We wish David Norwood all the best on his birthday,
David Robert Norwood was born in Farnworth, Bolton, Greater Manchester on October 3rd 1968. His mother’s maiden name was Mellor and his father was an electrician.
Mary Hopkin was still UK number one with “Those were the days” and would remain at number one for six weeks in total.
David read history at Keble College, Oxford before pursuing a successful business career (see below).
David became an International Master in 1985 and a Grandmaster in 1989 and his peak FIDE rating (Felice and Megabase 2020) was 2545 in July 1994 at the age of 26.
Preparing for David would have been fairly straightforward as he played almost the same opening with white and black playing 1.g3 (and less frequently, 1.d4) and the Modern Defence although his did flick the Modern Benoni into the mix every now and then.
As well as moving to Oxford for University he was =1st at the 1988 (fifth) NatWest Young Masters with 6/9 (along with Adams and Kudrin) securing a GM norm :
In 1990 David became the first Grandmaster to play in the annual Varsity match. This was the 108th such encounter and David played on board one against Jeremy P Sharp of Downing College, Cambridge. David first played in the 107th match in 1989 on board two below James Howell. David played one more time in 1991 scoring 2/3 from his three appearences.
According to FIDE David is registered with Andorra which appropriately (for DN) has Catalan as its national language. David has yet to win the Andorran Championship. He first played in the Andorran Open in 2011 and came close to winning in 2013 with 7/9. Since 2017 David has not played in a FIDE rated event.
One of David’s most important claims to fame was being the Best Man at the wedding of Julian and Lizette Hodgson.
Here is a detailed article about David from the Oxford alumni pages.
As a writer David wrote a chess column for The Daily Telegraph and The Economist (London) and he has written the following books :
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.”
“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.”
“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.
In 2017, Norwood donated £1.9M to Keble College’s future hub for innovation at Oxford University.”
From The Times of London, November 20th, 2008 by Ian King, Business Editor :
“Entrepreneur David Norwood swaps City for sun, sea and writing
One of the City’s best-known entrepreneurs resigned all his directorships yesterday – to move to a desert island (in the Bahamas) where he plans to become a writer.
David Norwood, a former chief executive of the stockbrokers Evolution and Beeson Gregory, resigned from the boards of a number of companies, including Oxford Advanced Surfaces, ORA Capital, Oxeco and Plus-listed Green Chemicals. He has also given up his role as special projects director at IP Group, the intellectual property commercialisation company, which he started eight years ago and floated on AIM in 2003. Shares of all five companies fell after the news was released.”