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George Botterill
G Botterill 
George is third from left courtesy  
Number of games in database: 234
Years covered: 1968 to 1997
Last FIDE rating: 2360
Highest rating achieved in database: 2410

Overall record: +70 -83 =79 (47.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (28) 
    B30 B52 B40 B31 B29
 King's Indian (12) 
    E73 E90 E63 E70 E62
 Nimzo Indian (10) 
    E39 E20 E45 E32 E46
 Modern Benoni (8) 
    A56 A71 A60 A61 A57
 Queen's Pawn Game (8) 
    A46 A40 E10 A50
 Grunfeld (5) 
    D94 D91 D86
With the Black pieces:
 Pirc (20) 
    B08 B09 B07
 French Defense (17) 
    C07 C09 C16 C05 C00
 King's Indian (13) 
    E98 E71 E75 E70 E61
 Robatsch (11) 
 French Tarrasch (11) 
    C07 C09 C05
 Queen's Pawn Game (7) 
    E10 A45 A46 E00 A40
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   G Botterill vs Richard Thomas, 1974 1-0
   J J Carleton vs G Botterill, 1978 0-1
   G Botterill vs Psakhis, 1977 1-0
   M Basman vs G Botterill, 1979 0-1
   G Botterill vs D Goodman, 1978 1-0
   G Botterill vs J M Hodgson, 1976 1-0
   G Botterill vs Fedorowicz, 1978 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   BCF-ch (1970)
   BCF-ch (1983)
   Hastings 1974/75 (1975)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   Hastings 1978/79 (1979)
   Hastings 1977/78 (1977)
   BCF-ch (1968)
   BCF-ch (1978)
   EUR-chT (Men) 5th (1973)
   BCF-ch (1984)
   BCF-ch (1987)
   BCF-ch (1986)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   BBC Master Game Series 2 by RedShield
   BBC Master Game Series 1 by RedShield

   J Arnason vs Keene, 1981

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FIDE player card for George Botterill

(born Jan-08-1949, 73 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
George Steven Botterill was born in Bradford, England. He was awarded the IM title in 1978. He learned to play chess at age seven and played for Oxford University from 1969 to 1972. Botterill won the Welsh title (jointly) in 1973, figured in a seven-way tie for the British Championship and in the subsequent play-off he finished half a point ahead of William Hartston and therefore took the title (1974). He also won the title outright in 1977. He's best known for his collaboration with Raymond Keene in two works on the Modern and Pirc Defences.

Wikipedia article: George Botterill

 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 327  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. G Botterill vs N J Patterson  ½-½381968Oxford-Cambridge mA56 Benoni Defense
2. G Botterill vs M V Lambshire  1-0341968British ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
3. P H Clarke vs G Botterill  1-0491968British ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
4. S Webb vs G Botterill  1-0361968British ChampionshipD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
5. G Botterill vs J T Farrand  0-1291968British ChampionshipB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
6. G Speed vs G Botterill  0-1281968British ChampionshipB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
7. G Botterill vs G Bonner  1-0401968British ChampionshipB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
8. B H Wood vs G Botterill  0-1591968British ChampionshipE36 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
9. G Botterill vs B Cafferty  ½-½241968British ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
10. G Botterill vs N Littlewood 0-1341968British ChampionshipB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
11. C G Hilton vs G Botterill  ½-½451968British ChampionshipB06 Robatsch
12. G Botterill vs A Hollis  ½-½181968British ChampionshipB35 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Modern Variation with Bc4
13. Keene vs G Botterill  1-0421970Oxford-Cambridge MatchE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
14. G Botterill vs J M Ripley 1-0401970British ChampionshipD94 Grunfeld
15. P C Griffiths vs G Botterill  ½-½551970British ChampionshipE45 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) Variation
16. G Botterill vs M Corden 1-0281970British ChampionshipB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
17. R G Eales vs G Botterill  ½-½621970British ChampionshipE00 Queen's Pawn Game
18. A H Williams vs G Botterill  0-1411970British ChampionshipB08 Pirc, Classical
19. G Botterill vs R G Wade  ½-½151970British ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
20. G Botterill vs Hartston  1-0781970British ChampionshipA25 English
21. M Fuller vs G Botterill  1-0311970British ChampionshipB20 Sicilian
22. G Botterill vs V W Knox  0-1331970British ChampionshipA00 Uncommon Opening
23. D B Pritchard vs G Botterill  0-1421970British ChampionshipE45 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) Variation
24. G Botterill vs J E Littlewood  ½-½361970British ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
25. G Botterill vs Timman ½-½421970NED-ENGE45 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) Variation
 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 327  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Botterill wins | Botterill loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-01-03  raylopez99: Botterill wrote a series of books that I enjoyed on chess, and is well known in UK chess circles--RL

"One of the things that appeals to me about competitive chess (I mean over-the-board chess, though presumably the same goes for correspondence chess if there is not too much collusion) is that it is, as games go, very fair. There is quite a lot of luck in chess over the short term. But on the whole it tends to cancel out. Certainly chess compares very favourably with all the things that go under the designation 'real life' ,with all the stacked decks, silver spoons, nepotism, favouritism and disastrous misfortunes that attend. In comparison with the crazy unpredictability and uncontrollability of most of human existence, playing chess (even in a time-scramble!) is like a paradise of rationality. I really do mean that..." -George Botterill International Master

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: George Steven Botterill
Born 8th January 1949 in Bradford
IM in 1978
Joint Welsh Champion in 1973 he became British Champion in 1974 (after playoff) and 1977.
Jan-07-06  BIDMONFA: George Steven Botterill

BOTTERILL, George Steven

Dec-01-10  Dionysius: He taught me philosophy when I was an undergraduate at Aberystwth in the mid 1970's. We were a small group of philosophy undergraduates, and we used to take it in turns to see how many matches we could make him waste on his pipe by asking questions which required him to pause while lighting his pipe. He was all of 26 or 27. I played him a game with 5 minutes on my clock, 2 minutes on his, and he beat me without me ever knowing what was going on. A Caro Kahn it was,at a university chess team meeting upstairs in the Cardigan Arms hotel, probably Spring 2007. Happy days.
Jan-15-11  Dionysius: Oops. I mean Spring 1977 of course!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Against Nigel Short,according to the database here, George has a total of 2 wins, 2 draws and NO losses!
Jan-02-12  King Death: <Dionysius1> Yes but Short was 12-14 when the first three games were played and Botterill was an experienced, tough out for a lot of people then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Fair do's
Mar-12-14  Caissanist: The author of today's QOTD is unknown, but it's similar to the Botterill quote given by Ray Lopez above:

<Playing chess gives us a chance to start out life over again, and this time, no one has more money than us, no one is more beautiful, no one lives in a better neighborhood, and we all go to the same school. Other than having the first move (and this benefit is shared equally) no one starts with any unfair advantage. >

Jan-29-17  zanzibar: Botterill's booklist on Amazon:

Here's a more complete list of his book from

I really wonder if his books co-authored with Keene were "better known" than those with Harding. What determinant was used for the statement, I wonder?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: It's always puzzled me that George Botterill co/wrote books on the Pirc and Modern but then became an expert in open games like the Scotch. Anyone any ideas about this? Did he become disillusioned by the Modern? The two are such different types of games altogether!
Mar-13-18  Retireborn: <Dionysius1> In my Big database I find only 10 instances of him playing the Scotch as White (but no Spanishes); it seems he didn't play 1.e4 all that often, but when he did the Scotch was his constant choice.

As Black he has 58 games with the Pirc/Modern, so he never lost interest in it. He may have regarded the French as more reliable (24 games, but he tends to play it against bigger names like Nunn, Mestel, Vasiukov, Chandler, and Adams.)

A nice example:-

J J Carleton vs G Botterill, 1978

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Thanks <Retireborn>. That example makes me smile. I remember George giving the Aberystwyth Uni chess club a lecture about how pawns are the soul of chess and any pawn moves must be done responsibly and with caution. That was about 1975 when I was a philosophy student and he was a new lecturer. In this game he and his opponent seem to throw their pawns around with abandon. I know it's the requirements of the opening and I'm not entirely serious, but it's a fun contrast.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: George Botterill was much stronger than 2410.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Why do you say so?
Mar-17-19  Retireborn: <Dion> I don't take ratings all that seriously myself, but Botterill was a nice guy; and nice guys, though they may not finish last, are not usually the highest rated of players.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <kellmano: Mr Botterrill taught me philosophy in Sheffield and wrote me a nice reference when I applied to take a Common Proffessional Examination. Never knew he was a chess player until after i left. Annoying, as i was in the uni chess club, he could have beaten us all in a simul or something.> (1) Kind of sad that George seems to have given up competitive chess when he moved from Aberystwyth to Sheffield in the late 1980s.

As I say above <kellmano> he seemed a very nice guy when he taught the philosophy class I was in at Aber. He retired from Sheffield a while back and I got a nice email back from him when I wished him well.

(1) G Botterill vs Tal, 1973 I came across your 2006 post today <kellmano>. I don't think there's much harm in copying it here, but if it breaks any rules, or you wish I hadn't, apologies.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: My experience of Botterill's works ran as follows:

The volume on the Modern was not bad, but I enjoyed his seminal tome on the Pirc (co-authored with Keene) and <Open Gambits> immensely.

A droll bit: the only place I ever came across the adjective 'irresoluble' being used was in the book on the Pirc, lo those many moons ago.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Good word. At work decades ago we had a boss who would never see the downside to ANYthing. We invented "indirigible" to describe him and tried to get the OED to include it.
Nov-05-21  Brenin: I overlapped with George for a few years at university. We even played a few times for the same college team. He was effortlessly strong, but (if my memory is correct after half a century) seemed more interested in Bridge at that time. I knew he was good, but I didn't suspect that a few years later he would outplay Tal (only to blow it on move 40). Wedi chwarae'n dda, George.
Nov-06-21  Z truth 000000001: <Wedi chwarae'n dda = Well played> (welsh->english in google)
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Another acerbic bit from the volume on the Pirc below.

(paraphrasing alert)

At the conclusion of a smash by White, the co-authors observed that

<As with most brilliancies, the loser deserves a share of the prize for making it all possible>

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