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James Macrae Aitken
J M Aitken 

Number of games in database: 345
Years covered: 1932 to 1977
Overall record: +94 -113 =136 (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 (60) 
    B74 B32 B58 B93 B91
 Ruy Lopez (50) 
    C71 C70 C84 C97 C92
 French Defense (23) 
    C02 C11 C05 C18 C01
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (21) 
    C84 C92 C97 C99 C98
 Caro-Kann (11) 
    B13 B18 B10
 Sicilian Dragon (11) 
    B74 B73
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (39) 
    C78 C79 C71 C99 C75
 Orthodox Defense (26) 
    D55 D51 D52 D50 D64
 Queen's Pawn Game (15) 
    E10 D02 A46 D04 D01
 Sicilian (12) 
    B74 B70 B73 B52 B23
 English (8) 
    A13 A12 A18 A15
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (7) 
    C99 C86 C96
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Stahlberg vs J M Aitken, 1937 0-1
   J M Aitken vs C Hunter, 1949 1-0
   J M Aitken vs Reshevsky, 1937 1/2-1/2
   Tartakower vs J M Aitken, 1949 0-1
   J M Aitken vs J Penrose, 1951 1-0
   G A Thomas vs J M Aitken, 1937 0-1
   J M Aitken vs G A Thomas, 1946 1-0
   J M Aitken vs S Herseth, 1937 1-0
   J M Aitken vs M Christoffel, 1946 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   British Championship (1938)
   British Championship (1952)
   British Championship (1960)
   British Championship (1955)
   Southsea (1949)
   Munich Olympiad Final-C (1958)
   British Championship (1959)
   Hastings 1945/46 (1945)
   British Championship (1956)
   Southsea (1950)
   Hastings 1946/47 (1946)
   Bad Pyrmont Zonal (1951)
   British Championship (1962)
   Munich Zonal (1954)
   Stockholm Olympiad (1937)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1945/46 by Tabanus
   Hastings 1945/46 by suenteus po 147

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(born Oct-27-1908, died Dec-03-1983, 75 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

Dr. James Macrae Aitken was born in Calderbank Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was Scottish Champion in 1935, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1965 (jointly). He was also London Champion in 1950. His PhD dissertation was on the Lisbon Inquisition. He passed away in Cheltenham in 1983.

Wikipedia article: James Macrae Aitken

Last updated: 2022-03-14 00:27:26

 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 345  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Sultan Khan vs J M Aitken  1-0441932Simul, 15bC58 Two Knights
2. J M Aitken vs P Reid  ½-½49193256th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
3. J M Aitken vs I Ainslie  ½-½53193357th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC15 French, Winawer
4. Sultan Khan vs J M Aitken 0-1561933Simul, 14bC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
5. L B Zapoleon vs J M Aitken  1-061193458th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC01 French, Exchange
6. J M Aitken vs J M Craddock  0-155193559th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mC14 French, Classical
7. T Gauffin vs J M Aitken  ½-½501937Stockholm OlympiadD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. J M Aitken vs A Dunkelblum  0-1521937Stockholm OlympiadB10 Caro-Kann
9. J M Aitken vs Tartakower 0-1941937Stockholm OlympiadC71 Ruy Lopez
10. J Enevoldsen vs J M Aitken 1-0241937Stockholm OlympiadD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. J M Aitken vs S Landau ½-½551937Stockholm OlympiadB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
12. J M Aitken vs Keres 0-1421937Stockholm OlympiadB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
13. G A Thomas vs J M Aitken  0-1511937Stockholm OlympiadC78 Ruy Lopez
14. J M Aitken vs V Castaldi 0-1461937Stockholm OlympiadC01 French, Exchange
15. E Gilfer vs J M Aitken  0-1691937Stockholm OlympiadD69 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Classical,
16. J M Aitken vs V Mikenas  0-1441937Stockholm OlympiadB32 Sicilian
17. Stahlberg vs J M Aitken 0-1381937Stockholm OlympiadD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. J M Aitken vs S Herseth  1-0401937Stockholm OlympiadC11 French
19. Pirc vs J M Aitken  1-0631937Stockholm OlympiadD54 Queen's Gambit Declined, Anti-Neo-Orthodox Variation
20. J M Aitken vs Lilienthal  0-1421937Stockholm OlympiadC11 French
21. J M Aitken vs Reshevsky ½-½571937Stockholm OlympiadC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
22. Golombek vs J M Aitken  1-0461938British ChampionshipD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. J M Aitken vs T H Tylor  ½-½461938British ChampionshipC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
24. F Parr vs J M Aitken  1-0411938British ChampionshipA52 Budapest Gambit
25. J M Aitken vs A Reynolds  1-0471938British ChampionshipB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 345  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Aitken wins | Aitken loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-29-10  BobCrisp:

click for larger view

From a consultation game between <Oxford University> vs. the <Lud Eagle Club>, otherwise <JM Aitken & CS Besinger> vs <F Leicester & G Tregaskis>, White found 1.Qc7!! 1...Qh6+ 2.Re3 changes nothing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Code breaker at Bletchley park

Dec-03-11  BIDMONFA: James Macrae Aitken

AITKEN, James M.

