Category Archives: British Championships

Remembering IM Čeněk Kottnauer (24-ii-1910 14-ii-1996)

IM Čeněk Kottnauer
IM Čeněk Kottnauer

BCN remembers IM Čeněk Kottnauer (24-ii-1910 14-ii-1996)

Čeněk (pronounced CHEnek) Kottnauer was born in Prague on Thursday, February 24th, 1910. Čeněk was employed in the Ministry of Education in Prague.

Whilst playing in the Lucerne International tournament (28-xii-1952 03-i-1953) he sought political asylum :

From the Milwaukee Journal, January 3, 1953 we have

Czech Chess Star Asks for Asylum

Lucerne, Switzerland – Cenek Kottnauer, 42, Czecho-Slovakian chess champion and an employee of the ministry of education in Prague, announced Saturday that he would not return to Czech-Slovakia and would request political asylum in Switzerland. Kottnauer had been participating in a chess tournament.

He said that the political situation in his country had grown “more and more critical” and he wanted “to leave before it is too late”. He said that he had been divorced recently and had no children in Czech-Slovakia”.

In a January 2009 post to the English Chess Forum Leonard Barden wrote :

“Cenek Kottnauer defected from Czechoslovakia during the Lucerne New Year tournament of 1952-3 (I am precise on this because I was present). His wife Daniela joined him there, having been smuggled from Prague in the boot of a diplomat’s car. Kottnauer had been a water polo player of international standard before 1939 so came into serious chess only his mid-30s. He made his name with his good showing in the Prague v Moscow match of 1946 and his Bxh7+ win then against Kotov. He competed in great tournaments like Groningen 1946 and Moscow 1947; his first visit to England was in 1947 when the Czech team came here.

Čeněk Kottnauer plays Friedrich Sämisch during the Duras Memorial in Prague. December 7th 1942, The game was a Slav drawn after 42 moves
Čeněk Kottnauer plays Friedrich Sämisch during the Duras Memorial in Prague. December 7th 1942, The game was a Slav drawn after 42 moves

In the 1940s he had a job in the Czech sports ministry but got implicated in the purges following the Slansky trial. He also believed that Pachman and Opocensky were involved in the campaign against him.”

Čeněk married Daniela (née Horska, also Czech, having met in Austria) and they had a son Daniel VR Kottnauer. Daniela was born in 1934 and was 24 years younger than Čeněk. She died on February 20th 2008 in a hospice in Essen, Germany close to where Daniel currently resides.  Daniel has been a pianist and singer for 30 years, an event manager for 19 years and a coach and VIP limousine driver for 5 years and may be found on LinkedIn.

Daniel Kottnauer
Daniel Kottnauer

We thank Daniel for providing photographs.

Čeněk  became a British citizen on 16th December 1960 when he obtained naturalisation certificate BNA64338.

In 1965 Čeněk and Daniela were living at Flat 2, 7-8 Bathurst Street, London, W2.

7-8, Bathurst Street, London, W2
7-8, Bathurst Street, London, W2

In Kings, Commoners and Knaves (Russell Enterprises, 1999), page 108, Edward Winter wrote :

“The obituaries of Čeněk Kottnauer (1910-1996) have, in common with all of the encyclopaedia entries on him, been strangely wanting in pre-1940s references to his chess career. Czech magazines of the 1930s contain occasional games by ‘Kottnauer’ (no forename or initial given), including the following :

Source : Československý šach, January, 1932, page 9. The score was also given, with notes, by Vera Menchik, on page 153 of the April 1932 issue of The Social Chess Quarterly. ”

From Šachový Týdeník, 25th February, 2010 we learnt that Čeněk was twice Prague lightning champion.

In 1943 Čeněk was a clear first overall with 10.5/13 in the Zlin tournament.

Crosstable for the Zlin (Czechoslovakia) 1943 tournament
Crosstable for the Zlin (Czechoslovakia) 1943 tournament
Čeněk Kottnauer plays Svetozar Gligorić during the Chigorin Memorial, Moscow, November 26th 1947.
Čeněk Kottnauer plays Svetozar Gligorić during the Chigorin Memorial, Moscow, November 26th 1947.

From Bronstein on the King’s Indian,  Everyman Chess, 1999, game 25 we have :

“This game is from our hisotoric match with the Czechoslovak team, which took place half in Prague and half in Moscow.

My opponent, an intelligent, clever, athletic man, also played water polo. Then at some point he travelled to a tournament in England, fell in love with a beautiful Englishwoman, and decided to settle down there.”

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

International Master (1950), International Arbiter (1951), a Czech player who emigrated to England in 1953 and was naturalised in 1960. He played in Olympiads for Czechoslovakia (1950*, 1952), on the second occasion making the best score (+10=5) on the fourth board, and in two Olympiads for England (1964, 1968). In 1961 he won the Beverwijk Masters tournament (not the concurrent grandmasters event) with a clean score, a fine achievement.

*Ed : In fact, this is not true since Czechoslovakia did not send a team to Dubrovnik 1950.  This was the last year the event was limited to sixteen countries.

Incomplete crosstable for Beverwijk 1961
Incomplete crosstable for Beverwijk 1961

James Pratt, Basingstoke provides the full results from Gino de Felice, Chess Results, 1961 – 1963, Macfarland, 2013 :

Kottnauer 9/9, Wade 5/9, Langeweg 4.5/9, De Rooi 4.5/9, Tan 4.5/9, Kramer 4/9, Bink 3.5/9, Durao 3.5/9, Perez Perez 3.5/9, Bozic 3/9.

Consulting the 2nd edition (1992) of Hooper & Whyld may cause disappointment since there is no entry for CK.

Čeněk Kottnauer from Šachový Týdeník, 25th February, 2010
Čeněk Kottnauer from Šachový Týdeník, 25th February, 2010

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

“International Master (1950) and International Judge (1951).

Born on 24th February 1910. Kottnauer represented Czechoslovakia in the 1952 Olympiad in Helsinki. In the years after the war his successes in international tournaments included 3rd at Beverwijk 1947, =2nd at Vienna 1947, 4th at Bad Gadstein 1948 and 1st at Lucerne 1953.

Crosstable for Lucerne 1952/1953
Crosstable for Lucerne 1952/1953

After the Lucerne tournament he sought political asylum in Switzerland. He later settled in England and became a naturalised British citizen. He played for the British Chess Federation in the Olympiads of 1964 and 1968.

Kottnauer has played in the British Championship twice. In 1961 he came =4th, and in 1962 he came =3rd.”

IM Čeněk Kottnauer
IM Čeněk Kottnauer

From The Encyclopaedia of Chess (Batsford, 1977), Harry Golombek OBE (entry written by Bill Hartston):

“Born in Czechoslovakia, Kottnauer played for that country in many events including the 1952 Olympiad. He emigrated in 1953 and subsequently took British nationality, representing England in the Olympiads of 1964 and 1968. Awarded FIDE titles of international master in 1950 and International Judge in 1951. Winner of Lucerne 1953 International tournament.

Čeněk Kottnauer plays Frans Kuijpers during the 1964 Anglo-Dutch match at Vlissingen on September 19th
Čeněk Kottnauer plays Frans Kuijpers during the 1964 Anglo-Dutch match at Vlissingen on September 19th

Co-author with TD Harding and GS Botterill of The Sicilian Sozin, Batsford, London, 1974.”

The Sicilian Sozin, TD Harding, GS Botterill, C. Kottnauer, Batsford, 1974
The Sicilian Sozin, TD Harding, GS Botterill, C. Kottnauer, Batsford, 1974

James Pratt, Basingstoke revealed : He would look through opening analysis often  proclaiming: ‘What will the master play now?’

From British Chess (Pergamon Press, 1983) we have this insight from Tim Harding :

“At a time when home-grown International Masters were thin on the ground in Britain (the 1950s and 1960s) this Czech-born IM brought a lot of valuable experience to BCF teams.

Amsterdam 1950, first day; Gideon Stahlberg versus Cenek Kottnauer Date: November 11, 1950
Amsterdam 1950, first day; Gideon Stahlberg versus Cenek Kottnauer Date: November 11, 1950

After emigrating to England in 1953, he became naturalized and subsequently represented the BCF in the Tel Aviv, 1964 and Lugano, 1968, Olympiads. On board one in 1964 he scored +8 =7 -3 (63.9%) on board two below Penrose in 1968 (with some board one games) he scored 41.7: +3 =5 -4.

Čeněk Kottnauer
Čeněk Kottnauer

When FIDE rating lists appeared in the early 1970s, Kottnauer was listed at 2370 but by this time had more or less retired from active play at the top level, although he took (and still takes) a keen interest in coaching promising young players, He was one of the most regular and most valuable coaches at the one-day junior training events organised by the London Chess Association at the Mary Ward Centre in Bloomsbury, London in the mid-1970s.

IM Čeněk Kottnauer, event unknown
IM Čeněk Kottnauer, event unknown

At this time he also wrote many articles for his friend Grandmaster Pachman, who had been freed to live in West Germany where he became editor of Schach-Archiv, and also made a major contribution to the Batsford opening theory work. The Sicilian Sozin, written in collaboration with George Botterill and Tim Harding, and published in 1974.

Lubomir Kavalek & Čeněk Kottnauer from Šachový Týdeník, 25th February, 2010
Lubomir Kavalek & Čeněk Kottnauer from Šachový Týdeník, 25th February, 2010

Kottnauer’s most active years as a player were however 1946-53; in the year that he came to England he took first prize in the Lucerne, 1953 International tournament. Had he been a professional player throughout the the 1950s, there is little doubt that he would have become a grandmaster.

