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Cecil Purdy
C Purdy 
Number of games in database: 105
Years covered: 1924 to 1979
Overall record: +49 -35 =21 (56.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
E43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation (4 games)
C97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin (3 games)
C91 Ruy Lopez, Closed (3 games)
D30 Queen's Gambit Declined (3 games)
E49 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System (3 games)
A28 English (3 games)
C51 Evans Gambit (2 games)
C58 Two Knights (2 games)
C99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, (2 games)
A25 English (2 games)

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(born Mar-27-1906, died Nov-06-1979, 73 years old) Australia

[what is this?]
Cecil John Seddon Purdy was born in Port Said, Egypt.

His father was Dr. J. S. Purdy, England's representative on the International Quarantine Board for the Suez Canal. Hobart was his first Australian home and at the age of nine he went to Sydney where he has lived thereafter. He did not take up chess until he was nearly 15 years of age. During a rainy school holiday in the country he looked up "Chess" in the "Encyclopaedia Britannica." He copied out the rules carefully and after returning home started to pursue his new hobby.1

Other accounts stated he was 13 when he took up chess: "He was 13 when he began chess. He received useful instruction from from Mr. L. S. Crakanthorp father of Mr. Spencer Crakanthorp, ex-champion of New South Wales and New Zealand, and present champion of Australia. Only a year after Mr. Purdy learned the moves he was encouraged by the late A.E.N. Wallace, then Suite champion to enter for the State tourney of 1923." 2

Awarded the IM title in 1951 and the GMC title in 1953 he won the 1st World Correspondence Chess Championship (1950) - (1953). He won the New Zealand Championship twice, 1924-25 and 1935-36 and was Australian Champion on four occasions, 1934-35, 1936-37 (after a play-off), 1948-49 and 1951. He was also Australian Correspondence Champion in 1940 and 1948.

In 1952, Purdy played the New Zealand Champion Ortvin Sarapu in a 10-game match for the Sarapu - Purdy Match, Australasian Championship (1952). After nine games, the score was 5-4 in Sarapu's favour. Purdy won the 10th and final game to tie the match (+4, =2, -4).

He was the founder, editor, and publisher of a splendid chess magazine from 1929 to 1967 which went through three incarnations, 'Australasian Chess Review' (1929 - 1944), 'Check' (1944 - 1945) and 'Chess World' (1946 - 1967) and his writings are considered first class.

His father-in-law Spencer Crakanthorp and his son John Spencer Purdy have both been Australian Champions.

Sadly whilst playing at a tournament in Sydney in 1979 he suffered an aneurysm leading to his death. His last words to his son (who was also competing in the same tournament) were allegedly "I have a win, but it will take time".

1. "The West Australian" (Perth), Monday 13th July 1953, p.16

2. "Evening News" (Sydney, NSW), Friday 15th November 1929, p.2

Wikipedia article: Cecil Purdy

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 105  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C Purdy vs G Dodds 1-0371924NZL-chD33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
2. C Purdy vs A Burr ½-½251926NSW versus Victoria correspondence matchC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
3. J Sayers vs C Purdy  0-1551926AUS-chC13 French
4. C Purdy vs B Hill  1-0591926AUS-chD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. S Crakanthorp vs C Purdy 1-0261926AUS-chC14 French, Classical
6. C Boyce vs C Purdy 1-0381926AUS-chC13 French
7. C Purdy vs S Woinarski 0-1351927Pietzcker tourneyC58 Two Knights
8. C Purdy vs J Kinman  1-0361928AUS-ch+D30 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. F Crowl vs C Purdy  0-1681932corrA00 Uncommon Opening
10. G Koshnitsky vs C Purdy  1-0391932SydneyD04 Queen's Pawn Game
11. G Koshnitsky vs C Purdy 1-0221932SydneyD04 Queen's Pawn Game
12. C Purdy vs G Koshnitsky 0-1471932SydneyA13 English
13. C Purdy vs G Koshnitsky  1-0451934Practice mD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. G Koshnitsky vs C Purdy  1-0361934Practice mA25 English
15. C Purdy vs F Crowl 1-0461934corrE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
16. M E Goldstein vs C Purdy  0-1261934AUS-chD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
17. C Purdy vs G McIntosh  0-1221936Correspondence GameD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
18. F Crowl vs C Purdy 0-1111936corrC33 King's Gambit Accepted
19. L Steiner vs C Purdy  1-0431936Simultaneous clock exhibitionB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
20. C Purdy vs G McIntosh 0-1181937AustraliaD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
21. J W Cornforth vs C Purdy 0-1171937Australian Correspondence championshipE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
22. F Crowl vs C Purdy 1-0571939Australian ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
23. G Koshnitsky vs C Purdy  ½-½401945AUS-corr chA17 English
24. F L Vaughan vs C Purdy ½-½131945corr AUD82 Grunfeld, 4.Bf4
25. H Klass vs C Purdy  1-0471945New South Wales-chC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 105  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Purdy wins | Purdy loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-17-11  Antiochus: [Event "Unknown"]
[Site "Chicago"]
[Date "1964.??.??"]
[White "Pundy,J "]
[Black "Karklins,A "]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C20"]

