We note today (September 8th) in 1854 marks the passing of Elijah Williams
From Wikipedia :
Elijah Williams (7 October 1809 – 8 September 1854) was an eminent British chess player of the mid-19th century. He was the first president of the Clifton Chess Club, and publisher of a book of games from the Divan Club. His most notable result was at the 1851 London tournament, in which he defeated the celebrated British player Howard Staunton in the play-off for third place.
He was accused by Staunton of taking an average of 2½ hours per move during some matches, a strategy thought to cause opponents to lose their focus on the match. According to Staunton, following a particularly dilatory performance by Williams in the London 1851 tournament, a 20-minute per turn time limit was adopted for standard play the next year. However other sources contradict this viewpoint and indeed it was not uncommon for Staunton to attribute his losses to the intolerable dilatory play of his opponents. Staunton is quoted as remarking while playing against Williams, “… Elijah, you’re not just supposed to sit there – you’re supposed to sit there and think!”
In The Complete Chess Addict by Mike Fox and Richard James he was dubbed “the Bristol Sloth” due to his alleged extreme slowness. This sobriquet inspired a musical tune “The Bristol Sloth” by guitarist Leo Kottke (who also applied the term ‘sitzkrieg’ in describing Williams’ playing style).
Williams died in London, a victim of the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak.
We offer best wishes to GM Daniel King on his birthday, this day (August 28th) in 1963.
From Wikipedia :
King achieved the International Master title in 1982 and the Grandmaster title in 1989. He won minor tournaments around the world and recorded promising results at some prestigious events, for example 4th= at Bern 1987, 4th= British Championship 1987, 1st= (with Boris Gelfand) at the Sydney Open 1988, 5th= London 1988, 2nd= Dortmund 1988 and 2nd (after Bent Larsen) London 1989. At the Geneva Young Masters in 1990, he shared first place with the Australian Ian Rogers.
This was written about Daniel who was 15 just prior to the 1979 Spassky vs the BCF Junior Squad simultaneous display :
“Langley Park School, Shortlands and Bromley. Rating 201. British under-14 co-champion, 1977. 2nd Lloyds Bank junior international, 1979.”
King later pursued a media career as presenter, commentator, reporter and analyst, and this likely affected his playing career by limiting the opportunity for dedicated research and study. Nevertheless, he has played professionally for more than 20 years at a high level, including the top leagues of the Bundesliga and 4NCL. In 1996, he won the Bunratty Masters, an Irish tournament with an impressive list of previous winners, including John Nunn, Sergei Tiviakov and Peter Svidler.
King represented England at the European Team Chess Championship (Haifa 1989) and at the Reykjavik VISA Chess Summit of 1990, the latter being the scene of a victory over the strong Soviet team and a team silver medal.
King is known as ‘Dan’.
He coaches some of the UK’s brightest chess prospects. He has written more than 15 chess books on topics ranging from the preparatory Winning with the Najdorf to the self-tutoring How Good is your Chess and Test Your Chess.
BCN sends IM Malcolm Pein best wishes on his birthday.
Malcolm Bernard Pein was born in Liverpool (South) and his mother’s maiden name is Max. (Gaige, Felice and chessgames.com all incorrectly have Malcolm L. Pein).
This was written about Malcolm aged 19 just prior to the 1979 Spassky vs the BCF Junior Squad simultaneous display :
” London University and Liverpool.Rating 199. British under-18 co-champion, 1977. Currently No.1 player for London University.”
Malcolm studied Chemical Engineering at University College, London entering in September 1978. He won The University of London championship in February 1979.
He became an International Master in 1986 and is a FIDE Delegate (for England) and an International Director.
Malcolm’s peak rating was 2450 in January 1992 at the age of 32.
