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Craig van Tilbury
C Van Tilbury 
Photo courtesy of Craig Van Tilbury.  
Number of games in database: 85
Years covered: 1977 to 2008
Last FIDE rating: 2264
Highest rating achieved in database: 2350

Overall record: +45 -18 =22 (65.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (8) 
    E73 E77
 Nimzo Indian (6) 
    E30 E43 E55 E20 E41
 Modern Benoni (5) 
    A56 A61 A67 A57
 Queen's Pawn Game (5) 
    A41 A50 E00 A40
 Orthodox Defense (5) 
    D50 D51 D53
 Queen's Gambit Declined (4) 
    D37 D38 D31 D30
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (7) 
    B30 B32 B24 B53
 Albin Countergambit (4) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   C Van Tilbury vs D K Johansen, 2002 1-0
   C Van Tilbury vs A Zapata, 1980 1-0
   C Van Tilbury vs M Guevara, 1981 1-0
   S Small vs C Van Tilbury, 1990 0-1
   C Van Tilbury vs J Ostos, 1978 1-0
   V McCambridge vs C Van Tilbury, 1979 0-1
   C Van Tilbury vs A Hoffmann, 1978 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   36th Olympiad (2004)
   37th Chess Olympiad (2006)
   Olympiad (2008)

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(born Jul-30-1957, died Aug-13-2010, 53 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Craig Van Tilbury was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 30, 1957. In 1978 he moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands, when he started to play in the Chess Olympiads. He held titles of F.I.D.E. Master and International Arbiter since 1986. He has played first board in ten olympiads since 1978 for both the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, and is now a citizen of the USA. In Thessaloniki, Greece, 1984, Craig won the Individual Gold Medal for the best score on first board of any national team.

Mr. Van Tilbury divided his time almost equally between music and chess, earning his living from both. As a chess player, Mr. Van Tilbury is best remembered for playing in 10 Chess Olympiads, the biennial international competitions, always as the top board for his team. He played for the United States Virgin Islands for many years, winning the gold medal for best individual score on Board 1 at the Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1984. Recently, he had played top board for the British Virgin Islands. He won the Washington, D.C., Open in 1977 and the Jamaican Open in 1981.

He died of a heart attack at 53.

New York Times -

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 85  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. C Van Tilbury vs W Hook  1-044 1977 D.C.OpenE73 King's Indian
2. C Van Tilbury vs P J Winston 1-024 1977 Continental OpenE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
3. C Van Tilbury vs L Shamkovich  0-148 1978 USAA67 Benoni, Taimanov Variation
4. Petursson vs C Van Tilbury 0-147 1978 GHI openA13 English
5. C Van Tilbury vs A Hoffmann 1-055 1978 GHI International OpenA56 Benoni Defense
6. C Van Tilbury vs J Ostos 1-084 1978 Zonal tournamentA56 Benoni Defense
7. Roman Hernandez vs C Van Tilbury  0-131 1978 Zonal tournamentA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
8. M Sisniega vs C Van Tilbury  0-148 1978 Zonal tournamentB53 Sicilian
9. C Van Tilbury vs W Hook 0-132 1978 OlympiadE77 King's Indian
10. K Payne vs C Van Tilbury  ½-½40 1978 Buenos Aires ol (Men)B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
11. V McCambridge vs C Van Tilbury 0-144 1979 Philadelphia InternationalA71 Benoni, Classical, 8.Bg5
12. C Van Tilbury vs M Wilder  ½-½22 1979 C.I.InternationalE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
13. C Van Tilbury vs J L Watson  1-031 1979 C.I. InternationalD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
14. C Van Tilbury vs A Zapata 1-034 1980 Radio RebeldeE73 King's Indian
15. Kouatly vs C Van Tilbury  0-140 1980 Chess OlympiadE10 Queen's Pawn Game
16. W Hook vs C Van Tilbury 1-027 1980 Chess OlympiadD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
17. C Van Tilbury vs G Garcia Gonzales  ½-½20 1981 Hermanos SaizB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
18. C Van Tilbury vs M Guevara 1-018 1981 Zonal tournamentA40 Queen's Pawn Game
19. C Van Tilbury vs Soltis  ½-½32 1983 Frank J. Marshall InternationalA53 Old Indian
20. C Van Tilbury vs Li Zunian  ½-½54 1984 Chess OlympiadD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. S Chaivichit vs C Van Tilbury  ½-½62 1984 Chess OlympiadE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
22. C Van Tilbury vs B Aziz Madani  1-025 1984 Chess OlympiadA57 Benko Gambit
23. C Van Tilbury vs M Said  1-060 1984 Chess OlympiadD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. H Chin Alein vs C Van Tilbury  0-161 1984 Chess OlympiadC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
25. C Van Tilbury vs David V Singh  1-053 1984 Chess OlympiadD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 85  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Van Tilbury wins | Van Tilbury loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-18-10  miguelito: RIP master craig
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: RIP User: Craigokat
Aug-19-10  timothee3331: Rest in Peace, qu'il Repose en Paix, Requiescat in Pace !
Aug-19-10  Birthday Boy: Rest in Peace, Craig Van Tilbury =(
Aug-19-10  asianwarrior: He won a goldmedal for board 1 in Thessaloniki Olympiad not even one of his games is in We should remember him in those memorabke moments.
Aug-19-10  TheRavenPK: To die on the 13th Friday..


