BCN remembers Gerald Frank Anderson MBE, DFC (24-ii-1898 23-viii-1984)
From British Chess (Pergamon, 1983) by Botterill, Levy, Rice and Richardson we have an article written by John Rice :
“Gerald Frank Anderson was born in South Africa on 23 February 1898, and has published nearly 500 problems of many different types. From the start he was a versatile composer, and Weenink’s The Chess Problem (see introduction) contains two three-movers of his illustrating anticipatory half-pin (see Diagram I) a reflex-mate in two dating from 1920 and a selfmate in four from 5 years earlier, when the composer was only seventeen.
1st prize , Hampshire Telegraph & Post, 1920
White mates in 3
(All Solutions contained in scan at foot of article.)
It must have been exciting for a budding problemist to grow up in the period between 1913 and 1924 when the Good Companion Chess Problem Club of Philadelphia was publishing its Folders of original work containing outstanding examples of complex strategy such as half-pins and cross-checks. Diagram II, with its intricate battery play, won first prize for Anderson in the Folder of October 1917.
1st prize, Good Companions, October 1917
Diagram III is a justly famous two-mover, with a perfect key and beautiful line-play:
IL Secolo, 1919
White mates in 2
Between 1953 and 1961 Anderson was with the British Embassy in Washington and a close friendship developed with the American composer Vincent Eaton.
In the introduction to his published collection of Eaton’s best problems (Memorial to V. L. Eaton, 1971) Anderson describes his visits to Eaton’s house where they would work for hours on joint compositions (nine of them altogether, eight prize winners)- ‘blockbusters’, as they themselves termed them. Diagram IV is one of these, a highly complex check-prevention scheme.
1st prize, British Chess Magazine, 1953
(with V.L. Eaton)
White mates in 3
A glance through the anthologies shows how successful Anderson has always been with orthodox forms, perhaps especially with three- and four- movers and with selfmates. Diagram V is a characteristic selfmate in two, with a good deal more strategy than many composers achieve in selfmate form:
2nd prize, British Chess Federation Tournament, 1947
Selfmate in 2
Since his retirement Anderson has lived for much of the time in Italy, where the air seems to be conducive to the composition of reflex-mates, for that is the genre with which he has principally been occupied in recent years. Diagram VI is a good illustration of his style; a couple of changed continuations, and subtle play centered on the two diagonals b5-f1 and c6-h1. (A reflex-mate is a selfmate in which both sides are under an obligation to mate on the move if possible). In this problem White has to keep his active line-pieces (Q and B) well out of the way of the potential mating diagonal.
1st prize, The Problemist, 1975
Reflex-mate in 2
In addition to the Eaton anthology mentioned above, Anderson has published Adventures of my Chessmen
and Are There Any?, the latter being a fascinating collection of Kriegspiel problems. He was President of the British Chess Problem Society from 1962 to 1964, and became a FIDE International Judge in 1960 and an International Master in 1975.”
From The Encyclopedia of Chess (Robert Hale, 1970 and 1976) by Anne Sunnucks :
“International Judge of FIDE for Compositions (1960). Born on 23rd February 1898. Won the DFC in 1914-18 war. Foreign Office (Retd.) First problem published in 1912, since when he has composed nearly 500 problems, mostly 3 and 4 movers. but has latterly switched to Fairy chess problems. He is one of the the great reflex and self-mate composers. Edited a section Chess Amateur 1921, Nottinghamshire Weekly Guardian 1937-1938, Anglo-Portuguese News 1945-1946, and Self-Mate Section of The Problemist 1964-1966. Author of Are There Any? a book about Kriegspiel problems and A Memorial Volume of Chess Problems of VL Eaton.”
His MBE was awarded in the 1959 New Year Honours list. The citation reads : “Gerald Frank Anderson, DFC, Second Secretary, Her Majesty’s Embassy, Washington.”
