Category Archives: Players

Remembering Horatio Caro (05-VII-1862, 15-XII-1920)

Horatio Caro (05-VII-1862, 15-XII-1920)
Horatio Caro (05-VII-1862, 15-XII-1920)

We remember Horatio Caro who passed away on December 15th, 1920.

From Wikipedia :

Horatio Caro (5 July 1862 – 15 December 1920) was an English chess master.

Caro was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England,[1] but spent most of his chess career in Berlin, Germany. He played several matches. In 1892, he drew with Curt von Bardeleben (+2 –2 =2), lost to Szymon Winawer (+2 –3 =1). In 1897, he lost to Jacques Mieses (+3 –4 =3). In 1903, he drew with Bardeleben (+4 –4 =0). In 1905, he won against Moritz Lewitt (+4 –3 =5).

In tournaments, he won in Berlin (1888, 1891, 1894, 1898 (jointly), and 1903). He also took 10th at Berlin 1883, took 4th at Berlin 1887, tied for 2nd-3rd at Nuremberg 1888, took 3rd at Berlin 1889, took 2nd at Berlin 1890.

He took 3rd at Berlin 1894, took 9th at Berlin 1897, took 17th at Vienna 1898, took 4th at Berlin 1899, tied for 6-7th at Berlin 1902, tied for 11-12th at Coburg 1904, tied for 7-8th at Barmen 1905, took 9th at Berlin 1907, tied for 3-5th at Berlin 1908, and took 4th at Berlin 1911.

Caro died in London at age 58.[1]

His claim to fame is linked to the opening Caro-Kann Defence (B12), which he analysed along with Marcus Kann and jointly published about on the German journal Bruederschaft in 1886.[2]

According to Richard James :

He spent most of his life in Germany. Page 353 of the Jubiläums-Ausgabe (1926) of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten (yes, I also read Edward Winter’s Chess Notes) claims that he lived in Frankfurt up to his 22nd year and in Berlin from 1882 onwards (arithmetic fail). Some sources claim, incorrectly, that he died in Berlin.

His death was registered in Mile End Old Town. In the 1911 census there are a lot of Caros in St George in the East, just the other side of the Commercial Road from Mile End Old Town, from their first names clearly Jewish. There’s also Blanche Caro, a 65-year-old Polish born widow, described as a furrier, in hospital in Mile End Old Town.

It seems possible that Horatio was visiting relations in London when he died, and may well have been buried in Berlin not in London. The name Horatio doesn’t sound very Jewish, though. Does anyone else know anything about his background, and indeed why he was born in Newcastle? I’ll see what else I can find and post again later unless anyone more knowledgeable beats me to it.

There is extensive discussion from the same above source.

Happy Birthday IM Karl Mah (14-XII-1980)

Karl CC Mah
Karl CC Mah

Best wishes to IM Karl Mah born on this day (December 14th) 1980

From Wikipedia :

Karl CC Mah (born 14 December 1980) is an English chess player who holds the title of FIDE International Master (IM) (1999).

IM Karl CC Mah
IM Karl CC Mah

Karl Mah is two-times winner the British Youth Chess Championship: in 1990 in U09 age group, and in 1991 in U10 age group.[1] In 1993 and 1994 he was an Essex County Youth Chess Champion in the U18 age group.[2] He played for England in European Youth Chess Championships and World Youth Chess Championships in the different age groups. Best result – in 1994, in Băile Herculane Karl Mah won European Youth Chess Championship in the U14 age group. In 1999, he awarded the FIDE International Master (IM) title.

Now Karl Mah is a partner in the London office of Latham & Watkins and is the Chair of the London Tax Department.[3]

According to MegaBase 2020 Karl reached his peak FIDE rating of 2428 in July 2010 aged 30.

Karl plays for Cambridge in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) and has played for Drunken Knights in the London Chess League.

IM Karl CC Mah
IM Karl CC Mah

Happy Birthday IM Ian Lloyd Thomas (14-XII-1967)

Ian Thomas at CentYMCA with Bob Wade
Ian Thomas at CentYMCA with Bob Wade

We send birthday wishes to IM Ian Lloyd Thomas born this day (December 14th) in 1967.

Ian was a member of London Central YMCA (CentYMCA).

Ian played top board for Watford Grammar School in the (Sunday Times) National Schools Competition.

His earliest games in MegaBase 2020 are from various Lloyds Bank Opens from 1983 onwards. He played in a few British Championships and then the Washington Open in 1990. His next appearance was in the Himalayan Open in 2010.

