Hippopotamus Opening

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Paul McKeown
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Hippopotamus Opening

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:20 pm

Jack - that was wonderful! A player of the White pieces could soon learn to hate you... Just out of idle curiosity, do you happen to wear boots, but no socks?

No I'm not being rude, honest. there is a point...

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Coaching

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:23 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:Jack - that was wonderful! A player of the White pieces could soon learn to hate you... Just out of idle curiosity, do you happen to wear boots, but no socks?

No I'm not being rude, honest. there is a point...
Yes, I know the reference - the inventor of the Hippopotamus opening dressed like that. But no, when I wear boots, I always wear socks as well.

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Coaching

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:33 pm

Yes, I know the reference - the inventor of the Hippopotamus opening dressed like that. But no, when I wear boots, I always wear socks as well.
Yes J. C. Thompson - I think he was from Devon, too (I will check). There is a nice photo of him in Chess May 14th 1955, p. 334, which I will scan in and upload later (maybe tomorrow) when I have checked up about Devon....

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Re: Coaching

Post by Richard James » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:50 pm

JC Thompson played for Kent but died in Newcastle. I can find no reference to Devon.

Further information at http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles207.pdf.

Good to see some of you have been reading The (Even More) Complete Chess Addict.

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Re: Coaching

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:44 am

JC Thompson played for Kent but died in Newcastle. I can find no reference to Devon.
I've spent some time this evening/early morning scouring through past volumes of Chess for references to JC Thompson and have to agree - I can't find any reference to Devon either.

I do find references to both Oxford (Vol. 19, No. 225, June 1954, pp. 133-135) and Beckenham, Kent (various from 1955 to 1964). He had a grade of 5b (equivalent to 176 - 169 in today's lsd) in the 1958 list based on 50+ results in the period Oct. 1955 - Sept. 1957; this is the only grade I can find for him.*

I read the article you gave a link to (nice!), which gives biographical details as John Crittenden Thompson, born 24-1-1889 (location unknown), died in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 22-7-1971, based on research by Ken Whyld. Which is odd, as BH Wood wrote in Chess (Vol. 31, No. 508, July 1966, pp. 325-326), regarding Spassky's opening in games 12 and 16 of his match against Petroshan, which confounded the world's analysts, that it reached several positions that were pure Thompson and then remarked, "What a shame he didn't live to see his system successfully adopted in a World Championship match". Ken Whyld had a reputation as a careful researcher, yet Barry Wood ought to have known if and when Thompson died, as Thompson was a regular participant in Wood's annual congress at Bognor.

Can anyone shed light on this mystery?

I am missing Chess vol's 34-38, which includes 1971, the year quoted, so perhaps that might solve the puzzle. Anyone? BCM for the period says nothing about Thompson, probably regarding him then as beneath its lofty concerns; happily it later developed a lighter touch!

Anyway I'll scan in and post a couple of pictures of Thompson tomorrow. If anyone is interested, I might include some games.

*This may be because his results were below 5b (and hence didn't get onto grading lists) - or lower when the list when lower or because he played less than 50 games in a grading period, which was the stringent qualification in those days.

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Re: Coaching

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:13 pm

JC Thompson was not dead in '66 - I believe a member of Government Chemists Chess Club sent a correction to Chess, although it may not have appeared..... Apparently JCT got out of the habit of wearing socks during WW1, as they tended to fall to pieces and replacements were hard to find. I'll email one of his team-mates to try to find out more.

Coincidentally, I was explaining to an opponent at my club last week, that the Hippopotamus was just about playable, but he needed to move some pieces before getting carried away with d5 and c5. Coaching aspect cunningly dragged in, and no mention of Ernie, er... apart from that one obviously.
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

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Re: Coaching

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:00 pm

Thank you, Richard, and thank you, Kevin.

Here is a photograph of JC Thompson, attached to this post.

I would like to have included a photograph of Bognor Regis 1954, too, but it seems maximum upload is 256 kib (very impressive to be told off by a computer using such correct terminology!) Is it possible to increase this limit, even on a one off basis, Carl?

BTW how does [ img ] work?
Attachments
Bognor Regis 1954 [Chess Vol. 19 No. 225 June 1954 p. 133].GIF
Bognor Regis 1954 [Chess Vol. 19 No. 225 June 1954 p. 133].GIF (104.34 KiB) Viewed 3676 times
jc thompson - inventor of the hippopotamus [Chess Vol. 20 No. 246 May 14 1955 p. 334].jpg
jc thompson - inventor of the hippopotamus [Chess Vol. 20 No. 246 May 14 1955 p. 334].jpg (24.29 KiB) Viewed 3733 times

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Carl Hibbard
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Coaching

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:10 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:I would like to have included a photograph of Bognor Regis 1954, too, but it seems maximum upload is 256 kib (very impressive to be told off by a computer using such correct terminology!) Is it possible to increase this limit, even on a one off basis, Carl?

BTW how does [ img ] work?
I have increased it to 512 per message - is that sufficient?

The tag [img] is I 'believe' to allow you to cross link to an image from an alternate site

Hope that helps?
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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Re: Coaching

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:18 pm

JC Thompson was not dead in '66 - I believe a member of Government Chemists Chess Club sent a correction to Chess, although it may not have appeared
Kevin, I've got it - in Chess Vol. 32 Nos. 523-4 March 1967, p. 149, BH Wood wrote:

J. C. Thompson, inventor of the Hippopotamus Opening is not dead as we recently presumed, but very much still with us, and may he long remain so!

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Re: Coaching

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:22 pm

I have increased it to 512 per message - is that sufficient?
Thanks, Carl, but the photo is 2.03MB (not sure exactly how many MiB that is!). Don't think it would make sense to reduce the quality of the jpg, as too much definition would be lost. Don't fret - it isn't so important!

Thanks also for explaining the img tag as used on the forum!

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Coaching

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:31 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
I have increased it to 512 per message - is that sufficient?
Thanks, Carl, but the photo is 2.03MB (not sure exactly how many MiB that is!). Don't think it would make sense to reduce the quality of the jpg, as too much definition would be lost. Don't fret - it isn't so important!

Thanks also for explaining the img tag as used on the forum!
Email it to me at carl at ecforum.org.uk and I will sort it for you...
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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Re: Coaching

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:44 pm

Email it to me at carl at ecforum.org.uk and I will sort it for you...
Thanks Carl, just done so...

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Coaching

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:52 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Email it to me at carl at ecforum.org.uk and I will sort it for you...
Thanks Carl, just done so...
There you go - shrunk a bit and changed to a .gif but should be fine - online now
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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Re: Coaching

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:53 pm

Carl, do you think it might make sense to create a top-level forum on English Chess History? I'm sure some users of the forum might find that interesting.

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Re: Coaching

Post by David Robertson » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:26 pm

A sidenote on the Bognor Regis photograph above (and surely this stuff needs a new thread, Carl) is that I gave plenty of thought to arranging a similar photo shoot for the Liverpool tournaments, using a similar format or something that paid homage to the old ways of doing these things.

Alas, time changes - and not just in how players dress, nor their age. These days it's pretty nearly impossible, without draconian imposition I guess, to round up the players for a shoot of this sort. Of course, technology has changed too. We take the camera to the players individually these days; fifty years ago, the players had no choice but to attend on the camera collectively, school photo-style, if they wanted to be part of the record.

That's fine. But something of the unity and totality (and gravity) of the event has been lost in the modern way, something that can be recalled when one gazes at these old photographs.

David
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Last edited by David Robertson on Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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