London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Simon Brown
Posts: 748
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:38 pm
Location: Sevenoaks, Kent, if not in Costa Calida, Spain

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by Simon Brown » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:58 pm

Hi Andrew

I'll look forward to some additional stanzas in 2028.

I saw Bob after my YMCA days as he used to captain Kent, at least for a little while. He was very odd. He changed his name to Lee-Anderson as Roger notes, about the same time as he married (I think) someone who had neither of those names. I concluded it was because he lived in Lee.

I have no idea where he may be now, but another Lewisham stalwart Andy Smith may know - I see he is still playing. I had some strange evenings in that cricket club!

User avatar
John Clarke
Posts: 501
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by John Clarke » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:38 pm

I can add some hard facts to the speculations about Bob Pentecost. They don't make for very happy reading.

I saw a good deal of Bob in the mid-70s. We were fellow-employees at the Education Department (though I was actually based much of the time at the V & A Museum), and played together for its chess team in the Civil Service League. From there, I gradually got drawn into a peripheral role in that circle of SE London chess-players mentioned by Andrew, centred on the Lewisham and Charlton chess clubs. But I never lived in the area and wasn’t a good enough player anyway to be fully involved there.

After I emigrated in 1977, we were in intermittent contact for another decade and a half, but it dwindled to nothing after the early 1990s. Bob, by his own admission, always was a poor correspondent, and I'm too often not a lot better. By one of those coincidences that add so much to the spice of life, I was searching my bookshelves only the other day for something totally unrelated, and came across one of his rare Christmas cards dated 1991.

He’d been married and divorced by the time we first became acquainted. That was to Joyce MacDonald-Ross, whom I met a time or two in his company. I’m not aware of any subsequent liaisons, and doubt there were any . Regarding his name-changing, I don’t think I’m breaching a confidence by saying that the “Lee” was in homage to the American general, Robert E. The “Anderson” I think might have been his mother’s maiden name – he was always a lot closer to her than to his father, and was a long time getting over her death in mid-1973.

Plus he had very understandable motives for ditching his original name. When I saw him for the last time, on a return visit to the UK in 1982, I learned that Pentecost père had died within the last year. But not before remarrying, and being either persuaded/prevented from renewing his will, or simply forgetting to. Whatever the truth of it, Bob was effectively disinherited. He got no change out of the new widow’s relations.

As for the current situation: if Bob is still “with us” he’d be in his early 80s. About four years ago I posted this request for news of him, which prompted the one-line reply that immediately followed. There were no further details and it seemed over-intrusive to go pursuing them, even by PM. I wasn’t totally surprised to hear it, though. Around 2009, I’d posted a similar query on a guest-book being hosted at the time (not now, it seems) by Charlton chess club. Tony Swift replied with some snippets about our former mutual acquaintances, adding a guarded comment about Bob’s then state of mind. Then, too, I felt it inappropriate to ask for more information on a public forum.

The facts related above are matters of (more or less) public record, but I’m not going to add anything further to them. The eccentricities hinted at by Andrew and Simon were indeed many, but courtesy and loyalty demand I leave it at that.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Tomis Chagall
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by Tomis Chagall » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:04 pm

Hello all,

I’d have a tentative request for some research assistance/help: I am in the process of filling gaps of various simuls and exhibitions games for my personal chess game database, amongst them the simul Anatoly Karpov gave at the CentYMCA Chess Club in January 1972.

Could someone help me completing the names of the following players?

Cunliffe, Stephen D
Dickson, George A
Cullen, Anthony P
Gleave, David H
Wills, Michael W
Spivack, Simon S Y
Fox, Terry C
Linton, William A
McDonnell, Alan J
Dickinson, Sandys V
Lipnowski, Irwin F

Attached below is a screenshot of the simul pgn containing the games. The players with blanks are those not yet added to the database for lack of info.

I couldn’t find anything on Michael Gyton, is his last name spelled correctly?

Thanks much in advance and cheers from Hamburg,

Tomis

(Was looking for some sort of introductory thread, but there seems to be none. I suck at chess, but I excel at OCD, and tinkering with chess databases is a perfect fit.)
Attachments
karpov_sim.png
karpov_sim.png (74.45 KiB) Viewed 933 times
Last edited by Tomis Chagall on Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Esse quam videri - to be rather than to seem. (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19263
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:14 pm

Tomis Chagall wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:04 pm
I couldn’t find anything on Michael Gyton, is his last name spelled correctly?
Based in or around Harrow, North West London as I recall.

