Best Wishes GM Nigel Davies (31-vii-1960)

Nigel Davies
Nigel Davies

We send best wishes to GM Nigel Davies on his birthday, this day (July 31st) in 1960.

Nigel Rodney Davies was born in Southport, Merseyside.

He lived in the Wirral, Merseyside, moved to Sidcup and then to St. Helen’s, Merseyside where he resides with his chess playing son, Sam who is ECF 1928A currently.

In July 2020 Nigel graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Computing from Edge Hill University.

Nigel Davies (centre) at a Lloyds Bank event
Nigel Davies (centre) at a Lloyds Bank event

He became an FIDE Master in 1980, an International Master in 1982 and a Grandmaster in 1993.

Nigel Davies
Nigel Davies

He won the British Under-21 Championship in 1979 (Chester) and the British Rapidplay Championship in 1987.

Nigel receives a much welcome prize (in Manchester) from Miss Benedictine in 198?
Nigel receives a much welcome prize (in Manchester) from Miss Benedictine in 198?

He won The Regency Ramsgate Masters 1980, Wrexham 1994, Katrineholm 1995 and the Blackpool Hilton Premier in 2003.

Nigel Davies
Nigel Davies

Nigel publishes his Chess Improver Blog and Tiger Chess for online training. The ECF lists this as his main club.

In 2015 Nigel transferred his international allegiance from England (the English Chess Federation) to Wales (Welsh Chess Union). He maintains an ECF standard play rating  of 2448E.

William Watson, Jonny Hector, Alexander Khalifman, Jonathan Tisdall and Nigel Davies at the 1991 Watson, Farley, Williams tournament in London.
William Watson, Jonny Hector, Alexander Khalifman, Jonathan Tisdall and Nigel Davies at the 1991 Watson, Farley, Williams tournament in London.

His peak FIDE rating was 2530 in January 1995 at the age of 35.

Here is one of Nigel’s favourite games

Nigel Davies, seated, second from right, event unknown
Nigel Davies, seated, second from right, event unknown

In 2015 Nigel contributed to an article by Guardian journalist, Stephen Moss entitled “Grandmaster crash: the inside story of how English chess pawned its future

GM Nigel Davies
GM Nigel Davies

Here is his Wikipedia entry

Here is an article : Fight against the solid Caro-Kann opening with the Caro Krusher – GM Nigel Davies

Nigel’s repertoire with White is wide including Queen’s Gambit, King’s Indian Attack, English/Reti and the Ruy Lopez.

As black Nigel’s repertoire is also varied and difficult to pin down. The Modern Defence is a favourite and is the Nimzo-Indian Defence.

Nigel is an active user of Twitter and may be found @GMNigelDavies

In 2020 the Welsh Chess Union successfully endorsed Nigel’s application to FIDE to become a FIDE Senior Trainer which he became in 2021:

Nigel Davies, FIDE Senior Trainer
Nigel Davies, FIDE Senior Trainer

Nigel has had many books and DVDs published :

The Chess Player's Battle Manual. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-7043-7
The Chess Player’s Battle Manual. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-7043-7
The Power Chess Program. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-8415-2.
The Power Chess Program. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-8415-2.
The Grünfeld Defence. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-239-3.
The Grünfeld Defence. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-239-3.
The Veresov. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857443356.
The Veresov. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857443356.
The Dynamic Reti. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857443523.
The Dynamic Reti. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857443523.
The Trompowsky. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1857443764.
The Trompowsky. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1857443764.
King’s Indian Attack. Hamburg: ChessBase. ISBN 978-3-86681-071-6.
King’s Indian Attack. Hamburg: ChessBase. ISBN 978-3-86681-071-6.
Starting Out: The Modern. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857445664.
Starting Out: The Modern. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857445664.
Play the Catalan. Gloucester Publishers plc (formerly Everyman Publishers plc). ISBN 9781857445916.
Play the Catalan. Gloucester Publishers plc (formerly Everyman Publishers plc). ISBN 9781857445916.

Happy Birthday GM Jacob Aagaard (31-vii-1973)

GM Jacob Aagaard
GM Jacob Aagaard takes on all-comers!

BCN wishes Happy Birthday to GM Jacob Aagaard (31-vii-1973)

Jacob was born in Hørsholm in Denmark.

He became an International Master in 1997 and a Grandmaster in 2007.

His peak FIDE rating was 2542 in May 2010 aged 36.

Jacob was British Champion in 2007 in Great Yarmouth and in 2012 was Scottish Champion.

Jacob is the owner of publishing house, Quality Chess and works with IM Andrew Greet.

Here is his Wikipedia entry.

GM Jacob Aagaard
GM Jacob Aagaard takes on all-comers!

