Remembering Norman Littlewood (31-i-1933 29-iv-1989)

Norman Littlewood
Norman Littlewood

BCN remembers Norman Littlewood (31-i-1933 29-iv-1989)

Norman Littlewood circa 1967
Norman Littlewood circa 1967

From British Chess Magazine, Volume 109, June (#6), page 265 we have the following obituary which appears to have been lifted and used in the BCF Yearbook from 1989 – 1990, page 14, (editor Brian Concannon) with no acknowledgement :

“We were sorry to (announce the) hear of the death from cancer of Norman Littlewood of Sheffield(31 i 1933 – 29 iv 1989) who played with great force in British Championships of the 1960s.
Born into a working class family of 11 children, Norman played for England in the 1951 Glorney Cup, but did not make his debut in the British Championships until 1963 when he finished second to Penrose. He was then joint runner-up in the next three title contests, impressed at Hastings Premiers, particularly 1963-4 when he was the best of the English players, and represented England in the 1964 and 1966 Olympiads. By 1969, however, he was drifting away from play in the direction of problem and study composition, and his other interests such as bridge. He was also a skilled pianist, a true all-rounder.

Norman Littlewood
Norman Littlewood

A great impression was made on the top players at the 1964 British Championships when Norman won his first four games with his dynamic style. His victims included both Golombek and Clarke. Had he won his next game against Haygarth, as he deserved to do, he would have surely taken the title which fell to his Yorkshire colleague.

Norman was always a modest but assertive character, and with more management might well have challenged Penrose even more closely than he did. Our thanks to elder brother John Littlewood for some of the above information.”

The 1964 England Olympiad (Tel Aviv) Team : Owen Hindle, Čeněk Kottnauer, Peter Clarke, Michael Franklin, Norman Littlewood & Michael Haygarth
The 1964 England Olympiad (Tel Aviv) Team : Owen Hindle, Čeněk Kottnauer, Peter Clarke, Michael Franklin, Norman Littlewood & Michael Haygarth

Here is a splendid article from Yorkshire Chess History

See BCF Yearbook 1989-90, page 14.

Practical Chess Puzzles

Practical Chess Puzzles
Practical Chess Puzzles

Here is the publishers blurb from the rear cover :

Chess puzzle books are undoubtedly popular – and with good reason. Solving chess puzzles helps to sharpen a player’s tactical and combinational skills. This ability is absolutely fundamental for chess development. You won’t get better at tennis until you can consistently hit the ball with accuracy and you won’t get better at chess until you improve your ability to calculate. It is that simple and there are no shortcuts.

Many puzzle books take a far too simplistic approach and offer endless positions where the solution is nearly always along the lines of: queen takes something check, king takes queen, check, check and a pretty mate. Aesthetically pleasing perhaps but of minimal use for actual improvement as the patterns are so familiar. Practical Chess Puzzles avoids this pitfall. The positions chosen are far more like those that actually appear on the board during the vast majority of games. Furthermore, at all stages, the puzzles are ranked, enabling the student to gauge progress and identify and correct weaknesses.

  • 600 puzzles featuring instructive, typically “game-like” positions
  • A ranking system to assess progress.

and about the authors :

Guannan Song is a FIDE Master with one International Master norm from Canada. He won the 2010 Canadian Youth Chess Championship and scored bronze at the 2015 North American Junior Chess Championships. He also played for Team Canada at the 2010 World Youth Chess Championship and the 2014 World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad. He represents Western University on board 1 of its Championship team and led his team to 2nd place at the 2019 Canadian University Chess Championship.

Dachey Lin is a FIDE Master from the United States, having achieved the title in 2016. He is a seven-time All American Team member and participated in three World Youth Chess Championship events, tying for ninth place in 2009. Though he is not as active as some of the other chess players, he enjoys following and helping other chess players and watching them grow and succeed.

Edward Song is an International Master from the United States. He won the 2014 US Cadet Championship, the 2017 Supernationals (tie), and the 2017 Denker Tournament of High School Champions (tie). He is also a four-time All American Team member and played two World Youth Chess Championships, achieving top ten both times. He is looking forward to making further progress towards grandmaster.

