H.E.Atkins

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Keith Arkell
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H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:11 pm

Whilst finally getting down to write my first ever book,I noted,en passant,that Mark Hebden and Glenn Flear are the strongest players ever to emerge from Leicestershire.
Then I saw that H.E Atkins won the British Ch 9 times in 11 attempts,was awarded the IM title,and was actually ranked around 7 in the World at one point,despite being an amateur.
I took the trouble to play through about 20 of his games,and he was rubbish by todays standards - nothing like as good as Mark and Glenn.What to do?

Any thoughts?

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Joey Stewart
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Joey Stewart » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:15 pm

Pick games with brilliant finishes - nobody will pay much attention to the moves leading up to it if they know there is going to be something really good at the end
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

andrew martin

Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by andrew martin » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:16 pm

You'll just have to give him his due; surely he played some decent games?

Geoff Marchant
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Geoff Marchant » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:49 pm

Maybe H.E.Atkins is the luckiest player ever to emerge from Leicestershire?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:10 am

Atkins was highly regarded by several of the best players of his day, FWIW.

Of course much of his play will seem poor to even average players today - we've been though this topic a few times before, haven't we?? :)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:12 am

andrew martin wrote:You'll just have to give him his due; surely he played some decent games?
Yes of course he did - I mean he really was 7 in the world at one point! Go take a look. My question is though: Can I still reasonably refer to M + G as the best 2 `players `to emerge from Leics?

Richard Bates
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Richard Bates » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:16 am

Keith Arkell wrote:Whilst finally getting down to write my first ever book,I noted,en passant,that Mark Hebden and Glenn Flear are the strongest players ever to emerge from Leicestershire.
Then I saw that H.E Atkins won the British Ch 9 times in 11 attempts,was awarded the IM title,and was actually ranked around 7 in the World at one point,despite being an amateur.
I took the trouble to play through about 20 of his games,and he was rubbish by todays standards - nothing like as good as Mark and Glenn.What to do?

Any thoughts?
I'm sure if you look hard enough to can find 20 games by M&G that make them look rubbish by today's standards... ;) I'm sure Mark could nominate 2 or 3 from this year's Hastings to get you going!

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:46 am

Richard Bates wrote:
Keith Arkell wrote:Whilst finally getting down to write my first ever book,I noted,en passant,that Mark Hebden and Glenn Flear are the strongest players ever to emerge from Leicestershire.
Then I saw that H.E Atkins won the British Ch 9 times in 11 attempts,was awarded the IM title,and was actually ranked around 7 in the World at one point,despite being an amateur.
I took the trouble to play through about 20 of his games,and he was rubbish by todays standards - nothing like as good as Mark and Glenn.What to do?

Any thoughts?
I'm sure if you look hard enough to can find 20 games by M&G that make them look rubbish by today's standards... ;) I'm sure Mark could nominate 2 or 3 from this year's Hastings to get you going!
:lol: ok but I selected 20 at random.

So anyway,what do I do? One idea is to cop out by saying that M+G were Leicestershire's first 2 GMs,which is indisputable.

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David Shepherd
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by David Shepherd » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:02 am

If you want to say M+G are the best/strongest you could consider using something like the phrase in the modern era.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Geoff Chandler » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:52 am

Hi Keith.

Call the chapter 'Chess in Leicester from 1956-2011' (H.E passed away in 1955).

Got a couple of smothered mates.
This from 1924 when he won his 8th title.

[Event "British Championship"]
[Site "Southport"]
[Date "1924."]
[Round "?"]
[White "Henry Ernest Atkins"]
[Black "William Gibson"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "0"]
[BlackElo "0"]
[EventDate "?"]
[ECO "C83"]
[PlyCount "33"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8.
dxe5 Be6 9. c3 Be7 10. Be3 O-O 11. Nbd2 f5 12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Ng5 Bf5 14.
Nde4 Nxe4 15. Qxd5+ Kh8 16. Qg8+ Rxg8 17. Nf7#

And of course this classic with the final position.

Image

Though I'm not 100% sure about it's authenticity.
It is in Du Monts 200 miniatures but am sure I saw something about
this game being played before 1915.

