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John Saunders


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London Central YMCA (Centymca) Chess Club Games (1968-1976) • From 'The Centymca Story' by Jimmy Adams
175 games (for contents, see below games window)Download PGN Updated Sunday, 17 April, 2022 0:25 AM

About this database:

These games have been input from the bulletin 'The Centymca Story' by Jimmy Adams, published in 1976, supplemented by a handful of relevant games I have sourced from elsewhere. I have input them without notes. I imagine the bulletin is hard to come by (I borrowed a copy owned by Richard James and am grateful to him for the loan) but is well worth seeking out as it was excellently assembled by a team of Centymca players, headed by Jimmy Adams and Mike Wills, with some particularly fine annotations by Jimmy Adams. It marks a remarkably vibrant time in the development of chess in England, with star name players coming to the UK for the (then) well-sponsored Hastings Congress, and subsequently invited to give simuls and play rapidplay events in London afterwards. In addition, there were a number of other chess initiatives springing up in the capital, in which London Central YMCA players and organisers played a significant part. As did the likes of Leonard Barden and Bob Wade, of course, in their key role of matchmaking super-GMs to ambitious juniors.

Amongst other things, the database contains...

28 games played in a ten-player, 15-minute rapidplay event held at the Centymca club on 22 January 1976. Results: 1-2 David Bronstein, Mark Taimanov 8/9, 3-4 David Goodman, Jimmy Adams 6, 5 Gerald Bennett 5, 6 Andrew Martin 4, 7 Mike Brown 3, 8-9 Nicholas Benjamin, Julian Hodgson 2½, 10 Simon Brown 0. It is quite remarkable that so many games played at such a fast limit should have been preserved for posterity, and for this we have to thank a team of enthusiasts at the club who were deputed to scribble the games down, namely Ray Cannon, Stuart Fancy, Richard Lobo, Sandys Dickinson, Howard Tebbs, George Hodgson, David Brown and others. Sponsorship was by the London Chess Club, London Chess Congress and the Slater Foundation.

22 games of a simul given by Viktor Korchnoi on 18 January 1976 against Centymca. Overall result: Korchnoi +26, =4, -0. Other results: wins against Simon Spivack, Sean Feakes, John Yeo, Cliff Collier, Andrew Martin and Maria Sviatapolk-Mirski.

18 games of a simul given by Rafael Vaganian in January 1975 at Centymca. I don't have the date or result of this simul. Some of the games here are from BCM rather than the Adams bulletin.

Several other simul games in displays given by Korchnoi, Bronstein and Jansa on 17 January 1976, including the game in which the 10-year-old Nigel Short beat Korchnoi. Again, I have supplemented the games with those found in BCM and elsewhere.

1976 Post-Hastings Simuls

Viktor Korchnoi P W D L
17 Jan 1976 London 30 20 9 1
18 Jan 1976 London 30 26 4 0
19 Jan 1976 Swindon 30 28 2 0
20 Jan 1976 Norwich 35 33 1 1
21 Jan 1976 Luton 32 30 1 1
22 Jan 1976 Chester 25 22 1 2
23 Jan 1976 Ilford 30 27 2 1
David Bronstein P W D L
17 Jan 1976 London 30 17 9 4
18 Jan 1976 London 21 17 2 2
21 Jan 1976 Oxford 20 19 1 0
23 Jan 1976 London Clock Simul 12 9 3 0
Mark Taimanov P W D L
17 Jan 1976 London 30 28 1 1
18 Jan 1976 Hereford 25 25 0 0
19 Jan 1976 Knotty Ash 26 18 5 3
Vlastimil Hort P W D L
17 Jan 1976 Birmingham 20 16 3 1
18 Jan 1976 Teeside 30 26 3 1
19 Jan 1976 Leeds 42 32 7 3
Vlastimil Jansa P W D L
17 Jan 1976 London 28 25 3 0

Note: If anyone has any further games from these simuls, I would be happy to include them in this file.

File Updated

Date Notes
9 October 2015 First upload. These games have been input from the bulletin The Centymca Story by Jimmy Adams, published in 1976, which I have supplemented with a few more relevant games sourced from elsewhere. Games input without notes for the most part.
3 May 2016 Updated to include the game Korchnoi 0-1 Peter Montgomery (in only 13 moves) from the Luton Chess Club simul of 21 January 1976, from an undated press cutting of a BH Wood column (Daily Telegraph?). My thanks to Mark McCready. Mark also supplied a press cutting from a Luton newspaper dated 2 Feb 1978 with details of a simul given by Vlastimil Hort, presumably after Hastings in January 1978, in which he took on 39 opponents at Luton Chess Club, scoring +34, =4 (S Thomas, Colin Garwood, P Tessaromatis, N Graham), -1 (Ian Hill-Smith).