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 Post subject: Re: Penrose GM, not HGM
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:40 am 
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Penrose became a GM and not the inferior honorary version. How it happened is through another of Bob Wade's services to English chess.

In the late 1970s when Jonathan had virtually finished his over the board career I thought my friend and contemporary was worthy of the GM title. This was round about the time when, for a year or two, I was BCF international grader, so i had some status in putting his name forward. I thought that Penrose's performances in the 1961 Enschede zonal and in the 1968 Lugano Olympiad were of norm level and would satisfy the then regulations. Harry Golombek was FIDE delegate, so I put the matter to him. At that time Fide were going back and awarding some titles based on events from 10-25 years previously.

Thinking that Jonathan's case was slightly marginal, I thought it would improve his chances if a second English player was put up for the title. My crafty plan was to appeal to HG's ego by suggesting that he also put up himself on the basis of his result at Venice 1950 (probably close to a GM norm, and Prins who was half a point in front of HG in Venice did get the title using that as one of his norms), the 1951 Bad Pyrmont zonal, and one or two other events which I now forget.

Alas, the members of the qualification committee were in a mean title-giving mood at that time, were offended by England's presumptuous act of putting up two candidates, and turned both applications down, adding cynically that Penrose (by then in his mid-forties and with the fainting episode at Siegen 1970 and his poor result at Nice 1974 in his history) should try to earn it by future achievements.

There the matter rested for some 15 years. For part of that time Ray Keene was Fide delegate and, knowing he didn't rate Jonathan highly, I felt it was pointless to put his name forward again.

In 1992 or 1993 I visited Bob on another matter and found out in the course of conversation that he was then on the Fide qualifications committee. I suggested he put forward Penrose again. Bob agreed at once, and was emphatic that he would only go for the proper title and not for the HGM version which he regarded as inferior and not for players of true GM strength.

I mentioned Enschede and Lugano and Bob immediately went to his tournament collection and picked out the tournament bulletins for both events. We made out the application between us there and then, and Bob took it to the next qualifications committee meeting.

As he told me later, almost all of these eminent people, chosen presumably for their supposed expertise, hadn't heard of Penrose, knew little or nothing of his achievements, or were unsure whether Enschede and Lugano were sufficient. So they turned to Lothar Schmid, who was present and who they regarded as a fount of knowledge and asked "Lothar, what's your opinion?" As a direct contemporary who knew of Jonathan's achievements, a friend of English chess and of Bob, Lothar gave the application lavish praise and it was granted......

I see that Wikipedia and other sources call Penrose HGM or GM emeritus, but they are wrong.


Last edited by Leonard Barden on Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:54 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Leonard Barden wrote:
For part of that time Ray Keene was Fide delegate and, knowing he didn't rate Jonathan highly, I felt it was pointless to put his name forward again.


Blimey! Didn't rate Jonathan Penrose! Stone the ecking crows!

Bob certainly did; he also regarded Ray Keene highly as well. RDK had shown Bob great kindness as Bob got older and Bob was, of course, very grateful. Mind you, he could also make his typical comment — that wry look of his — when one of Ray's "excesses" came to the conversation — such as when he heard that he had been awarded the "Commonwealth Grandmaster" title by RDK. Penrose was a lifelong friend. Bob always spoke in warm tones of the great help that Lionel Penrose had been when Bob first settled in Europe and Bob had of course known Jonathan and Oliver from their teenage years. Bob wanted at some stage to introduce me to Jonathan, he thought it would be of great help with the book, but I guess that won't happen now.

Nevertheless, "didn't rate Jonathan highly", is a bit silly. Penrose spent most of his playing life in 1a and Richard Clarke noted on several occasions that Penrose had reached the very top of 1a, presumably 248 in today's currency. The first British player to exceed that was Miles, as late as 1978, who was then graded 250. Without spending ages checking, I'm not sure that Keene's BCF grade ever exceeded 248.

Perhaps it was simply the dismissive rivalry of the young to their elders, when they are attempting to surpass them? Or perhaps Keene regarded Penrose more as a national player than an international player?

One suspects that Penrose would have reached even greater heights, if he didn't have a successful professional career demanding greater attention.


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Location: Hayes (Middx)
An updated list.

