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Peter Hugh Clarke
P H Clarke 
Photo courtesy of  
Number of games in database: 510
Years covered: 1952 to 1990
Last FIDE rating: 2300
Highest rating achieved in database: 2345

Overall record: +104 -103 =303 (50.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (37) 
    E61 E80 E99 E94 E60
 English (26) 
    A15 A10 A17 A14 A16
 Nimzo Indian (19) 
    E32 E39 E34 E30 E42
 Ruy Lopez (19) 
    C71 C67 C96 C99 C93
 Sicilian (18) 
    B93 B73 B45 B25 B41
 Queen's Pawn Game (14) 
    D02 E10 A46 A41 A40
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (46) 
    C18 C16 C10 C02 C07
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (31) 
    D27 D29 D24 D23 D26
 Ruy Lopez (28) 
    C95 C85 C69 C84 C91
 Sicilian (22) 
    B81 B43 B42 B80 B86
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (20) 
    C95 C85 C84 C91 C86
 French Winawer (20) 
    C18 C16 C15 C19 C17
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   P H Clarke vs NN, 1978 1-0
   P H Clarke vs N Cortlever, 1958 1-0
   Larsen vs P H Clarke, 1957 0-1
   P H Clarke vs R Toran Albero, 1956 1-0
   P H Clarke vs K Darga, 1968 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   British Championship (1962)
   British Championship (1966)
   British Championship (1959)
   Moscow Olympiad qual-3 (1956)
   British Championship (1968)
   British Championship (1963)
   British Championship (1978)
   Budapest Zonal (1960)
   Leipzig Olympiad qual-3 (1960)
   Kecskemet Zonal (1964)
   British Championship (1975)
   Wageningen Zonal (1957)
   British Championship (1976)
   British Championship (1973)
   British Championship (1981)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1956/57 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1960/61 by Phony Benoni

   Petrosian vs Y Kotkov, 1946
   Petrosian vs Bondarevsky, 1950
   Petrosian vs I Pogrebissky, 1949
   Petrosian vs A Pirtskhalava, 1947
   A Kalantar vs Petrosian, 1948

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(born Mar-18-1933, died Dec-11-2014, 81 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

FIDE Master Peter Hugh Clarke was born in London, England. Awarded the IMC title in 1976 and the GMC title in 1980, he was British Correspondence Champion in 1977. He also finished 2nd on five occasions in the British Championship. He represented England in the Olympiads from 1954-68 with his best performance in 1956 at Moscow (+7, =5, -0). He was a writer and chess correspondent to the 'Sunday Times' and is best known for his biographies of Mikhail Tal and Tigran V Petrosian. Clarke was also an International Arbiter (1976). He was married to Margaret E Clarke.

Wikipedia article: Peter Clarke (chess player)

Last updated: 2022-02-06 19:27:37

 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 523  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Phillips vs P H Clarke  ½-½231952British ChampionshipC18 French, Winawer
2. J H Pollitt vs P H Clarke  1-0331953British ChampionshipE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
3. P H Clarke vs Golombek  ½-½241953British ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
4. G F Harris vs P H Clarke  1-0371953British ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
5. P H Clarke vs H I Woolverton  ½-½301953British ChampionshipC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
6. S Davey vs P H Clarke  1-0821953British ChampionshipE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
7. P H Clarke vs T H Tylor  1-0461953British ChampionshipB73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
8. T K Hemingway vs P H Clarke  ½-½241953British ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
9. P H Clarke vs J B Goodman  1-0581953British ChampionshipB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
10. H Israel vs P H Clarke  ½-½401953British ChampionshipC18 French, Winawer
11. R W Bonham vs P H Clarke  ½-½201953British ChampionshipD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. P H Clarke vs P B Cook  ½-½371953British ChampionshipC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
13. P H Clarke vs J Jerolim 1-0141954Amsterdam Olympiad qual-4B06 Robatsch
14. P H Clarke vs I Johannsson 1-0401954Amsterdam Olympiad Final-AB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
15. Keres vs P H Clarke  1-0491954Amsterdam Olympiad Final-AC05 French, Tarrasch
16. E Joppen vs P H Clarke  1-0381954Amsterdam Olympiad Final-AC18 French, Winawer
17. P H Clarke vs Pilnik  ½-½281954Amsterdam Olympiad Final-AB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
18. I Kniazer vs P H Clarke  ½-½361954Amsterdam Olympiad Final-AE95 King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, 8.Re1
19. P H Clarke vs E Gereben  0-11071954Amsterdam Olympiad Final-AC47 Four Knights
20. P H Clarke vs G Wheatcroft  1-0301955British ChampionshipB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
21. P H Clarke vs J M Aitken  1-0511955British ChampionshipC47 Four Knights
22. Milner-Barry vs P H Clarke  ½-½731955British ChampionshipC19 French, Winawer, Advance
23. P H Clarke vs A R Thomas  0-1541955British ChampionshipC78 Ruy Lopez
24. P H Clarke vs C Kottnauer  0-1321956Ilford PremierB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
25. R G Wade vs P H Clarke  ½-½221956Ilford PremierA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 523  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Clarke wins | Clarke loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-11-07  Petrosianic: He wrote about who was hot. They were World Champions only 2 years apart, after all.
Mar-18-08  brankat: Very fine work on both Tal and Petrosian Biographies.

Happy Birthday Mr.Clarke!

May-15-08  whiteshark: "British master Peter Hugh Clarke, a former chess correspondent of the Sunday Times in London, once wrote that <short draws are necessary, a means of conserving energy.> "As such they can contribute to raising the standard of play rather than lowering it," he said."