In addition to his newspaper column and magazine editorial, Malcolm has written a number of chess books and booklets, including :
Grunfeld Defence (Batsford, 1981) – ISBN 978-0713435948
Blumenfeld Defence [with Jan Przewoznik] (Everyman, 1991) – ISBN 978-0080371337
Daily Telegraph Guide to Chess (Batsford, 1995) – ISBN 978-0713478143
The Exchange Grunfeld [with Adrian Mikhalchishin] (Everyman, 1996) – ISBN 978-1857440560
“Malcolm Pein’s contribution to English Chess is well known. He is CEO of Chess in Schools and Communities, has been largely involved in the organisation of the London Chess Classic and is currently the ECF’s Delegate to FIDE and International Director. On top of all that he is also an IM, writes the ‘Daily Telegraph’ Chess Column, and edits CHESS Magazine.”
We send best wishes to GM Julian Michael Hodgson on his birthday, this day July 25th) in 1963.
From Wikipedia :
Hodgson was born in London (Shepherd’s Bush to be precise : Ed.), England. He first came to the notice of the chess world for his phenomenal prowess as a junior, whilst at Hammersmith Chess Club in West London; he was London under-18 champion at 12 years of age and won the British Boys under-21 title aged just 14.
International Master and Grandmaster titles followed in 1983 and 1988 respectively. Tournament successes, either shared or outright, included second place Lloyds Bank Open 1986: first place Benidorm 1986: first place Geneva Open 1988: second place Tel Aviv 1988: first place Kecskemét 1988 and first place Dos Hermanas 1989. At San Bernardino 1989, he finished first on tie-break, ahead of strong grandmasters Kiril Georgiev and Ivan Sokolov. A frequent visitor to Spain’s Seville Open, he shared first place in 1986 and 1988. At the Philadelphia World Open of 1990, he was runner-up behind Igor Glek.
In domestic competition, Hodgson competed regularly at the British Chess Championship, winning the Champion’s title on four occasions (1991, 1992, 1999, and 2000). By 2000, he was so at home with the event that he even brought his own executive chair with him, wheeling it from board to board for maximum comfort. On those occasions that he did not play, his live commentary sessions and evening lectures were well received by amateurs and competing masters alike.
In international team chess, he played for the English Olympiad team, winning the bronze team medal at Novi Sad 1990, and an individual silver medal at Manila 1992. The Manila success followed a notable win earlier in the year, at the colossal Open tournament held annually in Cappelle-la-Grande.
In 1997 he won the Canadian Open Chess Championship, and was joint winner of the National Open in Las Vegas. At Oxford in 1998, he shared victory with Jonny Hector, ahead of John Nunn and Emil Sutovsky. He was the winner of the North American Open in 1999 and in the millennium year, recorded his peak Elo rating of 2640. A return visit to the World Open saw him finish a half point behind the leaders. In 2001, he was a joint winner of the Chicago Open with Alexander Goldin.
Over a number of years, Hodgson played league chess in both the German Bundesliga and British 4NCL.
Since 2003, he has not played competitive chess, instead teaching chess in schools.
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-18r champion, 1976. British under-21 co-champion, 1977. Youngest ever to beat two grandmasters in successive games, 1978.”
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.
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”.
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.
We wish Tony Kosten best wishes on his birthday, this day (July 24th) in 1958.
From Wikipedia :
In 1982 he placed third in the British Championship, held in Torquay. In 1989 he moved to France and since then has captained and coached that country in major competitions.
Kosten played many tournaments, finishing first or equal first in the following:
1985 Andorra International Open
1986 Geneva International Open, clear first at 8.5/9
1987 Cappelle-la-Grande Open (first on tie-break)
1987 Challengers Open, Hastings Congress 1987/88
1989 Challengers Open, Hastings Congress 1989/90
1991 San Benedetto del Tronto
1993 16th Festival of Asti
1994 Chanac (repeated in 1995)
2000 Naujac-sur-Mer – L’Étang-Salé
2004 Montpellier – Villeurbanne
2006 Cap d’Agde
2007 Clermont-Ferrand – Saint-Dié-des-Vosges
2008 Avoine, Indre-et-Loire – Kilkenny
2010 Wellington College International
Perhaps the most striking of these performances was at the 1st Geneva Open tournament of 1986 (170 players, including several grandmasters, among them Anthony Miles, Miguel Quinteros or Armenian Smbat Lputian from the Soviet Union). The event was nine rounds and Kosten won all of his first eight games. This was sufficient to already guarantee him first place ahead of a strong international field. In the final game, Kosten accepted an offer of a draw from his compatriot, Glenn Flear. He agreed after some half an hour´s deliberation, for the position was hopelessly lost for Flear. That acceptance prevented Kosten from achieving a perfect 9/9 score. IM Kosten won outright a full point ahead of sole second GM Lars Karlsson [de].
