Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Jonathan Penrose
Number of games in database: 394
Years covered: 1950 to 1995
Last FIDE rating: 2405
Overall record: +153 -94 =147 (57.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (65) 
    B93 B58 B84 B42 B43
 Ruy Lopez (39) 
    C78 C76 C77 C97 C65
 French Defense (22) 
    C05 C09 C12 C07 C03
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (17) 
    C97 C93 C91 C99 C87
 French Tarrasch (15) 
    C05 C09 C07 C03 C04
 Caro-Kann (15) 
    B14 B17 B15 B18 B16
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (48) 
    E92 E60 E98 E97 E66
 Sicilian (42) 
    B83 B40 B47 B48 B81
 Sicilian Scheveningen (18) 
    B83 B81 B80 B82 B84
 Sicilian Taimanov (11) 
    B47 B48 B49 B45
 Queen's Pawn Game (10) 
    A40 D02 D00 A45 E10
 Ruy Lopez (10) 
    C77 C78 C97 C81 C85
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   J Penrose vs Tal, 1960 1-0
   Veitch vs J Penrose, 1950 0-1
   J Penrose vs Blau, 1957 1-0
   O'Kelly vs J Penrose, 1962 1/2-1/2
   J Penrose vs Pryor, 1980 1-0
   J Penrose vs M Bobotsov, 1969 1-0
   J Penrose vs C B van den Berg, 1952 1-0
   K Van Leens Dijkstra vs J Penrose, 1983 0-1
   J Penrose vs Mecking, 1969 1-0
   Wade vs J Penrose, 1961 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1952/53 (1952)
   Hastings 1961/62 (1961)
   Hastings 1966/67 (1966)
   Hastings 1957/58 (1957)
   Palma de Mallorca (1969)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1961/62 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1966/67 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1950/51 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1952/53 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Jonathan Penrose
Search Google for Jonathan Penrose

(born Oct-07-1933, 81 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
(Dr.) Jonathan Penrose was born in Colchester, England. Awarded the IM title in 1961, the IMC title in 1980, the GMC title in 1983 and an Emeritus GM title. He was British Champion a record ten times and also London Champion in 1949. Tournament stress forced him to take up correspondence chess in preference to over-the-board play in the early 1970's. He is the son of Lionel Sharples Penrose and his doctorate is in psychology. His brothers are Oliver Penrose and noted author and physicist Roger.


Wikipedia article: Jonathan Penrose

 page 1 of 16; games 1-25 of 394  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J Penrose vs O'Kelly  0-154 1950 Hastings 5051C12 French, McCutcheon
2. J Penrose vs L Derby  ½-½46 1950 SouthseaC15 French, Winawer
3. Golombek vs J Penrose ½-½15 1950 SouthseaE60 King's Indian Defense
4. J Penrose vs A Phillips 1-037 1950 Hastings 5051C61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
5. J Penrose vs R H Newman  1-036 1950 SouthseaC78 Ruy Lopez
6. Rossolimo vs J Penrose  0-176 1950 Hastings 5051C53 Giuoco Piano
7. J Penrose vs F Alexander  ½-½65 1950 SouthseaC81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack
8. Golombek vs J Penrose  0-135 1950 Hastings 5051A40 Queen's Pawn Game
9. K Winterton vs J Penrose ½-½46 1950 SouthseaE90 King's Indian
10. J Penrose vs V Castaldi  ½-½70 1950 Hastings 5051C12 French, McCutcheon
11. Bisguier vs J Penrose 1-029 1950 SouthseaC77 Ruy Lopez
12. Aitken vs J Penrose  0-157 1950 Ilford (England)C81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack
13. J Penrose vs Bogoljubov 1-031 1950 SouthseaB56 Sicilian
14. J Penrose vs L Barden  ½-½37 1950 Hastings 5051B59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
15. J Penrose vs Tartakower 1-039 1950 SouthseaB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
16. A Thomas vs J Penrose  ½-½19 1950 HastingsC27 Vienna Game
17. W Adams vs J Penrose  1-034 1950 Hastings 5051B28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
18. J Penrose vs E A Isles  1-021 1950 British ChampionshipB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
19. A Thomas vs J Penrose  0-135 1950 SouthseaD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Unzicker vs J Penrose  1-017 1950 Hastings 5051B29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
21. Prins vs J Penrose  0-128 1950 SouthseaC57 Two Knights
22. Veitch vs J Penrose 0-110 1950 Buxton (England)E10 Queen's Pawn Game
23. J Penrose vs A Fuderer  0-126 1951 GBR-YUG matchB83 Sicilian
24. J Penrose vs Julio Bolbochan  ½-½33 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
25. J Penrose vs C Poulsen  ½-½24 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)B20 Sicilian
 page 1 of 16; games 1-25 of 394  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Penrose wins | Penrose loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-23-04  James Knight: WMD: Why do you hate Ray Keene so? I don`t agree with him about everything (same situation with the ex) but I do enjoy reading his posts. Was he hateful to you in a post or something?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: i have <wmd> on my ignore list so have voluntarily deprived myself of his insights. i have no idea if he is really <david levy> .

