Champions' Names

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Alex McFarlane
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Alex McFarlane » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:46 am

Just had this from Norman Hutchinson. It adds much to the social history.

My sister Susan came joint first in the championship with her sister Mary and one other. Susan could have won the championship outright but felt it would be good if her sister also won !

Susan was also a sprinter representing the county under 18s when she was sixteen and also played hockey for the county.

She is now known as Susan Selley and is a very dedicated headmistress of a special needs school.

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: Champions' Names

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:15 pm

John Saunders wrote:I'm 99% certain I've got J Richardson...

John Edward Richardson (Jesus Coll, Cambridge) was board two for Cambridge in the (unofficial) Varsity match of 1941 (BCM refs May 1941, p138 and Jan 1942, p8) and beat John Cornforth (later Prof Sir John, of course, and still alive, I think). The following year Richardson was board one for Cambridge but this time Cornforth got his revenge (BCM, May 1942, p108).
Caroline Whitlock, the Old Stoic Events Co-ordinator at Stowe School, confirmed that J E Richardson's first name was indeed John.

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John Saunders
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by John Saunders » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:45 pm

Once again, thanks to everybody who has helped with this project. I have updated it with your information, holding back only where there seems to be a significant degree of doubt.

Now we are close to the end of the data gathering exercise I shall have to apply a bit more consistency to the list at BritBase (as well as give it a bit of a makeover - it looks rather old hat!). I should like to include initials where known, though I've yet to update a number of obvious ones that I already know or can easily find out. Also I guess I should be more consistent about giving women's married/unmarried names. I have done this for the famous female names of British chess but haven't sought to continue it down to the lesser names as it would a Sisyphean task.
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Richard James
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Richard James » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:08 pm

Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:
Richard James wrote:A possible for Mortlock:

Alfred Mortlock, born 1910, died September 1999 in Hastings. He married Katherine M Hare, again in Hastings, in 1977. A family tree mistakenly gives his death date as 1977. The only birth record for Alfred Mortlock in 1910 was in Worcestershire.
This seems to the death notice of the Hastings Alfred Mortlock:
MORTLOCK, Alfred
Northern Hotel, Sea Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. Bank Official (Retired).

[Date of death] 31st August 1999.

[Solicitor] Gaby Hardwicke - Yearwood & Griffiths, 2 Eversley Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN40 1EY. (Ref. JAC.) (Michael Robert Bugden.)
(from http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... otices/888)

I contacted Brian Denman who replied as follows:
Brian Denman wrote:Unfortunately I seem to have mislaid my notes on the death of A Mortlock.
Some years ago I discovered that he was born in 1910, but unfortunately there
were two possibilities. I discovered two births at that time with the initial 'A', one
was an Albert Mortlock, the other an Alfred Mortlock. Surprisingly in Sussex chess
literature I have never been able to find a single reference to his Christian name.
Somewhere in the mid-1990s I heard that an A Mortlock was still a member of
the BCF and had a Bexhill address. Later I seem to recall that about 1999 an A Mortlock
died in the Bexhill area and his date of birth went back to 1910. If you have found
details of this person's death, it is very likely that he was the chess player. Unfortunately
I cannot remember the Christian name of this person.

Mortlock was a strong Hastings player, who competed in the 1933 British Championship
at Hastings. He reached the final of the Sussex Championship on two occasions, in 1933
and 1936, but both times was runner up to Charles Stacey. In the 1935-36 season he played for
a Brighton Students team in the county team championship. After World War II he does not
seem to have been such an active player, though I remember him playing on a high board for
the county. He was still playing for Sussex in 1966, but I suspect that this was close to the end
of his county chess career. Perhaps he lived on for some 30 years after virtually giving up chess
and by that time he was probably virtually forgotten at the Hastings CC after representing them for
several years. I can go down to our local library and find out the Christian name of the A Mortlock,
who died about 1999, but I suspect that you already have details of this person.
It looks from this, along with the death information we have, that Alfred Mortlock is our man.

Meanwhile, Christopher Kreuzer has done a lot of research through Google Books (which he sent directly to me rather than posting here as he was at work at the time) and found much very interesting material, so that it's now possible, with the information provided by Christopher, Brian and Jon, to put together a speculative biography of the 1928 British Boys Chess Champion. I'll try to do this at some point over the next few days.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:31 pm

<snipped information from Brian Denham>
Richard James wrote:It looks from this, along with the death information we have, that Alfred Mortlock is our man.

