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Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:16 pm
by Paul Robson
It's was raining outside and no one was playing out . So read the sports section of my mothers Pears encyclopedia which included a section on how play chess . Made a board ,cut out some pieces and the rest is history.
Mind didn't join a chess club until some five /six years later ...the British weather is to blame .

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:12 am
by Matt Rose
I remeber Ray Bott as a nice man and a decent club player (whatever that means - about ECF 170 I think) back in the in the 1970s. He played for Bourne End club as did I. If memory serves he was a university or colleague lecturer rather than a school teacher - his wife was a school teacher. He was stick thin and a very good distance runner - but died unexpectedly and at an early age.

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:47 am
by Richard Thursby
I learned from Ray Keene's "Pocket Book of Chess".

Ray Bott's only game on chessgames.com is against an eminent member of this forum, possibly played not long before he died (Ray Bott, not the eminent forum member).
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1229652

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:52 am
by Ian Kingston
My grandfather taught me to play when I was 10. He used to play in his lunch hour at the power station in Northampton, which speaks of an entirely different chess-playing culture in the late 1960s. He never played competitively and I suspect he wasn't very good, but he enjoyed playing. I think he taught us because he'd just retired and needed someone to play against. Sadly, a stroke put paid to that idea a couple of years later. Somehow the chess bug skipped my father - he never got past learning the moves.

My brother also learned at the same time, so we played against each other. Once my grandfather knew that we were genuinely interested he bought us some books, the first of which was An Introduction to Chess by Leonard Barden. It was part of a series published by Routledge, and as time went by I acquired more from the same series: Further Steps in Chess (Owen Hindle), Lessons in Chess Strategy (W. H. Cozens) and Practical Chess Endgames (David Hooper).

My brother's interest waned, but Fischer-Spassky put chess on the front pages and I continued to read. Somewhere along the way I read My System and Chess Praxis (and many others, including the obligatory Chernev and Reinfeld) and subscribed to BCM, but I didn't get a chance to play in a congress until I was almost 14: the Junior A section at Kettering, 20-22 September 1974. I scored 3/5 and walked away with a grand prize of 50p for a share of third place (there were only 14 players). Up to that point I hadn't even played in a school match.

I think it's interesting that although I did have some opening books (MCO, Keene and Levy's How to Play the Opening in Chess among them) I mostly read game collections or books on strategy. I should have studied tactics more, but I was convinced that I wanted to play like Karpov and Capablanca, and they didn't do tactics (or so I thought!).

I never joined a club, other than at school, while I was a teenager. The nearest club was in Bedford, and the bus service to my village didn't run sufficiently late. My father was already collecting me late from school matches and taking me to the occasional congress, so a weekly late night in Bedford wasn't a practical proposition with three other children in the family. Somehow I became a half-decent player, but I often wonder how much stronger I would have become had I lived in Bedford and been able to play regular chess at the club.

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:59 am
by Roger de Coverly
This was in a club Swiss. It was after his stroke, so he was nowhere near his best. He actually lost on time 15(!) moves short of the time control, but the complications of that line are such that even computer engines change their mind on the assessments as their search depth increases. Positionally the idea to show that Black's development and coordination will defeat White's somewhat larger but dis-coordinated forces.

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:47 pm
by JustinHadi
Ian Kingston wrote:...Somehow I became a half-decent player, but I often wonder how much stronger I would have become had I lived in Bedford and been able to play regular chess at the club.
This story is the same for myself and for a lot of players, you tend to see them in major tournaments which is one reason why I enjoy playing them.

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:46 pm
by Francis Fields
After learning the moves at school around the age of 10 I wasn't any good until I read BH Wood's pocket book on chess. It was a small hardback book with a silver cover and had a diagram on the front.

I also read the entry by Botvinnik in the Encyclopaedia Britannica though I didn't play chess again until 1993 (around thirteen years later).

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:26 pm
by Jon Mahony
Matt Rose wrote:I remeber Ray Bott as a nice man and a decent club player (whatever that means - about ECF 170 I think) back in the in the 1970s. He played for Bourne End club as did I. If memory serves he was a university or colleague lecturer rather than a school teacher - his wife was a school teacher. He was stick thin and a very good distance runner - but died unexpectedly and at an early age.
Would this be him, playing Roger?

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1229652

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:31 pm
by Roger de Coverly
Jon Mahony wrote: Would this be him, playing Roger?

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1229652
That was after his stroke when his playing standard was much lower.

The 1969-70 grading list has him as 157.

Re: How did you learn to play? How has the pattern changed?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:39 pm
by Jon Mahony
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Jon Mahony wrote: Would this be him, playing Roger?

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1229652
That was after his stroke when his playing standard was much lower.

The 1969-70 grading list has him as 157.
Sorry missed that someone had posted the link already.

Yeah, why 17.Kf1? Though it's clear either way the Queen is looking short of squares.