Lowest Graded British Champion

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Keith Arkell
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Keith Arkell » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:24 pm

I bet you've improved in all areas of understanding and tecnique Matt :) but I guess ability to calculate stays more or less the same :|

In my experience 170s are far far tougher to put away than 10,15,20 years ago.I mean my % remains the same but the games are much higher quality.They sometimes prepare,they know their opening,and they are simply much stronger all round

James Pratt
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by James Pratt » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:33 am

Eley did little before or since. And winning broke him as a person.

Dr Fazekas was an IM, sent back his trophy in protest at his treatment. Barden/Phillips were lucky winners. As late 1976, Haygarth was considering a professional life in chess. I bet Alan "Sixty Years on with Caissa & Friends") Phillips entertained no such wicked thoughts. Kottnauer was very strong never to have won, Chandler was 2600+ at his best. No one could boast that surely yet never to have won it, perhaps not even Stean.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:54 am

One way to look at the question - perhaps no better or worse than other ways - would be to ask "has anybody who was the strongest British player of the time failed to win the Championship?". If not, then anybody who was the second, third, etc.
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by James Pratt » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:20 pm

Miles only won once despite many laurels when the pickings were greater.

Nunn was denied a play-off in 1979, (Bellin won on tie-break) only played once more to prove his supremacy.

Markland had an Elo of 2510 - only a shadow rating, based on Hastings 1971/2, (I think) - never won a Championship, went on to get a postal GM title.

Clarke was perhaps the strongest never to make IM - he was of this strength 1956-61 - and came 2nd= in several Britishes.

But, of course, one could go on and on ...

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:46 pm

Yes, I forgot Clarke and Kottnauer as ones who stood out in the pre-GM era. The latter in particular would surely have become a GM had he stayed in his native land.........

I vaguely recall something about Lazslo Szabo wanting to leave Hungary and settle in Britain after the failure of the 1956 uprising, only to have been told by numerous people (poss including his former countryman Fazekas) the chess life here was so decrepit he was better off staying where he was, despite the sh**ty situation there :(

And he did, tho' he made quite a few visits to Hastings over the years :)
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Mike Gunn
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Mike Gunn » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:00 am

This is just to confirm the details of the Hartston-Basman playoff for the 1973 British Championship which I mentioned attending (one game of). It was held from Jan 28th to Feb 3rd 1974 at "Heathrow Hotel". There is a report on pages 81 to 85 of the March 1974 BCM by Harry Golembek. Interesting points of historical trivia: the contest was held during the 3 day week (but hotels were exempt, I think) and prominent in the pictures of both players playing the match are large bottles of Cutty Sark whisky (Cutty Sark sponsored the British then) next to the chess board. Hartston won the playoff 4½-1½.

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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by John Upham » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote: I vaguely recall something about Lazslo Szabo wanting to leave Hungary and settle in Britain after the failure of the 1956 uprising, only to have been told by numerous people (poss including his former countryman Fazekas) the chess life here was so decrepit he was better off staying where he was, despite the sh**ty situation there :(
If 1956 was replaced with 2009 would the advice remain the same?
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:31 pm

It's certainly getting that way again! :(
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Keith Arkell
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:15 pm

Well chaps I have to say I think there's lots of great events here these days :D

From April to September I accepted invites with ''conditions'' in all of the following FIDE rated events:

Southend GM closed category 10
Amersham open
Big Slick category 6
Pontypridd open
British Champs
Uxbridge Open
Coulsdon GM/IM
Paignton open (ok I lied :wink: - no conditions for this one but a great event :wink: )
Uxbridge(again) open

I am able to play professionally for 2 teams,and get a number of simuls.

For those who want the absolute top events there's supposed to be something happening at the end of the year,and for those who like weekenders there are often 2 or 3 to chose between on a given w/e (apparently 4 on the w/e of 18-20 Sept!).

Believe me,I've tried both places,and things are a lot better here than in the USA.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:22 pm

Point taken Keith, but don't you think British chess *has* regressed a fair bit from the glory days of the 1970s/80s?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Keith Arkell
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:32 pm

From the point of view of the size of the prizes yes definitely! :cry:

Keith Arkell
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:42 pm

But not from the point of view of our standing in the chess world.

England were number 2 at our peak.An all time high in ranking,but were we really the 2nd best or was that just one amazing moment.Admittedly around the late 80s we were near the top anyway,but as far as I can see the reason we are now ranked only about 17 is that the Soviet Union broke up.
This resulted in a number of nations ahead of us rather than just one.And not only that,but also Soviets flooded the USA team,the Spanish team etc etc.Even the top 2 ''Dutch'' players aren't Dutch!
Also there has been the Chinese chess explosion(and Vietnam too). Revert everything back to how it was back in the late 80s and I'm sure we would again be pressing for 2nd =

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:17 pm

Not just that Keith, but remember the huge super-tourneys we used to have like Phillips and Drew - not to mention the world title matches?? (of course the last big event of that nature back in '93 caused more problems than it solved :? )

These things were invaluable for getting chess wider publicity, if nothing else........

And there is little doubt club chess has declined markedly in the last two decades. My "home" chess club finally died a death at the start of this decade, I am in my 43rd year and am one of the youngest members of my present one :(

This is why the seemingly interminable discussions on the failings of our ECF are so important!
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Keith Arkell
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:48 pm

Yes,(definitely yes :? )
yes,
yes probably because of the internet,
and yes

Neill Cooper
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Re: Lowest Graded British Champion

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:30 pm

The median age of my club is below 20! That is only considering those who played inter-club matches this season, there are many other juniors who do not play inter-club chess.

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