Jacob’s publications include :

(1998). Easy Guide to the Panov-Botvinnik Attack. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-563-3.
(2000). Easy Guide to the Sveshnikov Sicilian. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-280-9.
(2001). Dutch Stonewall. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-252-6.
(2001). Excelling at Chess. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-273-1.
(2002). Queen’s Indian Defence. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-300-4.
and Esben Land (2002). Meeting 1.d4. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-224-3.
(2003). Excelling at Positional Chess. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-325-7.
(2004). Excelling at Chess Calculation. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-360-8.
(2004). Excelling at Combinational Play. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-345-5.
(2004). Excelling at Technical Chess. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-364-6.
(2004). Starting Out: The Grunfeld. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-350-9.
(2004). Inside the Chess Mind. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1857443578.
(2006). Practical Chess Defence. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-91-975244-4-5.
(2008). The Attacking Manual: Basic Principles. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-91-976004-0-8.
(2008). The Attacking Manual 2: Technique and Praxis. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-91-976004-1-5.
(2012). Grandmaster Preparation – Calculation. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-1-907982-31-6.
(2012). Grandmaster Preparation – Positional Play. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-1-907982-27-9.
(2013). Grandmaster Preparation – Strategic Play. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-1-907982-29-3.
(2013). Grandmaster Preparation – Attack & Defence. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-1-907982-70-5.
(2014). Grandmaster Preparation – Endgame Play. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-1-907982-27-9.
(2017). Grandmaster Preparation – Thinking Inside the Box. Quality Chess. ISBN 978-1-907982-35-4.

Happy Birthday Demis Hassabis CBE FRS FREng FRSA (27-vii-1976)

Demis Hassabis in August 1987, Photographer : Glenn Copus. Source : Amazon
Demis Hassabis in August 1987, Photographer : Glenn Copus. Source : Amazon

BCN wishes Happy Birthday to Demis Hassabis CBE FRS FREng FRSA (27-vii-1976)

From https://achievement.org/achiever/demis-hassabis-ph-d/ :

Demis Hassabis, the eldest of three, was born in London on July 27, 1976, to a Greek Cypriot father and a Chinese Singaporean mother.

(Originally his surname was spelt Hassapis and his brother George retained this spelling.)

“Demis Hassabis was born in London, England. He is of both Greek and Chinese ancestry; his father came from Cyprus, his mother from Singapore. Demis and his family moved frequently as his father pursued a variety of business and creative ventures.

Demis was four years old when he saw his father and an uncle playing chess and asked them to teach him the game. He took to it quickly and was soon beating both of them. He showed a precocious aptitude for all games employing logic and strategy. ”

Demis Hassabis
Demis Hassabis

When 13 (in 1989) Demis achieved a FIDE rating of 2300 which, at the time, was the second highest rating for his age.  First highest was Judit Polgar.

Demis was SCCU Under-18 champion in 1989 and was presented with the “old Trophy” according to the SCCU report.

Lawrence Cooper, Demis Hassabis, Cathy Haslinger and Dharshan Kumaran in around 1986. Possibly at a Lloyds Bank event.
Lawrence Cooper, Demis Hassabis, Cathy Haslinger and Dharshan Kumaran in around 1986. Possibly at a Lloyds Bank event.

Demis was a Candidate Master and brother of George Hassapis.

Demis started off with Hampstead Junior Chess Club.

He then played for Barnet Knights, Queens College College Union and Finchley chess clubs.

Demis Hassabis courtesy of Cathy Rogers
Demis Hassabis courtesy of Cathy Rogers

According to Tryfon Gavriel :

Demis wrote a hit computer game called “The theme park”, that was at the top of the charts for six months and sold than more 3.5 million copies. He also did quite well in the 1997 Mind Sports Olympiad.

Demis Hassabis, IMMO KLINK/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES
Demis Hassabis, IMMO KLINK/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES

Hassabis returned to academia to obtain his PhD in cognitive neuroscience from University College London (UCL) in 2009 supervised by Eleanor Maguire. He sought to find inspiration in the human brain for new AI algorithms.

Danny Gormally wrote (in March 2014) this :

“Demis Hassapis is a former chess prodigy who recently sold his company to Google for £400 million. Demonstrating that if you have the brainpower to be good at chess, you are far better off putting that intelligence to use in some other activity where you might actually get rewarded. Then in fairness, even most strong chess players aren’t as bright as Demis.”

Demis was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018

In May 2021 Demis was cited by Dominic Cummings in his evidence to the  Commons Heath, and Science and Technology committees as having played an important contribution  to managing and understanding the PHE and NHS data during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.

Here are his listed games

Remembering WFM Jessie Gilbert (30-i-1987 26-vii-2007)

Jessie Gilbert
Jessie Gilbert

Death Anniversary of WFM Jessica (Jessie) Laura Corey Gilbert (30-i-1987 26-vii-2007)

From Find A Grave by by Peterborough K:

“Professional Chess Player. A native of Croydon, England, Gilbert became the youngest person ever to win the Women’s World Chess Federation Master Title.

A talented chess player since the age of 8, she also won the Women’s World Amateur Championship when she represented England in 1999 at the age of 11.

