London. Colin Crouch Memorial
IN APRIL 2015 AT THE AGE OF 58, COLIN CROUCH DIED. HE SPENT THE GREATER PART OF HIS LIFE IN THE FAMOUS TOWN OF HARROW, A WELL-KNOWN AREA OF NORTH WEST LONDON. ONE YEAR LATER, AT THE FAMOUS HARROW SCHOOL (ALMA MATER OF BYRON, CHURCHILL, PALMERSTON AND TROLLOPPE), A CONGRESS IS BEING HELD, DEDICATED TO HIS MEMORY. BUT WHO WAS COLIN CROUCH?

Colin did not play for long or that much. He won the British u16 championship in 1972 (10,5 out of11!). Two years later, he was again British champion, this time at u18. He became an IM (his maximum rating was 2448, which by the standards of the 1980s and 90s was very respectable), and on Chessbase you will find about 1000 of his games, starting from 1973, but he only became an IM relatively late, in 1991' at the age of 34. He played most of his chess in England.  

His peak was reached at Christmas 1992. At the «Hastings Challengers» he scored 7 out of 9 and gained the right to play in the following year's grandmaster section. Among his wins, one can point especially to his imaginative win against Neverov. The following winter, Colin played in a very strong double-cycle tournament, in which he ended in last place, but look at the line-up! 

 

(64-ШО, №2-3 1993 года)

At the end of 2004, Colin suffered a stroke, from which he never fully recovered. His eyesight was affected and after that, most of his appearances were in blind players' events, although he occasionally played also in standard tournaments. His last tournament was one such, the  «London Chess Classic Open» in December 2013, where he scored 4½ out of 9.

In 2008, at the 2008 IBCA (International Blind Chess Association) Olympiad, he again showed an excellent result on top board for England, (7,5 out of 9). Despite his eye problems, he wrote 15 (!) chess books, which were well received. The last of these was Magnum Force, for which he used a special computer program, which helped him. 

As well as his writing, he also helped out as a trainer in children's chess and designed an original Swiss pairings system, named after him. Colin was a real intellectual, who defended his PhD in economics. (Material taken from the article by Malcolm Pein in the Daily Telegraph)

And now let us turn to the tournament itself. Alongside it is also a junior event, sections for amateurs and the English Seniors championship. The prizes in the Masters are not so large: 1000, 600, 400, 300, 200 pounds, although there are also some special prizes. After 6 rounds the leaders are as follows 

In round 4, the two Uzbek players met. Admittedly, Timour Gareev emigrated some years ago, but learnt his chess in Tashkent and thee scored his first successes.   

Gareev -Vakhidov  

Timour has not played well and his position looks dubious. But there was no need to lose in three moves: 28.Na4 Nxf2 29.Nc5? Kd5 30.Nb7 Rc7 White resigned  (0:1)

In round 7, Johangir Vakhidov drew with Ferenc Berkes and with two rounds to go, has excellent chances of first prize.  

Links: 1, 2, 3, 4

Text: Sergey Kim