As with every recent Everyman Chess publication high quality paper is used and the printing is clear. Each diagram is clear as is the instructional text. Figurine algebraic notation is used throughout and the diagrams are placed adjacent to the relevant text.

The book consists of five chapters :

  1. Model Games : six games
  2. Combinations : 250 positions
  3. Evaluation : 100 positions
  4. Tests : 250 positions
  5. Solutions

The first aspect that leaps out is that material is largely based on real games from the last ten years. Secondly, those games have largely not found themselves into databases such as MegaBase 2020. Thirdly, many of the games are from North American tournaments and a good number featured are from the authors own practise.

The model games are entirely practical : real games played by strong but not super strong players with flaws and blunders that human beings make. They set the scene for the main course.

The Combinations chapters provides 250 unthemed positions which range from simple tactics of all types to deep combinations of tactics. The variety is excellent and, much like the Carsten Hansen book we reviewed earlier the positions are real and “messy”. Therefore very much for the tournament player rather than sanitised positions for teaching children and beginners.

Here is an example (#25) from M. Kernighan-J.Lipoka, Winnipeg, 2010.

Potentially the most interesting is the Evaluation section. The student is asked to study and pick apart the positions inorder to assess the correct outcome. Part of that assessment includes finding the best continuation. The solutions to these exercises focus on the latter it has to be said : We would like to have seen more of the assessment angle !

Here is an example (#343) from A.Jayakumar-G.Garcia, Philadelphia, 2012 :

Finally (the solutions do not count !), combining all of the previous elements, is the Tests section. If you were only to work on one section (but why would you do that ?) then this would be the most rewarding.

Here is an example (#435) from R.Ulrich-A.Wang, St Louis, 2017

In summary, the content lives up to the title and any tournament player from say 1200 Elo to perhaps 2200 will derive much benefit from working through the content. It is good to find a whole tranche of new material and ideas from real games played by mostly amateur players.

A small gripe (but not important) with the production is : Some (so why not this one) Everyman books have an extra folding part to the front and rear covers. These we find protect the book from damage and also can be used as an emergency book mark !

John Upham, Cove, Hampshire, 28th April, 2020

John Upham
John Upham

Book Details :

  • Paperback : 288 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman Chess (1 Jan. 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781945616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781945612
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.7 x 23.8 cm

Official web site of Everyman Chess

Practical Chess Puzzles
Practical Chess Puzzles

Happy Birthday IM Lawrence Trent (28-iv-1986)

IM Lawrence Trent
IM Lawrence Trent

BCN wishes IM Lawrence Trent (28-iv-1986) Happy Birthday !

Here is his extensive Wikipedia entry

IM Lawrence Trent
IM Lawrence Trent

IM Lawrence Trent
IM Lawrence Trent

The Smith-Morra Gambit
The Smith-Morra Gambit
The Amazing Albin Counter-Gambit
The Amazing Albin Counter-Gambit
The Bombastic Bird's
The Bombastic Bird’s

Remembering Michael John Haygarth (11-x-1934 27-iv-2016)

Michael John Haygarth, British Champion, 1964 (from British Chess Magazine, 1964)
Michael John Haygarth, British Champion, 1964 (from British Chess Magazine, 1964)

BCN Remembers Michael John Haygarth (11-x-1934 27-iv-2016)

Here is an article from Yorkshire Chess History

Owen Hindle, Michael Franklin, Harry Golombek and Michael Haygarth
Owen Hindle, Michael Franklin, Harry Golombek and Michael Haygarth

Here is an obituary written by Steve Mann which was published on the ECF web site.

The 1964 England Olympiad (Tel Aviv) Team : Owen Hindle, Čeněk Kottnauer, Peter Clarke, Michael Franklin, Norman Littlewood & Michael Haygarth
The 1964 England Olympiad (Tel Aviv) Team : Owen Hindle, Čeněk Kottnauer, Peter Clarke, Michael Franklin, Norman Littlewood & Michael Haygarth

Remembering Malik Mir Sultan Khan (1905 25-iv-1966)

Malik Mir Sultan Khan
Malik Mir Sultan Khan

Death Anniversary of Malik Mir Sultan Khan (1905 25-iv-1966)

From The Oxford Companion to Chess by Hooper & Whyld :

Perhaps the greatest natural player of modern times. Born in the Punjab, he learned Indian chess when he was nine, was taken into the household of Sir Umar Hay at Khan, and learned the international game in 1926, Two years later he won the All-India Championship and in the spring of 1929 his patron and master took him to London. Within a few months he won the British Championship, returning to India shortly afterwards. In Europe in May 1930 he began a brief career that included defeats of many leading players.

