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Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:09 pm
by John Townsend
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?

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

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

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:07 pm
by John Saunders
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).

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:18 pm
by Roger de Coverly
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".

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:20 pm
by Leonard Barden
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.

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:56 pm
by John Clarke
John Saunders wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:07 pm
RCO Matthews also became a Cambridge prof)
An Oxford one too (1965-75).

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:41 pm
by Christopher Kreuzer
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.)

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:04 pm
by Roger de Coverly
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.

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

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

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:06 am
by Gerard Killoran
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 2341 times

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:33 am
by Kevin Thurlow
"Peter Swinnerton-Dyer gets the full obit here."

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

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:12 am
by Gerard Killoran
Two more games





Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:36 pm
by Roger de Coverly
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.

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:20 pm
by Andrew Martin
I will be quite keen to play bridge against him in Heaven when the time comes. 100 grapes per hundred.

Re: Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:37 pm
by Roger Lancaster
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!