Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:33 pm

John Gilbert certainly worked in a "hut", maybe 13, but I wasn't taking notes when we discussed it (unfortunately).

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:28 am

The Bletchley chess team that played Oxford University on 2nd. December, 1945. 1. C.H.O'D Alexander 2. H. Golombek 3. Dr J.M. Aitken 4. Dr I.J. Good 5. N.A. Perkins
I'm not certain that I ever met I J Good. Tony Perkin was a reasonable player, perhaps 180, who I knew as a chess administrator and player. He was President of the Middlesex County Chess Association in the late 1960s or early 1970s(?).
I played Sir Stuart a couple of times and knew he and his wife well as directors of the BCF at different times. I have always presumed it was Sir Stuart's contacts than enabled us to get so many chessplayers the OBE. Harry Golombek, Bob Wade, Barry Wood, Jonathan Penrose, Ray Keene. Sir Stuart had been secretary of the National Awards Committee at one time. Since then, only Nigel Short the MBE and Brian Callaghan OBE, the latter not just for chess, but also services to the Gibraltar tourist industry.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:47 pm

" I have always presumed it was Sir Stuart's contacts than enabled us to get so many chessplayers the OBE. "
("Sir Stuart had been secretary of the National Awards Committee at one time.")

I'm sure that's true - it's probably also why he had half the alphabet after his own name!

E Michael White
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by E Michael White » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:14 pm

Gordon Cadden wrote:The Bletchley chess team that played Oxford University on 2nd. December, 1945. 1. C.H.O'D Alexander 2. H. Golombek 3. Dr J.M. Aitken 4. Dr I.J. Good 5. N.A. Perkins 6. Sgt. Jacobs (US Army) 7. Sgt. Gilbert 8. M.A. Chamberlain 9. P.J. Hilton 10. W.R. Cox 11. D. Rees 12. Lt. A. Levinson (US Army) We know that Alexander and Golombek were involved with breaking the enigma code, but what about the other chess players on this list.
It's possible that M A Chamberlain was too, as the person mentioned in this link:-
(National Archives)

It's also just possibly the same player I played called M A Chamberlain at Cheltenham Chess club in 1985, who was then aged about 65-70 I guess, which would make him 22-27 in 1942. He would have been rated approx 155-165 in 1985. Peter Farr might remember him.

Doesn't mean he was working for GC in the 1980s however. Same less common name, same initials so maybe the same person or maybe not ! He was notoriously difficult to pin down to play club championship games, whereas crypto analysts can usually remember dates and times of even dental appointments from years earlier. Also he didn't look like a crypto analyst !

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Richard James » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:50 pm

E Michael White wrote:
Gordon Cadden wrote:The Bletchley chess team that played Oxford University on 2nd. December, 1945. 1. C.H.O'D Alexander 2. H. Golombek 3. Dr J.M. Aitken 4. Dr I.J. Good 5. N.A. Perkins 6. Sgt. Jacobs (US Army) 7. Sgt. Gilbert 8. M.A. Chamberlain 9. P.J. Hilton 10. W.R. Cox 11. D. Rees 12. Lt. A. Levinson (US Army) We know that Alexander and Golombek were involved with breaking the enigma code, but what about the other chess players on this list.
It's possible that M A Chamberlain was too, as the person mentioned in this link:-
(National Archives)

It's also just possibly the same player I played called M A Chamberlain at Cheltenham Chess club in 1985, who was then aged about 65-70 I guess, which would make him 22-27 in 1942. He would have been rated approx 155-165 in 1985. Peter Farr might remember him.

Doesn't mean he was working for GC in the 1980s however. Same less common name, same initials so maybe the same person or maybe not ! He was notoriously difficult to pin down to play club championship games, whereas crypto analysts can usually remember dates and times of even dental appointments from years earlier. Also he didn't look like a crypto analyst !
The ECF Grading Database has a Mac A Chamberlain of Cheltenham whose last grade was 119E in 1999.

Malcolm Alfred Chamberlain (1919-1999), who might or might not have been the same person, was (also) a cricketer:

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Playe ... 90975.html

As his initials were MAC he may well have been known as Mac.