Oct-27-13  Kikoman: <Player of the Day>

Rest In Peace Sir James Macrae Aitken.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. <POTD>: James Macrae Aitken.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <An extract from a letter sent by Harry Woolverton to <Newsflash> (see July 1984 issue, page 6):

'It is not generally known that Aitken played a match with the veteran Mieses in 1947 which he won by 5.5-0.5. In deference to the feelings of the old master the result was never published. I watched the second game which was played at the Ilford Chess Club; a collection was made at the time for the veteran.'> C.N.787

Oct-27-16  Nosnibor: I first met and played Dr.Aitken in the 1st Jersey International Tournament in May 1973 where he and myself together with W Schmid,R.0`Kelly and Tim Harding finished second equal half a point behind the late Cardoso. Our game ended in a fighting draw. I found him to be a very polite and amiable gentleman full of Scottish humour and anecdotes.
Oct-27-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, James Aitken.
Dec-12-16  diagonal: An extended portrait offers:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: Afaik today's POTD introduced a now well-known move in a sideline of Giuoco Piano's Greco gambit: 1.e4 e5 2.Sf3 Sc6 3.Lc4 Lc5 4.c3 Sf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Lb4+ 7.Sc3 Sxe4 8.0-0 Sxc3 9.bxc3 Bxc3?, and now Aitken's 10.Ba3! is an improvement over the traditional 10.Qb3:

click for larger view

Oct-28-17  Cibator: If he did,<Bubo Bubo>, then the game isn't given here. Or did he just suggest it as a possibility without trying it out in practice?

The move certainly worked out well for white in this game:

C J Corte vs Jacobo Bolbochan, 1946

Oct-28-17  sneaky pete: George Botterill (Open Gambits, 1986, page 40) writes about 10.Ba3 .. : "Aitken first suggested the idea in the British Chess Magazine in 1937 and he supplied a very attractive variation."

Botterill is skeptical about the worth of the move compared to 10.Qb3 .. and he may be right. On the corte vs Bolbochan page I posted a line long ago that might save black.

Feb-01-18  Alan McGowan: Corrected link for Aitken's biography in the Chess Scotland History Archive:
Feb-01-18  Alan McGowan: Aitken contributed some interesting memories to Scottish Chess magazine in 1962. It has been reproduced at
Feb-11-21  Nosnibor: Hereunder a game played by Aitken whilst he was at Baliol College, Oxford University. <Source: Leicester Evening Mail> White: A. Lenton Black: J M Aitken <Leicester v Oxford University >Board 2 Date: November 8th 1934. Petroffs Defence. 1 e4,e5.2 Nf3,Nf6.3 d4,Nxe4.4 Bd3,d5.5 dxe5,Nc6.6Qe2, Bf5.7 0-0,Bc5.8 Nbd2,Nxd2.9 Bxd2,Qxd7.10 Bxf5,Qxf5.11 Qb5,Bb6.12 Qxd5,Rd8.13 Qc4,g5!?14 Bxg5,Nd4.15 Bxd8,Nxf3+.16 Kh1,Rg8.17 Rad1,Rg4.18 Qxg4?,Qxg4.19 gxf3,Qxf3+20 Kg1,Bxf3+ White resigns 0-1. Apparently White had hardly a minute at move 18 to play 7 more moves before the first time control.
Feb-12-21  Nosnibor: With reference to my Lenton-Aitken game I should have also mentioned that on board one in this match that Rupert Cross lost to Victor Lovell. Cross is often referred to in Aitken`s memoirs.
Feb-12-21  Jean Defuse: ...

<A. Lenton v J M Aitken> also appear in the 'Aitken's Games Collection':


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I have finished my Aitken quest entering over 1,700 games from descriptive into PGN format.

There 225 games here. Britbase now has 2,268

Not an arduous task, I'd do it all again.

Aitken's handwriting regarding who he was playing and what event he was playing in left a lot to be desired. Fortunately I had a wee army of helpers headed by John Saunders and Alan McGowan deciphering the names.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Congratulations, a Herculean about those Morphy games....
Sep-28-21  Nosnibor: <Sally Simpson> The collection in britbase does not include his 6 games in the First Jersey International Tournament, May 1973 in which I referred to in an earlier quote. I can submit my game if you wish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi

I'll get on those done ASAP - bet I've seen blank stubs thinking they were already in.

What Morphy games? (I've just checked, I don't think Aitken played Morphy.)

Are you talking about the 4 Staunton - Morphy games I discovered in Staunton's old house which were written on the wall in pencil and were papered over in 1890 by the new owners?

I took pictures but deleted them by mistake. OOPS!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Nosnibor,
The full score of the games are already in. I did them ages ago. Try another download. John has them numbered games 1652 to 1657.

Rd1. Whitley
Rd2 Robinson
Rd3 Harding
Rd4 P???t (can you help here)
Rd5 Herring
Rd6 Cardoso

Sep-29-21  Nosnibor: <Sally Simpson> His round 4 opponent was Paut (France).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Thanks Nosnibor, we could not make it out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Who’s responsible for uploading the 2000 games then? I trust they are all rendered in the <CG> PGN standard.
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