From The Encyclopaedia of Chess (Batsford, 1977), Harry Golombek OBE we have this by John Rice:
“British problem composer, output about 550 problems., orthodox and fairy. Books : Adventures of My Chessmen; and Are there Any? (1959 – a fascinating collection of Kriegspiel problems); Vincent Eaton Memorial (1971 – an annotated anthology of Eaton’s work). President of British Chess Problem Society, 1962-4. International Judge (1960), international master (1975).”
From chessgames.com :
“G. F. Anderson, in 1946, was working in the British Embassy in Lisbon, and, as a highly skilled chess player (he was also known for composing chess problems as early as 1919), was nominated to deliver the challenge from Botvinnik to Alekhine. He played a game with the World Champion in the Embassy and it became the last recorded game by Alekhine.”
Here is the original article from British Chess (Pergamon, 1983) by Botterill, Levy, Rice and Richardson by John Rice :
From CHESS, July 1946 (and also The Anglo-Soviet Radio Chess Match) :
Since Ernst Klein came to England in 1935 his play has earned our ungrudging admiration. Born in Vienna, 1910, he learned chess at the age of eleven. His grandmother taught him the moves, his father having died when he was eight. Steinitz was a frequent guest in his grandparents house. At eighteen, he shared first, second and third prizes in the Championship of Vienna. Before coming to England, he had lived for some years in Switzerland, France and Italy and his French, German and English are equally impeccable. In his last tournament at Bournemouth, in 1939, he finished equal with Flohr after Euwe ahead of König, Landau, Aitken and others. He met his wife, who is an Englishwoman, during the blitz. They were married in 1944. He holds a London University degree and teaches mathematics in Southend.
About 1940, he offered to give any opponent in Great Britain the odds of the draw.; his challenge was never taken up, no doubt owing to the conditions of the moment, but we imagine there would be many “takers” if it were repeated now.”
Later, Klein clarified matters by writing What I said was: “I am ready to accept the challenge of any player in this country and am prepared to give the odds of a draw in a contest at least twelve games if he so wishes. That is, I offered to concede victory on a score of 6 : 6 draws counting, which is the necessary and sufficient condition to justify my offer. It is still open.
BCN wishes Happy Birthday to Dinah Norman on August 21st
Dinah Margaret Dobson was born on Wednesday, August 21st 1946 in Exeter, Devon. Her parents were Leslie and Barbara Dobson (née Hayward).
She was taught to play Chess by her late father at the age of 9. Started playing seriously when she attended Rickmansworth Grammar School and Watford Chess Club. Her first tournament was the London Girls Championship which she won in 1962. Dinah was coached by Leonard Barden and Bob Wade.
Dinah’s tournament successes were as follows :
1962 London Girls’ Champion
1963 Southern Counties (SCCU) Girls Champion
1963 Southern Counties (SCCU) Ladies’ Champion
1964 Joint British Girls Champion (three way tie with Gillian Moore and Marcia Syme)
Dinah played as 1st reserve for England in the third FIDE Women’s Olympiad in Oberhausen, Germany in 1966 and in 1969 she played board 1 in Lublin, Poland.
1967 and 1969 Joint British Lady Champion shared with Rowena Bruce after a 4 game playoff
1968 British Lady Champion
1970 American Open Ladies Champion
1975 Winner of first ever Female Grand Prix (as Dinah Wright)
1976 Winner of second Female Grand Prix
Dinah became a WCM in 2002.
She was 9th in the World Over 65 Ladies Championship held in Bled in November 2018.
She is current holder of the Gibraltar Cup.
According to chessgames.com : “Dinah Margaret Norman Dobson is a WCM. She was British champion (w) in 1967 (=Rowena Mary Bruce, Oxford), 1968 (Bristol) and 1969 (=Rowena Mary Bruce, Rhyl).”
She played in the 1968 Anglo-Dutch match on the Ladies board, which, at that time, did not count in the overall match result.
Now (1971) living in Northwood, Middlesex, she married Danny Wright in Westminster and in 1983 she married Ken Norman in Richmond.
Dinah has been a member of Crowthorne Chess Club and has played in the Berkshire League. She has represented 4NCL Iceni and Guildford in other competitions.
