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Jonathan Penrose
Number of games in database: 435
Years covered: 1950 to 1995
Last FIDE rating: 2405

Overall record: +165 -98 =172 (57.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (68) 
    B93 B42 B56 B58 B43
 Ruy Lopez (41) 
    C78 C77 C76 C93 C99
 French Defense (25) 
    C05 C12 C07 C09 C03
 Caro-Kann (19) 
    B14 B15 B18 B17 B16
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (17) 
    C93 C97 C99 C87 C91
 French Tarrasch (16) 
    C05 C07 C09 C03 C08
With the Black pieces:
 King's Indian (56) 
    E97 E92 E64 E60 E67
 Sicilian (44) 
    B83 B47 B48 B40 B80
 Sicilian Scheveningen (19) 
    B83 B81 B80 B82 B84
 Ruy Lopez (12) 
    C77 C92 C90 C81 C78
 Sicilian Taimanov (12) 
    B47 B48 B49 B45
 Queen's Pawn Game (12) 
    A40 D02 A41 E10 A45
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   J Penrose vs Tal, 1960 1-0
   W Veitch vs J Penrose, 1950 0-1
   J Penrose vs Blau, 1957 1-0
   J Penrose vs Pryor, 1980 1-0
   O'Kelly vs J Penrose, 1962 1/2-1/2
   K Van Leens Dijkstra vs J Penrose, 1983 0-1
   J Penrose vs C B van den Berg, 1952 1-0
   J Penrose vs M Bobotsov, 1969 1-0
   J Penrose vs Tartakower, 1950 1-0
   J Penrose vs L Popov, 1963 1-0

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 1950/51 by suenteus po 147
   Basman Hastings 1966/67 by skware
   Hastings 1966/67 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1952/53 by Phony Benoni
   1989-98 World correspondence chess championship by gauer

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Jonathan Penrose
Search Google for Jonathan Penrose
FIDE player card for Jonathan Penrose

(born Oct-07-1933, 86 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 18; games 1-25 of 435  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Penrose vs W Winter  1-0411950BCF-chD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
2. Aitken vs J Penrose  0-1571950IlfordC81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack
3. J Penrose vs E A Isles 1-0211950British ChampionshipB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
4. Rossolimo vs J Penrose  0-1761950Hastings 1950/51C53 Giuoco Piano
5. J Penrose vs V Castaldi  ½-½701950Hastings 1950/51C12 French, McCutcheon
6. W Veitch vs J Penrose 0-1101950British ChampionshipE10 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Aitken vs J Penrose  ½-½321950ENG Club-chC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
8. Bisguier vs J Penrose 1-0291950SouthseaC77 Ruy Lopez
9. A R B Thomas vs J Penrose  0-1351950SouthseaD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. J Penrose vs Tartakower 1-0391950SouthseaB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
11. Prins vs J Penrose  0-1281950SouthseaC57 Two Knights
12. J Penrose vs R H Newman  1-0361950SouthseaC78 Ruy Lopez
13. Golombek vs J Penrose ½-½151950SouthseaE60 King's Indian Defense
14. K Winterton vs J Penrose ½-½461950SouthseaE90 King's Indian
15. J Penrose vs F Alexander  ½-½651950SouthseaC81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack
16. J Penrose vs L Derby  ½-½461950SouthseaC15 French, Winawer
17. J Penrose vs Bogoljubov 1-0311950SouthseaB56 Sicilian
18. J Penrose vs A Phillips 1-0371950Hastings 1950/51C61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
19. A R B Thomas vs J Penrose  ½-½191950Hastings 1950/51C27 Vienna Game
20. Unzicker vs J Penrose  1-0171950Hastings 1950/51B29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
21. J Penrose vs O'Kelly  0-1541951Hastings 1950/51C12 French, McCutcheon
22. Golombek vs J Penrose  0-1351951Hastings 1950/51A40 Queen's Pawn Game
23. J Penrose vs L Barden  ½-½371951Hastings 1950/51B59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
24. W Adams vs J Penrose  1-0341951Hastings 1950/51B28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
25. J Penrose vs A Fuderer 0-1261951GBR-YUGB83 Sicilian
 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 435  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>
Oct-07-08  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:

