We send best wishes to WFM Sarah Longson (née Hegarty) on her birthday this day, (October 2nd)
From Sarah’s web site :
I have played competitive chess since the age of 7 when I became UK U7 Girls Chess Champion and appeared on Blue Peter where I met the then world champion Garry Kasparov. Since then I have represented England in many international competitions and in 2013 won the British Ladies Championship.
We wish GM Jonathan Simon Speelman all the best on his birthday, this day (October 2nd) in 1956
From Wikipedia :
A winner of the British Chess Championship in 1978, 1985 and 1986, Speelman has been a regular member of the English team for the Chess Olympiad, an international biennial chess tournament organised by FIDE, the World Chess Federation.
He qualified for two Candidates Tournaments:
In the 1989–1990 cycle, Speelman qualified by placing third in the 1987 interzonal tournament held in Subotica, Yugoslavia. After beating Yasser Seirawan in his first round 4–1, and Nigel Short in the second round 3½–1½, he lost to Jan Timman at the semi-final stage 4½–3½.
In the following 1990–93 championship cycle, he lost 5½–4½ in the first round to Short, the eventual challenger for Garry Kasparov’s crown.
Speelman’s highest ranking in the FIDE Elo rating list was fourth in the world, in January 1989.
In 1989, he beat Kasparov in a televised speed tournament, and then went on to win the event.
In the April 2007 FIDE list, Speelman had an Elo rating of 2518, making him England’s twelfth-highest-rated active player.
He has written a number of books on chess, including several on the endgame, among them Analysing the Endgame (1981), Endgame Preparation (1981) and Batsford Chess Endings (co-author, 1993).
Among his other books are Best Games 1970–1980 (1982), an analysis of nearly fifty of the best games by top players from that decade, and Jon Speelman’s Best Games (1997). Today he is primarily a chess journalist and commentator, being the chess correspondent for The Observer and The Independent and sometimes providing commentary for games on the Internet Chess Club.
We send best wishes to Richard Kenneth Guy on his 102nd birthday, this day (September 30th) in 1916
From Wikipedia :
Richard Kenneth Guy (born 30 September 1916) is a British mathematician and professor emeritus in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Calgary. He is known for his work in number theory, geometry, recreational mathematics, combinatorics, and graph theory. He is best known for co-authorship (with John Conway and Elwyn Berlekamp) of Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays and authorship of Unsolved Problems in Number Theory. He has also published over 300 papers. Guy proposed the partially tongue-in-cheek “Strong Law of Small Numbers,” which says there are not enough small integers available for the many tasks assigned to them – thus explaining many coincidences and patterns found among numerous cultures. For this paper he received the MAA Lester R. Ford Award.
From 1947 to 1951 Guy was the endings editor for the British Chess Magazine. He is known for almost 200 endgame studies. Along with Hugh Blandford and John Roycroft, he is one of the inventors of the GBR code (Guy–Blandford–Roycroft code), a system of representing the position of chess pieces on a chessboard. Publications such as EG magazine use it to classify endgame types and to index endgame studies.
Best wishes to IM Tom Rendle in his birthday, this day (September 29th) in 1986.
From Wikipedia :
Thomas Edward Rendle (born 29 September 1986) is a British FIDE International Master chess player and coach. Rendle became an International Master in June 2006 and is part way towards becoming a Grandmaster, with one GM Norm.
He gained an interest in chess at an early age, and soon entered chess tournaments, gaining success in his age categories (such as becoming Mini Squad Under 7s Champion, England Under 11 Champion). He was put on top board for the England under 11 team and won the Sussex Under 18 Championships, whilst still under 12.
In 1998 Rendle played Garry Kasparov in the BT Wireplay Challenge 1998. In 2005 he was a coach for England’s team at the 1st FIDE World Schools Championship in Halkidiki, Greece and in 2006 he coached with the England Team at the European Youth Chess Championships in Montenegro.
Rendle currently works as a chess coach, both online and face-to-face. He is a regular coach of England Juniors.
We remember WIM Eileen Betsy Tranmer who passed away on September 26th, 1983.
From Wikipedia :
Eileen Betsy Tranmer (5 May 1910 – 26 September 1983) was an English musician and chess player who held the title of Woman International Master (WIM, 1950). She was a four-time winner of the British Women’s Chess Championship (1947, 1949, 1953, 1961).
From the end of the 1940s to the start of the 1960s, she was one of England’s leading women chess players. Eileen Betsy Tranmer four times won the British Women’s Chess Championships: 1947, 1949, 1953 and 1961. In 1950, Eileen Betsy Tranmer participated at Women’s World Chess Championship in Moscow where shared 5th-7th place. In 1952, she participated at Women’s World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament in Moscow and ranked 7th place. In 1950, she was awarded the FIDE International Women Master (WIM) title.
On 20 June 1946 Tranmer played (and lost) a “radio chess” match against the Russian woman chess player Valentina Byelova. Tranmer was one of two women who were part of a twelve-member British team who played in a four-day radio chess tournament. The British team played their moves in London while the Soviet team played their moves in Moscow.
Eileen Betsy Tranmer played for England in the Women’s Chess Olympiad:
In 1957, at second board in the 1st Chess Olympiad (women) in Emmen (+3, =8, -3).
In addition to participating in chess tournaments, Eileen Betsy Tranmer also was prominent clarinettist. In March 1940, she gave concerts with Scottish Orchestra. From 1950 she working with Sadler’s Wells Orchestra along with another British clarinetist, Thea King.
We remember WIM Rownena Mary Bruce who died this day (September 24th) in 1999.
From Wikipedia :
Rowena Mary Bruce (15 May 1919 – 24 September 1999), née Dew, was an English chess player who held the title of Woman International Master (WIM, 1951). She was an eleven-time winner of the British Women’s Chess Championship (1937, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1967 and 1969).
From the end of the 1930s to the end of the 1960s, she was one of England’s strongest women chess players. In 1935, she won the FIDE World Girls Championship. Rowena Mary Bruce won the British Women’s Chess Championship eleven times: 1937, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1967 and 1969. In 1952, in Moscow, she participated in the Women’s Candidates Tournament where she took 12th place. In 1951, she was awarded the FIDE Woman International Master (WIM) title.
On 21 June 1946, Bruce played (and lost) a “radio chess” match against Lydmilla Rudenko. Bruce was one of two women who were part of a twelve member British team who played in a four day tournament. The British team played their moves in London while the Russian team played their moves in Moscow.
Rowena Mary Bruce played for England in the Women’s Chess Olympiads:
In 1966, at second board in the 3rd Chess Olympiad (women) in Oberhausen (+5, =5, -2) where she won an individual silver medal, and
In 1969, at second board in the 4th Chess Olympiad (women) in Lublin (+5, =3, -6).
From 1940 to 1991 she was married to Ronald Bruce (1903–1991).
We remember Hugh Francis Blandford (24-I-1917, 20-IX-1981) who was a British composer.
From Wikipedia :
Hugh Francis Blandford (24 January 1917 – 20 September 1981) was a chess endgame composer born in Southampton, England.
He spent several years of his childhood in Jamaica with his father, the Reverend Albert Francis (Frank) Blandford, a Minister in the Congregational church, his mother and two younger brothers, Evan Arthur and Philip Thomas Blandford. All three brothers then returned to England and attended Eltham College (the School for the Sons of Missionaries) in South-east London, while their parents remained in Jamaica. He married Marjorie Cox, whom he had worked with during the Second World War.
He played chess from his schooldays and as well as playing, also started to compose original chess endings. He became known in the field of chess endgame studies for a small but elegant body of compositions, expertly edited and published after Hugh’s death by his long-standing chess endings colleague, John Roycroft.