According to Megabase 2020 her highest FIDE rating was 2085 in July 1990 at the age of 44. However, it would have been higher than this in the late 1960s and 1970s had ratings been established then.
With the white pieces she has essayed the Colle-Koltanowki Opening for many years and as the second player she has played the Caro-Kann, Smyslov Variation and the Semi-Slav Defence.
BCN sends IM Malcolm Pein best wishes on his 61st birthday.
Malcolm Bernard Pein was born in Liverpool (South). South Lancashire and his mother’s maiden name is Max. (Gaige, Felice and chessgames.com all incorrectly have Malcolm L. Pein).
This was written about Malcolm aged 19 just prior to the 1979 Spassky vs the BCF Junior Squad simultaneous display :
” London University and Liverpool, Rating 199. British under-18 co-champion, 1977. Currently No.1 player for London University.”
Malcolm studied Chemical Engineering at University College, London entering in September 1978. He won The University of London championship in February 1979. The runner-up was John Upham also from UCL.
He became an International Master in 1986 and is a FIDE Delegate (for England) and an International Director.
Malcolm’s peak rating was 2450 in January 1992 at the age of 32.
With the white pieces Malcolm prefers the Queen’s Gambit almost exclusively with 1.e4 rarely seeing the light of day scoring 62%
As the second player, Malcolm champions the Pirc, Modern and Grunfeld defences scoring 49% which MegaBase 2020 claims is “above average”.
Malcolm plays for 4NCL Wood Green and Liverpool.
In addition to his newspaper column and magazine editorial, Malcolm has written a number of chess books and booklets, including :
The Exchange Grunfeld [with Adrian Mikhalchishin] (Everyman, 1996) – ISBN 978-1857440560]
“Malcolm Pein’s contribution to English Chess is well known. He is CEO of Chess in Schools and Communities, has been largely involved in the organisation of the London Chess Classic and is currently the ECF’s Delegate to FIDE and International Director. On top of all that he is also an IM, writes the ‘Daily Telegraph’ Chess Column, and edits CHESS Magazine.”
Malcolm is also owner (and a director) of the London Chess Centre (a company incorporated on May 1st 1997) which has relocated to 44, Baker Street, former home of the British Chess Magazine retail premises. This was purchased from Stephen Lowe and Shaun Taulbut in 2010 when the leasehold on the Euston Road premises expired. Another director is Henry Gerald Mutkin who is the main organiser of the annual Varsity match.
Malcolm has a son, Jonathan who is a strong player and he resides in London, NW7.
In 2021 Malcolm stood as an alternative to Mike Truran in the contested election for CEO. On October 9th 2021 following “detailed and amicable discussions” with Mike a away forward was agreed and Malcolm agreed to remain as International Director of the ECF and Mike remained as CEO.
On the “glorious twelfth” of August we celebrate the birthday of one of England’s most popular chess players and writers, IM Bill Hartston.
William Roland Hartston was born in Willesden, Middlesex on Tuesday, August 12th, 1947. His father was William Hartston, a significant member of the Royal College of Physicians who was married to Mary Roland. Bill has a sister.
He studied at the City of London School and then studied mathematics at Jesus College, Cambridge and graduated with a BA in 1968 and an MA in 1972, but did not complete his PhD on number theory.
While studying for his PhD at Cambridge, Hartston developed an intricate system for balancing an entire chess set on top of a single rook. Here is an article with an explanation letter from Bill.
Bill married Dr. Jana Malypetrova in January, 1970 in Cambridge. In 1978 Bill married Elizabeth Bannerman, also in Cambridge and from that marriage he had two sons, James and Nicholas.
Bill became an International Master in 1972 and his highest FIDE rating was 2485 in January 1979.
With the white pieces Bill almost exclusively played 1.e4 and the Ruy Lopez.
With the black pieces Bill played the Sicilian Taimanov and the Czech Benoni.