As early as the end of the war, when regular play resumed, he was almost of that strength (as wins against Kotov and Smyslov in the February, 1946 Prague v Moscow match showed) but lacking in experience at the top level, which told against him at Groningen, 1946, when he was placed 13th with 9 points out of a possible 19 in a very strong field.  This was the first great post-war tournament, with nine Master and eleven Grandmasters (including Botvinnik and former world champion Euwe).

Players at the 1946 Groningen Tournament
Players at the 1946 Groningen Tournament

Also in 1946 Kottnauer scored wins against Simagin (in Prague) and Levenfish (in Leningrad) and was clearly one of the up-and-coming stars in a strong Czech team that included Filip and Pachman.  In 1950 he was one of the first players to be awarded the FIDE title of International Master.

The following year he was also made a FIDE International Judge (now known as FIDE Arbiter).

Unfortunately there was no Czech representation at the Dubrovnik, 1950 Olympiad, but in 1952, one of his last appearances for Czechoslovakia, Kottnauer achieved a remarkable record playing board four (below Filip, Pachman and Sajtar) at the Helsinki Olympiad. He went through unbeaten with ten wins and five draws (83.3%) and easily won the board prize.

Kottnauer shortly thereafter came to England where he eventually made a successful career as an executive with Trust House Forte’s hotel group; he has also helped with the BBC overseas service Czech-language broadcasts. He lives in West Central London with his wife and their son.

The following is undoubtedly Kottnauer’s most famous win.

and here we have the same game analysed by Tryfon Gavriel :

From British Chess Magazine, Volume CXVI (116, 1996), Number 4 (April), pp 202-203 we have this obituary by Bernard Cafferty :

Čeněk Kottnauer, the Czech/British IM, and the first chess defector died in St. Margaret’s Hospital, London, on 14th February after heart trouble and abdominal cancer.

A giant of a man, a fine athlete and swimmer, he was born on 24th February 1910 and came to prominence in the 1942 tournament in Prague in which Alekhine took part. He extended the great man to 70 moves before resigning. His wins against Kotov and Smyslov in the Moscow-Prague match of 1946 and his 13th place in the great Groningen tournament of the same year confirmed his status, as did his excellent showing for Czechoslovakia in the 1952 Olympiad at Helsinki (+10=5-0 on fourth board). He also took part in the 1947 Chigorin Memorial in Moscow, and won a tournament at Lucerne in early 1953, the same year in which he emigrated to Britain.

Hoogovens, Beverwijk, 1962. In the opening round (played 11th January), Theo van Scheltinga (Netherlands) faces Čeněk Kottnauer (England, formerly ČSSR). (Photo credit: W. van Rossem, ANEFO, via http://gahetna.nl. Courtesy of Douglas Griffin
Hoogovens, Beverwijk, 1962. In the opening round (played 11th January), Theo van Scheltinga (Netherlands) faces Čeněk Kottnauer (England, formerly ČSSR). (Photo credit: W. van Rossem, ANEFO, via http://gahetna.nl. Courtesy of Douglas Griffin

On this form he would have gained the GM title had he continued playing, but he had to take a full-time job (with Trusthouse Forte) to support his family.

Čeněk had met his much younger wife in Austria, though she too was Czech. They had a son. The master’s appearences were therefore limited to London League matches and other sporadic events. That he had lost none of his skill was shown when he played top board for England at the 1964 Tel-Aviv Olympiad (Penrose was not available) and made +8=7-3. His only other big event was the Lugano Olympiad of 1968 when he was on second board and made +3=5-4.

The 1964 England Olympiad (Tel Aviv) Team : Owen Hindle, Čeněk Kottnauer, Peter Clarke, Michael Franklin, Norman Littlewood & Michael Haygarth
The 1964 England Olympiad (Tel Aviv) Team : Owen Hindle, Čeněk Kottnauer, Peter Clarke, Michael Franklin, Norman Littlewood & Michael Haygarth

Čeněk (pronounced CHEnek) Kottnauer was one of the early professionals in the German Bundesliga; on a visit to his Bayswater flat in 1995 by Murray Chandler and myself, Čeněk told us about the great transport difficulties he had in those days. He mentioned that he had recently had a heart bypass operation and showed us the medication he had to take on a regular basis, opining that after Golombek and Milner-Barry he would be the next to go.

Hugh Alexander, Čeněk Kottnauer, Michael Franklin and Owen Hindle
Hugh Alexander, Čeněk Kottnauer, Michael Franklin and Owen Hindle

Čeněk was involved in junior coaching in London for many years, wrote extensively for the Dutch and German press and in recent years was a regular visitor to the Lloyds Bank Masters to see old friends and acquaintances. Amongst those he coached were Julian Hodgson, William Watson and Dharshan Kumaran, as well as Stuart Conquest.

IM Čeněk Kottnauer in Argentina during the 1984 World Under-16 Championship
IM Čeněk Kottnauer in Argentina during the 1984 World Under-16 Championship

In Stuart’s case he came regularly to Hastings to do the coaching which was financed by the Slater Foundation and by Lloyds Bank.

The fruit of his effort was Stuart’s 1984 World U-16 title in Argentina, where Čeněk’s great physical strength came in handy when the huge trophy had to be carried back to Britain.

IM Čeněk Kottnauer with Stuart Conquest during the World Under-16 Championship in Argentina.
IM Čeněk Kottnauer with Stuart Conquest during the World Under-16 Championship in Argentina.

All his pupils and friends will attest to his wonderful manner. A great personality has left us.”

According to Leonard Barden “Čeněk’s students included Demis Hassabis, then aged six.   He once told me that Dharshan Kumaran, then seven, was the more talented of the pair  but that Demis was also ‘very clever and tricky’ ”

Daniel tells us that Nigel Short visited his family home for coaching and we believe that both Anita and Mira Rakshit were CKs students. Doubtless there were many more…

Leonard added :

“After he retired he did chess coaching and, although never named in the BCF’s list of coaches, was the most successful of all in terms of achievements by those he taught. He normally did weekly sessions of a couple of hours and got results through his challenging and sceptical approach to ideas from his pupils.

Kottnauer pupils included Hodgson, Watson, and Kumaran, who all became grandmasters. When he came to our junior invitation tournaments in the mid-seventies I used to give a prize of a game and session with him to exceptional talents. So he played Nigel Short in spring 1975 (probably Short’s first one-to-one with an IM) and was enthusiastic about his promise.

In 1981 when Stuart Conquest was going to the the world U16 championship in Argentina Cenek coached him for several months beforehand and went with him to the event. No news reports were available during the tournament so the first I knew was when Cenek phoned me on his return to London and complained that he was tired having to carry this enormous trophy home (Stuart had broken his arm before the event and played in a sling) and how the food had been terrible but that Eliskases, who was involved in the organisation, had sworn him to secrecy.

IM Čeněk Kottnauer in Argentina during the 1984 World Under-16 Championship
IM Čeněk Kottnauer in Argentina during the 1984 World Under-16 Championship

I used to visit him a couple of times a month for talk and blitz sessions and have warm memories. A great guy, and a significant figure in the long departed English chess boom.”

Here is an excellent article from Tim Harding originally  on chesscafe.com but now via the Wayback Machine.

Here is an obituary from Bill Hartston

Here is his Wikipedia entry

And finally, according to chessgames.com :

“Cenek Kottnauer was born in Prague. He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and became an International Arbiter in 1951. Kottnauer played the Helsinki Olympiad 1952 on board 4 for Czechoslovakia, scoring +10 =5 -0. In 1953 he won the Lucerne international tournament. That same year, he emigrated to England, and eventually became a naturalized citizen and played for England in the Olympiads of 1964 and 1968. In the 1970s he became one of England’s top coaches of young players.”

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Happy Birthday GM Ravi Haria (07-ii-1999)

IM Ravi Haria, 2019 British Championships, Torquay
IM Ravi Haria, 2019 British Championships, Torquay

BCN sends birthday wishes to GM Ravi Haria.

Ravi Haria was born Sunday, February 7th, 1999  in Elstree, Hertfordshire. “Maria” by Blondie was top of the hit parade. Ravi currently resides in London.

Ravi attended Lonsdale School in Barnet and then The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and now reads History at University College, London.

ECF grading profiles for Ravi Haria
ECF grading profiles for Ravi Haria

Ravi learnt at the age of 6 and joined Barnet Knights Chess Club in 2005.

Ravi’s first recorded tournament was the 35th Barnet Knights Under-8  rapidplay on September 25th 2005. Also playing of note were Jonathan Pein and Isaac Sanders.

His first recorded standard play game  was in the London Junior Under-10 Championships on December 9th 2006.

By the time he was eight he had attracted the attention of the England selectors and played in the 2008 Commonwealth Championships in New Delhi coming home with a bronze medal.

Ravi aged 8 photographed by The Borehamwood and Elstree Times in January 2008
Ravi aged 8 photographed by The Borehamwood and Elstree Times in January 2008
Ravi aged 9 photographed by The Borehamwood and Elstree Times in August 2008
Ravi aged 9 photographed by The Borehamwood and Elstree Times in August 2008

In 2008 Ravi won the British Under-9 title in Liverpool. He said afterwards:

It was quite nice to be leading everyone and I felt proud of myself. I’m not sure how I control my nerves but it feels really good to win.

His mother Sona said:

It’s a bit overwhelming but we just support him. It means you have to give up a lot of time for him but it’s really nice to see that he’s getting somewhere.

This was followed in 2014 by winning the British Under-18 championship in Aberystwyth aged 15 and then the same title in 2017 in Llandudno.

Ravi Haria, UKCC Southern Gigafinal, 2013
Ravi Haria, UKCC Southern Gigafinal, 2013

In 2016 Ravi was equal 2nd to Deep Sengupta at the Hastings Masters Open with an impressive 6/9 and a TPR of 2563.  This performance secured his second IM norm.

