Tag Archives: English

Death Anniversary of Alan Phillips (28-x-1923 24-vi-2009)

Alan Phillips (riight) receives his prize from television celebrity and magician David Nixon for his equal second placing at the 1973 Islington Open, photographer unknown
Alan Phillips (riight) receives his prize from television celebrity and magician David Nixon for his equal second placing at the 1973 Islington Open, photographer unknown

BCN remembers Alan Phillips (28-x-1923 24-vi-2009)

Here is his far too brief Wikipedia entry

From Chessgames.com :

“Alan Phillips, joint British Champion in 1954, was born in England in 1923. He was the author of Chess: 60 Years on with Caissa and Friends (Caissa Editions, 2003) and The Chess Teacher (Cadogan, 1995).”

Here is an item from the Shropshire Chess web site

Here is Alan Phillips autobiography from his own book, Chess: Sixty years on with Caissa & Friends

“Born in Stockport in 1923,I was playing pontoon in an air-raid shelter in the autumn of 1940 with a friend from our school, Stockport Grammar, when he suddenly announced that he knew a better game, being the school chess champion. Ostensibly studying for a Cambridge Scholarship with a view to reading Classics, I played about 200 games with Norman Stephens, emerging the victor perhaps because I studied Alekhine’s and Euwe’s games, obtained from the Public Library, whence I had been borrowing difficult piano works for the previous two years. When I got up to Magdalene in 1941, I found standing next to me in the University Chess Club Wykehamist James Lighthill, destined to become, arguably, our greatest applied mathematician of the second half of the last century; I played chess with him one evening a week and piano duets another, and as Match Captain and Hon.Sec. in my second year – shared top board, while now supposedly reading Italian, as a War Office scheme, and French, languages I unfortunately then considered beneath contempt, compared with the glory that was Greek.

Alan Phillips plays David Hooper on August 20th 1954 in round five of the British Championships in Nottingham, photographer unknown
Alan Phillips plays David Hooper on August 20th 1954 in round five of the British Championships in Nottingham, photographer unknown

Enrolled but not commissioned – the War Office having ratted on its promise to a large bunch of first-class linguists – in the Army Intelligence Corps from August 1943 to October 1946,I spent nearly three years abroad in Sicily and Palestine, riding a motor-bike – our American equivalents in the CIC were mostly majors or colonels and rode in Cadillacs – and playing, when stationary, much music with singers and violinists, especially in Palestine, and chess with the Captain of the Harbour in Sicily, a charming moustached Neapolitan who got about three draws in 300 games, and then in Haifa, Hadera and Jerusalem chess clubs, beating the youth champion of Palestine and Aloni when he played simultaneously, but losing to Porath, and enjoying ‘skittles’ in cafes with many other players of near-master rank. Demobilised and put, like the Goons, on the Z-reserve in autumn 1946, I went back to Cambridge to read Classics Pt II and found Peter Swinnerton-Dyer, as far as I know our best number theorist of the past fifty years, waiting for me – we tied for the University Championship having begun a series of trips to Hastings with Alan Truscott, and later continued to Birmingham for the Midland Championship, which I won in 1951. I usually won prizes in increasingly strong sections at Hastings except in two Premiers, 1950-1 and 1954-5, when my emotions were otherwise engaged, as happened in the British Championship in 1952, when, after I had beaten all the best players and scored 7/8 with three rounds to go, a girl-friend turned up and I lost my last three games, refusing a draw in round nine in a not superior position, not out of arrogance, but in order to clinch the title.

Alan Phillips and Leonard Barden are joint British Champions of 1954 in Nottingham, photographer unknown
Alan Phillips and Leonard Barden are joint British Champions of 1954 in Nottingham, photographer unknown

Otherwise, with one or two exceptions, I only lost to the strongest players in the British Championships I played in, i.e. 1949-55 and 1961, tying for first place at Nottingham 1954 and coming third equal in a very strong Championship at Aberystwyth 1955, which earned me a place as Board 6 on the English team at the Moscow Olympiad in 1956, where I only drew against Luxembourg, and lost to Geller, but drew in two cases from bad positions with Johner, Sanguinetti and Ghitescu.

David Hooper (left) in conversation with Alan Phillips. Location and photographer unknown.
David Hooper (left) in conversation with Alan Phillips. Location and photographer unknown.