Bill is a self-proclaimed follower of Prof. AJ Ayer (See the Acknowledgements in “Soft Pawn”) Clint Eastwood and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
Bill was the chess correspondent of The Independent and The Mail on Sunday. He was also a regular presenter and commentator for television. He worked with Jeremy James on the BBC’s Master Game. and has appeared on ITVs Play Chess
In modern times Bill has made regular appearances with World Cluedo champion, Josef Kollar on Channel Four’s Gogglebox with a pair of painted breasts as background.
Bill revived the Beachcomber column in the Daily Express.
Bill is an industrial psychologist.
Curiously the 1984 edition of the usually reliable The Oxford Companion to Chess by Hooper and Whyld does not have an entry for the twice British Champion : was this simply an oversight ? Jana is also not mentioned.
Bill wrote about himself in British Chess (Pergamon, 1983) :
“To summarise more than 20 years of playing competitive chess in a few hundred words is an impossible task. My attitude to the game has changed a great deal, especially in recent times, but I have always enjoyed and felt at home in the tense and lively atmosphere of chess tournaments, whether as a competitor, spectator or journalist.
I consider myself lucky to have been a ‘promising junior’ just at the time when chess was beginning to be taken seriously as a sport in England. The English team consisted mainly of amateurs and there were clear opportunities for anyone willing to work at the game.
As a result of the changing attitudes to the game in this country, the development between 1965, when I first played for the national team, and 1975 was far greater than in any other decade.
One statistic which I have always found personally amusing is that I progressed from youngest player in 1967 for the Clare Benedict tournament to become the oldest in the 1971 team. From promising junior to veteran in four years = is this a record ?
Since my second British Championship win in 1975, I have been writing more and playing less. I always realised that I was not going to become a sufficiently strong player to be happy just wandering round the tournament circuit, but giving up chess entirely is, of course, unthinkable.
I believe now that the time is ripe for chess to be presented to far wider audiences and I like to think that some of what I do will help in that aim. If the Master Game television series and “Soft Pawn” cannot sell chess to the masses then nothing will.”
“Hartston played hardly at all during the period from my last entry of him in the 1977 diary and that little, though respectable, was hardly the performance of an active master. His equal 3rd to 5th at the big Aaronson’s Masters Tournament (a swiss system event with 72 players) did not really affect his rating and indeed he finished up without changing his Elo rating at all.
Nevertheless, this glimpse of his true powers was impressive as can be seen in the following game which was played in the 6th round of the Aaronson tournament.”
From The Encyclopedia of Chess(Robert Hale, 1970 & 1976) by Anne Sunnucks :
“International Master (1972) and British Champion (1973) William Hartston was born in London on the 12th August 1947. He was taught to play chess by his father when he was seven and five years later joined Enfield Chess Club. His results in junior events included 1st in the London Boys’ Under 16 Championship and 2nd in the British Boys’ Under 15 Championship in 1962 and =2nd in the British Boys Under 18 Championship in 1963.
In 1965, Hartston made his first appearance in the British Championship and came =5th. In the same year he won the Ilford and Paignton Premier tournaments. Playing on board 3 for England in the 1966 Olympiad. Hartston scored the best result of any British player, 66.7%.
In the Olympiad of 1970, he had the best overall score on board 3, 12.5 out of 16 and in the Olympiad of 1972 he won the prize for the 3rd best score on board 2, 12.5 out of 18. In 1972 he narrowly failed to qualify for the Interzonal tournament, when he came 3rd in the Zonal tournament at Vranjacka Banja.”
“British International Master and twice British Champion. Hartston was born in London and his early chess was played there., where he became London Boy (Under-16 Champion in 1962.
He was educated at the City of London School and Jesus College, Cambridge, where he took a degree in mathematics.
It soon became clear that he was one of the leading young players in England and a rivalry developed between him and Raymond Keene in which first one and then the other obtained the upper hand.
After a number of near misses he won the British Championship at Eastbourne in 1973 and again at Morecambe in 1975.
