Yorkshire Chess History



George Steven Botterill











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



08/01/1949, Bradford


Non-Chess Life


George Botterill was born in Bradford, on 08/01/1949.  After leaving school he went to Pembroke College, Oxford, where he was an undergraduate and then a postgraduate from about 1969 to 1973, finally emerging with “MA, BPhil.” after his name.


In 1974 he took up a post as a philosophy lecturer at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.


At first he lived centrally in Aberystwyth, but in time move to Penrhyncoch, a hamlet about four miles NE of Aberystwyth.


He married Eva K. Walters in 1980.


In 1988 he took up a post at Sheffield University, where has remained to the present (2012), living continuously at the same address in the Greystones area of Sheffield.




He apparently learnt to play chess at the age of seven.


In 1966/67 he won the Yorkshire Individual Championship.


While at Oxford he played for the university at a time when intervarsity matches tended to feature more of the country’s top players than is now the case.  He became one of a group of strong young players who were coming to the fore in British Chess, being contemporary with the likes of Raymond D. Keene, William R. Hartson, and Andrew J. Whitely, yet his prominence seems to have been relatively short-lived.


He won 1971 Slater Young Masters tournament sponsored by J. D. Slater to promote this flowering of British Chess.


When he was one of the home players invited to play in the 47th Hastings international tournament, 1971-72, he and William R. Hartston ended as the two highest-placed of the home contingent, finishing on 6 out of 15 (+2, -5, =8).  His round-8 win against Robert Byrne culminated with his opponent having doubled queens on the h-file!

Robert Eugene Byrne 0-1 George Steven Botterill

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. c3 d6 4. f4 Nf6 5. e5 dxe5 6. fxe5 Nd5 7. Nf3 O-O 8. Bc4 c5 9. dxc5 Be6 10. Na3 Nc6 11. Qe2 Bg4 12. Bg5 h6 13. Rd1 hxg5 14. Bxd5 Qa5 15. Qe3 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Nxe5 17. Bxb7 Rab8 18. c6 g4 19. fxg4 Nxg4 20. Qe2 Qh5 21. Nc4 Qh4+ 22. Kf1 f5 23. Kg2 f4 24. Rd3 Ne3+ 25. Rxe3 fxe3 26. Nxe3 Qe4+ 27. Kg1 Kh7 28. Qe1 Rf3 29. c7 Rxb7 30. c8=Q Rxe3 31. Qh3+ Bh6 32. Qeh4 Re1+ 33. Kf2 Rxb2+  0-1

(To play through the game on screen, click here.)


He played on board one for England in the 19th World Student Team Chess Championship, at Graz, in 1972, scoring +1, =5, -6.


He was joint winner, in a four-way tie, of the 1973 Welsh Championship (on what qualification basis?).


He played on board six for England in the 5th European Team Chess Championship, at Bath, 1973, scoring +2, =2, -2.


His first win of the British Championship title was in 1974, when he won a seven-way play-off which included Michael J. Haygarth.


After taking up residence in Wales, he played under the Red Dragon on board one in the 1976 Olympiad - Wales’s third time playing in an Olympiad - scoring +1, =4, -5.  This was his only appearance in an Olympiad.


His second, and last, victory in the British Championship came in 1977.


In those days he authored, or co-authored, a number of book on chess openings.


The writer remembers him playing in a county match for Yorkshire shortly after his move to Sheffield, but he didn’t really get significantly involved in Yorkshire chess, nor in Sheffield chess.  He appears not to have troubled the BCF/ECF or FIDE grader in the present century.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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