Tag Archives: British

Birthday of FM Peter John Sowray (29-iii-1959)

FM Peter Sowray
FM Peter Sowray

Happy Birthday FM Peter John Sowray (29-iii-1959)

Born in London, Peter obtained his FM title in 1984. He has been a regular member of the very strong Wood Green team. His peak rating (according to Chessbase) was 2384 aged 59 in March 2018. He currently plays for Barbican in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL).

Peter Sowray at the  South Bank See image below for caption
Peter Sowray at the South Bank See image below for caption
Caption for above image
Caption for above image
Peter Sowray watchign Tony Miles at the Lloyds Bank Masters. Sir Jeremy Morse watches.
Peter Sowray watchign Tony Miles at the Lloyds Bank Masters. Sir Jeremy Morse watches.
Peter Sowray (top right) with a victorious Wood Green team
Peter Sowray (top right) with a victorious Wood Green team
FM Peter Sowray
FM Peter Sowray

Here are Peter’s games from chessgames.com

Death Anniversary of Percy Francis Blake (26-iii-1936)

Percy Francis Blake
Percy Francis Blake

Remembering Percy Francis Blake (6-xii-1873 26-iii-1936)

From his Italian Wikipedia entry :

“Percy Francis Blake ( Manchester , December 6, 1873 – Grappenhall , March 20, 1936 ) was a British chess player and chess composer , among the best English problem players of the period 1900 – 1936 .

He composed over 500 problems, most in two and three moves, of which around 160 were awarded (45 first prizes and 40 second prizes). [1]

He was famous for “quiet” keys and continuations, which made his problems very difficult to solve.

He was also a good player and table. In 1890 he won the Manchester club championship and later several local tournaments. In 1894 he won a beauty prize offered by the Manchester Weekly Times . From 1898 to 1912 he was part of the Lancashire team in many team matches between that county and Yorkshire . In 1911 he won the Lancashire championship. [2]”

and from the rather excellent Yorkshire Chess History we have

The following photograph was kindly supplied by Michael McDowell of the British Chess Problem Society :

Percy Francis Blake
Percy Francis Blake
Percy Francis Blake drawn  by Orrett from Manchester Central Library. Known as an example of a "Bristol Board". Supplied by Michael McDowell
Percy Francis Blake drawn by Orrett from Manchester Central Library. Known as an example of a “Bristol Board”. Supplied by Michael McDowell

Birthday of GM Christopher Geoffrey Ward (26-iii-1968)

GM Chris Ward
GM Chris Ward

Birthday of GM Christopher Geoffrey Ward (26-iii-1968)

Here is his Wikipedia entry

GM Chris Ward
GM Chris Ward

From Chessgames.com :

“Grandmaster and British Chess Champion in 1996. He is the author of several chess books, among them Winning With the Sicilian Dragon 2 (2001), Winning with the Dragon (2003) and The Controversial Samisch King’s Indian (2004).”

Chris plays Jiang Chuan Ye at the 1997 England - China match
Chris plays Jiang Chuan Ye at the 1997 England – China match

Here are his games

Chris Ward commentating during the Hastings Congress
Chris Ward commentating during the Hastings Congress

Chris earned his IM title in 1990 and his GM title in 1996. According to Chessbase and Felice his peak rating was 2531 in July 2003 when he was 35.

Chris is President of the English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA), Chris is the Chief Coach of the Kent Junior Chess Association (KJCA). Chris plays for KJCA Kings in the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL).

Chris with the British Championship Trophy from 1996 (Nottingham)
Chris with the British Championship Trophy from 1996 (Nottingham)

“Not sure about best, but 18.Qxf8+ against Summerscale en route to winning the 1996 British Championship will be forever ingrained in my mind. Sorry, Aaron!”
– GM Chris Ward (when asked for his best move)

Source: Chess Monthly 2017 December

GM Chris Ward
GM Chris Ward
Endgame Play
Endgame Play
 The Queen's Gambit Accepted
The Queen’s Gambit Accepted
The Genius of Paul Morphy
The Genius of Paul Morphy
Improve your Opening Play
Improve your Opening Play
Winning With the Sicilian Dragon 2
Winning With the Sicilian Dragon 2
Starting Out: The Nimzo-Indian
Starting Out: The Nimzo-Indian
It's Your Move: Improvers
It’s Your Move: Improvers
Unusual Queen's Gambit Declined
Unusual Queen’s Gambit Declined
Winning with the Dragon
Winning with the Dragon
It's Your Move: Tough Puzzles
It’s Your Move: Tough Puzzles
Starting Out: Rook Endgames
Starting Out: Rook Endgames
The Controversial Samisch King's Indian
The Controversial Samisch King’s Indian
Play the Queen's Gambit
Play the Queen’s Gambit
Starting Out: Chess Tactics and Checkmates
Starting Out: Chess Tactics and Checkmates