According to ChessBase, Ian reached his highest FIDE rating of 2365 in July 1991 aged 24 although we believe he achieved 2400 at a Hastings and then withdrew.

Where are you now Ian ?

We think he is residing in the USA.

Happy Birthday IM Brandon Clarke (14-XII-1995)

IM Brandon GI Clarke
IM Brandon GI Clarke

Happy Birthday Wishes to IM Brandon GI Clarke born on this day (December 14th), 1995.

Brandon was a chess scholar at Wellington College, Berkshire and was part of the strongest school / college team to play in the National Schools competition for many years that included James Holland, Felix Jose Ynojosa-Aponte, Alexander Galliano, Latefah Meesam-Sparkes, Akash Jain, Adrian Archer-Lock and latterly William Foo and Richard Zhu. Despite being easily the strongest team they were denied the title by the age handicaping rules.

He became an International Master in early 2019 and plays much chess in Australia, New Zealand and England having lived in the USA for some time after leaving Wellington College.

Aged 24 Brandon has achieved his highest FIDE rating of 2445 and it shows every sign of increasing.

Brandon won the 2019 Major Open in Torquay with 8.5/9 as an IM, plays for Australia Kangaroos in the Pro Chess League.

IM Brandon GI Clarke
IM Brandon GI Clarke

Remembering FM Peter Hugh Clarke (18-III-1933, 11-XII-2014)

FM Peter Hugh Clarke
FM Peter Hugh Clarke

We remember FM Peter Hugh Clarke who passed away on Thursday, December 11th, 2014.

From BCM / ECF :

FIDE and British Master P.H. Clarke will be best remembered as biographer to Tal and to Petrosyan, but he was so much more. The young Clarke played for Ilford CC in the London League and for Essex at county level. Doing national service he was to learn the Russian that was to so shape his writings. For a brief period in the late 1950s, and early sixties, he was the number two player in England, ahead of the vastly more experienced Alexander and Golombek. He played, of course, below Jonathan Penrose, a partnership that bore fruit when preparing openings; latterly they both became Correspondence Grandmasters.

At the British Championships itself he finished second on his first appearance; he was to tie for silver medal on no less than five occasions, appearing, almost without a break for thirty years, a run that ended in 1982. He represented the BCF – as it then was – in eight Olympiads, playing on top board in 1966.

The Clarke family moved to the West of England in the late Sixties. PHC played in thirteen WECU Championships, and lost only twice. As a player he could be cautious, agreeing too readily to draws. Accuracy and respect meant more to him than ambition. The biographer became a journalist as illness cut short his playing career. In his time he beat Larsen, Penrose and Szabo.

In 1962 he married BH Wood’s daughter, Peggy. They had three daughters. In 1975 my mother happened across Peter and Peggy on Morecambe prom. “Never” she was later to tell me, “have I seen a couple more in love.”

Peter Clarke & Peggy Wood in 1962
Peter Clarke & Peggy Wood in 1962

and from Wikipedia :

A Young PHC & Father
A Young PHC & Father

Peter Hugh Clarke (18 March 1933 – 11 December 2014) was an English chess player, who hold titles FIDE master (FM) and International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster (1980), FIDE International arbiter (1976), Chess Olympiad individual silver medal winner (1956).

Peter Hugh Clarke started playing chess at the age of six. He twice won the London Boys’ Chess Championship (1950, 1951). He was British Chess Championship multiplier participant where five times won silver medal.[1][2]

Since 1959, Peter Hugh Clarke has been working as a chess journalist in the newspaper Sunday Times and magazine British Chess Magazine. He known as the biographical book’s author of Mikhail Tal (1961) and Tigran Petrosian (1964). Thanks to his good knowledge of Russian language, he translated the book about Vasily Smyslov in 1958. In 1963 he wrote a book 100 Soviet Chess Miniatures.[3]

Cien Miniaturas Rusas
Cien Miniaturas Rusas

Peter Hugh Clarke played for England in the Chess Olympiads:[4]

