Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Gary Kenworthy

Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:22 pm

Rather than looking at motorway routes for chess leagues in the past, it is better to use a Bradshaw guide. Also do not assume the journeys would not be possible.
At the start of the Industry Revolution, Bristol and Norwich were the joint second cities. They still had power when the first railways came. The route passed through Cambridge to Oxford. Equally distant between the two on the “Varsity line” is a hamlet called Bletchley. This route was even before Euston and the WCML existed. Fenny Stratford was the senior village, and the first station, on Watling St.(A5).

The Beeching cuts destroyed a number of chess leagues. The Oil crisis of 1973/4 did also. We had 60 board county matches until then. Then rents going up in later years, also impacted.

BTW: Fenny Stratford telephone exchange was home to largest telecommunication equipment in the country. The only rival was the Pall Mall exchange, for the whole of Whitehall. There is also still much secure copper communications around here in the 1990s when I worked on them. These hubs link famous historic establishments across the country.

In 1938 when Room 40 (aka NID25) was still in London, the opportunity to interview and examine OxBridge students at the Bletchley junction was a logical logistical choice. The cover story was Captain Ridley’s shooting party.
Hence the ease also to play challenge chess matches in late 1944. Plus a recruitment method for years afterwards (Notice Kappa Cornforth on b2 for Oxon v Harry Golombek for “Bletchley” c.c.). Cornforth is not officially a code breaker in his service record.

BTW: I am an involved party in re-establishing this InterCity Cross Country route and speed, including Oxford, Bletchley, Bedford and Cambridge etc aka Brains Line, Varsity Line, East West Link. There had been a direct line to Aylesbury, I am involved in that re-establishment as well.

Bletchley Park operated a three shift system. So, in early 1945, 10.5k personnel, with the out-stations, nearly 30,000 “official” bus routes journeys per annum. Many cycled and operated lifts. So playing chess could be arranged; after all, there were the minds to plan complex logistics.

Lord Asa Briggs of Lewes also founded Sussex Univ at Falmer in 1961. More noted as a bridge player, than as a chess player (as he was), as per his Bletchley card playing partner (and chess playing) Howard Smith (later ambassador to Moscow, and then head of MI5). Hence the photo-caption that bridge players, not chess, were at Hut 6, BP, could be attributed to this fact.

British chess players, playing and arbiting behind the Iron Curtain in 1956 was possible as Venona had discovered hundreds of Soviet agents, especially in the USA, plus the Cambridge spy ring. Kim Philby had leaked Venona as well to his handlers.
So, nobody going could have given anything fresh to the Soviets. It was then known in 1956 that Kim Philby had leaked Bletchley Park major secrets to Stalin, (personally handling), like operation Barbarossa (invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941). But Stalin refused to believe that one.
Hugh Alexander could not go behind the Iron curtain; as Venona – breaking of one time code pads, was his key role. For this he was gazetted with a gong, with a blank citation. That caused a stir.

Regards (FM) Gary Kenworthy, Bletchley

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:36 pm

According to D.J.Richards Golombek was an arbiter behind the Iron Curtain on more than one occasion.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:24 pm

Golombek was the worlds leading arbiter 1948 - 1972. Period. Heavily respected as such. It was a direct question and answer to 1956. - GK

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:40 pm

ok, well managed to find Richards reference anyway
Attachments
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Gary Kenworthy

Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:27 pm

Going deeper:
Remember the history of FIDE and the 1924 Paris Olympiad and split. The world champion had the gift of the title matches - e.g Alekhine. The rules were in French. Harry Golombek was a linguist, including French. He was key to redrafting the rules after the war.
It was Soviet friendly. It allowed the Soviets to play in 1946. 1948 was split Hague and Moscow. Despite the Dutch objections. However, Keres played awful versus Botvinnik. In the Moscow leg, Euwe's luggage and all his chess theory books disappeared. The Soviets played as a team, (shades of R J Fischer comments) etc. Without agreements and rules there would not have been a World title tournament. Nothing could be perfect. FIDE now owned the title. Golombek knew of the Capablanca v Alekhine difficulties, and other similar issues.
However, the rules were objective. Golombek was respected as straight, and acceptable within all spheres of influence. Hence his attendance at anything major, he also had Russian Jewish parents. He was also a strong player. He was most acceptable to East and the West and knew his trade very well. Nobody else had this across the board distinction and backing.
Rgds (FM) Gary Kenworthy, Bletchley
p.s. However, I think Harry got it wrong with Howard Staunton on a number of issues.

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:51 am

Gary, do you know at what point Bletchley ceased to be and became known as Milton Keynes?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:49 am

MJMcCready wrote: do you know at what point Bletchley ceased to be and became known as Milton Keynes?
The town of Bletchley still exists, with Milton Keynes being built around it. Bletchley chess club became Milton Keynes chess club when it still had a team in the Bucks league, so that's late 1970s, early 1980s.