The IM title was conferred at the 88th FIDE Congress 2017, 7-15 October, Goynuk, Antalya, Turkey.

He scored six points after 11 rounds at the 2017 World Junior championship in Italy and 5.5 points at the 2017 WYCC U-18 group in Uruguay.

Ravi completed his British junior titles run by becoming the current (no OTB event in 2020) British Under-21 champion in 2019 in Torquay scoring an emphatic 6.5/9 securing a share of third place.

Partial crosstable for the 2019 British Championships in Torquay
Partial crosstable for the 2019 British Championships in Torquay

Ravi became a FIDE Master in 2015 at the age of 16 and and International Master two years later making him England’s second youngest IM after Matthew Wadsworth.

OTB Elo rating profile for IM Ravi Haria according to MegaBase 2020
OTB Elo rating profile for IM Ravi Haria according to MegaBase 2020

In 2019 Ravi teamed up with IM Adam C. Taylor to join Adam’s Making Grandmasters training venture.

FM Ravi Haria, ECF Secondary Schools Rapidplay, 2016
FM Ravi Haria, ECF Secondary Schools Rapidplay, 2016

On January 28th 2021 Thinker’s Publishing released The Modernised Anti-Sicilians, Volume 1, Rossolimo Variation which is a massive 520 page tome on the following position :

which was reviewed by FM Richard Webb.

which we hope will be followed by at least Volume 2!

The Modernized Anti-Sicilians - Volume 1: Rossolimo Variation, Ravi Haria, Thinker's Publishing, 2021
The Modernized Anti-Sicilians – Volume 1: Rossolimo Variation, Ravi Haria, Thinker’s Publishing, 2021

Ravi has plus scores against : Matthew Turner, Simon Williams, William Claridge Hansen, Bob Eames, David Eggleston and Arul Gupta to name but a few.

GM John Emms plays IM Ravi Haria in the final round of the 2019 British Championships in Torquay
GM John Emms plays IM Ravi Haria in the final round of the 2019 British Championships in Torquay

With the white pieces Ravi unsurprisingly plays the Moscow and Rossolimo variations against the Sicilian,  the Ruy Lopez and, in recent years, he has take up the Reti/English complex.

As the second player he plays the French Winawer and (refreshingly) the Abrahams-Noteboom Variation of the Semi-Slav.

For your entertainment we have these two  brevities :

and

Ravi has played for University College London. Hendon and Cavendish in the London and other leagues and in 4NCL he started with Kings Head, transferring to Cambridge in 2014 and finally moving in 2016 to Wood Green.

In this game Ravi punishes IM Malcolm Pein who has a bad day at the office :

Ravi Haria, British Championships, 2014, Aberystwyth
Ravi Haria, British Championships, 2014, Aberystwyth

Ravi is Mesutgm on chess.com and lichess

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend of 2021 Ravi played in the Wood Green Invitational round-robin event at Oddfellows Hall, Stafford.

Ravi scored 7.5/10 and secured his third and final Grandmaster Norm.

Wood Green Invitational Round-Robin event at Oddfellows Hall, Stafford. August Bank Holiday Weekend, 2021
Wood Green Invitational Round-Robin event at Oddfellows Hall, Stafford. August Bank Holiday Weekend, 2021
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Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

HE Atkins from Westminster Budget (18/09/1896) from the Yorkshire Chess History web site
HE Atkins from Westminster Budget (18/09/1896) from the Yorkshire Chess History web site

We remember Henry Atkins who passed away, Monday, January 31st, 1955.

Henry Ernest Atkins was born in Leicester on Tuesday, August 20th, 1872 to Edward (a schoolteacher) and Jane Atkins (née Threapland).

He was baptised on August 6th, 1872 in the Anglican Cathedral Church of St. Martin, Leicester. At the time of the baptism the Atkins family was living at 57, King Richard’s Road, Leicester. The address in 2021 appears to be occupied by an industrial premise for Sunco Knitwear Specialists. The signatory on the baptism record is that of DJ Vaughan.

Baptismal record for Henry Ernest Atkins
Baptismal record for Henry Ernest Atkins

Henry was admitted to Wyggeston Boys Grammar School, Leicester on March 30th 1880 when eight years old. He was expected to leave at the end of the Winter Term in 1890.

School admission record for Henry Ernest Atkins
School admission record for Henry Ernest Atkins

Curiously his school admission record includes the following addition (although we don’t know exactly when) :

Amendment to school admission record for HEA.
Amendment to school admission record for HEA.

Henry, aged 18, went up to Peterhouse College, Cambridge in 1890 to study mathematics. From his year of entry he was ranked as 9th “Wrangler” studying for the Mathematical Tripos. As part of his Part II examinations he did well enough to be “mentioned” for the Smith’s Prize for examination performance.

Nottingham Evening Post, 3rd June 1895
Nottingham Evening Post, 3rd June 1895

(Here is more on Kummer’s Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem.)

Following University Henry became a teacher of mathematics at Northampton County Modern School and then returned to Wyggeston Boys Grammar School from 1902 – 1908. He then became the principal of Huddersfield College in 1909 and continued until 1915. Huddersfield College (founded in 1839) was merged with Hillhouse Technical School to form a new boys’ grammar school at a new campus at Salendine Nook with 950 boys.

According to Ranneforths Schach-Kalender (cited by C.N.), 1915, page 55, during the period at Huddersfield College Henry lived firstly at 49 New North Road, Huddersfield, Yorkshire :

49 New North Road, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, HD1 5NR
49 New North Road, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, HD1 5NR

and then

36 Gledholt Road, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, HD1 4HP :

36 Gledholt Road, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, HD1 4HP
36 Gledholt Road, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, HD1 4HP

On June 1st, 1915 (aged 43) Henry was registered as a teacher whilst at Huddersfield College for the fee of one guinea :

Teacher registration form for Henry Ernest Atkins
Teacher registration form for Henry Ernest Atkins

Henry retired from teaching in 1936.

In the 1939 register Henry (now a retired schoolmaster) was recorded as living with his wife, Elspeth Skene Atkins (née Wilson) at 29 East Avenue, Leicester, Leicestershire :

29 East Avenue, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE2 1TE
29 East Avenue, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE2 1TE

Elspeth was born on August 5th 1880 and was therefore roughly eight years his junior. She carried out “unpaid domestic duties” but as a member of the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) she was a surgical dresser. The WVS transformed into the RVS. It would seem that Henry and Elspeth did not have children. She outlived Henry passing away in 1973 in Southampton.

On Monday, January 31st 1955 passed away in The Fielding Johnson Private Hospital :

Probate notice from March 26th 1955
Probate notice from March 26th 1955
The Fielding Johnson Private Hospital
The Fielding Johnson Private Hospital

Henry was buried at Gilroes Cemetery and Crematorium, Groby Road, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE3 9QG.

In the October 1976 issue of Newsflash Badmaster (aka GH Diggle) wrote :

“… we well remember his giving a “simultaneous” at the Lincoln Chess Club in 1924, winning 17 and drawing two. One of his more elderly opponents (a notorious non-resigner) who for 30 moves had been wobbling along with a piece down until “time” had to be called, then proceeded to “demonstrate a draw” by concocting a continuation so optimistic that even clubmates with lifelong experience of his powers stood aghast. Atkins, with his greatcoat on ready to go home, made no attempt to refute this analytical masterpiece but merely remarked with great deference: “I don’t think we can play it quite like that!” and then beat a craven retreat “escorted by Club Officials”

From British Chess Magazine, Volume LXXV (75, 1955), Number 3 (March), pp.102-3 we have this obituary written by RN Coles :

“With the passing, on January 31st, at the age of eighty-two of Henry Ernest Atkins the chess world has lost a recognized international master, and British chess one of its strongest players of all time. Yet Atkins was the despair of chess enthusiasts because he played so little international chess and confined himself largely – and at that intermittently – to local affairs, where the strength of most of his opponents could hardly extend him. One leading player recently regretted that Atkins spent so much time “in the wilds,” but Atkins would have taken an opposite view and have considered that he was “in the wilds” if he had spent more of his time playing chess; teaching was his whole life, and the game of chess he insisted on treating as a game.

Consequently as a chess-player Atkins was almost always out of practice and playing below his true strength, yet in his five international events-Amsterdam, 1899; Hanover, 1902; London, 1922; London Team Tourney, 1927; and Warsaw Team Tourney, 1935-he scored 63.2 per cent, or if Amsterdam which was virtually a Hauptturnier is excluded, 53.5 per cent.

Full crosstable from Amsterdam 1899
Full crosstable from Amsterdam 1899

Sir George Thomas considered that only lack of opportunity prevented him from establishing himself in the world championship class. As it is, he will be remembered chiefly by chess-players as the man who played eleven times in the British Championship and won it nine times, failing only at the first attempt in 1904 after a tie for first place, and at the last in 1937, at the age of sixty-five, when he shared third place, a record which has never been remotely approached by any other player and is not likely to be. Atkins played in a clear-cut strategical style which makes his games ideal studies for the beginner, and he finished them with the elegance to enchant the artist; like the Etudes of Chopin, they provide technical exercises and works of art in one.

But I believe that if Atkins had his wish – and this wish I am sure he will have – he would wish to be remembered by his many pupils, whether they be pupils of the chess master or of the schoolmaster, not for any practical achievements but for being a true guide, philosopher, and friend to all who came under his tutelage.-R. N. C.”

