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Member since Apr-30-07 · Last seen Aug-15-18
Real name: John Clarke. Place of residence: lower North Island, New Zealand.

Learned chess from school-fellows plus some reading to get the rules completely clear. Made the usual progress of mediocrity thru school, university and workplace teams, ending with several seasons in suburban league chess in north London. Even at best my rating was never higher than 164 BCF (a bit over 1900 FIDE). Some successes in restricted-entry events, including first place at Ilford under-160, 1973. Plus I won the National Association of Boys’ Clubs title in 1968 (good timing there - the following the year the field included two future IMs).

Gave up competitive play after leaving the UK in 1977. But there was one more chess-related hurrah. In 1981 I won the NZ Mastermind quiz title, taking as my main specialist subject the history of our great game since 1450.

My favourite players include Fischer, Miles, Capablanca and Pillsbury - basically anyone who can blend tactics and strategy into a seamless and harmonious whole. (I know darn well I can't!!)

   Cibator has kibitzed 411 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Aug-13-18 Amos Burn
Cibator: Found someone called Quincey Redmond at, but at a rating of 833 his games are unlikely to feature on here for a while. Irishman Rory Quinn would fit, but only if he wrote his names the other way round, Chinese style. There's also a Quentin Rashad Chess to be found on ...
   Aug-01-18 Daniel Freeman (replies)
Cibator: A sad event indeed, and one that's going to touch more people in today's chess world than would the death of almost anyone else involved in the game. There'll always be world or national champions; competitions of various kinds will continue to be organised; magazines can usually ...
   Jul-29-18 Peter Wykeham Stuart
Cibator: I've only just stumbled upon the news about Peter's death, but even though it's several months on now, I still feel compelled to add my bit to the memories. We only had the one face-to-face meeting - a pretty brief one, in London in the mid-70s, at the home of a guy called Bob ...
   Jul-27-18 E Alekseev vs A Fominyh, 2003 (replies)
Cibator: Fominyh grits his teeth and resigns.
   Jul-15-18 Amos Burr (replies)
Cibator: If he'd given up the exchange, he could have been Amos Burn.
   Jul-14-18 Karpov vs Gelfand, 1995 (replies)
Cibator: After 25. ... Qe4? white could have secured a winning advantage with 26.Qxe4 Nxe4 27.Rxd7! Rxd7 28.Nxb6, etc.
   Jun-05-18 AVRO (1938) (replies)
Cibator: Max Euwe previewed this event in a book called "Meet The Masters", first published in 1940. It included pen-portraits and biographies of the eight contenders, plus selections of their most characteristic games. Later editions included a footnote on the death of Capablanca.
   Jun-05-18 London (Vizayanagaram) (1883) (replies)
Cibator: Note that Gunsberg finished in fourth place. Odd that he should have been been competing at this modest level at the late age of 29, before rising to near world class after only a few more years. Bit of a late developer.
   May-19-18 O Troianescu vs Larsen, 1957
Cibator: Three and a half years late, but I can add further confirmation of a sort. Harry Golombek cited this combination in his 1958 book "Instructions To Young Chess Players" (including the fact that White resigned after Black's 27th). He pointed up the similarity in theme with Maroczy vs
   May-17-18 Teichmann vs Burn, 1905
Cibator: White just never gets his forces co-ordinated (the LSB in particular is little more than a spectator throughout). Black's minor pieces by contrast are all hyperactive. Here's another example of how accidentally losing the exchange is sometimes by no means disadvantageous ...
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