B.C. - Washington Matches

Due to their proximity and relative isolation from other major chess centres, there has always been a (generally!) friendly rivalry between players from British Columbia and the state of Washington. For many years this rivalry has had official outlet in annual B.C. vs. Washington matches; this page presents the scores of these matches, along with details of specific contests where available. [In these tables the B.C. score is always given first.] At the end of the page I have also included the results of contests between cities.

Main Series Bicentennial Match Matches Between Champions Scholastic Matches Modern Series Scheveningen Matches Intercity Matches

Main Series

DateLocationA TeamsB Teams
1st1946March 24Mount Vernon27.5-43.5"Receiving excellent publicity in the Seattle press, the match has done a great deal
for chess interest in the Northwest." Chess Review April 1946
Board 1: Olaf Ulvestad broke even with Leo M. Duval
Board 2: J.L. Sheets 2-0 C.F. Millar
2nd1946July 13Vancouver19.5-14.5?Part of Vancouver Diamond Jubilee celebrations
3rd1947March 9Mount Vernon22.5-38.5Included an exhibition game between Olaf Ulvestad and Arthur Dake
4th1947August 17Peace Arch16.5-11.5 +219.5-33.5
5th1948August 8Stanley Park15.0-15.012.0-7.0
6th1949July 3Seattle12.5-17.55.0-19.0
7th1950June 18Mount Vernon13.0-17.04.0-14.0
8th1951August 12Peace Arch15.5-14.517.0-9.0
9th1952August 10Mount Vernon18.5-11.58.0-9.0
10th1953July 26Peace Arch12.0-18.09.0-8.0
11th1954August 15Mount Vernon8.0-22.06.0-9.0
12th1955July 24Peace Arch17.0-13.02.0-2.0 (BC by default)
13th1956August 19Mount Vernon9.0-21.0Washington by default
14th1957July 28Peace Arch22.0-8.07.5-6.5
15th1958August 10Mount Vernon19.0-11.0Washington by default
16th1959July 26Peace Arch20.0-10.06.0-3.0
17th1960July 17Mount Vernon16.0-14.03.0-0.0 (default)
18th1961July 16White Rock16.5-13.5Washington by default
19th1962September 9Mount Vernon24.5-5.5B.C. by default
20th1963July 14White Rock25.0-5.0No contest

[Many thanks to Russell Miller for providing details of these matches from the Washington Chess Letter]

The chronology of the first few matches, telescoping the first four matches into two years, is based on the report given in Chess Life, 5 April 1947. Later sources, such as Dick Allen in the July 1949 issue of Washington Chess Letter, had assumed the matches were annual and thus started in 1944. However, there is no documentary evidence for matches in 1944 or 1945, plus such contests would have been extremely unlikely with the war still on.

The matches soon developed into two sections, an "A" division consisting of the first 30 boards, plus a flexible "B" division which comprised all the remaining players. There were separate trophies for the two divisions, that for the "A" division being a miniature replica of the Peace Arch created by D.E. Purrott of Vancouver and first awarded at the 1947 event. That year also marked the largest number of participants, 166 players on 83 boards!

The matches continued throughout the 1950s, but by the end of the decade both sides were experiencing difficulty attracting players, and as a consequence the "B" competitions suffered. In the early 1960s Washington in particular was having trouble fielding enough players for the 30 board "A" division (a result of the rising popularity of open Swisses), and in late 1963 B.C. wrote to Washington "suggesting to suspend the annual matches until such time as interest in Washington for these events should increase." [BCCF AGM Minutes, September 28, 1963].

Bicentennial Match

To celebrate the American Bicentennial cross-border chess matches were held at ten different locations, five in the United States and five in Canada. The majority of these events took place on September 26, but the match played in Vancouver occurred on June 18; this so as to take advantage of the players from both countries arriving for Vancouver 1976 (a.k.a. the First Paul Keres Memorial), which began the following day.

The Vancouver match was not strictly a B.C. - Washington contest as there were out of province/state participants on both sides, but these were relatively few in number. Despite the setback in Vancouver Canada won the overall match 133.5-93.5. One B.C. player contributed twice to this victory: Bruce Harper. He played board one in the Vancouver match on June 18, and later won his game on board two in the Brockville, Ontario match on September 26!