From The Oxford Companion to Chess by Hooper & Whyld

English player, born in Leicester, International Master (1950), schoolmaster. Between 1895 and 1901 he played in seven minor tournaments, winning four, taking second place in three, and losing only three out of 70 games. In one of these events, Amsterdam 1899, he made a clean score against 15 opponents. In his first international tournament, Hanover 1902, he came third (+8=7-2) after Janowski and Pillsbury ahead of Mieses, Chigorin, and Marshall. Emanuel Lasker believed that Atkins would have joined the leading grandmasters had he continued his international career, but Atkins played in only one more big tournament (London 1922). He had a genuine concern for his profession, and preferred not to give more of his life to chess. He played in 12 of the Anglo-American cable matches, won the British Championship nine times (1905-11, 1924, 1925), and represented the British Chess Federation in the Olympiads of 1927 and 1935.

Henry Ernest Atkins
Henry Ernest Atkins

From The Encyclopedia of Chess by Anne Sunnucks :

International Master (1950) and nine times British Champion. Born in Leicester on 20th August 1872, Atkins learned the game at school in Leicester at the age of 12. When he was 15, he joined Leicester Chess Club and within two years was playing on top board. In 1890 he went up to Peterhouse, Cambridge, and played top board for the University. On leaving Cambridge he became a schoolmaster.

His first appearance in the British Championship was in 1904, when he came 2nd. The following year he won the championship and repeated his success every year up to and including 1911. He did not compete between 1912 and 1923, and on reappearing in the event in 1924, he regained his title and held it the following year. His final appearance in the British Championship was in 1937, when at the age of 65 he came =3rd.
In the five international events in which he played – Amsterdam 1899, Hanover 1902, London 1922 and the Chess Olympiads of 1927 and 1935 – he scored over 60 per cent.

His devotion to teaching and his insistence on treating chess as merely a game was all that prevented him from becoming one of the leading players in the world.

He died on 31st January, 1955.

H. E. Atkins Doyen of British Chess Champions by R. N. Coles
H. E. Atkins Doyen of British Chess Champions by R. N. Coles

In the above book RN Coles points out that Atkins regularly played f4 or …f5 early in the game and claims this was HEAs pet or signature move.

Henry Ernest Atkins
Henry Ernest Atkins

From The Encyclopaedia of Chess by Harry Golombek :

British international master and regarded by many as Britain’s more talented player in the history of the game. Born in Leicester and never very fond of leaving England. Atkins was a schoolmaster and devoted relatively little time to chess, and yet he became one of the strongest amateurs every known to chess. He was known on the Continent as “the little Steinitz“.

His record in British Championship is unique; out of eleven appearances he won the event nine times : 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1924 and 1925. I t should be added that in 1904 (his first attempt) he finished 1st= and only lost to Napier after a play-off and in 1937 (his last championship) he finished =3rd at the age of 65!

The British Chess Championship Trophy
The British Chess Championship Trophy

His international career comprises only six events. In 1895 Atkins was placed =2nd behind Maróczy in the Hastings Minor Tournament and in 1899 he won the Amsterdam tournament, leading the field by 4 points. At Hanover 1902 he scored his most notable result : 3rd prize behind Janowski and Pillsbury but ahead of Chigorin and Marshall among others. At London 1922 he finished only 10th of 16 but still claimed Rubinstein and Tartakower among his victims. He represented the B.C.F. in the Olympiads of 1927 and 1935.

Atkins was retrospectively awarded the title of international master in 1950 on his pre-war record. (Ray Keene).

According to chessgames.com : “He graduated from Cambridge and taught mathematics at Northampton and Wyggeston. In 1909, he was appointed Principal of Huddersfield College.”

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

“International Master (1950) and nine times British Champion.

Born in Leicester on 20th August 1872, Atkins learned the game at school in Leicester at the age of 12. When he was 15, he joined Leicester Chess Club and within two years was playing on top board. In 1890 he went up to Peterhouse, Cambridge, and played on top board for the University. On leaving Cambridge he became a schoolmaster.

His first appearance in the British Championship was in 1904, when he came 2nd. The following year he won the championship and repeated his success every year up to and including 1911. He did not compete between 1912 and 1923, and on reappearing in the event in 1924, he regained his title and held it the following year. His final appearance in the British Championship was in 1937, when at the age of 65 he came =3rd.

In the five international events in which he played – Amsterdam 1899, Hanover 1902, London 1922, and the chess Olympiads of 1927 and 1935 – he scored over 60 per cent.

His devotion to teaching and his insistence on treating chess as merely a game was all that prevented him from becoming one of the leading players in the world.

He died on 31st January, 1955. ”

Here is an article from the Yorkshire Chess History site

and here is an obituary from the MCCU site

Here is an excellent article from Neil Blackburn

Here is his Wikipedia article

and here is an excellent article on chess.com

Recently renowned journalist and write John Saunders has turned his attention to HEA.

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Remembering Roland Scott (25-iii-1888 10-i-1953)

From chessgames.com :

Roland Henry Vaughan Scott was born in Barnes, England. He was British champion in 1920. He passed away in Monte Carlo in 1953.

Here is an excellent article from John Saunders

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Happy Birthday to IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar (26-xii-1959)

IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar
IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar

Vaidyanathan Ravikumar (“Ravi” to his friends) was born in Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India on Saturday, December 26th, 1959. On this day Nelson Rockefeller announced that he would not seek the Republican Party nomination for 1960.

Ravi credits his father N. Vaidyanathan for help with his early chess development.

An early image of Vaidyanathan Ravikumar from page 81 of Ulf Andersson's Decisive Games
An early image of Vaidyanathan Ravikumar from page 81 of Ulf Andersson’s Decisive Games

In 1978 Ravi won the Asian Junior Championships in Tehran and was awarded the International Master title as a consequence. Ravi was India’s second International Master : Manuel Aaron was the first in 1961.

"Ravi" at the 2013 UKCC Terafinal at Loughborough Grammar School, Courtesy of John Upham Photography
“Ravi” at the 2013 UKCC Terafinal at Loughborough Grammar School, Courtesy of John Upham Photography

His earliest recorded game in Megabase 2020 was from the 3rd of September 1978 and was from the World Under-20 Championships in Graz, Austria. The event was won by Sergei Dolamatov and Ravi finished =25th on 6.5/13. The following year (Norway, 1979) Ravi improved to =12th with 7.5/13 and the title was won by Yasser Seirawan. James Plaskett was =3rd.

Ravi at the UKCC Southern Gigafinal 2014 at the Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading. Courtesy of John Upham Photography
Ravi at the UKCC Southern Gigafinal 2014 at the Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading. Courtesy of John Upham Photography

By now ( 1979) Ravi had graduated from The University of Madras with a degree in commerce and relocated to England seeking more playing opportunities. He played in his first Lloyd’s Bank Open in 1979.

Ravi and IM Andrew Martin providing the commentary for the 2015 British Championships in Warwick. Courtesy of John Upham Photography
Ravi and IM Andrew Martin providing the commentary for the 2015 British Championships in Warwick. Courtesy of John Upham Photography

Ravi made his first appearance for India in an Olympiad at Valetta, Malta 1980. In 1981 he was runner-up to Bjarke Sahl in the 6th North Sea Cup followed by a creditable equal 10th in the 68th British Championships at Morecambe won by Paul Littlewood. In round eight he played this attractive game against Daniel King. Notes by PC Griffiths :

IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar v. Vassily Smyslov, Lloyds Bank Open, round 6, 30th August 1981. The game was drawn in 33 moves.
IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar v. Vassily Smyslov, Lloyds Bank Open, round 6, 30th August 1981. The game was drawn in 33 moves.

In 1982 Ravi scored a creditable =3rd at the 1982 British Championships (Mile’s year) in Torquay including wins over Basman, Muir and Plaskett :

Cross table for the 1982 British Championship in Torquay
Cross table for the 1982 British Championship in Torquay

1983 included an excellent win over James Tarjan at the Lloyds Bank Open but Danny King got revenge for his 1981 defeat!

Ravi at the closing ceremony of the 2014 British Championships at Aberystwyth. Courtesy of John Upham Photography
Ravi at the closing ceremony of the 2014 British Championships at Aberystwyth. Courtesy of John Upham Photography

Ravi’s second Olympiad appearance for India came at Thessaloniki, Greece in 1984. This year provided Ravi’s highest FIDE rating of 2415 in January.

IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar and friends at the 1990 NatWest Young Masters
IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar and friends at the 1990 NatWest Young Masters

Ravi continued to be active as a player until 2000 when he started a career in coaching. He was the National Coach of the Emirates for eight years and has accompanied the ECF junior chess team to World Youth Chess Championships in 2014, held in Al Ain, UAE.

Ravi at the 2014 British Championships at Aberystwyth. Courtesy of John Upham Photography
Ravi at the 2014 British Championships at Aberystwyth. Courtesy of John Upham Photography

According to Spectrum Chess Calculation : “He is an experienced chess coach and provides chess coaching in 10 schools in Hertfordshire”

His first book was Karpov’s Best Games, Chess Check, 1984.

Following that Ravi wrote a biographical work on Ulf Andersson :

Ulf Andersson's Decisive Games, IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, Peja International, 1985.
Ulf Andersson’s Decisive Games, IM Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, Peja International, 1985.

and then

Play the Benko Gambit, Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, Pergamon Press, 1991
Play the Benko Gambit, Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, Pergamon Press, 1991

followed by

The Closed Sicilian, Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, Tournament Chess, 1993
The Closed Sicilian, Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, Tournament Chess, 1993
Chess Tactics Quiz Book, Chess Check, Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, 2004
Chess Tactics Quiz Book, Chess Check, Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, 2004

and most recently

Spectrum Chess Calculation, Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, Chess Check, 2011
Spectrum Chess Calculation, Vaidyanathan Ravikumar, Chess Check, 2011

There were also works on Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman as well as works on the Caro-Kann Defence.

Ravi is also India’s first vegan IM!

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Best Wishes IM David Eggleston (22-xii-1987)

IM David Eggleston
IM David Eggleston

Best Wishes to IM David Eggleston on his birthday.

