Happy Birthday Peter Griffiths (15-viii-1946)

Peter Griffiths (15-viii-1946)
Peter Griffiths (15-viii-1946)

BCN sends Happy birthday wishes to Peter Griffiths

Peter Charles Griffiths was born on Thursday, August 15th, in 1946 in Birmingham, Warwickshire. His mother’s maiden name was Ward.

Peter was a strong player active from the 1960s until 1989. He played in the British Championships more than once and was a professional coach and writer. He wrote the column “Practical Chess Endings” which appeared in the British Chess Magazine. The column commenced in the December 1972 issue and columns became less frequent until around 1991.

Peter Griffiths (far left)
Peter Griffiths (far left)

He wrote Exploring the Endgame

Exploring the Endgame
Exploring the Endgame

and co-authored Secrets of Grandmaster Play with John Nunn.

Secrets of Grandmaster Play
Secrets of Grandmaster Play

and wrote Improving Your Chess

Improving Your Chess
Improving Your Chess

and Better Chess for Club Players

Better Chess for Club Players
Better Chess for Club Players
Peter Griffiths (far left)
Peter Griffiths (far left)

Happy Birthday IM John Pigott (15-viii-1957)

IM John Pigott at the 2020 Gibraltar Masters. Photograph courtesy of John Saunders
IM John Pigott at the 2020 Gibraltar Masters. Photograph courtesy of John Saunders

BCN wishes IM John Pigott all the best on his birthday (15-viii-1957)

John Christopher Pigott was born in Croydon, Surrey and his mother’s maiden name was Fletcher.

In 1975 John was selected by the BCF junior selectors and travelled with Jonathan Speelman and Peter J Lee (Hampshire) to the 8th Biel International Open in Switzerland. Leonard Barden wrote in the October 1975 British Chess Magazine (the cover was of Geller and Smyslov) :

“17-year-old John Pigott’s 8.5/11 included wins against IM Kluger, IM Messing and the 1975 Budapest Champion Rajna and earned him 2,000 Swiss francs in prize money. The three English juniors who competed, Pigott, Speelman and Lee were chosen by the BCF junior selectors and travelled to Switzerland with the help of grant from the Slater Foundation and the London Chess Club.”

John represented England at the 1975 Anglo-Dutch match (25th and 26th of October) scoring 0.5/2 versus Paul van der Sterren. The game scores appear to either have been lost on not recorded.

In 1976 John scored 4.5/5 in the Surrey Open and shared the 3rd, 4th and 5th prize.

The caption is in the photograph below
The caption is in the photograph below
The caption is in the photograph above
The caption is in the photograph above

John became a FIDE Master in 1984 and an International Master in 2017, a gap of some 33 years!

John plays for Little Heath, 4NCL Barbican, Hon Members LCCL and King’s Head chess clubs.

After a sojourn from chess John returned to the ECF grading list in January 2015 with a grading of 269F attracting some attention.

His highest FIDE rating was 2419 in February 2018 at the age of 61.

With the white pieces John plays the Queen’s Gambit and the Giuoco Piano.

As the second player John enjoys the Sicilian Najdorf and the Nimzo Indian Defence.

Jon Speelman’s Agony Column #40

Happy Birthday to FM Andrew Smith (15-viii-1959)

FM Andrew Smith at the 2019 British Championships in Torquay, courtesy of John Upham Photography
FM Andrew Smith at the 2019 British Championships in Torquay, courtesy of John Upham Photography

BCN wishes Happy Birthday to FM Andrew Smith (15-viii-1959)

Andrew Philip Smith became a FIDE Master in 1994 and is registered with the Irish Chess Union.

His highest FIDE rating was 2310 in July 1994 at the age of 35.

FM Andrew Smith, photographer unknown
FM Andrew Smith, photographer unknown

He plays for Bourne End Chess Club in the Buckinghamshire League and in the Berkshire League.

Andrew also plays for 4NCL Barnet Knights (he has played for Atticus), Buckinghamshire CCA in the Chiltern League and Hon Members LCCL.

He has won the Berks & Bucks Congress in 2018 and 2016 (joint) and he became Berkshire Individual Champion as a direct consequence winning the Cadogan Cup.

With the white pieces Andrew is (almost) exclusively a 1.e4 player favouring the Centre Game

and as the second player Andrew plays the Philidor Defence and the Benoni.

He is known to favour “enterprising” variations such as the Mason Variation of the Philidor, the Haldane Attack versus the French and other such exotica.

British Chess Magazine, Volume CXXXII (132), Number 7 (July) front cover features FM Andrew Smith from the final 4NCL weekend of the 2011-2012 season, courtesy of John Upham Photography
British Chess Magazine, Volume CXXXII (132), Number 7 (July) front cover features FM Andrew Smith from the final 4NCL weekend of the 2011-2012 season, courtesy of John Upham Photography

FM Andrew Smith at the 2019 Keith Richardson Memorial, courtesy of John Upham Photography
FM Andrew Smith at the 2019 Keith Richardson Memorial, courtesy of John Upham Photography