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

William Hook
W Hook 
Number of games in database: 124
Years covered: 1965 to 2009
Last FIDE rating: 2009
Highest rating achieved in database: 2151
Overall record: +46 -62 =16 (43.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
C05 French, Tarrasch (9 games)
A04 Reti Opening (8 games)
E91 King's Indian (6 games)
A45 Queen's Pawn Game (6 games)
C18 French, Winawer (5 games)
C01 French, Exchange (4 games)
B06 Robatsch (4 games)
C04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line (4 games)
E12 Queen's Indian (4 games)
A48 King's Indian (3 games)

Search Sacrifice Explorer for William Hook
Search Google for William Hook

(born May-28-1925, died May-10-2010, 84 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
William Edward (Bill) Hook was born in 1925 in New Rochelle, New York, USA. After spending World War II in a tuberculosis ward, Hook became involved in the chess and art worlds of New York City in the 1950s.

He eked out a living playing for stakes at the Flea House on 72nd St. where he also met a young Robert James Fischer. Bill describes winning a few games against the future icon until one day in the middle of a blitz game, he felt a sudden change in the lad and was never able to beat him again. In 1970 Hook met Fischer again at the Siegen Olympiad. Hook prepared an obscure line in the Winawer French, but Fischer was able to navigate it over the board. Afterward, Fischer analyzed with Hook, and showed him some improvements.

In 1957, Bill married his wife Mimi and built a house in the British Virgin Islands. It was in the islands that Hook formed a chess Olympiad team in 1968.

Hook played in 17 Olympiads over a 40 year period, winning the gold medal for best percentage on board one at Malta in 1980. His memoir Hooked on Chess was published in 2008 by New In Chess.

Wikipedia article: Bill Hook

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 124  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Hook vs M Colon Romero  1-038196566th US OpenA92 Dutch
2. T Siaperas vs W Hook  0-1231968Lugano Olympiad qual-6C04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
3. W Hook vs Westerinen  ½-½461968Lugano Olympiad qual-6E83 King's Indian, Samisch
4. M Ahmed Bakali vs W Hook  0-1351968Lugano Olympiad qual-6C18 French, Winawer
5. W Hook vs B Jansson  1-0351968Lugano Olympiad qual-6E46 Nimzo-Indian
6. R Sanguineti vs W Hook  1-0441968Lugano Olympiad qual-6E90 King's Indian
7. W Hook vs W Pietzsch  0-1451968Lugano Olympiad qual-6E87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
8. W Hook vs J Letzelter  0-1251968Lugano Olympiad Final-DD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. B Kazanski vs W Hook  0-1341968Lugano Olympiad Final-DC18 French, Winawer
10. W Hook vs A de la Casa  1-0501968Lugano Olympiad Final-DE81 King's Indian, Samisch
11. R Silva Nazzari vs W Hook  1-0381968Lugano Olympiad Final-DC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
12. W Hook vs G Kleopas  1-0261968Lugano Olympiad Final-DA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
13. M Castro Aguilar vs W Hook  0-1441968Lugano Olympiad Final-DC03 French, Tarrasch
14. W Hook vs J Rovira Mas  0-1411968Lugano Olympiad Final-DA05 Reti Opening
15. L A Tan vs W Hook  1-0401968Lugano Olympiad Final-DC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
16. W Hook vs M Colon Romero  0-1731969Quito/Guayaquil ZonalA89 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation with Nc6
17. C Silva Sanchez vs W Hook 0-1291970Pan AmericanC03 French, Tarrasch
18. H Camara vs W Hook  1-0431970Siegen Olympiad qual-3A59 Benko Gambit
19. W Hook vs B Malich  0-1391970Siegen Olympiad qual-3A04 Reti Opening
20. Fischer vs W Hook 1-0281970Siegen Olympiad qual-3C18 French, Winawer
21. W Hook vs F Cornelis  ½-½321970Siegen Olympiad qual-3A07 King's Indian Attack
22. I Ibrahimoglu vs W Hook  0-1401970Siegen Olympiad qual-3C12 French, McCutcheon
23. W Hook vs Y Miyasaki  0-1331970Siegen Olympiad qual-3E12 Queen's Indian
24. Westerinen vs W Hook  1-0461970Siegen Olympiad qual-3C04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
25. W Hook vs S Krstic  1-0651970Siegen Olympiad Final-EA05 Reti Opening
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 124  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Hook wins | Hook loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-17-10  Riverbeast: Hook tells the story of the Olympiad game when he was paired against Fischer

He said Fischer showed up at the board with a huge sandwich, and quickly wolfed it at the board before the game

Afterward, Fischer analyzed with him, and showed him some lines where Hook could have improved

He also tells the story of how he used to beat Fischer when he was a kid, but then in one game, Fischer played a move and Hook "could feel the power emanating from it"

Hook also gives the score of one of his victories against Duchamp

He said he knew Stanley Kubrick pretty well, who was master strength and a regular at the old "Flea House" chess club

Just some tidbits from the book...Definitely worth reading

May-27-10  hellopolgar: RIP Mr.Hook
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: One of the non-great Greats. Who else played Fischer, Short, Kubrick and Duchamp ... while sharing their enthusiasm for chess, photography, and art?

His memoir, Hooked on Chess, is a classic. I wish I'd written to tell Bill how much I liked it -- for the sheer range of his memories, the good writing and excellent photographs.