David James Eggleston was born on Tuesday, December 22nd 1987 in Sunderland, County Durham to Ian and Janet Eggleston (née Robson). David has a brother, Thomas A, also born in 1987 who plays chess to a high standard (2178 in 2020). Thomas also plays for Durham City and for 4NCL North East England.

There is one game in Megabase between the brothers from round 5 of the Durham Open in 2003 which resulted in a 13 move draw. They shared the 1st prize with 4/5.

David currently resides in Durham and plays for Durham City in the North East League and for Cheddleton in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL).

David became a FIDE Master in 2007 and an International Master in 2013.

According to ChessBase David’s peak FIDE rating was 2434 aged 26 in December 2013. However, this could easily be surpassed.

He has a plus score against Keith Arkell, James Jackson, Peter Sowray and Chris Ward to name but a few.

IM David James Eggleston
IM David James Eggleston

With the white pieces David is a staunch e4 player playing open Sicilians, the Italian Game and 3.Nc3 versus the French and the Caro-Kann.

As the second player David plays the Najdorf and the Nimzo-Indian Defence.

David has one book, published in July 2014 : Hacking up the King published by Mongoose Press :

Hacking Up The King
Hacking Up The King
IM David James Eggleston
IM David James Eggleston
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Remembering IM William Winter (11-ix-1897 18-xii-1955)

William Winter, British Open Chess Champion, 1934. The verso frontispiece of Chess for Match Players, William Winter, London, Lawrence & Wishart, 1st edition. 1936
William Winter, British Open Chess Champion, 1934. The verso frontispiece of Chess for Match Players, William Winter, London, Lawrence & Wishart, 1st edition. 1936
Author's inscription from Chess for Match Players, William Winter, London, Lawrence & Wishart, 1st edition. 1936
Author’s inscription from Chess for Match Players, William Winter, London, Lawrence & Wishart, 1st edition. 1936

We remember William (Willy) Winter who passed away on Sunday, December 18th, 1955.This is some variation from sources who quote his Date of Birth. All have 11th of September but vary by the year giving either 1898 or 1899. However careful research by John Townsend (Wokingham) gives 1897 and this work is cited by Edward Winter.

His father was William Henderson Winter and his mother Margaret Winter. He was born in Medstead, Hampshire. In the 1911 census their address was recorded as “The Boynes”,  Four Marks, Alton, Hampshire and the family had two servants : a cook and a housemaid. In 1936 Winter lived at The Old Cottage, North Road, Three Bridges, Sussex.

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

“International Master, chess. professional and British Champion in 1935 and 1936, William Winter is one of the most colourful  figures that British chess has produced. A born bohemian, Winter could on many occasions have been mistaken for a tramp, yet he was equally capable of turning up at a dinner or some other official occasion, well-groomed and looking the split image of his famous uncle, Sir James Barrie, and making a speech of such wit and culture that every other speech would seem flat.

Born in Medstead in Hampshire on 11th September 1898, of Scottish parentage. Winter’s mother was the youngest sister of Sir James Barrie, and his father a brilliant scholar who had entered St. Andrew’s University at the age of 16, taken honours in classics and then won a scholarship to Cambridge to read mathematics.

Winter was taught to play.chess by his father, who was a strong player, when he was 12. From the time he was introduced to the game his main aim in life was to become a first-class player, and his previous interest, cricket, had to take a back seat.

When he was 15, he joined the city of London Chess club, one of the leading clubs in the country, and his game-rapidly improved. He went up to Cambridge to read law for a year during-the l9l4-l9l8 war, before he became of age for military service and joined the Honourable Artillery Company. While he was stationed at Leeds he learned that the British champion, F. D. Yates, and the Mexican master, A. G. Conde, were in the habit of playing chess on a Saturday afternoon in a café in Bradford.

Winter started going to this café and made the acquaintance of the two masters, who would occasionally give him a game.

On returning to Cambridge when the war was over, Winter became President of the University Chess Club and also started to take an active interest in politics. He joined the University Socialist Society and the local branch of the Independent Labour Party, and when the Communist Party was formed he became a Communist.

In 1919 Winter became Cambridge University Champion and won a match against R. H. V. Scott, a leading British player, by a score of 4-2, thereby securing for himself an invitation to play in the Victory Congress at Hastings. His lack of experience of master play proved too great a handicap, and he came 11th out of 12.

Edo rating profile for William Winter from http://www.edochess.ca/players/p7187.html
Edo rating profile for William Winter from http://www.edochess.ca/players/p7187.html

On leaving Cambridge after taking his degree in 1919, Winter persuaded his parents to allow him a year in which to play chess before settling down to a career. He hoped that during that year he might be able to prove that he had sufficient talent to become a professional player. This did not prove the case, and Winter had to resign himself to becoming a solicitor.

In 1921 he became articled to a London firm, but after a dispute with his father, which resulted in his allowance being stopped, Winter had to give up his articles and decided to concentrate his energies on politics. He went to live in Bristol and addressed open-air meetings all over the city on behalf of the Communist party, until he was arrested for sedition and sentenced to six months imprisonment. After his release Winter continued his political activities until he was forced to abandon them on medical advice.

Having given up politics, Winter decided to try his luck as a chess professional. This proved to be a success, and within two years he was making a reasonable living teaching the game, playing games for fees at St. George’s Cafe in St. Martin’s Lane in London and writing for The Manchester Guardian and The Daily Worker.

Winter remained a chess professional for the rest of his life, apart from the war years. He wrote two chess best sellers: Chess for Match Players, published in 1936

Chess for Match Players, William Winter, Carroll & Nicholson, 1936
Chess for Match Players, William Winter, Carroll & Nicholson, 1936

and reprinted in 1951, and Kings of Chess;

Kings of Chess, William Winter, Carroll and Nicholson Ltd, 1954
Kings of Chess, William Winter, Carroll and Nicholson Ltd, 1954

and was coauthor with F. D. Yates of Modern Master Play,

Modern Master Play, FD Yates and W. Winter, 1930
Modern Master Play, FD Yates and W. Winter, 1930

and with FD Yates of World Championship Candidates Tournament, 1953.

Winter never reached the very highest ranks as a player, although he won the British Championship twice and represented his country in four Chess Olympiads: Hamburg in 1930, Prague in 1931, Folkestone in 1933 and Warsaw in 1935. In the Great Britain v. U.S.S.R. radio match in 1946 he defeated Bronstein in the first round and then characteristically went out and celebrated his victory in such a way that his defeat in the return round was inevitable.

William Winter (11-IX-1898, 18-XII-1955)
William Winter (11-IX-1898, 18-XII-1955)

Although he achieved no great successes in international tournaments, in individual games he beat many of the world’s leading players, including Nimzowitsch and Vidmar, and had draws against Capablanca and Botvinnik among others.

William Winter (11-IX-1898, 18-XII-1955)
William Winter (11-IX-1898, 18-XII-1955)
William Winter (11-IX-1898, 18-XII-1955)
William Winter (11-IX-1898, 18-XII-1955)

He died of tuberculosis in London in December 1955, after refusing to go into a sanatorium.”

In Kings, Commoners and Knaves, (Russell Enterprises, 1999), page 393 Winter quotes Winter (!) from Chess Masterpieces (Marshall) as follows :

I consider [Winter v Vidmar, London, 1927] to be my best game partly on account of the eminence of my opponent and partly because of the importance of the occasion on which it was played, and also because on three occasions in which the situation was extremely complicated. I was fortunate enough to discover the only continuation which not only was necessary to secure victory, but to actually save the game

Here is that game :

From The Anglo-Soviet Radio Chess Match by Klein and Winter :

The Anglo-Soviet Radio Chess Match, E. Klein and W. Winter (1947, Pitman)
The Anglo-Soviet Radio Chess Match, E. Klein and W. Winter (1947, Pitman)

“W. Winter was born in 1899 in Hampshire. A Cambridge graduate in Law, he devoted himself eventually entirely to chess and is the only Englishman who, despite all vicissitudes, has faithfully remained a professional. After winning the Cambridge University Championship in 1921 he competed in a number of international tournaments. His outstanding performance was in the tournament in Scarborough 1928, which he won. He won the British Championship in 1935 and 1936, and has represented his country on four occasions in international team tournaments. In Hamburg, 1930, he was undefeated.

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

His literary activities include Chess for Match Players and The Alekhine-Capablanca World Title Match, 1927. He edits the chess column in the Soviet Weekly.

Games Played In the World's Championship Match between Jose Paul Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine, FD Yates and W, Winter, 1928, Printing Craft Limited
Games Played In the World’s Championship Match between Jose Paul Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine, FD Yates and W, Winter, 1928, Printing Craft Limited

His chess record is erratic and does not reflect his true ability. He is capable of some of the finest chess, but often plays too impulsively. His greatest strength lies in King’s side attacks. which he handles with skill and accomplishment.”

William Winter (11-IX-1898, 18-XII-1955)
William Winter (11-IX-1898, 18-XII-1955)

From the Preface of The World Chess Championship : 1951 by Lionel Sharples Penrose we have :

“Mr. Winter’s chess career has been a long one and he occupies an extremely high position among British players. He has been British Champion twice, in 1935 and 1936. Among other notable successes was his first place in the Scarborough International Tournament in 1928. He defeated Nimzovich in the London Tournament in 1927. Against the present world championship contenders he has a very fine score, a draw against Botvinnik at Nottingham in 1936 and a win and a loss against Bronstein in the Radio Match, Great Britain v U.S.S.R. in 1946. Mr. Winter is a specialist in writing about the art of chess, and players throughout the country owe a great deal to his deep and logical expositions.”

