"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Happy Birthday Trevor!

Trevor Palmer
Our friend and esteemed chess club colleague, Trevor Palmer, has a birthday! But not every birthday is the same. Trevor was born in 1933 (!) which means that he is celebrating quite round anniversary this year.

Born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, Trevor spent the main part of his working life as an engineering draughtsman but he later became the manager of a youth training project in Leicester for people with learning difficulties. 
Trevor is man of many talents and so one should not be surprised by the amount of his hobbies and interests which have encompassed playing several sports, chess to county standard, fly fishing, oil painting, bowls and ... dabbling with writing. Somewhere in there he managed to get married to Kathleen and this has led to a family of two daughters and a son extending to five grand-children.
Early writings date back to when a well-known author described himself as a 'word counter'. Now, of course, Word carries out that task a lot quicker! Sci-fi, shorts and a little mediocre poetry were his early attempts but he did get a short story published. 
He has always been interested in ancient Egypt and particle physics and has incorporated both in several of his recently published books on Kindle. He found himself in writing mode again following a move to Skillington where he managed, perhaps, his best work - a History of Skillington, which was put in the public domain on his website (now to be handed over to the village site). That village's connection with Sir Isaac Newton - who began his schooling there - and Trevor becoming a guide at his birthplace, led to an interest in his life. Already having read and admired the life story of Albert Einstein, his first book for Kindle was to compare the early lives of these two geniuses. This is called The Young Giants. Now fully fired up, he soon followed this with humorous sci-fi shorts in Funny Worlds; an adventure follow-up, Grand Tour of Funny Worlds; and "finally" sci-fi meets whodunnit in Light Years from the Truth. He tossed in a longer novel too, originally an unpublished hardback The Ant Gods, for Kindle readers.

On his chess website, DforChess, is a public domain book entitled Chess for Ordinary Mortals and an exposition of the Stonewall Attack.

As a chess player (and this blog is dedicated mainly to the chess), Trevor had spent most of his career (70's and 80's) in Melton Mowbray and hence in the Leicestershire Chess League. He started attending Grantham Chess Club in 2000 after he moved from Melton Mowbray to Skillington.

Svetozar Gligoric
How could we celebrate such an amazing anniversary better than to remember some of Trevor's best games. "The best" not necessarily always means "the victorious" especially when the opposition is of the grandmaster's level. 
Well, to start with let me show you one of his excellent games when he faced to one of the strongest world grandmasters - Svetozar Gligoric - in simultaneous display played in Leicester in January 1960!

In my opinion this was very good game. But what are the games which Trevor would consider as his best? Let's speak Trevor himself:

"My best games were played in my younger years when in Leicestershire. In choosing my best I had a serious limitation…. I very rarely played a faultless game and the reason for this is that I've always had a bad fault – what I term as a ‘lazy brain’. If I start well and get on top my brain says "OK, you should win this. I'm easing off now." If I start badly – which I often did due to poor opening technique – then my brain would go up a few gears and start to play some surprisingly good chess.

The first game is in this category. In the second round of the Leicestershire County Championship in 1962 I was to meet the reigning and many times county champion Philip N Wallis. I believe he had finished 4th in the British Championship the previous year and also he was a nationally noted exponent in playing the Winawer variation of the French…."

And Trevor continues: 
"The championship that year was comprised of 4 all-play-all groups with a knock out by the group winners. Wallis went on to win the group and the county title once again. But … my shock win made the Leicester Mercury! 

It is known in the Grantham Club that I am a devotee of the Stonewall Attack. But how that started goes back 30 years. Firstly I had analysed the results of my openings and was surprised to discover the percentage of losses with 1.e4 unless allowed to play the 'Giuoco'. (RR: Giuoco piano or Italian game). This led to a switch to 1.d4. Next I started playing with black the Stonewall variation of the Dutch with a good success rate. So, I thought, why not play this system with the white pieces? I was surprised yet again to find that it was not in any of the books on openings which I referred to. This was good for me because black would not know favourable lines of defence. I termed this ‘new’ opening “the Reverse Dutch” and played it with an early f4 move. Later I tried to disguise this strategy by playing f4 much later. The second game here is from one of my early efforts and, against a rising young star of Leicestershire chess, Andrew Morley of the Wigston club … and the reigning East Midlands champion! This was a league match of 1982, Melton v Wigston."

"The 3rd game was a hard one to choose. It follows the pattern outlined in my opening paragraph … that I didn't start playing my best chess until I was seriously losing. In this game from the H.E.Atkins Congress at Leicester in 1978 I blundered away an early piece against a strong opponent. To lift my score in the under-170 event from 2 points from 3 games seemed impossible at move 11 but I managed to craft one of the best yet most subtle attacks I have ever played. Black could have saved himself but I think you will agree he could be forgiven for not seeing where it would lead …."

Dear Trevor,

May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health,
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth.
May the dreams you hold dearest
On your Birthday come true,
May the kindness you spread,
Keep returning to you!

Happy birthday!

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