Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

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John Saunders
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Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by John Saunders » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:36 am

I've just made available on BritBase a major new item: 1,587 games played by Murray Chandler between 1973 and 1989...

https://www.saund.org.uk/britbase/pgn/c ... iewer.html

This showcases the early games of a soon-to-be GM during a particularly exciting and important era of British chess when the weekender circuit was booming. During the summer Murray Chandler made available to me scans of scoresheets which he had discovered amongst his family's effects, and I keyed in the moves. These were mostly from the time he arrived in England in 1975, and well into the 1980s. I've endeavoured to discover the event in which they were played (the teenage Murray didn't always fill in all the fields of his scoresheets), date them, work out round numbers and opponents' names, and then place them in chronological order. I've also examined games of Murray's which have already been published and made amendments and additions to data.

Hopefully forum readers will be able to help in the identification process as there are still some games which I haven't been able to date or assign to a particular event. Perhaps others may have records of their own games versus Murray which may be missing. I have also appended a list of the tournaments that Murray took part in from 1975 onwards as far as I can ascertain.

I've included some of his early New Zealand games but these are being worked on independently by Bill Forster in New Zealand and in the course of time a more comprehensive collection of these will be made available at the Peter Stuart NZ Games Database, which I recommend you to visit. Also, I am still working on adding further detail to Murray's games played subsequent to 1989 and will add these to the collection in due course (there are more than 600 of them).

I can also recommend following Murray's excellent Facebook chess autobiography where he is recounting his chess career in regular Facebook posts, using images of old scoresheets and press cuttings to illustrate the narrative. He's up to number 48 as I write and has just started coverage of his English period in 1975. Together with his collection of games it provides a unique and innovative insight into the career of a grandmaster, particularly during his formative years.
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Nick Ivell
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Nick Ivell » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:33 pm

I'm pretty sure I played Murray twice in 1976. Second time was at Islington, I think.

I'm had a look and cannot find the scoresheet. This is a pity, as I gave a much better account of myself than the pathetic attempt of mine which appears on the database.

Thanks for your hard work John.

Simon Brown
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Simon Brown » Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:44 pm

My game (248) was Hayes (Kent) v Charlton in the Kent League. It was January and Murray was in bare feet!

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:49 pm

I can't help, but wonder whether in the trip down Memory Lane Murray has reflected on his loss to Karpov in the aborted Master Game series in 1983. He annotated it lightly in CHESS saying that he wished he had the courage to sac his queen with ...Qxh2+, and that neither player could defend Karpov's position in the post mortem. Just curious to know the modern day engine assessment, that's all.

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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by John Saunders » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:11 pm

Simon Brown wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:44 pm
My game (248) was Hayes (Kent) v Charlton in the Kent League. It was January and Murray was in bare feet!
Thanks, Simon. I thought that was probably you when I input the game but couldn't be absolutely sure so just put in initials. I've added your full forename now, and made reference to the Kent League. BTW, it's now game 249 as there have been a flurry of amendments today and a handful of games added.
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John Saunders
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by John Saunders » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:18 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:49 pm
I can't help, but wonder whether in the trip down Memory Lane Murray has reflected on his loss to Karpov in the aborted Master Game series in 1983. He annotated it lightly in CHESS saying that he wished he had the courage to sac his queen with ...Qxh2+, and that neither player could defend Karpov's position in the post mortem. Just curious to know the modern day engine assessment, that's all.


Stockfish loves it to the tune of +3.77 or so... 28...Qxh2+ 29.Kxh2 Nxg3, etc.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:42 pm

Thanks to John for this excellent addition of games. It reminded me that Murray produced a splendid one-off magazine "Not the British Chess Magazine", where he angered FIDE with the really funny slogan, "Non Campos Mentis", which still makes me laugh now.

Tim Harding
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Tim Harding » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:08 am

The first City of London Open was 23-25 February 1979 as your web page shows. But in the PGN several of the games including mine have the wrong year (1977) so you need to fix that.
This was my only classical game against Murray and didn't last long as I couldn't remember the theory. The only other time we played was in a Charlton Chess Club 5-minute tournament soon after he arrived in England (so must have been 1975) which I managed to win somehow.
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John Saunders
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by John Saunders » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:10 pm

Tim Harding wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:08 am
The first City of London Open was 23-25 February 1979 as your web page shows. But in the PGN several of the games including mine have the wrong year (1977) so you need to fix that.
Thanks for reporting that error, Tim. Now fixed.
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MJMcCready
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:37 am

Thanks John, like so many others, I have also been on the receiving end whilst playing him. Always thought he was massively underrated, and perhaps still the only person to have a 100% record against Garry Kasparov. Okay so he only played him twice but still. And I suppose those perhaps more pedantic than others could also claim a 100% record if they only ever played him the once in his youth...but I don't think that really counts.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Nick Ivell » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:16 pm

I remember travelling back on the ferry from Guernsey with the young Murray. He ate, drank and slept chess. His full-sized board was out as the boat swayed.

