< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·
|Jun-14-15|| ||zanzibar: <The best British chess player of the day, Hugh Alexander, went on to become head of cryptoanalysis at GCHQ, while doubling as the Spectator's chess columnist under the pseudonym Philidor.>|
|Jan-15-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <The best British chess player of the day, Hugh Alexander, went on to become head of cryptoanalysis at GCHQ, while doubling as the Spectator's chess columnist under the pseudonym Philidor.>|
I just went thorugh Bronstein vs C H Alexander, 1954
Amazing game. If IM Alexander were active in this era, he would definitely be a GM, probably one just a tier below the Candidates level (for the rating obsessed chess fan that would be today's low 2700s GM), with the occasional chance to make it into the Candidates during peak periods of playing.
A record not many players can boast of.
|Jan-15-16|| ||HeMateMe: The film "The Imitation Game" generally paints Turing as head and shoulders above the rest of the cryptographers, a supervisor with the power to fire those he felt weren't an effective part of the team at Bletchley Park. I don't know is that is historically accurate or not, but based on the movie, Turing seems to have an intimate knowledge of the primitive computer that the others don't, and the world was in no grave danger if C.H.O.D. Alexander were somehow kidnapped by the Soviets. Much ado about nothing.|
|Feb-15-16|| ||TheFocus: Rest in peace, C.H.O.D. Alexander.|
|Feb-15-16|| ||Petrosianic: As oppposed to what? What are you telling him not to do?|
|Feb-15-16|| ||TheFocus: I would not want him to rest in pieces.|
|Mar-17-16|| ||luftforlife: The following formerly secret document was approved for release by NSA on September 18, 2007:|
|Apr-19-16|| ||TheFocus: Happy birthday, C.H.O.D. Alexander.|
|Apr-19-16|| ||Dionysius1: Many many thanks <luftforlife>, that is a glorious read. It's gripping stuff on a player about whom there isn't very much elsewhere. Hugh Denham who wrote the In Memoriam just avoids overdoing the lyricism, though it leaks through nicely in the last few paragraphs, don't you think?|
|Sep-03-16|| ||thegoodanarchist: < kingscrusher: In Tribute to Hugh Alexander, I created this video...|
He may well have saved potentially thousands of lives for helping shorten World War II.>
One might even speculate that this prevented Berlin from getting nuked.
|Sep-03-16|| ||thegoodanarchist: <TheFocus: I would not want him to rest in pieces.>|
Would that make a good name for an Inn?
The Rest Inn Pieces?
Whilst stuck in traffic, I saw a banner hanging over a cemetery. It said
<If you lived here, you'd be dead by now>
|Dec-22-16|| ||thegoodanarchist: C. H. O'D.
The <original> Wet Sprocket.
|Feb-03-17|| ||offramp: He was a beltch breaker at Codeley Park.|
|Feb-03-17|| ||Granny O Doul: And a cannibalistic humanoid overground dweller.|
|Feb-03-17|| ||Dionysius1: <offramp> and <Granny O Doul>. If you have any criticisms of him that you think would stand up against his record, on the board or off, let's hear them. Otherwise show more respect.|
|Feb-03-17|| ||perfidious: Another strong player who passed on, aged sixty-four.|
|Feb-03-17|| ||ughaibu: <Quote of the Day <"Slightly shortsighted, [Botvinnik] stoops over his score sheet and devotes his entire attention to recording the move in the most beautifully clear script; one feels that an explosion would not distract him and that examined through a microscope not an irregularity would appear. When he wrote down 1...c2-c4 against me, I felt like resigning."> --- C.H.O'D. Alexander>|
As black can't play 1...c2-c4 and Botvinnik never opened, against Alexander, with 1.c2-c4 as white, the above quote of the day appears to be another descriptive to algebraic transcription error.
|Feb-04-17|| ||offramp: It's pretty funny that Alexander was unable to encrypt 1...P-QB4 into algebraic.|
|Mar-03-17|| ||zanzibar: From the NSA doc by Milner-Barry...
