Tag Archives: Biographies

Birthday of FM Yichen Han (17-xi-2007)

Newcastle Upon Tyne resident Yichen Han became the youngest Dutch holder of the FIDE Master (FM) title at the age of twelve years and two months.

Yichen was born in Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands.

The games required to complete the FM title were played at the recent 4NCL Harrogate Congress . The final game was a win versus Robert Starley of Crowthorne Chess Club having started with a win versus CM Peter Ackley.

Yichen plays for Forest Hall and is a student at RGS Newcastle.

He currently has a FIDE rating of 2257 for standard play and an ECF grading of 215.

Yichen Han at the 2018 Terafinal
Yichen Han at the 2018 Terafinal

Death Anniversary of Edward Sergeant OBE (3-xii-1881 16-xi-1961)

We remember Edward Sergeant OBE (3-xii-1881 16-xi-1961)

Edward Guthlac Sergeant was born on Saturday, December 3rd 1881 : in the same year British Chess Magazine was founded by John Watkinson.

He was born in Crowland, South Holland, Lincolnshire. The registration district was Peterborough and the inferred county was Northamptonshire. His father was William R Sergeant (aged 27) and his mother was Frances E Sergeant (aged 25). He had a sister, Hilda who was one year older. William was a registered general medical practitioner.

He was named Guthlac after a monk who “came to what was then an island in the Fens to live the life of a hermit.”

Signature of EG Sergeant from a Brian Reilly "after dinner" postcard from Margate 1936.
Signature of EG Sergeant from a Brian Reilly “after dinner” postcard from Margate 1936.

According to the 1891 census EGS was aged 9 and living with his father, mother, sister and their domestic servant Margaret A George who was their general domestic servant who hailed from Scotland. They lived at 2, Gladstone Terrace, Gateshead, NE8 4DY. This was in the Ecclesiastical parish of Christchurch.

2, Gladstone Terrace, Gateshead, NE8 4DY
2, Gladstone Terrace, Gateshead, NE8 4DY

In the 1911 census aged 29 as nephew to the head of the household (5 St Peters Terrace, Cambridge) EGS is listed as a solicitor who is single. The size of the household in 1911 was relatively modest at 12. He was living with George Edward Wherry (59, surgeon university professor) and his wife Albinia Lucy Wherry (53). Albinia Lucy Wherry was a nurse and also writer. During WWI she was stationed in Paris at the Gare du Nord where she supported British forces from 1915-18. the sub-registration district was St Andrew the Great.

According to Edward Winter in Where did they live? in April 1916 EGS was living at 39 Chichele Road, Cricklewood, London NW2 3AN, England. EGWs source for this is : Chess Amateur, April 1916, page 202.

39 Chichele Road, Cricklewood, London NW2 3AN
39 Chichele Road, Cricklewood, London NW2 3AN

1918 was an important year for Edward when he married Dorothy Frances Carter (born 1887) in Gravesend. In the same year Dorothy and Edward had a son Richard who passed away in 2014

Two years later Dorothy and Edward had a son Lewis Carter Sergeant born on January 30th 1920. The birth was registered in Paddington. Lewis lived at 3 Woodhill Court, 175 Woodhill, London, SE18 5HSL and passed away in 2004 the death being registered in Greenwich.

On the 1920 Electoral Roll, EGS was now living with Dorothy Frances Sergeant at St. Stephen’s Mansions, 5, Monmouth Road, Edmonton.

In 1923 they upped sticks and moved to 27. King Edward’s Grove, Teddington.

Sadly Dorothy passed away in 1926 at the modest age of 39.

Coventry Evening Telegraph 10 October 1933
Coventry Evening Telegraph 10 October 1933

According to the 1939 census EGS was listed as a widowed, civil servant living at 24, Gloucester Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 7DX. This would be the address that Edward saw out the rest of his life.

24, Gloucester Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 7DX
24, Gloucester Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 7DX

He shared this address with Edith Carter (born 4th May 1878) who is described as being of “Private Means” and Ada M Wenman (6th August 1881) who is described as being a “domestic”.

In 1949 he was awarded the OBE in the Birthday Honours in recognition of his 39 years’ service in the office of the Solicitor to the Board of Inland Revenue.