Sail on forever, Cap'n Hook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a nice finish by Hook against M Ja Afar at the 1984 Thessaloniki Olympiad:

click for larger view

White mates in 8 with 34.♘h4+ ♔g5 35.♕h7 ♕b1+ 36.♔h2 ♔h4 37.♕g6 ♕h1+ 38.♔h1 ♖b5 39.♔h2 ♖g5 40.g3+ ♖g3 41.fg3#

Nov-07-11  wordfunph: here's the story of Bill Hook's 1980 Malta Chess Olympiad gold medal on board one, lifted from NIC 2006 05..

<Actually, Torre played a crucial role in the absolute highlight of Hook's Olympiad career, as in Malta 1980, they both vied for the gold medal on Board 1. Hook had a good start by beating Westerinen(!) in round 1, and following a scrappy draw against a Tunisian IM, his team dropped to lesser opposition and he was able to continue scoring well. Going into the last round, Torre had the same number of points, but he had faced stronger opposition. In his last game Bill Hook played a third player aspiring to the gold medal, Kanani of Kenya, broke open his position with a pawn push and managed to win. Now everything depended on Torre's game against Westerinen(!) and when the news came that they had drawn their game, the members of the British Virgin Islands let out a big whoop. Although their team had finished 75th out of 81, Bill Hook's 11.5 out of 14 won him the gold medal on first board.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <wordfunph>

Hook wrote a book("Hooked on chess" or something simular)which to me was a very plesant read and hereby highly recommended.At sale for a rather low price(unless the bookie has settled his issues with you yet;).

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I wanted to get this, but it was + $20 at Barnes and Noble. I'll wait till I see a used copy somewhere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: has *not*
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Amazon has the book used for about $10 and some new for about $14. If the shipping costs aren't prohibitive, it's a great addition, I recommend it. Hook lived life as a chess native but was not a GM or IM and seemed to not need chess "playing" or chess "writing" income to do it, so my hats off to him.
Nov-07-11  wordfunph: amigo <moronovich> thank you, add that to my wishlist of chessbooks.
Dec-02-11  wordfunph: from GM Andy Soltis' Chess to Enjoy - Chess Life December 2011 issue..

Lajos Portisch holds the record for most career victories (121) in the Olympiad team tournaments. Who is number two in the record book?

(a) Miguel Najdorf
(b) Viktor Korchnoi
(c) Anatoly Karpov
(d) Eugenio Torre
(e) Bill Hook

e. 117 wins out of 235 games

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <wordfunph>

If in doubt,we go for the Hook(ers),right !? ;)

Dec-02-11  bubuli55: That must be Najdorf :)
Mar-02-12  wordfunph: "I've been in 17 Olympiads, from the Philippines to Buenos Aires, to Malta to Dubai, in Moscow and in France. These are great tournaments."

- Bill Hook

rest in peace master Hook..

Jan-23-13  BIDMONFA: William Hook

HOOK, William

Premium Chessgames Member
  DrNyet: Judging by his paintings in the book, he was a talented painter in addition to his other pursuits.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Stanley Kubrick and Bill Hook?

"Kubrick was more than a 'chess fan', he was a master strength player who used to scrape a living playing speed chess for money, before he became a famous director....Interesting stories about him in William Hook's "Hooked On Chess."

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Interesting character! Does anyone have his victory over GM Westerinen from the 1980 Malta Olympiad?
Jul-19-17  TheFocus: <An Englishman> Here you go. From Olimpbase.

Jul-19-17  Olavi: <wordfunph: here's the story of Bill Hook's 1980 Malta Chess Olympiad gold medal on board one, lifted from NIC 2006 05..

Now everything depended on Torre's game against Westerinen(!) and when the news came that they had drawn their game>

The story is incorrect, the opponent in the last round was Rantanen.

Y Rantanen vs E Torre, 1980

Dec-20-17  zanzibar: Let's relate in full the RJF story, as told by Hook:

<“Word was getting around about Bobby Fischer.From the first rumours of a talented kid from Brooklyn,he was now appearing regularly at the speed tournaments,and getting progressively better scores.At one point, however,I had beaten him four times in a row,and he cried at least once,revealing the depth of his intensity for the game.But one night at the Marshall Chess Club rapids where played a French Defence and a very peculiar thing happened.In the middle of the game Bobby made a strong move and I suddenly had an almost physical sense of power emanating from it.And Bobby moved again with the same effect; it was as if he were playing with dynamic rays of force that I had a heightened sensitivity to.It happened once more,and my position was busted,as the coffee house players would say.I never won an other game from Bobby,and I wonder if any other players had this experience while opposing him”.>

I blame the French (again!).

May-25-21  andrewjsacks: Since when was the Flea House way uptown?
May-25-21  andrewjsacks: It was on 42nd St., near Times Square.
May-25-21  Granny O Doul: Yes, the Flea House was 212 West 42nd.

I knew that Fischer "just got good" when he was 11, but I hadn't known it was in the middle of a blitz game with Hook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: My dad took me to the Flea House in the mid-1970's (I believe it's official name was The Chess & Checker Club of NY, if I am not mistaken), and just before we went in, my dad said: Son, if we are ever going to get mugged in New York, it will be here! Well, we didn't, but their were big holes in the drywall there where people had perhaps "fallen" or been disciplined for an unpaid balance. As a young fairly innocent teen at the time, being in that place forever dispelled any myths about chess players being wimps.
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC