James Macrae Aitken and the good news is...

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: James Macrae Aitken and the good news is...

Post by Gerard Killoran » Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:38 pm

Not in John's file.

Round 2
The Scotsman - Tuesday 03 January 1933 p4.png
The Scotsman - Tuesday 03 January 1933 p4.png (289.44 KiB) Viewed 523 times
Round 4
The Scotsman - Wednesday 04 January 1933 p6.png
The Scotsman - Wednesday 04 January 1933 p6.png (303.31 KiB) Viewed 523 times
Round 7
The Scotsman - Thursday 05 January 1933 p.13.png
The Scotsman - Thursday 05 January 1933 p.13.png (225.9 KiB) Viewed 523 times

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John Saunders
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Re: James Macrae Aitken and the good news is...

Post by John Saunders » Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:17 pm

That's a great find, Gerard, many thanks.

I wonder why those games don't feature in Dr Aitken's scorebooks. We already had his Fairhurst game from game 1, which has been generally available for some time (as are all Fairhurst's games from the 1932/33 Scottish Championship), but not any of these three. I've now keyed them in and will put them in the Aitken file, plus two stubs representing the two games which are still missing, against James Anderson Stewart and Alexander Goldberg.

As a by-product of Gerard's contributions and some of my own digging, I can now put together 13 of the 21 games played in the 1932/33 Scottish Championship. Until now only Fairhurst's six games (all wins) have been available online or in databases.
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Re: James Macrae Aitken and the good news is...

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Nov 05, 2020 1:18 pm

Gerard Killoran wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:38 pm
Good hunting there Gerald.

They are not in Book 1.
Aitken Book I goes from 26/11/32 v Sutherland to 18/1/1933. That 95 mover v Llewellyn Smith. (Missing out the above games.)

Some light may be thrown on the sequence of the games in the books by the Llewellyn Smith v Aiken game.

Score book holds space for 75 moves. so AItken used moves 76 to 95 on the he space left in the following game (v Perkins).
That strongly hints that he copied the games from the actual score sheet long after games finished. (how else would he know
how long the game v Perkins was) I have not seen all the books (I have five, doing them in batches) there may be
a 'catch up' book or a book dedicated to his Scottish Championships. The games do not always appear in date order in the books.

In Book 3 at the very end he has pencilled in games played during the war. The dates range from 1942 to 1944)

Book 3 starts and ends 23/1/1935 to 3/4/1937 (then pencilled in games)

Book 4 (games in faint pencil) runs from 10/4/1937 to 14/5/1938 (then more war games added
(including match v hut 8 Aitken played I.J. Good (no date!) the following game mentioned a 'ladder game'
v D.B. Scott (did they has a ladder going at Bletchley) then a 9/4/1942 game. (Again v Scott)

Book 5 (all games in faint pencil) 8/8/1938 to 30/12/1942 a number of these games are undated)

Anything else found (and thanks again) please add, John is increasing the Data Base daily.

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Remembering Dr. James Aitken (27-x-1908 03-xii-1983)

Post by John Upham » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:06 am

Another one of our Bletchley Park Hut 6 heroes...

I've even mentioned Geoff !


Remembering Dr. James Aitken (27-x-1908 03-xii-1983)






Aitken caricature 1966.jpg
Remembering Dr. James Aitken (27-x-1908 03-xii-1983)
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Gerard Killoran
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Re: James Macrae Aitken and the good news is...

Post by Gerard Killoran » Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:44 pm

Another discovery, but who was J. Smail?



[Event "SCO-ch69/1962"]
[Site "Dundee"]
[Date "1962.07.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Aitken, James Macrae"]
[Black "Smail, J."]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Be2 cxd4 7. cxd4 Nh6 8. b3
Nf5 9. Bb2 Bd7 10. O-O Be7 11. Kh1 g5 12. g4 Ng7 13. Ne1 h5 14. gxh5 Nf5 15. Nc2
O-O-O 16. Bg4 f6 17. Bxf5 exf5 18. Nc3 Be6 19. Na4 Qc7 20. b4 Kb8 21. exf6 Bd6
22. Nc5 Bf7 23. f4 Bxf4 24. Rf2 Qd6 25. b5 Rxh5 26. Ba3 Qxf6 27. bxc6 Qh6 28.
Na6+ Kc8 29. cxb7+ Kd7 30. Qe2 Qc6 31. Qe7# {The Glasgow Herald 20 Aug 1962
p.13} 1-0

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: James Macrae Aitken and the good news is...

Post by Gerard Killoran » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:45 pm

And another...



[Event "SCO-ch65/1958"]
[Site "Edinburgh"]
[Date "1958.07.??"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Aitken, James Macrae"]
[Black "Fallone, Michael"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. Bd3 Bd7 7. dxc5 Qc7 8. Qe2
Ng6 9. Bxg6 hxg6 10. O-O Bxc5 11. Bf4 a6 12. Re1 Ne7 13. a4 Nf5 14. Nbd2 Rc8 15.
Rec1 Qd8 16. c4 Bc6 17. cxd5 Qxd5 18. Qc4 Qxc4 19. Rxc4 Bxf3 20. gxf3 Rh4 21.
Kg2 g5 22. Bxg5 Rxc4 23. Nxc4 Bxf2 24. b3 b5 25. axb5 axb5 26. Kxf2 bxc4 27.
bxc4 Rxc4 28. Ra8+ Kd7 29. Rf8 Rc2+ 30. Kg1 Re2 31. f4 Ra2 32. Rxf7+ Kc6 {The
Glasgow Herald 22 Aug 1958 p.3} 1/2-1/2

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John Saunders
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Re: James Macrae Aitken and the good news is...

Post by John Saunders » Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:35 pm

Many thanks for these games, Gerard: I've added them to the BritBase collection of Aitken games which now numbers 962 games.

Re your question about J Smail: it was a new name on me but I think I've tracked him down.

Firstly, I found seven games by a J Smail / John Smail on the StarBase 4.56 database. They were dated between 1974 and 1998. One had the venue as 'California' while the other six were correspondence/internet games. StarBase is unreliable in some respects but it often features games which other databases miss. Big/Mega Database 2020 had nothing.

John Smail was one of the players who drew with Gligoric in a 1964 Glasgow simul. All the games of the simul are given in a PDF available at the same site.

Here's is Smail's draw with Gligoric from that simul...



Smail's name also appears on a list of player's ratings from an SCA bulletin date 1962. He was rated 1890 at the time.

Finally, and probably conclusively, an informative biography of John Smail appears here. The most relevant part...
serverchess.com wrote:John was born and raised in Sheffield, England. He moved to California in his mid-twenties. He played postal chess to survive a Scottish boarding school in the 1950's where he found a chess club. During the 1960's to 1990's, he played sporadic forays into OTB chess.
That all seems to make sense and tallies with the Chess Scotland references and StarBase game entries.
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