According to John Saunders : EGS died in the New Victoria Hospital, New Malden, Surrey, on 16 November 1961. His residence at death had been 24 Gloucester Road, Kingston Hill. Probate (26 Jan 1962) granted to Lewis Carter Sergeant, a Lieutenant-Colonel in HM Army. Effects £6,586.

E.G. Sergeant in characteristic pose v. Miss Vera Menchik at Margate, 1939
E.G. Sergeant in characteristic pose v. Miss Vera Menchik at Margate, 1939

From The Encyclopedia of Chess (Batsford, 1977), Harry Golombek OBE :

A British master who had a long and solidly distinguished career in British chess but never quite succeeded in breaking through the barrier to international success. A civil servant by profession, he was awarded the OBE for his services in the Inland Revenue and Sergeant on Stamp Duties was regarded as an authoritative work.

Sergeant’s earliest performance in the British Championship, at the Crystal Palace in London 190, was one of his best. He came =2nd with JH Blackburne. RP Mitchell and GE Wainwright with 6.5 points, a point below the winner of the title, HE Atkins.

He was 3rd at Edinburgh in 1920 and his best result in the competition came in Brighton 193, where he came equal second with H. Golombek, a 1/2 point below the winner, CHO’D Alexander.

A stalwart supporter of the City of London Chess Club, he won its championship in two successive years, 1916 and 1917. He played for Britain against the USA in the 1908 and 1909 cable matches and also played on a high board for London against various American cities in the Insull Trophy matches in the years 1926-31.

As a player he was strongly influenced by the scientific principles of Siegbert Tarrasch and did well during the period when the Tarrasch school enjoyed its heyday. But he was at a loss when confronted with more modern methods.”

Both Sunnucks and Hooper & Whyld are silent on EGS : surprising!

EGS was a cousin of PW Sergeant.

We asked  Leonard Barden of his memories of EGS and he was kind enough to reply :

“People have different ways of expressing satisfaction with their position. Botvinnik adjusted his tie, Kasparov put his watch back on,  Sergeant rubbed his hands together….He liked to counter the Queen’s Gambit Declined in the classical way with a kind of Lasker Defence.”

From British Chess Magazine, Volume LXXXII, March, 1962, Number 3, pages 76 -80 we reproduce an obituary from Bruce Hayden entitled “E.G. Sergeant – An Appreciation” as follows :

(note the incorrect birth location presumably based on the 1891 census information)

Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part one
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part one
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part two
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part two
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part three
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part three
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part four
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part four
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part five
Edward Guthlac Sergeant, part five
Sergeant on Stamp Duties
Sergeant on Stamp Duties

Here is his Wikipedia entry

Birthday of IM Eddie Dearing (30-x-1980)

BCN send best wishes to IM Eddie Dearing on his birthday.

Edward J Dearing was born on Sunday, October 30th, 1980 in Scotland.

Eddie Dearing publicity photograph, from EDs Facebook page.
Eddie Dearing publicity photograph, from EDs Facebook page.

In 2002 Eddie shared first place (with Karl Mah) in the Smith and Williamson Young Masters with 6/9 with a TPR of 2458 :

Cross table for the 2012 Smith and Williamson Young Masters
Cross table for the 2012 Smith and Williamson Young Masters

He became an International Master in 2002 and, according to Felice and Megabase 2020 achieved a peak rating of 2420 in July 2005 aged 25. He is currently ranked 8th in Scotland.

Eddie Dearing by Cathy  Rogers, ChessBase profile image
Eddie Dearing by Cathy Rogers, ChessBase profile image

Eddie studied law at the University of Cambridge and did an MBA at the London Business School. Currently Eddie is a fund manager at MFS Investment Management.

Eddie is currently registered for Battersea in the London League and previously has played for Drunken Knights but has not been active since 2014.

With the white pieces Eddie prefers the Queen’s Gambit, Exchange Variation.

As the second player Eddie plays the Sicilian Dragon and the Semi-Slav Defence.

Eddie has plus scores against : James Cobb, Richard Palliser, Simon Williams, Karl Mah, Jacob Aagard, Colin McNab to name but a few.

Play the Sicilian Dragon by Eddie Dearing
Play the Sicilian Dragon by Eddie Dearing
Play the Nimzo-Indian by Eddie Dearing
Play the Nimzo-Indian by Eddie Dearing

Birthday of IM Adam Hunt (21-x-1980)

We offer IM Adam Hunt best wishes on his birthday.