Hugh Blandford was co-inventor with Richard Guy – and, later, with John Roycroft – of the Guy–Blandford–Roycroft code for classifying studies. In July 1951 he began as the endgame study editor for the British Chess Magazine. He was made an International Judge for Chess Composition in 1961.
A metallurgist, he continued to compose chess endgame studies until the end of his life, dying of a heart attack in early retirement in Hatfield, England, on 20 September 1981.
A glorious Saturday (the 14th) in September was the date and Camberley Baptist Church was the location of the third tournament in memory of correspondence Grandmaster Keith Bevan Richardson.
A field of thirty-two gathered at the home (since 1982) of Camberley Chess Club for a six round rapid-play event (R20′ + 10″) that was free to enter raising money by donations to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust. Players were invited to choose books from Keith’s library
and donate to charity in return.
Top seed was recently qualified IM Adam C Taylor (ECF230)
whose chances were dented by losing in round 4 to Clive Frostick (Farnham) who, like Keith, was a highly successful correspondence player (a SIM : Senior International Master)
Other pre-tournament favourites were FM Andrew P Smith (IRE and Bourne End)
and FM Richard M Webb (Crowthorne)
along with WFM Louise Head (Crowthorne)
Following three rounds we stopped for lunch (in some cases liquid only) and on 100% were Adam, Clive and Andrew so round four could well be a key decider. Clive beat Adam with the white pieces whereas Andrew and Richard drew a hard fought Sicilian Dragon. In round five Clive breathed a sigh of relief to survive a “dodgy” position against Colin Purdon in one of the candidate games for the “Best Swindle” Prize.
The drama continued into the final round as Adam beat strong junior Ranesh Ratnesan
and everything hinged on Clive’s game with Richard Webb. After a long and interesting struggle the game was drawn and the tournament was decided.
The award for Best U-150 player went to rapidly improving Jessica Mellor (Guildford)
the award for Best Junior went to Radesh Ratnesan (Surbiton)
and the title of Camberley Chess Club Champion (highest placed local player) went to Colin Purdon
In overall first place with 5.5/6 was Clive Frostick :
The event collected more than £300 for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and we are sure Keith was looking down from above and was pleased with what he observed.
Past Winners of Keith Richardson Memorial :
2017 : Julien Shepley
2018 : Ken Norman
2019 : Clive Frostick
We remember Alexander McDonnell who died aged 37 on September 14th, 1835
From Wikipedia :
Alexander McDonnell (1798–1835) was an Irish chess master, who contested a series of six matches with the world’s leading player Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais in the summer of 1834.
In 1825 he became a pupil of William Lewis, who was then the leading player in Britain. But soon McDonnell had become so good that Lewis, fearing for his reputation, simply refused to play him anymore.
Around 1825–1826, McDonnell played Captain Evans, while the latter was on shore leave in London. McDonnell was beaten with what is now regarded in chess circles as the creation of the Evans Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4).
La Bourdonnais matches
Main article: La Bourdonnais – McDonnell chess matches
At that time the world’s strongest player was the French aristocrat Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais. Between June and October 1834 La Bourdonnais and McDonnell played a series of six matches, a total of eighty-five games, at the Westminster Chess Club in London. McDonnell won the second match, while La Bourdonnais won first, third, fourth and fifth. The sixth match was unfinished.
In the first game of the third match, McDonnell successfully introduced a new variation in the King’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Nc3) known today as the McDonnell Gambit.
We are not convinced that the photograph above is of AM. We received this reply from Tim Harding :
I don’t recall ever seeing ANY image that was definitely of him, but I have referred your enquiry to James O’Fee in Belfast who is probably the only person who might know of one.
It doesn’t help that he had in Belfast an almost exact contemporary of the same name (who came to work in Dublin and long outlived the chess player) and there is some issue about which one was the son of a doctor and which the son of a merchant. So even if you found an image online it’s more likely to be of the wrong man.
Unless I am wrong there was never any image of Alexander McDonnell in a chess context.
The main chance would perhaps be in connection with his lobbying for the Demerara planters.
Coming soon to your sixty four squares !
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