In a career that spanned over seven years she played in over 153 matches in such events as the Gibtelcom Chess Festival, the 7th European Championship, Ilsan 1st, 37th Chess Olympiad, Hastings Chess Congress, Hastings Master Op, Coventry Op, and the Gausdal Byggern Masters.

On July 26, 2006, while in Pardubice, Czech Republic, to play in the Czech Open, she mysteriously fell to her death from the balcony of her room on the eighth floor of the Hotel Labe. Gilbert was only 19 years old.”

Interesting article by Alexander Barron

Here is Jessie’s entry from Chessgames.com

Here is Jessie’s extensive Wikipedia article.

Birthday Greetings GM Julian Hodgson (25-vii-1963)

GM Julian Hodgson
GM Julian Hodgson

We send best wishes to GM Julian Hodgson on his birthday, this day July 25th) in 1963.

Julian Michael Hodgson was born in Hammersmith, West London son of (Ronald) George Hodgson and Johanna Hodgson (née Birch).

Julian has claimed to be a descendent of George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys and we are looking to establish this claim following further research.

Julian attended St. Paul’s School (See below) and then attended The University of Leicester for one year.

Julian married Lizette and David Norwood was his Best Man.

Julian and Lizette Hodgson
Julian and Lizette Hodgson

(Curiously both Felice and Gaige state Julian was born in Saint Asaph in Wales.)

Julian Hodgson
Julian Hodgson

Harry Golombek wrote this about Julian in a 1980 Dataday chess diary :

“I think that the first time I saw Julian Hodgson in play was some four years ago in a London tournament. Upon my arrival Leonard Barden told him that he must now be careful how he played as Golombek was watching.

Julian and Nigel Short play Korchnoi in a simul. Leonard Barden observes.
Julian and Nigel Short play Korchnoi in a simul. Leonard Barden observes.

“Who”, enquired the twelve-year old Julian, “is Golombek?”

Neil Carr and Julian Hodgson at the 1976 Lloyds Bank Match by Telex, London - New York. From BCM, volume XCVI (96) Number 11 (August), Page 494. The venue was the Bloomsbury Hotel, London. Photo courtesy of Lloyds Bank.
Neil Carr and Julian Hodgson at the 1976 Lloyds Bank Match by Telex, London – New York. From BCM, volume XCVI (96) Number 11 (August), Page 494. The venue was the Bloomsbury Hotel, London. Photo courtesy of Lloyds Bank.

I felt grateful at the time that he did not say who or what is Golombek but I tell this story chiefly to show the cheerful insouciance with which Master Hodgson treated all comers whether chess masters or chess rabbits.

Julian playing Simon L Triggs. Event and photographer unknown
Julian playing Simon L Triggs. Event and photographer unknown

Julian astonishing maturity as a player has been impressive ever since at the age of ten, he won the Southern Counties Under 14 Championships in 1973. Since then he has acquired a host of such championships culminating in the British Under-21 Championship in 1977.

Streatham & Brixton becoming BCF National Club Champions in 1989. The team was Tony Kosten, Mark Hedben, Daniel King, Nigel Povah (Captain), Joe Gallagher and Julian Hodgson : quite a strong team !
Streatham & Brixton becoming BCF National Club Champions in 1989. The team was Tony Kosten, Mark Hedben, Daniel King, Nigel Povah (Captain), Joe Gallagher and Julian Hodgson : quite a strong team

Perhaps his most remarkable performance so far has been his equal 3rd in a strong challengers section at Hastings where he scored 7.5 out of 10. 1977 was a good year for him and here, from the Lloyds Bank Silver Jubilee Tournament of that year is his fine win over a strong opponent :

Here is his entry (written by Richard W O’Brien) in British Chess (Pergamon Press, 1983, Botterill, Levy, Rice and Richardson) :

“Following a series of excellent results Julian, at the tender age of 11, became the second youngest ever to play in an international tournament when he took part in the London Chess Club International Invitation tournament in September 1974. Only Reshevsky had been younger. Julian’s first opponent was Michael Woodhams, an Australian international who had just scored 15.5/18 in the recent Olympiad (Nice)

The following year he became the youngest player ever to win the London Amateur Championship. A year later he reached a grading of 200 (BCF), only Reshevsky, Pomar, Karpov and Kasparov had done so at an earlier age.

By now he was at St. Paul’s School, which was in the process of becoming one of the strongest chess playing schools in the country. In 1977 he shared first place with WN Watson (also St. Paul’s) in the British U21 Championship. Progress was however not as fast as had at one time been anticipated

It was at Ramsgate, late in 1980 before his first IM norm. A month later he finished second in the Hastings Challenger. Other good results followed in 1981. First he was selected for the Glorney Cup and shortly afterwards did well to come fourteenth in the British Championship (Morecambe). He represented England in the World Youth Team championships scoring 4/6. His second IM norm followed when he shared fifth place at Manchester in the same year. Good results in weekend congresses meant that he finished fourth in the Leigh Grand Prix. The year had finished with Julian needing a draw in the last round at Ramsgate to get his title. He lost and was to wait another 12 months to achieve his final norm.