Meanwhile, Christopher Kreuzer has done a lot of research through Google Books (which he sent directly to me rather than posting here as he was at work at the time) and found much very interesting material, so that it's now possible, with the information provided by Christopher, Brian and Jon, to put together a speculative biography of the 1928 British Boys Chess Champion. I'll try to do this at some point over the next few days.
Thanks, Richard. What I sent you was a bit chaotic, so I'm going to try and lay things out in a more ordered fashion here in the next post. Most of it is not needed for the purposes of identifying his Christian name, but it was fascinating to try and piece together the fragments of information. Hopefully you will be able to flesh the story out even more.

James Pratt
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by James Pratt » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:46 pm

Mortlock is not in Gaige or Whyld.

CB10 offers this, hardly a cause for celebration:

[Event "Scarborough-B"]

[Date "1930.??.??"]

[White "Fairhurst, William Albert"]
[Black "Mortlock, A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D66"]
[PlyCount "35"]
[EventDate "1930.??.??"]


1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 O-O 7. Rc1 Re8 8. Bd3
c6 9. O-O dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nd5 11. Bf4 Nxf4 12. exf4 Nb6 13. Bd3 Nd5 14. g3 Nxc3
15. bxc3 c5 16. Ne5 Qc7 17. Bxh7+ Kf8 18. Qh5 1-0.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:07 am

James Pratt wrote:Mortlock is not in Gaige or Whyld.

CB10 offers this, hardly a cause for celebration:

[Event "Scarborough-B"]

[Date "1930.??.??"]

[White "Fairhurst, William Albert"]
[Black "Mortlock, A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D66"]
[PlyCount "35"]
[EventDate "1930.??.??"]


1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 O-O 7. Rc1 Re8 8. Bd3
c6 9. O-O dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nd5 11. Bf4 Nxf4 12. exf4 Nb6 13. Bd3 Nd5 14. g3 Nxc3
15. bxc3 c5 16. Ne5 Qc7 17. Bxh7+ Kf8 18. Qh5 1-0.
That's a famous opening trap (Mortlock was clearly stronger than that game suggests). Edward Winter discusses that opening trap here:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extr ... stein.html

He mentions the Fairhurst-Mortlock game at the end, but Rubinstein fell into this trap twice, so that's good company to be in!

EDIT: As John points out below, I was wrong here to say that Mortlock fell into this trap.
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:57 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Thanks, Richard. What I sent you was a bit chaotic, so I'm going to try and lay things out in a more ordered fashion here in the next post. Most of it is not needed for the purposes of identifying his Christian name, but it was fascinating to try and piece together the fragments of information. Hopefully you will be able to flesh the story out even more.
I've now posted my notes on A. Mortlock here: http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2154

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John Saunders
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by John Saunders » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:11 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
James Pratt wrote:Mortlock is not in Gaige or Whyld.

CB10 offers this, hardly a cause for celebration:

[Event "Scarborough-B"]

[Date "1930.??.??"]

[White "Fairhurst, William Albert"]
[Black "Mortlock, A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D66"]
[PlyCount "35"]
[EventDate "1930.??.??"]


1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 O-O 7. Rc1 Re8 8. Bd3
c6 9. O-O dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nd5 11. Bf4 Nxf4 12. exf4 Nb6 13. Bd3 Nd5 14. g3 Nxc3
15. bxc3 c5 16. Ne5 Qc7 17. Bxh7+ Kf8 18. Qh5 1-0.
That's a famous opening trap (Mortlock was clearly stronger than that game suggests). Edward Winter discusses that opening trap here:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extr ... stein.html

He mentions the Fairhurst-Mortlock game at the end, but Rubinstein fell into this trap twice, so that's good company to be in!
It's only an opening trap where White can exploit the threat to play Bc7 and trap the queen - which didn't happen in Mortlock's game because the Bf4 was immediately captured. Black lost simply because he left himself short of kingside defenders and then made an appalling oversight on move 16.
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by John Saunders » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:17 pm

News in from Brian Denman...
Brian Denman wrote:As regards the U-18 champion for 1965, information in the Crewe Chronicle for August 1965 shows that the initial of 'M' in M N Walsh stands for Michael.
I take that to be conclusive. Many thanks to Brian.
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:37 am

