Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

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Paul Buswell
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Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

Post by Paul Buswell » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:32 am

A strong county and correspondence player in past years.

A native of Australia but resident for many years in Sussex.

Deaf from the age of 20.

Above all, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1975

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

Post by Gordon Cadden » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:07 am

My records show that John Warcup Cornforth, was a member of the Hampstead Club in the 1950's.
He won the Hampstead Championship Trophy, in 1953, 1956, and 1957.

AustinElliott
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Re: Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

Post by AustinElliott » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:18 am

Read some of the scientific obituaries. Didn't know he was a chessplayer.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:55 pm

On 28th March 1952, Cornforth was good enough to beat NA Perkins on Board 4 of Civil Service vs Combined Oxford & Cambridge Universities. L Penrose was on Board 8.

In 1957, Cornforth was graded 3a, same as JM Aitken and D Mardle, Broadbent and Milner-Barry being 2b.

So he played all right...

AustinElliott
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Re: Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

Post by AustinElliott » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:56 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:On 28th March 1952, Cornforth was good enough to beat NA Perkins on Board 4 of Civil Service vs Combined Oxford & Cambridge Universities. L Penrose was on Board 8.

In 1957, Cornforth was graded 3a, same as JM Aitken and D Mardle, Broadbent and Milner-Barry being 2b.

So he played all right...

I wonder who would be the 'highest-rated chess-playing scientist to win the Nobel'? Cornforth sounds a definite contender. The other British scientific Nobel Laureate that I know was a chess-player was (Sir) Bernard Katz, who played chess as a teenager and then as a member of Harrow Chess Club in his late 60s and 70s after he retired. Don't think BK would have been of '3a' strength, though.

John Moore
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Re: Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

Post by John Moore » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:08 pm

Cornforth was a student of another Nobel Laureate chess player who was also a President of the British Chess Federation - namely Sir Robert Robinson. Not sure about Sir Robert's strength as a player, though.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:27 am

Robinson was the board below him in the match I mentioned...

Civil Service Combined Universities
1. RJ Broadbent ½-½ DV Mardle (C)
2. AY Green 0-1 AW Bowen (O)
3. CG Butcher 0-1 N McElvie (C)
4. NA Perkins 0-1 JW Cornforth (O)
5. JS Parker 1-0 Sir Robert Robinson (O)
6. RF Boxall 0-1 Dr HG Schenck (O)
7. EL Stuart 1-0 HA Samuels (C)
8. AH Challis 1-0 Prof LS Penrose (C)
9. WEC Richards 1-0 Dr J Dean (C)
10. BHN Stronach ½-½ JAWall (O)
11. Dr IJGood 1-0 RJ Taylor (C)
12. P Tillson ½-½ D.J.Youston (O)
13. D Le B Jones 0-1 H Morton (O)
14. NA McLeod 0-1 AJ Willson (C)
15. DG Mackay 1-0 DG Horseman (O)
16. PA Cooke 0-1 Rev WR Greenhalgh (O)
17. GE Wernick ½-½ V Tarnovsky (C)
18. SG Hill ½-½ GDE Soar (C)
19. P Henley 1-0 MD Penn (O)
20. R Gedling 0-1 CR Worthing (O)
9½-10½

Mardle changed sides later!

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Professor Sir John Cornforth 7/9/1917-8/12/2013

Post by Gordon Cadden » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:16 am

His obituary was published in the "Times" last Wednesday. It mentioned that he established a record for blindfold chess in Australia (1937).
Apart from a reference to correspondence chess, there was no mention of his achievements in British Chess.

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