Title norms held by English players

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:03 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote: Would you or someone be able to find when or if Golembek or Milner-Barry were ever on the earliest BCF grading lists?
Golombek and Milner-Barry continued to play into the 1970s and 1980s, but not always often enough to meet the qualification standard for the National List of thirty games in two years.

They are both in the 1968 list which has rather more of the slightly older generation than subsequent ones.

Penrose 243
Kottnauer 229
Keene 229
Lee, PN 227
Whiteley 227
Hollis 226
Franklin 224
Hartston 224
Clarke, PH 220
Golombek 220
Littlewood, JE 219
Phillips, JR 219
Sharpe, IW 218
Taylor, JD 218
McDonald-Ross 217
Milner-Barry 217
Wood, BH 217
Hindle 217
Hilton 216
Knox 216
Robbins 216
Parr, F 215
Richardson, KB 215
Wade 215
Wright 215
Pritchard 214
Thomas 214
Ball 214
Gibbs 213
Lambshire 213
Haygarth 212
Hoad 212
Patterson 212
Firth 212
Woodcock 212
Basman 211
Cafferty 211
Harman, KB 211
Phillips, A 211
Stephenson, FW 211
Wolstenholme 211
Littlewood, N 210
Burnett 210
Scott, DB 210
Williams, AH 210
Green, BN 209
Poutrus, WE 209
Toothill, A 209

So not much to choose between Golombek, Milner-Barry etc.

That year's England team in the Olympiad had the top 4 plus Clarke and Basman.

James Pratt
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by James Pratt » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:09 pm

I did a survey for my, then, magazine some years back. I used grades when they were first published as numbers, as today, as opposed to categories (1a, 2b etc). To qualify for my list you needed to register three 234+ performances, not necessarily consecutively. Sadly, only Penrose got in although Kottnauer and Clarke just failing to score. I see this is 1964-1988, with, I then noted, Kotsen, Flear and King about to feature. No Elos considered. Figures are averages and (bracketted figures) the number of lists a player appeared at 234+. Ready?

Miles (12) 252.6, Nunn (10) 250, Speelman (9) 248.7, Chandler (9) 248.3, Short (7) 248.3, Mestel (10) 245.3, Penrose (3) 245.3, Plaskett (3) 240.5, Keene (8) 240.3, P Littlewood (3) 240.3, Hartston (5) 239, Watson (4) 237.6, Hodgson (3) 237.6 and Hebden (4) 237. That's it!

Dated on no, this must reveal something!

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:36 pm

I have long held the opinion tht Bill Hartston is the English players most deserving of the GM title who never received it. Ray Keene pointed out that he would have achieved the norms, if the modern rules had been in place. With 2 rounds to go at Hastings he had a GM norm. But lost his last two games against Uhlman and Larsen. Larsen said that, if Uhlman drew, then he would 'give' Bill a draw as he would then win the tournament outright. Nowadays if you get a norm partway through an event, then it stands.
I might even have made the application for Bill based on that, but suspected he wouldn't have wanted an application to be made if he wasn't certain to get it. I am not sure if he ever reached 2500.

Leonard Barden, Peter Clarke were clearly IM strength to my mind. Leonard disagreed with me, stating his results were inadequate.
Harry Golombek got his GM title really as a grace and favour one arranged by Ray Keene, then a member of the QC.
I am not sure how good a case Jonathan Penrose had for his belated GM title, but again Ray persuaded the QC.

Peter Lee, Adrian Hollis, John Littlewood, Michael Franklin would all have become IMs in my opinion if the opportunities after 1977 had been there in earlier years. You may well add others to the list. Owen Hindle?

In 1950 titles were awarded for the first time. This was by committee vote.
Jacques Mieses was the only English GM. His hey-day must have been around 1900.
IMs Alexander, Golombek, Thomas, Winter, Kottnauer, Wade (NZ) were all awarded the IM title. That suggests Milner-Barry wasn't thought quite good enough.

Barry Wood told me the following: After the war, the Soviet Union wanted Spain excluded from FIDE. Barry made a speech saying 'Gens Una Sumus' speaking fervently for their inclusion. After that he was very popular in Spain and received royal treatment when he went there. At the meeting, the Spanish Delegate said, 'Should not our good friend Mr Wood be awarded th IM title.' Barry said, 'Oh no,' I'm not good enough.' Had he kept quiet it is very likely he would have been appointed an IM.

Later Honorary GM and even Honorary IM titles were awarded. Often this was on the basis of goodwill, not concrete results. We finally got rid of awarding new ones as we felt enough time and opportunity had passed.

Colin S Crouch
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Colin S Crouch » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:12 pm

Fascinating stuff, and we could easily get into memory lane on all this.
It is best to concentrate on the main point, on which players in years past could reasonably be expected to have reached IM level, were it not for norm chances had been more restricted before the 1980s.
In 1971 and 1981, all the players who reached gradings of 225 achieved their IM title, and in most cases GM title. This is to be expected. After all, to get an IM title, a player will need a rating of 2400, the equivalent of a 2400 FIDE rating. In the 1968 rating, what is striking is that Peter Lee and Adrian Hollis went beyond 225, while Michael Franklin was just a grading point below. We can say that these players were basically at IM strength. In the sixties though, they would only have had limited opportunities to play international tournaments at IM level. Certainly in the 1981 cohort, most of the players who reached 220 achieved IM level.