John Saunders wrote:It's only an opening trap where White can exploit the threat to play Bc7 and trap the queen - which didn't happen in Mortlock's game because the Bf4 was immediately captured. Black lost simply because he left himself short of kingside defenders and then made an appalling oversight on move 16.
You are quite right. I should have played through that game properly and paid more attention to what Edward Winter was saying on that webpage. The Rubenstein Trap appears in another game (Burger – Hündorfer; Munich, 1924) that is a note (made by J. du Mont in his 1941 work '200 Miniature Games of Chess'), with the note appearing with move 7 of this game (Fairhurst-Mortlock, Major Open of the BCF 1930 Congress at Scarborough). Presumably it was a possible sideline that didn't get played. I wonder if either of the players here were aware of it (both the earlier game from Munich 1924, and the general idea of the trap itself)?

On a more general note, I've been looking at Britbase and was wondering if any of Mortlock's games are there (there doesn't seem to be an index or search facility). I also presume you don't include the Major Opens, or do you (it's not clear when the Major Open started, but it seems there was one in at least 1930)? What about games from the Boys' Championship where available?

I've posted this query here, because it is really asking about what games are available for any of the players whose names have been so carefully researched here. Are most of these earlier junior games now lost for posterity, or will some still be around? I should specify that I mean here games from the junior championships and Major Opens, not any games that may be available from later on if a player became more famous (though those would be of interest as well).

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:52 am

James Pratt wrote:Mortlock is not in Gaige or Whyld.
I'm not sure which work by Gaige you are referring to, but I did find a reference to Mortlock in an index of a work by Gaige: "Name Index to Jeremy Gaige's Chess Tournament Crosstables". I posted the details (there are two entries) in section A.5(i) of this thread here: http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2154 Two more questions: What is the work by Whyld being referred to here? Can you remember the details of that book you recalled being inscribed by Mortlock?

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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Richard James » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:07 am

Brian Denman has come up with another address for A Mortlock:

"I myself have an address for him in about 1961 viz Abington Lodge, 17 Holmesdale Gardens, Hastings
and next time that I go to Hastings (about three weeks time) I could try to check the electoral roll."

So, unless there were two chess playing electrical engineers called A Mortlock he seems to have been living in both Hastings and Barnet in the 1950s and 1960s. I guess this is possible as he seems to have come from a fairly wealthy family.

Christopher:

Gaige is 'Chess Personalia A Biobibliography' which I have permanently on my desk. And sorry to be pedantic, but it's Rubinstein, not Rubenstein.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:16 am

Richard James wrote:Brian Denman has come up with another address for A Mortlock:

"I myself have an address for him in about 1961 viz Abington Lodge, 17 Holmesdale Gardens, Hastings
and next time that I go to Hastings (about three weeks time) I could try to check the electoral roll."

So, unless there were two chess playing electrical engineers called A Mortlock he seems to have been living in both Hastings and Barnet in the 1950s and 1960s. I guess this is possible as he seems to have come from a fairly wealthy family.

Christopher:

Gaige is 'Chess Personalia A Biobibliography' which I have permanently on my desk. And sorry to be pedantic, but it's Rubinstein, not Rubenstein.
That tallies with the address I found in the IRE Directory of 1953, where I made a transcription error and spelt it "Abingdon Lodge"! Do some searches on "Abington Lodge" and "Abington Hall" and Mortlock! Regarding Gaige, the crosstable work is something different? Thanks for the correction on Rubinstein! :)

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Re: Champions' Names

Post by Richard James » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:42 am

Very interesting - Abington Hall in Cambridgeshire was the family seat of the Mortlock family. Which confirms that he was indeed a member of the Mortlock banking family and was the A Mortlock referred to (with the wrong death date) in the family history.

I would guess that he worked as an electical engineer in Southgate while keeping his house in Hastings, retiring to Hastings in 1975 when he reached 65 and marrying Katherine Hare in 1977. I suppose it's possible, given his family background, that he might have done some work involved with banking during his retirement which would give rise to the 'retired bank official' note.

Gaige published several books of tournament crosstables which I don't have. More recently, Di Felice has done very much the same thing. I'm not sure which is more complete/reliable. Unfortuately they're all rather expensive.

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