Games Played in the World's Championship Match between Alexander Alekhin (Holder of the Title) and E D Bogoljubow (Challenger), Printing Craft Limited, 1930, FD Yates and W. Winter
Games Played in the World’s Championship Match between Alexander Alekhin (Holder of the Title) and E D Bogoljubow (Challenger), Printing Craft Limited, 1930, FD Yates and W. Winter

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

International Master and twice British Champion (1935 and 1936), Winter was an excellent illustration of Réti’s thesis that players tend to be opposite over the board to their character in real life. Over the board he was classical, scientific and sober; away from the board he was revolutionary, moved by his emotions (he contrived to be both a fervent Communist and a staunch patriot), and more often than not, drunk.

His university career, where he read law, coincided with the First World War and, after a brief interruption for military service he returned to Cambridge where in 1919 he became university champion and defeated R. H. V. Scott (a strong player who won the British Championship in 1920) in a match by 4-2. On the strength of this he was invited to play in the Hastings Victory tournament of 1919 where, however, he did badly, coming 11th out of 12.

William Winter (11-ix-1897, 18-xii-1955)
William Winter (11-ix-1897, 18-xii-1955)

After an interval during which he fervently pursued a political career to such an extent as to incur a six-months prison sentence for sedition (Winter always denied the sedition and said that the charge was trumped-up one), he took up the career of chess professional. The life suited him since it enabled him to lead the kind of Bohemian existence that pleased his artistic temperament. It should be mentioned that he was a nephew of Sir James Barrie and would have fitted in well on one of his uncle’s plays.

As a player he was eminently sound and, being an apostle of Tarrasch, a fine clear strategist. But he was lacking in tactical ability and his poor health and his way of life interfered with his consistency and impaired his stamina. But he had a number of fine victories over great players (Bronstein, Nimzowitsch and Vidmar for example).

IM William Winter (11-ix-1898, 18-xii-1955)
IM William Winter (11-ix-1897, 18-xii-1955)

He played in four Olympiads: Hamburg 1930 (scoring 76.7% on 4th board), Prague 1931 (58.8% on 4th board), Folkestone 1933 (59.1% on 3rd board) and Warsaw 1935 (41.7% on 1st board). He was selected to play at Stockholm in 1937 but, having “lost” his passport three times. he was refused a fresh one by the authorities.

His best international individual results were =6th at London 1927, and =5th at Lodz 1935.

His career as a chess journalist (he wrote for the Manchester Guardian following FD Yates and the Daily Worker) was somewhat impeded and spoilt by his Bohemian ways, be he wrote some excellent works on chess : Chess for Match Players, London, 1936″

Winter was a popular subject for his Swiss namesake, Edward Winter and there are several mentions in his excellent books.

In Chess Facts and Fables (McFarland, 2006) we have Chess Note 2819, page 71 which shows a photograph (from CHESS, November 1935) taken in Poland of Winter and Max Krauser, Heavyweight wrestling Champion of Europe. Quite what the occasion we are not told.

Here is an excellent article (as you’d expect) from Edward Winter

Apart from all of the contributions above possibly the most comprehensive comes from FM Steve Giddins writing in three parts in British Chess Magazine, during 2006 and 2007 :

Since our article was published we were contacted by Steve Giddins who informed us that he owned the copyright to the articles rather than BCM and that he did not wish us to make them available via this article.

In the “Mid-October” issue of CHESS for 1962, (Volume 27, Number 418)  we had the following announcement:

WILLIAM WINTER’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Edited by David Hooper, will be serialised in CHESS commencing with our next number. Nephew of Sir James Barrie, twice British Chess Champion, a lifelong Communist and freethinker, imprisoned for his political views, “Willie Winter”, with his Bohemian way of life, was undoubtedly the most colourful figure in British Chess for many decades irrespective of whether you agree with his views (most readers may not!), you will find him a delightful writer whose gifted pen draws you engrossed from page to Page.

In the November issue of CHESS for 1962, (Volume 28, Number 419, pp.1-2)  we had Part I:

A first Instalment

Most people when I tell them that I am a Professional chess player look on me as if I were some kind of fabulous monster. I don’t know why this should be so. Golf professionals, billiards professionals, and lawn tennis professionals are taken for granted, and surely chess players have far more need of professional assistance than the devotees of any of these pursuits. The work of the professional at every form of game or sport largely consists of teaching, and the complexities of chess are such that no player can hope to achieve even a modicum of success without the skilled guidance which only a. professional can give. I am glad to see that this is becoming widely recognised and far more aspirants are availing themselves of the services of the ‘pro’ than was the case when I first took on the job. There is of course much more to our work than teaching. I shall have plenty to say about the varied scope of our activities later on. Now I want to tell something about myself.

A Hampshire-reared Scot

I was born at the back-end of last century at Medstead, a small village in the heart of Hampshire. Both my parents were Scots, my father being quite a distinguished scholar. Entering the University of St. Andrews at the early age of 16 he took honours in classics, and then finding himself rather at a loose end he took to the study of mathematics, won a scholarship to Clare College Cambridge and became a Wrangler. Probably he could have gained a Fellowship, but he had a passion for country life and took advantage of a small legacy to buy the house at Medstead and eke out his income by taking private pupils. I may say that he made a great success of this. He was a superb teacher, especially of rather backward boys, and was responsible for squeezing more moronic creatures past the entrance exams at both Oxford and Cambridge than one could have believed possible.

I must also mention that he was a very good amateur chess player. At one time he took lessons from the English professional master H. E. Bird, and possessed a number of his books. However, when he settled at Medstead lack of opponents compelled him to give up the practice of the game.

Sir James Barrie

My mother also had claims to distinction, though perhaps rather vicariously. She was the youngest and the favourite sister of the great J. M. Barrie who seemed to tower over my boyhood like some colossal ogre. A benevolent ogre it is true, who produced handsome presents and provided the wherewithal for holidays which would otherwise have been quite beyond our reach, but I never felt quite sure when he might not start: “fee, fi, fo, fum!” My mother’s desperate anxiety to please him in every thing was responsible for this attitude of mind: “What will Jamie think? What will Jamie say?” Actually he was quite harmless and, I imagine, did not think very much about us. We were far removed from the aristocratic circle which was already taking him to its bosom in Town.

Gifted parents

My mother was by no means without talents of her own. ‘She was a pianist of considerable skill and had a singing voice of such quality that my uncle toyed with the idea of having her trained for the concert stage. Her poor health (she was always
delicate) held up the idea and it was finally abandoned on her marriage and retirement into the country. She had her baby grand piano and practised Scottish folk songs in the drawing room, but Medstead was not I fear, capable of providing an appreciative audience. Unfortunately she was the complete opposite of my father in that she took not the slightest interest in the country avocations which were his joy.

Our fowls he regarded as nasty creatures who scratched up her flower beds, and an encounter with a gobbling turkeycock was sufficient to send her into hysterics. Looking back, I think she was happy enough when I was young and she could give her time to looking after me. When I became older and no longer had need of her care then she became unutterably bored and frustrated, and at odds with life in general. Unfortunately she took refuge in a sort of religious mysticism which undoubtedly affected her otherwise excellent brain.

There were four persons in her Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, and God Sir James Barrie – who often became so inextricably mixed that it was difficult to know of which she was speaking. All this was of course a great grief to my father who was a Christian in the sense that it never occurred to him to be anything else but thought that religion was a thing to be trotted out only on Sundays.

He was however always kind, and it was only at the end of his life that he told me how much he had to put up with. A little I saw for myself, and at times it made me vaguely unhappy, but I soon forgot it in the abundant pleasures that were mine. “The Boynes,” as our house was called. was an ideal place in which to bring up a boy. It was a low white stone building standing in its own grounds and surrounded by a red brick wall.

The garden, apart from a drive to the front door and a croquet lawn had been allowed to run wild and it was ideal for such sports as Indians and Cowboys, Bushrangers or hide-and-seek. It possessed a marvellous collection of beeches, both the ordinary green and the cooper varieties, and in the spring and late autumn it was a sight to be hold. There was also a kitchen garden where we grew all our own vegetables but this was tucked discreetly away at the back of the house.

Inebriate family ghost

The house was all on the one floor, the only stairs being those leading to the cellar. It was built round a long passage lit in the day-time by a skylight, with three rooms opening off each side. This passage ran from the entrance hall to the door opening on the servants quarters, the aforesaid cellar, and some store rooms.

Around this rather curious architecture there hung a tale. The house was built in the Regency days by a gentleman by the
name of Ivy, who after his evenings- potations was quite incapable of negotiating any stair. He lived alone apart from a man servant who, not unnaturally soon began to find existence somewhat wearisome.

Accordingly he developed the habit of slipping out to the village inn after he had ensconced his master with his nightly quota of bottles. Unfortunately one night Mr. Ivy felt more thirsty even than usual, and after finishing his last bottle rang for the servant to bring more. Receiving no reply to repeated jangling’s he decided to deal with the matter personally but he had overestimated his capacity, and when the butler returned he found his master dead with a broken neck at the foot of the cellar stairs. Filled with he hanged himself on a large hook in the back passage, and his ghost is still supposed to haunt the house.

The haunting takes the form of a butler carrying e tray, who at ten o’clock in the evening emerges from the service door, walks halfway down the main passage and then vanishes. I never saw this apparition myself, not to my knowledge did my parents, but the older. villagers always made an excuse to leave the house before the fateful hour of l0 p.m, and one housemaid gave notice because. she said ‘Something frit her’. She could not, or would not, be more explicit.

In the December issue of CHESS for 1962, (Volume 28, Number 420-1, pp.28-33)  we had Part II:

On the whole I had a very happy boyhood. Lessons I found fairly easy and I was able to pass such exams as were necessary without undue swotting. I did not share my father’s aptitude for mathematics and won little or no distinction in this field, but in my favourite subjects, history and classics, I was, I believe I can say without boasting, pretty good.