Internationally he has already had a distinguished career and has been especially good and consistent in his representation of England at the Olympiads. At Havana in 1966 he scored 66.7% on board 3 but did not play at Lugano in 1968. Again on board 3 at Siegen in 1970 he obtained the best score on board 3 with 78.1%.
At Skopje 1972 he fulfilled the second norm of the international master title with 12.5 points out of 18 on second board. Playing on first board at Nice 1974 he attained 52.7% and had a most meritorious and well fought draw with the World Champion, Karpov.
He achieved a breakthrough in the field of international tournament chess when he came third in a strong Premier tournament at Hastings 1972/3
and in 1973 he scored a first at Alicante.
His best tournament result came three years later when he won 1st prize at Sarajevo 1976.
His style of play is sound and competent in all the spheres of the game. That he can be brilliant when necessary he demonstrated his beautiful brilliancy game against the Finnish grandmaster Westerinen at Allicante in 1973. He has a fine, broad knowledge of the openings and has written a number of articles and books on that theme.
A lucid and entertaining writer, he has also appeared with success in BBC Television chess programmes.
Among his chief works are :
The Benoni, London, 1969 The Grunfeld Defence, London, 1971 The Best Games of CHO’D Alexander (with H. Golombek), Oxford, 1976.”
William Davies Evans was born on the 27th of January, 1790 at Musland Farm in the parish of Saint Dogwells, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 5DT. His parents were John (a farmer by trade) and Mary Davies. William was baptised on September 21st 1814 in Steynton, Pembrokeshire. The service was conducted by WM Lloyd, Curate of Burton, Pembrokeshire.
It would appear from baptism records (Steynton) that WD had a younger brother Robert Joseph, baptised on the same day in September.
From The Oxford Companion to Chess (OUP, 1984) by Hooper & Whyld :
“Inventor of the Evans gambit, for about half a century one of the most popular attacking weapons. He was born in (Musland Farm in the parish of Saint Dogwells,) Pembroke, Wales, went to sea at the age of 14, was employed by the Postal Department from about 1815, and rose to the rank of captain four years later. In 1824, soon after taking command of the first Royal Mail steam packet to sail from Milford Haven to Waterford, and while aboard, he invented his gambit.
Evans was a keen player. He gathered a small chess circle in Waterford, and when on leave in England played chess in London, notably in 1826 when he showed his gambit to Lewis and McDonnell, and in 1838 when he played a long series of games with Staunton at the Westminster Chess Club.
In Jan. 1840 he was pensioned off on account of ill-health. He went to Greece, became captain of a steamer that sailed the Mediterranean, and returned to London at the end of 1842. During the next 13 years there are several accounts of his presence in London, and then he settled abroad. He died and was buried in Ostend,
Evans claimed to have solved the three pawns problem (See below) , which, however, had already been solved by others.
His claim to the invention of tri-coloured lighting for ships has not been verified independently, although he is known to have investigated the subject. For this invention he states that the Tsar of Russia gave him a gold chronometer, and that he also received money. For a more detailed life of Captain Evans see British Chess Magazine, 1928, pp, 6-18.”
The Evans Gambit is a variation of the Giuoco Piano or Italian Game:
When Evans originally devised his gambit the move order was slightly different :
in which White sacrifices the b-pawn for increased central control and development viz :
From The Encyclopedia of Chess (Robert Hale, 1970 & 1976) by Anne Sunnucks :
“Inventor of the Evans Gambit, an opening described by a player in the last century as ‘A yellow fever attack : if you live through the initial stages and avoid any carelessness that may bring on a relapse, you will come out alright’.
Captain Evans discovered the gambit in about 1824. It was a favourite opening during the last century and was adopted by a number of leading players including La Bourdonnais and Morphy.
For some years Commander in H.M. Royal Mail Packet Service on the Milford and Waterford station, Captain Evans later became Commander in the P.& O. Company’s service and agent for the Royal Mail Steampacket Company, Port Grande. On retirement he lives for many years in Holland and Belgium.
