Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

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John Townsend
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Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by John Townsend » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:09 pm

Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer has died at the age of 91. He was a very strong bridge player in the sixties, but he was also a more than useful chessplayer. Can someone contribute a few remarks about his chess activities and/or one of his game scores?

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David Shepherd
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by David Shepherd » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:59 pm

The following link is to an interview with him. He mentions in the interview that he was captain of the University chess team (about 25:50) https://www.sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1131073

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John Saunders
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by John Saunders » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:07 pm

Thanks for letting us know. I've found three game scores for him but this is the only win (I think we should adhere to a chess version of the normal principle which I can render as 'de mortuis nihil nisi victoriae')...



I was in contact with Sir Peter some years ago when I was researching the Varsity chess match. In his email he told me he "was made to give up chess at the end of 1950 when [he] was elected to a Research Fellowship". But he was senior treasurer of the Cambridge University Chess Club during my time (1971-74) and probably some time before and after, though I don't think that involved him in putting in an appearance at matches or competitions.

He played for CUCC in four Varsity chess matches: 1946 (loss to Richard Shermer Lankester, board 7); 1947 (win against Robin Charles Oliver Matthews, board 5 - RCO Matthews also became a Cambridge prof); 1948 (loss to Dennis Morton Horne, top board); 1949 (loss to Alan Fraser Truscott, top board).
Personal Twitter @johnchess / Personal Website http://www.saund.co.uk / Britbase http://www.britbase.co.uk

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:18 pm

John Townsend wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:09 pm
Can someone contribute a few remarks about his chess activities and/or one of his game scores?
He gets a couple of name checks in MCO 10 (Modern Chess Openings) published in 1965. They are on page 118 about the Ponziani.

Specifically the line
"wins" which is quoted as Swinnerton-Dyer v Barrett, Cambridge 1949

Also
is attributed "Swinnerton-Dyer gives".

Leonard Barden
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Leonard Barden » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:20 pm

Sir Peter played, and I think defeated, Jacques Mieses in the Hastings Premier Reserves in 1949-50. He was thus among the last Morphy 3 survivors via the Mieses-Bird and Mieses-Paulsen routes.

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John Clarke
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by John Clarke » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:56 pm

John Saunders wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:07 pm
RCO Matthews also became a Cambridge prof)
An Oxford one too (1965-75).
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:41 pm

If we are talking academics who play chess, the list could get quite long. If you limit it to professors, the two mentioned here are a starting point, to which can be added Trevor Robbins (mentioned here and here).

Peter Swinnerton-Dyer
Robin Matthews
Trevor Robbins

(Sorry for the side-track - anything more on professors should go in another thread - back to Swinnerton-Dyer. Though if I may be permitted to stay briefly on the topic of academics playing chess, those who were at Cambridge in the late 1990s will remember the Senior Treasurer at the time - Dr Nick Pyper - I am now trying to figure out if the Pyper juniors [from Sussex] are related.)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:04 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:41 pm
If we are talking academics who play chess, the list could get quite long. If you limit it to professors, the two mentioned here are a starting point, to which can be added Trevor Robbins
If you go outside of Oxbridge, there's Professor DB Scott of Sussex.
http://www.saund.co.uk/britbase/pgn/193 ... ml#schultz

It was many years before I realised that the DB Scott who was an author of a textbook on Mathematical Analysis was the same DB Scott who was a Sussex top board and Congress regular.

David Robertson
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by David Robertson » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:31 pm

Peter Swinnerton-Dyer gets the full obit here. I never met him, but knew of him - by reputation, and by deed. He emerges well - a good man, a competent head of the UGC, and a committed liberal in the defence of universities and their Enlightenment values. We can't get enough of them these days. On the other hand, he was a product of native English elitism, of Eton & Oxbridge and its attendant soi disant entitlements. I gather from those that knew him that he carried these burdens of privilege lightly. I'm sure that's true.

RIP

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:06 am

His father was President of the British Chess Federation between 1956 and 1958. Here he is with another famous figure from the past.

Coventry Evening Telegraph - May 30, 1953.png
Coventry Evening Telegraph - May 30, 1953.png (322.3 KiB) Viewed 1243 times

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:33 am

"Peter Swinnerton-Dyer gets the full obit here."

I like his deliberate illegal bid at Bridge which got the rules changed!

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:12 am

Two more games





Roger de Coverly
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:36 pm

In the first game, 5. .. d6 is the error. It had previously been played in 1862 by Mongredien, after which no other examples are recorded until the mass capture of games in the internet era.

Andrew Martin
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Andrew Martin » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:20 pm

I will be quite keen to play bridge against him in Heaven when the time comes. 100 grapes per hundred.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Post by Roger Lancaster » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:37 pm

Andrew Martin wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:20 pm
I will be quite keen to play bridge against him in Heaven when the time comes. 100 grapes per hundred.
Yes, if the heavenly rules haven't also changed, 8 clubs doubled and vulnerable down (say) 4 would result in a small feast!

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