DG Mackay

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by Gerard Killoran » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:29 am

B H Wood refers to Mackay as a professional boxer. The database https://boxrec.com/ does not list D G Mackay.

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John Saunders
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by John Saunders » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:08 pm

Gerard Killoran wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:29 am
B H Wood refers to Mackay as a professional boxer. The database https://boxrec.com/ does not list D G Mackay.
Thanks for this, Gerard. I did wonder what evidence BH Wood had that DG Mackay was a professional boxer. It smacks of something which I'm sure we are all familiar with, when non-players, discovering that one is a chessplayer, tell us that someone they know or are related to is "a chess champion". Never just "someone who plays chess" but always a "champion". If they then risk telling us champion of what (although they rarely know), we proceed to look it up somewhere and usually find it to be nonsense.

An alternative theory: he may have boxed under another name. Also, I did notice that, in the complete crosstable for the Stevenson Memorial tournament held in Southsea, 11-21 April 1951, as listed in BCM, May 1951, pps 142-143, Mackay's name appears as S. Mackay. Gaige's Chess Personalia has a record of a Samuel Mackay, born 1919 in Wellington, but I'm pretty sure this our man, DG Mackay, as reports of the tournament in the Times have him with the initial "D". It may simply be a typo in BCM but who knows? It's not unknown for people to use different monikers in different areas of their lives. (There's another example in the same tournament table but I won't bore you with it.) I think I may have seen the usage S. Mackay somewhere else online but didn't make a note of where.

Alan McGowan's research is always very thorough and reliable: I shall be using the form Donald G Mackay if and when I need to refer to the man on BritBase.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:23 pm

I think BHW did have a bit of a tendency to write something eye-catching just because it looked good. He could have been misinformed of course. Maybe our hero said, "I could have been a contender".

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Re: DG Mackay

Post by Paul Cooksey » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:24 pm

John Saunders wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:08 pm
It smacks of something which I'm sure we are all familiar with, when non-players, discovering that one is a chessplayer, tell us that someone they know or are related to is "a chess champion". Never just "someone who plays chess" but always a "champion". If they then risk telling us champion of what (although they rarely know), we proceed to look it up somewhere and usually find it to be nonsense.
Usually, although not always. A few years ago my parents met a nice man on a cruise whose son was also a chess player. My mother is keen to tell people I am a chess champion. When I looked up the son, it turned out that Nigel Short was quite good. Mortifying.

David Gilbert
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by David Gilbert » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:15 pm

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Re: DG Mackay

Post by David Gilbert » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:33 pm

In confirmation of Kevin's post earlier. The Barstow Cup is awarded to the Civil Service Champion. Sir George Barstow was a Senior Civil Servant at the Treasury when Winston Churchill was Chancellor. The winners band on the Cup was full and we had to replace it last year. Here's the old band with D.G.MACKAY the Civil Service Champion in 1952

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John Clarke
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by John Clarke » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:24 am

David Gilbert wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:33 pm
The Barstow Cup is awarded to the Civil Service Champion.
If I remember right, in the 1970s there were also a couple of lesser competitions for the "Star Trophy" and the oddly-named "Post-Annual Cup". Are they still around?
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Colin Patterson
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by Colin Patterson » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:27 am

According to Di Felice, it's DUNCAN G MACKAY - see for instance the index of his 1961-63 Volume and also the next one. There is some mention of Chess Magazine 60-61 as a possible source. Page 248, if anyone has it.

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Re: DG Mackay

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:44 am

"If I remember right, in the 1970s there were also a couple of lesser competitions for the "Star Trophy" and the oddly-named "Post-Annual Cup". Are they still around?"

CS Individual championship was Barstow Cup (the top one), Star Trophy (aka Group 2), James Curtis (Group 3), Group 4 and Group 5. The Star Trophy was presented by a newspaper, that had nothing to do with the current one! The ones below the Barstow were lower divisions of players. There was also a separate Milner-Barry Cup for a CS Sports Council sponsored championship, where players qualified from different regions for a 5-round Swiss final in Yorkshire. The others were usually played for after work in London, but technically still national competitions.

Team knock out competitions were held for Bonar Law Trophy (for the top teams), Post Annual Cup, Jesse Garner Trophy. The "Post" (union magazine for postal workers) presented the trophy, which was originally used for a competition for Post Office chess.

There were other named trophies.

Happily a book on the history of civil service chess should be published soon, which will answer all these questions and more...

Neil Graham
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:19 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:44 am
The Star Trophy was presented by a newspaper, that had nothing to do with the current one!
No doubt if they provided a trophy it would be topless.

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John Saunders
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by John Saunders » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:47 am

Colin Patterson wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:27 am
According to Di Felice, it's DUNCAN G MACKAY - see for instance the index of his 1961-63 Volume and also the next one. There is some mention of Chess Magazine 60-61 as a possible source. Page 248, if anyone has it.
Page 248 of CHESS, 22 April 1961 (Vol.26) has a crosstable of the 1961 Stevenson Memorial tournament at Bognor and gives DG Mackay (Balham) scoring 5½/11 and three pages later there is his win against David E Lloyd. However, a forename is not given. As you yourself and Tim Harding wrote in another thread, Colin, De Felice's books are not a particularly reliable or authoritative source anyway.
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Colin Patterson
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by Colin Patterson » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:34 pm

Indeed John. I dare say he has seen it somewhere else, and then rolled it out for the entire Volume, whether that places individual sources in contradiction or not,

Definitely not the historian's best friend, that's for sure!

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John Saunders
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by John Saunders » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:08 pm

Alan McGowan has kindly shared some of his researches with me. Having examined them, I'm about 90% convinced he's right in suggesting that the player in question was named Donald G Mackay and that his birth was registered in the 4th quarter of 1931 in Richmond, Surrey. Further to that (having done a bit of my own digging), he remained domiciled in Balham until at least 1965 (though the 1939 census found him elsewhere for a while - probably with his parents in Swindon). There's evidence to suggest he could still be alive.
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David Williams
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by David Williams » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:10 pm

Considering the era, is it possible that the reason his forename is so hard to find is that he wasn't inclined to reveal it? He would have been Mr Mackay to most, maybe DG to work colleagues and friends. If he was still around, as he might be, would he think this whole thread impertinent, and it's no-one's business but his own?

I have in front of me "Memoirs of a Fellwanderer" by A. Wainwright. You near his name quite often on TV, where he is always referred to as Alfred Wainwright, yet as I understand it very few people would have known that when he was alive. His widow wrote the foreword to the paperback edition of that book fourteen years after his death. In it she calls him AW throughout. Different times.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: DG Mackay

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:03 pm

"Considering the era, is it possible that the reason his forename is so hard to find is that he wasn't inclined to reveal it?"

Quite possibly. My first "Principal Scientific Officer" at work in 1975 was "Mr Christie" and few people knew his first name. It is only fairly recently that I have recorded forenames on score sheets - it was usually initials only.

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