Death Anniversary of Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE (25-iii-1995)

Sir P Stuart Milner-Barry
Sir P Stuart Milner-Barry

Remembering Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE (20-ix-1906 25-iii-1995)

Somewhat surprisingly there is no entry in either Hooper & Whyld or Sunnucks but (as you might expect) Harry Golombek OBE does not let us down :

“British master whose chess career was limited by his amateur status but whose abilities as a player and original theorist rendered him worthy of the title of international master.

Born at Mill Hill in London, he showed early promise and in 1923 won the British Boys Championship, then held at Hastings. He studied classics at Cambridge and developed into the strongest player there. At the university he was to meet C. H. O’D. Alexander with whom he played much chess.”

CHO'D Alexander plays PS Milner-Barry
CHO’D Alexander plays PS Milner-Barry

“Though nearly three years younger, Alexander exerted a strong influence over him and both players cherished and revelled in the brilliance of play in open positions.

On leaving the university went to work in the London Stock Exchange (LSE), but his heart was not in the work and he became chess correspondent of The Times in 1938.

By then along with Alexander and Golombek, he had become recognized as one of the three strongest young players in the country. Whilst not as successful as they were in tournaments as the British championship in which stamina was essential, he was a most formidable club and team match player, as he had already shown in 1933 hen he won the championship of the City of London Club ahead of R. P. Mitchell and Sir George Thomas.

Harry Golombek OBE plays Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE
Harry Golombek OBE plays Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE

He played in his first International Team tournament at Stockholm 1937 and was to play in three more such events : in 1939 at Buenos Aires where, on third board, he made the fine score of 4/5 ; in Helsinki 1952; and in Moscow 1956 where, again on third board, he was largely responsible for the team’s fine showing.

In 1940 he shared first prize with Dr. List in the strong tournament of semi-international character in London and then, like Alexander and (later) Golombek, helped in the Foreign Office code-breaking activities at Bletchley Park fr the duration of the Second World War. Staying in the Civil Service afterwards, he rose to the rank of Under-Secretary in the Treasury and was knighted for his services in 1975.

After the war, too, he had some fine results in the British championship, his best being second place at Hastings in 1953.

Though never at home in close positions, he was an outstanding strategist in the open game and it is significant that his most important contribution to opening theory was the Milner-Barry variation of the Nimzo-Indian Defence which is essentially as attempt to convert a close position into an open one (1.P-Q4, N-KB3; 2.P-QB4, P-K3; 3. N-QB3, B-N5; 4.Q-B2, N-B3).

An excellent though infrequent writer on the game, he wrote a fine memoir of C.H.O’D. Alexander in Golombeks and Hartston’s The Best Games of C.H.O’D. Alexander, Oxford, 1976.

The Best Games of C.H.O'D. Alexander
The Best Games of C.H.O’D. Alexander

Here is his Wikipedia entry

Sir P Stuart Milner-Barry
Sir P Stuart Milner-Barry

An obituary from The Independent

Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE
Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE

An article from Spartacus Educational

Here are his games

More on his time at Bletchley Park

Location of his grave

From ChessGames.com :

“Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry was born in 1906. A true amateur, he worked in the British Civil Service and was never able to devote all his time to chess. He was part of the team that worked at Bletchley Park, alongside famed cryptanalyst and mathematician Alan Turing and British chess stalwarts Conel Hugh O’Donel Alexander and Harry Golombek, cracking the German Enigma codes. He worked for the Treasury after the War and in 1954 he was promoted to Assistant Secretary, and then to an under-secretary position.