The story is told of how, in 1870, the Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia, brother of the Tsar, was visiting Bruges when he heard that the inventor of the Evans Gambit was living in Ostend. Being a keen chess player he invited Evans to play a game. When Evans had won, the Grand Duke turned to his adversary and said : ‘I believe you invented the Evans Gambit ?’, ‘Yes’ replied Evans ‘and it’s not the only thing I’ve invented for which you have not paid me.’ ‘What’s the other?’ asked the Grand Duke.
Evans then explained that he was the inventor of the ship’s lights which were being used by the Russian Navy, in which the Grand Duke held the rank of Admiral. Several months later Evans was invited to the Russian Consulate in Ostend, where he was handed a letter from the Grand Duke, a gold chronometer, a gold chain and a draft of money, ostensibly in payment for the Russia’s rights to use the captain’s invention in her ships. ”
Evans analyzed the “Little Game of Chess” (an endgame composition involving only two kings with three pawns each)
to independently discover that it actually won for the player who moves first, not drawn as had been believed for over a hundred years.
From The Encyclopedia of Chess (Batsford, 1977) by Harry Golombek we have :
“After his retirement Evans went to live abroad and eventually found a haven in Ostend and there, ill, and almost blind and in very straightened circumstances, he dictated a letter on 22 March 1871, which was published in the Gentlemen’s Journal supplement for June 1872, along with an appeal for him organised by George Walker.
The letter gives the authentic facts of his life and is worth quoting in full, if only to refute various unfounded reports about a meeting with the Tsar’s brother, or according to that rich source of misinformation, the Rev GA MacDonnell, that the Evans Gambit was discovered off the coast of Africa by a middle-aged lieutenant in the Royal Navy -perhaps the reverend gentleman was confusing Waterford with the Canary Islands.
The letter runs :
Williams Davies Evans is a native of Pembrokeshire, South Wales, and was born on 27 January 1790. He commenced a naval career at the age of fourteen. He was about twenty-eight years of age when he first learnt the moves of the game of Chess. Having the advantage of frequent practise with Lieutenant H. Wilson, R.N., who was a player of some reputation in his time, beside corresponding on the subject of the game with the late Mr. W. Lewis, and also with George Walker, the able Chess Editor of Bell’s Life , he made a rapid progress in the game. Captain Evans received at first the odds of a Rook from Lieut. Wilson. After a continuance of play for some years, the odds were greatly reduced, until ultimately Captain Evans succeeded in defeating his formidable antagonist playing even.
About the year 1824, being then in command of a Government Mail Steamer, the passages between Milford Haven and Waterford were favourable to the study of the game of Chess and at this time he invented the Gambit, which bears his name. The idea occurred to him while studying a narration of Giuoco Piano in Sarratts’s Treatise on Chess.
Captain Evans was the first who gave to the world a true solution of that very difficult end game, the King and three Pawns unmoved against King and three Pawns also unmoved. This position was handed down to us through a period of some centuries as a drawn game, but Captain Evans proved that the first player can always win.
Captain Evans acquired some celebrity as “Inventor of the System of Tri-Coloured Lights for Ships to Prevent Collisions at Night”, which has been adopted by all nations possessing a marine. For this invention the English Government awarded him the sum of £1,500 , and the Czar of Russia a gold pocket chronometer, value £160, together with a donation of £200.
The subscription that amounted to over £200 was too late. He died in 1872 and was buried in Ostend where his grave bears the inscription :
To the sacred memory of William Davies Evans, formerly Commander in the Post Office and Peninsular and Oriental Steam Services, Superintendent In the Royal Mail Shipping Company, and inventor of the system of tri-coloured light for shipping. Also well known in the Chess World as the author of the Evans Gambit
BCN wishes happy birthday to Barry Barnes (01-viii-1937)
Barry Peter Barnes was born in Brighton and his mother’s maiden name was Simpole. (Barry is a cousin of Julian Ivan Peter Simpole, who was a Brighton school teacher and who taught Edward Gerard Winter to play chess).
Barry now lives in Halling, Rochester, Kent with his wife Jean.
