Jonathan Penrose

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Simon Rogers
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:30 pm

Re: Jonathan Penrose

Post by Simon Rogers » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:32 pm

I've learnt a lot about Jonathan Penrose.
Thank you very much to the people that posted.
Any more information?
Sounds like 1979 or 1980 was when he last played in major tournaments.

John Upham
Posts: 5153
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.

Re: Jonathan Penrose

Post by John Upham » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:09 pm

Simon Rogers wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:32 pm
Any more information? ... nrose-obe/ might be of use to you.
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John McKenna
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Jonathan Penrose

Post by John McKenna » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:16 am

Leonard Barden wrote:
Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:40 am
Penrose became a GM and not the inferior honorary version. How it happened is through another of Bob Wade's services to English chess.

In the late 1970s when Jonathan had virtually finished his over the board career I thought my friend and contemporary was worthy of the GM title. This was round about the time when, for a year or two, I was BCF international grader, so i had some status in putting his name forward. I thought that Penrose's performances in the 1961 Enschede zonal and in the 1968 Lugano Olympiad were of norm level and would satisfy the then regulations. Harry Golombek was FIDE delegate, so I put the matter to him. At that time Fide were going back and awarding some titles based on events from 10-25 years previously.

Thinking that Jonathan's case was slightly marginal, I thought it would improve his chances if a second English player was put up for the title. My crafty plan was to appeal to HG's ego by suggesting that he also put up himself on the basis of his result at Venice 1950 (probably close to a GM norm, and Prins who was half a point in front of HG in Venice did get the title using that as one of his norms), the 1951 Bad Pyrmont zonal, and one or two other events which I now forget.

Alas, the members of the qualification committee were in a mean title-giving mood at that time, were offended by England's presumptuous act of putting up two candidates, and turned both applications down, adding cynically that Penrose (by then in his mid-forties and with the fainting episode at Siegen 1970 and his poor result at Nice 1974 in his history) should try to earn it by future achievements.

There the matter rested for some 15 years. For part of that time Ray Keene was Fide delegate and, knowing he didn't rate Jonathan highly, I felt it was pointless to put his name forward again.

In 1992 or 1993 I visited Bob on another matter and found out in the course of conversation that he was then on the Fide qualifications committee. I suggested he put forward Penrose again. Bob agreed at once, and was emphatic that he would only go for the proper title and not for the HGM version which he regarded as inferior and not for players of true GM strength.

I mentioned Enschede and Lugano and Bob immediately went to his tournament collection and picked out the tournament bulletins for both events. We made out the application between us there and then, and Bob took it to the next qualifications committee meeting.

As he told me later, almost all of these eminent people, chosen presumably for their supposed expertise, hadn't heard of Penrose, knew little or nothing of his achievements, or were unsure whether Enschede and Lugano were sufficient. So they turned to Lothar Schmid, who was present and who they regarded as a fount of knowledge and asked "Lothar, what's your opinion?" As a direct contemporary who knew of Jonathan's achievements, a friend of English chess and of Bob, Lothar gave the application lavish praise and it was granted......

I see that Wikipedia and other sources call Penrose HGM or GM emeritus, but they are wrong.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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