Best Birthday wishes to IM Richard Adam Bates born on this day (January 27th) in 1979.
We send best wishes to IM Adam C Taylor on his birthday.
Adam Christopher Taylor was born on Friday, January 23rd, 1998 in Colchester, Essex. Adam has a sister, Nathalie Leanne Taylor who also plays and studied History & Economics at The University of York. His mother Deborah was always supportive during his chess career.
He attended The Gilberd School, Colchester until 2014 and then Colchester Sixth Form College and currently resides in Colchester.
Adam’s first recorded rapidplay event was the Basildon Junior Congress resulting in a published grade of 34D and his first graded standard play event was the 2009 London Junior Under-12 Championships and his first published standard-play grading was 73E.
In that same year at Torquay Adam won the British Under-12 title sharing with Radha Jain.
Adam made his first 4NCL appearance in May 2012 for SC Stars followed by Anglian Avengers. In 2018 the lure of the big lights of Division One beckoned and Wood Green became Adam’s team now playing for Wood Green Monarchs in the Online 4NCL championship.
In 2017 Adam scored an impressive 6/9 (and =2nd) when he travelled to Greece to play in the Heraklion 1st Capablanca Memorial.
The Hastings Open in 2018 saw an excellent =7th with 6.5/10.
Adam’s IM title was ratified in June of 2019 in Baku and currently (January 2021) holds a FIDE standard play rating of 2347 and an ECF standard play rating of 2260A. His highest ECF standard play grading was 230A in July 2019. We expect this to be exceeded once OTB play resumes.
Battersea Chess Club celebrated Adams’s title in style with this article written by Leon Watson
Adam has played for Bury St. Edmunds and Manningtree and now Battersea in the London League and Wood Green in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) and has made many appearances in the UKCC Terafinal.
On the 13th of September 2019 Adam became the sole director of MakingGrandmasters Limited which lists on its web site a number of leading young English players engaging in coaching such as Matthew Wadsworth, Ravi Haria and Daniel Fernandez to name but a few.
One of Adam’s more notable students is Guildford Chess Club member Jessica Mellor who, in 2018, won Gold in the Under-11 category of the European Schools Championship.
With the white pieces Adam favours a Reti/English set-up where c4 quickly follows a king side fianchetto. Here is a typical game of Adam’s with the white against a strong opponent :
With the black pieces Adam essays the Berlin Defence and the Sicilian Najdorf as well as the Benko Gambit and Nimzo-Indian Defence.
BCN wishes Happy Birthday to Paul Littlewood
Paul Edwin Littlewood was born on Wednesday, January 18th, 1956 in Skegness, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. His parents were John and Jean Littlewood (née) Hadwick. Paul’s chess playing uncle was Norman Littlewood.
Paul attended Glenburn Comprehensive School in Skelmersdale from 1967 and then read Natural Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge from 1974.
Paul played badminton for Lancashire and Cambridge and, in 1971, won the English Schools Mixed Championship when he was 15 years old.
On leaving University Paul taught science at Southbrook Comprehensive, Daventry. Four years later Paul became a dealer at Phillips & Drew and followed this as an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. Stays at Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan were followed by a change of direction and since then Paul has been director of various food supply companies retiring in 2014.
Paul is married (3rd November 2006) to (his second wife) Fiona and lives in St. Albans, Hertfordshire.
PEL won the ECF President’s Award in 2007 and from the 2008 ECF Yearbook we have the following citation :
“International Master and accomplished bridge player. From British Chess champion (1981) Paul has presided over the 4NCL as chairman during its most successful period. When he became chairman over ten years ago the league consisted of two divisions and 32 teams. The league has now expanded to four divisions and a total of 72 teams. Most of England’s juniors play 4NCL. During this time 4NCL became one of the strongest leagues in Europe, at one time boasting a Division 1 rivalling the Bundesliga in strength in the top matches.
Paul has demonstrated the sound judgement of Solomon when dealing with league disputes and has drawn on his business acumen, honed during a successful career in the City with Goldman Sachs to make 4NCL the financially stable and expanding league it is today.”
Roll of Honour
- British U18 Champion 1972
- British U21 Champion 1975
- British Champion 1981
- As a junior represented England in Glorney Cup
- International Master 1980
“Paul Littlewood was destined to become a strong player from birth. His father John was for some time one of the strongest players in the country and represented England on many occasions. His uncle Norman was for a few years not far behind. Paul, however, has surpassed them both and has become the first in the family to reach IM status. (Ed: JEL was very much worthy of the IM title but insufficient events of the right type held him back).
All three are essentially attacking players. There have been times in recent years when play at the Hastings Premier has become dull. However, Paul one of the English representatives at the last three tournaments, was certainly not to blame. (His game against Brito of Brazil which follows is a striking example of this).”
Coached by his father, Paul became British U18 champion in 1972 and three years later became British U21 champion.
Clearly more interested in an academic career he went up to Cambridge and then followed his father into the teaching profession. Opportunities to play in strong tournaments were thus very limited. These opportunities, however, were grasped in both hands. Three times in thirteen months between August 1978 and August 1979 he obtained an IM norm and thus the title.
The first caused a sensation as it was totally unexpected. He shared first place at Lloyds Bank ahead of several grandmasters including Shamkovich, who was the first grandmaster he ever defeated.
Eight months later Aaronson Masters was won and then came the final norm, also at Lloyds Bank.