The England Team from the 1990 Novi Sad Olympiad : John Nunn, Jon Speelman, Julian Hodgson, David Anderton OBE (Captain), Nigel Short, Michael Adams and Murray Chandler
The England Team from the 1990 Novi Sad Olympiad : John Nunn, Jon Speelman, Julian Hodgson, David Anderton OBE (Captain), Nigel Short, Michael Adams and Murray Chandler

When the final norm came it arrived out of the blue. With a score of 2.5/5 at Lewisham in November 1982 the chances seemed remote, 3.5/4 was required against a strong field and it even seemed doubtful whether he could actually play those he needed to play. He scored 2.5/3 and now had to play Jon Tisdall, who still had a chance of winning the tournament.

Julian finished second equal in the tournament behind Jim Plaskett who had beaten him earlier.

Julian Hodgson
Julian Hodgson

The next six weeks saw Julian come equal first in the Pergamon sponsored British Lightning championship, a highly creditable sixth in the Nightflight International at Brighton (equivalent to an IM rating) and second place yet again in the Hastings Challengers.

John Delaney plays Julian Hodgson at the Bath Zonal Tournament in 1987
John Delaney plays Julian Hodgson at the Bath Zonal Tournament in 1987

Earlier in 1983 he scored 6.5/9 at Lugano, probably Europe’s strongest ever Swiss (Swiss !) tournament, losing narrowly to Jan Timman.

Julian Hodgson. Event and photographer unknown.
Julian Hodgson. Event and photographer unknown.

He left Leicester University after just one year preferring to concentrate on chess.

FM Andrew Whiteley, IM Julian Hodgson and FM Byron Jacobs at Cappelle Le Grand, 1988. Photograph by Caroline Winkler
FM Andrew Whiteley, IM Julian Hodgson and FM Byron Jacobs at Cappelle Le Grand, 1988. Photograph by Caroline Winkler

He plays fairly regularly for Streatham & Brixton Chess Club which encouraged juniors for several years. Daniel King is another junior who also played frequently for Streatham. ”

This is what was written about Julian prior to the 1979 Spassky vs the BCF Junior Squad simultaneous display : “St Paul’s and Shepherds Bush. Rating 210. Standard London Amateur Champion at age 12, 1975.

Standard London under-18 champion, 1976. British under-21 co-champion, 1977. Youngest ever to beat two grandmasters in successive games, 1978.”

Julian Hodgson drawn by Rupert van der Linden
Julian Hodgson drawn by Rupert van der Linden

Julian was Southern Counties (SCCU) champion in the 1997-98 season.

Julian has claimed that he is a descended from the (in)famous “hanging judge” Jeffries !

Julian is the in-house chess teacher at Westminster School.

Here is his Wikipedia entry :

GM Julian Hodgson
GM Julian Hodgson

Aside from more formal achievements, he developed a sharp, relentless, attacking style of play and against lesser opponents this frequently resulted in devastating quick wins, earning him the epithet “Grandmaster of Disaster”.

Hans Ree plays Julian Hodgson at the Cannes Team Tournament, 1992
Hans Ree plays Julian Hodgson at the Cannes Team Tournament, 1992

Hodgson’s greatest legacy as a chess player may however lie in his resurrection of an almost forgotten opening system. The Trompowsky Attack (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5) had floundered in the doldrums for many years, prior to his adoption and development of the opening. In interviews, he reveals that this was born out of laziness and a reluctance to learn established chess opening theory. It soon became his weapon of choice with the white pieces, leading to a surprising popularisation of the system, the spawning of a whole generation of devotees and ironically, a number of theoretical guides, containing a high quota of Hodgson’s own games and analysis. Indeed, his expert treatment of the system once prompted fellow grandmaster Joe Gallagher to write that it should be renamed the Hodgson–Trompowsky Attack, a view shared by many other masters. A chess journalist once wrote that Hodgson put the ‘romp’ into Trompowsky.

A related, but more obscure version of the system (1.d4 d5 2.Bg5), has been dubbed by some the Hodgson Attack and by others the Pseudo-Trompowsky or Queen’s Bishop Attack.

and

Julian, Dominic Lawson and Matthew Sadler
Julian, Dominic Lawson and Matthew Sadler
Chess Traveller's Quiz Book, Julian Hodgson, Cadogan Press, 1996, ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1857440300
Chess Traveller’s Quiz Book, Julian Hodgson, Cadogan Press, 1996, ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1857440300
Attack with Julian Hodgson, Book No.1
Attack with Julian Hodgson, Book No.1
Attack with Julian Hodgson, Book No.2
Attack with Julian Hodgson, Book No.2
Quick Chess Knockouts
Quick Chess Knockouts
Julian Hodgson drawn by Rupert van der Linden
Julian Hodgson drawn by Rupert van der Linden

Happy Birthday (Arthur) John Roycroft (25-vii-1929)

(Arthur) John Roycroft
(Arthur) John Roycroft

We are delighted to offer (Arthur) John Roycroft best wishes on his birthday, this day (July 25th) in 1929.