Sources:
a) Livre d'Or de la Fédération Internationale d'Echecs, FIDE, 1976
b) FIDE Golden Book 1924 - 2002, Wlly Iclicki, FIDE 2002
[Note:- perhaps not 100% reliable]
c) Chess A Biobibliography, Jeremy Gaige, McFarland & Co., 1987
d) ICCF website http://www.iccf.com/downloads/titles/2006_GM.pdf
[Note:- for correspondence GM titles up to 2006]
e) PCCC website http://www.saunalahti.fi/~stniekat/pccc/titles.htm
[Note:- for composition and solving titles]
f) FIDE website
[Note:- doesn't give info about inactive players]
g) English Chess Federation THE OFFICIAL CHESS YEARBOOK 2006
h) BCM 2002, BCM 2003
i) Chessbase website, article titled David Howell becomes a grandmaster at 16, http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3591, viewed 23 Jan. 2009
j) two postings to this thread by Jack Rudd
k) posting to this thread by Leonard Barden
l) communciation from Andrew Burnett


1950 Mieses, Jacques *27.2.1865 Leipzig +23.2.1954 London
1972 Mansfield, Comins (GBR) (PCCC composition) *14.6.1896 Witheridge +28.03.1984 Paignton
1972 Bonham, Reginald Walter (Corr. for Blind) *31-01-1906 +16-03-1984
1975 Richardson, Keith Bevan (ICCF)
1976 Miles, Anthony John *23.04.1955 Edgbaston +12.11.2001; then later, Keene, Raymond D
1976 Hollis, Adrian Swayne (ICCF)
1977 Stean, Michael F
1978 Nunn, John DM
1980 Speelman, Jonathan S
1980 Clarke, Peter Hugh (ICCF)
1982 Mestel, A Jonathan
1982 Miles, Dr. Jana (IWGM) (née Malypetrova, then Hartston, later Miles, now Bellin) (given as CSR by FGB 1924-2002, when did she change nationality?)
1983 Chandler, Murray G (given as NZD, when did he change nationality?)
1983 Penrose, Jonathan (ICCF); Webb, Simon (ICCF) *10.06.1949 London +14.3.2005
1984 Short, Nigel D
1984 Markland, Peter Richard (ICCF)
1985 Plaskett, H James
1985 Golombek Harry (HGM) *01.03.1911 London +1995
1986 Bryson, Douglas Marshall (ICCF)
1987 Flear, Glenn C
1987 Arakhamia, Ketevan (WIGM) (then USSR, later Georgia, now Scotland, as Arakhamia-Grant)
1988 Hodgson, Julian
1988 Lalic, Bogdan (then Yugoslavia, later England, now Croatia)
1988 Arkell, Susan K (née Walker, now Lalic)
1989 King, Daniel J; Adams, Michael; Norwood, David
1989 Povah, Nigel Edward
1990 Gallagher, Joseph (then England, now Switzerland, I think); Watson, William N; Levitt, Jonathan
1991 Conquest, Stuart
1992 Hebden, Mark; McNab, Colin A (Scotland); Motwani , Paul (Scotland)
1993 Davies, Nigel D; Sadler, Matthew; Penrose, Jonathan
1993 MacLeod, Norman Alisdair (GBR) (PCCC composition) *06.12.1927 Glasgow +?
1994 Wells, Peter K
1995 Arkell, Keith; Emms, John; Howell, James;
1995 Muir, Andrew J (Scotland) (ICCF)
1996 McDonald, Neil; Ward, Christopher G; Baburin, Alexander (Ireland)
1996 Prizant, Michael (ICCF); Johnson, Maurice W (ICCF); Kilgour, David A (ICCF) (Scotland)
1997 Kumaran, Dharshan; Summerscale, Aaron P
1997 Hunt, Harriet V (IWGM); Ciuksyte, Dagne (then Lithuania, now England)
1997 Millican, Peter JR (ICCF)
1997 Mestel, A Jonathan (PCCC solving)
2000 McShane, Luke; Parker, Jonathan
2000 Houska, Jovanka (WIGM)
2001 Pert, Nicholas
2001 Brookes, John G (ICCF)
2002 Hall, Richard VM (ICCF); Brooks, Dr Ian S (ICCF)
2002 Lee, Graham (PCCC solving)
2003 Turner, Matthew J (seems to have snuck in as IGM on the Jan 2003 IRL without fanfare)
2004 Coleman, Peter (ICCF)
2004 Jones, Mary E (ICCF LGM)
2004 Nunn, John DM (PCCC solving)
2005 Barber, Jill (ICCF LGM)
2006 Shaw, John (Scotland)
2006 Pugh, John (ICCF)
2007 Howell, David WL; Jones, Gawain CB; Haslinger, Stewart; Aagard, Jacob (Scotland)
2008 Williams, Simon K