re penrose-he is an otb and corr gm. he won the british championship ten times and of course beat larsen tal robatsch hartston wade and a host of other strong players. winning the british championship ten times ought to have been enough to get the gm title but in those days the rules were odd as lawrence day has pointed out. some events just didnt count for titles and the british championship-even tho packed with people who had beaten gligoric tolush bronstein szabo yanofsky botvinnik bogolyubov tartakower smyslov euwe etc etc simply did not count!! after penroses collapse in 1974 at nice -which i have reported on elsewhere-he was a shadow of his former self and the bcf had to apply for his title retrospectively.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <ray keene> Ray what year was Penrose granted the otb GM title and was it emeritus?
Apr-15-05  WTHarvey: Here are some 'must win' positions from Jonathan's games:
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <IMlday: By any rational standards Penrose Jr. would have gotten the title GM just for beating aged Bogo circa 1950, or Tal in his prime.>

Launch all Zig!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Incredible. Penrose wins the British Championship 10 times then quits OTB play because of tournament stress. I play one game in a tournament and I'm a wreck. I'm with IMDay, beating Tal in his prime is enough for the GM title.
Oct-07-06  BIDMONFA: Jonathan Penrose

PENROSE, Jonathan

Mar-31-07  gauer: his father is also mentioned as a chess-player in Cdn. Hall of Fame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday to a great player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The following position appeared recently in Leonard Barden's column in the Financial Times.

click for larger view

It is White to move and win. Jonathan Penrose took half an hour to solve this problem. Can you do better?

Feb-24-08  vonKrolock: <Pawn and Two> Five seconds <<!!> :o)> No - I knew already this Study - Only can not remember the author's name... Well, it would take almost half an hour to rediscover his name :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: Well I got the first two white moves right, and after checking my answer, there seems to be a wonderfully clever third move....

Jonathan Penrose seems to be a player who had great talent for the game who, had he devoted his life to chess, might have reached the super-elite; but he had other interests, and did not have the support of a State some others had.

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday to a great player...again.
Oct-09-08  Marmot PFL: <Sneaky Jonathan Penrose is the brother of the well-known mathematician and physicist Sir Roger Penrose.>

Just got his book "The Road to Reality : A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe". 1050 pages of things long mostly long forgotten or never learned. What would be easier going, that or the Feynman Lectures?

Oct-13-08  jerseybob: Of course Penrose was a GM in strength, if not title. Just go into back issues of the BCM from the 60s, play over the games and enjoy the artistry. But many American players have fallen into the same FIDE Catch-22 down through the years: to get a title you must play titled players.
Jun-13-09  WhiteRook48: it's bad that he had to quit
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <WMD>According to the Oxford Companion, '...In the early 1970s he further restricted his chess because the stress of over-the-board play adversely affected his health'

I read in a recent chess column that Penrose collapsed at the board during the England v Andorra match at the 1970 Olympiad at Seigen. I think that this incident helped in his decision to scale back his OTB play.

Oct-07-10  Antiochus: Penrose played the Zugzwang Correspondence Immortal: J Penrose vs B Vukcevic, 1983
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Is Penrose related to the famous physicist-cosmologist?

I've seen Penrose's name over the years going back to the 60s...he was always in the top grades in England from memory.

He had some kind of nervous collapse?

Be interesting to hear more about that - the human side of chess... while playing a chess game I find I play better under "stress" and with adrenalin but also if the stress too much I freak and stuff the game up. Need to get the happy medium as they call it in the trade.

Quite a lot of suicides in chess - quite few even just in my own club (Auckland, NZ) over the years! Chess attracts nutters though..wont name anyone! But there is that "old retired Russian guy"! And all those strange British Gm(s)! And others of course...

Then there are all the feuds. Life is such fun!

