Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:42 am

A couple of things.

Alexander had a CMG, next in order would have been a KCMG and then a GCMG.

The joke is that the initials stand for, 'Call Me God', 'Kindly Call Me God' or 'Kings Call Me God', and finally 'God Calls Me God'.

The S. Adler who defeated Alexander in the Varsity Match of 1930 was Solomon Adler. Adler and Alexander had more than chess in common as Adler was later revealed to be a Soviet intelligence agent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Adler

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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by John Upham » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:53 am

Gerard Killoran wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:42 am
The joke is that the initials stand for, 'Call Me God', 'Kindly Call Me God' or 'Kings Call Me God', and finally 'God Calls Me God'.
Bernard Woolley : Of course in the service, CMG stands for Call Me God. And KCMG for Kindly Call Me God.

James Hacker : What does GCMG stand for?

Bernard Woolley : God Calls Me God.

James Hacker : When did a civil servant last refuse an honour?

Bernard Woolley : Well I think there was somebody in the Treasury that refused a Knighthood.

James Hacker : Good God. When?

Bernard Woolley : I think it was 1496.

James Hacker : Why?

Bernard Woolley : He'd already got one.
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Paul Habershon
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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Paul Habershon » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:08 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:05 am
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:39 pm

Has more been published anywhere about the European Team Tournament at Bath in 1973? Nice mentions of David Anderton there.
There was a Batsford book on the event.

Many older members of the forum were probably there as spectators and the sell out nature of the spectator interest was mentioned. One personal memory apart from the crowds was walking through the streets of Bath and passing someone who looked vaguely like Petrosian or another Soviet GM only realise that it was they when seeing them at the venue.
At the time of that European Team Championship I had a teaching post in Bedford and was house tutor in one of the school boarding houses. However, I wasn't entitled to accommodation there in the holidays so would return to my parents' house twelve miles from Bath. The championship coincided with the start of my school holiday, and I was a most reluctant scout leader in the school's own troop (a more unlikely scout you can hardly imagine but it was difficult for a young teacher to refuse to help out). However, the first ten days of the summer holiday were devoted to the annual scout camp, so how frustrating was that! Completely unpaid, while colleagues on the school CCF camp would get a daily allowance and put their feet up in the officers' mess at somewhere like Catterick while the regulars did most of the work with the boys.

Unable to attend the chess, I commissioned a Bath photographer to take photographs for me (it seems a crazy thing to have done now). I still have three mounted 20"x15" photos and two unmounted 14"x11". One of the smaller ones depicts Raymond Keene losing an adjourned game v Petrosian. When checking on that game I saw a report that RDK had sportingly pointed out that Petrosian had not pressed his clock when approaching a time control.

One of the three larger photos shows the even numbered boards (8-board matches) of grandmasterless England v Hungary. 2 Penrose-Szabo, 4 Whiteley (with pipe)-Ribli (Leonard Barden kibitzing), 6 Stean-Adorjan, 8 Eley-Honfi, though Eley was away from the board. (For the record the odd boards were Hartston, Markland, Miles and Wade).

The other two large photos show USSR v Yugoslavia, odd boards 1 Spassky-Gligoric, 3 Korchnoi-Ljubovic, 5 Tal-Parma, 7 Geller-Velimirovic; even boards 2 Petrosian-Ivkov, 4 Karpov-Matanovic, 6 Smyslov-Planinc. Board 8 is out of shot but it was Tukmakov-Matulovic.

Nothing of CHO'D Alexander, but that event must surely have been the greatest array of chess talent ever to gather in England, by one measure at least.
And I missed it when living only 12 miles away.

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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:41 pm

"Below them again came Under-Secretaries, which was the grade Milner-Barry reached. His case however was unusual. After formally retiring at that level he was kept on in the service to administer the honours system. I believe it was his work in that role that scored him the "K". And he wasn't made an ordinary old knight bachelor like most of them. He became a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO), a fairly uncommon distinction, awarded for personal service in some capacity to the sovereign."

Milner-Barry was indeed in charge of the Honours system and that probably helped!

