Chess history trivia

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue May 28, 2019 5:02 pm

Yes, he was an advocate of the far right "Europe a (White Christian) Nation" construct that can still be found on the fringes here and there.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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John Saunders
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Saunders » Tue May 28, 2019 7:07 pm

This is rather a weird coincidence. I've just read this thread an hour or so after researching a bit of chess history which led me unexpectedly to a website about Oswald Mosley.

I've just put up a new item at BritBase with games played by the strong Hampshire player Wilfred Pratten (1908-1985). The link is here. I was researching Pratten's opponent's names and stumbled upon one I recognised in the 1926 BCM, p55 - Clement Bruning, who at that time was a schoolboy at Ealing Priory, with BCM showing him scoring 4/9 in the 1926 London Boys' Chess Championship. Pratten had drawn with said Bruning in the process of retaining his 1925 British Boys' Championship.

Anyway, Clement Bruning was an unusual name so I thought I would drop it into google and see what happened. I got a surprise - a page about British fascists who died during the war. Turns out Bruning was a pre-WW2 member of the British Union of Fascists and eventually died in a German concentration camp in 1942. Nobody seems to know quite what happened or why. I haven't researched it any further but, anyway, the guy was a chess player and quite a good one if he was able to draw with Pratten back in 1925. He would certainly have trounced his party leader.
Personal Twitter @johnchess / Personal Website http://www.saund.co.uk / Britbase http://www.britbase.co.uk

Richard James
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Richard James » Wed May 29, 2019 9:55 am

John Saunders wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:07 pm
This is rather a weird coincidence. I've just read this thread an hour or so after researching a bit of chess history which led me unexpectedly to a website about Oswald Mosley.

I've just put up a new item at BritBase with games played by the strong Hampshire player Wilfred Pratten (1908-1985). The link is here. I was researching Pratten's opponent's names and stumbled upon one I recognised in the 1926 BCM, p55 - Clement Bruning, who at that time was a schoolboy at Ealing Priory, with BCM showing him scoring 4/9 in the 1926 London Boys' Chess Championship. Pratten had drawn with said Bruning in the process of retaining his 1925 British Boys' Championship.

Anyway, Clement Bruning was an unusual name so I thought I would drop it into google and see what happened. I got a surprise - a page about British fascists who died during the war. Turns out Bruning was a pre-WW2 member of the British Union of Fascists and eventually died in a German concentration camp in 1942. Nobody seems to know quite what happened or why. I haven't researched it any further but, anyway, the guy was a chess player and quite a good one if he was able to draw with Pratten back in 1925. He would certainly have trounced his party leader.
Another weird coincidence. Bruning, or, to be precise, Brüning, was one of five sons of a German father and English mother. I'm not sure whether any of his other brothers played chess or shared his political sympathies.

Here's the record of his father's naturalization in 1903. Note the address: Rydal Mount, Albany Park, Kingston-upon-Thames, which is just round the corner from the residence of a much respected British chess historian.

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:43 pm

There is no act of Parliament compelling a man to begin with king's pawn.
Who wrote this?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:58 pm

John Townsend wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:43 pm
There is no act of Parliament compelling a man to begin with king's pawn.
Who wrote this?
Was it Thomas Middleton in A Game at Chess?

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:11 pm

An ingenious idea, Christopher, but it isn't the answer. (It's a pity, as it would have made a good answer to a different trivia question!)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:14 pm

The obvious guesses would be Andrew Bonar Law or Sir Richard Barnett

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:27 pm

Thank you, Kevin. Both wrong, unfortunately!

Colin Purdon
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Colin Purdon » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:01 pm

I would guess Howard Staunton, on the grounds that he often began with the Queen's Bishop pawn.

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:17 pm

Sorry, not Staunton!

Colin Purdon
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Colin Purdon » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:29 pm

I'll try the eponymous player of the other Bishop's pawn then - Henry Bird?

John Townsend
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Townsend » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:33 pm

Sorry, Colin, it's not Bird!

It's time for a clue. The answer is someone well known. Think what age this may have been written in, then guess a person likely to have written it, or a likely place to write it.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:48 pm

John Townsend wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:33 pm
It's time for a clue. The answer is someone well known. Think what age this may have been written in, then guess a person likely to have written it, or a likely place to write it.
Ray Keene?

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:53 pm

If it were University Challenge, I would say "Winston Churchill" as that's always the answer to something.

We are all of course suggesting it's someone English (or Canadian in one case).

Nick Grey
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:19 pm

Enoch Powell?
Or someone misquoting Bobby Fischer.

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