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Anthony Miles
Number of games in database: 2,433
Years covered: 1967 to 2001
Highest rating achieved in database: 2669
Overall record: +1041 -450 =893 (62.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      49 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (144) 
    D00 A46 A45 D02 A40
 English (103) 
    A15 A13 A14 A10 A19
 Queen's Indian (99) 
    E12 E17 E15 E13 E19
 King's Indian (91) 
    E97 E94 E92 E98 E70
 Reti System (82) 
    A04 A05 A06
 Queen's Gambit Declined (75) 
    D37 D31 D30 D35 D38
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (198) 
    B77 B42 B22 B76 B43
 Queen's Pawn Game (141) 
    A41 A46 A40 E00 D02
 Uncommon Opening (119) 
    B00 A00
 Caro-Kann (99) 
    B10 B19 B14 B18 B12
 English (90) 
    A10 A15 A14 A13 A17
 Queen's Indian (82) 
    E12 E15 E14 E13
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Karpov vs Miles, 1980 0-1
   Miles vs Spassky, 1978 1-0
   S Atalik vs Miles, 1993 0-1
   Miles vs Browne, 1982 1-0
   E Dizdarevic vs Miles, 1985 0-1
   S Bouaziz vs Miles, 1979 0-1
   Miles vs Beliavsky, 1986 1-0
   Ljubojevic vs Miles, 1980 0-1
   Miles vs C W Pritchett, 1982 1-0
   Adams vs Miles, 1993 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   London (1975)
   Netway Masters (1992)
   Tilburg Interpolis (1977)
   Lone Pine (1980)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979)
   British Championship (1975)
   Buenos Aires (Konex) (1979)
   Lone Pine (1976)
   Phillips & Drew Kings (1982)
   Riga Interzonal (1979)
   Bad Lauterberg (1977)
   Hastings 1973/74 (1973)
   Lone Pine (1978)
   Lone Pine (1979)
   Manila Interzonal (1990)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Tony Miles: 'It's Only Me,' by Geoff Lawton by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1974/75 by suenteus po 147
   Amsterdam IBM 1976 by suenteus po 147
   Las Palmas 1977 by suenteus po 147
   99_Bad Lauterberg 1977 by whiteshark
   Amsterdam IBM 1977 by suenteus po 147
   Biel 1990 by suenteus po 147
   Tilburg Interpolis 1985 by Tabanus
   Tilburg Interpolis 1986 by suenteus po 147
   Tilburg Interpolis 1985 by suenteus po 147
   Niksic 1983 by Tabanus
   Biel 1992 by suenteus po 147
   Biel 1989 by suenteus po 147

   Karpov vs Miles, 1980

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Anthony Miles
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(born Apr-23-1955, died Nov-12-2001, 46 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
Anthony "Tony" Miles was born in Birmingham, England. At the age of five, Miles was taught chess by his father.(1) He was educated at King Edward's school in Birmingham, and went on to study Mathematics at Sheffield University, declining an offered place at Oxford.(1) He never finished his university education, opting to become a professional chess player instead.(1)

Early Chess Career

In 1968, Miles won the British U-14 Championship,(2) and the British U-21 Championship in 1971.(3) He debuted in the British Championships (1972), scoring 50%.(3) The next year, Miles went on to share 4th at Lone Pine (1973), won the Silver medal at the Junior World Championship in Teesside (1973) and beat the tournament winner Alexander Beliavsky in their individual encounter, Beliavsky vs Miles, 1973. (2) He also won the Birmingham (1973) International tournament ahead of Andras Adorjan and Arthur Bisguier and lost not a single game in 11 rounds.(1)(3) Miles won the Gold medal at the World Junior Championship in Manila (1974) with a 1.5 point margin, securing the IM title with this win A Kochyev vs Miles, 1974. (3) He shared second place at British Championship (1975).

Britain's First Chess Grandmaster

Miles achieved his first GM norm by winning London (1975), (3) and later became Britain's first home-grown over-the-board Chess Grandmaster,(4) after finishing third with 9.0/15 at Dubna (1976) in February.(3) Miles received a £5,000 award from James Slater for this feat.(1),(2),(3)