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Yes, Jonathan is the younger brother of Roger Penrose, the physicist(and brother of mathematician Oliver Penrose). Roger mentions chess in some of his books.
Apr-17-12  timhortons: is the penrose drain named after him?
Apr-27-12  deputy1: Johnathan Penrose has won the British championship 10 time's He also has appeared at Hastings quite few times as well
Feb-08-13  IndigoViolet: <Galton also originated the phrase “nature versus nurture,” which still reverberates in debates today. (It was probably suggested by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” in which Prospero laments that his slave Caliban is “A devil, a born devil, on whose nature / Nurture can never stick.”) At Cambridge, Galton had noticed that the top students had relatives who had also excelled there; surely, he reasoned, such family success was not a matter of chance. His hunch was strengthened during his travels, which gave him a vivid sense of what he called “the mental peculiarities of different races.” Galton made an honest effort to justify his belief in nature over nurture with hard evidence. In his 1869 book “Hereditary Genius,” he assembled long lists of “eminent” men—judges, poets, scientists, even oarsmen and wrestlers—to show that excellence ran in families. To counter the objection that social advantages rather than biology might be behind this, he used the adopted sons of Popes as a kind of control group. His case elicited skeptical reviews, but it impressed Darwin. “You have made a convert of an opponent in one sense,” he wrote to Galton, “for I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work.” Yet Galton’s labors had hardly begun. If his eugenic utopia was to be a practical possibility, he needed to know more about how heredity worked. His belief in eugenics thus led him to try to discover the laws of inheritance. And that, in turn, led him to statistics.>

Read more:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: Apparently context makes all the difference. On this chess site, I note that Roger Penrose ( gets relatively short shrift; and yet, if we were to look elsewhere, we would find the latter more honored than the rest of his family combined.

When, for example, the surreal artist M.C. Escher ( set out to create the impossible structures that animated so many of his works, he based them on Penrose' "impossible tribar": a two-dimensional representation of the three-dimensional "triangle" formed by joining three slats of wood at *right angles*; if this "triangle" really existed, its angles would add up to 270 degrees.

A little thing, and completely artificial, this irreal "triangle." But from it rose the quasi-infinite architecture of a mental cosmos of impossible structures now familiar to all: "Waterfall," "Ascending and Descending," "Belvedere": All these and more depend for their illusory existence upon Penrose' tribar.

My daughter is a graphic/electronic artist, and when she was very young (three or four), she was simultaneously fascinated by the very childish (the Hundred Acre Wood and all its denizens) and the surreal. For some two years, the "model" for much of her own art was a synthesized figure: "Piglet T. Penrose."

Feb-11-13  Nosnibor: Tal called Penrose an interesting player after his lossto him at the 1960 Olympiad.When I was a young player many moons ago!Penrose was one of my favourite players.The bio given to him ,bearing in mind he was made an emiritus G.M. is woefully inadequate.He was London Boys Champion in 1948 and 1949 winning it for the first time at the age of 14.He was barely 16 when he won the London Championship with 5.5 out of 7 points ahead of V Berger and Wheatcroft on 5 points.That same year he played for the first time in the British Cmampionship and scored 5/11. A very respectanble score for someone only aged 15.His elder brother Oliver scored 6/11.Attached is the 5th round game from the London Championship of 1949 which does not figure in the db.White:J Penrose,Black: B Reilly,Staunton Gambit 1d4 f5,2e4 fxe4,3Nc3 Nf6,4Bg5 d6,5f3 e3,6Bd3 e6,7Bxe3 Be7,8Qe2 Nc6,9f4 Nb4,10Bc4 0-0,11a3 Nbd5,12Bd2 c6,13Nf3 b5,14Bd3 Qb6,150-0 Bd7,16Kh1 Rae8,17Rad1 a6,18Ne4 Nxe4,19Qxe4 Nf6,20Qe2 Nd5,21Qe4 Nf6,22Qe2 Nd4,23Ng5! Bxg5,24fxg5 g6,25Qe4 Qd8,26Qh4 Rxf1+,27Rxf1 Rf8,28Rxf8+ Qxf8,29Qg3 Nc7,30h4 Ne8,31Bf4 Kg7,32c3 Kg8,33Kg1 Ng7,34Bxd6 Nf5,35Bxf8 Nxg3,36Bc5 Nf5,37Kf2 Kf7,38g4 Ng7,39Kf3 Ne8,40Kf4 Nc7,41c4 e5+,42Kxe5 Bxg4,43d5 cxd5,44cxd5 Bd1,45b4 Bg4,46Bd4 Black resigns 1-0 A remarkably mature effort by such a young player!
Jump to page #   (enter # from 1 to 3)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other users.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2014, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies