Happy Birthday Simon !

IM Simon Knott
IM Simon Knott

We offer best wishes to IM Simon John Bradley Knott on his birthday, October 19th 1958.

IM Simon Knott
IM Simon Knott

Luke McShane is Chess Columnist for The Spectator

GM Luke James McShane
GM Luke James McShane

Luke McShane has made a welcome return to chess journalism as the columnist for The Spectator. At fifteen Luke provided a regular column for The Express on Sunday and, until recently, was a busy full-time trader at Goldman Sachs.

Luke McShane
Luke McShane

The first chess columnist for The Spectator was Conel Hugh O’Donnell Alexander who was followed by Raymond Keene who “retired” in 2019.

Luke’s most recent article may be found here.

GM Luke McShane
GM Luke McShane

We look forward to original and interesting articles from Luke !

Greetings John Shaw

GM John K Shaw
GM John K Shaw

We offer birthday greetings to GM John Shaw this day, October 16th in 1968

From Wikipedia :

John K. Shaw (born 16 October 1968) is a Scottish chess player. He won the Scottish Championship in 1995 (tied), 1998 and 2000 (tied). He is an uncommon example of great progress in an adult chess player. In 1988, at age 19, his rating was 1700, which is the strength of a slightly above average Scottish chess player. He was awarded the International Master title in 1999, and the International Grandmaster title in 2006.

To qualify for the GM title, he gained three norms at Gibraltar 2003, Calvia Olympiad 2004 and 4NCL Season 2005/6.

A writer of chess books, Shaw is also the Chief Editor of the publishing house Quality Chess.

starting out : the ruy lopez
starting out : the ruy lopez
starting out : the queen's gambit
starting out : the queen’s gambit
Quality Chess Puzzle Book
Quality Chess Puzzle Book
The King's Gambit
The King’s Gambit
Playing 1.e4
Playing 1.e4

Remembering Charles Masson Fox (09-XI-1866, 11-X-1935)

Charles Masson Fox
Charles Masson Fox

From Wikipedia :

Charles Masson Fox (9 November 1866 – 11 October 1935) was a Cornish businessman who achieved international prominence in the world of chess problems and a place in the gay history of Edwardian England.

Masson Fox was born into a Quaker family (although he was not related to the Quakers’ founder George Fox) and was a cousin of the fraudulent sinologist Sir Edmund Backhouse, 2nd Baronet. Living throughout his life in the Cornish seaside town of Falmouth, Fox in the early decades of his life was a senior partner of his family’s timber firm, Fox Stanton & Company, and was also on the Board of Messrs G C Fox & Company, a long-established firm of shipping agents.

C.M.Fox’s gravestone at Budock Quaker Burial Ground
Fox is described by chess historian Thomas Rayner Dawson (1889–1951) as “a friendly man, kind, mellow, lovable, bringing peace and comfort and serene joy with him”. He was also a discreet but active homosexual. In 1909 he visited Venice with his friend James Cockerton, meeting the writer Frederick Rolfe and becoming the reluctant recipient of Rolfe’s famous Venice Letters, in which the gay subculture of Venice is vividly described.

In 1912–13 Fox was blackmailed by a woman who accused him of seducing her 16-year-old son. Eventually Fox reported the matter to the police and the woman was sent to prison for five years and her son for one year, with hard labour.[1] However, Fox was profoundly affected by the publicity surrounding the case, which was reported in detail in the local press. The predictable result of his courageous action was the destruction of his reputation, and the compromise of his business and social life in Falmouth.

Although he continued to live in Cornwall, the focus of his social life shifted to London, and in the last two decades of his life, Fox became prominent in the world of chess. He was elected President of the Cornwall Chess Association, played a prominent part in the development of the British Chess Problem Society, and is still renowned as one of the greatest ever exponents of fairy chess (chess problems with variations in the rules).

Charles Masson Fox
Charles Masson Fox

Best Wishes IM Michael Hennigan

IM Michael T Hennigan, photo by Cathy Rogers
IM Michael T Hennigan, photo by Cathy Rogers

We send best wishes to IM Michael Thomas Hennigan, born this day (October 8th) in 1970 in Hammersmith, London.

