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William Hook
W Hook 
Number of games in database: 93
Years covered: 1965 to 2009
Last FIDE rating: 2009
Highest rating achieved in database: 2151
Overall record: +37 -46 =10 (45.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
A04 Reti Opening (7 games)
E91 King's Indian (5 games)
C05 French, Tarrasch (5 games)
C18 French, Winawer (5 games)
A45 Queen's Pawn Game (4 games)
C01 French, Exchange (4 games)
B06 Robatsch (3 games)
A42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System (3 games)
C04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line (3 games)
C03 French, Tarrasch (2 games)

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(born May-28-1925, died May-10-2010, 84 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
William Edward (Bill) Hook was born in 1925 in New Rochelle, New York, USA. After spending World War II in a tuberculosis ward, Hook became involved in the chess and art worlds of New York City in the 1950s.

He eked out a living playing for stakes at the Flea House on 72nd St. where he also met a young Robert James Fischer. Bill describes winning a few games against the future icon until one day in the middle of a blitz game, he felt a sudden change in the lad and was never able to beat him again. In 1970 Hook met Fischer again at the Siegen Olympiad. Hook prepared an obscure line in the Winawer French, but Fischer was able to navigate it over the board. Afterward, Fischer analyzed with Hook, and showed him some improvements.

In 1957, Bill married his wife Mimi and built a house in the British Virgin Islands. It was in the islands that Hook formed a chess Olympiad team in 1968.

Hook played in 17 Olympiads over a 40 year period, winning the gold medal for best percentage on board one at Malta in 1980. His memoir Hooked on Chess was published in 2008 by New In Chess.

Wikipedia article: Bill Hook

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 93  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Hook vs M Colon Romero  1-038196566th US OpenA92 Dutch
2. T Siaperas vs W Hook  0-1231968Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 6C04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
3. M Ahmed Bakali vs W Hook  0-1351968Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 6C18 French, Winawer
4. W Hook vs B Jansson  1-0351968Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 6E46 Nimzo-Indian
5. R Sanguineti vs W Hook  1-0441968Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 6E90 King's Indian
6. W Hook vs W Pietzsch  0-1451968Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 6E87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
7. W Hook vs J C Letzelter  0-1251968Chess Olympiad Final-DD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. B Kazanski vs W Hook  0-1341968Chess Olympiad Final-DC18 French, Winawer
9. W Hook vs A de la Casa  1-0501968Chess Olympiad Final-DE81 King's Indian, Samisch
10. R Silva Nazzari vs W Hook  1-0381968Chess Olympiad Final-DC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
11. W Hook vs G Kleopas  1-0261968Chess Olympiad Final-DA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
12. M Castro Aguilar vs W Hook  0-1441968Chess Olympiad Final-DC03 French, Tarrasch
13. W Hook vs J Rovira Mas  0-1411968Chess Olympiad Final-DA05 Reti Opening
14. L A Tan vs W Hook  1-0401968Chess Olympiad Final-DC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
15. W Hook vs M Colon Romero  0-1731969Quito/Guayaquil ZonalA89 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation with Nc6
16. C Silva Sanchez vs W Hook 0-1291970Pan AmericanC03 French, Tarrasch
17. Fischer vs W Hook 1-0281970Siegen ol prelC18 French, Winawer
18. W Hook vs O Sarapu  ½-½41197019th OlympiadA07 King's Indian Attack
19. V Liberzon vs W Hook 0-1721974Olympiad Qualifying Group 7C18 French, Winawer
20. R Martina vs W Hook  0-1631976Haifa Olympiad (Men)E88 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6
21. A Gomez Abad vs W Hook  0-1551976Haifa Olympiad (Men)B06 Robatsch
22. W Hook vs P Ramirez  ½-½241976Haifa Olympiad (Men)D59 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower
23. W Hook vs B Kernan  0-1411976Haifa Olympiad (Men)A04 Reti Opening
24. W Hook vs K Hamada  1-0701976Haifa Olympiad (Men)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
25. Y Rantanen vs W Hook  ½-½401976Haifa Olympiad (Men)C18 French, Winawer
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 93  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Hook wins | Hook loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: thank you. If you have $27.99 USA to pay for a new hardcover, which will take you 3 hours to read, then you either have a nice income, or you aren't too bright.

Depends on the quality of your librarly. I'm in New york City, we get several hundred copies of most new books.

With the money i save on hardcovers, I can afford to get drunk, and then go see Billy Joel perform drunk. Or, something like that....

May-17-10  Riverbeast: I just read on the USCF website that Bill Hook passed away

R.I.P. Bill hook

As I mentioned earlier, his book, "Hooked On Chess", is a very interesting read

He knew and played some of the leading chess figures of the 20th century, including Bobby Fischer, Marcel Duchamp, etc

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Bill (or William) Hook (May 28, 1925 – May 10, 2010[1]) born in New Rochelle, New York, was a Chess master and the Captain of the British Virgin Islands chess team.

Starting in 1968 Hook led the <Virgin Islands team,> and later the British Virgin Islands team, to numerous Chess Olympiads, mostly playing top board. At the Malta Olympiad of 1980, Hook won the gold medal on board 1 for best percentage result of any national team member. He defeated a grandmaster and several national champions along the way. To commemorate this achievement the British Virgin Islands issued a stamp in his honor.

During the preliminary rounds of the 1970 Siegen Olympiad, the Virgin Islands were paired with the USA team and< Hook famously faced the legendary Bobby Fischer. >Playing the black pieces, Hook ventured a pet line of the French Defence whereupon an exciting encounter developed, culminating in a stylish rook sacrifice by Fischer.[2]

Hook authored a book as well as various magazine and newspaper articles about chess. In the art world, he is known for his one man shows in painting and photography. He lived in Washington DC, with his wife Mimi, until his death on May 10, 2010.

I guess that was smart, playing the French against Fischer. it gave him some trouble, relatively speaking.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Hey, this is interesting! From the Amazon book review, Hook book:

"The story of Bill Hook’s life with his many passions: chess, painting, traveling, photography and blackjack. Bill Hook won a gold medal at the Chess Olympiad and his friends include street hustlers and world champions. He played with the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Harold Schonberg, Marcel Duchamp and Miguel Najdorf. <After Bill Hook had beaten him four times in a row, a very young Bobby Fischer started crying. >Now Hook lives and plays on the Virgin Islands. An admirable and colorful life. The autobiography of a gambler, painter and chess player."

they have used copies for ten bucks. I might get it, just to read the Fischer story, and the ones about Blackjack hustling, a real art form, back in the day.

May-17-10  Riverbeast: Hook tells the story of the Olympiad game when he was paired against Fischer

He said Fischer showed up at the board with a huge sandwich, and quickly wolfed it at the board before the game

Afterward, Fischer analyzed with him, and showed him some lines where Hook could have improved

He also tells the story of how he used to beat Fischer when he was a kid, but then in one game, Fischer played a move and Hook "could feel the power emanating from it"

Hook also gives the score of one of his victories against Duchamp

He said he knew Stanley Kubrick pretty well, who was master strength and a regular at the old "Flea House" chess club

Just some tidbits from the book...Definitely worth reading

May-27-10  hellopolgar: RIP Mr.Hook
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: One of the non-great Greats. Who else played Fischer, Short, Kubrick and Duchamp ... while sharing their enthusiasm for chess, photography, and art?

His memoir, Hooked on Chess, is a classic. I wish I'd written to tell Bill how much I liked it -- for the sheer range of his memories, the good writing and excellent photographs.

Sail on forever, Cap'n Hook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a nice finish by Hook against M Ja Afar at the 1984 Thessaloniki Olympiad:

click for larger view

White mates in 8 with 34.♘h4+ ♔g5 35.♕h7 ♕b1+ 36.♔h2 ♔h4 37.♕g6 ♕h1+ 38.♔h1 ♖b5 39.♔h2 ♖g5 40.g3+ ♖g3 41.fg3#

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: here's the story of Bill Hook's 1980 Malta Chess Olympiad gold medal on board one, lifted from NIC 2006 05..

