Chess history trivia

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
John Townsend
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:04 pm

Yes, Christopher. I knew you could do it!

My translation follows:

This monument was laid in memory of George William Baron Lyttelton, for 36 years Lord Lieutenant of this county under Queen Victoria, by certain mourning friends out of those among whom he diligently laboured to serve the glory of God and the welfare of mankind. Born 31 March A.D. 1817, died 19 April A.D. 1876.

Latin text on request.

The monument was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott. The effigy, by J.N. Forsyth, is very lifelike. A visit is recommended.

The poor chap took his own life by jumping through the window of a London building.

MJMcCready
Posts: 1228
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:46 pm

It must be poor reportage on my side as it states Jim Plaskett. Maybe he knows the answer to that.

Nick Grey
Posts: 1131
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:31 pm

Sorry but are you saying Jim Plaskett became a GM when he was still at school?

User avatar
David Shepherd
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:46 pm

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by David Shepherd » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:41 pm

Jim Plaskett makes sense:

1976 Tony Miles
1976 Ray Keene
1977 Michael Stean
1978 John Nunn
1980 Jon Speelman
1982 Jonathan Mestel
1983 Murray Chandler
1984 Nigel Short
1985 Jim Plaskett

Nick Grey
Posts: 1131
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:34 pm

Makes sense to me too. That list with gap between 1980 & 1985 looked wrong. Well done.

Tim Harding
Posts: 1749
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Tim Harding » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:09 pm

John Townsend wrote: The poor chap took his own life by jumping through the window of a London building.
I thought he committed suicide by throwing himself downstairs in his London townhouse.

I must check that when I get home next month. What's your reference for the window?
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

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

User avatar
Gerard Killoran
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:55 pm

Tim Harding is right...
London Evening Standard - Friday 21 April 1876.jpg
London Evening Standard - Friday 21 April 1876.jpg (52.85 KiB) Viewed 1118 times

John Townsend
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:18 am

I read the "window" version in Boase's Modern English Biography (ii, 551), but it has obviously let me down on this occasion. I had previously read some inquest reports, but had forgotten that it was the staircase. Sorry.

For general purposes I find Boase very handy, especially as it includes biographies of many less famous people. It has a few strong areas, e.g. actors. However, Boase does contain errors.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:22 am

On Grandmasters from these islands.
Jacques Mieses was born in Germany. He fled the holocaust and became a fully naturalised UK citizen circa WWII.
He was officially British.
In 1950 FIDE published the first 27 Grandmasters, very sure than J Mieses is on that list, even without looking at all official sources. Being born German gets rather air-brushed.
This is not the Czars 1914 List at St Petersberg. That is the official FIDE list.
I knew somebody who helped carry J. Mieses around Bradford chess club (Sunbridge Road, the Latvian Club was later), in a cut- down Sedan style chair. He later died in London in 1954.

BTW : Lincoln Cathedral is a good answer - IMHO.
BTW: Jim Plaskett left Bedford Modern at 15, he became a GM later. I think you will fins that Short and Adams left early as well.
Last edited by Gary Kenworthy on Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ian Kingston
Posts: 1070
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:16 pm
Location: Sutton Coldfield
Contact:

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Ian Kingston » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:23 am

I think Jim Plaskett was a little older when he left school. I played him in a school match on 6 December 1977, when he was 17 years old.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:00 pm

Thanks Ian,
The disagreement with the Head was when he was 15. Paul Habershon will have a best answer.
When I roomed with him Jim for two weeks, at the 1978 British at Ayr ( where he was an unexpected 2nd, but deserved, he was an established and seasoned professional). In 1977 at Brighton he was in with Richard O'Brien and others - many stories as well).

I know of nobody who obtained a GM ship whilst at school.

(BTW: Jim's GM title norm at Paris needs to be looked at with great awe and respect, plus who he was also beating in that mid 1980s run)

BTW with Tony Miles Gm ship: He only played once in Yorkshire, when he was at Sheffield University. He left by mutual agreement but they later gave him an honourary Masters, which was very nice.
It would be hard to guess which sole Woodhouse Cup game he played in. Big clue: Doncaster cc. It is where Tony played the player who moved up to top board, J H Beaty ( a real nice gentleman).
So, who was the board 1 that was absent that day? That Tony wanted to stuff over the board?
His name, I am told, is mentioned too much on this board.
----------------------------------
Anybody disagreeing with Jacques Mieses, who is entitled to be on the UK GM list? We have other GMs born abroad who have played in our Olympiad team etc. Plus other titled players, but not GMs who have played in the Olympiad and similar.