Adam Ceiriog Hunt was born on Tuesday, October 21st, 1980 in Oxford and his mother’s maiden name was Williams. The UK Number one single was “Woman in Love” by Barbara Streisand. Adam shares his birthday with Kim Kardashian.

(Ceiriog was the bardic name of John Ceiriog Hughes (1832–87)

Adam attended The Cherwell School and The University of Sussex to study general biology.

Jeremy Morse, Adam Hunt, Nick Pert and Nigel Short at the Lloyds Bank Masters
Jeremy Morse, Adam Hunt (12), Nick Pert (11) and Nigel Short at the Lloyds Bank Masters

Adam became an International Master in 2001 and then a FIDE Trainer in 2016. According to Felice and Megabase 2020 his attained his peak FIDE rating of 2466 in January 2008 at the age of 28.

Adam Hunt in 1998  Cathy Rogers
Adam Hunt in 1998 Cathy Rogers

In 2004 Adam was living in Headington, Oxfordshire and in 2007 he moved to Ipswich in Suffolk and was married in 2019. Recently, Adam and his partner became parents to Henry.

Most recently Adam has played for 4NCL Blackthorne Russia, prior to that Bettson.com, Midlands Monarchs and Perceptron Youth with Witney being his original team.

He is Director of Chess at Woodbridge School in Suffolk and is the brother of IM Harriet Hunt

With the white pieces is (almost exclusively) an e4 player playing the main line of Ruy Lopez (8.c3) and favouring the Fischer-Sozin against the Najdorf.

As the second player Adam plays the Sicilian Najdorf and a 50:50 mixture of the King’s Indian and Grünfeld Defences.

Adam is the brother of IM Harriet Hunt

Chess Strategy: Move by Move, Adam Hunt, Everyman, 2013
Chess Strategy: Move by Move, Adam Hunt, Everyman, 2013
IM Adam Hunt
IM Adam Hunt

Death Anniversary of Charles Fox (09-xi-1866 11-x-1935)

BCN remembers Charles Fox (09-xi-1866 11-x-1935)

Charles Masson Fox was born on Friday, November 9th 1866 in Falmouth, Cornwall. his father, Howard, was 29 and his mother, Olivia Blanche Orme, was 22. He had one brother and two sisters.

His sister Olivia Lloyd was born on 5 February 1868 in Falmouth, Cornwall, when Charles Masson was 1 year old. His sister Stella was born on 11 December 1876 in Falmouth, Cornwall, when Charles Masson was 10 years old. In 1881 he was living in Sherborne, Dorset. In 1901 he was once more living in Falmouth and his profession was that of a timber merchant. His brother Howard Orme died on 7 June 1921 in Falmouth, Cornwall. His father Howard passed away on 15 November 1922 in Cornwall. His mother Olivia Blanche passed away on 12 March 1930 in Falmouth, Cornwall, at the age of 85.

Sadly, neither Hooper & Whyld, Sunnucks or Golombek mention Fox in their works.

Here is an extensive article from the British Chess Problem Society (BCPS) written by CJ Feather

From Wikipedia :

“Charles Masson Fox (9 November 1866 – 11 October 1935) was a Cornish businessman who achieved international prominence in the world of chess problems and a place in the gay history of Edwardian England.

Masson Fox was born into a Quaker family (although he was not related to the Quakers’ founder George Fox) and was a cousin of the fraudulent sinologist Sir Edmund Backhouse, 2nd Baronet. Living throughout his life in the Cornish seaside town of Falmouth, Fox in the early decades of his life was a senior partner of his family’s timber firm, Fox Stanton & Company, and was also on the Board of Messrs G C Fox & Company, a long-established firm of shipping agents.

C.M.Fox’s gravestone at Budock Quaker Burial Ground
Fox is described by chess historian Thomas Rayner Dawson (1889–1951) as “a friendly man, kind, mellow, lovable, bringing peace and comfort and serene joy with him”. He was also a discreet but active homosexual. In 1909 he visited Venice with his friend James Cockerton, meeting the writer Frederick Rolfe and becoming the reluctant recipient of Rolfe’s famous Venice Letters, in which the gay subculture of Venice is vividly described.

