Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

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John Upham
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Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by John Upham » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:23 am

A fairly lengthy tribute including previously unpublished photographs of FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

may be be found here :

https://britishchessnews.com/2020/09/16 ... 6-ix-2009/

Thanks to the Littlewood family for their kind assistance. :D
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

Nick Ivell
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Nick Ivell » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:45 am

An excellent tribute. What a wonderful player John was.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:58 pm

FM hardly does him justice! (Needless to say). I remember him beating Sadler in 1990 (at the British) and Luke McShane in 4NCL in the late 1990s. They were already IMs by then. Goodness knows how old he was by then.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:05 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:58 pm
FM hardly does him justice! (Needless to say). I remember him beating Sadler in 1990 (at the British) and Luke McShane in 4NCL in the late 1990s. They were already IMs by then. Goodness knows how old he was by then.
Well, his being born in 1931 may just provide you with a clue there :P
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:22 pm

oh, it's my habit to leave research to others on this forum. We have RdC, after all.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Nick Ivell » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:15 pm

FM was a joke. I can't imagine there's much argument there.

He gave the great Botvinnik a scare, for starters.

If John had a weakness, it was a tendency to over-rate his position; but he was a very fine player indeed. I learnt a lot from him.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:02 pm

"If John had a weakness, it was a tendency to over-rate his position; but he was a very fine player indeed. I learnt a lot from him."

I only played him once, but I didn't have a clue what was going on, and I normally have some sort of idea, even when I lose horribly.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:35 pm

Nick Ivell wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:15 pm
FM was a joke. I can't imagine there's much argument there.

He gave the great Botvinnik a scare, for starters.

...
Did he miss something though, or not? Whether it was a scare perhaps depends on how far in advance Botvinnik saw ...c2+. I imagine the English spectators at the time must have been going wild for a while, though

Leonard Barden
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Leonard Barden » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:09 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:35 pm
Nick Ivell wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:15 pm
FM was a joke. I can't imagine there's much argument there.

He gave the great Botvinnik a scare, for starters.

...
Did he miss something though, or not? Whether it was a scare perhaps depends on how far in advance Botvinnik saw ...c2+. I imagine the English spectators at the time must have been going wild for a while, though
I was watching the game. Botvinnik saw everything. He played ...c2+ very calmly and quietly for dramatic effect.

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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:26 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:09 pm
Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:35 pm
Did he miss something though, or not? Whether it was a scare perhaps depends on how far in advance Botvinnik saw ...c2+. I imagine the English spectators at the time must have been going wild for a while, though
I was watching the game. Botvinnik saw everything. He played ...c2+ very calmly and quietly for dramatic effect.
In the post-mortem, perhaps? ...c2+ wasn't played in the game according to the two game scores I've seen.

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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Leonard Barden » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:01 pm

Memory errs. It was 19...Nf6 that Botbinnik played very calmly. Litttlewood at first didn't understand, then when he saw the point went into a long think in search of a resource. Botvinnik didn't get up from his chair but sat there patiently waiting, and a couple of times adjusted his tie, which was well known as a sign that he liked his position.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:20 am

Has there ever been a stronger father-son combination in chess than theirs?
Rather reluctantly, I confess to sometimes being subversive in this forum. I feel it takes itself too seriously and I am, perhaps, too proud of my working-class upbringing.

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Paul Cooksey
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Paul Cooksey » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:28 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... er_and_son

yes, but seems a bit disrespectful to discuss in this thread.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:24 am

That's a much longer list than I realized. But like you said, perhaps that's for a seperate thread.
Rather reluctantly, I confess to sometimes being subversive in this forum. I feel it takes itself too seriously and I am, perhaps, too proud of my working-class upbringing.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Remembering FM John Littlewood (25-i-1931 16-ix-2009)

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:17 pm

Which does at least inform us that (rather surprisingly) Paul Littlewood still doesn't have his own Wikipedia article.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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