A striking figure, of dark complexion, with a lean face and broad forehead, his black hair usually turban tied, he sat at the board impassively, showing no emotion in positions good or bad. He did not believe he possessed any special skill, rather that the player applying the greater concentration should win. In events of about category 10 Sultan Khan came second to Tartakower at Liege 1930, third (+5=2-2) after Euwe and Capablanca at Hastings 1930-1, and third ( + 6=3—2) equal with Kashdan after Alekhine and Flohr at London 1932, In events of about category 9 he came fourth or equal fourth at Scarborough 1930, Hastings 1931-2, and Berne 1932 ( + 10=2-3). Sultan Khan won the British Championship again in 1932 and 1933 and played first board for the British Chess Federation in the Olympiads of 1930, 1931, and 1933. In match play he defeated Tartakower (+4=5—3) in 1931 and lost to Flohr ( + 1=3—2) in 1932. At the end of 1933 he went back to India at the bidding of his master. When Sir Umar died Sultan Khan was left a small farmstead near his birthplace, and there he lived out his days. Apparently he had few regrets, A friend visiting him in 1958 found him sitting quietly under the shade of a tree smoking his hookah, chatting with
neighbouring farmers while the womenfolk did the work.

In the Indian game of his time the pieces were moved as in international chess but the laws of promotion and stalemate were different, castling was not permitted, and a pawn could not he
advanced two squares on its first move. The game opened slowly with emphasis on positional play rather than tactics, and not surprisingly Sultan Khan became a positional player. He had few peers in the middle-game and was among the world’s best two or three endgame players, but he never mastered the openings which, by nature empirical, cannot be learned by the application of common sense alone*

When Sultan Khan first travelled to Europe his English was so rudimentary that he needed an interpreter. He suffered from bouts of malaria and, in the English climate, from continual colds and throat infections, often turning up to play with his neck swathed in bandages. Unable to read or write, he never studied any hooks on the game, and he was mistakenly put in the hands of trainers who were also his rivals in play. Under these adverse circumstances, and having known the international game for a mere seven years, only half of which was spent in Europe, Sultan Khan nevertheless became one of the world’s best ten players. This achievement brought admiration from Capablanca who called him a genius, an accolade he rarely if ever bestowed on anyone else.

R. N. Coles, Mir Sultan Khan (rev, edn, 1977) contains 64 games.

Sultan Khan-Flohr 3rd match game 1932 Caro-Kann
Defence, Exchange Variation

Here is his Wikipedia entry

Malik Mir Sultan Khan (right)
Malik Mir Sultan Khan (right)

Here is an excellent article from chess.com

Happy Birthday GM John Nunn (25-iv-1955)

"John DM Nunn Britain' Number 2 chess grandmaster and winner of the Benedictine International Chess Championship Tournament in Manchester pictured during the Benedictine Tournament. September 15th , 1980. Photograph by John C Madden"
“John DM Nunn Britain’ Number 2 chess grandmaster and winner of the Benedictine International Chess Championship Tournament in Manchester pictured during the Benedictine Tournament. September 15th , 1980. Photograph by John C Madden”

BCN wishes GM John Nunn Happy Birthday (25-iv-1955)

From The Encyclopedia of Chess by Harry Golombek :

British International master and European Junior Champion, 1975. Born in London, Nunn learned chess at the age of four and soon revealed a great aptitude for the game.

 

Graham Ladds and John Nunn. See full caption below.
Graham Ladds and John Nunn. See full caption below.
Supplied caption for above picture.
Supplied caption for above picture.

He came 6th in the Norwich Junior international tournament in 1970 and went up to Oxford University to take a mathematics degree at a very early age. He played on top board for the University from 1972-6 and is now preparing for a doctorate there.

