Cecil Purdy[ edit ]

Cecil John Seddon Purdy, (Born March 27 1906 Port Said Egypt - Died November 6 1979 Sydney Australia) was an Australian chess International Master (IM) and inaugural World Correspondence Chess champion.

As a child he moved with his family from Egypt to New Zealand, then to Tasmania, Sydney, back to Tasmania, before they settled in Sydney when he was 12. While in Tasmania one of his classmates was future film star Errol Flynn.

He began his chess career at the age of 16 and soon decided that he would become a full time chess writer and player. Initially starting off as an over the board (OTB) player, he soon began to mix OTB play with correspondence play. He was 4 times winner of the Australian Chess Championship, in 1935,1937,1949, and 1951. He won the first 2 Australian Correspondence Chess Championships, in 1938 and 1945. He also won the New Zealand Chess Championship in 1924/25

He was married in 1934 to Anne Crakanthorp, the daughter of 2 times Australian Chess Champion Spencer Crakanthorp. The marriage produced two children, Diana and John (1935-). John Purdy followed in his fatherīs (and grandfatherīs) footsteps in winning the Australian Chess Championship in 1955 and 1963. Diana was also a keen chessplayer, and married leading New Zealand player Frank Hutchings in 1960.

In 1976 he was awarded the Order of Australia for services to chess.

He was described by Bobby Fischer as being a great chess instructor. Some of his writings are still in print. He is somewhat famous for saying "Pawn endings are to chess as putting is to golf." He died playing chess over-the-board (as opposed to a correspondence game), his final words being "I have a win, but it will take some time".

categories: myChess-Wiki | Chess players | Magnus Carlsen | chess prodigy | International Grandmaster | correspondence chess | Cecil Purdy
article No 1140 / last change on 2006-10-24, 07:09pm

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