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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Paul Cooksey » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:45 pm

Given the earlier mention of Sir Humphrey:
Bernard Woolley : Of course in the service, CMG stands for Call Me God. And KCMG for Kindly Call Me God.
James Hacker : What does GCMG stand for?
Bernard Woolley : God Calls Me God.

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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Mike Gunn » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:01 pm

I posted on another thread (some time ago) that I visited Bath on one day and my abiding memories are seeing all the other Soviet GMs gathered around Karpov's game and managing to have a conversation with Petrosian (probably translated by the KGB man) about the possibilities of computer chess (he correctly identified databases as the having a big future whereas I was more interested in programs that played).

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:08 pm

Thank you all for the memories of Bath - I am sure Alexander would approve! I wonder how many other forumites have memories of this event, or if there are memories that could be pulled together in some way. Paul H - that is a great story about commissioning a photographer to take photos!

Gerard, thanks for identifiying Solomon Adler - may I ask how you tracked that information down - was it in a newspaper clipping and is the game score extant? Adler must have been a good player to have defeated Alexander, unless there was a need to win because of the match situtation?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:04 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:08 pm
Thank you all for the memories of Bath - I am sure Alexander would approve! I wonder how many other forumites have memories of this event, or if there are memories that could be pulled together in some way. Paul H - that is a great story about commissioning a photographer to take photos!

Gerard, thanks for identifiying Solomon Adler - may I ask how you tracked that information down - was it in a newspaper clipping and is the game score extant? Adler must have been a good player to have defeated Alexander, unless there was a need to win because of the match situtation?
Tbf I think he must have been a pretty decent player just to put Alexander in that position.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:46 pm

Yes, indeed, which is why it is frustrating to find so little about his chess activity. Maybe he just did not play very much.

Apparently the testimony of US diplomat (with China) and historian Oliver Edmund Clubb at a McCarthy-ite trial of some sort, said this:
How well did you know Solomon Adler ? Mr . Clubb . ... In Chungking , if I remember rightly , I may have played one or two games of chess with him...
Chungking is what is now known as Chongqing. And in the same vein, FBI investigations of Norton Long (US housing administrator and academic), included this:
[Long was] identified during the Perlo and Silvermaster group enquiries, with Solomon Adler (with whom he played chess) and William Remington, as well as with Magdoff
Not much more than that, though.

[Sourced from: a 1952 session of the 'Committee on Un-American Activities' and Whatever Happened to Party Government? Controversies in American Political Science (2018) by Mark Wickham-Jones.]

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John Saunders
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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by John Saunders » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:55 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:08 pm
Gerard, thanks for identifiying Solomon Adler - may I ask how you tracked that information down - was it in a newspaper clipping and is the game score extant? Adler must have been a good player to have defeated Alexander, unless there was a need to win because of the match situtation?
I wrote a few paragraphs about the spy Solomon Adler in a piece on Hugh Alexander in the November 2014 issue of CHESS (page 32). There's a photo showing him shaking hands with Mao Tse Tung to be found online. I also have the game score of his win against Hugh Alexander. Adler was a fine player and comprehensively outplayed Alexander...

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:58 pm

Thanks, John. I undoubtedly read your piece in CHESS - apologies for not remembering it!

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:04 pm

Blimey, you would hardly guess that Alexander was White there had you just been given the bare score with no other details.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:24 pm

I attended (I think on the day that England played USSR). There was certainly a good attendance! It was interesting to see the amazingly strong USSR team, although I'd seen some of them at Hastings previously, notably Karpov and Korchnoi 2 years earlier. If Alexander were there, I was not aware of it. Mind you, then we didn't really know what people looked like. At one of the London World Championship Matches, someone was shouting in the Press Room about the position, and I said, "Who's that old boy making that dreadful racket?" "Najdorf" was the answer. The Bath scores show that Bill Hartston was of GM standard.

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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:46 pm

I think that the details of WRH not getting that title have been discussed on here before ;)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Re: Remembering IM Hugh Alexander CMG CBE (19-iv-1909 15-ii-1974)

Post by John McKenna » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:56 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:46 pm
I think that the details of WRH not getting that title have been discussed on here before ;)
The link below is from 2014 (see Jonathan Bryant's post in there for details) there may have been other such discussions on the forum.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7079&p=150470&hilit ... on#p150470
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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