John DM Nunn
John DM Nunn

He won the European Junior Championship and with it the international master title in Groningen in 1975. In that year too he was equal first in the IBM Master tournament, and at London in 1975 he reached an international master norm coming 5th in the international tournament there. He played on bottom board at the Haifa Olympiad 1976 and scored 64.2%

GM John Nunn
GM John Nunn

From The Oxford Companion to Chess by Hooper & Whyld :

English player. International Grandmaster (1978), British champion 1980. He went to Oxford at the unusually young age of 15, graduated in 1973. Gained his B.Sc. the following year and his
doctorate in 1978.

GM John Nunn
GM John Nunn

 

A Junior Research Fellow, he lectured in mathematics until 1981 when he became a professional player. By then he had already achieved several good results in international tournaments: Budapest 1978, first; Hastings 1979-80, first (4-5 = 10) equal with Andersson; Baden-bei-Wien 1980, category 12, third (+5=10) after Spassky and Belyavsky: Helsinki 1981, first (+5 = 6) equal with Matulovich; and Wiesbaden 1981, first (+6=3). In the category 12 Wijk aan Zee tournament 1982, Nunn came first ( + 5=7 — 1) equal with Balashov ahead of Tal, Hubner, and Timman and at Helsinki 1983 he came second (+5 = 6) after Karlsson.

Maia Chiburdanidze and John Nunn from Lloyds Bank, 1985
Maia Chiburdanidze and John Nunn from Lloyds Bank, 1985

Possessing a remarkably quick sight of the board, Nunn is an expert solver: he made the second highest individual score in the world team solving championship, 1978, and won the solving championship of Great Britain in 1981.

Lubomir Kavalek and John Nunn
Lubomir Kavalek and John Nunn

Here is an excellent article from ChessBase

Polugayevsky-Nunn European team championship :

GM John Nunn
GM John Nunn

Here is his Wikipedia entry

The Benoni for the Tournament Player
The Benoni for the Tournament Player
Solving in Style
Solving in Style
The Complete Pirc
The Complete Pirc
Secrets of Rook Endings
Secrets of Rook Endings
Secrets of Pawnless Endings
Secrets of Pawnless Endings
New Ideas in the Pirc Defence
New Ideas in the Pirc Defence
Beating the Sicilian 3
Beating the Sicilian 3
The King Hunt
The King Hunt
Secrets of Grandmaster Chess
Secrets of Grandmaster Chess
Secrets of Practical Chess
Secrets of Practical Chess
Nunn's Chess Openings
Nunn’s Chess Openings
John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book
John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book
101 Brilliant Chess Miniatures
101 Brilliant Chess Miniatures
Learn Chess
Learn Chess
Secrets of Minor-Piece Endings
Secrets of Minor-Piece Endings
Understanding Chess Move by Move
Understanding Chess Move by Move
John Nunn's Best Games
John Nunn’s Best Games
Endgame Challenge
Endgame Challenge
Tactical Chess Endings
Tactical Chess Endings
Learn Chess Tactics
Learn Chess Tactics
Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games
Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games
Grandmaster Chess Move by Move
Grandmaster Chess Move by Move
Understanding Chess Endgames
Understanding Chess Endgames
Nunn's Chess Endings
Nunn’s Chess Endings
Understanding Chess Middlegames
Understanding Chess Middlegames
Chess Tactics Workbook for Kids
Chess Tactics Workbook for Kids

Chess Endgame Workbook for Kids
Chess Endgame Workbook for Kids
GM John Nunn
GM John Nunn

Remembering George Walker (13-iii-1803 23-iv-1879)

William Lewis, George Walker and Augustus Mongredien
William Lewis, George Walker and Augustus Mongredien

BCN Remembers George Walker (13-iii-1803 23-iv-1879)

From The Encyclopedia of Chess by Anne Sunnucks :

“Leading organiser and chess columnist in the last century. Born on 13th March 1803. Founded the Westminster Chess Club in 1831. Published New Treatise on Chess in 1832 and Chess and Chess Players in 1850. Edited the chess column in Bell’s Life of London from 1835 to 1870. Died on 23rd April 1879.

From The Oxford Companion to Chess by Hooper & Whyld :

“English chess writer and propagandist. Born over his father’s bookshop in London he later became a music publisher in partnership with his father. At a time when he was receiving odds of a rook from Lewis he had the temerity to edit a chess column in the Lancet (1823-4); the first such column to appear in a periodical, it was, perhaps fortunately, short-lived. He tried his hand at composing problems, with unmemorable results; but his play improved. In the early 1830s he was receiving odds of pawn and move from McDonnell, after whose death (1835) Walker was, for a few years, London’s strongest active player.

