Sir George Thomas, 7th Baronet

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Sir George Thomas, Bt
Full name George Alan Thomas
Country (sports)  England
Born (1881-06-14)14 June 1881
Tarabya, Istanbul, Turkey
Died 23 July 1972(1972-07-23) (aged 91)
London, England
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon QF (1911)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon SF (1907, 1912)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon 2R (1920, 1921)

Sir George Alan Thomas, 7th Baronet (14 June 1881 – 23 July 1972) was a British badminton, tennis and chess player. He was twice British Chess Champion and a 21-time All-England Badminton champion. He also reached the quarterfinals of the singles and the semifinals of the men's tennis doubles at Wimbledon in 1911.[1] Badminton's world men's team championships cup, equivalent to tennis' Davis Cup, is named Thomas Cup after him. Thomas lived most of his life in London and Godalming. He never married, so the hereditary Thomas baronetcy ended on his death. Thomas was admired for his fine sportsmanship.


George Alan Thomas and Ethel B. Thomson playing badminton c. 1905

Counting both singles and doubles titles, Thomas is the most successful player ever in the All England Open Badminton Championships, considered the unofficial World Badminton Championships, with 21 titles from 1906 to 1928. Four of those titles were in men's singles (consecutive titles from 1920–23), nine in men's doubles and eight in mixed doubles. He won his titles both before and after a hiatus in the competition from 1915 to 1919 due to World War I.

In 1934 he was co-founder of the International Badminton Federation (now Badminton World Federation), of which he was president from 1934 to 1955.

Inspired by tennis' Davis Cup, first held in 1900, and football's World Cup, first held in 1930, Thomas had the idea of organizing an international competition for country teams in badminton. In 1939 his idea was well received at the general meeting of the International Badminton Federation.[2][3] In the same year, Sir George presented the Thomas Cup, officially known as The International Badminton Championship Challenge Cup, produced by Atkin Bros of London at a cost of US$40,000. The Cup stands 28 inches high and 16 inches across at its widest, and consists of three parts: a plinth (pedestal), a bowl, and a lid with a player figure.[3] The first tournament was originally planned for 1941-1942, but due to World War II was not realized until 1948-1949, when ten national teams participated in the first Thomas Cup competition. Despite its British origins, England's best finish in the Thomas Cup has been a third place in 1984.

Thomas was inducted into the World Badminton Hall of Fame as an Inaugural Member in 1996.


Thomas was British Chess Champion in 1923 and 1934. He shared first prize at the 1934/5 Hastings International Chess Congress with the next world chess champion Max Euwe and leading Czechoslovak player Salo Flohr, ahead of past and future world champions José Raúl Capablanca and Mikhail Botvinnik, whom he defeated in their individual games. For Capablanca, this had been the first loss in tournament play for four years, and the first playing the white pieces for more than six years. Also in Hastings, eleven years later, Euwe would become the third world chess champion to be defeated by Thomas in a game.[4]

His 'lifetime' scores against the world's elite were however less flattering: he had minuses against Emanuel Lasker (−1, not counting a win in a Lasker simultaneous exhibition in 1896), Capablanca (+1−5=3), Alekhine (−7=6), Efim Bogoljubov (−5=3), Euwe (+1−9=2), Flohr (+2−9=4) and Savielly Tartakower (+3−9=10). He also fared badly against Edgard Colle (+1–9=8). Thomas made even scores with Botvinnik (+1−1), Richard Réti (+3−3=1) and Siegbert Tarrasch (+1−1=3). Against Géza Maróczy, the balance was in Thomas' favour (+3−1=5).

Domestically, he held a plus score against his great rival Frederick Yates (+13 –11 =13), but was less successful against Women's World Chess Champion Vera Menchik (+7−8=7),

In 1950 he was awarded the International Master title by FIDE and in 1952, became an International Arbiter. At age 69, he gave up competitive chess.


  1. ^ "Europe have yet to lift trophy". Malay Mail. 6 May 2004 
  2. ^ "The Thomas Cup". Retrieved 13 April 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Mengenal Sejarah Piala Thomas" (in Indonesian). Retrieved 13 April 2007. 
  4. ^ Max Euwe vs George Alan Thomas, Hastings 1945/6, at

External links[edit]

Baronetage of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Sidney Meade Thomas
(of Yapton)