In 1954, at second reserve board in the 11th Chess Olympiad in Amsterdam (+2, =2, -3),
In 1956, at reserve board in the 12th Chess Olympiad in Moscow (+7, =5, -0) and won individual silver medal,
In 1958, at fourth board in the 13th Chess Olympiad in Munich (+2, =10, -3),
In 1960, at third board in the 14th Chess Olympiad in Leipzig (+4, =7, -3),
In 1962, at second board in the 15th Chess Olympiad in Varna (+3, =10, -2),
In 1964, at second board in the 16th Chess Olympiad in Tel Aviv (+2, =8, -2),
In 1966, at first board in the 17th Chess Olympiad in Havana (+2, =10, -1),
In 1968, at third board in the 18th Chess Olympiad in Lugano (+0, =7, -1).
Also he played for England in the World Student Team Chess Championship (1954, 1959)[5] and in the Clare Benedict Chess Cup (1960-1961, 1963, 1965, 1967-1968) where won team silver medal (1960) and 4 bronze medals (1961, 1963, 1967, 1968).[6]

In later years, Peter Hugh Clarke active participated in correspondence chess tournaments. In 1977, he won British Correspondence Chess Championship. In 1976, Peter Hugh Clarke was awarded the International Correspondence Chess Master (IMC) title and received the International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster (GMC) title four years later.

FM Peter Hugh Clarke
FM Peter Hugh Clarke

Peter Hugh Clarke “Mikhail Tal’s Best Games of Chess”, Bell, 1961, ISBN 9780713502046

Mikhail Tal's Best Games of Chess
Mikhail Tal’s Best Games of Chess

Peter Hugh Clarke “Petrosian’s Best Games of Chess 1946-1963”, G. Bell & Sons, 1971, ISBN 9780713502060

Petrosian's Best Games of Chess
Petrosian’s Best Games of Chess

Happy Birthday GM Matthew Turner (11-XII-1975)

GM Matthew James Turner
GM Matthew James Turner

We wish Happy Birthday to GM Matthew Turner born this day (December 11th) in 1975 in Lincolnshire.

His peak rating according to ChessBase was 2545 in October 2017 but he may well eclipse that being an active GM.

In 2011 Matthew changed his FIDE Federation to Scotland (from England) and is current (2019) Scottish Champion winning with 7/9

Matthew James Turner
Matthew James Turner

Matthew is chess tutor at Millfield School and has appeared with success on Countdown.

Matthew Turner
Matthew Turner

Matthew plays for Barbican in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL)

GM Matthew Turner, British Blitz Qualifier, 2019, Bristol
GM Matthew Turner, British Blitz Qualifier, 2019, Bristol

Remembering Joseph Henry Blake (11-XII-1951)

Joseph Henry Blake
Joseph Henry Blake

We remember English player Joseph Henry Blake who passed away on Tuesday, December 11th, 1951.

From Wikipedia :

Joseph Henry Blake (3 February 1859, Farnborough, Hampshire – 11 December 1951, Kingston-upon-Thames)[1] was an English chess master.

Blake won many tournaments played in England toward the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. He won at Stamford 1887, Oxford 1891 (joint), Brighton 1892, Cambridge 1893, and Salisbury 1898 (joint). He also took 5th at Manchester 1882, tied for 3-4th at Birmingham 1883 (Section B), took 4th at Bath 1884, tied for 6-8th at London 1889 (Henry Bird won), took 2nd at Cambridge 1890, tied for 3rd-4th at Woodhall Spa 1893, shared 2nd at Craigside 1895, took 3rd at Hastings (Amateur) 1895, took 2nd, behind Henry Ernest Atkins, at Bristol 1896, and won at Folkestone 1901.[2]

He took 2nd in an international correspondence tournament organised by Le Monde Illustré in 1895, shared 1st in the 1909 British Championship in Scarborough but lost to Atkins the play-off, and shared 1st at London 1911. He was British correspondence champion in 1922.[3]

Blake represented England in cable matches against the United States in 1902, 1909 and 1910.[4]

His best achievement was victory, ahead of Géza Maróczy, George Alan Thomas, Fred Yates and Boris Kostić, at Weston-super-Mare 1922.[5] He shared 2nd at London 1922 (Major Open), tied for 7-8th at Hastings International Chess Congress 1922/23 (Akiba Rubinstein won), took 2nd, behind Thomas, at London 1923, took 5th at Liverpool 1923 (Jacques Mieses won),[6] tied for 7-8th at Hastings 1923/24 (Max Euwe won), tied for 6-7th at Weston-super-Mare 1924 (Euwe won),[7] took 2nd, behind R.P. Michell, at London 1925, took 4th at London 1926 (Victor Buerger won), and tied for 7-9th at Weston-super-Mare 1926 (Euwe won).[8]

He is an author of Chess ending for beginners (London 1900).[9]

and according to Tim Harding in the excellent Correspondence Chess in Britain and Ireland, 1824-1987 :

Railway clerk Joseph Henry Blake, the leading English correspondence player of the 1890s; also a strong OTB amateur player. He was a regular contributor to British Chess Magazine from the 1880s to the late 1930s.

