Scotland) 16 times, including a record-breaking run of six consecutive wins between 1999 and 2004, and four further wins since then. Polytechnic have also been the most successful club in the history of the Glasgow Chess League, having won the division 1 championship 22 times.

Glasgow Polytechnic Trophies

British National Club Championship 1988

Winning Years


1931 - Polytechnic vs Motherwell

1935 - Polytechnic vs Queen's Park

1955 - Polytechnic vs Central

( The Spens Cup was named after Walter Cook Spens (1842-1900) - also known as Sheriff Spens. He was Scottish Champion in 1894. After his death, a public subscription raised sufficient funds to purchase the Spens Cup. more )

Winning Years (Divison 1)


1938, 1939, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991,1995, 1998, 2002, 2014.

Winning Years (Divison 2)


1921, 1951, 1961, 1976, 1980, 2009

  

© 2018-19 Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club

We use cookies to monitor and improve the website. No personal data is collected, except for the purpose of responding to your enquiry.