He placed 2nd at Hastings 1953, played on four English Olympic squads from 1937 to 1956, and was chess correspondent for The Times. His name is also associated with a variation of the Nimzo-Indian Defence (1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♗b4 4.♕c2 ♘c6), the Milner-Barry Gambit in the Advance French (1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4.c3 ♘c6 5. ♘f3 ♕b6 6.♗d3 cxd4 7.cxd4 ♗d7 8.0-0 ♘xd4 9.♘xd4 ♕xd4 10.♘c3) and the Milner-Barry variation in the Petroff Defence (1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘f6 3.♘xe5 d6 4.♘f3 ♘xe4 5.♕e2 ♕e7 6.d3 ♘f6 7. ♗g5 ♘bd7).

Wikipedia article: Stuart Milner-Barry”

Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE
Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE
Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE
Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE
Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE presents Dr. Jana Hartston with the ? prize
Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry OBE presents Dr. Jana Hartston with the ? prize

Birthday of IM Peter Thomas Roberson (22-iii-1989)

IM Peter Roberson
IM Peter Roberson

Birthday of IM Peter Thomas Roberson (22-iii-1989)

IM Peter Roberson
IM Peter Roberson

Peter is IM Squirlolz on chess.com

IM Peter Roberson
IM Peter Roberson

Peter’s games from chessgames.com

Birthday of GM Justin Tan (19-iii-1997)

GM Justin Tan
GM Justin Tan

Birthday of GM Justin Hsien Y Tan (19-iii-1997)

GM Justin Tan
GM Justin Tan

From Chessgames.com :

“Grandmaster (2018).

FM (2013); IM (2015).

Justin Tan is one of Australia’s promising juniors, and is one of two juniors amongst Australia’s top ten players.

International Master Norms

Tan won his first IM norm during the 2013-14 NCL. His 2nd IM norm came at the Caissa GM tournament held in Kecskemet in Hungary in February 2014, and he secured his 3rd IM norm , and the IM title, at the Bunratty Classic 2015 in Ireland on 22 February 2015.

Championships

Tan scored his first positive result against an accredited Master when he drew with WIM Narelle Szuveges in the Noble Park Club Championship in February 2008. Six months later he scored his first win against a master at the Noble Park Grade A Championship when he defeated FM Al-Rashid Abdul Wahab of Iraq. At the age of 12, he competed in the World U16 Championship 2009 that was held in Antalya in Turkey, scoring a solid rating-enhancing 5.5/11. He scored 5.5/9 in the 2011 U14 World Championship, beating the eventual winner FM (and now GM) Kirill Alekseenko in their individual encounter. He first played in the Oceania Zonal 3.6 in 2011 and scored 6.5/9 in the Zonal 3.6 tournament in 2013, earning his FM title under the 50% rule. He placed second to Alastair Cameron in the 2012 Australian U18 Open with 7.5/9 and did well in scoring 6/11 in the 2012 Australian Championship. He was equal second at the Victorian Championship in 2013. In September 2015, he was equal first at the Illinois Open State Chess Championship.

In October and November 2015, Tan contested the World U18 Championship staged in Greece, and placed =4th with 8/11.

Tournaments

<2007-2009> Tan’s first FIDE-rated event was the Arthur Tan Malaysian Open Championship in 2007. His first significant result at the sharp end of the leader board was equal first at the Noble Park Chess Club Open in Melbourne in May 2009.

<2010-2012> In May 2010, he scored his first win against an International Master when he defeated Mirko Rujevic at the City of Melbourne Open. He was equal first at the MCC ANZAC Day Weekender in 2010 alongside Erik O M C Teichmann and Mirko Rujevic, and won the same event in 2012 in Melbourne with 6.5/7. He won the Noble Park Grade A event in 2011, was equal first (second on tiebreak) at the 2011 Noble Park Club Championship, placed fourth in the Noble Park Club Championship 2012, and was equal first at the Noble Park Masters 2012. He finished 2012 by winning the Bob Brooking Round Robin ahead of IMs James Morris and Rujevic.

<2013-2015> 2013 started with equal first at the Noble Park Club Championship. He was equal first at the Canterbury Summer Swiss 2013 held in December 2013 in Melbourne. He chanced his arm at the powerful Isle of Man Masters (2015) held in October 2015, and scored a rating-neutral 4.5/9.

Team Events

6/10 on board 2 at the 2012 World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad, helping the Australia “A” team to 8th place. Tan played board 2 for Oxford 1 in the 2013-14 4NCL, winning his first IM norm during that event.

Rating and Ranking

Tan’s initial rating was 1802 in April 2008. His highest rating and ranking to date is 2446 and Australian #6 in November 2015.”

GM Justin Tan
GM Justin Tan