Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

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John Saunders
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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by John Saunders » Sun May 16, 2021 5:02 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 4:19 pm
Was adjudication at move 23 common?
I refer you to my previous comment...
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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sun May 16, 2021 7:35 pm

John Saunders wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 5:02 pm
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 4:19 pm
Was adjudication at move 23 common?
I refer you to my previous comment...
Perhaps I should have been clearer. Move 23 seems very early for a game to be submitted for adjudication. It seems to have been played in an official competition. I'm interested in what time limits were used.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun May 16, 2021 7:53 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 7:35 pm
It seems to have been played in an official competition. I'm interested in what time limits were used.
It does seem rather strange. A telephone match could have been possible, but seems unlikely for Cheltenham/GCHQ v Oxford University. My personal experience doesn't extend before the late 1960s but move rates then would have been 6 per quarter hour which manifested itself as league rates of 30 in 75 minutes or 36 in 90. Slower than that would have been 5 per quarter hour, which was the county match move rate of 40 in 120. The International move rate was 4 per quarter hour, usually 40 in 150. I think National Club would usually use the county match rate.

If for whatever reason, a playing session had to be shortened, they seemed to prefer to cut short the number of moves rather than require the players to play a bit quicker.

I think the BCF/ECF closed its adjudication service some while ago. In more recent times I believe they required a minimum number of moves to have been played.

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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by Geoff Chandler » Sun May 16, 2021 8:58 pm

My bad there, it was move 25....d4-d3. Nothing on score sheet to indicate it was a phone match.

Line drawn under move 20 which indicates a possible time control, line under a few other N.C.C's at move 30. but not all
score sheets have lines added to indicate a possible times control.

Teams not named, exact date was 28th Jan 1957 (a Monday - that may be relevant regarding travel)
Mutkins looks awfully like Mathews in Aitken script though initials and other data confirm Mutkins.

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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 17, 2021 1:02 am

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 8:58 pm
Line drawn under move 20 which indicates a possible time control, line under a few other N.C.C's at move 30. but not all
score sheets have lines added to indicate a possible times control.
On the premise that the British Championship was 40 moves in two and a half hours, is it perhaps plausible that a match in the National Club played on a weekday evening could be 20 moves in one and a quarter? Would 20 moves in an hour have been possible as well? No wonder past generations of British players had reputations of knowing little of endings. Actually 40 moves in 120 minutes scales to 25 moves in 75 minutes.

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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon May 17, 2021 1:10 pm

John Saunders wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 3:49 pm
We don't want to go off-topic.
Why ever not?
David Sedgwick wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:32 pm
This Forum has a long tradition of threads going wildly off topic and of posters making the same point in several threads.

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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon May 17, 2021 1:13 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 8:58 pm
Mutkins looks awfully like Mathews in Aitken script though initials and other data confirm Mutkins.
Mutkin, surely, as given by John Saunders.

I think that the Oxford player must be Henry Mutkin, who was at Oxford University at the time. I am delighted to say that he is still going strong.

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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by John Saunders » Mon May 17, 2021 2:14 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 1:10 pm
John Saunders wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 3:49 pm
We don't want to go off-topic.
Why ever not?
David Sedgwick wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:32 pm
This Forum has a long tradition of threads going wildly off topic and of posters making the same point in several threads.
:lol: :lol: very good, David. I was being a trifle naïve there, wasn't I? A triumph of hope over forum experience...
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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by John Saunders » Mon May 17, 2021 2:42 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 1:13 pm
Geoff Chandler wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 8:58 pm
Mutkins looks awfully like Mathews in Aitken script though initials and other data confirm Mutkins.
Mutkin, surely, as given by John Saunders.

I think that the Oxford player must be Henry Mutkin, who was at Oxford University at the time. I am delighted to say that he is still going strong.
Yes, indeed, David, our mutual friend Henry. There is only one Henry Mutkin. (I feel a football chant coming on...)

Score of the game...



Adjudication after only 25 moves does seem unusual - I'm not sure I've ever played a supposedly longplay game with a time control before move 30 - as does a National Club match played on a weekday. (I haven't checked my own games in this competition but from memory the great majority of them would have been played on a weekend at a time limit similar to county matches.) Unfortunately I haven't been able to discover which team was at home, and a neutral venue is unlikely, but Cheltenham and Oxford are around 40 miles apart, so it might have left little time in the evening to play the match given the considerable travel time involved for one of the teams. So maybe they started at 8pm and played at a rate of 25 moves in 75 minutes in order to finish at 10.30-ish. I've checked a few late 1940s, early 1950s BCF Yearbooks to be see if there were rules for the competition from before it was first held in 1950 but again not found anything. I guess the rules would have been put in a letter and sent out to captains, and may not have been too hard and fast as regards time controls, leaving it to be agreed by the teams.

Regarding Roger's comment about 1950s players' knowledge of endgames: please note that Dr Aitken played plenty of adjournment sessions in other individual competitions, which Geoff has gone to some trouble to record when inputting the games. (It's a pity that other game inputters tend not to do this as it gives a more rounded narrative of a game's development.)
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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by Mick Norris » Mon May 17, 2021 2:59 pm

John Saunders wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 2:42 pm
Adjudication after only 25 moves does seem unusual - I'm not sure I've ever played a supposedly longplay game with a time control before move 30
Taking us off topic :wink: Oldham used to play in a Community centre that shut at 10 pm, so the Manchester League games used to have an initial time control after an hour each, I think, maybe move 24; I sealed move 26 against Dale James (in 2001) but resigned before resumption
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Re: Aitken Game 658 (a mystery)

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon May 17, 2021 9:23 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 1:13 pm
Mutkin, surely, as given by John Saunders.
Hi Dave,

As I said: '...awfully like Mathews in Aitken script though initials and other data confirm Mutkins.' We caught it.

When I first started I was sending John and and Alan (McGowan) photo-copies of Aitken's writing as
the names were new to me. In some cases to them as well!

But eventually I downloaded all the old grading lists I could find, got used to Aitken script and now the
photo-copies are down to one or two a book.

Round about 1955/56 he must have been given a pen for Christmas and stopped writing in pencil, also the older he gets the better he writes!
Which obviously translates into the more games I do the better I am at deciphering what he has written.

But having said that, his score, albeit in descriptive which is OK, is usually/always clear and no mistakes.
I have had to repair just two, one I think he missed a move out, only explanation, and the other he has
clearly written KQ3 and the very next move RQ3+ (he originally meant KB3). that is not bad, not bad at all
from all the moves, and remember this guy loves endings, he has written down.

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