In 1912–13 Fox was blackmailed by a woman who accused him of seducing her 16-year-old son. Eventually Fox reported the matter to the police and the woman was sent to prison for five years and her son for one year, with hard labour.[1] However, Fox was profoundly affected by the publicity surrounding the case, which was reported in detail in the local press. The predictable result of his courageous action was the destruction of his reputation, and the compromise of his business and social life in Falmouth.

Although he continued to live in Cornwall, the focus of his social life shifted to London, and in the last two decades of his life, Fox became prominent in the world of chess. He was elected President of the Cornwall Chess Association, played a prominent part in the development of the British Chess Problem Society, and is still renowned as one of the greatest ever exponents of fairy chess (chess problems with variations in the rules).”

From The Problemist Fairy Chess Supplement, 1933 :

What is the shortest game
ending in this position?

Charles Masson Fox
Charles Masson Fox

Birthday of GM David Norwood (03-x-1968)

We wish David Norwood all the best on his birthday,

David Robert Norwood was born in Farnworth, Bolton, Greater Manchester on October 3rd 1968 to an electrician. His mother’s maiden name was Mellor.

Mary Hopkin was still UK number one with “Those were the days” and would remain at number one for six weeks in total.

David Norwood
David Norwood

David read history at Keeble College, Oxford before pursuing a successful business career (see below).

David became an International Master in 1985 and a Grandmaster in 1989 and his peak FIDE rating (Felice and Megabase 2020) was 2545 in July 1994 at the age of 26.

GM David Norwood
GM David Norwood

David has a score of +2 against Viswanathan Anand, +1 against Neil McDonald, +2 against Keith Arkell and +2 against Mark Hebden.

Preparing for David would have been fairly straightforward as he played almost the same opening with white and black playing 1.g3 (and less frequently, 1.d4) and the Modern Defence although his did flick the Modern Benoni into the mix every now and then.

As well as moving to Oxford for University he was =1 at the 1988 (fifth) NatWest Young Masters with 6/9 (along with Adams and Kudrin) securing a GM norm :

Crosstable for 1988 NatWest Young Masters
Crosstable for 1988 NatWest Young Masters
IM David Norwood at the 1988 NatWest Young Masters. Photo by Tom Elek
IM David Norwood at the 1988 NatWest Young Masters. Photo by Tom Elek

In 1990 David became the first Grandmaster to play in the annual Varsity match. This was the 108th such encounter and David played on board one against Jeremy P Sharp of Downing College, Cambridge. David first played in the 107th match in 1989 on board two below James Howell. David played one more time in 1991 scoring 2/3 from his three appearences.

IM David Norwood at 1991 Varsity Match. Henry Gerald Mutkin (organiser and sponsor) is seated.
IM David Norwood at 1991 Varsity Match. Henry Gerald Mutkin (organiser and sponsor) is seated.

According to FIDE David is registered with Andorra which appropriately (for DN) has Catalan as its national language. David has yet to win the Andorran Championship. He first played in the Andorran Open in 2011 and came close to winning in 2013 with 7/9. Since 2017 David has not played in a FIDE rated event.

A powerful Unisys personal computer being present to Bolton-born GM David Norwood by Alva Rodger (centre), general manager of Unisys banking district ad Dr Brian Bailey, managing director of Infolink, a credit referencing agency.
A powerful Unisys personal computer being present to Bolton-born GM David Norwood by Alva Rodger (centre), general manager of Unisys banking district ad Dr Brian Bailey, managing director of Infolink, a credit referencing agency.

David is an active director of Genomics Plc, and 4D Pharma Plc.

David Norwood
David Norwood

As a writer David wrote a chess column for The Daily Telegraph and has written :

The Usbourne Book of Chess Puzzles, David Norwood, 1992
The Usbourne Book of Chess Puzzles, David Norwood, 1992
Winning with the Modern, David Norwood, B.T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1994
Winning with the Modern, David Norwood, B.T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1994
Grandmaster Meets Chess Amateur, Steve David and David Norwood, 1995
Grandmaster Meets Chess Amateur, Steve David and David Norwood, 1995
The Usbourne Guide to Advanced Chess, David Norwood, 1995
The Usbourne Guide to Advanced Chess, David Norwood, 1995

From Wikipedia :

“David Robert Norwood (born 3 October 1968) is an English businessman who runs an investment fund that finances spin-off companies from Oxford University science departments. He is also a chess grandmaster, chess writer, former captain of the English chess team and now represents Andorra at chess.”

