All posts by John Upham

John Upham is the founder of British Chess News, staff photographer and the IT Manager. John performed similar roles for British Chess Magazine from 2011 until 2015. John is an English Chess Federation accredited coach and has taught in schools and privately since 2009. John started chess relatively late(!) at the age of twelve following the huge interest in the Spassky-Fischer World Championship match in 1972. John is Membership Secretary of Camberley Chess Club and an ordinary member of Crowthorne and Guildford Chess Clubs. John plays for Hampshire and for 4NCL Crowthorne. John is Secretary of the Hampshire Junior Chess Association and the Berkshire Chess Association and manages the Chess for Schools partnership.

Happy Birthday Tom Rendle

IM Tom Rendle
IM Tom Rendle

Best wishes to IM Tom Rendle in his birthday, this day (September 29th) in 1986.

From Wikipedia :

Thomas Edward Rendle (born 29 September 1986) is a British FIDE International Master chess player and coach. Rendle became an International Master in June 2006 and is part way towards becoming a Grandmaster, with one GM Norm.

He gained an interest in chess at an early age, and soon entered chess tournaments, gaining success in his age categories (such as becoming Mini Squad Under 7s Champion, England Under 11 Champion).[citation needed] He was put on top board for the England under 11 team and won the Sussex Under 18 Championships, whilst still under 12.

In 1998 Rendle played Garry Kasparov in the BT Wireplay Challenge 1998. In 2005 he was a coach for England’s team at the 1st FIDE World Schools Championship in Halkidiki, Greece and in 2006 he coached with the England Team at the European Youth Chess Championships in Montenegro.

Rendle currently works as a chess coach, both online and face-to-face. He is a regular coach of England Juniors.

IM Tom Rendle
IM Tom Rendle

Remembering Eileen Betsy Tranmer (05-V-1910, 26-IX-1983)

WIM Eileen Betsy Tranmer
WIM Eileen Betsy Tranmer

We remember WIM Eileen Betsy Tranmer who passed away on September 26th, 1983.

From Wikipedia :

Eileen Betsy Tranmer (5 May 1910 – 26 September 1983) was an English musician and chess player who held the title of Woman International Master (WIM, 1950). She was a four-time winner of the British Women’s Chess Championship (1947, 1949, 1953, 1961).

From the end of the 1940s to the start of the 1960s, she was one of England’s leading women chess players. Eileen Betsy Tranmer four times won the British Women’s Chess Championships: 1947, 1949, 1953 and 1961[1]. In 1950, Eileen Betsy Tranmer participated at Women’s World Chess Championship in Moscow where shared 5th-7th place[2]. In 1952, she participated at Women’s World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament in Moscow and ranked 7th place[3]. In 1950, she was awarded the FIDE International Women Master (WIM) title.

On 20 June 1946 Tranmer played (and lost) a “radio chess” match against the Russian woman chess player Valentina Byelova. Tranmer was one of two women who were part of a twelve-member British team who played in a four-day radio chess tournament. The British team played their moves in London while the Soviet team played their moves in Moscow.[4][5]

Eileen Betsy Tranmer played for England in the Women’s Chess Olympiad:[6]

In 1957, at second board in the 1st Chess Olympiad (women) in Emmen (+3, =8, -3).
In addition to participating in chess tournaments, Eileen Betsy Tranmer also was prominent clarinettist. In March 1940, she gave concerts with Scottish Orchestra. From 1950 she working with Sadler’s Wells Orchestra along with another British clarinetist, Thea King[7].

WIM Eileen Betsy Tranmer & WIM Rowena Mary Bruce
WIM Eileen Betsy Tranmer & WIM Rowena Mary Bruce

Remembering Rowena Mary Bruce

WIM Rowena Mary Bruce
WIM Rowena Mary Bruce

We remember WIM Rownena Mary Bruce who died this day (September 24th) in 1999.

From Wikipedia :

Rowena Mary Bruce (15 May 1919 – 24 September 1999), née Dew, was an English chess player who held the title of Woman International Master (WIM, 1951). She was an eleven-time winner of the British Women’s Chess Championship (1937, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1967 and 1969).

Biography
From the end of the 1930s to the end of the 1960s, she was one of England’s strongest women chess players. In 1935, she won the FIDE World Girls Championship. Rowena Mary Bruce won the British Women’s Chess Championship eleven times: 1937, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1967 and 1969[1]. In 1952, in Moscow, she participated in the Women’s Candidates Tournament where she took 12th place[2]. In 1951, she was awarded the FIDE Woman International Master (WIM) title.

