H.E.Atkins

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Graham Waddingham
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Graham Waddingham » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:06 pm

…so there was was, doing a quick google search for myself (we've all done it) and up pops this interesting search result. It seems that some people remembered me from some 30 years ago, which is a surprisingly long time. Good to see that I didn’t come out *too* badly, apart from being called a swindler. The people here I do remember though.

Keith Arkell, great sense of humour, and possibly the most un-serious of the top flight players. You never felt that he gave the game his full attention, just an effortless style you had to admire. However, I had many many great laughs with him. I still remember his anecdote about Geoff Lawton. He and Geoff were at some foreign tournament somewhere and sharing a room (not in a gay way I hasten to add !). Geoff was rather a thin chap at the time, and on removing a shirt to get changed, Keith quipped to someone(possibly glenn flear?) "Where's Geoff gone?" Seems a bit lame now, but amused me nonetheless. Bedding down in grand hotel bathroom - yes thats me!

Loz Cooper - Laurence Cooper I think? I knew him as a juniour play from the midlands (I think) a few years younger than me unless I have mistaken him for someone else. The 7 knights game he refered too, now I can remember that. It was against a friend, Niall Carton, a strong Irish Junior, and he carried on playing well after he should have resigned, so much so that it became a joke. When his final piece was taken I still had 2 knights and 4 pawns left, which i then proceeded to promote to make 6 knights - not 7 as Laurence remembered. It was quite enjoyable, to try and deliver checkmate using just the 6 knights, but being careful to avoid a stalemate. Regarding the "blowing my nose" thing, I cant say I remember it as such, but it sounds like just the sort of thing I could well have done, so I'll beleive you on that one.

I will take issue with "swindler" though, if I may. I remember at the time that a few players were known as swindlers, but this never applied to me. Sure my game was predominantly tactical, and my middlegame was sufficiently strong to overcome my shockingly poor opening repertoire, so I'd often turn around a losing game, but swindler, no.

Sarah de Lisle - I'm sorry, but I can't actually remember you, did you used to have a different name?

Alex Holowczak
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:55 pm

Graham Waddingham wrote: Loz Cooper - Laurence Cooper I think?
Close: Lawrence. :wink:

David Pardoe
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by David Pardoe » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:16 pm

Yes, I think the point is well made that the word `rubbish` should go....
If Mr Aitkins was world ranked No 7, that is pretty exceptional. The key point to remember are that he performed as well as he had to, to achieve that position.
And if you describe him as rubbish...what does it say about the rest... Those were chess poineering days, without which, who knows, the game might have `disappeared`...
I recall this comparison arguement being applied to many other sports...like Tennis, for example... Players are so much fitter these days, and playing conditions (not to mention life`s conditions), are so much more `comfortable`. Even in our hard pressed times (where only Bankers seem to retain lofty bonuses, to keep them smiling all the way to the Bank), we enjoy standards of comfort that would be rare in Aitkins day. And we have modern technology...?? :shock: :lol: :idea: :| And I suspect one sodd is using it against me in an `online` event...
So I agree with Adam that we should reveer the past legends... a little mysteque and magic is what often inspires future generations.

So current top dogs in Leicestershire are as mentioned....the real question might be...why arent there more.
Anyway, for more on Aitkin, you might ask Alan Smith... he is our local Archiavist, and well read on matters chess...he may have other references.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Phil Makepeace
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Phil Makepeace » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:56 pm

David Pardoe wrote:The key point to remember are that he performed as well as he had to, to achieve that position.
And if you describe him as rubbish...what does it say about the rest... Those were chess poineering days, without which, who knows, the game might have `disappeared`...
I recall this comparison arguement being applied to many other sports...like Tennis, for example... Players are so much fitter these days, and playing conditions (not to mention life`s conditions), are so much more `comfortable`. Even in our hard pressed times (where only Bankers seem to retain lofty bonuses, to keep them smiling all the way to the Bank), we enjoy standards of comfort that would be rare in Aitkins day. And we have modern technology...?? :shock: :lol: :idea: :| And I suspect one sodd is using it against me in an `online` event...
So I agree with Adam that we should reveer the past legends... a little mysteque and magic is what often inspires future generations.
Are you David Mellor in disguise?

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:03 am

David Pardoe wrote:Yes, I think the point is well made that the word `rubbish` should go....
If Mr Aitkins was world ranked No 7, that is pretty exceptional. The key point to remember are that he performed as well as he had to, to achieve that position.
And if you describe him as rubbish...what does it say about the rest... Those were chess poineering days, without which, who knows, the game might have `disappeared`...
I recall this comparison arguement being applied to many other sports...like Tennis, for example... Players are so much fitter these days, and playing conditions (not to mention life`s conditions), are so much more `comfortable`. Even in our hard pressed times (where only Bankers seem to retain lofty bonuses, to keep them smiling all the way to the Bank), we enjoy standards of comfort that would be rare in Aitkins day. And we have modern technology...?? :shock: :lol: :idea: :| And I suspect one sodd is using it against me in an `online` event...
So I agree with Adam that we should reveer the past legends... a little mysteque and magic is what often inspires future generations.

