Sir George Alan Thomas

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
John Upham
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Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by John Upham » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:40 pm

I note that Sir George Alan Thomas has a Twitter account at @SirGeorgeThomas :lol:

I am planning to ask him if his famous loss to Edward Lasker in 1912 was played with liquid refreshment.
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John Upham
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by John Upham » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:42 pm

John Upham wrote:I note that Sir George Alan Thomas has a Twitter account at @SirGeorgeThomas :lol:

I am planning to ask him if his famous loss to Edward Lasker in 1912 was accompanied with liquid refreshment.
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:35 pm

The baronet, world No1 at badminton, died at 91, in a care home and nearly blind, 44 years ago today. Instead of this cheap jokey post, it would be better to mark the occasion by remembering his triumph at Hastings 1934-35 where he tied for first with Euwe and Flohr, became the only English player ever to beat Capablanca, and was the only player ever to defeat Capablanca and Botvinnik on successive days.

John Upham
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by John Upham » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:45 pm

Does anyone know who has set-up the Twitter account?
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MJMcCready
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:17 am

I don't know but Howard Staunton has one too!

Colin Patterson
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Colin Patterson » Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:59 pm

I'm surprised that no-one has written a Thomas biography yet (have they? I could be wrong). His mastery of chess and badminton (and to an extent, tennis) would make him a subject of some distinction. Same goes for Henry Thomas Buckle, another hugely talented and fascinating individual.

Come to think of it, there are quite a few players who don't get much biographical spotlight - Lewis, Walker, McDonnell, Buckle, Wisker, Thomas, Fairhurst and Penrose are just a few I'd like to read about.

Come on chess writers! Surely some scope for a best seller here somewhere.

Tim Harding
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Tim Harding » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:44 pm

Colin Patterson wrote:I'm surprised that no-one has written a Thomas biography yet (have they? I could be wrong). His mastery of chess and badminton (and to an extent, tennis) would make him a subject of some distinction. Same goes for Henry Thomas Buckle, another hugely talented and fascinating individual.
There does exist (see British Library catalogue) a rather poor self-published book:

The chess games of Sir George Alan Thomas / by Roger Leslie Paige.
Roger Leslie Paige
Liskeard : Exposure Publishing, 2005.

Subsequently I wrote a critical article about that book, "Sir George Thomas: the early years" in my Kibitzer series for chesscafe,com (May 2006) whkich led to some people contacting me.

A postscript in my July 2006 article said Bernard Cafferty informed me that he knew a "retired civil servant" who had collected "several thousand" Thomas games from old chess columns etc but was not using a computer, and was in no rush to publish, the opposite of Mr Paige.
Bernard, can you give an update on this please?
Were you referring to D. J. Rogers (historian of the BCCA) who also wrote to me around that time to say he was interested in Sir George and I believe knew him quite well?
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:38 pm

Tim Harding wrote: A postscript in my July 2006 article said Bernard Cafferty informed me that he knew a "retired civil servant" who had collected "several thousand" Thomas games from old chess columns etc but was not using a computer, and was in no rush to publish, the opposite of Mr Paige.

D. J. Rogers (historian of the BCCA) also wrote to me around that time to say he was interested in Sir George and I believe knew him quite well?
I seem to remember vaguely DJ Rogers writing to me, too. Trouble is, he would be over 80 now if still living (his wife, nee Jean Craker, was British girls under-18 champion in 1949 and 1950) so the only realistic hope would be if someone interested had an address for him and could collect the cuttings and complete the project. Slim hope.

MJMcCready
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by MJMcCready » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:34 am

The sad reflection is that with a little research it appears there are so many interesting characters that can be written about.

Tim Harding
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Tim Harding » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:56 am

Leonard Barden wrote:
Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:38 pm
Tim Harding wrote: A postscript in my July 2006 article said Bernard Cafferty informed me that he knew a "retired civil servant" who had collected "several thousand" Thomas games from old chess columns etc but was not using a computer, and was in no rush to publish, the opposite of Mr Paige.