He lives in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and is now naturalized French and registered on the French Elo list.
Kosten was married to the daughter of Hungarian Grandmaster Győző Forintos.
With the English national team he participated in the European Championship in 1989 in Haifa, where he received the individual bronze medal for his score of 5 points from 7 games on the first reserve board. In 1990 he played for England in the 1st VISA Chess Summit in Rekyavik. England came second.
In the British Team Championships 4NCL, he won with Slough in 1996, 1999 and 2000 and with Guildford in 2004, 2007 and 2008. He twice won the French Team Championships with Monaco, in 2001 and 2002. In Germany he has played on the first board of Schott Mainz since 1994. In Austria, he played for Frohnleiten from 2001, which became Holz Dohr-Semriach from the 2004/05 season. In the 2007/08 season he was the best player with Rainer Buhmann. In Switzerland, he played for Lausanne Le Joueur, and he was also active in the Hungarian (for MTK) and Basque (for Oaso X.T.) Team Championships.
We remember Sir George Alan Thomas who died on July 23rd, 1972
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.”
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.
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).
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)”
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.
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 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.
His first appearance in the British Championship was in he came 2nd. He also came 2nd in l92l 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.
During his career he has beaten Botvinnik, 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.
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.
He died on 23rd July 1972 in a London nursing home.”
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.”
BCN wishes GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant best wishes on her birthday, July 19th 1968
From Wikipedia :
In 1985, when she won the World Junior Chess Championship for Girls, held in Dobrna (and taking silver in Adelaide three years later). Very soon thereafter, she fulfilled the criteria for the Woman International Master title and this was awarded in 1986. Encouraged by these early successes, she quickly developed aspirations to become a Women’s World Championship contender and in the course of the qualification cycles of the late eighties and early nineties, proved that she had the ability to compete at the top level. Second place behind Nana Ioseliani in her first Interzonal at Tuzla 1987 was an inspirational start, but she won the 1993 event in Jakarta and the 1995 event in Kishinev. Her performances in the respective Candidates Tournaments ruled out an opportunity to play for the world title.
She won the Women’s Soviet Chess Championship in 1990.
Aside from world championship competitions, in 1990 she took first place at both the Biel Women’s Open and Geneva (IM), then followed up by winning the Doeberl Cup in Canberra, Australia in 1991; the first woman to do so. Her participation at the Hastings Premier in 1993/94, where she finished ahead of six male grandmasters and defeated three of them on her way to a share of third place. In respect of women competitors at Hastings, the result was second only to that of Judit Polgár.
In the nineties she participated in the Veterans vs Ladies dance-themed tournaments where she defeated Borislav Ivkov, Vlastimil Hort, Vasily Smyslov and Mark Taimanov.
In 1996, she married Jonathan Grant, also a chess player, and they settled in Edinburgh, later giving birth to daughter Elena.
In team chess, Arakhamia debuted at Chess Olympiad at Novi Sad in 1990, representing the USSR Ladies team as first reserve and registering a perfect 12/12 score. With the Soviet and then Georgian Ladies Teams, she has won nine Olympiad medals, and including two team and three individual gold medals. She has won medals at the European Team Chess Championships; a team gold at Pula in 1997 and team silver medals in 1992 and 2005.
Despite moving to the UK, Arakhamia continued to represent Georgia for many years, through membership of its national chess federation. She was the Georgian Ladies Champion in 1983, 1984 and 1990. In January 2008 however, she switched her registration to her adopted country.