One of the World's Best Chessplayers

His first great tournament win was Amsterdam (1976), where he shared first place with Viktor Korchnoi. (2),(3) He shared 2nd place at Lone Pine (1976), and won Amsterdam (1977) and Biel (1977).(3) Miles came in 2nd at Tilburg Interpolis (1977), shared 4th at Buenos Aires (Konex) (1979), shared 2nd at Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979) and 2nd at Lone Pine (1980). In 1980, the European Team Championship in Skara, Sweden saw England paired against the USSR.(2) Most crucial for England's 4.0-4.0 draw in the match, was Miles' spectacular win over the World Champion, Karpov vs Miles, 1980, replying to 1.e4 with 1...a6.(2) Miles also had good results at Las Palmas (1980), sharing 1st with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and Efim Geller, and scored +4 -1 =6 at Vrbas (1980), ahead of Petrosian.(3) He finished Baden-Baden (1981) unbeaten and equal 1st together with Zoltan Ribli, ahead of Korchnoi.(3) Miles won his first and only British Championship title in Torquay, in 1982.(3). He shared 1st with John Nunn at Biel (1983),(3). In 1984, he finshied 2nd behind Karpov at Oslo (1984),(3) before winning Tilburg (1984) by 1.5 points, which was called his "best result" by Barden.(2). In addition, he scored +1 -0 =3 at USSR vs. Rest of the World (1984). A remarkable event was his 22-board Blindfold Simul in Roetgen, Germany on 20 May 1984.(5) Miles scored +10 -2 =10 during the 11.5 hours lasting Simul, while in a sound proofed booth and without access to score sheets.(5) At Tilburg (1985), Miles shared 1st with Robert Huebner and Korchnoi, beating the latter in both games, Korchnoi vs Miles, 1985 and Miles vs Korchnoi, 1985. (3) After a bad start, Miles injured his back and started a winning streak when playing on a hospital massage table.(2) In 1986, Miles came in shared 2nd at Dortmund (1986),(3) but lost a match in Basel against Garry Kasparov by the score of +0 -5 =1, remarking afterwards: "I thought that he was 'only' the World Champion. When I came to Basel, I met some kind of monster with one hundred eyes, which do not miss anything at all."(6)

Despite his many excellent results, Miles never became a World Champion candidate, although he participated in four Inter-zonals.(3) Leonard William Barden explained: "The problem was that he globetrotted too much, travelling from one tournament to another with hardly a break, leaving insufficient time for preparation and rest."(2)

Later Chess Career

A new generation of British chessplayers, among them Nigel Short began to overtake him.(2) Short had already reached a higher rating than Miles, yet only played on board 3 at the Dubai Olympiad (1986), where England won the Silver medal.(7) Short explained in his obituary for Miles: "I obtained a measure of revenge not only by eclipsing Tony in terms of chess performance but also by sleeping with his girlfriend, which was definitely satisfying but perhaps not entirely gentlemanly."(8) Later, Short explained: "Tony was insanely jealous of my success, and his inability to accept that he was no longer Britain’s number one was an indication of, if not a trigger for, his descent into madness. His first psychiatric internment came in 1987, and he was in and (usually) out of institutions for the remainder of his days. Thankfully, there was much more to him than that."(9)

The year 1987 became most crucial for Miles' career and life, when he made public what had happened 2 years before, at the Inter-zonal in Tunisia (1985). Back then, Raymond Keene had approached Miles and wanted to become his second. It was known that Miles didn't want a second and he declined again, so Keene offered him the opportunity to make money. English chess supporters had established a fund to finance the expenses and fees of seconds for those English chessplayers, who had reached the Inter-zonals. All Miles had to do, was to claim that Keene had been his second, and then Keene would split the profits with him. Miles said that he should go ahead, and if he was asked about it, wouldn't contradict Keene, but answer that seconds were underpaid. Since Keene didn't act as his second, Miles forgot about the issue. At the British Championship in Edinburgh, three months later, Keene handed Miles a cheque for £589. Miles photo-copied the cheque and two years later, after failed private investigations, he confronted David W Anderton who said that Keene had acted as Miles' second and had been paid as such. Miles explained to him what had happened and handed him a cheque for £589 in favour of Keene, in case Keene returned the whole money to the British Chess Federation (BCF). After a preliminary inquiry by David Jarrett and Mohammed Amin, the BCF decided to hold a formal inquiry into the accusations in October 1987. Obsessed with bringing Keene to justice, Miles became more and more irrational and when the inquiry was postponed due to the death of Keene's wife's grandmother, Miles believed that he had caused her death. Miles was arrested in Downing Street when trying to talk to the Prime-Minister,(10) later writing: "Perhaps I should mention that I spent several months in hospital from the end of September 87 – a result of banging my head against a bureaucratic brick wall – and am especially ill-informed for that period."(11) Keene let the BCF know that he wouldn't attend the inquiry at the new or any future date and that he resigned from the BCF. In The Times, Keene said that his resignation had nothing to do with the accusations, but to establish the English Chess Association. While Miles underwent treatment in a mental hospital in Birmingham, the BCF dropped the inquiry. Keene said that he had been Miles' second, spending much time with him at Tunis. He also said that he expected to be Short's second, which was turned down. When Miles declined, Keene believed that offering him money would change his mind. According to Keene, Miles agreed by telephone. Larry Christiansen, also present at Tunis: “I don’t believe Ray was Tony’s second,” he says. “Tony spent most of his time with me and another American grandmaster. Ray seemed to spend his time politicking and sitting by the hotel pool with his wife.”(10)