Michael became World Under-18 Youth Champion in 1988 in Aguadilla (Puerto Rico). He gained the International Master title in 1991 and in the same year was British Under-21 Champion at Eastbourne and was British Champion in 1993 in Dundee beating Dharshan Kumaran in the play-off. He played for North West Eagles in the Four Nations Chess League.

Stuart Conquest vs Michael Hennigan at 4NCL,, photo by Meri Grigoryan
Stuart Conquest vs Michael Hennigan at 4NCL,, photo by Meri Grigoryan

Happy Birthday Dr. Jonathan Penrose OBE

Dr. Jonathan Penrose OBE
Dr. Jonathan Penrose OBE

We send best wishes to Dr. Jonathan Penrose OBE on his birthday, this day (October 7th) in 1933.

From Wikipedia :

Jonathan Penrose, OBE (born 7 October 1933, in Colchester) is an English chess Grandmaster and International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster (1983) who won the British Chess Championship ten times between 1958 and 1969. He is the son of Lionel Penrose, a world-famous professor of genetics, the grandson of the physiologist John Beresford Leathes, and brother of Roger Penrose and Oliver Penrose. He is a psychologist and university lecturer by profession, with a PhD.

Jonathan Penrose
Jonathan Penrose

Learning the game at age four, he was a member of Hampstead Chess Club at twelve and British Boys (Under 18) Champion at just fourteen years of age. Chess was played by the entire Penrose family. His father was a composer of endgame studies and a strong player, as was his older brother Oliver.

By the age of seventeen, he was already acknowledged as a top prospect for British chess. Playing Hastings for the first time in 1950/51, he beat the French champion Nicolas Rossolimo and at Southsea in 1950, defeated both Efim Bogoljubov and Savielly Tartakower. In 1952/1953 he shared the first place at Hastings with Harry Golombek, Antonio Medina García and Daniel Yanofsky.

Jonathan Penrose
Jonathan Penrose

Penrose earned the International Master title in 1961 and was the leading British player for several years in the 1960s and early 1970s, surpassing the achievement of Henry Ernest Atkins by winning the British Championship a record number of times. He was widely considered to be of grandmaster strength, but did not achieve the grandmaster title during his active playing career, despite some notable victories. This was mainly due to his choosing to remain amateur and placing his lecturing as a first priority. In effect, it meant that he played few international tournaments and frequently turned down invitations to prestigious tournaments such as Hastings. In 1993 he was awarded the grandmaster title by FIDE.[1][2]

He competed in eight Chess Olympiads between 1952 and 1962, then at the Olympiads of 1968 and 1970, frequently posting excellent scores, including +9−1=7 in 1962 (Varna), and +10−0=5 in 1968 (Lugano). On both of these occasions, he won an individual silver medal on first board; in 1968, his score was bettered only by the World Champion, Tigran Petrosian.

Penrose-Tal, Leipzig (1960): final position
At the Leipzig 1960 Olympiad, he defeated then-World Champion Mikhail Tal with the white pieces in a Modern Benoni:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Bd3 Bg7 8.Nge2 O-O 9.O-O a6 10.a4 Qc7 11.h3 Nbd7 12.f4 Re8 13.Ng3 c4 14.Bc2 Nc5 15.Qf3 Nfd7 16.Be3 b5 17.axb5 Rb8 18.Qf2 axb5 19.e5 dxe5 20.f5 Bb7 21.Rad1 Ba8 22.Nce4 Na4 23.Bxa4 bxa4 24.fxg6 fxg6 25.Qf7+ Kh8 26.Nc5 Qa7 27.Qxd7 Qxd7 28.Nxd7 Rxb2 29.Nb6 Rb3 30.Nxc4 Rd8 31.d6 Rc3 32.Rc1 Rxc1 33.Rxc1 Bd5 34.Nb6 Bb3 35.Ne4 h6 36.d7 Bf8 37.Rc8 Be7 38.Bc5 Bh4 39.g3 1–0. [3]

This victory made Penrose the first British player to beat a reigning world champion since Joseph Henry Blackburne defeated Emanuel Lasker in 1899.[4]

Jonathan Penrose
Jonathan Penrose

Penrose suffered from nerves, and he collapsed at the 1970 Olympiad in the midst of a tense game. Consequently, he moved on to correspondence chess, where he was successful, earning the International Master (IMC) title in 1980 and the grandmaster (GMC) title in 1983. He led his country to victory in the 9th Correspondence Olympiad (1982 – 1987).[5]

Jonathan Penrose was awarded the OBE in 1971.