In l96l I moved up to Derbyshire, where – though playing top board for Manchester as well as the county – having switched to Maths teaching after several years part-time study at Birkbeck and acquired offspring as well as promotion, I also started annual visits to Dartington Summer School of Music, now totalling 38 out of a possible 40, all of which made it virtually impossible for me to play in tournaments, apart from the odd visit to Hastings or fairly strong week-end tournaments, e.g. Ilford, which I won for the second time in 1973, beating Basman. My responsibilities on my return to London as Head of Charlton School in 1967, where I got Bob Wade to teach chess as part of mathematics in the Lower School, and then of Forest Hill School, where we organised many tournaments, although I played generally as top board for Kent, whom I led twice to victory in the County Championship in 1975 and 1976, meant that I had even less time for tournament chess, except at Islington and in the Challengers, so that my real heyday ended there, with a final move to a ‘quiet’ county, Shropshire – as far as chess was concerned – as Adviser for Secondary Education and Area Adviser, 1976-82, in which capacity I avoided as much paper-work as I could and taught chess in the lunch-hour to all the primary and handicapped pupils I visited. I should say most of my successes at chess have been at County Level, where I played top board for Cambridgeshire and London University, as well as the counties mentioned, and in the very strong London League, as far as I can estimate I had a success rate of some 70% in those contests. In general the games in this book, with one or two exceptions for historical or anecdotal reasons, were played at high levels, and won by the right player, not suddenly lost by a blunder, like some games published nowadays because the blunder is perpetrated by a famous player.

Photograph taken in Hastings on 28 December 1950. Lord Dunsany (standing on the right) is watching the first-round game between Alan Phillips and Weaver Adams, source : http://boylston-chess-club.blogspot.com/
Photograph taken in Hastings on 28 December 1950. Lord Dunsany (standing on the right) is watching the first-round game between Alan Phillips and Weaver Adams, source : http://boylston-chess-club.blogspot.com/

With regard to the general assessment of players and tournaments, I have only one comment “Look at the games!” When even, or especially, David Bronstein wails “They give me a number”, I think it time to end a spuriously precise system and revert to the earlier English practice or the traditional Soviet one of putting players in classes, preferably according to a sufficiently large number of results in tournaments or strong club or county matches. And when players are inhibited, when the match is won, from offering an opponent, who has played well, a draw, that is a diminution of sportsmanship, so a draw, even with Kasparov, should not count in grading. Finally the use of seconds or computers once a game is started should be
regarded as totally unsporting, and players should be put on their honour, as bridge-players are in matters of cheating, not to use them.

I should like to dedicate this book to the memory of my good friends, David Hooper, Stuart Milner-Barry, and A.R.B.Thomas, men of integrity, humour, and many other talents, who brought to their chess the same qualities of courage and sportsmanship they showed in the rest of their lives.

Alan Phillips (28-x-1923 24-vi-2009) : Source : https://www.shropshirechess.org/History/1970s.htm
Alan Phillips (28-x-1923 24-vi-2009) : Source : https://www.shropshirechess.org/History/1970s.htm

Alan Phillips
British Master, Joint British Champion 1954
Thorn Cottage, Appleton Thorn, Warrington, Cheshire
September 2003″

Obituary of Alan Phillips by John Saunders from British Chess Magazine, 2009. Part One
Obituary of Alan Phillips by John Saunders from British Chess Magazine, 2009. Part One
Obituary of Alan Phillips by John Saunders from British Chess Magazine, 2009. Part Two
Obituary of Alan Phillips by John Saunders from British Chess Magazine, 2009. Part Two

Here is his obituary from The Times of London

The Chess Teacher
The Chess Teacher
Chess: Sixty years on with Caissa & Friends
Chess: Sixty years on with Caissa & Friends

Birthday of FM Terence PD Chapman (19-vi-1956)

FM Terence PD Chapman (19-vi-1956)
FM Terence PD Chapman (19-vi-1956)

Birthday of FM Terence PD Chapman (19-vi-1956)

Terry became a FIDE Master in 2013. His peak rating was 2331 in October 2013.

The ever youthful Terry represents Barbican Youth in 4NCL.

FM Terence PD Chapman (19-vi-1956)
FM Terence PD Chapman (19-vi-1956)

Birthday of IM Jovanka Houska (10-vi-1980)

IM Jovanka Houska
IM Jovanka Houska

BCN wishes many Happy Returns to IM Jovanka Houska ! (10-vi-1980)

From Wikipedia :

Jovanka Houska is an English chess player with the titles International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM). She is an eight-time winner of the British Women’s Chess Championship.

Jovanka Houska, photographer unknown
Jovanka Houska, photographer unknown

Jovanka was born in London and became a Women’s International Master in 1999, a Woman’s Grandmaster in 2000 and an International Master in 2005. Her peak rating was 2443 in July 2010 at the of 30.

Jovanka Houska, photographer unknown
Jovanka Houska, photographer unknown

She plays for 4NCL Wood Green and her brother is IM Miroslav Houska. Her father Mario plays for Slough.

Jovanka Houska and family members
Jovanka Houska and family members
IM Jovanka Houska, courtesy of John Upham Photography
IM Jovanka Houska, courtesy of John Upham Photography

Dangerous Weapons : Caro-Kann
Dangerous Weapons : Caro-Kann
Starting Out : The Scandinavian
Starting Out : The Scandinavian
Play the Caro-Kann
Play the Caro-Kann
Opening Repertoire : The Caro-Kann
Opening Repertoire : The Caro-Kann
The Mating Game
The Mating Game

IM Jovanka Houska, courtesy of John Upham Photography
IM Jovanka Houska, courtesy of John Upham Photography

Birthday of GM Jonathan Levitt (03-vi-1963)

GM Jonathan Levitt
GM Jonathan Levitt

From Wikipedia (Dutch version) :

Jonathan Levitt , Jon, (born in 1963) is a British chess player . In 1984 he became a FIDE International Master and in 1994 a FIDE Grand Master.