Chess and Mathematics

By the way it is a great mistake to assume that chess and mathematics have anything in common. Intuition and imagination are the qualities that mark the great chess player, and the fact that Capablanca and some other leading masters were also good mathematicians is purely coincidental. Alekhine was a complete dud at the science.

Like all small boys I think I was a bit of a horror, and I can remember being guilty of one or two unpleasant pranks. One of these, to my subsequent regret was played on my father. I have mentioned that he was a Sunday Christian and this was sufficient to give him the post of Vicar’s Warden, probably because he was the only man in the village capable of reading the lessons without mispronouncing the names of the Hebrew Kings and Prophets. After he had finished a lesson it was his custom to mark carefully the place in the big Bible at which to start on the following Sunday. Noticing this, I and another boy went into the church when all was quiet and altered the position of the marker, so that, instead of the description of the Mosaic law set for the day, my father found himself reading the sprightly adventures of Lot and his daughters. It was well for me that he never discovered the culprit.

Loved cricket

Up to my introduction to chess my principal interest in life was cricket, my enthusiasm for which was fully shared by my father. He taught me the rudiments of batsmanship and bowled to me on the lawn, to the annoyance of my mother who objected to the green being cut up. Unfortunately I never made much of a show as a batsman, though later in life I developed quite a useful leg-break. Once or twice a year he took me to see the County team play at Portsmouth or Southampton. There were giants-in the Hampshire side in those days: C. B. Fry, Philip Mead the prettiest of all left-handed batsmen – but oh! so slow, those great-hearted bowlers Newman and Kennedy, and the gigantic Brown, the most versatile of all-rounders.

Occasionally too I was taken to London, either to Lords or the Oval, if there was a specially attractive match at either place. Those-were of course red letter days in my life, though two of them, I remember, ended disappointingly. An attempt to see M. A. Noble’s all conquering Australian team play the M.C.C. failed because our arrival at Lords coincided with that of a thunderstorm, and the only sight we had of an Australian was Warwick Armstrong smoking his pipe on the visitor’s balcony.

This was my first visit to Lords, and I gazed with awe at the sacred turf, waterlogged though it was, of which I had read so much. On another occasion we went to the Oval to see the famous hitter G. L. Jessop, who was playing for Gloucestershire against Surrey. This time the weather was kindly but my hero was not, for he was caught at silly mid-on off the second ball he received. By way of consolation I remember we watched a century by Dipper, an admirable batsman, but, alas! no Jessop.

The love of cricket’ was shared by my famous uncle and indeed, in my adolescent days, it was the only subject on which I could talk to him. At one time he ran his own team, the ‘Allahakbarries‘, and wrote many amusing accounts of their performances, mostly, I fear, apocryphal. I once played for one of his teams and, though I failed with the bat, I redeemed my character by two tumbling catches at short leg, one of which sent back a Cambridge Blue.

E. V. Lucas

Another cricket enthusiast whom I met when on a visit to my uncle was E. V. Lucas, for whose ethereal style of writing I had developed a boyhood passion. I was all agog to meet him, and great was my disappointment when, instead of the Shelley-like figure I had expected, there appeared a large fat man whose only subject of conversation appeared to be the dinners he had recently eaten. Then somebody mentioned cricket, and the whole atmosphere changed. Lucas became absolutely lyrical in his account of a Woolley innings he had just seen, and he and I were soon in deep discussion on the relative merits of the batsmen Jack Hobbs and
Victor Trumper. and similar fascinating themes.

Besides cricket my principal hobby was exploring the countryside on foot or on my bicycle. Hampshire was a beautiful county in those days, quite unspoilt, and containing varied and attractive scenery. The trees of Selborne Hangar have to be seen to be believed and, in its own placid way the valley of the Itchen just outside Winchester is one of the loveliest things in England. There were few parts of the county within a radius of twenty miles or so that remained unexplored by me.

Introduction into chess

All these delights, however, had to take a back seat, after my first introduction to chess. This occurred when I was twelve years old, and its manner was curious. I have mentioned that my father was quite a considerable player in his younger days, but had to give up the game when he came to Medstead because of lack of opposition. It so happened that we acquired a new clergyman who challenged my father to a game of chess, and to his surprise and disgust beat him with, I remember, a variation of the Allgaier gambit.

This was just not good enough. My father had played at Simpson’s with some of the best in the land and considered himself in a far different class from any country parson! So out came the dusty board and men, down came the long disused books, and a turning point in my life had arrived. For about an hour I watched him, fascinated, then tentatively asked “What is that?” it’s chess” he replied. “Will you teach me?” At first he was reluctant as he thought I was too young, but I was so persistent that at last he agreed to show me the moves. The whole idea of the game fascinated me and from that moment I was determined that, whatever else I did, I would become a first class chess player.

My father at first restricted my lessons to an hour a day, after supper. But we had an intelligent housemaid whom I taught to play, and of course I browsed in his books when he was not using them. Most of them were the work of his old chess tutor H. E. Bird, whose influence, especially in the Sicilian Defence, can still be detected in my play.

When I was able to face my father over the board in an actual game he at first gave me the odds of the queen, but this badge of inferiority was soon reduced to rook, then to knight, until finally we played level. He disapproved of the odds of pawn and move, and pawn and two, on the grounds that they made regular openings impossible, an opinion which I heartily endorse. It was a great day for me when I first beat him on level terms, and a still greater when the parson, invited to ‘The Boynes’ for tea, not only succumbed to my father – that had now become quite a regular occurrence- but also fell an easy victim to my carefully prepared Sicilian Defence.

Ethics of postal chess

Once my father had come back to chess his enthusiasm never waned. He played until the day of his death, and the chessboard was on the table by his bedside when I saw him for the last time. As soon as he found he was really recovering his zest for the game he started to play by correspondence,
and l, of course, helped him in his analysis. I could never quite understand my father’s attitude to these games. In my early days such assistance as I could give was of negligible value, but he continued to analyse with me when I was an acknowledged master, and on one occasion got Salo Flohr, accepted
challenger for the world championship, to work out a winning combination for him. He had no hesitation in showing or even publishing games won with such assistance as his own. Yet in all other respects he was the most rigorously conscientious man I have met.

Cosmopolitan Chess

At fourteen I was taken several times to the Vienna Café in New Oxford Street, the most cosmopolitan chess resort I have ever seen. Representatives of every nation congregated there, and one could hear the word ‘check’ in a dozen different languages.

Vienna Café, 24–28 Oxford Street, London, Adolphe Augustus Boucher (1868–1937), Bedford Lemere and Company - https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/photos/item/BL14069/003, Created: 29 April 1897
Vienna Café, 24–28 Oxford Street, London, Adolphe Augustus Boucher (1868–1937), Bedford Lemere and Company – https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/photos/item/BL14069/003, Created: 29 April 1897

Germans and Austrians predominated as was only natural since, at the time of which I am speaking, these were the leading chess-playing countries of the world. Everyone was most kind to me, which may have been the reason why, later on, I was quite unable to accept the view that all the inhabitants of Germany and Austria ate babies for breakfast.

My real chess career began when I joined the City of London Chess Club at the age of fifteen. This was, and had been for many years, the leading club in the country, and everybody who had any kind of chess aspiration was a member. The club met in Grocers Hall Court, off Poultry, and was ruled with a rod of iron by its secretary J. Walter Russell. He was a real despot who would brook no kind of opposition, but there is no doubt that he did a tremendous amount of good work for the club. Later on his jingoistic attitude made him my bitter enemy, but in those early days he did everything to encourage me, and presented me with the bound volumes of the rare City of London Chess Magazine autographed by him-self.

The City of London Chess Magazine
The City of London Chess Magazine

The players at the City were rigorously divided into five classes, each holding its own winter tournament. The winner of this, and the winner only, passed into the class above. After a test game against G. Wilkes, a strong class II player with whom I just managed to draw, I was placed in class III, Russell rightly thinking it would be discouraging for me to meet too strong opponents at my first attempt. I won every, game in this class in
my first year, but failed in the second class or Mocatta Cup as it was called.

I enjoyed these trips to London. I stayed with my uncle but saw little of him as I was out in the morning before he was up and was usually in bed before he came in at night. He lived in Adelphi Terrace, in an enormous top floor flat supposed, and I believe rightly, to possess the best view in London. Certainly on a clear day it was possible to look right over the built-up area of South London to the Surrey Hills in the distance. I loved to sit, at my bedroom window and gaze out-over the Thames and the multitudinous lights beyond it, wondering what was to become my destiny when I too became a Londoner, as I had every intention of doing. One or two of my dreams, such as that I would become British Champion, materialised, but on the whole they bore little relation to the reality in store.

First class status attained

At the second attempt I won the Mocatta Cup quite easily, and became an acknowledged first class player, for the City of London set the standard for the rest of England. Then the war came, and with its advent I will close the last really happy chapter of this book.

To say that the war knocked the bottom of my life would of course be true, but that was an experience that I shared with the bulk of my fellow countrymen. I don’t suppose there was anyone in Great Britain whose life not changed by the war. In a few cases for the better – if one considers getting rich quick out of war profits a change for the better – but in the majority for the worse.

Where I differed from my associates was that I could not understand what was going on around me, Most of them took it in their stride, “It was a nuisance, but those damned Germans wanted taking down a peg or two, and it was up to us to do it. Anyway it wouldn’t last six months and then we would get back to normal. I just could not feel like that. It was not that I did not know what the war was about – on the contrary I felt that I knew it all too well’ I had studied history and elementary economic geography and knew that the mineral wealth of Alsace-Lorraine, filched from France in the Franco-Prussian war had made Germany the greatest industrial power in Europe. I also knew that the best markets were in the hands of others, principally of England and that German opportunities for capital expansion were thus circumscribed I knew that British industrialists were naturally anxious to keep these advantages in their own possession, and that their French colleagues were equally anxious to recover their lost provinces without which France was condemned to the status of a second-rate power. I knew, too, Russia’s craving for an outlet to the sea via the Dardanelles, now
under the of Germany’s close friend Turkey. Here then was a situation in which big business in all the major European countries might hope to benefit from victory in a war but what possible concern could it be of ordinary folk like me and my father or those who worked in field, mine or factory?

War madness

I was soon to know. Foreign Minister Grey announced that England was entering the war to protect the neutrality of poor little Belgium, which the wicked Germans had violated. This struck me as absolute poppycock, unworthy of credence by a child of ten, but England lapped it up with a fervour that nothing short of madness. Young men left their peaceful country avocations to rush into Khaki to have a go at these Germans before they caved in.

Even my kind gentle father, who could not bear to kill a mouse, suddenly became imbued with a lust for slaughter of people he had never seen, and who could not possibly have done him any harm. As for me I was prepared to think as badly as they liked of the German Kaiser and his entourage, but I
could not regard our own hypocritical rulers in much better light. Still less could I be of England’s association with that barbarous tyrant, the Czar of all the Russias, whose brutalities had been the subject of much comment in the English press until he became our noble ally. As for the Germans themselves, the ordinary people I mean, I could not think they differed in any marked degree from the French, the Russians, or ourselves. I completely discounted the tales of atrocities, with which my father used to regale us at breakfast, out of the columns of the Daily Mail.

To Cambridge

As may be imagined my life at ‘The Boynes’ it that time was by no means a happy one. If I gave the slightest expression to my views everyone obviously thought that I was mad, and indeed there were times when I came to doubt my own sanity. I felt nothing but relief therefore when the time came for me to take up residence at Clare College, Cambridge, whence my father had graduated some twenty years before. Cambridge was a strange place in those war years.
The bulk of the undergraduates were already in the forces, but there was still a number in uniform training for commissions in the O.T.C. Pressure was put upon me to join these, but I firmly refused. For the most part they looked nasty pieces of work. There was of course the usual sprinkling of Indians and other Orientals, with some of whom I became very friendly. Today I can remember only two: an Egyptian named Talaat, an extreme nationalist who told me that I was the only Englishman in Cambridge whose throat he did not want to cut; and a charming Burmese, whose only fault was that his name was Moo Kow, which caused me some embarrassment when I had to introduce him in company.

Besides the budding officers and the Orientals there was another small group, serious-looking young men who included in their number most of the best scholars of the university. These were the anti-militarists, the ‘conchies’ waiting for the time when they would be dragged before a tribunal of local
tradesmen who could grant them total exemption (very rare), offer them non-combatant service, or reject the appeal absolutely, which meant in effect, “Join the Army or go to gaol.” Many who were given the choice of non-combatant service – preferred this last alternative. Towards -this group I naturally gravitated, and had the satisfaction of discovering that if I were mad, some very clever people including several Dons were mad also.

Another thing I found was that nearly all those anti-militarists were also Socialists, so I too became a Socialist. I am afraid that in those days I had a very hazy idea of what the term implied, but I knew that it stood for the workers and, surely, if anyone could stop this senseless slaughter it was the working classes. They, at any rate, had everything to lose and nothing to gain from continued bloodshed. I knew that the International Conference of World Socialist Parties, meeting shortly before the outbreak of war had pledged themselves solemnly, that in the event of hostilities breaking out they would proclaim a general strike in all belligerent countries.

Faith declining

When the event actually happened, however, the party leaders, with a few exceptions, forgot all about the strike and scurried to join their national governments, where they denounced the enemy just as vociferously as their Conservative colleagues. In spite of this I still pinned my faith to the Socialist movement. Even in those days I realised that Socialism is greater than its leaders. Although on the whole I got on well with my new friends I soon found there was a number of differences between us. Most of them were absolute pacifists, that is to say they objected to violence or killing in any circumstance whatever, whereas my point of view was that I wanted to choose whom I would kill, and understand why I was to do it. Nor could I claim any religious objections to war.

Since August l9l4 my faith, such as it was, had been steadily declining, and Cambridge had finally destroyed it. We were compelled to go to chapel
twice a week, as well as once on Sunday, and the continual prayers for victory for the British Army, which could only mean mass slaughter of Germans, struck me as disgusting hypocrisy in those who professed to follow the Prince of Peace, especially as their colleagues across the sea were imploring just the same thing – with colours reversed as it were. I had little use for a god who allowed himself to be harnessed like a mule to the national cannon.

No desire to be killed

I had a year of Cambridge before I became of military age, and during that time I had to face up to the first real dilemma of my life. Should I register myself as a conscientious objector on purely political grounds, or should I allow myself to be conscripted into the military machine as, of course, was the wish of my parents? At the time it was a terrible choice. All my own instincts were in favour of the first course, even though it might mean remaining in gaol as long as the war lasted. When I tentatively broached the subject to my mother it was received with a storm of emotion which quite broke my resolution. With tears streaming down her face she clasped my knees and- swore that she would rather see me dead than branded as a coward, and I really believed she would, too. I hastily told her that if she felt so strongly I would give in to her wishes, and all was peace again.

At the same time I made a private resolution that once I got into the Army I would apply every ounce-of ability I possessed, use every feint or subterfuge however unscrupulous, to avoid being put in a position where I had to kill or be killed. I had the strongest objection to taking the life of any potential Lasker or Tarrasch, and an equally strong one to their taking mine.

My friends at Cambridge for the most part considered my attitude to be a betrayal of principle, and so perhaps it was, but I had always dearly loved my parents, and I found the alternative course required more strength of character, or callousness, than I possessed. Once I had made up my mind things were not so bad. Cambridge, even in wartime, was a delightful place and I forgot most of my troubles in that best of anodynes, Chess.

The University club had naturally sunk to very small numbers, but those that-were left were very strong. We managed to organise a championship, which I won by half a point from J. Birnberg, a player who made quite a name for himself in London chess circles after the war. I also played in the championship of the town club, and defeated W. H. Gunston, a Don of St. John’s who was reckoned as one of the best players in England. He was much the strongest player I had yet met on even terms, and I was naturally very cock-a-hoop with myself, especially when I heard that he had not lost a game in the town championship for over twenty yeans. I could only tie for the title however, as I made draws with two of the lesser lights whilst Gunston won all his other games. Before the tie could be played off my time of liberty came to an end.

Army life

I am not going to say much about my army life. It was just plain Hell. My regiment was the Honourable Artillery Company, which I joined partly because its headquarters were in London and I hoped to be able to do at any rate some of my training there and partly because my people considered that my fellow soldiers would be of a rather superior type to those I was likely to meet in an ordinary infantry regiment’ I do not know
whether this last supposition was true. The
onlv man whose name I can remember was
J”‘u””qr””aiy tti”a for murder, but on the-
tuttoiu’they were a decent enough lot of
i;ii;;t. l’ cannot’ say the slTe of the
“?nl”.luni ttl.c.ot. cbarse and brutal’ they
;;;;;; t;take a sadistic {gliglt in making
ii”‘iif” * tiserable as possible’ I hated,them
*i.f,'”- il”i.J,nt’ti”h I iould.not possibly feel
iit unv German, and in all my .experience
*itn {ne H.A.c. I encountered only two
;L;;il;t r-*”ula not have been delighted
l”–“tt”.t”. lt is possible that the views I
t’rllJ maae me a difficult soldier’ also t’hat my
liii.l’tli-lii” tty have rendered me unduly
ilili”” – vulgir abuse, but looking back’
;;’i-;;;p;ring”t’hese brutes with the very
i,ril*-“.”itPe’s I served under in World
W;; ii;l il[n”t feel that mv original iudg-
:nr*t I?:..:’l*’;” d E i i^ff.l’ d”le ;l iil;
fi;;;;;;;ttogettrer if it were not that thev
;i;iiJ; cutt”i-n Part in my development as
a chess Player.
– l.-T{aa’nopea I did the first.part of my-
“”ii.liJln ‘iSnJon and, since l. lived. out of
i…iJr.i: “i’ trt” H. t pden Res idential .C I u b’
i-n “t “Uf” to get a good d.eal of chess in the
;;;1;;;-and- on -saturdaY afternoons’ I
Fitit’J F:*,”1″‘J.”‘i T:’ 1 “:l ?” “H,1;
Miss E. Price.
Personaltities of the l9l0’s
Here I had a numbelo{ Fllnes on a Pro-
ressilnit’ut it ,nittl o’ C’ M-utler’ one of the
ffi;’-t’utfi;tt “i the old Simpson’s- Pro’s’
‘fi”‘lrJi’rv* ” a”tightt’t chap with a fund of
li”iittlit about ihess players and others’
ili-ii-n’Jtim to h””” bedn drue’ even if they
wer;’iii.’- tt” could keep an audience
J,i.’rt-t”r’l”J’ with these talei’ wh.ictr. were
;#iftt *”il-r’oui malice’ ln addition he
;;;iitJt rate chess t’eacher’.and I learnt a
gl”, il n;i’::lL tx, T’.’3il: n;fi :i j;’*:
iii’i”.5.i.i-i.i establishing such a basis be-
i”i””-“itlrnirting any tactical adventures’
‘ii*.”.iv -i”ltt.int is’anothe r name. for th is’
l;?’i;’it tt* tatt’mart of every first class
;i;;;.’it *u Mutler who save.me mv first
illi-i”tietilnto ttre complexities of the
li:s”‘.l” I ;i;; had the oPPortunity.oi
[i’il;i. “!sr T:’ “#’i,’: ffi I .*T T'”J i:
ilii”e’i.”dtn “t”teutt’ scott was prob’

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