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:39 pm

Yes, I meant when did Bletchley chess club change its name to Milton Keynes. As shown earlier in the thread, in 1974 they were still Bletchley but exactly when and how the name change came about I do not know.

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:50 pm

Harry Golombek was able to travel behind the Iron Curtain as he no longer worked for the government. That was not true of Hugh Alexander.
Harry told me he was with somebody somewhere in the East who pointed out such and such a person was a member of the Secret Police. After some time of this, Harry realised everybody was a member of the Secreat Police.

It has been said that Keres played badly against Botvinnik because he felt beholden to him. Mikhail had intervened at the end of the war when Paul was under threat.

The first language of FIDE used to be French. I don't know when the decision was made to change it to English. Roger may be able to help there.
In 1984 I was chatting with Professor Lim Kok Ann, FIDE Executive Director. I asked him which language is FIDE conducted in? Is it English-English or American-English? He responded immediately English-English. As far as I know that is the only time this was ever discussed and that was between two people, one of whom had no status in the matter. The Rules Commission recently confirmed that the Laws are in English English.

I think the growth of weekend Swisses played a large part in the decline of county matches. Then along came the 4NCL. That did for the National Club Championship, although some people don't seem to realise it is dead. I think county matches have been highly resilient.

There used to be a rule that the Chief Arbiter of a World Championship match had to be at least an IM. Oddly, Lothar Schmid only became an IA AFTER the 1972 match. Harry had quite a lot to do with keeping the match on an even keel after Euwe left Iceland during the match.

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:03 pm

MJMcCready wrote: in 1974 they were still Bletchley but exactly when and how the name change came about I do not know.
I have a record of a league match against Milton Keynes from February 1978.

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:14 pm

The champions of the Bedfordshire League in 77 was Milton Keynes so must be 75 or 76. In fact they retained the trophy that year, so must be 75.

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by John McKenna » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:33 pm

Golombek was respected as straight, and acceptable within all spheres of influence... he also had Russian Jewish parents.
A clarification regarding Harry Golombek's parents' origins -

"Harry Golombek was born into a Polish immigrant family (the surname translates as 'little dove') in the East End of London in 1911." (Obit. by William Hartston, Independent, 10 Jan. 1995)

Harry Glombek's parents were originally Russian (subjects) since during their lifetimes Poland no longer existed as a separate state - it had been mostly swallowed by the Russia of the Tsars after the first 'Parition' of Poland in 1772.

The surname Golombek "is an Anglized spelling... that in Polish is written Gołąbek (with a tail under the A and a slash through the L... ) and pronounced roughly 'go-WOME-beck'...

See link below for details -

http://www.polishroots.org/Research/Sur ... fault.aspx
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:00 am

I see that Tim Harding has written--
A Short History of the Chess Column in Nineteenth-Century English Periodicals
e.g.
"""The columns themselves were an important driver of growth for chess, showing examples of good play, offering advice of various kinds, and running competitions, as well as providing puzzles for readers to solve."""

It comes up in an internet search for Asa Briggs and chess. (The Victorian connection, as Asa Briggs a chess player from Keighley, who read History at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge). Asa Briggs is also very heavily connected with Lewes, Falmer and the University in Sussex.
So besides increasing the mental capacity and adult education of the general populus, such competitions have also been used for sifting, selecting and recruitment.
Churchill said of recruitment to Bletchley Park, (Government Code & Cypher School) let no stone be left unturned. --- Later amusingly used again in September 1941-- on a visit by Churchill - reportedly remarked to Denniston: "I told you to leave no stone unturned to get staff, but I had no idea you had taken me so literally. Importantly, time-line wise, this was six weeks prior to Milner-Barry taking the letter from the "four wicked Uncles" to Churchill in Downing Street. (Resulting in -- Action this day).

I went to school at Belle Vue Boys, Bradford, I had recently become the schools Board 1 after the late Marsha Singh (later MP for Bradford West) had gone to Loughborough University.). We were introduced to an old Boy in the school library -- Norman Crowther Hunt, Baron Crowther-Hunt (13 March 1920 – 16 February 1987) - [He randomly chose me for questions and answers, out of the entire VIth form]. He had read History at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge ( a small college, and Asa Briggs went to Sidney Sussex, at 17, but born 1921.)
In the Guardian obituary of Asa Briggs, the fellow recruiting for Sidney Sussex in 1937 (for the 1938 intake) sounds like an interesting person indeed, who also predicts WWII.
The main thrust from Crowther-Hunt and Asa Briggs was both on education and adult education. The Open University has also been proven for helping with the safety and security of this Nation.

For more clues, with those into lateral thinking, pattern recognition, jigsaws of information - try this for just one newspaper competition.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/ ... s-obituary

rgds (FM) Gary Kenworthy.

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Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:27 am

I never knew Asa Briggs played chess.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Gary Kenworthy

Re: Stuart Milner-Barry, Messenger & Chess Player

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:43 am

Of course he did. But better known as a Bridge player, like his famous Bridge partner.

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