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Member since Apr-30-07 · Last seen Dec-12-19
Real name: John Clarke. Place of residence: lower North Island, New Zealand.

Learned chess from school-fellows plus some reading to get the rules completely clear. Made the usual progress of mediocrity thru school, university and workplace teams, ending with several seasons in suburban league chess in north London. Even at best my rating was never higher than 164 BCF (a bit over 1900 FIDE). Some successes in restricted-entry events, including first place at Ilford under-160, 1973. Plus I won the National Association of Boys’ Clubs title in 1968 (good timing there - the following the year the field included two future IMs).

Gave up competitive play after leaving the UK in 1977. But there was one more chess-related hurrah. In 1981 I won the NZ Mastermind quiz title, taking as my main specialist subject the history of our great game since 1450.

My favourite players include Fischer, Miles, Capablanca and Pillsbury - basically anyone who can blend tactics and strategy into a seamless and harmonious whole. (I know darn well I can't!!)

   Cibator has kibitzed 585 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Dec-12-19 Kibitzer's Café (replies)
Cibator: There's some fella who still wants Sir Michael to do a silent movie about a revolt on board ship. Always tryin' to make Caine mute, i'n 'e?
   Dec-08-19 Short vs D Cummings, 1977 (replies)
Cibator: Until I noted the date I was afraid it might have been That Other D Cummings achieving a major upset, which would have been intolerable to contemplate. As for humorous match-ups, this is still one of my favourites. I Stohl vs M Bezold, 1992 Absolutely criminal!
   Dec-03-19 Hermanis Karlovich Mattison (replies)
Cibator: <Even in some modern cases, such as <Mikhail Tal> vs. <Mihails Tals> we use the non-Latvian spelling, simply because everyone else does.> Many years ago when I was boning up on chess history, I also saw (I forget where) the great Mikhail's name spelt "Talj". (This ...
   Dec-01-19 Akiba Rubinstein (replies)
Cibator: "The fact that the Rubinstein family survived the Holocaust seems like a miracle." This might have had something to do with Belgian standards of record-keeping, which I've been given to understand were not that great. The Dutch, by contrast, were so meticulous*, the Germans had no ...
   Nov-28-19 M Sana vs A E Franklin, 2008 (replies)
Cibator: <Fusilli: <Cibator> It doesn't reference me as the punster, but as the player.> Aha! It never occurred to me that Fusilli and Mariano Sana could be one and the same. Thanks for enlightening me. I must remember to check more often on the real names behind some of these ...
   Nov-26-19 Prins vs E Paoli, 1949 (replies)
Cibator: <awfulhangover: Solving this puzzle and reading chrisowen's reply are both totally mysterious to my tiny brain.> Yes: one of the rare occasions (there have been one or two others) when Mr Owen's comment has made just as much sense as the puzzle.
   Nov-18-19 Fischer vs J Sherwin, 1957 (replies)
Cibator: <FSR: I don't understand this pun.> Several earlier posters have commented that 12.c4 would have been a stronger move than what Fischer actually played.
   Nov-13-19 Paul Hershman
Cibator: Just learned about Paul's shockingly early death (sounds like meningitis - I had a work colleague once who went that way at the same age), and that at the time he'd been a lecturer at my alma mater. I played Paul in the prelims at the 1970 BUCA* teams tournament, and considered ...
   Nov-09-19 Karpov - Fischer World Championship Match (1975) (replies)
Cibator: Neither of the articles cited by <Sally Simpson> and <AylerKupp> seem to take account of the players' physical conditions. And on that count I believe you would definitely have to declare: "advantage Fischer". Karpov in 1975 was still small and very lightly built, with ...
   Oct-31-19 C Zuidema vs Hort, 1966
Cibator: "Alekhine's Cannon" at move 37, but pointing at nothing (and soon to be spiked anyway by a Q-swap). And then we get down to a double-rook ending with 4-3 on one side of the board. I'm no endgame expert (to say the very least), but surely this ought to have been a draw? A bit of ...
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