He was (and probably still is) a great fighter.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:16 pm

http://www.saund.co.uk/britbase/pgn/chandlerm-viewer.html wrote: 4th Southampton Open (24-26 Oct 1975*) 1 G Lambert 5½/6, 2-6 D Rumens, M Chandler, M Thompson, GH Bennett, C Chandler 5, etc. Julian Hodgson 4, lost to Chandler last round. (CHESS, Dec 1975, p99)

1st Kent Junior Chess Association Championship, Tunbridge Wells (25, 27 & 28 Oct 1975*, 18 players) - U18: 1 MC [sic] Chandler (Charlton) 4½/5, 2 LT Canham 4 (* Southampton & Kent occur at the same time!? Dates and data given thus in BCM, Jan 1976, p15 & CHESS, Dec 1975, p99)
According to my records, the Kent U16 championship took place on 27-28 October 1975, which was a Monday and Tuesday and presumably the start of half-term week. My guess would be that the Kent U18 championship also took place on those dates, so 25 October is probably wrong, and there is then no overlap with Southampton. The 5 games of Chandler's that are given in the games files are shown with dates of 27-28 October as well.

I'm a bit surprised that Chandler is shown as winning with 4.5/5 though. The U16 championship was a 6 rounds event, so I'd be surprised if the U18 wasn't.

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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by John Saunders » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:05 am

Ian Thompson wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:16 pm
https://www.saund.org.uk/britbase/pgn/chandlerm-viewer.html wrote: 4th Southampton Open (24-26 Oct 1975*) 1 G Lambert 5½/6, 2-6 D Rumens, M Chandler, M Thompson, GH Bennett, C Chandler 5, etc. Julian Hodgson 4, lost to Chandler last round. (CHESS, Dec 1975, p99)

1st Kent Junior Chess Association Championship, Tunbridge Wells (25, 27 & 28 Oct 1975*, 18 players) - U18: 1 MC [sic] Chandler (Charlton) 4½/5, 2 LT Canham 4 (* Southampton & Kent occur at the same time!? Dates and data given thus in BCM, Jan 1976, p15 & CHESS, Dec 1975, p99)
According to my records, the Kent U16 championship took place on 27-28 October 1975, which was a Monday and Tuesday and presumably the start of half-term week. My guess would be that the Kent U18 championship also took place on those dates, so 25 October is probably wrong, and there is then no overlap with Southampton. The 5 games of Chandler's that are given in the games files are shown with dates of 27-28 October as well.

I'm a bit surprised that Chandler is shown as winning with 4.5/5 though. The U16 championship was a 6 rounds event, so I'd be surprised if the U18 wasn't.
Thanks, Ian. I've amended the relevant passage on the website. Not sure about there being an extra round as 4½/6 is an improbable score for someone winning outright (with 4 being the score of someone in sole second place). Maybe the two mags, or whoever sent in the info, got the scores wrong. But I'm not too bothered as the tournament notes I've appended to the page only began as rough notes helping me to make sense of scoresheets with deficient data. That said, it would be good if they could gradually morph into a more reliable record of Murray's chess career, so contributions are appreciated.
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Nick Ivell
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Nick Ivell » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:38 pm

It's looking like my game at Islington 1976 isn't going to turn up. I think I know why.

Robert Bellin did a very short-lived training course by cassette. Yes, those were the days!

I played a couple of good games at Islington and sent Robert the scoresheets. I was too lazy to keep copies. The loss to Murray was one of those games.

One bit of good news: feedback from Bellin was that Murray was totally lost!

Nick Ivell
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Re: Murray Chandler's Games, 1973-1989

Post by Nick Ivell » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:17 pm

To digress slightly, I've been reading the English Chess Explosion. I note that Murray is cited as co-author of this scissors and paste job. Do we know how big a part Murray actually played in the writing of this book?

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