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 :

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]

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

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

Remembering James Macrae Aitken (27-X-1908,03-XII-1983)

James Macrae Aitken
James Macrae Aitken

We remember James Macrae Aitken who passed away on Saturday, December 3rd, 1983

From Wikipedia :

James Macrae Aitken (27 October 1908 – 3 December 1983) was a Scottish chess player.[1][2] Aitken was born in Calderbank, Lanarkshire, Scotland. In 1938 he received a PhD from Edinburgh University on the topic of ‘The Trial of George Buchanan Before the Lisbon Inquisition’.[3]

Aitken learned chess from his father at age 10.[4] He was Scottish champion in 1935, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1965, the latter jointly with PM Jamieson.[1] He was also London Champion in 1950.[1] In 1959 he had his best result in the British Championship, finishing tied for seventh place.[4] Aitken represented Scotland in four Chess Olympiads. He played top board at Stockholm 1937, scoring only 32.4% but he did defeat Swedish GM Gideon Ståhlberg[4][5] and draw with American GM Samuel Reshevsky.[4] He played second board at Munich 1958 and Tel Aviv 1964, scoring 67.6% and 28.1% respectively. Aitken played sixth board at Skopje 1972, scoring 38.9%.[5]

Aitken represented Great Britain in matches against the USSR and Yugoslavia.[4] In the 1946 radio match between the United Kingdom and the USSR he lost his match with Igor Bondarevsky on board 8.[6] Aitken defeated GM Savielly Tartakower at Southsea 1949[4][7] and GM Efim Bogoljubow at Bad Pyrmont 1951.[4][8]

James Macrae Aitken
James Macrae Aitken

During World War II, Aitken worked in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park on solving German Enigma machines.[9] On 2 December 1944 Bletchley Park played a 12-board team match against the Oxford University Chess Club. Bletchley Park won the match 8–4 with C.H.O’D. Alexander, Harry Golombek, and Aitken on the top three boards.[10] Aitken wrote many book reviews for the British Chess Magazine.[11] Aside from chess his hobbies included golf, philately, bridge, and watching cricket.[4] He died in Cheltenham in 1983, aged 75.[2]

James Macrae Aitken in 1965 by "Mac"
James Macrae Aitken in 1965 by “Mac”

Another biography may be found here at the wonderful Chess Scotland

James Macrae Aitken
James Macrae Aitken

Remembering IM Robert Wade OBE (10-IV-1921, 29-XI-2008)

IM Robert Graham Wade
IM Robert Graham Wade

We remember IM Robert Graham Wade OBE who passed away on November 29th, 2008.

His detailed wikipedia entry may be found here :

Robert Graham Wade[1] OBE (10 April 1921 Dunedin, New Zealand – 29 November 2008, London), was a New Zealand and British chess player, writer, arbiter, coach, and promoter. He was New Zealand champion three times, British champion twice, and played in seven Chess Olympiads and one Interzonal tournament. Wade held the titles of International Master and International Arbiter.

IM Robert Graham Wade OBE
IM Robert Graham Wade OBE

Wade grew up on a farm in Dunedin, New Zealand, far from the world’s chess centres, and lacked strong competition early in his career. He developed his chess skills from materials in his local library, such as the British Chess Magazine and works by Australian champion Cecil Purdy.

IM Robert Graham Wade OBE
IM Robert Graham Wade OBE

After winning the New Zealand Chess Championship in 1944, 1945 and 1948, he travelled to Europe to further his chess career. International chess was starting up again after a six-year hiatus caused by World War II. For most Masters, it was a matter of dusting off their skills, but Wade had little if any high-class experience to draw upon, so he struggled at first with the new standard. Wade was attempting to become the first international-class player from New Zealand. He played in the British Chess Championship at Nottingham 1946, the first post-war championship, placing tied 10–12th with just 3½/11. His first continental European event was Barcelona 1946, won by Miguel Najdorf; Wade was a tailender with just 3/13 for a tied 12–13th place.[2] Wade played in the Australian Chess Championship at Adelaide 1946–47, placing tied 2nd–4th with 10½/15, with Lajos Steiner winning. Wade travelled as far as Canada to compete in the 1947 Canadian Chess Championship at Quebec City, scoring 7/13 to tie 7–8th places, with Daniel Yanofsky winning.[3]

IM Robert Graham Wade OBE
IM Robert Graham Wade OBE

Better things lay ahead on Wade’s next European foray. He scored 5½/9 at Baarn 1948 for a tied 2nd–3rd place, with Harry Golombek winning. Wade made 3½/9 at Hastings 1948–49 for 8th place, with Nicolas Rossolimo winning.[4] He represented New Zealand and Australia at the FIDE Congress at Paris 1949, which marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of FIDE in Paris in 1924.

IM Robert Graham Wade OBE
IM Robert Graham Wade OBE

Wade played many strong events in 1949, raising his standard significantly with competition against top-class Grandmasters. At Beverwijk 1949, he scored 4½/9 for a tied 6–7th place, with Savielly Tartakower winning. Wade placed 2nd at Arbon 1949 with 6/7, trailing only Ludek Pachman. He struggled at Trencianske Teplice 1949, placing last with 4½/19, as Gideon Ståhlberg won. At Heidelberg 1949, Wade scored 4/9 for a tied 6–8th place, as Wolfgang Unzicker won. Then at Oldenburg 1949, Wade made 8½/18 for 10th place, with Efim Bogolyubov and Elmārs Zemgalis on top.[5] At Southsea 1950, Wade scored 6/10 for a shared 7–13th place, as Arthur Bisguier won. The constant practice led to his best result to date, an excellent shared 5–7th place in a powerful field at Venice 1950 with 8½/15, with Alexander Kotov the champion. This earned Wade the International Master title later that year.[6] Wade drew a 1950 match at Bamberg by 5–5 with Lothar Schmid, and settled in England.

