sábado, 31 de outubro de 2009
Michael J. Basman
"Every worm has to turn and every mouse must bite the elephant."
Michael Basman, International Chess Master
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Michael J. Basman (born in 1946 at St Pancras, London, England) is an English chess player, and International Master, who is a prolific writer, chess teacher, chess coach and an organizer who has made many contributions to the field of unorthodox flank chess openings (such as 1.g4, 1.h3, 1.e4 g5, etc.).
Basman is known for frequently choosing bizarre or rarely played openings in his own games, including the St. George Defence (with which English Grandmaster Tony Miles once famously defeated the then World Champion Anatoly Karpov), and the Grob (for Black and White).
He first started playing chess at the age of ten and was a very talented junior player. Basman's father was an Armenian immigrant who is said to have changed the family name from Basmadjian to Basman. Basman lived in Erevan, Armenia in the early 1970's and having dual citizenship won the Erevan Championship. In the twentieth century Armenia was one of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union and Erevan was its capitol city. At the Student Olympiad 1967 at Harrowchow, Czechoslovakia, the English team won the bronze medal and beat the USSR 3-1. The English team consisted mostly of Oxford and Cambridge players but a key member was the highly talented and unorthodox Michael Basman who won the decisive game from a dubious position against Vladimir Savon. Vladimir Savon went on to win the Soviet Championship in 1971.
His greatest tournament success was tying for first place in the 1973 British Championships but lost the play-off match to William Hartston. Basman was awarded the IM (International Master) title in 1980.
Basman has competed in international events throughout the world. This has included the World Team Championship Under 18, World Team Championship Under 26, Hastings, Loyds Banks, Netanya (Israel), Biel (Switzerland), Lugano (Switzerland) and other Masters tournaments such as the British Chess Federation Championships. His list of opponents has included some famous names in chess such as Tal, Botvinnik, Leonid Stein, Gligoric, Jan Timman, Stefan Buecker, Eric Schiller and others.
Since his years as an international master, Michael Basman has devoted his time to teaching schoolchildren chess, and organizing the yearly UK Chess Challenge, a chess tournament which is said to have 70,000 young players. He was also a pioneer in the production of audio tapes for chess.