And according to Golombek in The Encyclopedia of Chess :

A leading British player in the 1890s and for many years editor of the Games Section of the British Chess Magazine between the two world wars. Blake’s best tournament performance came at the age sixty-three when, at Weston-super-Mare in 1922, he came 1st ahead of Maróczy, Kostić, Sir George Thomas and Yates.

The remarkable feature about Blake’s chess career is that he retained his skill and his comprehension of the game for a much longer period that most chess players. This extended from 1887 when he was st at the Counties Chess Association tournament at Stamford ahead of Bird and Pollock, a performance he was to repeat in 1891 at Oxford, to 1909 when he tied with H. E. Atkins for first place in the British Championship, to 1923 whe he won the Weston-super-Mare tournament, right into the 1930s when he was principal annotator for the British Chess Magazine.

Joseph Henry Blake
Joseph Henry Blake

Happy Birthday WGM Dr. Jana Bellin (09-XII-1947)

WGM Dr. Jana Bellin
WGM Dr. Jana Bellin

Happy birthday WGM Dr. Jana Bellin on this day (December 9th) in 1947.

From Wikipedia :

Jana Bellin (née Malypetrová; born 9 December 1947) is a British, formerly Czechoslovak chess player. She was awarded the Woman International Master chess title in 1969 and the Woman Grandmaster title in 1982.[1]

Jana with Sheila Jackson to her left
Jana with Sheila Jackson to her left

Bellin was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She was the Czech Women’s Champion in 1965 and 1967 under her maiden name of Malypetrová.[2] After her marriage to William Hartston she moved to England in 1970[2] and won the British Women’s Championship in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977 (after a play-off), and 1979.[3] She has fifteen appearances in the Women’s Chess Olympiads, representing Czechoslovakia in 1966 and 1969 and England thirteen times from 1972 through 2006, seven times on first board.[4] At the Olympiad she earned individual silver medals in 1966 and 1976, a team bronze medal in 1968 with the Czechoslovakian team, and a team silver in 1976 with England.[4]

Jana the simul giver
Jana the simul giver

Bellin is a medical doctor specialising in anaesthetics, and works in intensive care at Sandwell General Hospital, West Bromwich, England.[5]

She is also Chairman of the FIDE Medical Commission,[6] which supervises drug testing of chess players.[7]

Bellin was married first to International Master William Hartston, then to Grandmaster Tony Miles,[1][3] and after that to International Master Robert Bellin. She and Bellin have two sons: Robert (born 1988) and Christopher (born 1991).[citation needed]

Dr. Jana Bellin
Dr. Jana Bellin

She is the granddaughter of thrice Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, Jan Malypetr.[citation needed] and cousin of author and human rights campaigner Jiří Stránský.

WGM Dr. Jana Bellin
WGM Dr. Jana Bellin

Happy Birthday IM John Hawksworth (06-XII-1963)

IM John Crofton Hawksworth
IM John Crofton Hawksworth

We wish happy birthday to IM John Hawksworth born on Friday, December 6th, 1963.

John Crofton Hawksworth was “born in Brighton, England, in December 1963 to Robert Marshall Hawksworth and Norah Connor Hawksworth née Crofton. He was baptised at St Saviour’s Church of England church in Pimlico, London, in 1964.[1]”

He was awarded the IM title in 1986.

According to ChessBase his highest FIDE rating was 2370 in January, 1990 aged 27 which was the last year of serious competition at the 77th British Championships in Eastbourne.

He then pursued a highly successful career in the financial sector and is currently the Chief Economist for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

IM John Crofton Hawksworth (standing,far left)
IM John Crofton Hawksworth (standing,far left)

IM John Crofton Hawksworth (standing, second from right)
IM John Crofton Hawksworth (standing, second from right)

Happy Birthday IM Gavin Wall (05-XII-1968)

IM Gavin Wall
IM Gavin Wall

Best Wishes to IM Gavin Wall on this birthday, this day (December 5th) in 1968. Gavin is an Irish International Master whose peak rating (according to Chessbase) was 2413 at the age of 35.

IM Gavin Wall
IM Gavin Wall

IM Gavin Wall
IM Gavin Wall