IM Robert Graham Wade OBE
IM Robert Graham Wade OBE

Wade was British Champion in 1952 (at Chester, with 8/11), and 1970 (at Coventry, with 8/11).[7] His other high finishes in the British Championship were 3rd at Hastings 1953 on 7½/11 (with Daniel Yanofsky winning), 2nd at Rhyl 1969 on 7½/11 (with Jonathan Penrose winning), and tied 3rd–6th at Blackpool 1971 on 7/11 (with Raymond Keene winning).[8]

Wade qualified for the Saltsjöbaden Interzonal 1952, scored 6/20, and did not advance to the Candidates level. Wade defeated many-time Scottish champion William Fairhurst in a match at Glasgow 1953 by 5½–2½.[9]

Wade went on to represent his adopted country in six Chess Olympiads, and his country of birth on one occasion. In 92 games, his totals at this level are: (+30−26=36), for 52.2 per cent. His detailed results in Olympiads, from olimpbase.org, follow.

Amsterdam 1954, England board 4, 6/12 (+4−4=4);
Moscow 1956, England board 3, 6½/14 (+2−3=9);
Munich 1958, England 1st reserve, 7/14 (+5−5=4);
Leipzig 1960, England 2nd reserve, 6/11 (+4−3=4);
Varna 1962, England 2nd reserve, 6/12 (+4−4=4);
Siegen 1970, New Zealand board 2, 9/15 (+7−4=4);
Skopje 1972, England board 3, 7½/14 (+4−3=7).
Wade won several middle-strength Master events in the British Isles: Ilford 1957 and 1968, Paignton 1959, Dublin 1962, and Southend-on-Sea 1965.

Wade was generally no more than a middle-ranking player in strong international tournaments. His other highlights against high-standard international-level competition include:

tied 4–5th at Haifa/Tel Aviv 1958 on 7½/13 (winner Samuel Reshevsky);
3rd at Bognor Regis 1959 on 7/10 (winner Erno Gereben);
5th at Reykjavík 1964 on 7½/13 (winner Mikhail Tal);
tied 4–5th at Málaga 1966 on 7/11; (winners Alberic O’Kelly de Galway and Eleazar Jiménez);
6th at Briseck 1971 on 7/13 (winner Gideon Barcza);
5th at Cienfuegos ‘B’ 1975 on 10/17; (winners Julio Boudy and Amador Rodriguez);
tied 7–12th in the World Senior Championship, Bad Woerishofen 1992, on 7½/11 (winner Efim Geller).
Wade was the only British player to have faced Bobby Fischer in tournament play (outside of Olympiads). They met three times, with Wade drawing one game and losing the other two.

IM Robert Graham Wade OBE
IM Robert Graham Wade OBE

Wade earned the title of International Arbiter in 1958, and made much of his living from directing events. He defeated tournament winner Viktor Korchnoi at Buenos Aires 1960 in a tough game that went through a Queen and Rook middle game to a queen endgame to a final king and pawn endgame. In addition to staying active on the international circuit, Wade served as chess editor with the respected Batsford publishers in the 1960s and 1970s. He eventually retired to make way for Raymond Keene. He managed the Batsford Chess Library after this. Well respected as a chess coach and author, Wade helped Bobby Fischer prepare for his 1972 World Championship match with Boris Spassky by collating a special file of Spassky’s games. He was awarded an OBE for services to chess in 1979. He was made an ‘Honorary Member’ of FIDE, the World Chess Federation. He declined to “trade in” his International Master title for that of honorary Grandmaster, considering his title, awarded in the days before title inflation, far more valuable.

Continuing to be an active player into his 80s, Wade was still able to play at a high level. This is shown by his performance at the 2006 Queenstown Chess International, where he scored 6/10 with only one loss, and drew his game against Grandmaster Murray Chandler. Wade played in the European Senior Teams chess championship six times between 2002 and 2006.[10][11] His last major event was the Staunton Memorial in London in July 2008, where he was badly outrated (a single draw would have increased his Elo rating), and he fought gamely but scored 0/11. A few weeks before his death, he played his final serious game, for the Athenaeum Chess Club.

Wade built up an enormous chess library at his house in South London, which included books, magazines and many original bulletins from tournaments: these latter were the primary sources for many types of chess literature. The growth of this library was supported by B.T. Batsford. Eventually the library was given to the nation, though its eventual destination is not certain at present. In the days before computer databases the Wade library was often used by British and foreign players in preparation for matches.[12]

Wade was hospitalized on 26 November 2008, with severe pneumonia and died on 29 November 2008.[13][14]

IM Robert Wade OBE
IM Robert Wade OBE

Remembering Anthony Stewart Mackay Dickins (01-XI-1914, 25-XI-1987)

Anthony Stewart Mackay Dickins
Anthony Stewart Mackay Dickins

We remember Anthony Stewart Mackay Dickins who passed away this day (Wednesday, November 25th) in 1987.

From http://chesscomposers.blogspot.com/2012/10/november-1st.html

we have

Anthony Dickins wrote “A Guide to Fairy Chess” (1967, read it here) and other books about fairy chess. He edited the column of non-original fairy problems for “The Problemist”.
He was specialized in constructional problems and was also an International Judge.

A Guide to Fairy Chess
A Guide to Fairy Chess
100 Classics of the Chessboard
100 Classics of the Chessboard