<Actually, Torre played a crucial role in the absolute highlight of Hook's Olympiad career, as in Malta 1980, they both vied for the gold medal on Board 1. Hook had a good start by beating Westerinen(!) in round 1, and following a scrappy draw against a Tunisian IM, his team dropped to lesser opposition and he was able to continue scoring well. Going into the last round, Torre had the same number of points, but he had faced stronger opposition. In his last game Bill Hook played a third player aspiring to the gold medal, Kanani of Kenya, broke open his position with a pawn push and managed to win. Now everything depended on Torre's game against Westerinen(!) and when the news came that they had drawn their game, the members of the British Virgin Islands let out a big whoop. Although their team had finished 75th out of 81, Bill Hook's 11.5 out of 14 won him the gold medal on first board.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <wordfunph>

Hook wrote a book("Hooked on chess" or something simular)which to me was a very plesant read and hereby highly recommended.At sale for a rather low price(unless the bookie has settled his issues with you yet;).

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I wanted to get this, but it was + $20 at Barnes and Noble. I'll wait till I see a used copy somewhere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: has *not*
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Amazon has the book used for about $10 and some new for about $14. If the shipping costs aren't prohibitive, it's a great addition, I recommend it. Hook lived life as a chess native but was not a GM or IM and seemed to not need chess "playing" or chess "writing" income to do it, so my hats off to him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: amigo <moronovich> thank you, add that to my wishlist of chessbooks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from GM Andy Soltis' Chess to Enjoy - Chess Life December 2011 issue..

Lajos Portisch holds the record for most career victories (121) in the Olympiad team tournaments. Who is number two in the record book?

(a) Miguel Najdorf
(b) Viktor Korchnoi
(c) Anatoly Karpov
(d) Eugenio Torre
(e) Bill Hook

e. 117 wins out of 235 games

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <wordfunph>

If in doubt,we go for the Hook(ers),right !? ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  bubuli55: That must be Najdorf :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "I've been in 17 Olympiads, from the Philippines to Buenos Aires, to Malta to Dubai, in Moscow and in France. These are great tournaments."

- Bill Hook

rest in peace master Hook..

Jan-23-13  BIDMONFA: William Hook

HOOK, William

Premium Chessgames Member
  DrNyet: Judging by his paintings in the book, he was a talented painter in addition to his other pursuits.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Stanley Kubrick and Bill Hook?

"Kubrick was more than a 'chess fan', he was a master strength player who used to scrape a living playing speed chess for money, before he became a famous director....Interesting stories about him in William Hook's "Hooked On Chess."

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Interesting character! Does anyone have his victory over GM Westerinen from the 1980 Malta Olympiad?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <An Englishman> Here you go. From Olimpbase.

Jul-19-17  Olavi: <wordfunph: here's the story of Bill Hook's 1980 Malta Chess Olympiad gold medal on board one, lifted from NIC 2006 05..

Now everything depended on Torre's game against Westerinen(!) and when the news came that they had drawn their game>

The story is incorrect, the opponent in the last round was Rantanen.

Y Rantanen vs E Torre, 1980

Dec-20-17  zanzibar: Let's relate in full the RJF story, as told by Hook:

<“Word was getting around about Bobby Fischer.From the first rumours of a talented kid from Brooklyn,he was now appearing regularly at the speed tournaments,and getting progressively better scores.At one point, however,I had beaten him four times in a row,and he cried at least once,revealing the depth of his intensity for the game.But one night at the Marshall Chess Club rapids where played a French Defence and a very peculiar thing happened.In the middle of the game Bobby made a strong move and I suddenly had an almost physical sense of power emanating from it.And Bobby moved again with the same effect; it was as if he were playing with dynamic rays of force that I had a heightened sensitivity to.It happened once more,and my position was busted,as the coffee house players would say.I never won an other game from Bobby,and I wonder if any other players had this experience while opposing him”.>

I blame the French (again!).

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