In 1987, Miles also transferred allegiance to the USA, when he was no longer top board of the English Olympiad team and also settled in Germany.(2) Miles' chess suffered after the scandal, but when he moved back to Birmingham, his results improved again.(2) He scored 50% at Wijk aan Zee (1989) and 8.5/15 at the US Championships (1989).(3) He shared 3rd behind Karpov and Ulf Andersson at Biel (1990) and 3rd in Biel (1992) and played for England again.(3) Miles won the Capablanca Memorial four times, in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1999.(3) He had another great momemt at the PCA Intel Rapid Chess Grand Prix (1995) in London, where he knocked out Vladimir Kramnik in round 1, and was only stopped by Michael Adams in the semi-final.(3) Miles went on to participate in tournaments, but around 2001, his interest in chess waned: "I am playing more bridge than chess these days (bit bored!)."(12)

Chess Author

Miles wrote a chess column for the Sunday Telegraph, before he was fired by Dominic Lawson. (5) Miles wrote chess book reviews for Kingpin.(13) He also had a famous chess column, The Miles Report at Chess Café, after Edward Winter had suggested that to him in agreement with Hanon W Russell. (5) The column, which ran from July 1999 to October 2001, is still available online.(14)

Private Life

Miles was divorced twice. One of his wives was Jana Malypetrova Hartston Miles Bellin. He had no children.(2) Suffering from diabetes, Miles died of a heart failure in his sleep, in Harborne, Birmingham.(2),(3)

Theoretical Contributions

A line of the Queen's Indian Defence (E12,, 1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.♘f3 b6 4.♗f4) is called the Miles Variation.


(1) The Telegraph, 14 November 2001,

(2) Leonard William Barden, The Guardian, 14 November 2001,

(3) Mark Crowther, The Week in Chess 367, 19 November 2001,

(4) Jacques Mieses (GM title in 1950) was a naturalized Brit originally from Germany. Keith Bevan Richardson held the Correspondence GM title.

(5) Edward Winter, Tony Miles (1955-2001),

(6) Interview with Heinz Weber, Basler Zeitung, 23 May 1986, p. 3. Reprinted in Edward Winter, Kasparov v Miles, Basle, 1986, Translated by User: Karpova, original: "Ich glaubte, er sei 'bloss' der Weltmeister. Als ich dann nach Basel kam, traf ich eine Art Monster mit hundert Augen, denen auch nicht das Geringste entgeht."

(7) Wojciech Bartelski, OlimpBase :: the online encyclopaedia of international team chess events, and

(8) Nigel Short, Sunday Telegraph, 18 November 2001. Reproduced in Justin Horton, Ten years ago this week, 16 November 2011, http://streathambrixtonchess.blogsp...

(9) Nigel Short, The Sunday chess column, The Telegraph, 30 November 2003,

(10) Nick Pitt, Sunday Times Colour Supplement, Keene's Gambit, 13 January 1991, pp. 16-26. Reproduced in http://streathambrixtonchess.blogsp.... Anthony Miles, Generous to a Fault, Kingpin, issue 15, Summer 1989. Published online on 10 November 2011,

(11) Anthony Miles in a letter to Edward Winter, 24 July 1989. Reprinted in Edward Winter, Tony Miles (1955-2001),

(12) Anthony Miles in an e-mail to Edward Winter, 10 January 2001. Reproduced in Edward Winter, Tony Miles (1955-2001),

(13) Review of Eric Schiller 's Unorthodox Chess Openings: Review of Keene's and Michael Gelb's Samurai Chess: Mastering the Martial Art of the Mind:

