The 2020 North v South online challenge took place on 5th September after a break of 126 years following the challenges of 1893 and 1894. This was the third in the series of three North v South matches in 1893, 1894 and 2020.
North v South 1893 – The 1893 match took place in the luncheon room of the rather ornate (and quite recently built) Great Western Hotel in Birmingham. The match was meant to be played over 100 boards in tables of 10 boards. However there were 6 reserve boards who also played. The Southern players were asked to wear blue rosettes, while Northern players wore red-and-white rosettes. The match started promptly at 1-15 pm and went through to 5-45 pm. It was close all the way through the afternoon as the early games finished with the stewards reporting the score. The great Joseph Henry Blackburne was in attendance and was asked to adjudicate all games still running at 5-45 pm which he did game by game. After the adjudications, the top 100 boards were drawn 50-50 and the South only won based on the 6 reserve boards being counted with a narrow 53.5 to 52.5 margin overall following the adjudications. The result was disputed by the Northern players who claimed that Mr Blackburne had declared a draw in what looked like a won position for a Northern player. However no-one dared to question the great man at the time and the result still stands.
North v South 1894 – The 1894 re-match took place at the Portman Rooms, Baker Street, London and was a more comfortable win for the South by 64.5 – 43.5 over 108 boards.
North v South Online 2020 – Honour was restored to the North of England after a 126 wait in the oldest counties challenge of them all with a victory over the South of England in the North v South Challenge, particularly across the top 20 boards where the North held a significant and decisive grading advantage.
The match was played on Chess.com over 108 boards matching the last encounter in 1894.
GM Matthew Sadler & WIM Natasha Regan provided the live commentary.
You can find full details at the link below:
This put the overall score in the longest running competition at 2-1 to the South based on the their wins in the first two matches in 1893 and 1894 followed by the North win in 2020.
We can look forward to next year’s event when the story continues.