Need to find dates for the following (according to FIDE website):
ENG: Daniel W Gormally
ENG WGM: Jackson, Sheila

ENG: Kosten, Anthony - registered as France, when did he receive his IGM title and was he registered as English at the time?

Still not sure that the list is complete or entirely accurate. Know that some more of the players given have passed away; will supply biographical data later.

Would be nice to give biographies of these players, particularly of those no longer with us.


Last edited by Paul McKeown on Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:18 pm 
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At the time in question (late 1970s) Keene believed that Penrose had been insufficiently active in international chess during his period at the top. Keene also had a plus in their personal games and had been present at Bath 1973 and Nice 1974 when Penrose was in decline, so this probably also coloured his view. In one of his own early books, I think on becoming a grandmaster, Keene had a section or chapter attacking Penrose which was toned down by the publisher or editor.


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:27 pm 
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Location: Hayes (Middx)
Leonard,

You know you really have a duty to the chess public in England to write a tell all biography?

Top seller, that's for certain!

Best Regards,
Paul McKeown.


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:45 pm 
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I think Ray thought in particular that Penrose should have played in more international individual tournaments abroad in his peak years rather than concentrate on beating Atkins's record of nine British titles. Jonathan did compete regularly in Olympiads and zonals but otherwise his only major individual events abroad were Mar del Plata 1952 and Palma 1969. Of course he also had a job as a college lecturer plus a wife and children. However Keene in his own peak years played a great deal overseas so saw things differently.


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:49 pm 
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Quote:
At the time in question (late 1970s) Keene believed that Penrose had been insufficiently active in international chess during his period at the top.


I think he held these views back in 1971 as well. After his (only) British Championship win (Blackpool 1971) , he commented that he had no intention of trying to match Penrose's record in the British and that to do so would be counter-productive.

I believe he had a point. Back in the sixties there were no international ratings and no international swiss tournaments. So to play in international events outside of the UK, a British player needed invitations to all play all events. It has been suggested that such invites only went to the British champion. Penrose, one supposes, turned many of these down. Keene's point may have been that if Penrose had played in international events instead of the British Championship then there would have been more opportunities for the "lesser" British players. Penrose should have been sufficiently famous (Penrose-Tal 1960) to get invites in his own name. Certainly Keene himself was able to play in a number of international events from 1971 onwards and being the title holder probably helped.


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:51 pm 
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I suspect the Quaker family heritage would have prevented Penrose from treating chess as a profession. Perhaps a Botvinnik, Spassky or Tal might have had a reason for turning their gift into worthwhile labour, but for those less gifted, there were better ways to serve humankind.


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 pm 
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PH Clarke, not Clark, as his biographer I feel I should speak.

R.W. Bonham (1972) GM of the Blind.

Bogdan Lalic now Croatia, Kosten now France, Mieses should not be listed as English, alhough he lived here, and was recognised as a GM as German, came here to avoid the Nazis, buried in London in Jewish cemetery.

'International Championship Chess' - BM Kazich (Batsford 1974) supplies:

IWM
Rowena Bruce 1951
Jana Hartston 1969
Elaine Pritchard 1957
Anne Sunnucks 1954
Eileen Tramner 1950

IM
Harry Golombek 1950
William Hartston 1973
Raymond Keene 1972
Imre Konig 1951
Cenek Kottnauer 1950
Jonathan Penrose 1961
Robert Wade 1950
-I add using 'Sunnucks Encyclopaedia'
Hugh Alexander 1950
Henry Atkins 1950
William Fairhurst (Scotland) 1950
William Winter 1954
George Thomas 1954


IM of Chess Composition
BP Barnes 1967
CS Kipping 1959
JM Rice 1969

These early masters were possibly inactive when the title was bestowed, Thomas for example had not played since Southsea, 1949, from memory, thus their titles could be seen as honorary perhaps....

