IM Colin Crouch

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Stephen Moss
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Stephen Moss » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:44 pm

Terribly sad news. A wonderful character who epitomised everything that was good about chess. Whenever I visited Harrow with Surbiton to play a match, he would be there helping children with their chess, exuding joy at the game, showing not the slightest ego despite being a far stronger player than anyone else in the room. I do hope the ECF or an enterprising organiser will found a tournament in his name. He seemed to me to play chess in exactly the right spirit.

Tryfon Gavriel
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RIP Collin Crouch

Post by Tryfon Gavriel » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:09 pm

Hi all

Sad news I am afraid from Harrow Chess Club yesterday I received by Email :

"It is with deep regret we announce that Colin Crouch has passed away. Colin was 58 years old and a member of Harrow Chess Club since 1970.
Further details will follow once available.
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:16 pm

Sad news indeed.
Carl Hibbard

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:12 pm

A pity he had a falling out with this place - as just demonstrated, life's too short.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

John Swain
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by John Swain » Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 pm

This is very sad news. I remember Colin well from university days and afterwards (late 70s/80s) but lost touch until recently when we exchanged a few ideas via twitter. Colin was great company, with a fine sense of humour. He was never full of himself and always very willing to share his love of the game and analyse with those of us who were far below his level. He also had the ability to combine very strong chess with very strong beer, winning several seven round pint-a-point tournaments I recollect from undergraduate days. He was a real character who will be greatly missed.

My condolences to his family and friends. R.I.P. Colin.

Brian Towers
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Brian Towers » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:13 am

Just very, very, very, very sad.

Why for every Korchnoi (got his GM title the year Crouch was born, included some serious physical fitness training in his preparation for his world title matches with Karpov, played his last tournament just over 2 years ago in his 80's) is there a Miles and a Crouch? After his stroke why was Crouch writing in his blog about plans to raise his Elo by another 50 points in the next 6 months and not about his plans to go down the pool and do a few lengths to get his heart and lungs working, get his circulation going a bit better? I'm a really bad swimmer, a few attempted lengths of front crawl leaves me in serious danger of drowning, but when I can't run I go to the pool and do armless backstroke. I lie on my back, so breathing isn't a problem, use my arms as stabilisers and just kick. Half an hour of that twice a week takes care of keeping my cardiovascular system in shape until I can start running / jogging again.

Obviously this rant does nothing for Crouch or Miles but if you're middle aged, started having health warnings like those two did then do something about it! Do a bit of exercise. Check out this BMJ article
Last edited by IM Jack Rudd on Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: To delete some of the more insulting comments within it while keeping the substantive point.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Steven DuCharme
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Steven DuCharme » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:50 am

Rest in peace young man
I float like a pawn island and sting like an ignored knight :mrgreen:

Mike Gunn
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Mike Gunn » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:48 am

Karpov is in his 60s, not his 80s, so not a good illustration of the (crassly inappropriate) point you are making.

Clive Blackburn

Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Clive Blackburn » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:09 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:Karpov is in his 60s, not his 80s, so not a good illustration of the (crassly inappropriate) point you are making.
I agree that the post was totally inappropriate but to be fair, Brian was talking about Victor Korchnoi (born 1931) and not Anatoly Karpov (born 1951).

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:31 pm

I've edited the post in question to keep the point while removing some of the more, um, colourful stuff surrounding the point.


Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by stevencarr » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:11 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:Karpov is in his 60s, not his 80s, so not a good illustration of the (crassly inappropriate) point you are making.
It may have been crassly inappropriate but it was a timely reminder for me, because I don't feel too good today. I have made an appointment to see a health professional tomorrow.

Nevil Chan
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Nevil Chan » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:15 pm

Bill Phillips posted this today on ECF Forum and has given permission for it to be reproduced here...

Some personal memories of Colin

1. Colin was a junior member of Harrow Chess Club. In 1971, although I was new to Harrow, I took over the captaincy of the Harrow first team in the London League. I don’t think Colin had been asked to play in the team at that point but the 1971/72 season was a remarkable one for Colin. He played board one for Harrow in the London League and the season culminated in him beating Andrew Whitely (then 219) in the National Club Championship and winning the British under 16 championship in Brighton.

2. Colin completed his PhD at Durham. I believe he started it in the late 70s I believe that it was about unemployment trends in the North East. Bearing in mind what happened in 1979, the thesis became 3 very large A4 volumes. He writes about his thesis here and you can obtain it here

3. Colin was not the tidiest individual. He (like me) was a member of the local Fabian Society and I succeeded him as treasurer of the local society about 20 years ago. This was not an arduous task as the annual turnover was about £200 with about 20 transactions per annum. The room in his house that he used as an office had an amazing amount of clutter. It took him ages to find the Fabian Society paperwork and me ages to then sort it out.

4. Around this time I suggested that he should start using a word processor to write his books rather than his old manual typewriter. I suggested he use my computer at my house to see how he got on with it. Colin would arrive at my house most evenings with a pile of paper and sit upstairs in my office. He did not take to computers easily, my wife and I used to listen to him hit the keys as if hitting a manual typewriter and call down occasionally for help when the computer did its best to sabotage his work. I think it was his QGD 5.Bf5! that he produced. I lent him an old computer and installed it in his office. I believe he bought his own very soon afterwards and judging by the books that he produced, had no further problems.

5. Up until the early 2000s Colin was a member of the Labour Party and stood unsuccessfully as a local councillor in Harrow. I can remember helping him on his campaign and attending one of the frequent quiz-night fundraisers that he organised. One that sadly I missed became infamous as the “Albanian Night”. All the questions were about Albania. I think that around this time Colin was rather fond of an eastern European woman chess player, I've always suspected that the two were not unconnected.

I will miss Colin, It’s true that he was very quiet spoken but there are also memories that reflect the more competitive side of his personality. I will remember him fondly, as a friend and someone that was always happy to discuss ideas both within and outside the world of chess. His work locally coaching young players at Harrow Chess Club will be missed.

Bill Phillips
"Some people are good enough at chess to take it seriously; you are not one of them."

Mike Gunn
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Mike Gunn » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:12 pm

I only spoke to Colin once but I complimented him on one his books (which I had found personally very useful) and he was genuinely pleased to have the feedback. I think he was a significantly under-rated chess author. Until recently you could get a couple of his books for a fiver at a well known chess bookshop in Baker Street, well worth the price, in my opinion (I bought the one I didn't already own).

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:32 pm

Is there a full list of his books anywhere? Hopefully it will be in the obituaries that are presumably in preparation. For now, does anyone have any idea what the number is? I found the following:

How to Defend in Chess
Analyse Your Chess
Modern Chess: Move by Move
Fighting Chess: Move by Move
Why We Lose at Chess
Attacking Technique
Rate Your Endgame
Magnus Force
The Queen's Gambit Declined: 5.Bf4!
Pawn Chains
Great Attackers
Trends in the King's Indian Four Pawns Attack
Delayed Castling
Against the Maroczy Bind
Hastings, 1895: The Centenary Book

I'd hesitate to put years of publications on those, as you'd want to put first year of publication (and the publisher as well).

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: IM Colin Crouch

Post by Gavin Strachan » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:02 am

My "funny" Crouch moment. I had stopped playing chess for a few years. Then in deciding to return I entered a congress. in the first round i played a late entry. When i went over to the board i thought it said 88. Anyway Ed Player at the time was 188 and i had missed the very lightly pencilled in 1. After losing that i thought well things must get easier and in round 2 played Colin. Ouch.

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