Michael John Haygarth

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John Clarke
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Michael John Haygarth

Post by John Clarke » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:44 pm

Only just discovered that the former British champion passed on a couple of months ago - see here.
"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: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:25 pm

Sad news. Thanks for flagging it up. Does anyone know if he was still actively playing chess, or had he 'retired' some time ago? Nothing in the ECF grading list and an inactive FIDE rating of 2375, but no indication online of when that dates from (though it would be from before 2001). Hopefully this would be the right moment and thread to bring together some mentions of his past chess exploits.

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 62#p109862

James Pratt relates back in 2013 when reminiscing about the 1960s and 1970s that:

"Haygarth got married and vanished on the spot!"

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by LawrenceCooper » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:50 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Sad news. Thanks for flagging it up. Does anyone know if he was still actively playing chess, or had he 'retired' some time ago? Nothing in the ECF grading list and an inactive FIDE rating of 2375, but no indication online of when that dates from (though it would be from before 2001). Hopefully this would be the right moment and thread to bring together some mentions of his past chess exploits.

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 62#p109862

James Pratt relates back in 2013 when reminiscing about the 1960s and 1970s that:

"Haygarth got married and vanished on the spot!"
http://chess-db.com/public/pinfo.jsp?id=400475

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:56 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote: Does anyone know if he was still actively playing chess, or had he 'retired' some time ago?
He had already retired in the late 1960s, but came back for another ten years post Fischer. In the 1974 British at Clacton, he set up a seven way tie by hacking up Mestel in what later became known as the 150 Attack.


MartinCarpenter
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:47 am

That's an awfully cultured game for an alleged hack :)

I've never seen any sign of his actively playing chess in my time, although the memory of his play was clearly held in considerable respect by people like David Adams.

It maybe says something that the last game in that list of his is '79 and the last time Leeds won the Yorkshire league was back in 1982. They're still leading in the historical stakes!
(I've no idea at all, but from what I've heard the events round the collapse of Leeds main chess club were actually unpleasant enough to have potentially prompted retirement.).

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Gordon Cadden » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:53 pm

M J Haygarth was a regular competitor in the British Championship during the early 1960's. I remember watching some of his games.

Comments by Martin Carpenter indicate that he retired from serious chess after the main Leeds Club folded.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:24 pm

I recall Michael Haygarth from the British championships of 1965 (when he was defending champion) and 1969 so I'm not sure he had retired by the late 1960's although, in the 1969 event, he scored an uncharacteristically poor 4/11 which suggests he was no longer playing at his best -- although that's guesswork as I didn't play him in either year. RIP.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:41 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote: so I'm not sure he had retired by the late 1960's although, in the 1969 event, he scored an uncharacteristically poor 4/11 which suggests he was no longer playing at his best
He doesn't feature in the 1970 or 1971 national grading list. That could have been because he didn't play enough games, or had slipped below 209. He was back in action for the 1971 Blackpool British, scoring five and a half.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:01 pm

Maybe that missing grade was some dumb Yorkshire vs the ECF thing?

There's a fair chunk of information about him on the Yorkshire chess history site -http://www.sjmann.supanet.com/People/Ha ... el%20J.htm . That says that he played in every British from 59 to 79 which is very impressively dedicated. The games in that database linked above give him scoring =6,+4,-1 in his final British vs some very handy players, so he could clearly still play exceedingly well then.

I'm actually quite impressed by how clean a break he clearly managed to make with the game. He'd played a huge amount of chess and there are lots of things worth doing in life :)

The marraige date given in the link above is April 1982, which would have been precisely after the end of the Woodhouse season of 1981-82 which was the last time Leeds won the Woodhouse.

He did play for Leeds chess club both evening league and Woodhouse, but looking on the Leeds site it looks like the main Leeds club were champions of Leeds at various points after that, so presumably it was just him not playing that scuppered their Woodhouse chances :)
(That was also the era of the hugely strong Hull teams.).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:24 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote: That says that he played in every British from 59 to 79 which is very impressively dedicated.
He played in 1970, so his absence from the grading list may have been that his grade had dropped too low.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:45 pm

Very sad news. I played Michael many times in various competitions. Mainly in the Woodhouse Cup. We played boards next to each other a few times for Yorkshire I, and together in the same strong team. I once travelled with him, together, to Cheltenham (interesting venue), to play Devon. He played ARB Thomas, whom he had talked about him on the way down. Michael knew a lot about chess history, he was also the Yorkshire archivist. He was also was the County Minutes Secretary, (an auditor by profession) so we often, when we could, discuss Yorkshire and British chess history. I was exceptionally very keen on chess history. At one AGM he mentioned a Yorkshire v Lancashire County match ending up with some fistcuffs. I also went through the records, it was held in Bradford (of course!), near the Exchange station in a posh hotel.

We were also together Yorkshire adjudicators, Bradford League adjudicators. Later, I took over his NCCU adjudicator role. He had three British titles; lost in two play-offs, once won outright by interrupting Dr J Penrose's run of another British title. (An individual win against Penrose with a Ruy Lopez, I believe- needs checking). Another Yorkshireman P N Lee did the same, before Penrose got back to his winning run.

His last British was 1980, but, in the Major Open, he only obtained 50% result, as his clock handling had dropped off quite quickly. No more such tournaments. He gave up chess in 1982. Leeds Chess club folded, rapidly and ugly. All the main Yorkshire Exec had been Leeds ( Dr Addingley was the chair [ He had also been the BCF chair - a real gentleman], he had died rather suddenly and upset; A G Sunderland, (the County Secretary***), Mike Haygarth , Alan B Slomson- went into politics). Eley and Rooney had then taken over the helm. Hence, one of a number of reasons why grading lists failed to get incorporated into the National List during this period. Hence Mike's missing grading records (as messaged above). It was also later, a time when East Yorkshire was looking to split away, because of the Humber Bridge and 1974 boundaries. Terrible times, many left chess, many never to return.

He would have been very proud of Yorkshire's recent County titles, very proud.

I last saw him in the street in Leeds in 1986 - I had returned back to Yorkshire. But he was in a rush, and I was also at lunch going to the same Building Society.

There was a new Leeds club, new venue, but it was nothing in comparison. Rose Forgrove and especially Yorkshire Television became the main clubs. Leeds University also were becoming tops.

*** Not really for here, in full, but, Alan G Sunderland was the Personnel Director of a FTSE company, he reduced B R Eley to tears at my last AGM (1978) in a famous and well attended AGM, before I went to Sussex for six years.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:20 pm

A belated obituary for Michael John Haygarth appeared on the ECF website a few days ago:

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/michael ... garth-rip/

Gary Senior
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Re: Michael John Haygarth

Post by Gary Senior » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:32 am

I played along side Michael for Leeds in the Woodhouse Cup and also for Yorkshire in the 70s. I was a junior, first attended the club aged 11 in 1973. Michael was by far the strongest player at the club, which then played above the Victoria pub behind the Town Hall. I remember him to be fairly shy but a nice man. His other great passion was horse racing. Thankfully I had moved to London before the club started to collapse - which was a terrible shame as the club had a great history.

Alan Sunderland was quite a character!

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