James Pratt (Basingstoke!)


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Atkins and Thomas were inactive but their titles were fully fledged and not 'honorary'. In the early years of title awards in the 1950s many were made on the basis of past achievements, but Fide did not then have a "Honorary GM' title.


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:37 pm 
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Quote:
IM
William Winter 1954
George Thomas 1954


According to wikipedia :!: , also Dr Fazekas in 1953.

Looking through the list, those early fifties IMs are for historic life-time achievements. The only qualifying IM through the then FIDE system was Penrose in 1961 until Keene in 1972. So Keene was both the second modern GM (to Miles) but also the second modern IM (to Penrose).


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:01 pm 
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Dear James,

Thanks for the Clarke correction - just a typo - now corrected in the list above.

As for Mieses, to remove him from the list needs evidence. I put him in the list because Livre d'Or de la Fédération Internationale d'Echecs, FIDE, 1976, lists him as having been awarded the Grandmaster title for "Grande-Bretagne". As the source is from FIDÉ, its version of the history of its own awards must only be overthrown with great care.

I have consulted the following:
a) BCM 1949 Vol. LXIX No. 8 p. 266: lists Mieses as having been placed amongst the inaugural list of grandmasters by FIDÉ. German membership of FIDÉ had been denied at that year's Congress, so this is strong evidence that Mieses was awarded the GM title in 1949 as British and a member of the BCF.
b) BCM 1950 Vol. LXX No. 8 pp. 245-248: Wade's report on that year's FIDÉ Congress announces that the FRG and GDR had finally been admitted to FIDÉ. The article also lists the Grandmasters, with the addition of Sämisch (Germany) and Kostich (Yugoslavia), with the title denied Bogoljubov. The nationality of Mieses is not mentioned.
c) Chess Vol. 14 No. 166/7/8 August 1950 pp. 213: provides a list of GMs but omits Mieses (unless I'm missing something)
d) Chess Vol. 15 No. 179 August 1950 pp. 208-209: announces that the FRG and GDR had finally been admitted to FIDÉ. The article also lists the Grandmasters, with the addition of Sämisch (Germany) and Kostich (Yugoslavia). Mieses is in the complete list given but nationaly is not provided by the list
e) Gaige: gives Mieses as having been awarded the title in 1950. Strangely, Gaige omits nationality for Mieses. Some references listed some of which I have and will consult later.

Do you a strong source for Mieses award as having been for German nationality?

Gaige gives Reginald Bonham as having received both IMC for Blind and GMC for Blind, so I will add him to the list, but the date given for both awards is given as "?". Do you have a source.

I prefer to retain Lalic and Kosten on the list, as they were both registered and played for the BCF at some stage. To remove them altogether seems POV. I will note that they have changed FIDÉ registration.

A complete IM list might be useful to construct later.

Best Regards,
Paul McKeown


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:08 pm 
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Roger,

This is a list of GM's! The original 1950 list of IM's includes Alexander, Golombek, Wade and Eileen Tranmer (IWM) to start with. Their awards were certainly not for historic achievements in 1950! The GM lists for 1949 and 1950, though, then your point is made, half of the lists being for past achievements.

Regards,
Paul.


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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Paul

According to http://www.mieses.net:

Mieses emigrierte 1938 mit 15 Mark in der Tasche nach England und nahm Ende der 40er Jahre die britische Staatsbürgerschaft an, weswegen er auch als erster britischer Großmeister gilt.

Quick and approximate translation:

Mieses emigrated to England in 1938 with 15 Marks in his pocket and took British citizenship at the end of the 40s, for which reason he is also considered the first British Grandmaster.

I don't have any documentary evidence of this, though.


Richard

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 Post subject: Re: British Grandmasters
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:21 pm 
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James Pratt wrote:
I add using 'Sunnucks Encyclopaedia'
Hugh Alexander 1950
Henry Atkins 1950
William Fairhurst (Scotland) 1950
William Winter 1954
George Thomas 1954


I had heard before about the unreliability of Anne Sunnuck's encyclopaedia, but never having seen it, never formed a personal opinion on the matter. Having that list put under my nose, makes me immediately want to consign it to the bin. Fairhurst - 1951. Winter - 1950. Sir George - 1950.

Ah well!


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