Aug-19-10  theodor: c'est toujours les meilleurs, qui s'en vont les premiers!
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Back in the mid-1970s Craig used to hang out at the NOVA chess club in Annandale, VA. Kind and soft-spoken, he also had a delightful sense of humor, he lived an exciting life and seemingly on his own terms, a good model for those of us valuing independence. Farewell Craig.
Aug-19-10  Craigs student: Steinitz, sounds like Craig hadn't changed much since then. Still was exceedingly kind, generous, and brilliant. An unbearable loss, truly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: One on the most interesting people I never met...

Gotta love the shirt :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I have often thought that a chess game is an allegory for life.

We are all born equal, just as the starting position is always the same. But what we do with that life is our choice. Exciting or dull, a masterpiece or a patzer's hack, sacrificial attack or positional squeeze - how we live our life, how we play the game, that is down to the personal decisions that we make.

The opening is our childhood, when we grow and develop. To some it may seem like a boring phase that they just want to race through. But it sets the pattern for the rest of the game.

And then the middlegame, our adult lives. Now we are in our prime, with a board full of pieces and anything is possible.

Finally comes the endgame and old age. We are slower now, and the reduced number of pieces on the board remind us of the friends we have lost, and the physical attributes that we are gradually losing.

All games end. Win, lose or draw, eventually comes the time to put the pieces back into the box, pack away the chess board, put the clocks and scoresheets back in the cupboard. Then it's time to leave the club and discover that in the three hours we have been here it has become late evening, cool and darkening as the light fades.

Just like the game we have been playing, and the lives that we lead, each day too presents us with a cycle from dawn to dusk.

Rest in peace Craig. 53 was way too soon to turn your king over. But what a life to have lived!

Aug-29-10  LIFE Master AJ: Wow. This fellow is deceased????

I am not being disrespectful, just terribly , horribly shocked!!!!!

I met him several times. (Once in D.C., once in New York, and again at one of the "islands" tournaments.)

I just cannot believe that he is already gone, he was only a year or so older than me ...

Aug-29-10  LIFE Master AJ: Rest in peace, man.

I enjoyed your chess game today.

Aug-29-10  LIFE Master AJ: C Van Tilbury vs A Zapata, 1980
Aug-29-10  TheChessGuy: Born in Cedar Rapids, IA, my hometown! Surprised that no one around here really mentions him...
Aug-29-10  kramputz: <Once: I have often thought that a chess game is an allegory for life.> These are some of the most beautiful words I've ever heard about chess. All your comments are great and worth reading. // /
Aug-29-10  jrlepage: RIP Mr. Tilbury

@<Once> Beautiful pen, as always. I hope you will some day write a novel, a biography, anything. I'll surely buy everything you will publish. A rare talent.

Sep-05-10  Craigokat: Hello. this is Craig's wife/partner, Annie.
SO wonderful to hear such kind words from everyone. I especially enjoyed Once's Chess eulogy. I miss him terribly and I am sad for our 1 yr old daughter, as she will never know him first hand. Thank you to everyone...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gejewe: Unbelievable bad news.. Craig visited the Netherlands back in january 1983 and - stuck in the same hotel in Wijk aan Zee - we had a lot of friendly conversations together with a Belgian chessfriend Daniel van Heirzele. About all kind of topics, like the origin of his name which sounds like having Dutch roots (Tilburg is a Dutch city and in former centuries there were several American cities or villages founded with Americanized Dutch names). Craig helped me unconditionally to contact his chessfriend Eugene Meyer when I asked him - and I was only one of the very many chessplayers he must have spoken through the years. A kind and social man, and it is a pity 1983 was the first, and last opportunity to meet him. My condolences to his family and friends.
Sep-07-10  LIFE Master AJ: Sep-05-10
<Craigokat: Hello. this is Craig's wife/partner, Annie. SO wonderful to hear such kind words from everyone. I especially enjoyed Once's Chess eulogy. I miss him terribly and I am sad for our 1 yr old daughter, as she will never know him first hand. Thank you to everyone... >

All my heartfelt thoughts for a good life ... Carry on, carry on. (I know its going to be hard, but you have to try. I don't think Craig was the kind of guy who would want you to quit.)

I knew him peripherally ... which is - to be honest - not very well.

I think I know some of your pain, my wife died of cancer January 13th, 2010.

God bless.

Aug-19-11  Everyone: On a long enough timeline the survival rate for <Everyone> drops to zero.
Jan-18-12  uragano: This is an online interview of Craig in the january 2010 on
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Nice obituary here:

Here is an example of his guitar playing:

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: I hadn't heard about Craig van Tilbury's death until today. We had some misunderstandings while we were both in the Virgin Islands but I respected him both as a chess player and a musician. RIP
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: I believe I was thrown out of a party where Van Tilbury was jamming with a friend of mine on piano. I got kicked out for being an obnoxious drunk!
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