E Michael White
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by E Michael White » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:03 am

To return to Gordon's question; the M A Chamberlain mentioned as board 8 in the BP v Oxford match was almost certainly involved in 1940s code breaking or operations. Joel Greenberg's book (2014) (Welchman - Greenberg) on Welchman mentions that Herivel and Chamberlain, who was Herivel's friend, were recruited at Cambridge by Welchman around Jan 1940. Whether the Cheltenham Chess player and former Cricketer are the same person is less certain but possible.
Last edited by E Michael White on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Michael Yeo
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Michael Yeo » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:24 pm

I have known M.A. Chamberlain's son Nick for the last 35 years. He has sent me an e-mail:

M A Chamberlain was my father. He almost certainly was board 8 in that 1945 match. He worked in Hut 6 and Newmanry, also being involved with working on the Herivale tip. I believe at some time he was secretary of the Bletchley Chess Club. He was definitely a regular at Cheltenham Chess Club, being captain of the second team. I also remember cups at home that he won in the seniors competitions.

Re cricket he certainly played when at Manchester Grammar and at home in Romiley ( Stockport ). I do not know about Bletchley or after. Only that after I arrived in 1951 I do not think he was allowed out for a day on the field.

E Michael White
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by E Michael White » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:30 am

Thanks Nick, Michael for the information and confirmation. The Herivel Tip - impressive.

E Michael White
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by E Michael White » Sun May 15, 2016 3:12 pm

Gordon Cadden wrote:The Bletchley chess team that played Oxford University on 2nd. December, 1945. 1. C.H.O'D Alexander 2. H. Golombek 3. Dr J.M. Aitken 4. Dr I.J. Good 5. N.A. Perkins 6. Sgt. Jacobs (US Army) 7. Sgt. Gilbert 8. M.A. Chamberlain 9. P.J. Hilton 10. W.R. Cox 11. D. Rees 12. Lt. A. Levinson (US Army) We know that Alexander and Golombek were involved with breaking the enigma code, but what about the other chess players on this list.
Pretty sure board 11 was David Rees, who later became a professor of Maths at Exeter Uni, and had worked on Enigma in hut 6.
Last edited by E Michael White on Mon May 16, 2016 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.


Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon May 16, 2016 8:34 am

John Gilbert was Secretary of Redhill Chess Club about 20 years ago. When the Bletchley news broke and there was general discussion at the club (after play), he casually said, "Oh yes. I was there." I asked if he had seen much of Turing, Golombek, M-B etc., and he said that as they were in different huts, their paths didn't cross. I wish I had interrogated him more.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by MJMcCready » Mon May 16, 2016 8:52 am

Mike Gunn wrote:Bletchley was, of course, a stop on the Oxford to Cambridge line.

When I was looking at the old minute books of the Guildord Chess Club (they go back to 1896) I noticed that all the matches against other clubs were for clubs that had direct rail connections to Guildford (at that time).
This is very interesting. I had tried in vain on more than one occasion to find info on Bletchley chess club. I know that in the late 60s it joined the Beds' league and then became Milton Kaynes Chess club. but I can't find any info about which league it played in before that, any help on that matter would be very greatly appreciated. All linked provided will be followed up

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon May 16, 2016 11:43 am

McCready >Bletchley chess club. I know that in the late 60s it joined the Beds' league and then became Milton Kaynes Chess club.<

MK Phoenix plays in the 4NCL, but I am much the oldest player for those teams and not from the area. You can find the names of the team mmbers on the 4NCL site and somebody may be able to help. Chris Majer, Richard Freeman, Brian Freeman, Adrian Elwin are four obious possibilities. Try the ECF YearBook for their contact details.

The point made about direct rail connections was a major reason for the expansion of club and county chess in the 19th century.

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 16, 2016 12:03 pm

MJMcCready wrote: but I can't find any info about which league it played in before that
Bletchley entered one team in the Bucks county league from "before my time" until the early 1980s. The deal was that they played all their matches in Aylesbury except possibly those against Aylesbury teams. Change of venue arrangements at Aylesbury meant there was no longer the space for guest matches.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by MJMcCready » Mon May 16, 2016 12:21 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:McCready >Bletchley chess club. I know that in the late 60s it joined the Beds' league and then became Milton Kaynes Chess club.<

MK Phoenix plays in the 4NCL, but I am much the oldest player for those teams and not from the area. You can find the names of the team mmbers on the 4NCL site and somebody may be able to help. Chris Majer, Richard Freeman, Brian Freeman, Adrian Elwin are four obious possibilities. Try the ECF YearBook for their contact details.

The point made about direct rail connections was a major reason for the expansion of club and county chess in the 19th century.
Thanks, yes I know all those mentioned above having played against them many times over and have spoken at length with the clubs patriarchs but the question I was hoping to find relief with was which league were they attached to in the 50s and early 60s. Stony Stratford also had a club at one point but finding info about them is nigh on impossible.

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