So current top dogs in Leicestershire are as mentioned....the real question might be...why arent there more.
Anyway, for more on Aitkin, you might ask Alan Smith... he is our local Archiavist, and well read on matters chess...he may have other references.

David, If you read all of the contributions on this thread then you will see that nobody is disagreeing with any of this - and certainly not me. Bannister achieved the absolute maximum that was possible for his day, and that makes him a legend. The fact that 800 Americans have since then beaten his best doesn't detract one iota from this.Of course it doesn't,because,as you say,and as I have said on numerous occasions,there are all sorts of built in advantages today. However,people do keep records,and it remains a statistical fact that 3:59.4 is significantly slower than 3:43.13
''Significantly slower than'' doesn't mean ''slow'' and neither does ''Significantly weaker than'' mean ''weak'' . Most people on here would have understood my ''rubbish compared to'' as being a careless way of saying the latter of these two phrases. But, in case anyone else misinterprets a relative term for an absolute one, I hereby replace ''rubbish compared to'' with ''significantly weaker than''. :roll:

The fact that the 400th best miler today is faster than the best in the world in 1954 doesn't detract from Bannister's acievement; and equally it doesn't detract from Atkins' amazing achievements the fact that over the course of 100 years standards of chess playing have dared to dramatically rise.

My reason for beginning this thread was to air my dilemma of how to reconcile two self - evident (to me at least) facts,for some prose I was writing:
On the one hand we have Atkins' far more impressive list of achievements, but on the other hand,objectively speaking,Mark and Glenn play a far higher standard of chess. We can't just poo-poo this last point completely as being unfair to make,because like it or not we live in a world where we like to measure progress,whether it be sports records being beaten, erecting ever higher buildings or measuring ever faster mechanical speeds.

Given that in a roundabout way most of us are saying the same thing,I guess we've now pretty much exhausted the topic,so thanks a lot for all your responses.

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:30 am

Graham Waddingham wrote:…so there was was, doing a quick google search for myself (we've all done it) and up pops this interesting search result. It seems that some people remembered me from some 30 years ago, which is a surprisingly long time. Good to see that I didn’t come out *too* badly, apart from being called a swindler. The people here I do remember though.

Keith Arkell, great sense of humour, and possibly the most un-serious of the top flight players. You never felt that he gave the game his full attention, just an effortless style you had to admire. However, I had many many great laughs with him. I still remember his anecdote about Geoff Lawton. He and Geoff were at some foreign tournament somewhere and sharing a room (not in a gay way I hasten to add !). Geoff was rather a thin chap at the time, and on removing a shirt to get changed, Keith quipped to someone(possibly glenn flear?) "Where's Geoff gone?" Seems a bit lame now, but amused me nonetheless. Bedding down in grand hotel bathroom - yes thats me!

Loz Cooper - Laurence Cooper I think? I knew him as a juniour play from the midlands (I think) a few years younger than me unless I have mistaken him for someone else. The 7 knights game he refered too, now I can remember that. It was against a friend, Niall Carton, a strong Irish Junior, and he carried on playing well after he should have resigned, so much so that it became a joke. When his final piece was taken I still had 2 knights and 4 pawns left, which i then proceeded to promote to make 6 knights - not 7 as Laurence remembered. It was quite enjoyable, to try and deliver checkmate using just the 6 knights, but being careful to avoid a stalemate. Regarding the "blowing my nose" thing, I cant say I remember it as such, but it sounds like just the sort of thing I could well have done, so I'll beleive you on that one.

I will take issue with "swindler" though, if I may. I remember at the time that a few players were known as swindlers, but this never applied to me. Sure my game was predominantly tactical, and my middlegame was sufficiently strong to overcome my shockingly poor opening repertoire, so I'd often turn around a losing game, but swindler, no.

Sarah de Lisle - I'm sorry, but I can't actually remember you, did you used to have a different name?
Hey Graham,good to hear from you mate. We certainly did have some great laughs, and no I don't think you were a swindler.Resourceful yes,but that's different.

Here's an amazing coincidence for Jim Plaskett if he's reading this: The ''where's Geoff gone'' story thay you(Graham) have just mentioned, I typed out yesterday evening as an anecdote for inclusion in my book! I showed it to well known author Peter Griffiths about 8pm - 2 hours before you posted! :lol:

If Sarah will permit me, Christopher was the name prior to de Lisle. :)

LozCooper

Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by LozCooper » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:33 am

Graham Waddingham wrote:…so there was was, doing a quick google search for myself (we've all done it) and up pops this interesting search result. It seems that some people remembered me from some 30 years ago, which is a surprisingly long time. Good to see that I didn’t come out *too* badly, apart from being called a swindler. The people here I do remember though.

