Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

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Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by John Upham » Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:43 am

Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

New (hopefully) material on his early life :D


One of THE giants of British chess.

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Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)
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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Neil Blackburn » Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:07 am

My article has a photograph of his father, as I recall, plus a cricket scorecard!!. Sorry, on phone so can't link at the moment. Curiously I have been past Wyggeston school just a few days ago.

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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:29 am

Worth noting in that Amsterdam 1899 cross table that Arnold van Foreest's great-great-grandson Jorden is playing in Wijk Aan Zee now.

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Gerard Killoran » Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:14 pm

Here's a game, not in Britbase, where Atkins plays the King's Indian and his opponent replies with the Saemisch (or should it be the Lambert?) Variation.

Atkin's resource with 17...d5! is very clever.


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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:17 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:29 am
Worth noting in that Amsterdam 1899 cross table that Arnold van Foreest's great-great-grandson Jorden is playing in Wijk Aan Zee now.
Oh that's interesting. I wonder if any other similar examples could be cited (not from the present tournament obviously).
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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:28 pm

"Arnold van Foreest's great-great-grandson Jorden"

I only looked it up as "van Foreest" didn't sound a common name. It's not unusual for chess to go father to son, but it might be unusual to go that many generations? Dropping down a few hundred rating points, I learnt from my father (150 or so at his best), but his father didn't play at all. My father was a member of Streatham in the 1950s, when Nigel Povah's grandfather was a member too.

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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Tim Harding » Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:11 pm

There was also Arnold's elder brother Dirk van Foreest, three times Dutch champion. It's a real chess dynasty.

Jorden's younger brother Lucas is also a GM and their sister Machteld (born 2007) might have a FIDE title by now if it weren't for the pandemic. Her rating is already 2116.

Also on the FIDE list, and presumably siblings or cousins, are Nanne (also born 2007, male, 1843) and also Pieter and Tristan who are lower rated.
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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:04 pm

The Woking club some (well, many) years ago was at least half "Williams", from memory, (not all related) but I seem to recall Simon and Howard, maybe Tony(?) being at the top end. Sounds as if the van Foreests could field a useful team!

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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Gerard Killoran » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:08 am

Who wrote this?
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John Clarke
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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by John Clarke » Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:21 am

Aleister Crowley. It's all in his Confessions, though not in those exact words.
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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:32 am

"Aleister Crowley."

A former resident of Merstham (a suburb of Redhill), Surrey, but sadly left the area before the local club was formed.

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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:40 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:32 am
Merstham (a suburb of Redhill)
I'm not sure that Merstham residents would be happy with that description now, and they certainly would not have been in Crowley's day.
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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:02 pm

"I'm not sure that Merstham residents would be happy with that description now, and they certainly would not have been in Crowley's day."

Probably not, but the official postal address was "number road name, Merstham, Redhill, Surrey". With the advent of postcodes, I suppose you could get away with "number, postcode" but that would be a bit unfair on the Post Office staff!

In Crowley's day, both places were fairly small. Having said that, nobody seems to know where "The Grange" (his parents' house) was. It seems to have been between Merstham and Redhill.

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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:27 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:32 am
A former resident of Merstham (a suburb of Redhill), Surrey,
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:02 pm
the official postal address was "number road name, Merstham, Redhill, Surrey".
All that's telling you is that Redhill is the post town for Merstham.

Although Merstham isn't that far away from Redhill (and might be a suburb of it), remote villages could be many miles away from their post town with open countryside between them.

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Re: Remembering Henry Atkins (20-viii-1872 31-i-1955)

Post by Richard James » Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:42 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:02 pm
In Crowley's day, both places were fairly small. Having said that, nobody seems to know where "The Grange" (his parents' house) was. It seems to have been between Merstham and Redhill.
You can see it on this map: right at the top and towards the right, just off the A23. There are roads called Grange Drive and Grange Close there now.

For anyone who doesn't know about it, the National Library of Scotland OS Map collection is very helpful for anyone doing historical research in the UK. It's also completely free to use.

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