We come now to players in these three years who achieved gradings between 220 and 224. Perhaps on these particular years, they are not quite at the strength of achieving IM titles, but it is reasonable to suppose that if these players could put in some hard work to achieve IM strength (these days measured by norms and the FIDE system), they would probably achieve IM status.
On the three lists given, we have:
1968 - Clarke
1971 - none!
1981 - G Lee, J Littlewood, J Nicholson, D Rumens, K Harman

It is quite reasonable to suppose that if they had repeated this performance, earlier or later, then, given time and opportunities, they would have reached IM level.
We note though the death by drowning of Ian Wells, then aged 17, who had a grading of 220. He would very definitely have become a GM, had he lived.

What is striking in the 1971 list was that there were a few established GM and IM players, highly experienced in international chess, and a large number of players graded between 215 and 219. The younger players generally achieved IM status. The older players generally did not. These more established players did not lack talent. More likely, they had little incentive to push that little bit harder against international level opposition. These days, it is easy enough to play grandmaster opposition, even in team events. I have recently played against GMs in the London League and in the Middlesex League, in the last couple of months, for example, and I am hoping very much that my team will get promoted in the 4NCL. There were just not the opportunities for all this in the 1960s and early 1970s. Many strong players were not pushed hard enough.

Anyway, statistical challenge.
Players who reached 225 strength, but did not achieve IM status? Players who reached 220 twice, but did not achieve IM status? And, before the modern BCF/ECF grading system, the equivalents of these levels of strength?

Leonard Barden
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Leonard Barden » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:05 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
I am not sure how good a case Jonathan Penrose had for his belated GM title, but again Ray persuaded the QC.
Stewart, you have already published this misinformation at least once before here and I think I corrected you then. My full account of how Penrose was belatedly awarded the GM title can be found on another Forum thread.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:20 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Stewart Reuben wrote:
I am not sure how good a case Jonathan Penrose had for his belated GM title, but again Ray persuaded the QC.
Stewart, you have already published this misinformation at least once before here and I think I corrected you then. My full account of how Penrose was belatedly awarded the GM title can be found on another Forum thread.
I believe the accounts Leonard Barden refers to can be found here and here:

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 787e#p7787 (23 January 2009)
http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 679#p38679 (18 September 2010)

Collecting some of these links together should be done sooner rather than later.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:41 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Stewart Reuben wrote:
I am not sure how good a case Jonathan Penrose had for his belated GM title, but again Ray persuaded the QC.
Stewart, you have already published this misinformation at least once before here and I think I corrected you then. My full account of how Penrose was belatedly awarded the GM title can be found on another Forum thread.
Apart from anything else, a perusal of Keene's account of chess in the 1970s as published in Kasparov's "Revolution in the Seventies" makes any such action by Keene seem somewhat unlikely.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:13 pm

Interesting that Stewart is doubtful whether Penrose deserved in GM title......

I thought the overwhelming consensus was that at his peak he was GM strength with something to spare?? :?:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:42 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote: Apart from anything else, a perusal of Keene's account of chess in the 1970s as published in Kasparov's "Revolution in the Seventies" makes any such action by Keene seem somewhat unlikely.
The problem in the 1960s was that with tournament norms available only in APA tournaments, you needed invites to get norm chances. However you only got invites if you had a title. I think Keene's point is that once Penrose had won the British once or twice and established a reputation and IM title, that he should have stepped aside from winning the British every single year, devoting the time instead to accepting international invites which came his way. It was argued that "the British Champion" could get invites even if not titled, so there could have been a string of different winners in the 1960s all of whom got some APA invites as a consequence. Haygarth and Peter Lee interrupted the series of Penrose wins, so did they get invites? Hastings was usually prepared to invite the British Champion, even if Penrose would turn them down.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:35 pm

Colin Crocuch >1981 - G Lee, J Littlewood, J Nicholson, D Rumens, K Harman<

John Nicholson achieved 5 IM norms, 3 or more of which are on Lawrence's list. He never even reached 2350, which was all that was needed in the early days. When, at my suggestion, norms were made timeless instead of lasting only 6 years, John reappeared for one norm tournament. He didn't do well and made no further effort to get the title.

I am not sure Graham Lee or Kenny Harman ever played in norm tournaments - apart from the British. Dave Rumens did play one Hastings Premier. He did get bronze in the World U20, that might be worth a punt for the IM title. I'm sure it wasn't the regulation then. I never thought of that before.

Sorry Leonard that I got the Jonathan Penrose story muddled up in my mind.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:20 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:Colin Crocuch >1981 - G Lee, J Littlewood, J Nicholson, D Rumens, K Harman<

John Nicholson achieved 5 IM norms, 3 or more of which are on Lawrence's list. He never even reached 2350, which was all that was needed in the early days.
As far as John is aware he only ever made three norms. As previously requested, if you could inform the IRO (no longer me) of the other two then norm certificates can be raised.