1976June 18Vancouver16.5-18.5

"It gives me geat pleasure to extend greetings to all those organizing and participating in the important international chess matches being held across the Canadian-American border this year in honour of the American Bicentennial.

On the occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of the independence of the United States of America, I am delighted to offer American chess players hearty congratulations from the people of Canada. Canadians and Americans have persued their individual destinies in peace and friendship for two centuries. We look forward to continuing our unique and amicable relationship in the years to come.

A game of the intellect, chess is a very fitting way to celebrate the American Bicentennial and to commemorate the long-standing ties between our two nations. I wish everyone a very enjoyable set of international chess matches."

Ottawa, 1976 (signed) Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Matches Between Champions

DateB.C. RepresentativeScoreWA Representative
1985June 30Nigel Fullbrook0.5-1.5Jeremy Silman
1986December 6David Ross1.5-0.5Matt Edwards
1987June 13David Ross1.5-0.5Bobby Ferguson
1988June 4Tom O'Donnell1.5-0.5Matt Edwards
1989July 8Gary Basanta1.5-0.5Viktors Pupols
1990October 27Brian McLaren0.5-1.5Neil Salmon
1991July 7Nicholas Spears0.0-2.0Neil Salmon
1992July 11Jonathan Berry0.0-2.0Elena Donaldson
1993July 10Jonathan Berry1.5-0.5Corey Russell

The Chess Square at Park Royal shopping centre in West Vancouver was officially inaugurated on 30 June 1984; to celebrate the first anniversary of this occasion the B.C. and Washington champions played a match at the Chess Square, co-sponsored by the BCCF and Park Royal. These matches continued on an annual basis until 1993, although it should be noted that there were occasional subsitutions, the respective champions not always being able to attend.

Scholastic Matches

1991December 7White Rock22.0-18.0
1992Mountlake TerraceWA
1993December 4New WestminsterWA
1994Mountlake TerraceBC
1996November 30ShorewoodWA
1999December 4Burnaby21.0-27.0
2001December 1Burnaby25.0-23.0
2002November 30Seattle17.5-30.5
2003December 6Burnaby22.5-25.5
2004December 4Seattle28.0-20.0
2005December 10Burnaby30.5-17.5
2006December 2Bellevue20.0-28.0
2008April 19New Westminster32.0-20.0
2009May 2Bellevue20.0-32.0
2010May 1New Westminster21.0-31.0
2011May 14Bellevue26.5-25.5
2012May 6Richmond26.0-26.0
2013May 4Bellevue22.5-29.5
2014May 3Vancouver36.0-16.0
2015May 2Bellevue23.0-29.0
2016May 14Vancouver32.5-19.5
2017May 6Seattle27.0-25.0

Since 1991 our international cross-border chess rivalry has been settled as a scholastic match: 24 students per side (now 26, including kindergarten), two for each grade, play two games, one against each of their respective grade opponents.

Modern Series

2003December 6Burnaby6.0-4.0
2004October 24Bellingham6.0-4.0
2005December 3Bellingham1.5-8.5
2006October 28Bellingham5.0-5.0
2007December 2Vancouver4.0-6.0

Scheveningen Matches

DateLocationA teamsB teams
2017January 13-15Victoria12.5-12.512.0-13.0

Intercity Matches

1898February 12-13Victoria - SeattleSeattle9.5-12.5
1898May 21-22(?)Victoria - SeattleVictoria3.5-8.5
1910March 12-13Nelson - SpokaneTelegraph match3.0-3.0
1910May 21-22Nelson - SpokaneTelegraph match3.0-3.0
1910December 22-23Nelson - SpokaneTelegraph match2.0-4.0
1920March 13Vancouver - SeattleSeattle12.0-12.0
1920April 17Vancouver - SeattleVancouver16*-1*
1932May 22Vancouver - SeattleMount Vernon9.5-15.5
1937September 26Vancouver - SeattleVancouver3.5-7.5
1938May 22Vancouver - SeattleVancouver9.5-8.5
1939April 30Vancouver - SeattleVancouver1.5-5.5
1958June 22Vancouver - SeattleSeattle2.5-5.5
1959February 8Vancouver - SeattleVancouver7.5-1.5
1960September 24Vancouver - SeattleSeattle1.5-6.5
1968Vancouver - SeattleRadio match2.5-0.5