Looking at his numerous short draws make me catch the point. :D


Oct-26-08  Silverstrike: Is his book on Tal any good?
Dec-17-08  Crocomule: His book on Tal is great.
Dec-17-08  Tessie Tura: <His book on Tal is great.>

Yes, nice book.

Dec-18-08  YoungEd: The Petrosian book is excellent, too. Batsford reissued both the Tal and Petrosian books a few years ago in their "Master of..." series.
Mar-18-09  Cibator: Yes, an excellent book (I've got a copy): fifty games analysed in sometimes exhaustive depth. But it stops at the WCM with Botvinnik in 1960.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: clarke's books on both tal and petrosian are still in print with

i recommend them both very highly-my own book on petrosian-<petrosian v the elite> written with julian simpole-deliberately avoids repeating games annotated in clarkes anthology of petrosian's games.

Mar-18-09  amaurobius: Thank you CG for making Clarke today's player of the day.

I confess I can hardly name a British player to emerge in the 50s other than Penrose, but this fella was clearly no mug as the database indicates that he had a positive record against the likes of Szabo and Larsen.

Klaus Darga seems to have had his number though!

Mar-18-09  WhiteRook48: he made Tal and Petrosian's bios??
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: tal and petrosian-yes!! both of them
Sep-06-09  Open Defence: very fine work indeed
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: His "100 Soviet Chess Miniatures" is a very entertaining book.
Mar-18-12  backrank: Here's my game collection on his Tal book: Game Collection: P.H. Clarke: Mikhail Tal's best games 1951-60 (interestingly, it doesn't appear under 'game collections' on the Mikhail Tal main page).

And someone else had already compiled the games from Clarke's book on Petrosian: Game Collection: P.H.Clarke: Petrosian's Best games (which does appear on the Petrosian main page)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday POTD!
Mar-19-12  SimonWebbsTiger: for chess bibliophiles:

Clarke's book, Tal's own life and games plus the match v. Botvinnik and Joe Gallagher's book

Clarke's book, Vasiliev's Batsford bio (with annotations by Suetin), Petrosian's lectures which were issued in book form, and Hardinge and Keene's book...

enough material to keep one occupied for the next many months!

Mar-19-12  srag: <SimonWebbsTiger>: here are some more books on Tal:

a) "El ajedrez extraordinario de Miguel Tal", by Luis Palau, Editorial Mercedes Sopena, Argentina, 1962;

b) "Tal since 1960", by W. H. Cozens, British Chess Magazine, 1974;

c) "Tal's Hundred Best Games 1961-1973", by Bernard Cafferty, Batsford, 1975;

d) "Tal's Masterpieces and other selected games, 1960-1975", by Andrew Karklins,Chicago Chess Books, 1976;

e) "Selected Chess Games of Mikhail Tal", by J. Hajtun, Pitman and Sons, 1961;

f) "Tal-Botvinnik: match for the World Chess Championship 1960", by Mikhail Tal, R.H.M. Press 1977;

g) "Study Chess with Tal", by Mikhail Tal and Alexander Koblenc, Batsford 1978;

h) "Attack with Mikhail Tal", by Mikhail Tal and Iacov Damsky, Cadogan 1994;

I also remember a four volume set published by Batsford some years ago and written by Hillary Thomas, I believe.

Enough to keep a student busy for years .

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: If I'm not mistaken, he married in 1962 to the 1966 British Ladies Champion Margaret E Clarke.
Dec-18-14  Nosnibor: Peter passed away 10/12/2014.R.I.P
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: 11/12 according to
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: What was his career? Was he a civil servant?
Apr-03-15  wordfunph: rest in peace, FM P.H. Clarke..

Mar-18-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Peter Clarke.
Apr-14-17  zanzibar: While research USSR 1957, I came across this mention of Clarke, it's an interesting, if longish, read:


--- The Soviet School of Chess
--- by Kotov and Yudovich

- However the anonymous author of the Dover version was simply wrong.

- The American players were simply much weaker than the Soviet players.

- With the exception of Reshevsky, none of the top American players
could compete against the Soviets at the time this book was written.

- Sam Sloan

I [that is, Phil Innes] should like to verify a few things; first of all I wanted to check if Taylor Kingston was correct in suggesting the author of the Dover edition, May 1961, and he was. To substantiate this I wrote to ask him if it were okay to say so, and what other influences if any there were?

Here is a reply from Dr. Frank Brady: "I wrote the Preface, but since it was in the 1950s, I was afraid to append my name, with the implication that someone might think I was a Red. I wrote to Hayward Cirker, then publisher and owner of Dover and asked him to remove my name before the book was printed. Cirker did that and sent me a cordial letter (I still have it!) agreeing to our "deep, dark secret" that I wrote it. I don't care anymore, of course."

There are still some questions of, for example, if the last paragraph is not actually from the publisher, even if in Frank's words.

So, that seems clear, except for one other anecdote by my old team captain in England who advised that the chess was better than anything else then being published in English language [this was intended as an export book] but not to trust the lines too deeply since they were, in his words 'distracting', as if to say, you young tigers better look a bit further. His name was <P. H. Clarke>. In England there was no 'red menace' atmosphere in the fifties as there was here with McCarthy, and so cheap [important!] Russian oriented chess texts were welcome.

And finally, it was more difficult for American players to contest the Soviets, since both countries limited access to each other, but as for 'only Reschevsky', who knows? There was simply not enough opportunity to play Soviets over enough games to get psyched up for the few encounters there were. [...]


(slightly edited)!t...

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