Feb-11-13  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!
Jan-30-15  Shams: Fascinating audio interview with Roger Penrose.
May-21-15  zanzibar: Could an editor please add his FIDE card:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: That Picasso painting that was recently sold for $179 million....It was bought by Roland Penrose, Jonathan Penrose's uncle in 1937. He gave Picasso £50 for it. (which apparently, back then was the price of a new car.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Miss Simpson, are you favourably inclined toward aiding me in the search for some young men? Dead, young men, I hasten to add.
Jul-01-15  Tomlinsky: Sir Roger Penrose, brother of Jonathan Penrose, features in an article on the forthcoming collection "The Amazing World of MC Escher" being presented in Edinburgh and London.

<In 1954 Escher was acknowledged (in his native Netherlands, at least) with an exhibition at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. The eminent mathematician Sir Roger Penrose (now Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, then a young student at Cambridge) was attending an academic conference in Amsterdam at the same time Penrose saw Escher’s show, and loved it.

"It was just so original and so precise," says Penrose. "He’s playing with ideas, but in a completely consistent way."

The two men became pen pals, sharing ideas of ‘impossible images’. Escher was thrilled to find that his fantasies had some mathematical basis. Penrose was thrilled to see his theories transformed into art. Escher’s friendship with Penrose inspired two of his greatest artworks – Ascending & Descending and Waterfall >

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Can you solve the chess problem which holds key to human consciousness?

Is the headline for this article featuring Roger Penrose, the brother of Jonathan and Oliver Penrose

The article leads:

"It might look like a simple chess problem, but this puzzle could finally help scientists uncover what makes the human mind so unique, and why it may never be matched by a computer."

White to play and draw.

click for larger view

The average punter should see it within a few seconds. A standard computer should get it...eventually. Apparently some of the super-duper ones get it right away.

Mar-14-17  Nosnibor: <Sally Simpson> The diagram you have shown is not the correct one. The position you have shown is an easy win for Black. The three black pawns on the Kings side should all be Bishops on black squares ! Its not April fools day yet !
Mar-14-17  4tmac: It's Pi Day! The solution to the diagram position is 1. Kf3! e4+ 2. Kg2! draws. The Penrose article position does indeed have 3 Bishops in place of the 3 Kingside pawns. White shuffles his King about, Black shuffles his Bishops about....Computers struggle with Bishops. Low impact/strength & high mobility. 25+ yrs ago I put Fischer-Spassky 1972 first game endgame on my chessmaster and could not understand why it could not figure out such a simple:) endgame. Due to that darned Bishop (and fortress) we STILL don't have definitive answers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: OOPS!

click for larger view

If you see the link the diagram is hand drawn, the Bishops at first glance look like pawns. (I was at work and should not really be messing about on a chess site - I have been warned!) Then I realised that must be wrong this is a simple Black win. Changed the pawns to Bishops.

But I had copied into the buffer the original and did not copy the correction. I pasted the first one and quickly dived off the site.

I've just checked luckily I posted the correct diagram on another forum I should not have been looking at.

Sorry about that. Not my first lemon won't be my last.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Just as I posted my last a wee message popped up.

"Castle Soon and Often."

I'm Ok with 'soon' But how often can you castle in a game, Heidenfeld accepted Wolfgang Heidenfeld (kibitz #3)

I thought it was only once.

Jan-18-20  Tomlinsky: What came before the big bang? What happens when our universe ends? Eminent theoretical physicist Roger Penrose presents his extraordinary new view of the comsos...

Apr-16-20  Tomlinsky: Roger Penrose - Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered?

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