“The son of an electrician, Norwood graduated with a history degree from Keble College, Oxford University in 1988 before joining city investment bank Banker’s Trust in 1991.”

Peter Wells, Gary Lane, John Emms and David Norwood
Peter Wells, Gary Lane, John Emms and David Norwood

“Norwood cofounded Oxford Sciences Innovation, a £600m investment company dedicated to funding deep science from Oxford University, and was its CEO from 2015 to 2019. Formerly he was founder of IP Group plc, a fund that invested in spinoffs from Oxford University’s Chemistry department, in exchange for 50% of the revenues from the licensing of the department’s intellectual property.

In 2017, Norwood donated £1.9M to Keble College’s future hub for innovation at Oxford University.”

From The Times of London, November 20th, 2008 by Ian King, Business Editor :

“Entrepreneur David Norwood swaps City for sun, sea and writing

David Norwood resigned all his directorships yesterday and is heading to a tiny island in the Bahamas, where he will write the novel

One of the City’s best-known entrepreneurs resigned all his directorships yesterday – to move to a desert island, where he plans to become a writer.

IM David Norwood and IM Aldo Haik (France) taking a drink at the bar during Cappelle-Le-Grande, 1988. Photograph by Caroline Winkler
IM David Norwood and IM Aldo Haik (France) taking a drink at the bar during Cappelle-Le-Grande, 1988. Photograph by Caroline Winkler

David Norwood, a former chief executive of the stockbrokers Evolution and Beeson Gregory, resigned from the boards of a number of companies, including Oxford Advanced Surfaces, ORA Capital, Oxeco and Plus-listed Green Chemicals. He has also given up his role as special projects director at IP Group, the intellectual property commercialisation company, which he started eight years ago and floated on AIM in 2003. Shares of all five companies fell after the news was released.”

GM David Norwood
GM David Norwood

Birthday of IM Tom Rendle (29-ix-1986)

Best wishes to IM Tom Rendle on his birthday.

Thomas Edward Rendle was born on Monday, September 29th 1986. “Stuck with You” by Huey Lewis and the News was the UK’s number one single.

Tom was born in Hastings, East Sussex and his mother’s maiden name is Jefferies. Tom resides in Hastings.

Tom attended Bede’s School, Sussex and then St. Leonard’s College.

Tom Rendle aged 11 by David Crump
Tom Rendle aged 11 by David Crump

Tom studied physics at The University of Warwick and has two brothers, Tim and James and a sister Theresa.

Tom became a FIDE Master in 2004. In 2006 Tom became an International Master and achieved a peak rating (according to Felice) in July 2007 of 2416 at the age of 21. Tom has one Grandmaster norm.

Tom has played for 4NCL Grantham Sharks, Hammersmith (in the London League), Drunken Knights (in the London League), West London and Sandhurst (in the Surrey Border and Berkshire Leagues).

His first ECF grade to appear on the grading web site was 82A in July 1994 at the age of 7 :

ECF Grading Progress of Tom Rendle
ECF Grading Progress of Tom Rendle

Tom played in the World U12 Championship won by Teimour Radjabov and his first major success was scoring 7.5/10 in the 2001 Smith and Williamson Young Masters. He became Hampshire Champion in 2001 with 5/6 and won the 2004 Rosny Sous Bois tournament with 7/9 and a TPR of 2568. He was runner-up in the Paignton Open of 2005 followed by runner-up in the Coulsdon Christmas tournament of 2005.

Tom’s GM norm was earnt at Gibraltar 2007.

Tom Rendle in 2011
Tom Rendle in 2011

Tom has his own popular YouTube Channel

With the white pieces Tom is almost exclusively an e4 player but he has flirted with Bird’s Opening many times. Having shared accommodation with Gawain Jones there are signs of influence in the choice of the Grand Prix Attack.

As the second player Tom plays both the Winawer and the Classical French and is a noted expert on the Classical Dutch and Dutch in general.

IM Tom Rendle at the King's Place Rapidplay, 2013, Courtesy of John Upham Photography
IM Tom Rendle at the King’s Place Rapidplay, 2013, Courtesy of John Upham Photography

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).[citation needed] 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.”

IM Tom Rendle, Courtesy of John Upham Photography
IM Tom Rendle, Courtesy of John Upham Photography