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Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander
  
Number of games in database: 273
Years covered: 1928 to 1973

Overall record: +88 -83 =102 (50.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (40) 
    B24 B90 B74 B88 B91
 Ruy Lopez (21) 
    C79 C77 C71 C90 C97
 French Defense (20) 
    C02 C11 C13 C17 C10
 Caro-Kann (11) 
    B10 B16 B12 B15 B14
 Four Knights (10) 
    C47 C49
 French (9) 
    C11 C13 C00 C12 C10
With the Black pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (13) 
    E33 E56 E22 E27 E43
 Ruy Lopez (12) 
    C64 C86 C65 C81 C82
 Petrov (12) 
    C42 C43
 King's Indian (10) 
    E94 E80 E75 E86 E69
 Dutch Defense (10) 
    A81 A89 A85 A99
 Queen's Pawn Game (8) 
    D02 D00 A46 A45 A40
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   C H Alexander vs Pachman, 1947 1-0
   C H Alexander vs Z Milev, 1954 1-0
   C H Alexander vs Szabo, 1947 1-0
   C H Alexander vs Botvinnik, 1946 1-0
   Bronstein vs C H Alexander, 1954 0-1
   W Winter vs C H Alexander, 1936 1/2-1/2
   Tylor vs C H Alexander, 1938 0-1
   V Mikenas vs C H Alexander, 1938 0-1
   Milner-Barry vs C H Alexander, 1933 0-1
   E R Lundin vs C H Alexander, 1937 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1946/47 (1946)
   Hastings 1953/54 (1953)
   Hastings 1937/38 (1937)
   Maastricht (1946)
   Hastings 1933/34 (1933)
   Margate (1937)
   Margate (1938)
   Hastings 1954/55 (1954)
   Hastings 1962/63 (1962)
   Nottingham (1936)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1953/54 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1954/55 by suenteus po 147
   Maastricht 1946 by sneaky pete
   Hastings 1937/38 by sneaky pete
   Hastings 1933/34 by Phony Benoni
   Hastings 1946/47 by Phony Benoni


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CONEL HUGH O'DONEL ALEXANDER
(born Apr-19-1909, died Feb-15-1974, 64 years old) Ireland (federation/nationality United Kingdom)

[what is this?]

Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander was born in Cork, Republic of Ireland. Awarded the IM title in 1950 at its inception and the IMC title in 1970, he was British Champion in 1938 and 1956. During the Second World War, he worked at Bletchley Park with Harry Golombek and Sir Philip Stuart Milner-Barry, deciphering German Enigma codes and later for the Foreign Office. Alexander finished 2nd= at Hastings (1937/38) tied with Paul Keres after Samuel Reshevsky and ahead of Salomon Flohr and Reuben Fine. He held Mikhail Botvinnik (+1, -1) in the 1946 Anglo-Soviet Radio Match, and won Hastings (1946/47) while finishing equal first at Hastings (1953/54). He represented England on six Olympiad teams. Alexander was also an author of note. He passed away in Cheltenham in 1974.

Wikipedia article: Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander

Last updated: 2017-02-03 20:41:28

 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 273  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Fairhurst vs C H Alexander 0-1281928corrA40 Queen's Pawn Game
2. C H Alexander vs W Fairhurst 1-0211932BCF-chC29 Vienna Gambit
3. Sultan Khan vs C H Alexander 1-0391932BCF-chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
4. Milner-Barry vs C H Alexander 0-1261932CambridgeC25 Vienna
5. C H Alexander vs Menchik  ½-½181932CambridgeC13 French
6. E M Jackson vs C H Alexander  0-1361932Hastings 3233C82 Ruy Lopez, Open
7. C H Alexander vs Menchik  0-1591932Hastings 3233C00 French Defense
8. L Steiner vs C H Alexander  1-0521932Hastings 3233C42 Petrov Defense
9. C H Alexander vs G A Thomas ½-½291932Hastings 3233B12 Caro-Kann Defense
10. Milner-Barry vs C H Alexander 0-1291933England-chC33 King's Gambit Accepted
11. C H Alexander vs Tylor  1-0401933Hastings 3233B24 Sicilian, Closed
12. Sultan Khan vs C H Alexander 1-0361933Hastings 3233A49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
13. C H Alexander vs R P Michell  ½-½691933Hastings 3233C53 Giuoco Piano
14. Flohr vs C H Alexander ½-½691933Hastings 3233E33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
15. C H Alexander vs Pirc 0-1391933Hastings 3233B24 Sicilian, Closed
16. C H Alexander vs Opocensky  ½-½291933OlympiadB10 Caro-Kann
17. C H Alexander vs A J Mackenzie  1-0351933OlympiadB24 Sicilian, Closed
18. C H Alexander vs W Hasenfuss 1-0451933OlympiadC40 King's Knight Opening
19. Dake vs C H Alexander  1-0311933OlympiadE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
20. P Devos vs C H Alexander  1-0521933OlympiadA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
21. C H Alexander vs A Campolongo  1-0451933OlympiadB10 Caro-Kann
22. M Luckis vs C H Alexander  0-1321933OlympiadE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
23. E Eliskases vs C H Alexander  ½-½311933Hastings 1933/34C42 Petrov Defense
24. C H Alexander vs Flohr 0-1671933Hastings 1933/34B10 Caro-Kann
25. R P Michell vs C H Alexander  0-1491933Hastings 1933/34D92 Grunfeld, 5.Bf4
 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 273  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Alexander wins | Alexander loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.>

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32...

Jan-15-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Hastings (1937/38)

Hastings (1946/47)

Hastings (1953/54)

A record not many players can boast of.

Jan-15-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, C.H.O.D. Alexander.
Feb-15-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: As oppposed to what? What are you telling him not to do?
Feb-15-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  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:

https://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_fi...

Apr-19-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, C.H.O.D. Alexander.
Apr-19-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: C. H. O'D.

The <original> Wet Sprocket.

Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He was a beltch breaker at Codeley Park.
Feb-03-17  Granny O Doul: And a cannibalistic humanoid overground dweller.
Feb-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

1...c7-c5!

Feb-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It's pretty funny that Alexander was unable to encrypt 1...P-QB4 into algebraic.
Mar-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: From the NSA doc by Milner-Barry...

The man:

<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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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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