He's also recorded by John Saunders' Britbase as playing in the BCF Congress at Rhyl in 1969.

https://www.saund.co.uk/britbase/pgn/19 ... iewer.html

from which
FIRST CLASS TOURNAMENT

1st, A. J. Sutton (Willenhall) 10 pts.; 2nd, M. D. Gyton (London) 7 pts,

Tomis Chagall
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by Tomis Chagall » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:04 pm

Talk about a fast response! Thanks much, another middle initial to decode, added. :mrgreen:
Esse quam videri - to be rather than to seem. (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

Richard James
Posts: 1042
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: Twickenham
Contact:

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by Richard James » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:51 pm

Ray Cannon has asked me to post this (I may be able to find one or two other middle names for you):

Anatoly KARPOV simultaneous display at the London Central YMCA (CENTYMCA) in Endell Street, London WC2.

In his simultaneous tour prior to playing at the CENTYMCA club, Karpov had scored 90 wins and 8 draws but on playing there he could only score 17 wins, 4 draws and 5 losses on 26 boards playing white in all of them.

All the games are in K is for KARPOV! by Jimmy Adams. Most of Anatoly Karpov’s opponents, but not all, were very strong club players, around 1900 to 2300 perhaps, which explains the result. Elo ratings weren't used at that time but is a rough estimate of strength.

Some corrections for Tomis Chagall:

It should be John A YEO of Singapore

Stephen David CUNLIFFE

Michael William WILLS

George Alexander DICKSON

Also, Raymond Charles CANNON was still only 25 and not 26 until August of that year.

User avatar
John Clarke
Posts: 501
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by John Clarke » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:57 am

If no 10 on that list is the same George A Dickson I played at Ilford in 1974, then the grading given of 1137 is almost certainly wrong. It should perhaps be 2137 - "my" Dickson was rated around 194, which tallies almost exactly.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Tomis Chagall
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by Tomis Chagall » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:51 am

Thanks, updated.

Can’t recall where I got this specific rating from, but it was generally a mix of edochess.ca, chessmetrics.com, and what I found online if players have/had a FIDE profile (and then some approximation at times). The 1000 is of course a place holder for unknown ratings or unrated players.

On another note (I haven’t skimmed through the entire thread, so apologies if someone already posted this), Swiss national and simul participant Alfred Bernegger has passed in 2018, he was actively involved with the Schach-Gesellschaft Zürich.

Image
Esse quam videri - to be rather than to seem. (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

Tim Harding
Posts: 1967
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by Tim Harding » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:37 pm

Richard James wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:51 pm
...Most of Anatoly Karpov’s opponents, but not all, were very strong club players, around 1900 to 2300 perhaps, which explains the result. Elo ratings weren't used at that time ....
I tend to agree with the first of those statements but not the second. In the early 1970s FIDE had already been using the Elo rating system for a while but many players had no ratings yet as it was hard to get one. Swisses weren't rated and in an all-play-all of 10 players six already had to be already listed (that was later reduced to 5) or the event was not rated. I played a strong group at Wijk aan Zee in January 1973 that wasn't rated because the winner (Sosonko) had only just left the USSR where many masters had no FIDEE rating because they had not played internationally.

I was never a member of the Centymca club so I only knew some of the players Karpov met. Bill Linton was a contemporary of mine at Oxford in the late 1960s; I recall losing to him in the university championship circa 1968 and getting my revenge in a London league game a few years later. He would have been about 180/190 strength I guess.
Richard O'Brien, who died a few years ago, was a Londoner from an Irish family. He and Andrew Martin (later an IM) and I sometimes played on Lewisham teams in the Kent League in the 1970s; you can probably get more information about him from Andrew.

I never played most of the others on the list (except Hawley by correspondence) but I see you have a rating for Szaszvari. Probably Linton and Hawley were stronger than him, Fox certainly was and O'Brien about the same.

Mike Wills, who would have been several years older than those named, was a strong postal player, already on GB correspondence teams in the early 1960s and became a correspondence IM. I am not sure of his strength in over the board player.

My impression from the names I recognise on the list was that Karpov met a team with an average strength of 2000 at least, and a few of the opponents were significantly stronger than that.
Tim Harding
Historian and FIDE Arbiter

Author of 'Steinitz in London,' British Chess Literature to 1914', 'Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

David Sedgwick
Posts: 4153
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:25 pm

Tomis Chagall wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:04 pm

Could someone help me completing the names of the following players?

...

Linton, William A

...

Thanks much in advance and cheers from Hamburg,

Tomis

Bill Linton's middle name is Anthony.

User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 8253
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: London Central YMCA (aka CentYMCA) Chess Club

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:34 am

Bill's on Twitter as @BilLinton1 if you need to ask him anything.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Post Reply