John Toothill (1938-2017)

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Matt Mackenzie
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Location: Millom, Cumbria

John Toothill (1938-2017)

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:23 pm

Cumbria's strongest player for many years, several times county champion and also a correspondence player of some repute.

This news is quite unexpected and a tremendous shock to everybody in the local chess scene :(

Despite his age he seemed in generally good shape and was still playing chess to a very high level. I had several keen battles with him (and quite a few short draws as well, we had developed a considerable mutual respect)

RIP.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

David Robertson
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Re: John Toothill (1938-2017)

Post by David Robertson » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:16 pm

I didn't know him well, but I did meet him a few times. Good man; good player; great loss.

RIP

Tim Harding
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Re: John Toothill (1938-2017)

Post by Tim Harding » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:48 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:23 pm
Cumbria's strongest player for many years, several times county champion and also a correspondence player of some repute.
...
RIP.
I'm very sorry to hear that though I don't believe we ever met. John Toothill got the ICCF IM title in 1981.
He was board 5 in the Great Britain team that won the 9th correspondence olympiad final during the 1980s, scoring 5/9 in the final.
The team was Jonathan Penrose-Adrian Hollis-Simon Webb-John Footner-John Toothill-Chris Shephard.
Only three survivors now.
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

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

David Phillips
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Re: John Toothill (1938-2017)

Post by David Phillips » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:44 am

John was Cumbria’s strongest player for as long as I have known him - nearly 50 years! Some of his many achievements are:
Cumbria Champion six times; leading Windermere Chess Club to a record nine successive County titles in the seventies and latterly to ten titles in the last twelve years;club champion many many times; league and club president; County captain for both over the board and correspondence for a number of years. John was also a very strong correspondence player as is mentioned above by Tim Harding.As you see the list is long. Apologies for what I have forgotten.
John and I were playing our fortieth game against each other in the internal club competition on Tuesday 21st when he took ill. Not surprisingly he was winning, having cannily, played as white a line I had told him recently I struggled against! I offered him a draw in the ambulance, but naturally he refused! So he left with a big smile on his face :) RIP

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: John Toothill (1938-2017)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:02 am

"John and I were playing our fortieth game against each other in the internal club competition on Tuesday 21st when he took ill. Not surprisingly he was winning, having cannily, played as white a line I had told him recently I struggled against! I offered him a draw in the ambulance, but naturally he refused!"

Good personal touch. I think a lot of people could relate to that.

Graham Borrowdale
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Re: John Toothill (1938-2017)

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:27 am

David Phillips wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:44 am
John and I were playing our fortieth game against each other in the internal club competition on Tuesday 21st when he took ill. Not surprisingly he was winning, having cannily, played as white a line I had told him recently I struggled against! I offered him a draw in the ambulance, but naturally he refused! So he left with a big smile on his face :) RIP
Yes, fantastic tale, David, thanks for posting.
Undoubtedly, the pedants amongst us would like to know what the result of the game was!
Regards
Graham

Alistair Campbell
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Re: John Toothill (1938-2017)

Post by Alistair Campbell » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:03 pm

I’m sorry to hear this.

John (I think he pronounced his surname “Tootle” rather than “Toot – hill”) was a regular supporter of the Oban Congress. I’m sure I saw him there on his bike, but I don’t think he cycled all the way…

I played him once, in 2005. I was impressed by his willingness to play for a win in an unpromising position; I was pleased to get the draw in the end.

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