James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

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John Upham
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James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby John Upham » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:53 pm

I note with little enthusiasm that the latest series of The Apprentice is due to pollute our screens. :cry:

One of the candidate egotists is James McQuillan who claims that he is a former child chess champion.

http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/the-apprentice/the-apprentice-2009-james-mcquillan/

Does anyone have any evidence that might support his claim?
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Nick Thomas
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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Nick Thomas » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:03 pm

It's probably GaryMc's brother 8)

Richard Bates
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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Richard Bates » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:03 pm

21st in the country at age 9, apparently.

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby John Upham » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:34 pm

Richard Bates wrote:21st in the country at age 9, apparently.


Where did you discover the above?

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Richard Bates » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:56 am

John Upham wrote:
Richard Bates wrote:21st in the country at age 9, apparently.


Where did you discover the above?

J.


No idea about the original source but sounds authentic...

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=1001503

So about 150 strength then! :lol:

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Neill Cooper » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:19 am

I assume 21st was his highest ever placing. (According to whom?)

Since he is now 32, does anyone remember the 9 year olds from 1986?
Anyone have the 1986 grading list?

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Richard Haddrell » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:21 pm

Neill Cooper wrote:Anyone have the 1986 grading list?

Yes, and he's not in it.

That is the published BCF list, which excludes the less active players and also, for some reason, the whole of the NCCU. I haven't got, or can't find, the full list of people with any games at all. I've got the previous year's, again with NCCU missing, and he's not in that.

Perhaps he wasn't living in Surrey at the time. Anyone got the 1986 NCCU list? If he's not in that, I think he was champion of his primary school.

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Leonard Barden » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:46 pm

I have a very dim memory of this name and think he might have been a Scot at the time. At that period when we ran junior squad events I had an arrangement with John Glendinning that he could bring down a Scottish group selected by him. So I suggest directing the inquiry to the SCA grader.

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Alex McFarlane » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:22 pm

I've passed this on to Douglas Bryson the Scottish Grader. If I get anywhere I'll let you know.

There was certainly a set of twins called McQuillan from Airdrie at about that time.

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Leonard Barden » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:34 pm

Since writing my previous post I've discovered that Chess Scotland has an all-time junior list for various ages. There are only nine 9-year-olds on it, none of them named McQuillan, and the lowest of the nine is rated 1050. At age 14 there is SG McQuillan in 15th place and I suspect now that this may have been the player I dimly remembered.

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby E Michael White » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:17 pm

Not sure why I am getting into this but my guess is that we are perhaps looking at the wrong year and should examine 1985.

To be described as the 21st best 9 year old is a little odd. The BCF used to produce lists of the top 10 and sometimes the top 20 players at each age but not the top 30. The only way I can see someone calling themselves the 21 best 9 year old is if they were 21st in the BCF U9 championship the year before or a similar event.

If he is 32 now and born in say June 1976 he would have been eligible for the U9 in 1985 as ages are on the previous Aug 31 when he would have been 8.

Like LB I recall the name McQuillan in the past from Scotland. Now the 1985 British Championships were held in Edinburgh and probably attracted many Scottish players so if anyone has a record of that event, which is probably shown in the BCF year books around then, maybe they could investigate the U9 and U10 during 1985/6.

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby LozCooper » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:43 am

I may be able to help here. I played in the British Under 14s in 1984 which was won by Dale James and S McQuillan (see page 36 of the 2009 yearbook). Given that McQuillan is an unusual name I suspect this is the one and only McQuillan despite the anomoly in initial. I think his name was Steve and he was Scottish but as it's 25 years ago and my meory not being as good as it used to be I could be wrong. My main memory of this event was Dale turning up in a suit for his last round game, obviously confident of tournament victory!

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby John Saunders » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:35 pm

Seems very unlikely indeed that someone who is 32 (and therefore born around 1976/7) could have won the British U14 championship aged about 8 in 1984 and not had his name splashed all over the chess media. S McQuillan must surely be discounted - unless, of course, J McQuillan is lying about his age...

Whenever some non-chess person tells me that they know someone who plays chess, for some reason they always refer to them as a 'chess champion'. Ditto, the general media. 'Chess champion' is usually just hyperbole for 'keen chess player'. Often you discover that the 'championship' - if it existed at all - was of their class at primary school or some such nonsense. People are always making exaggerated claims of chess strength, and exhibitionists/self-publicists who appear on reality TV programmes can be expected to do this even more.
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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby LozCooper » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:45 pm

He would have been 12 or 13 I guess but one assumes it's either a relation or the age of 32 is incorrect.

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Re: James McQuillan : former child chess champion?

Postby Alasdair MacLeod » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:23 pm

Talking of a different programme...

Richard Colfer in 'Krypton Factor' ...said he represented England 4 times or something as a junior.

I was a bit sceptical of this but he is in the ECF grading database, where he last had a grade back in 2005 -160 at the time.


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