Walker’s importance, however, lies in the many other contributions he made to the game. He founded chess clubs, notably the Westminster at Huttman’s in 1831 and the St George’s at Hanover
Square in 1843. From 1835 to 1873 he edited a column in Bell’s Life , a popular Sunday paper featuring sport and scandal. Many of his contributions were perfunctory, but on occasion he wrote at length of news, gossip, and personalities in a rollicking style suitable for such a paper. As with many of his writings he was more enthusiastic than accurate. He edited England’s first chess magazine The Philidorian (1837-8). Above all, Walker published many books at a low price: they sold widely and did much to popularize the game. The third edition of his New Treatise (1841) was as useful a manual as could he bought at the time and its section on the Evans gambit was praised by Jaenisch, Walker established the custom of recording games, and his Chess Studies (1844), containing 1,020 games played from 1780 to 1844, has become a classic. For the first time players could study the game as it was played and not as authors, each with his own bias, supposed it should be played. Throughout his life Walker helped chess-players in need. He raised funds for La Bqurdonnais, Capt. W. D. Evans, and other players, and often for their destitute widows.

After his father died (1847) Walker sold their business and became a stockbroker, reducing his chess activities but continuing ‘his many kindnesses. With an outgoing personality he enjoyed the company of those, such as La Bourdonnais, whom he called “jolly good fellows’, an epithet which might well be applied to himself. He was occasionally at odds with Lewis, who was jealous of his own reputation, and Staunton, imperious and touchy; but it seems unlikely that the easy-going
Walker, who believed that chess should be enjoyed, intentionally initiated these disputes. He left a small but excellent library of more than 300
books and his own manuscript translations of the works of Cozio, Lolli, and other masters. He should not be confused with William Greenwood Walker who recorded the games of the Bourdon-
nais-McDonne 11 matches 1834, and died soon afterwards “full of years’.

Walker is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, also known as All Souls Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, W10 4RA England.

The Walker Attack is a variation of the Allagier Gambit :

Here is his Wikipedia entry

Happy Birthday FM Gary Kenworthy (22-iv-1957)

Gary Kenworthy at the 2012 UKCC Terafinal
Gary Kenworthy at the 2012 UKCC Terafinal

Happy Birthday FM Gary Kenworthy (22-iv-1957)

Gary was born in Bradford and became an FIDE Master in 2002 and achieved a peak rating of 2315 in July 1994.

In 1994 Gary represented London in a match with Paris over nine boards and has played from London Central YMCA (CentYMCA) and Barbican in the London Chess League and in the BCF National Club competition.

In 2003 he was runner-up (to Kidami Sundararajan) in the Ron Banwell Masters in Blackpool.

Gary has played for King’s Head in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) and now plays for Mindsports.

In 2019 Gary joined the England Chess Coaching Team. He founded Bletchley Junior Chess Club and Chess School.
He has been board 1 for Milton Keynes and Open University First team. He is board 1 for the Bedfordshire County Chess Team and has retained the Bedfordshire Individual County Chess Championship Title. In 2019/2020 he was board 1 for the Leighton Buzzard Chess Club.

Gary is a former Director of Chess Coaching for the (then) British Chess Federation (BCF).

Gary lives in Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes and is an IT consultant and local councillor. He has been a former Director of the BCF.

Gary Kenworthy (holding board) at a BCF National Club Final (1992)
Gary Kenworthy (holding board) at a BCF National Club Final (1992)

Gary Kenworthy at the 2012 UKCC Terafinal
Gary Kenworthy at the 2012 UKCC Terafinal

Happy Birthday GM Willie Watson (18-iv-1962)

William Watson
William Watson

BCN wishes Happy Birthday to GM William Nicholas Watson (18-iv-1962)

William Watson
William Watson

Here is his brief Wikipedia entry

William Watson at a BCF National Club Final (top left)
William Watson at a BCF National Club Final (top left)

William Watson (2nd from left)
William Watson (2nd from left)

William Watson (2nd from left)
William Watson (2nd from left)