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|Mar-25-05|| ||ray keene: i knew simon very well when he was active over the board-we played each other 6 times as i recall and we often played on the same team for example when we were at the european team championship skara 1980 and webb faced kasparov.he was charming and unassuming but a highly determined opponent over the board who was never afraid to turn down a draw against strong opposition if he thought he had any chance of winning. i think the blake quote is very appropriate for him-he cd have become an otb grandmaster as well but decided to concentrate on postal chess. his best results as far as i recall were 1st strasbourg 1973 and first hamburg gm tournament 1977.what a terrible tragedy and what a waste of a fine human being! |
|Mar-25-05|| ||Ezzy: Simon Webbs series of articles in 'chess' magazine, entitled 'How do chess players think' were some of the best articles ever written. I deeply feel sad for all Simons family and close friends.A tragic loss. I am so so sorry. Rest in peace Simon Webb. |
|Mar-25-05|| ||Novice713: The game Koltanowski vs S Webb, 1941 must be by someone else since it's in 1941. |
|Mar-26-05|| ||THE pawn: < 'How do chess payers think were some of the best articles ever written'>|
I didn't know they came from him, but surely they contained really interesting facts and it's a sad tragedy simon Webb dies like that.
May your soul rest in peace, Simon Webb.
|Mar-27-05|| ||ray keene: In the cut throat and rivalry -ridden world of international chess simon webb-a grandmaster of postal chess as well as an over the board international master- stood out as one player who had no enemies.long after his teenage years he retained his youthful good looks , boyish enthusiasm and overall charm. quietly spoken and unobtrusively ambitious, simon had no harsh or critical words for anyone, let alone his opponents across the chessboard.|
it was ironic, therefore, that his one lasting contribution to chess literature should have been the practical guide CHESS FOR TIGERS -(oup 1978). in this book webb developed his own chess philosophy based on how to dominate the opponent psychologically, how to win, rather than how to find the best move. as part of this approach he advocated the establishment of self belief and self esteem as vital building blocks in the path to chess success. the book was also packed with practical hints on-for example- how to handle the chess clock. this was particularly useful, since all serious competitive events are played to a time limit, and many exponents of the game, regardless of their skills, fall foul of time trouble or shortage of time to think properly in their games.
it was precisely the quality of tigerishness which , on the surface, webb seemed to lack in his own play, yet if one dug deeper it became clear that here was a player with his own style, afraid of no-one who was never intimidated into deviating from his own path to chess success. his deceptively quiet opening systems often deluded potential victims into thinking that they were fondling a minor feline rather than facing deadly attack from a major predator of the species.
|Mar-27-05|| ||ray keene: simon , born in 1949, learned to play chess at the age of seven . his early promise led to steady success. in 1966 he won the british under eighteen championship. three years later he shared first place in the british universities championship with the cambridge expert richard eales. a play-off was necessary since the victor would automatically qualify for the british chess federation student team due to compete against the worlds best in dresden later that year. in a two game match against eales , webb emerged victorious and duly took his place in the dresden bound international squad.thereafter webb became a frequent member of bcf international teams.|
the year 1973 was webbs annus mirabilis. he commenced by winning first prize -equal with the yugoslav master karaklaic-at the international tournament in strasbourg. he proceeded to new york , where he shared third prize in the world open, and towards the end of the same year he participated with distinction in the first grandmaster level tournament to have been held in london since 1946. further honours followed, first prize-again shared-at hamburg 1977, award of the coveted world chess federation ( fide) international master title and 4th place in the 1978 british championship and second prize in the powerful international tournament in warsaw.it was during this tournament that webb was to. become engaged to his wife to be of 27 years, anna.
two years later at the european team championship in snow -bound skara in sweden , webb encountered the up and coming genius garry kasparov. a complicated game left kasparov the winner, but on the plus side webb found the host country so congenial that he moved there from the uk, set up a family and switched from the precarious life of a chess professional to the more sedate security of being quality control manager of a swedish company. the webb family took up residence in the stockholm suburb of kalhaell where they raised one daughter and one son. the latter was to turn out to be simons nemesis.
webb now found that the best outlet for his desire to continue playing chess while pursuing a more conventional off board career to support his growing family was to turn to correspondence or postal chess.in this fresh endeavour he became supremely successful,swiftly establishing himself as a grandmaster , winning team gold ahead of the ussr in the 9th correspondence chess olympiad which finished in 1987-gaining the individual gold medal in the 11th correspondence olympiad final which began in 1992 , and winning the first official email championship in 1997. at the time of his death he was rated number one amongst english correspondence grandmasters.amidst all this chess activity he also found time for international bridge, partnering his younger brother roger.
tragically simon webb was murdered by his son on march 14. returning around 1-00am from a local chess match simon was confronted in his own home by his drug crazed 25 year old son , who became involved in a fight with his father and ended by stabbing him 20 times with a kitchen knife. simon died in the arms of his wife who had been woken by sounds of screaming.
simon webb -top ranked english postal chess grandmaster and chess author
born june 10, 1949 london
murdered march 14 2005 stockholm
|Mar-27-05|| ||marekg248: What a pity, I don't know what to say. RIP |
|Mar-29-05|| ||Roger Webb: My father and I have been comforted to learn of the esteem and high regard in which my brother Simon was held by the many who came to know him through chess. It has been extremely hard for us to come to terms with the tragic circumstances of his death, but the overwhelming response from his friends in the chess world is greatly appreciated. He was indeed a lovely man and a true friend to me. |
|Mar-29-05|| ||ray keene: <roger webb> hi-i am glad you found this site-i have been trying to find you so that i could write a better informed obituary of simon for the times-however eventually i went ahead and did it-its based on what i have written here-i wd like to know more about simons swedish years since i rather lost track of him after skara when he played kasparov.very best wishes -i cannot tell you how sorry i am-doubtless you will recall when we first met at a school match when you mated sugden up a tree and simon tricked me from a lost position.what have you been doing since we last met?? |
|Mar-29-05|| ||aw1988: Roger Webb, my deepest condolences. |
|Mar-31-05|| ||Roger Webb: <ray keene> hi ray, long time no see. I slowly dropped out of the chess world after I left England in 78, played a little team chess in Germany for a year, then about one tournament every other year in US until mid-80's, then nothing. I am now with Simon's widow in Sweden for a few days. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org |
|Mar-31-05|| ||Stonewaller2: Just learned the sad news. "Chess for Tigers" has an honored place on my shelf and I've tried to use its advice to good effect over the years. Unfortunately, like the death of C.S. Lewis on the same day as the assasination of JFK, his tragic end may forever be overshadowed by GM Fischer's release from a Japanese cell. But nothing can detract from the authority or sensibility of his writing. He is mourned by many who never knew him except through his works as well as his many friends who met him across the 64 squares. |
|Mar-31-05|| ||WMD: <Unfortunately, like the death of C.S. Lewis on the same day as the assasination of JFK>|
Depending on the time of day, that may rule out one suspect.
|Apr-11-05|| ||WorldChampeen: Sad, here is a chess column addressing this event.
|May-02-05|| ||Stonewaller2: I hereby dedicate my draw from a lost position in last weekend's local Swiss to the memory of Simon Webb. At one point I had + against + 2s + 2s and drew. Never give up, Tigers!|
|Jun-03-05|| ||chancho: My favorite story of Simon Webb is when he played Samuel Reshevsky, who was winning their game. Simon saw a move that could turn the game in his favor. He made his move, and acted like he was all nervous and had made a blunder.Reshevsky bought Webb's expressions, and made the move Webb was hoping for. Bang! came his reply, and Reshevsky sat bolt upright in his chair, and realized he'd been had. Then he offered Webb a draw which was quickly rejected and Simon went on to win the game.The story and the game are in the book, Chess for Tigers.|
|Jun-03-05|| ||aw1988: That's a favorite of mine. Act dejected when you find a turning point, act like it's a blunder when it's mate in four, act like you're seriously studying the position (preferably somewhere else on the board) when you're about to be mated, etc. My opponents don't always fall for it, but sometimes they do. Then again, I grow weary of putting on the same charade over and over again, so usually nowadays I'll just play the board. Fischer's disbelief in psychology is extreme, but I agree that it is adviseable to just play the board, and not look at your opponent.|
|Oct-04-06|| ||ToTheDeath: There is no substitute for good moves, but psychology is a huge part of any contest. Webb's classic book is a must read on the subject. Long live the Tigers!|
|Mar-14-10|| ||diagonal: "Chess for Tigers" (in the german translation) was one of my first chess books as a child (together with a small booklet by Swiss IM Henry Grob and the well-known "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess") - and still one of the best, easy to read for every junior player and full of humorously written psychological analysis.|
Today five years have been passed now since the tragical death of Simon Webb. It's time to make another contribution (thanks to <Ray Keene> for the warm words above): The chessworld will not forget you, Simon! R.I.P.
|Jun-10-10|| ||wordfunph: "Play the man, not the board."
"There is a temptation to relax when you are winning. Resist it! Until he resigns, you have work to do."
- GMC Simon Webb
|Jul-15-10|| ||GrahamClayton: Here is Simon's obituary from the Sundat Times:
|Jan-29-11|| ||wordfunph: in his book Chess for Tigers, Simon Webb recommends two ways to make sure you are in a reasonable state for playing chess..|
1. get a good night's sleep the right before
2. to clear your brain so that you start the game in the right frame of mind, go for a ten-minute walk immediately before the game
|Oct-03-12|| ||drnooo: very nice of senor Keene to have spent the labor on getting the details out
on this guy, who seemed nothing short of a prince.
it's things like this and gms like he who make this site a very nifty place.
There is a warmth and coziness to chessgames that the others don't quite have, and ....well...thanks again
|Oct-03-12|| ||perfidious: From what I have read here, Simon Webb embodied a fine approach: that of a gentleman to others, while a ferocious fighter at the board. The world is poorer for his loss.|
|Oct-03-12|| ||thomastonk: <perfidious> I can confirm your observations from my two cc games with Simon, where he was very kind in communication. Good memories.|
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