On 21 June 1946, Bruce played (and lost) a “radio chess” match against Lydmilla Rudenko. Bruce was one of two women who were part of a twelve member British team who played in a four day tournament. The British team played their moves in London while the Russian team played their moves in Moscow.[3][4]

WIM Rowena Mary Bruce
WIM Rowena Mary Bruce

Rowena Mary Bruce played for England in the Women’s Chess Olympiads:[5]

In 1966, at second board in the 3rd Chess Olympiad (women) in Oberhausen (+5, =5, -2) where she won an individual silver medal, and
In 1969, at second board in the 4th Chess Olympiad (women) in Lublin (+5, =3, -6).
From 1940 to 1991 she was married to Ronald Bruce (1903–1991)[6].

WIM Rowena Mary Bruce
WIM Rowena Mary Bruce

Remembering Hugh Francis Blandford (24-I-1917, 20-IX-1981)

Hugh Francis Blandford
Hugh Francis Blandford

We remember Hugh Francis Blandford (24-I-1917, 20-IX-1981) who was a British composer.

From Wikipedia :

Hugh Francis Blandford (24 January 1917 – 20 September 1981) was a chess endgame composer born in Southampton, England.[1]
He spent several years of his childhood in Jamaica with his father, the Reverend Albert Francis (Frank) Blandford, a Minister in the Congregational church, his mother and two younger brothers, Evan Arthur and Philip Thomas Blandford. All three brothers then returned to England and attended Eltham College (the School for the Sons of Missionaries) in South-east London, while their parents remained in Jamaica. He married Marjorie Cox, whom he had worked with during the Second World War.

He played chess from his schooldays and as well as playing, also started to compose original chess endings. He became known in the field of chess endgame studies for a small but elegant body of compositions, expertly edited and published after Hugh’s death by his long-standing chess endings colleague, John Roycroft.[2]

1st Prize, Springaren 1949, White to move and win
1st Prize, Springaren 1949, White to move and win

Hugh Blandford was co-inventor with Richard Guy – and, later, with John Roycroft – of the Guy–Blandford–Roycroft code for classifying studies.[3] In July 1951 he began as the endgame study editor for the British Chess Magazine.[4][5] He was made an International Judge for Chess Composition[4] in 1961.[6]

A metallurgist, he continued to compose chess endgame studies until the end of his life, dying of a heart attack in early retirement in Hatfield, England, on 20 September 1981.

Best Wishes Richard Palliser

IM Richard Palliser
IM Richard Palliser

We wish IM Richard Palliser all the very best on his birthday, today (September 18th) in 1991.

From Wikipedia :

Richard David Palliser (born 18 September 1981) is an English chess player and chess writer who holds the title International Master.

Palliser was joint British Rapidplay Chess Champion in 2006. He writes regularly for Everyman Chess who also employ him as an editor and advisor.

His handle on the Internet Chess Club is “worcester”.[1]

Richard is Editor of “CHESS” and has authored a number of publications :

Palliser, Richard (2005). Tango! A Dynamic Answer to 1 d4. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-388-8.

Tango! A Dynamic Answer to 1 d4
Tango! A Dynamic Answer to 1 d4

Palliser, Richard (2006). Beating Unusual Chess Openings. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-429-9.

Beating Unusual Chess Openings
Beating Unusual Chess Openings

Palliser, Richard (2006). Starting Out: Closed Sicilian. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-414-8.

Starting Out: Closed Sicilian
Starting Out: Closed Sicilian

Palliser, Richard (2007). Starting Out: Scilian Najdorf. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-601-2.

Starting Out: Scilian Najdorf
Starting Out: Scilian Najdorf

Palliser, Richard (2007). Starting out: the Colle. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-527-5.

Starting out: the Colle
Starting out: the Colle

Palliser, Richard; Kosten, Tony; Vigus, James (2008). Dangerous Weapons: Flank Openings. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-583-1.

Dangerous Weapons: Flank Openings
Dangerous Weapons: Flank Openings

Palliser, Richard (2008). Starting out: d-pawn attacks. The Colle-Zukertort, Barry and 150 Attacks. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-578-7.

