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Subscribe autobiography Retrospect (London, 1952). In all, he served under five Prime Ministers: Herbert Asquith, Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill. In common with the above-mentioned book by David Dutton, Retrospect focussed on politics, and very little about Sir John Simon’s interest in chess has ever been written. Below, therefore, we present an extensive account of his views on the game, as well as some specimens of his play. As will be seen, it was during his busiest political phase, the 1930s, that he was most prominent in chess circles, being regarded as the ideal dignitary for delivering a graceful speech at the opening of a chess tournament.

As noted above, FIDE’s position in the mid-1930s was that ‘the world championship must be decided by a match and not a tournament’. Even that principle was to be abandoned in the late 1940s. Nobody in 1937 could have imagined that, after that year’s return contest between Euwe and Alekhine, the next world championship match would not come for over 13 years. The challenger on that occasion, David Bronstein, was barely a teenager at the time of the Stockholm, 1937 rumpus. 2540. Tartakower on decisiveness An excerpt from an article on pages 1-4 of Ajedrez, January 1930 by Tartakower (in which he referred to himself in the third person): ‘In the great tournament in Pistyan, 1922, Tartakower managed to win his games against the two winners of the event, Bogoljubow and Alekhine.

He referred also to the high standard of morality and honesty among chess-players, though he made a jesting exception of the player who tossed for the move with two black pawns in his hands. ’ CHESS (14 April 1937, page 268) reported on the occasion at greater length: ‘Sir John Simon, Home Secretary, opened the Margate Congress with a speech whose wit and understanding of chess surpassed any we have previously heard. ” People who had travelled extensively were often reminded of that fact surprisingly.

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