Post-millennium, she has won a bronze medal at the Women’s European Individual Championship at Warsaw in 2001. She was Scottish champion jointly with Paul Motwani in 2003 (the first ever woman to achieve the honour) and has participated at the British Championship, taking the Ladies’ Champion titles of 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007. In 2006, she finished just a half point behind overall Championship winner Jonathan Rowson. She concluded with a 4½/5 finish, including a win against Nick Pert in the last round. 2006 was also the year that her husband took first place in the Scottish Championship, making them the first ever husband–wife pair to win a full national championship. Also in 2006, at Batumi Georgia, she assisted the Australian squad by coaching their Under-10 Girls at the World Youth Chess Championship.
In 2007, she beat former U.S. Champion Hikaru Nakamura at Gibraltar Masters, in a 100-move first round encounter. Journalist John Saunders describes Arakhamia-Grant as the ideal role model: “her charming and dignified manner belies a tough, determined fighter at the board.” At Philadelphia, while visiting her sister, she played the World Open and finished top woman. As the tournament was a qualifier for the MonRoi Women’s Grand Prix, she earned a place in the Montreal finale, held just a few weeks later. There, she shared the lead after five rounds and finished in joint fourth place (Pia Cramling won). As part of the Liverpool European Capital of Culture festivities, she played in the United Kingdom vs China match and was top scorer for the UK with 4/6, although China won the match.
Arakhamia-Grant at the 2008 EU Championship
At the 2008 EU Individual Open Chess Championship in Liverpool, she shared the highest scoring woman prize with Jovanka Houska and Yelena Dembo. At the Olympiad in Dresden, she played for Scotland in the main event and completed her final grandmaster norm with victory in the final round. Having additionally met the 2500 Elo rating requirement in the January 2009 FIDE list, she was awarded the title in March 2009, making her Scotland’s sixth grandmaster. In August 2009 Arakhamia-Grant won the Baltic Queen round-robin tournament in Saint Petersburg.
In July 2011 she won the Scottish Championship outright, finishing with the score of 7/9.
In league chess, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant has played for OSC Baden-Baden in the Women’s Bundesliga and for Georgian team Interplast Tbilisi in the European Club Cup. For the 2008/9 season, she represents Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher 1 in the British 4NCL.
BCN remembers much loved Ken Whyld who passed away on July 11th 2003 in Lincolnshire.
Possibly the best tribute to Ken was written by John Saunders and Bernard Cafferty in the August 2003 issue of British Chess Magazine, pages 398 – 402.
From Wikipedia :
Kenneth Whyld (6 March 1926 – 11 July 2003) was a British chess author and researcher, best known as the co-author (with David Hooper) of The Oxford Companion to Chess, a single-volume chess reference work in English.
Whyld was a strong amateur chess player, taking part in the British Chess Championship in 1956 and winning the county championship of Nottinghamshire. He subsequently made his living in information technology while writing books on chess and researching its history.
As well as The Oxford Companion to Chess, Whyld was the author of other reference works such as Chess: The Records (1986), an adjunct to the Guinness Book of Records and the comprehensive The Collected Games of Emanuel Lasker (1998). He also researched more esoteric subjects, resulting in works such as Alekhine Nazi Articles (2002) on articles in favour of the Nazi Party supposedly written by world chess champion Alexander Alekhine, and the bibliographies Fake Automata in Chess (1994) and Chess Columns: A List (2002).
From 1978 until his death in 2003, Whyld wrote the “Quotes and Queries” column in the British Chess Magazine.
Shortly after Whyld’s death, the Ken Whyld Association was established with the aim of compiling a comprehensive chess bibliography in database form and promoting chess history.
Whyld’s library was later sold to the Musée Suisse du Jeu, located on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland (as reported in number 152 of EG).
BCN wishes Happy Birthday of FM Terence PD Chapman (19-vi-1956)
Terry became a FIDE Master in 2013. His peak rating was 2331 in October 2013.
The ever youthful Terry represents Barbican Youth in 4NCL.
We focus on the British Chess Scene Past & Present !
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