|William Hartston (born 1947) is a British chess player who played competitively from 1962 to 1987 with a highest FIDE rating of 2485 (just shy of the requirement for International Grandmaster). He won the British Chess Championship in 1973 and 1975.|
During the 1980s he presented the BBC series Play Chess, encouraging children to take up the game. He has since diversified into a number of creative areas. He has run competitions in creative thinking for The Independent newspaper and the Mind Sports Olympiad. He writes the off-beat Beachcomber column for the Daily Express, and books on chess, mathematics, humour and trivia.
He has been a regular guest on the BBC Radio 4 programme, Puzzle Panel.
- How To Cheat At Chess (1977)
- Soft Pawn (1980)
- The Ultimate Irrelevant Encyclopaedia (1984)
- Kings of Chess (1985)
- Drunken Goldfish and Other Irrelevant Scientific Research (1988)
- Teach Yourself Better Chess (1997)
- The Book of Numbers: The Ultimate Compendium of Facts About Figures (2000)
- What Are the Chances of That? (2004)
- What´s What - The Encyclopedia of Quite Extraordinary Information"" (2005)
He has written various technical chess books under his full name of William R. Hartston or William Roland Hartston.