John was born in Hendon, London and his mother’s maiden name was Banks.

AJR aged 9, courtesy of the BCPS web site.
AJR aged 9, courtesy of the BCPS web site.

John moved to Brighton and then evacuated to Calcot, North Wales and returned to Brighton when the threat of war had subsided.

He married Betty in 1961 and they had a son and a daughter and now have several grand children.

He claimed that he had never suffered a common cold.

John is Platinum Life Member of the English Chess Federation and an “ECF Supporter”.

The Chess Endgame Study
The Chess Endgame Study

“From The Oxford Companion to Chess (Oxford University Press, 1984) by David Hooper and Ken Whyld :

English study composer and author, International Judge of Chess Compositions (1959), Computer systems analyst.

In 1965 he founded EG, a quarterly publication which became the world’s first and only long-running magazine devoted wholly to studies.

His Test Tube Chess (1972), the best English language guide to the art of studies., was revised and republished as The Chess Endgame Study (1981).

Test Tube Chess, AJ Roycroft, Faber and Faber Limited, 1972, ISBN 0 571 09573 9
Test Tube Chess, AJ Roycroft, Faber and Faber Limited, 1972, ISBN 0 571 09573 9

Studies are commonly classified by means of the GBR code of which he was co-inventor.”

From The Encyclopedia of Chess (Robert Hale, 1970 & 1976) by Anne Sunnucks :

“FIDE Judge of Endgame Studies. Born on 25th July 1929. Founder of the Chess Endgame Study Circle in London in March 1965.and its quarterly magazine EG, the first and only publication exclusively devoted to the composed chess ending. Roycroft who is a computer systems analyst and lives in London, has composed about 20 endgame studies.”

AJ Roycroft

“EG” July 1965

Solution :
1.Bg7 Kb1; 2.Nf6 b4; 3.Kxb4 Kb2 4.Bh8 Nc2+; 5.Ka4 Kxc3 6.Ne4++

Video Chess Event (See caption below)
Video Chess Event (See caption below)
Video Chess Caption
Video Chess Caption

AJR won the BCF President’s Award in 1995.

Here is AJRs Wikipedia entry

Here is AJR talking about himself on the BPCS web site

Here is his entry from the Chess Programming Wiki

Test Tube Chess
Test Tube Chess

Happy Birthday IM-elect Marcus Harvey (24-vii-1996)

Marcus Harvey at the 2013 Hastings International Congress, Courtesy of John Upham Photography
Marcus Harvey at the 2013 Hastings International Congress, Courtesy of John Upham Photography

BCN wishes Happy Birthday to IM-elect Marcus Ross Harvey born on this day (Wednesday, July 24th) in 1996. Killing Me Softly by the Fugees was top of the hit parade.

Marcus was born in Oxford and attended The Marlborough School, Woodstock, Oxfordshire and then (in 2014) at The University of Southampton he studied mathematics.

Originally playing for Bicester Marcus now represents Witney Chess Club in local leagues.

Marcus first played in the British Championship in 2011 (Sheffield).

Marcus Harvey at the 2013 King's Place Rapidplay, courtesy of John Upham Photography
Marcus Harvey at the 2013 King’s Place Rapidplay, courtesy of John Upham Photography

Originally playing for Oxford he now plays for Wood Green in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) and Southampton University in the Southampton League.

Marcus playing IM Yang-Fan Zhou at the 2013 Delancey UKCC Terafinal at Loughborough Grammar School. Courtesy of John Upham Photography.
Marcus playing IM Yang-Fan Zhou at the 2013 Delancey UKCC Terafinal at Loughborough Grammar School. Courtesy of John Upham Photography.

In 2014 Marcus won the title of “Strat” (the overall Terafinal winner) of the 2014 Delancey UK Chess Challenge at Loughborough Grammar School.

Marcus Harvey at the 2013 Delancey UKCC Terafinal at Loughborough Grammar School, courtesy of John Upham Photography.
Marcus Harvey at the 2013 Delancey UKCC Terafinal at Loughborough Grammar School, courtesy of John Upham Photography.

Marcus has a FIDE rating of 2440 and an ECF grading of 240.

2014 Delancey UKCC Terafinal winner, Marcus Harvey at Loughborough Grammar School. Courtesy of John Upham Photography
2014 Delancey UKCC Terafinal winner, Marcus Harvey at Loughborough Grammar School. Courtesy of John Upham Photography

In 2018 he won the Witney Open outright with 4/5 and, in the same year, was runner-up to David Howell in the UK Blitz Open with 12.5/15 and a of 2589.