James Pratt
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by James Pratt » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:24 pm

Kenny Harman never played in norm events, except the Lloyds Bank, not the British Championship, although he did become a postal IM. GD Lee went towards problems and coaching, Rumens managed his daughter/son? through in athletics. Penrose's palmiest days were at Olympiads and, of course, he went down the postal route. Markland and Clarke got GM titles similarly. Bridge claimed PN Lee and, to an extent, Rumens again.

Haygarth got married and vanished on the spot!

Colin S Crouch
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Colin S Crouch » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:05 pm

Just to extend and clarify my previous comment.
In the 1971 grading list, there were 18 players graded 217 or over. Of these, 7 were graded at 225 or over, GMs or IMs, or later achieved these results. of the other 18, only one (Howard Williams) became an IM. Furthermore, there were no players graded between 220 and 224 inclusive. This seems an unusual set of results.
Were the other 17 not talented enough? Or rather, did they not have the incentive or the possibility to improve to reach clear IM level? most of these players are generall regarded as players who should, in kinder conditions, have become IM. These would, for example, include players such as J Littlewood, Barden, Cafferty, Franklin and Clarke.
Such players can be regarded as very close to IM strength, but for the most part did not have their opportunities.
The situation was not all that different in 1968.
By 1981, there were vast differences in chess opportunities. Taking just the players graded from 220 upwards, there were 27 players of this strength, compared with 7 in 1971. In 1981, there were 14 players graded at 225 or over, and all of these became either GMs or IMs. There were 13 players graded between 220 and 224, Maybe most of these players would achieve IM or GM level, or maybe some of these had flattering results, or maybe players lost interest in the game. Whatever. The critical point here is not so much those who did not make IM level, but rather, the majority who did become IMs or GMs. In this cohort, we include players such as Nigel Davies, Mark Hebden, and James Plaskett, all well known GMs. The basic point here is that anyone graded over 220 has good chances of reaching the next level.
Stewart Reuben, in setting up events such as the Lloyds Bank Masters, made a big part of setting up the improvement in British chess in the late 1970s and beyond.
Now, back to the earlier period. It would be reasonable to suppose that a player graded over 220 would have had good chances of reaching an IM title, if given the right chess environment. The problem here is that the players we might be thinking of would often have gradings slightly lower, below those of Nicholson, G. Lee, Rumens, etc.
Perhaps the simplest way is to ignore in this context players after 1978, on the basis that they would have had plenty of norm opportunities.

Interesting to go through Leonard Barden's earlier comments, and the chaotic way in which norms were created much earlier.
And yes, Jonathan Penrose is someone I would very much regard as a strong Grandmaster.

Leonard Barden
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:04 am

Stewart Reuben wrote: Dave Rumens did play one Hastings Premier. He did get bronze in the World U20, that might be worth a punt for the IM title. I'm sure it wasn't the regulation then. I never thought of that before.
Fide regulations for the World U20 include an automatic GM title for the winner and a GM norm for tied first, but nothing for second or third. I think that was always the case. My memory (not guaranteed) says that Rumens tied second-fourth in the 1959 World Junior U20, but was placed fourth on tiebreak.
He was actually in the silver medal position with one round to go, and half a point behind the leader Carlos Bielicki who he had to play in the final round. Rumens was black and elected to go for the win with a Dutch Defence, but got an inferior position and eventually lost. I don't know if he tried to bail out with a draw offer at any stage. If he had won he would have automatically been awarded the IM title and our efforts to create English IMs in the 1970s would have been made easier.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Title norms held by English players

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:23 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:I'm pleased to see that the FIDE website has been updated with 11 English GM norms, 21 IM norms and 2 WIM norms added. There should be 5 further GM norms, 8 IM norms and 2 WGM norms. I have submitted IM title applications for Peter Sowray & Chris Duncan (both conditional on them reaching 2400) and hope to complete applications for John Richardson & John Nicholson soon, again both conditional on rating.

It is very regrettable that some of these applications (and norms) weren't submitted sooner, some date back many years.

The links can be viewed here: http://ratings.fide.com/title_norms.pht ... ountry=ENG
Coming back to this, Sowray got another IM norm at the recent London Chess Classic FIDE Open. He already has a conditional IM title application in - needs to reach 2400:

http://www.fide.com/component/content/a ... -2013.html

Sowray's conditional title is at the link above: "approved by the 1st quarter Presidential Board 2013 meeting held in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia on 19-20 January 2013". This is why Sowray doesn't appear on the list of title norms here:

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/grading/ ... tle-norms/

Would it be possible to list those with conditional titles somewhere on the ECF website?

Did Chris Duncan, John Richardson and John Nicholson get conditional titles as well? I see Richardson and Nicholson are still listed with three norms in the above lists at FIDE, but no sign of Duncan.

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=4794#p103569

I see Sowray and Duncan here:

http://ratings.fide.com/title_applications.phtml?pb=35

But nothing there saying the titles are conditional. And no sign of Duncan at the other link above. Strange.

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