Tournaments abroad were limited although he represented England students. He did play at Kringsja (2nd equal) in 1978 and Borovo where he scored 6.5.13 finishing ahead of 3 GMs.
In 1981 came his finest achievement – winning the British Championship with a massive 9/11.
His father who was also competing in the championship was as proud as could be and deservedly so (he also coached Sheila Jackson who retained her British Ladies Championship that year). His excellent all round play took him to the title and only once during the tournament did he stand worse. His endgame play was so good that CHESS even published an article solely on these endings.
Duties at school in Daventry meant he was, in February 1982, unable to take part in the zonal at Marbella. This followed an excellent Hastings when as British Champion he made a plus score – a rare event indeed.
In the summer he gave up teaching and joined Phillips & Drew (stockbrokers). He now (ed : this was in 1983) lives with his (first) wife Sue and family in the wilds of Essex (Billericay).
Paul gives a simultaneous display in Letchworth.
Happy Birthday FM Jonah Willow
Jonah B Willow was born in Nottingham on Monday, December 30th 2002. Jacob was the most popular boy’s name in 2002. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem was number one.
Jonah has a chess playing sister, Hambel, who plays for Newcastle-under-Lyme, West Nottingham, Staffordshire CA and Nottinghamshire CA.
Jonah’s first recorded graded standard play tournament was the 2010 Delancey UK Chess Challenge Terafinal and his first recorded rapidplay event was the Nottingham Rapidplay in 2011.
Jonah’s first published standard play grade was 96D in January of 2012 :
Jonah has represented West Nottingham, 4NCL Wood Green, Nottinghamshire CA and Syston (Leicester).
It is a little curious as to the reason for the rating profile to halt at the end of 2018 since Jonah has played plenty of FIDE rated games since. Compare the above with :
Jonah has plus scores against : Mike Surtees, Peter Svidler (!), Richard Pert, Peter Shaw, Ranesh Ratnesan, Shreyas Royal, Keith Arkell and Ameet Ghasi to name but a few.
With the white pieces Jonah is a committed 1.e4 player but he has scored 83% with 1.Nc3!
Jonah plays the unusual Chekhover Variation (4.Qxd4) in the 2…d6 Sicilian : this is an interesting alternative and is discussed by GM Ben Finegold :
GM Varuzhan Akobian :
Jonah plays the Four Knights game with white.
As the second player he plays the Accelerated Dragon and the Modern Benoni.
He has his own Twitch TV channel.
On chess.com he is JonahWillow and his highest chess.com rating has been 2863 on April 5th 2020.
Best Wishes to IM David Eggleston on his birthday.
David James Eggleston was born on Tuesday, December 22nd 1987 in Sunderland, County Durham to Ian and Janet Eggleston (née Robson). David has a brother, Thomas A, also born in 1987 who plays chess to a high standard (2178 in 2020). Thomas also plays for Durham City and for 4NCL North East England.
There is one game in Megabase between the brothers from round 5 of the Durham Open in 2003 which resulted in a 13 move draw. They shared the 1st prize with 4/5.
David currently resides in Durham and plays for Durham City in the North East League and for Cheddleton in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL).
David became a FIDE Master in 2007 and an International Master in 2013.
According to ChessBase David’s peak FIDE rating was 2434 aged 26 in December 2013. However, this could easily be surpassed.
With the white pieces David is a staunch e4 player playing open Sicilians, the Italian Game and 3.Nc3 versus the French and the Caro-Kann.
As the second player David plays the Najdorf and the Nimzo-Indian Defence.
David has one book, published in July 2014 : Hacking up the King published by Mongoose Press :
We send birthday wishes to GM Neil McDonald born on this day (January 21st) in 1967.
From Wikipedia :
Neil McDonald (born 21 January 1967) is an English chess grandmaster and a player on the international chess circuit. He is an English Chess Federation coach, who has trained many of the country’s strongest junior players. McDonald is a regular coach of the English junior team and was Head Coach of the English Chess Federation team at the Greece World Schools Championship in 2013. He regularly escorts blind and partially sighted chess players to international World Championship events and is also a chess writer.
McDonald authored the French Defence monthly updates on chesspublishing.com from October 1999 until March 2009, 1 e4 … updates from November 2009 until January 2010, 1 e4 … from June 2014 until February 2015 and returned to 1 e4 … in March 2017 until January 2018.
Neil shared first place in the 1986 GLC Masters with Jonathan Levitt, was outright first at the Elekes Memorial, 1995, first at The Leinster IM Tournament in Dublin, 1997, and other tournaments since. Neil plays for Wood Green in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL).
He became an International Master in 1986 and was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1996.
McDonald obtained his FIDE Trainer qualification in 2016.
Neil is a prolific and successful author, most recently with “Coach Yourself”
but also thirty eight titles for Chess Press, BT Batsford Ltd. and Everyman Chess Books.
We send best wishes to IM Ali Mortazavi on his birthday, this day (January 20th) in 1971
Ali is a British IM who was a successful trader in the financial markets.
In the FIDE directory he is listed as a Councillor in the Global Strategy Commission (GSC).
He was a professional player and became the CEO of Silence Therapeutics (SLN) :
Ali reached his hightest FIDE rating of 2410 in July 1994 aged 23.
He has played for Beeson Gregory in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL). He played at the Isle of Man Open in 2018 but sadly, little since.