D. J. Rogers (historian of the BCCA) also wrote to me around that time to say he was interested in Sir George and I believe knew him quite well?
I seem to remember vaguely DJ Rogers writing to me, too. Trouble is, he would be over 80 now if still living (his wife, nee Jean Craker, was British girls under-18 champion in 1949 and 1950) so the only realistic hope would be if someone interested had an address for him and could collect the cuttings and complete the project. Slim hope.
Surprisingly good news just arrived on this front. The latest issue of the BCCA magazine Correspondence Chess arrived today and on page 6 it includes the following from its editor Russell Sherwood.
Mrs Jean Rogers, widow of our long-time member and Magazine editor John Rogers is looking to publish John's book The origins of a great British Sportsman: Sir George Alan Thomas. If any member has any suggestions on how this might be achieved or any contacts please get in touch and I will pass on any information.
He doesn't say how many games are included etc. I will inform McFarland but maybe one of the UK-based publishers would be better as a lot of editing might be required.

Mr. Sherwood can be contacted by email at leanthinker@hotmail.co.uk
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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Brian Denman
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Brian Denman » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:17 am

Stephen Jackson of Bexhill collected loads of games and material about Sir George Thomas. I have not been in touch with him for some years and do not know why he never wrote a book on the subject. Perhaps it was the problem of not being able to find a publisher.

Tim Harding
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Tim Harding » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:02 am

Brian Denman wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:17 am
Stephen Jackson of Bexhill collected loads of games and material about Sir George Thomas. I have not been in touch with him for some years and do not know why he never wrote a book on the subject. Perhaps it was the problem of not being able to find a publisher.
Does anyone know how to contact Stephen Jackson (whom I've never heard of)? I had heard there was another person collecting Thomas games but didn't know who it was.
If Mr Jackson can be located, it would seem a good idea to put him in touch with Jean Rogers and maybe a publisher could help merge their efforts?

The problem of finding a publisher for a book on Sir George has of course been compounded by the issuing some years ago of the inadequate self-published book on him by Roger Paige.
It's a great pity the three people who were working on Thomas could not somehow get to know about each other and coordinate their efforts. I suspect, though, that John Rogers will have gathered more on Thomas's sporting achievements and family than the others did.
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

Brian Denman
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Brian Denman » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:52 am

I have a home address for Stephen Jackson, though he may have moved by now. The names of John Rogers and Roger Paige have been mentioned, but I very much doubt that they have anywhere near the knowledge of Sir George that Stephen has and for that reason there would not seem to be much point in bringing the three together. What Stephen probably needs is someone, who could collaborate with him in producing a book. I believe that he did not have a computer a few years ago and it would therefore have been very difficult for him to publish a book. He is the person mentioned by Bernard Cafferty, though he would not possess as many games as suggested previously. Nevertheless I doubt that anyone else has anywhere near the knowledge of Sir George that he has. I personally am not willing to give out his home address on the internet and I feel that it would only be fair to involve him if anyone has a concrete proposal to produce a book for him. If such a person exists, then please contact me privately, but I will not give out his address for a general enquiry.

Brian Denman
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Brian Denman » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:53 pm

I have had email discussions with Tim Harding and Ken Norman and it seems likely that a book on Sir George Thomas could not be produced without someone experienced in writing coordinating the material. I understand that John Rogers was unable to find a publisher for his book and it is likely that without significant editing and probably production of photographs it would not meet the requirements of the McFarland publishers. I know that Stephen Jackson accumulated a lot of material on Sir G T from study at the Colindale Library, but he seems to have been out of chess circles for some years, may no longer be interested in the project, and may have moved addresses. Although such a book would be a very worthwhile addition to British chess literature, I am left to conclude that we are a long way from seeing such a book being produced.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Sir George Alan Thomas

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:46 am

I think DJ and Jean Rogers are no longer with us. I would be happy to be proved wrong of course.

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