In 2019 he was =1st (with Mark Hebden) in the 4NCL Easter Open in Stevenage. Later that year Marcus was losing semi-finalist (to Gawain Jones) in the London Classic Blitz Knockout.

Marcus, on home ground, won the 43rd Kidlington Open in 2020 and followed this with and is the current 2020 English Online Blitz Champion beating IM Andrew Greet, FM Jonah Willow, IM Ameet Ghasi and IM Andrew Horton in the final.

In the Pro chess league he represents UK Lions.

Marcus Harvey's FIDE rating profile according to Megabase 2020
Marcus Harvey’s FIDE rating profile according to Megabase 2020

On 6th November 2019 we reported that Marcus had obtained his second International Master norm at the recent (October 2019) Hull 4NCL International Congress by scoring 4.5/9 with wins over IM Andrew Greet and IM Richard Palliser.

On July 17th 2021 Marcus was joint winner with IM Peter Roberson in the 1st Chessfest Decode Rapidplay with an impressive 6/6 and a TPR of 2911.

Marcus overcame Rory McLean, Theo Koury, Steven Coles, FM Alexis Harakis, CM Jonathan Pein and rapidplay / blitz specialist IM Ameet Ghasi to share first place.

Over the 19th – 23rd August  2021 Marcus played in the Wood Green Invitational round-robin event at Oddfellows Hall, Stafford.

Marcus scored 6/9 and secured his second International Master Norm and  a TPR of 2532.

<img class=” wp-image-18696″ src=”http://britishchessnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/untitled_wgi.jpg” alt=”Wood Green Invitational Round-Robin event at Oddfellows Hall, Stafford. August Bank Holiday Weekend, 2021″ width=”654″ height=”229″ /> Wood Green Invitational Round-Robin event at Oddfellows Hall, Stafford. August Bank Holiday Weekend, 2021

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend of 2021 Marcus played in the Northumbrian Masters  GM Tournament at the splendid Marriott MetroCentre, Gateshead scoring 6/9 and TPR of 2559 and earing his fourth IM norm. His standard play rating of 2451 (September 2021) is sufficient and now only requires the next FIDE Congress to ratify the IM title.

Marcus enjoys playing the Smyslov-Larsen opening with white

and the classical French and the Nimzo-Indian Defence.

It is clear that Marcus is now easily of IM strength and surely is a strong candidate for England’s next Grandmaster.

FM Marcus Ross Harvey
FM Marcus Ross Harvey

Happy Birthday GM Tony Kosten (24-vii-1958)

Tony Kosten
Tony Kosten

We wish Tony Kosten best wishes on his birthday, this day (July 24th) in 1958.

Tony was born in North Eastern Surrey, and eventually relocated to France where he now resides.

Tony is married to Gyongyver Kosten-Forintos, the daughter of Hungarian Grandmaster Győző Forintos.

Streatham & Brixton becoming BCF National Club Champions in 1989. The team was Tony Kosten, Mark Hedben, Daniel King, Nigel Povah (Captain), Joe Gallagher and Julian Hodgson : quite a strong team !
Streatham & Brixton becoming BCF National Club Champions in 1989. The team was Tony Kosten, Mark Hedben, Daniel King, Nigel Povah (Captain), Joe Gallagher and Julian Hodgson : quite a strong team

Tony played for Lower Earley Chess Club in the Berkshire League and for Streatham & Brixton in the National Club competition.

He was =3rd in the 1982 British Championship in Torquay (won by Tony Miles)

He was =2nd in the 1984 Robert Silk Young Masters.

He won the Berkshire Chess Association Quickplay title in 1985.

Tony was runner-up to Yuri Balashov at Minsk 1986.

He won Naujac 2000 with 7.5/9

Tony won many other events : See his Wikipedia entry for details.

Tony Kosten (fourth from left) at a NatWest Bank sponsored event
Tony Kosten (fourth from left) at a NatWest Bank sponsored event

Tony is the founder of chesspublishing.com, a subscription based web site specialising in cutting edge opening theory with many contributors.

He plays for Guildford in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) is registered as a member of the French federation. He also plays for Schott Mainz in the German Team Championship.

According to Megabase 2020 his highest FIDE rating was 2551 in July 2002 at the age of 44.

With the white pieces Tony prefers the Ruy Lopez and Giuoco Piano with the English coming a close second.

With black Tony defends the Lopez and the Nimzo-Indian defence.