From The Encyclopedia of Chess (Robert Hale, 1970 & 1976) by Anne Sunnucks :
“International Master of FIDE for Chess Compositions (1967) and International Judge of FIDE for Chess Compositions (1967).
Born on 1st August 1937, Barnes works in transport advertising. He has composed about 250 two-move problems. With Lipton and Rice, he has contributed to the advance of the modern two-mover. Problem Editor of Two-Move and Twin sections of The Problemist. Co-author with M.Lipton and JM Rice of The Two-Move Chess Problem : Tradition and Development (Faber and Faber 1966).
“A promising career as a county chess player came to an end when I was given Brian Harley’s classic book Mate in Two Moves in the belief that it would help my chess, but it had quite the opposite effect. My interest in competitive chess waned, and I was on the road to an an International Master title for problems!
Early influences in my problem career were the weekly chess problem solving competition in The Observer (my first problem published there was in 1955), a teenage friendship with J. M. Rice and M. Lipton (both now lnternational Masters), Herbert Grasemann’s book Problem Schach / with its near revolutionary post-war German problem ideas, and the expert British problemist, A. R. Gooderson who had I but known it only a few years earlier was the officiating master when my Hove Grammar School played Steyning Grammar at chess.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the genuinely original problems I was making in cooperation and in competition with Rice and Lipton were being published mostly abroad in such specialist problem magazines as Die Schwatbe (with its inspired two-move editor, Hermann Albrecht) where I gained the epithet the English prize-snatcher’! It was also written that the work of the avant-garde composers, Rice, Lipton and Barnes, was like a fresh two-move wind blowing from our island. It was sad but true at that time that the specialist magazine of the British Chess problem Society (founded 1918), The problemist, was unreceptive to change and our often bizarre ideas.
A milestone of sorts was reached when I won lst prize for problem I in 1958, a prize for the best new problem by a member of the British Commonwealth aged under 21. In 1966, I was invited by problemist Grandmaster Comins Mansfield, who was President of the FIDE Problem Commission, to act as Secretary at the Barcelona meeting. With Mr. Mansfield’s retirement, I became the British Member to the Commission, and at the Wiesbaden meeting, 1974, I was elected 2nd Vice-President. (1st Vice-President from 1982)
The FIDE Problem Commission meets annually to discuss matters relating to all branches of problem chess, to organize the World Chess Composing Tournament (WCCT), the World Chess Solving Competition (WCSC), and to publish FIDE Album anthologies of the best problems. It was on the strength of my success in these FIDE Albums that the Commission granted me the titles in 1967 of ‘lnternational Master of the FIDE for Chess Composition’ and ‘lnternational Judge of the FIDE for Chess Composition’. Since 1974, I have been Chairman of the Titles Sub-Committee of the Commission.
Since 1965, I have been the two-move editor of The Problemist and have served almost without break on the BCPS Committee. I have contributed to The Encyclopaedia of Chess by Anne Sunnucks (Robert Hale, 1970), I am co-author, with J. M. Rice and M. Lipton, of The Two-Move Chess Problem: Tradition & Development‘ (Faber A Faber, 1966), and I am the sole author of Comins Mansfield MBE: Chess Problems of a Grandmaster: (British Chess Problem Society, 1976) and Pick of the Best Chess Problems (Elliot Right Way Books, 1976)
To date I have made just over 300 two-movers and some helpmates.”
From The Encyclopaedia of Chess (Batsford, 1977), Harry Golombek OBE, John Rice writes:
“British problem composer, output about 400, nearly all modern style two-movers. Two-move sub-editor of The Problemist. Secretary of the FIDE Problem Commission during C. Mansfield’s Presidency. Co-author of The Two-Move Chess Problem: Tradition and Development (1966).”
Author of Pick of the Best Chess Problems (1976)
Comins Mansfield MBE : Chess Problems of a Grandmaster (1976).
International Judge (1967); international master (1967).
In 2020 the Welsh Chess Union successfully endorsed Nigel’s application to FIDE to become a FIDE Senior Trainer which he became in 2021:
Nigel has had many books and DVDs published :
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