I'm Geoff Chandler
'Sally Simpson' is the title of my favourite Who song.
I learned how to play chess when I was 6 or 7 by watching my father. He was playing dominoes at the time and I kept telling him what to play.
Eventually he locked me in a cupboard under stairs where I found an old chess set, a torch and a Fred Reinfeld book on Opening Traps.
I was in that cupboard for 18 years, when I came out I was a chess genius.
Somehow round about the Fischer boom I got good. My first ever rating was 1720 (that was 1974).
I ran my own chess magazine 'Capatal (sic) Chess', full of jokes, games from local players and other such nonsense.
Joint wrote a book with Danny Kopec and friends. 'Master Chess' I did the Tactics section. It ran to 24 editions, went through three publishing houses and was translated into Spanish.
I then tied first for the Scottish Open. Grade up to 2200 something. (with todays rating inflation that's 2900 something!)
My picture appeared in a paper and some man who opened up a shop selling games, jigsaws and chess computers wanted me to promote his chess computers.
I said 'No', he said £100 a week. I said Yes! (in 1984 £100 p/w was good money.)
Alas no more weekend chess so practically gave up the game, including the magazine though played in occasional league matches and wrote a few articles.
Gave up selling computers in 1994 came back to full time chess but 10 year gap told and the knack was gone. Started up a pub team 'Sandy Bells' and successfully became an alcoholic. Now only have the odd pint or two at weekends instead of 5 or 6 every night. (and I mean every night. I was rarely sober.)
Gave up the booze (see above) got grade back to over 2000 (it was 2001! true). Wrote 'Rampant Chess' with Keith Ruxton and did 400 'Chandler Cornered's' they gave me two awards, made me 'Scottish Player of the Year!' and an honorary member of the Edinburgh Chess Club which was founded in 1822. (previous honorary member was Howard Staunton!)
Chess highlight. Spending an hour with Karpov at the Edinburgh Chess Club. It was just me and him (it is how he wanted it. The club was to be closed and just one person to show him around. They chose me!). We were like two kids in a chocolate factory.
Favourite player. Tarrasch (and of course strong affection for Karpov.)
Favourite active player. Topalov and Nigel Short. I have met both of them. Both are funny, excellent company and both play the kind of chess I like.
To be honest I neither like or dislike the rest. Never met most of them....not sure I want to, they all look like geeks.
Favourite game: R Austin vs G Chandler, 1980 Where I take a gamble (you must do this if the chance arrives, how else you going to play your brilliancy.) play inspired chess and hilariously cock it up.
Favourite Books: Catch 22, Three Men in a Boat and Treasure Island.
Favourite Chess Book: 'Tarrasch's Best Games' by Reinfeld.
There I can only tell you what book I know for sure helped me get good.
I cannot understand nor believe it when a good player like a G.M. recommends a book that will make a Home and Casual player good. How does he know? He is already good.
The Home and Casual player has to come back in 40 years and tell us if it was any good and the book reviewing GM should be telling us what book made him good.
If you fancy something different. I do this.