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Birthday of GM John Shaw (16-x-1968)
October 16, 2021
BCN offers birthday greetings to GM John Shaw
John K Shaw was born on Wednesday, October 16th, 1968. On this day Americans Tommie Smith (gold 19.83 WR) and John Carlos (bronze) famously give the Black Power salute on the 200m medal podium during the Mexico City Olympics to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans.
John was born in Irvine, North Ayrshire in Scotland.
He became a FIDE Master in 1994 at the age of 26. Five years later in 1999 he became an International Master and finally a Grandmaster in 2006 at the age of 38.
He won the Scottish Championship in 1995 (with IM Steve Mannion and GM Colin McNab), outright in 1998 and in 2000 with AJ Norris.
Not that many years previously (1988) John had a rating of 1700 at the age of 19 and therefore he falls into that rather rare category of GMs who were not strong players as juniors.
According to Felice and Megabase 2020 his peak FIDE rating was 2506 in January of 2002.
John’s FIDE federation is Scotland and is currently ranked fifth in that country.
In 2005 John was interrogated by ChessBase upon his return from Gibraltar.
He acquired his three GM norms at Gibraltar 2003, Calvia Olympiad 2004 and 4NCL Season 2005/6.
According to ChessBase (in 2005) :
“IM John Shaw has written two books for Everyman Chess and co-edited Experts vs. the Sicilian. He has represented Scotland on many occasions, recently in the Olympiad in Calvià, where he obtained his second GM-norm. As John has once had 2500 in Elo, it is his hope that he will complete his Grandmaster title in 2005 with a third GM-norm.
Together with Jacob, John constitutes two thirds of the new chess publisher Quality Chess Europe which has published Experts vs. the Sicilian by ten different authors and Learn from the Legends – Chess Champions at their Best by Romanian GM Mihail Marin.”
John plays / has played for 4NCL Alba and his peak ECF grading was 240B in July 2009.
With the white pieces almost exclusively plays 1.e4 and the Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation.
As the second player John has a wide repertoire versus 1.e4 essaying the Sicilian La Bourdonnais (Löwenthal) and against 1.d4 the Slav is the weapon of choice.
A writer of chess books, John is the Chief Editor of the publishing house Quality Chess and has written the following (amongst others) :