1. e4 e5 2. d3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Be2 Be7 5. c3 d5 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. Qc2 a5 8. h3 b6 9. Nf1 Qd7 10. g4 Ba6 11. Ng3 Rfd8 12. Nf5 Bf8 13. Bg5 Qe6 14. h4 Rd7 15. h5 Nd8 16. Rg1 Nb7 17. N3h4 dxe4 18. dxe4 Bxe2 19. Qxe2 Nc5 20. Bxf6 Qxf6 21. g5 Qc6 22. g6 Nd3+ 23. Kf1 Nf4 24. gxf7+ Kh8 25. Ng6+ Qxg6 26. hxg6 Nxe2 27. Kxe2 Rad8 28. Rh1 Rd2+ 29. Kf3 h6 30. Rh2 Rxb2 31. Rg1 Rxa2 32. Rhg2 Rdd2 33. Kg4 a4 34. Kh4 a3 35. Nxh6 Be7+ 36. Kh5 Rd6 37. Rh2 Rf6 38. Nf5 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

<" If the student forces himself to examine all moves that smite, however absurd they may look at first glance, he is on the way to becoming a master of tactics. "<>>

-- Purdy

Sep-27-11  64rutor: Australian grandmaster Ian Rogers reports that Purdy's last words were "I have to seal a move", and that Purdy "wasn't even winning in the final position — Cecil wouldn't have mistaken a drawn position for a winning position."
Oct-08-11  brankat: Once a chess player, always a chess player!
To the end.

R.I.P. Mr.Purdy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Quote of the Day

< "n endings with bishops of opposite color, material means NOTHING, position EVERYTHING." >

Pretty true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Purdy.
Sep-24-12  Chris1971: Perhaps the greatest teacher the game has ever known.......
Mar-27-13  Abdel Irada: <His dying message to his brother: "I have a win, but it will take time!>

Well, on the downside, he died, but on the upside, positionally speaking, he was Seddon Purdy at the time.

Mar-27-13  Shams: <Abdel> That's not half bad.
Mar-27-13  Abdel Irada: <That's not half bad.>

True. It's all bad. :-D

Mar-27-13  Jausch46: It is a pity that his best instructional chess books have no new editions. Amazon sells some used exemplars of the book which summarizes his legacy but not US residents cannot haveaccess to it. Can anybody help me to get second hand books from him? I would buy them.
Mar-27-13  JimNorCal: He gave much excellent practical advice. I don't have an exact quote, but he said something like: "If you can't find a move, then at least find a way to make your least valuable piece more active."
Mar-27-13  IndigoViolet: Does he give any advice on figuring out what one's least valuable/most inactive piece might be?
Mar-27-13  IndigoViolet: <Amazon sells some used exemplars of the book which summarizes his legacy but not US residents cannot haveaccess to it.>

You can order second hand books from anywhere, but I'm staggered by the prices for a paperback that's only 15 years old:

Mar-27-13  TheFocus: Actually, you can get a lot of Purdy's books at

Bob Long has been reprinting Purdy's books. You may have to get on his mailing list though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: ♔ Quote of the Day ♔

< "In endings with bishops of opposite color, material means NOTHING, position EVERYTHING." >


I like the use of CAPITALS.

Oct-24-14  ljfyffe: As the home nation of the first CC World Champion, C.J.S. Purdy, Australia will always have a special place in CC history. <lCCF Gold>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <CHESS CHAMPION>

Mr Cecil J. S Purdy, who won the NSW Chess Championship at the School of Arts Club last night is only 22 years of age.

He is a son of Dr. J. S. Purdy. Metropolitan Medical Officer of Health, and was born at Port Said. After several years in New Zealand he came to Sydney, and was 13 when he began chess. He received useful instruction from from Mr. L.S.Crakanthorp father of Mr. Spencer Crakanthorp, ex-champion of New South Wales and New Zealand, and present champion of Australia.

Only a year after Mr. Purdy learned the moves he was encouraged by the late A.E.N. Wallace, then Suite champion to enter for the State tourney of 1923. The youth finished halfway up the list. Mr. Wallace and Mr. Purdy drew in a game which lasted seven hours.

He returned to New Zealand, to win at Nelson The Dominion Championship of 1924 at the age of 17. He competed twice for the championship of Australia — Sydney 1926 and Perth 1928. Both events were won by Mr. Spencer Crakanthorp, and each time Mr. Purdy took third prize, with only one point behind the top.

His interstate telegraphic record is five wins, one draw, two losses. He has given exhibitions of simultaneous chess in Wellington, N.Z, Melbourne. Perth, and Sydney, taking on 12 opponents at once without ever losing a game.

He will compete in the next New Zealand Championship tourney,which starts Boxing Day at Wanganul.

Mr. Purdy has other activities besides chess. He is a tennis enthusiast, is editor of the 'Australian Chess Review' and is completing an arts course at Sydney University.

<Source: "Evening News" (Sydney, NSW) Friday 15th November 1929. Page 2.>

Apr-08-15  TheFocus: <Chess is as much a mystery as women> - Purdy.
May-11-15  TheFocus: <Any material change in a position must come about by mate, a capture, or a Pawn – promotion> - Cecil Purdy
May-11-15  TheFocus: <Pawn endings are to chess what putting is to golf> - Cecil Purdy.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <I maintain that in every position that arises, we should deliberately search, among other things, for pieces which have no retreat. If we see one, we automatically look to see if it can be netted> - C.J.S. Purdy.
May-16-15  TheFocus: <Methodical thinking is of more use in chess than inspiration> - Cecil Purdey.
May-16-15  TheFocus: <If the student forces himself to examine all the moves that smite, however absurd they look at first glance, he is on his way to becoming a master of tactics> - Cecil Purdy.
May-21-15  TheFocus: <An open game can never be forced upon you, whether you are Black or White; a close game always can> - Cecil Purdy, Chess World.
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