Starting out: d-pawn attacks
Starting out: d-pawn attacks

Palliser, Richard (2009). Starting Out: the Trompowsky Attack. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-562-6.

Starting Out: the Trompowsky Attack
Starting Out: the Trompowsky Attack

Palliser, Richard; Williams, Simon; Vigus, James (2010). Dangerous Weapons: The Dutch. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-624-1.

Dangerous Weapons: The Dutch
Dangerous Weapons: The Dutch
IM Richard Palliser
IM Richard Palliser

Third Keith Richardson Memorial : September 14th 2019

Camberley Baptist Church
Camberley Baptist Church

A glorious Saturday (the 14th) in September was the date and Camberley Baptist Church was the location of the third tournament in memory of correspondence Grandmaster Keith Bevan Richardson.

Keith Bevan Richardson (1942 -2017)
Keith Bevan Richardson (1942 -2017)

A field of thirty-two gathered at the home (since 1982) of Camberley Chess Club for a six round rapid-play event (R20′ + 10″) that was free to enter raising money by donations to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust. Players were invited to choose books from Keith’s library

Charity Bookstall
Charity Bookstall

and donate to charity in return.

The Cure Parkinson's Trust
The Cure Parkinson’s Trust

Top seed was recently qualified IM Adam C Taylor (ECF230)

IM Adam C Taylor
IM Adam C Taylor

whose chances were dented by losing in round 4 to Clive Frostick (Farnham) who, like Keith, was a highly successful correspondence player (a SIM : Senior International Master)

Clive Frostick
Clive Frostick

Other pre-tournament favourites were FM Andrew P Smith (IRE and Bourne End)

FM Andrew Smith
FM Andrew Smith

and FM Richard M Webb (Crowthorne)

FM Richard Webb
FM Richard Webb

along with WFM Louise Head (Crowthorne)

WFM Louise Head
WFM Louise Head

Following three rounds we stopped for lunch (in some cases liquid only) and on 100% were Adam, Clive and Andrew so round four could well be a key decider. Clive beat Adam with the white pieces whereas Andrew and Richard drew a hard fought Sicilian Dragon. In round five Clive breathed a sigh of relief to survive a “dodgy” position against Colin Purdon in one of the candidate games for the “Best Swindle” Prize.

Colin Purdon
Colin Purdon

The drama continued into the final round as Adam beat strong junior Ranesh Ratnesan
and everything hinged on Clive’s game with Richard Webb. After a long and interesting struggle the game was drawn and the tournament was decided.

The award for Best U-150 player went to rapidly improving Jessica Mellor (Guildford)

Jessica Mellor
Jessica Mellor

the award for Best Junior went to Radesh Ratnesan (Surbiton)

Ranesh Ratnesan
Ranesh Ratnesan

and the title of Camberley Chess Club Champion (highest placed local player) went to Colin Purdon

Ken Coates & Colin Purdon
Ken Coates & Colin Purdon

In overall first place with 5.5/6 was Clive Frostick :

Overall winner : Clive Frostick
Overall winner : Clive Frostick

The event collected more than £300 for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and we are sure Keith was looking down from above and was pleased with what he observed.

Keith Bevan Richardson (1942 -2017)
Keith Bevan Richardson (1942 -2017)

Past Winners of Keith Richardson Memorial :

2017 : Julien Shepley
2018 : Ken Norman
2019 : Clive Frostick

Full results may be found from UTU Swiss

Camberley Chess Club would like to thank :

Camberley Baptist Church, Berkshire Junior Chess Association, Ken Coates and Christine Coates.

The organiser was John Upham.

Remembering Alexander McDonnell (1798, 14 IX 1835)

We do not have an image of this player
We do not have an image of this player

We remember Alexander McDonnell who died aged 37 on September 14th, 1835

From Wikipedia :

Alexander McDonnell (1798–1835) was an Irish chess master, who contested a series of six matches with the world’s leading player Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais in the summer of 1834.

In 1825 he became a pupil of William Lewis, who was then the leading player in Britain. But soon McDonnell had become so good that Lewis, fearing for his reputation, simply refused to play him anymore.

Around 1825–1826, McDonnell played Captain Evans, while the latter was on shore leave in London. McDonnell was beaten with what is now regarded in chess circles as the creation of the Evans Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4).[3]

La Bourdonnais matches
Main article: La Bourdonnais – McDonnell chess matches
At that time the world’s strongest player was the French aristocrat Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais. Between June and October 1834 La Bourdonnais and McDonnell played a series of six matches, a total of eighty-five games, at the Westminster Chess Club in London. McDonnell won the second match, while La Bourdonnais won first, third, fourth and fifth. The sixth match was unfinished.

In the first game of the third match, McDonnell successfully introduced a new variation in the King’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Nc3) known today as the McDonnell Gambit.

We are not convinced that the photograph above is of AM. We received this reply from Tim Harding :

I don’t recall ever seeing ANY image that was definitely of him, but I have referred your enquiry to James O’Fee in Belfast who is probably the only person who might know of one.

It doesn’t help that he had in Belfast an almost exact contemporary of the same name (who came to work in Dublin and long outlived the chess player) and there is some issue about which one was the son of a doctor and which the son of a merchant. So even if you found an image online it’s more likely to be of the wrong man.

Unless I am wrong there was never any image of Alexander McDonnell in a chess context.
The main chance would perhaps be in connection with his lobbying for the Demerara planters.

Best wishes
Tim

Happy Birthday Anya Sun Corke

WGM Anya Sun Corke
WGM Anya Sun Corke

We wish happy birthday to WGM Anya Sun Corke on her birthday, this day (September 12th) in 1990.

From Wikipedia :

Anya Sun Corke (born 12 September 1990 in California, USA) is an English chess player holding the title of Woman Grandmaster (WGM). She played for Hong Kong, where she was the top ranked chess player, until 2009.[1]

Corke earned the WGM title with her performance in the 36th Chess Olympiad, playing for the Hong Kong men’s team.[2][3]

She was the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 Hong Kong National Champion (for men and women), one of the youngest national champions ever at the age of 13 years and 9 months.

She was the British Junior Under-11 Champion in 2002[4] and the Under-12 Champion in 2003,[5] the first girl to win either of these age groups. In 2004, she became joint British U-14 Champion.[6]

In December 2004, she won the Asian Youth Girls U-14 Championship in Singapore.[7]

In August 2005, she jointly won with Alisa Melekhina and Abby Marshall the second annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls under-19.[8]

Corke represented the England Women’s team at the 2012 Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey,[9][10] and the 2013 European Team Championship in Warsaw, Poland.[11]

In 2013, she graduated from Wellesley College summa cum laude with a B.A. in Russian and Philosophy.[12][13]

In 2014, she started a Ph.D. program in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University.[14]

WGM Anya Sun Corke
WGM Anya Sun Corke

Best Wishes William Claridge-Hansen

FM William Claridge-Hansen
FM William Claridge-Hansen

We wish FM William Claridge-Hansen all the best on his birthday, this day (September 11th) in 1999.

FM William Claridge-Hansen
FM William Claridge-Hansen

British Blitz Championship Qualifier : Bristol

GM Matthew Turner (SCO)
GM Matthew Turner (SCO)

Sixty-four (!) players entered the South-West qualifier for the British Blitz Championship 2019 held at Bristol Grammar School for a fifteen round tournament employing a 3′ + 2″ FIDE approved time control.

GM Keith Arkell (ENG)
GM Keith Arkell (ENG)

The entry was headed by GM Matthew Turner (SCO) scoring 13.5/15 and gaining a mere 8.8 FIDE Blitz rating points drawing quickly with Keith Arkell and losing to FM Lewis Martin (ENG).
Paignton based “local” GM Keith Arkell (ENG) took runner-up spot with 12/15 losing 15 rating points having drawn with Lewis Martin but losing to in-form IM James Cobb (WLS) and IM Malcolm Pein (ENG). Malcolm’s son Jonathan elected to play in the much weaker Belfast qualifier which was probably a good move.

IM James Cobb
IM James Cobb

Highest placed lady player (and therefore qualifier) on 8.5/15 was University of Warwick student and reigning English Ladies Champion, WFM Louise Head (ENG) who was supported by her Crowthorne team mates FM Richard Webb, Colin Purdon and Mark Taylor.

WFM Louise Head
WFM Louise Head

Surprise performance (perhaps?) was from FM Lewis Martin (title awarded in 2018) who beat Matthew Turner, Malcolm Pein, Richard Webb and Louise Head of the titled players to earn a 64.8 rating increase.

FM Lewis Martin (ENG)
FM Lewis Martin (ENG)

Full results may be found at Chess Results . com