Jonathan Penrose
Jonathan Penrose

Best Wishes Andrew Greet

IM Andrew N Greet
IM Andrew N Greet

We wish IM Andrew Greet best wishes on his birthday, this day (October 5th) in 1979.

From britishchess.co.uk :

Andrew is a very strong chess player who recently played on Board 1 for the Scottish Olympiad team.

He writes and edits chess books professionally for Quality Chess where he resides in Glasgow.

He has a very friendly personality which works well when coaching, and he has coached England juniors on foreign trips.

IM Andrew N Greet
IM Andrew N Greet

Happy Birthday David Norwood

GM David Robert Norwood
GM David Robert Norwood

We wish David Robert Norwood all the best on his birthday, this day (October 3rd) in 1968.

From Wikipedia :

David Robert Norwood (born 3 October 1968) is an English businessman who runs an investment fund that finances spin-off companies from Oxford University science departments. He is also a chess grandmaster, chess writer, former captain of the English chess team and now represents Andorra at chess.

GM David Robert Norwood
GM David Robert Norwood

The son of an electrician, Norwood graduated with a history degree from Keble College, Oxford University in 1988 before joining city investment bank Banker’s Trust in 1991.

Wells, Lane, Emms and Norwood
Wells, Lane, Emms and Norwood

Norwood cofounded Oxford Sciences Innovation, a £600m investment company dedicated to funding deep science from Oxford University, and was its CEO from 2015 to 2019. Formerly he was founder of IP Group plc, a fund that invested in spinoffs from Oxford University’s Chemistry department, in exchange for 50% of the revenues from the licensing of the department’s intellectual property.[1]

In 2017, Norwood donated £1.9M to Keble College’s future hub for innovation at Oxford University.[2]

GM David Robert Norwood
GM David Robert Norwood

Happy Birthday Sarah

WFM Sarah Longson
WFM Sarah Longson

We send best wishes to WFM Sarah Longson (née Hegarty) on her birthday this day, (October 2nd)

From Sarah’s web site :

I have played competitive chess since the age of 7 when I became UK U7 Girls Chess Champion and appeared on Blue Peter where I met the then world champion Garry Kasparov. Since then I have represented England in many international competitions and in 2013 won the British Ladies Championship.

WFM Sarah Longson
WFM Sarah Longson

Birthday Greetings Jonathan Speelman

GM Jonathan Simon Speelman
GM Jonathan Simon Speelman

We wish GM Jonathan Simon Speelman all the best on his birthday, this day (October 2nd) in 1956

From Wikipedia :

A winner of the British Chess Championship in 1978, 1985 and 1986, Speelman has been a regular member of the English team for the Chess Olympiad, an international biennial chess tournament organised by FIDE, the World Chess Federation.

He qualified for two Candidates Tournaments:

In the 1989–1990 cycle, Speelman qualified by placing third in the 1987 interzonal tournament held in Subotica, Yugoslavia. After beating Yasser Seirawan in his first round 4–1, and Nigel Short in the second round 3½–1½, he lost to Jan Timman at the semi-final stage 4½–3½.
In the following 1990–93 championship cycle, he lost 5½–4½ in the first round to Short, the eventual challenger for Garry Kasparov’s crown.
Speelman’s highest ranking in the FIDE Elo rating list was fourth in the world, in January 1989.[2]

GM Jonathan Speelman
GM Jonathan Speelman

In 1989, he beat Kasparov in a televised speed tournament, and then went on to win the event.

In the April 2007 FIDE list, Speelman had an Elo rating of 2518, making him England’s twelfth-highest-rated active player.

Writing
He has written a number of books on chess, including several on the endgame, among them Analysing the Endgame (1981), Endgame Preparation (1981) and Batsford Chess Endings (co-author, 1993).

Among his other books are Best Games 1970–1980 (1982), an analysis of nearly fifty of the best games by top players from that decade, and Jon Speelman’s Best Games (1997). Today he is primarily a chess journalist and commentator, being the chess correspondent for The Observer and The Independent and sometimes providing commentary for games on the Internet Chess Club.[citation needed]

Jonathan Speelman
Jonathan Speelman