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GH Hardy

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:48 pm
by Joseph Conlon
The famous early 20th century mathematician GH Hardy played chess at least socially, and makes various references to it in some of his lectures or writings (e.g. comparing proof by contradiction (favourably) to gambits, saying that the chessplayer gambits a piece but the mathematician gambits the entire game).

The question: are there any records of any actual games he played? Or is anything more known about his chess other than indirectly via Hardy's own references in his writings?

Re: GH Hardy

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:13 am
by MJMcCready
In assuming he went to Cambridge or Oxford,he may well have games found in their archives in their many forms. That aside where he resided some games may appear in local newspapers, especially if he participated in a simul. Other than that I don't know what else to suggest. That he was an amateur but distinguished in another field helps but not greatly.

I imagine the fellow you refer to is the same posted here. ... ramanujan/

Re: GH Hardy

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:27 am
by John McKenna
Being one of the foremost mathematicians of his day - and an avid cricket fan - chess, in any shape or form, certainly came a poor third at best.

Perhaps Hardy dabbled more in chess problems than playing the game itself.

Any casual games he may have indulged in may, indeed, be buried deep in the archives if any record of them exists at all.

NB: There are 4 games of an uncertain Hardy on which at first sight look plausible until you look at the dates they were played.

Re: GH Hardy

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:36 am
by Matthew Turner
Those games are probably Otto Hardy 1927 - 2010

Re: GH Hardy

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:36 am
by Joseph Conlon
I'm writing a short article on Hardy which was the reason for the query.

I know he played as there is e.g. a bet in the New College (where he was for a decade) betting book as to whether or not some other don had defeated Hardy at chess. I doubt he played in tournaments, but his enormous professional distinction might have led someone to record a casual game, or take note of his play in a way they would not for a genuine unknown.

Re: GH Hardy

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:59 pm
by James Pratt
Matthew - yes, played by great friend Otto.

Chess problems the hymn tunes of Mathematics from 'A Mathematician's Apology' (1940) appears om pp 222-3 of 'King, Queen and Knight' (Batsford 1975).