Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

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IanCalvert
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Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by IanCalvert » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:46 pm

I was surprised to learn that Luke hasn't won the British yet. There may well be better formulations of this question but...

Given the corresponding World Championship debates, who are the best British players of twenty year periods going back to 1917, who have not won the British?

I suggest that Luke is one of the best British active players of 1997 -2017 who has not won the British... so far!

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:15 pm

And not this year either. Congratulations to Gawain Jones!

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:34 pm

Agreed about Luke. In the 1980s, surely the answer is Murray Chandler, who frequently played and often came close. He lost a tiebreak game to Speelman in 1986, and went into the last round in 1984 knowing that a win would give him the title - alas, he had Black v Short. He was also playing for a likely share of first in the last round in 1989 but now had Black against Adams (!). Given how much he tried (I think he played virtually every year in the 1980s) - unlike Luke - he probably has the unwanted mantle of being the most "jinxed" leading player of his time.

Of course, if constantly trying counts for much, then there is an honourable mention for Hebden, but only rarely has he still been in contention by the last two rounds and he has always struggled even to be a reserve for the olympiad team.

In the 1970s I wonder about Stean but I really don't know how often he tried, nor to what extent he was always one of our best four or five players.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:32 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote: In the 1970s I wonder about Stean but I really don't know how often he tried, nor to what extent he was always one of our best four or five players.
I think he was one of the seven way tie in 1974. I believe he was the third GM after Miles and Keene and played board 4 in the 1974 Olympiad behind Hartston, Keene and Penrose.

Those with chances for GM titles didn't necessarily play in the British in the 1970s as it wouldn't have offered Norm chances. When Mestel won with 9.5 in 1976, his nearest rival was Andrew Whiteley. I don't think the sponsorship engine to subsidise appearances by the top players had really got going by then.

In an earlier generation, there was Peter Clarke who wasn't able to break the Penrose monopoly.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by Joey Stewart » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:39 pm

I guess there are ancient masters from the early 20th century who never won it either, though the names elude me right now.

Looking through the list, it seems as though the title has been distributed relatively fairly among our top players, though I was surprised to see Brian Eley won it - I thought he was about 200 strength, not a master?
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:21 am

"Brian Eley won it - I thought he was about 200 strength, not a master?"

2340 at best and ratings of British players were much lower than these days. Some of the other winners in the 70s did not have massive ratings then, although they might have climbed afterwards. Anyway, he proved his point by winning it.

Milner-Barry and BH Wood narrowly missed winning it, but you might argue they would have been shock winners as well. Atkins and Yates kept winning it in the early days and maybe someone else should have disturbed them.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:54 am

TH Tylor?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:05 am

Michael Stean was definitely one of our top players in the 1970s and certainly belongs on such a list.
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IanCalvert
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by IanCalvert » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:21 pm

TH Tylor!

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JustinHorton
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:12 am

IanCalvert wrote:TH Tylor!
What made you think of him?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

IanCalvert
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by IanCalvert » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:44 pm

JustinHorton wrote:What made you think of him?
I was just supporting your earlier post: apologies if I got the punctuation wrong!

Leonard Barden
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by Leonard Barden » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:51 pm

I knew Theo Tylor for many years. I played him twice, with a loss in my first British championship (1949) and a win at Paignton. He was the senior law tutor at my college (Balliol, Oxford) and played on the top two boards in Oxfordshire's 1951 and 1952 county championship wins. When the final against Middlesex depended on an adjudicated R v 3Ps ending, we analysed it for several days and it was Tylor, rather than Yanofsky, Persitz or myself who hit on the winning idea which was so subtle that John Nunn missed it in the first edition on his endgame book and had to change it after I pointed out the omission.
Despite all that, I would never consider Theo as a candidate for this thread. His finest performance was at Nottingham 1936 where he was top of the four Englishmen, but that owed something to luck (remember Alekhine's famous comment in the tournament book about drunks in endgames). In general if you look at the many events which Theo played in the 1930s and 1940s his normal result was to hold his own with the pack and be outclassed by the top GMs. I don't think he ever got near to winning the British.
In my opinion, the standout candidate for this thread in that generation was Stuart Milner-Barry, who at his best was of the strength to win the British, and was an imaginative attacker and an opening innovator in the Nimzo-Indian and the French. Unfortunately Stuart suffered badly in the British from last-round nerves, which got the better of him at Buxton 1950 and especially at Aberystwyth 1955 when he was crushed in round 11 by Bob Wade.
In the next generation the best player not to win the British is also clear: Peter Clarke, close several times but never champion.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:00 pm

Are we only considering players who would be eligible for the British under current eligibility rules? Because if not, Anand is an obvious choice (eligible up to 2003, and would surely have won one had he entered in the early 2000s).

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by LawrenceCooper » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:52 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Are we only considering players who would be eligible for the British under current eligibility rules? Because if not, Anand is an obvious choice (eligible up to 2003, and would surely have won one had he entered in the early 2000s).
My first ever opponent in the championship back in 1988 :)

Nick Burrows
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Re: Generational Best Players Never To Win British Championship

Post by Nick Burrows » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:09 pm



Did he use about 4 minutes? :shock:

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