Here is his Wikipedia entry

Tony Kosten
Tony Kosten
Winning Endgames, Crowood, 1987
Winning Endgames, Crowood, 1987
Winning with the Philidor, Batsford, 1992
Winning with the Philidor, Batsford, 1992
101 Tips to Improve your Chess, Batsford, 1996
101 Tips to Improve your Chess, Batsford, 1996
The Dynamic English, Gambit, 1999
The Dynamic English, Gambit, 1999

Remembering Sir George Thomas, 7th Baronet (14-vi-1881 23-vii-1972)

Sir George Thomas, President of the Anglo-Soviet Chess Circle. Captain of the British Team
Sir George Thomas, President of the Anglo-Soviet Chess Circle. Captain of the British Team

We remember Sir George Alan Thomas who died on July 23rd, 1972

Signature of GA Thomas from a Brian Reilly "after dinner" postcard from Hastings Christmas Congress, 1945-1946
Signature of GA Thomas from a Brian Reilly “after dinner” postcard from Hastings Christmas Congress, 1945-1946

From The Encyclopedia of Chess (BT Batsford, 1977) by Harry Golombek :

“British international master, born in Constantinople (previously Byzantium and currently Istanbul : Ed.) His mother (Lady Edith Margaret Thomas : Ed) was one of the strongest English women players, winner of the first Ladies tournament at Hastings 1895.

(Ed : his father was Sir George Sydney Meade Thomas)

Thomas was an all-round athlete who excelled at tennis, hockey and badminton as well as chess. He captained the English badminton team and was All England Badminton Singles champion from 1920 to 1923.”

Sir George Alan Thomas : "During his playing career, he won 78 national titles in the United Kingdom and a further 12 French titles; he also competed in 29 out of 30 English internationals, winning 50 matches in the process."
Sir George Alan Thomas : “During his playing career, he won 78 national titles in the United Kingdom and a further 12 French titles; he also competed in 29 out of 30 English internationals, winning 50 matches in the process.”

Here is an excellent article (albeit stating GT was a Grandmaster and was president of the British Chest Federation!) from the National Badminton Museum.

“Thomas won the British chess championship twice, in 1923 and 1934 and represented England in the Olympiads of 1927 where he tied with Norman Hansen for the best score – 80% on board 3, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1937 and 1939.

Passenger list from RMS Alacantra showing Sir George Thomas arriving at Buenos Aires on September 19th, 1939
Passenger list from RMS Alacantra showing Sir George Thomas arriving at Buenos Aires on September 19th, 1939
Entry for Sir George Thomas from above image.
Entry for Sir George Thomas from above image.

In international tournaments his greatest successes were 1st at Spa (ahead of Tartakower) and =1st at Hastings 1934/5 (tied with Euwe and Flohr, ahead of Capablanca and Botvinnik).

Sir George Thomas, British Chess Champion, Southsea Congress, 1923 Photograph by Gilbert N Fulcher, Southsea
Sir George Thomas, British Chess Champion, Southsea Congress, 1923 Photograph by Gilbert N Fulcher, Southsea

He was known for his keen sense of sportsmanship and for his ability to encourage and inspire younger players. He served for many years on the BCF Junior selection committee and was for a time Games Editor of the British Chess Magazine. FIDE awarded him the titles of international master (1950) and International Judge (1952). (article by Ray Keene)”

British chess champion Sir George Thomas playing at the Annual British Chess Federation Championship in Yarmouth, England, July 11th 1935. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
British chess champion Sir George Thomas playing at the Annual British Chess Federation Championship in Yarmouth, England, July 11th 1935. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Thomas with the White pieces was predominantly a Ruy Lopez devotee.

With the Black pieces against 1.e4 he defended the Lopez and the Queen’s Gambit Declined was his favourite versus 1.d4

From The Encyclopedia of Chess (Robert Hale 1972 and 1976) by Anne Sunnucks :

“International Master (1950), International Judge (1952) and British Champion in 1923 and 1934. All England Badminton Singles Champion, All England Badminton Doubles Champion, Wimbledon tennis player and county hockey player.

Sir George Thomas was born in Constantinople on 14th June 1881. His mother, Lady Thomas, won the first ever ladies’ tournament, which was held in conjunction with the Hastings International Chess Tournament of 1895.

He learned the moves at the age of 4, and as a boy met many of the world’s leading players, including Steinitz, Lasker, Tchigorin and Pillsbury, in his mother’s drawing-room.

Scene at London. From left to right - Seated : Fairhurst, List and Winter in play. Standing König and Sir George Thomas
Scene at London. From left to right – Seated : Fairhurst, List and Winter in play. Standing König and Sir George Thomas

Apart from serving as a subaltern in the Army during the 1914-1918 war, Sir George has devoted his life to sport. He played tennis at Wimbledon, played hockey for Hampshire, captained the English Badminton team and was All England Badminton Singles Champion from 1920-1923 and doubles champion nine times.

Sir George Thomas And Brian Reilly Sir George Thomas (left), leader of the British chess team, playing Irishman Brian Reilly at the Easter Chess Congress, Margate, April 24th 1935. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Sir George Thomas And Brian Reilly
Sir George Thomas (left), leader of the British chess team, playing Irishman Brian Reilly at the Easter Chess Congress, Margate, April 24th 1935. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Sir George played chess for England regularly from 1910 to 1939. He played for the British Chess Federation in the Chess Olympiads of 1927,1930, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937 and 1939, and captained the team which withdrew from the Buenos Aires Olympiad in 1939 on the out-break of war.