Atkins - Jacobs London 1915

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Nxe4 6. O-O Nd6 7. Nxc3
Nxc4 8. Re1+ Be7 9. Nd5 Nc6 10. Bg5 f6 11. Rc1 b5 12. Rxc4 bxc4 13. Ne5
fxg5 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Nf6+ Bxf6 16. Nxg6+ Qe7 17. Rxe7+ Bxe7 18. Ne5+ Kd8
19. Nf7+ Ke8 20. Nd6+ Kd8 21. Qe8+ Rxe8 22. Nf7#

Or get a copy of H.E. Atkins Doyen of British Chess Champions
by Coles and pick one out.

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:27 am

Hi Geoff,

Nice finish!

Really though it's not that big a deal. I just put in a game and made the comment afterwards. It didn't occur to me that it might be contentious

Richard James
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Richard James » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:31 am

Geoff Chandler wrote:And of course this classic with the final position.

Image

Though I'm not 100% sure about it's authenticity.
It is in Du Monts 200 miniatures but am sure I saw something about
this game being played before 1915.

Atkins - Jacobs London 1915

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Nxe4 6. O-O Nd6 7. Nxc3
Nxc4 8. Re1+ Be7 9. Nd5 Nc6 10. Bg5 f6 11. Rc1 b5 12. Rxc4 bxc4 13. Ne5
fxg5 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Nf6+ Bxf6 16. Nxg6+ Qe7 17. Rxe7+ Bxe7 18. Ne5+ Kd8
19. Nf7+ Ke8 20. Nd6+ Kd8 21. Qe8+ Rxe8 22. Nf7#
To the best of my knowledge this wasn't actually played by Atkins. I have the story somewhere (probably somewhere in Edward Winter) and will post again if I find it.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Andrew Farthing » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:43 am

Keith Arkell wrote:Whilst finally getting down to write my first ever book,I noted,en passant,that Mark Hebden and Glenn Flear are the strongest players ever to emerge from Leicestershire.
Then I saw that H.E Atkins won the British Ch 9 times in 11 attempts,was awarded the IM title,and was actually ranked around 7 in the World at one point,despite being an amateur.
I took the trouble to play through about 20 of his games,and he was rubbish by todays standards - nothing like as good as Mark and Glenn.What to do?

Any thoughts?
Perhaps the fairest comment would be to describe Atkins as "the most successful player to emerge from Leicestershire". This would seem a fair reflection of his strength relative to his peers at the time while avoiding the issue of comparing standards across eras.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:09 am

Keith Arkell wrote: Yes of course he did - I mean he really was 7 in the world at one point! Go take a look. My question is though: Can I still reasonably refer to M + G as the best 2 `players `to emerge from Leics?

Hi Keith. Does the answer not depend on how you are defining "best" or "greatest" or what have you?

e.g. Roger Bannister's 4 minute mile would suck by contemporary standards, but he was clearly a great runner. There must be a fair few folk who could run a mile in 3:50 these days - 10 seconds faster than him but nearly 10 seconds slower than the current best.

Who's better? The guy who was ahead of the world in his day or the guy who is, in absolute terms the fastest? I suppose you can make an argument either way.


Perhaps all three of Atkins/Hebden/Flear are the greatest from Leicestershire just in different ways. A reasonable compromise or an unsatisfactory cop out depending on your point of view.


BTW: looking forward to your book. Any details?

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:18 am

Andrew Farthing wrote:
Keith Arkell wrote:Whilst finally getting down to write my first ever book,I noted,en passant,that Mark Hebden and Glenn Flear are the strongest players ever to emerge from Leicestershire.
Then I saw that H.E Atkins won the British Ch 9 times in 11 attempts,was awarded the IM title,and was actually ranked around 7 in the World at one point,despite being an amateur.
I took the trouble to play through about 20 of his games,and he was rubbish by todays standards - nothing like as good as Mark and Glenn.What to do?

Any thoughts?
Perhaps the fairest comment would be to describe Atkins as "the most successful player to emerge from Leicestershire". This would seem a fair reflection of his strength relative to his peers at the time while avoiding the issue of comparing standards across eras.

Hi Andrew,

That would be fair enough yes. Thing is though,the subjects of the paragraph are M+G!

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