Rgds Gary Kenworthy
Last edited by Gary Kenworthy on Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:20 pm

On 9 English/ British GMs.
If the fleeing for his life François-André Danican Philidor lived in a world of Olympiads and FIDE. I suspect he would have been selected for a British Empire team.
Making him a British citizen would have occurred. [Faster than Zola Budd’s 1984 application?] He would get board 1. (However, Scotland might have laid claimed to Duncan as a historic Scottish man!).

Mir Sultan Kahn played for the British Empire team (Pakistan being part of the Empire). Plus if he had been active nearer 1950, he would surely also be classed as 1950 FIDE GM title, the choice of the country would be harder, post the 1947 partition – politically complicated.
Some who had retired earlier, or not as strong, were given the 1950 GM title, like Torre.

However, the fleeing for his life Jacques Mieses was an official FIDE British GM in 1950. Some modern sources have him with an England flag next to his name. Why do we not mention this Holocaust fleeing German Jew? Maybe the answer is in the question.

John Townsend
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:28 pm

Another question:

A player claimed to have won a game and lost one against Morphy at the latter's London hotel. Morphy said he had never contested a single game against him. Name the player.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:44 pm

Paul Charles Morphy: Whatever our legal friend has as an answer, I believe Morphy’s account.

Morphy was logical, honest and accurate to a complete fault. An amateur chessplayer, a Southern gentleman from one of the finest families in New Orleans. He found chess in Europe sordid, money grabbing, unethical which left him with a bitter taste. The insults from Staunton that he was ungentlemanly and professional were clearly deeply hurting. But in the times of Victorian trolling this was relative mild.
[Additionally, I have been vocal at Staunton Society meetings that Golombek got it wrong on some counts with Staunton v Morphy.].

Returning from Europe in 1859 the president of the ACA (American Chess Association) called him a professional, Morphy reacted in public at the address. Note he was a Colonel.

Morphy wanted to practice law as a professional career and be married, he had already been turned down once as a meer chess professional.

The ACW (American Civil War) also wrecked Morphy’s life. He also opposed the succession, but statehood came first in the USA are world. In 1865 it was the USA is.

He and his brother Edward joined the army. Edward first. They were connected with General “Pierre” Beauregard. (see below) He was at Bull Run (First Manassas) 21st July 1861. One officer reported that Morphy did not fit-in with the Army. ( IMHO spot on). Almost certainly he was an intelligence staff officer. Reports that he did information gathering before the battle could well be true.
Beauregard almost certainly sent him home. He had a much better role for the Confederacy. He was soon in Havana working on legal contracts for Blockader runner expeditions. He was well respected in Paris, plus his mother and sisters had gone to Paris. Note Morphy was part French, a very well-known Creole musical family. I personally expect he also carried out further legal work on supply chains. Lisbon also had family connections (cf Murphy brewing family).

In August 1864 as part of the Operation Anaconda concept Admiral David Glasgow Farragut (“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead"”) after the sinking of the ironclad, USS Tecumseh, took the Confederate port of Mobile. The main Blockader Runner port for Confederacy was Mobile (where Morphy went to college). The main supply base was Havana.
Morphys war was now fully over. He intermittent stop/ started law again in New Orleans. His world a disaster, always being pested about chess, that he then grew to really hate.

Btw: First Battle of Bull Run. George Nelson Cheney was a KIA skirmisher- Onondaga regiment; he beat Morphy once in a knights odd 2 match event, in 1859.
Please note that Professor S.F.B.Morse was a great chess enthusiast. (See accounts of him in Paris as a spectator following Morphy). Just before the ACW, telegraphic matches were the new fashion, Cheney was a key player figure in such new technology, new communications infrastructure, inter City chess matches.

BTW: 1861 C-in-c Federal forces – chessplayer General Winfield Scott (see Morphy’s early opponents).
C-in-c Confederate forces Manassas campaign and winner - Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard. Never used the P of Pierre in signatures. Note his Nickname – “Little Creole”.

Addendum - 28th Nov:
A record exists, dated October 1861: that Morphy sought appointment in the diplomatic service for the Confederacy. The equivalent of the UK FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office). The capital was Richmond, Virginia, he also dropped into Richmond Chess Club 24th October 1861. He also saw a friend, General P G T Beaureguard who had immense power.
If that diplomatic role got carried through he was on official Confederacy government business. Also passing through Union controlled ports like New Orleans. Not holiday-making and idleness as many authors have said. A pretty stressful job. The aftermath of the War, really was Gone with the Wind.
Last edited by Gary Kenworthy on Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3408
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Chess history trivia

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:47 pm

John Townsend wrote: A player claimed to have won a game and lost one against Morphy at the latter's London hotel. Morphy said he had never contested a single game against him. Name the player.
Frederick Deacon

Post Reply