Keith Arkell, great sense of humour, and possibly the most un-serious of the top flight players. You never felt that he gave the game his full attention, just an effortless style you had to admire. However, I had many many great laughs with him. I still remember his anecdote about Geoff Lawton. He and Geoff were at some foreign tournament somewhere and sharing a room (not in a gay way I hasten to add !). Geoff was rather a thin chap at the time, and on removing a shirt to get changed, Keith quipped to someone(possibly glenn flear?) "Where's Geoff gone?" Seems a bit lame now, but amused me nonetheless. Bedding down in grand hotel bathroom - yes thats me!

Loz Cooper - Laurence Cooper I think? I knew him as a juniour play from the midlands (I think) a few years younger than me unless I have mistaken him for someone else. The 7 knights game he refered too, now I can remember that. It was against a friend, Niall Carton, a strong Irish Junior, and he carried on playing well after he should have resigned, so much so that it became a joke. When his final piece was taken I still had 2 knights and 4 pawns left, which i then proceeded to promote to make 6 knights - not 7 as Laurence remembered. It was quite enjoyable, to try and deliver checkmate using just the 6 knights, but being careful to avoid a stalemate. Regarding the "blowing my nose" thing, I cant say I remember it as such, but it sounds like just the sort of thing I could well have done, so I'll beleive you on that one.

I will take issue with "swindler" though, if I may. I remember at the time that a few players were known as swindlers, but this never applied to me. Sure my game was predominantly tactical, and my middlegame was sufficiently strong to overcome my shockingly poor opening repertoire, so I'd often turn around a losing game, but swindler, no.

Sarah de Lisle - I'm sorry, but I can't actually remember you, did you used to have a different name?

Hi Graham,

Good to hear from you. Having checked the definition of "swindler" I certainly didn't mean it in the sense of cheating or defrauding :oops: You were resourceful and I certainly recall you turning around many bad positions and when it wasn't against me it was very entertaining. I imagine you also remember Chris Baker and Graeme Buckley who were also very resourceful :D

It may just be coincidence but I notice there are a couple of current juniors who share the same surname as you, any relation?

Sarah de Lisle
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Sarah de Lisle » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:28 am

Keith and Graham - the Geoff Lawton anecdote did make me laugh. I am going to have to think of more Keithisms. Trouble is most of the ones I recall won't be fit for forums....

Graham Waddingham
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Graham Waddingham » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:28 pm

Keith, that is quite a remarkable display of morphic resonance, over 25 years after the actual event itself. Mr Plaskett will be very pleased.

Lawrence.. any other Waddinghams playing are no relation of mine, though my eldest boy has played 1 tournament, won with 5/5, and has retired undefeated. Thats a pretty good record, even if it was only a local scout tournament :)

Sarah, yes I remember you also. A group of us stayed at Edinburgh Uni during BCF Champs in 1985, and I kipped on some sofas (I sense a pattern here)

John Upham
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by John Upham » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:24 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:
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#
Geoff,

I'm writing an article on HEA. In the game above HEA should be replaced by Sir George Thomas.

What was your source for this game that said White was HEA?
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Matt Bridgeman
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:03 pm

It was interesting seeing the old mentions of the 4 minute mile. The mile is still run at a number of big meetings here and there, although I think the Golden Mile that Steve Cram and others used to enjoy is gone. The current total of UK athletes to have achieved a sub 4 minute mile is 217. Physiologically it’s such a difficult feat I think only two people in the world have ever done it over the age of 40, and they were both top world class athletes in their prime. In terms of natural ability and training a sub 4 mile must to this day be in the same ballpark of difficulty as becoming a GM. The numbers who have done it probably more reflecting participation rates in athletics compared to chess.

Paul Cooksey
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:54 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:03 pm
In terms of natural ability and training a sub 4 mile must to this day be in the same ballpark of difficulty as becoming a GM.
Maybe a bit higher than GM even, if we benchmark the best middle distance runner in 1954 to the best chess player, Smyslov.

I did not remember this thread and am surprised by Keith's assessment. I am not sure how much better than a modern 2300 Atkins was, but I would say a lot. So we have a problem if he was also much weaker than 2500!

John McKenna
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by John McKenna » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:49 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:54 pm
Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:03 pm
In terms of natural ability and training a sub 4 mile must to this day be in the same ballpark of difficulty as becoming a GM.
Maybe a bit higher than GM even, if we benchmark the best middle distance runner in 1954 to the best chess player, Smyslov.

I did not remember this thread and am surprised by Keith's assessment. I am not sure how much better than a modern 2300 Atkins was, but I would say a lot. So we have a problem if he was also much weaker than 2500!
No problem...

2540 is HEA's best 5-yr. average according to Prof. A.E. Elo.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Simon Rogers
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Simon Rogers » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:52 pm

Is this the same Topic as the one which is at the top of the Chess History Category?

John McKenna
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by John McKenna » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:01 pm

Simon Rogers wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:52 pm
Is this the same Topic as the one which is at the top of the Chess History Category?
Don't think so.

This is an old General Chat thread originally titled "H.E.Atkins" and started 10th Jan. 2011.

The one in Chess History is a recent one - started 13th Jan. 2021 and titled "H E Atkins".
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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