GM Jonathan Levitt, photograph by Cathy Rogers
GM Jonathan Levitt, photograph by Cathy Rogers

Levitt wrote chess anecdotes on the (no longer existing) chess portal kasparovchess.com . He also has a chess column in “Oxford Today”. Levitt is also known for his talent tests and he is also a chess teacher. Moreover, he is a master in endgame studies. He takes chess photos, some of which can be seen in Wikipedia.

Jonathan Levitt in play with Michael Adams, Lloyds Bank, 1990, Philidor, 1/2-1/2
Jonathan Levitt in play with Michael Adams, Lloyds Bank, 1990, Philidor, 1/2-1/2

Levitt is also the author of several chess books: “Secrets of Spectacular Chess”, “Genius in Chess”, “Advice on Improving Your Game”. He also makes chess videos for the internet.

From chessgames.com :

“Jonathan Paul Levitt was born in Southwark (London), England. Awarded the IM title in 1984, he is now a GM (1991) and a composer of problems. Winner of the Staunton Memorial in 2005. His notable works as an author include “Secrets of Spectacular Chess” and “Genius in Chess”.”

Jonathan achieved a peak rating of 2495 in January 1989 at the age of 26 and lives in Ipswich.

He shared 1st place the GLC Masters in 1986 with 10.5/15 with Neil McDonald :

Jonathan Levitt, ? and Neil McDonald  at the 1986 GLC Masters
Jonathan Levitt, ? and Neil McDonald at the 1986 GLC Masters

GLC Masters crosstable, 1986
GLC Masters crosstable, 1986

and was first equal with Jonathan Speelman in the Third Staunton Memorial in 2005 :

Third Staunton Memorial, 2005
Third Staunton Memorial, 2005
GM Jonathan Levitt, photographer unknown
GM Jonathan Levitt, photographer unknown

Here is his personal web site

Genius in Chess
Genius in Chess
Secrets of Spectacular Chess
Secrets of Spectacular Chess
GM Jonathan Levitt
GM Jonathan Levitt

Birthday of IM Christopher Wallace Baker (29-v-1958)

IM Christopher Wallace Baker
IM Christopher Wallace Baker

Birthday of IM Christopher Wallace Baker (29-v-1958)

Chris was born in Coventry, West Midlands and played in the Staffordshire Open in 1975 (the earliest games held in MegaBase 2020).

Chris has played for Guildford in Four Nations Chess League (4NCL).

He has been the trainer of the Welsh junior team and is a fully-qualified arbiter.

He has taught chess in many schools in the Farnham area of Surrey.

IM Chris Baker
IM Chris Baker

He has authored and co-authored a number of books including the following :

A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire
A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire
Simple Winning Chess
Simple Winning Chess
Learn From Your Chess Mistakes
Learn From Your Chess Mistakes
Dynamic Black Opening Repertoire
Dynamic Black Opening Repertoire
A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire
A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire

Death Anniversary of FM Neil Carr (10-iii-1968 25-v-2015)

FM Neil Carr, British Championships 2013, Torquay, courtesu pf John Upham Photography
FM Neil Carr, British Championships 2013, Torquay, courtesu pf John Upham Photography

Death Anniversary of FM Neil Leslie Carr (10-iii-1968 25-v-2015)

Here is his obituary from Stewart Reuben

Here is an article from Kingpin Magazine by Jon Manley

Here is an article from EssexChess

The Neil Carr Scholarship Prize

Here is a game courtesy of Kingpin & the Ilford Recorder

Neil Carr (far right) at Paul Buswell's house
Neil Carr (far right) at Paul Buswell’s house

Here is a tribute from long time friend and London Central YMCA fellow club member, IM Andrew Martin :

Neil Carr (front right)
Neil Carr (front right)
Neil Carr (right) with Neil Fox, Stuart Conquest, Paul Buswell and ?
Neil Carr (right) with Neil Fox, Stuart Conquest, Paul Buswell and ?
Neil Carr (rear right) at a BCF National Club Final (1992)
Neil Carr (rear right) at a BCF National Club Final (1992)
Neil Carr, (foreground, right)  at London's South Bank, Peter Sowray in the background.. Photo by Clive Field, London Chess Association
Neil Carr, (foreground, right) at London’s South Bank, Peter Sowray in the background.. Photo by Clive Field, London Chess Association
FM Neil Carr, London Chess Classic 2013, courtesy pf John Upham Photography
FM Neil Carr, London Chess Classic 2013, courtesy pf John Upham Photography