<There was never any sense of strain because you always knew where you stood with him. He viewed himself with the same dispassion as he did others. and was his own sternest critic. If anything went wrong in his life, or if he made an error of judgment, he was always ready to admit-not always rightly-that he was to blame. He was never sorry for himself. even when he was ill. nor did he expect others to be sorry for him; neither did he encourage others to be sorry for themselves.
Hugh himself used to say that he did not particularly care for people, did not particularly mind when they were not there. and could get on perfectly well without them. The first statement was manifestly untrue, but it may well be that he was more interested in ideas than in people; and he was certainly far from being a sentimentalist. There was plenty of Irish toughness about him, and his realistic attitud e to life sometimes bordered on ruthlessness. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, he was a true and staunch friend in good times and in bad. He had a particular gift for putting himself on terms with the young. with whom he talked as though they were his contempories. To my son, when he was at school at Cheltenham, he showed particular kindness, but to aU of the children he was always ready with practical help and encouragement. There are not many of one's friends, however fond of them one may be, of whom it can be said that one is invariably glad to see them arrive, sorry to see them go, and looks forward eagerly to seeing again. I am sure all Hugh's friends felt the same about him.>
|Mar-03-17|| ||zanzibar: The player:
< I would guess that he was more uneven in his play than either Atkins or Penrose. but more dangerous than either of them to the very best players. His victories against Euwe, Botwinnik, Bronstein, Pachman, Gligoric and others are evidence of this. When one remembers that he combined chess with a career of outstanding distinction in the professional field, and that he always put his profession first, it is astonishing that he should have been able to maintain himself as England's leading player over a period of some 25 years.
While in his youth his reputation was that of a dangerous and dashing combinative player, his style matured as he grew older and he became much more of a strategist. Although he had a wide and pretty complete range of opening knowledge, and kept himself up to date with developments, he was not himself much of an innovator. He liked to rely on well-tried openings like the Ruy Lopez, which he would cheerfully playas Black or White. But Golombek and Hartston are much better qualified than I am to analyse his style. The remarks that I venture below are based only upon the personal experience of scores of serious games played over the years.
Hugh liked to be attacked. He preferred an active defence, and he was a most dangerous counter-puncher when in difficulties. He had excellent judgment of the kind of positions that could be defended, and he defended them with great resource. Thus, like Muhammad Ali, he appeared to leave himself wide open and to invite me to attack him. His instincts were to accept any gambit that was offered to him, and his instincts were usually right. That no doubt was one reason why he won the large majority of games that we played. Another was that he was a much more complete player.>
|Mar-03-17|| ||perfidious: I recall much of the portion excerpted by <zed> from Golombek's biography on Alexander, published shortly after the latter's death.|
|Apr-03-17|| ||bengalcat47: There is an out-of-print book featuring Alexander's best games. Off hand I can't recall the title or the author of this book, so if anyone can share that information that would be most helpful. I'd like to look up this book on Amazon.|
|Apr-03-17|| ||Retireborn: Golombek and Hartston, The Best Games of CH O'D Alexander (1976), contains 70 annotated games and the Milner-Barry memoir quoted by <zanzi>|
|Apr-03-17|| ||perfidious: A fine book, and one I may pick up someday.|
|Apr-03-17|| ||Sally Simpson: I picked up a copy, along with a few other treasures, a few years ago when my local library had a sale of old books.|
It's in the landscape shape rather than the more common portrait and the pages are a light green. (Descriptive.)
Just noticed they have a discrepancy in one of my stock 'demo-board' games. B H Wood vs C H Alexander, 1946 I'll go there after this to see if I can get it sorted.
HeMateMe mentions "The Imitation Game".
Alexander is introduced to Turing as a winner of the British Chess Championship.
Alexander then smugly adds: "Twice!"
The second was not until 1956 11 years after the WWII ended. Appears they did a quick Google search and saw:
"... In chess, he was twice British chess champion." and ran with that.
(He was British Boys Champion in 1926.)
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