(14) Zip-file for download,

 page 1 of 98; games 1-25 of 2,433  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Miles vs Bissicks  1-026 1967 Schools CompetitionB72 Sicilian, Dragon
2. P S Farelly vs Miles 0-133 1967 BCF-ch U14C34 King's Gambit Accepted
3. I McNab vs Miles 0-122 1967 BCF-ch U14A00 Uncommon Opening
4. R W Hawley vs Miles  ½-½30 1969 BCF-ch U18A00 Uncommon Opening
5. Miles vs J R Dennis 1-023 1969 BCF-ch U18C55 Two Knights Defense
6. Miles vs A Butcher  0-129 1969 Staffordshire opB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
7. Miles vs Nunn 1-020 1969 British U-18 chC55 Two Knights Defense
8. Miles vs M Stean 1-053 1970 Islington Junior AB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
9. Miles vs F O'Donohoe  1-042 1970 Glorney CupC44 King's Pawn Game
10. D Bray vs Miles 0-135 1970 Bearsden, GlasgowA04 Reti Opening
11. R Bellin vs Miles  1-055 1970 Islington Junior AC42 Petrov Defense
12. Miles vs Jean-Jacques Hanau  1-032 1970 Glorney CupC45 Scotch Game
13. R W L Moberly vs Miles  1-034 1970 Islington Junior AC25 Vienna
14. Miles vs Speelman 0-129 1970 IslingtonB32 Sicilian
15. Miles vs R R Smith 1-026 1970 Islington Junior AB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
16. Miles vs Nunn 0-149 1970 Islington Junior AC21 Center Game
17. R O'Kelly vs Miles  ½-½40 1970 Islington Junior AD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
18. D J Findlay vs Miles 0-156 1970 Glorney CupC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
19. Miles vs S Mariotti  0-136 1970 Islington Junior AB87 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5
20. J Fellows vs Miles  0-133 1971 Staffordshire opA04 Reti Opening
21. Speelman vs Miles  1-020 1971 British U21A23 English, Bremen System, Keres Variation
22. R J M Farley vs Miles  0-151 1971 Staffordshire opB02 Alekhine's Defense
23. Miles vs D W Anderton  0-142 1971 Staffordshire opA07 King's Indian Attack
24. E Goodwin vs Miles 0-126 1971 Staffordshire opA56 Benoni Defense
25. Miles vs P Szekely  1-039 1971 Nice Jr chB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
 page 1 of 98; games 1-25 of 2,433  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Miles wins | Miles loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The late GM Tony Miles, one of England's top players, sent me an e-mail asking if I would expect the Russians to boycott an event in Britain if my body washed up in the Thames. Despite knowing he had a history of mental instability - he once tried to break into the prime minister's residence, 10 Downing Street, to complain about fellow GM Ray Keene - I decided not to interpret this as a death threat.>

Sarah Hurst, <Curse of Kirsan - Adventures in the Chess Underworld>

Apr-07-15  A.T PhoneHome: Anthony Miles had his problems like we all do. It is very unfortunate that, due to degree of our personal demons, some can very easily keep such things to themselves whereas in Miles' case (for example) many have actually SEEN him dwelling in his problems and he couldn't necessary do anything about that.

It's a shame we can't choose such things. No one should feel that they need to do good things or anything just to preserve their integrity. Anthony Miles played very off-beat, unbalanced chess and his style was a perfect fit to his personality. We have his chess which, for me at least, is one way of understanding this controversial yet brilliant man.

Apr-21-15  AsosLight: This was an extremely bright man.
Apr-23-15  ketchuplover: Hope he's still celebrating birthdays :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Thank you for everything Tony.

Apr-23-15  disasterion: <Geoff> - that's such a lovely Tony Miles piece. Thanks for the link.
May-01-15  zanzibar: Here's my artistic tribute to Miles:

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <zanzibar: Here's my artistic tribute to Miles:

Here's mine:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: In the mid-70s, Miles was a flaxen-haired Adonis; by the mid-90s, he looked like a heap of rubbish.
May-01-15  Howard: He certainly put on some weight in his last several years.
May-01-15  zanzibar: Well, time takes its toll on us all.

Plus, didn't Miles have diabetes? Weight gain is often associated with insulin treatment:

BTW <offramp>, I didn't realize you had such artistic talent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Zanzibar>, thanks! I try to draw as fast as possible. I did one drawing previously, a few minutes earlier, to get a feel of where things were, then the one I linked to, very fast. The drawing is a roughly A5-sized, on Ogami© repap®©™.
May-02-15  zanzibar: And finally... <offramp> may I have your permission to add your drawing of Tony to my blog post?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <zanzibar: And finally... <offramp> may I have your permission to add your drawing of Tony to my blog post?> That would be fantastic! I would be honoured! Thanks!
May-02-15  zanzibar: Thanks, done.

I added a couple of other items as well:

May-02-15  zanzibar: By the way, I found another picture of the young Miles, from his leonine/halcyon days:

His were the eyes of a true killer glaring across the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Perhaps the most important trait a player needs is a warped sense of humor> - Tony Miles.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: He played 1. e4 a6 against a WC and won. I might admire that more than Fischer's winning streak.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Anthony Miles.
Apr-23-16  ketchuplover: I concur
Apr-28-16  posoo: Can you BELEEVE da stuff dat Niggel Short said? In da man's OBITUARY no less.

I PROPOSE DAT CHESSGAMES remove ALL games of and reference to Niggel Short as retrabution for his UNGENTLEMANLY and UNSEAMLY condut.

May-05-16  posoo: Seriosly why is no one DOING anything about dis?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Is Tony Miles the only GM to play a tournament game on his back ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <harrylime: Is Tony Miles the only GM to play a tournament game on his back ?> He laid on his belly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Miles is one of half a dozen Grandmasters who have over 1000 wins here at

If he had lived, how many would he have scored in the last 15 years?

He would have been 61 this year so he would still have been active.

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