A Brian Reilly "after dinner" postcard from Margate 1936.
A Brian Reilly “after dinner” postcard from Margate 1936.
The Grand Hotel, Cliftonville, Margate. Venue for the Margate tournaments.
The Grand Hotel, Cliftonville, Margate. Venue for the Margate tournaments.

His first appearance in the British Championship was in he came 2nd. He also came 2nd in 192l and in 1923 won the first time, thus becoming British Chess Champion and Badminton Champion in the same year.

Sir George’s best performance was at Hastings 1934-1935, when he came =1st. In the last round he needed only a draw against R. P. Michell to come lst, ahead of Euwe, Capablanca, Flohr and Lilienthal, but he lost and had to be content with sharing lst prize with Euwe and Flohr.

Nice Masters, 1931. Standing : Daniel Noteboom, Abraham Baratz, George Renaud (Organiser), John J O'Hanlon, Marcel Duchamp, Brian Reilly (winner), Seated : Eugene Znokso-Borovsky,, Arpad Vajda, Sir George Thomas, Jacques Mieses, Stefano Roselli del Turco, Jacob Adolf Seitz. British Chess Magazine, 1931, page 201
Nice Masters, 1931. Standing : Daniel Noteboom, Abraham Baratz, George Renaud (Organiser), John J O’Hanlon, Marcel Duchamp, Brian Reilly (winner), Seated : Eugene Znokso-Borovsky,, Arpad Vajda, Sir George Thomas, Jacques Mieses, Stefano Roselli del Turco, Jacob Adolf Seitz. British Chess Magazine, 1931, page 201

During his career he has beaten Capablanca, Botvinnik (in consecutive rounds at Hastings 1934-35), Flohr and and drawn with Nimzowitsch, Rubinstein and Capablanca. He been noted for his sportsmanship and for his interest in and encouragement of young players.

Partie d'échecs Sir Georges Thomas, le célèbre joueur d'échecs britannique, jouant contre sa plus jeune adversaire âgée de 8 ans, à Londres, Royaume-Uni le 24 octobre 1934. (Photo by Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Partie d’échecs
Sir Georges Thomas, le célèbre joueur d’échecs britannique, jouant contre sa plus jeune adversaire âgée de 8 ans, à Londres, Royaume-Uni le 24 octobre 1934. (Photo by Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Since his retirement until the last few years, Sir George continued to attend tournaments as a spectator.

He is the author of The Art of Badminton, published in 1923.

The Art of Badminton
The Art of Badminton

He died on 23rd July 1972 in a London nursing home.”

Here is Part II of GM Matthew Sadler’s appreciation of Sir George.

Most interestingly we have this this splendid article from Neil Blackburn (SimaginFan) on chess.com

Here is his Wikipedia entry

Sir George Alan Thomas (14-vi-1881 23-vii-1972)
Sir George Alan Thomas (14-vi-1881 23-vii-1972)

and here is Part III of Matthew Sadler’s article

Sir George Alan Thomas
Sir George Alan Thomas

From The Oxford Companion to Chess (OUP, 1984) by Hooper & Whyld :

“English player. International Master (1950), International Arbiter (1952), British champion 1923 and 1934. His mother, who taught him chess, was winner of one of the first women’s tournaments, Hastings 1895, He played in more than 80 tournaments and achieved his best result at Hastings 1934-5 (about category 9), when he scored +6-1—2 to share first prize with Euwe and Flohr ahead of Botvinnik and Capablanca. Thomas played in seven Olympiads from 1927 to 1939, and in the first the highest percentage score was made by him ( + 9=6) and the Dane Holgar Norman-Hansen (1899- ) (+11=2—2). A leading English player for more than 25 years, Thomas fought many battles at the famous City of London club, winning 16 of the annual championships from 1913-14 to 1938-9. In his sixty-ninth year he gave up competitive chess when, after a hard game, ‘the board and men began to swim before my eyes,’ He continued his active interest in junior events and his visits, now as a spectator, to chess events.

A man of few words, imperturbable, of fine manners. Sir George Thomas was respected throughout the chess world for his sportsmanship and impartiality, and his opinion was often sought when disputes arose between players. The inheritor of both a baronetcy and private means, he
devoted his life to games and sports. Besides his chess he was a keen hockey player, a competitor in international lawn tennis (reaching the last eight at Wimbledon on one occasion), and winner of about 90 badminton titles, notably the All-England men’s singles championship which he won four times, from 1920 to 1923.”

Bill Hartston wrote this in “On the Knight Shift”, Chapter 20 of the The Chess Player’s Bedside Book (Batsford, 1975) :

“In the days when chess was perhaps a more noble pastime, one of England’s leading players was the Baronet, Sir George Thomas. A true gentleman and sportsman, he considered it rather unprincipled to analyse adjourned games before their resumption and could only be persuaded to look at his own positions after being assured that his opponents were certainly taking full advantage of the adjournment in this manner.”