George Buchanan, known as "Wee George",
was born in Glasgow on February 12, 1876.
He was the son of Mary and William Buchanan,
and his father was a watch-glass maker. “Wee
George” was introduced to the game
of checkers early in life and quickly displayed
a great potential in the mind sport of checkers.
George Buchanan learned the game easily
and began his playing career in 1891 at the
age of 15. George Buchanan acquired the
name “Wee George” because
the small youth was considered to be checkers
champion material in the game and was small
in stature for his age.
Within three years of first showing on the
checkers game ‘circuit’, George
Buchanan was a regular player in top board
with the strong South Side Draughts Club,
located in Glasgow. In 1894, champion George
Buchanan played for the victorious Scottish
team against England in the checker tournament
for the championship title. During the match
games of the tourney, English player J. A.
Kear, Sr. has been noted to say
"By Jove, that boy can play!"
Champion George Buchanan
Buchanan chose his profession as lapidarian,
and worked as a stonecutter who also polished
or engraved precious stones. But when he
wasn't focused on his job,
“Wee George” proved to be a very
talented checker player who possessed a remarkable
memory and who displayed great skill in analysis,
blindfold, cross-board, and simultaneous
checkers game play.
By the turn of the century, checkers game
champion George Buchanan could be considered
one of Scotland's top four players along
with Richard Jordan,
James Ferrie, and James
Stewart. In 1905, he was a checker master
on the British team and represented Great
Britain against the USA in the first International
Match, but his greatest achievement was probably
the hat trick of Scottish Championships in
1905, 1906 and 1907.
Unfortunately, champion George Buchanan's
health began to fail soon afterwards, and
he succumbed to either silicosis or tuberculosis
at a young age of 34 on August 5, 1910 died
at his home in Cathcart.