[Bernard Anton] [Martin Curtis] [Wolfgang Leonhardt] [Fred Maris]
Bernard Anton was born in Aberdeen, Scotland.
His ambition was to have an army career, but his eyesight prevented him from pursuing that objective. He had an extensive library of military, history and chess books.
After a career in banking, he took up Law and attained a position of magistrate and was highly regarded for his firm sense of justice by the staff at the Midland Courthouse.
He was a long-time member of the Perth Chess Club in the 70’s before joining the Metropolitan Chess Club.
His dream of an army career was mirrored in the way he played his chess. Bernard was a man of strong principles, his character reflected generosity and fairness. He was an astute man with a rigorous sense of perfection and this governed his chess and golf pursuits.
He admired Bobby Fischer, and perhaps in reverence of him, he chose the Benoni as his favoured defence. Bernard’s sense of fair play led him to be an advocate of the Swiss System for most tournaments, especially club championships. He felt that chess players at all levels should have an opportunity to score against a higher rated player.
His legal expertise later led him to be invited onto the Dispute and Protests Board at CAWA.
Bernard enjoyed good company, fine food and a “good red”. He was a humble gentleman, and he would have been very proud to have a tournament named in his honour.
Provided by Wally Lubtschenko to Natalie & Rob Maris for the June 2003 CAWA Newsletter [Return to top]
Born 23/09/35 in London U.K – emigrated to W.A. in 1976.
Clubs in the U.K. : County games for Warwickshire. Club games for Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield.
Clubs in W.A. : Northern Suburbs, Perth, and , for a short time , Metro.
My highest rating was 1934 way back in 1985
Hobbies (besides chess).
Commenced playing when I was 13, but only dabbled. When I was 30 living in Birmingham I discovered that a neighbour had played 1st Div. Chess for Manchester, so to give him a good game I had to learn something. We met once a week and both pretended we hadn’t studied anything during the previous week, but our wives gave us away. Because of that fortunate encounter I rose from the lowly 7th Div. to the 1st Div in the next few years.
Most memorable chess occasion.
V. Smyslov (White) v M.Curtis (Black)
Annotations above by Curtis. Comments below by Steve Jones, based on Houdini 4 chess engine's analysis:
Most interesting chess person
Best chess achievement.
Best individual win
For fun chess: 5mins + 3 secs (Bronstein)
Favourite chess books
My 60 Memorable Games by my least favourite person - Bobby Fischer – a wonderful, instructive book, written when he was almost sane.
Logical Chess Move-by-Move by Irving Chernev (published 50 yrs ago) is one of the great books written on chess. Explains every move of well-chosen games with great clarity .
Favourite White openings
Favourite Black openings
Most feared or respected opponent
The point of the quotes is that I don’t fear any player because “on my day” and “at times” I’m capable of beating anyone. Trouble is , at my age, I seem to have fewer “on my days” and less frequent “at times” .
Advice to other chess players
I talk from bitter experience.
N e v e r underestimate a gambit. (see Best individual win)
A l w a y s play openings you enjoy – that’s what it’s all about.
Source: Senior Clubs Newsletter June 2007 (produced by Natalie & Rob Maris)
Life Member of CAWA 2000
Wolfgang was born on 27 December 1928 in Berlin, Germany. His father was Russian and his mother German. He first learnt chess when he was five years old, by his father. Wolfgang joined the Berlin Chess Club and won the U/12 Championship in 1939. Because of air raids on Berlin, all schools were evacuated to safe country areas or German protectorates.
Wolf's school; the German-Russian High school, was moved to the health spa Luhatschowitz, in Czechoslovakia. There he came 1st in the 1943 Bohemian Youth Championship. No more chess was played until after the war. In 1948 and 1949 Wolf obtained 1st place in the romantic "City of Rothenburg". University studies and work as an interpreter for the Australian Mission of the International Refugee Organisation in Schweinfurt left no time for chess.
Wolfgang's family immigrated to Australia, arriving at Fremantle on 31 December 1950. He lived for a while in the migrant camp at Northam. In 1951 Wolfgang appeared on the local chess scene and joined the Perth Chess Club. He found a great friend and mentor in Dr Alec Siglin, who was president of the Perth Club and the CAWA for some years.
Between 1952 and 1972 Wolf won the WA State Championship 8 times and was runner-up on 7 occasions. He also won the State Lightning Championship 11 times, and the "City of Perth" Championship 10 times. Wolfgang probably holds the record for a local player in a simultaneous event. He played against 38 competitors and finished with a score of 33 wins, 4 draws and one loss.
He also played a blindfold competition against 8 players and recorded 5 wins and 3 draws. Wolf's best result in an Australian Championship was 3rd place (wins against J Purdy, G Koshnitsky, Cook and others). In 1964 he established a chess column in the Sunday Times newspaper (for the CAWA) which he ran until 1984.
In 1956 Wolfgang became naturalised. He helped to establish, in 1958, the German speaking Rhein Donau Club in which he served as President from 1967 to 1969. Wolfgang married Gisela in 1960, and they had two sons. In 1968 he left employment with H. Selby & Co. (a company dealing in scientific apparatus, laboratory chemicals and apparatus and process control equipment) and joined Lufthansa German Airlines as the Manager for WA, opening their Perth office in 1969. He was subsequently promoted to Manager, New Zealand & the Pacific Islands in 1973 and was transferred to Auckland.
Naturally, due to work commitments, he hardly had any time to play competitive chess. However Lufthansa, with a worldwide staff of some 55,000 had a very active staff chess club. From 1974 to 1992 Wolf won the biannually held LH World Championship five times. The International Airline Teams World Championships began in Rio de Janeiro in 1977.
From the beginning, Wolf played on board 1 for his company. It is interesting to know that he participated in these championships for many years, which were played at many exotic venues such as Bangkok, Madrid, Honolulu, Penang, Tampa, Kathmandu, Las Vegas, Reykjavik, Miami, Lisbon, and twice on board a cruise ship in the Carribean Sea.
In NZ Wolf was for many years President of the German Association of New Zealand, the Auckland Goethe Society, and for 17 years President of the NZ German Student Exchange Society, member of the Executive Board of the NZ German Business Association. He also initiated and moderated the "Deutsche Stunde", a German Language broadcast from 1991 until 1999.
In 1955 he was awarded the "Federal Cross of Merit" by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition for his services. Other honours (chess) include Honorary Life Member of the ACF in 1961, the Perth Chess Club in 1973, and the CAWA 2000.
After returning to Perth in 1999 and settling in Landsdale, he shared 1st prize in the Yanchep/Two Rocks Tournament, and finished equal second in the 2001 State Championship.
Wolf joined the Metropolitan Chess Club and this year came equal first in the Club Championship, and first in the Respini Tournament. a very impressive return to the local chess scene.
Wolf is the WA President of the Society for Australian-German Student Exchange, Vice President of the Rhein Donau Club, and Co-moderator of the local "Deutsche Stunde" radio program on 6EBA FM 95.3.
He lectures chess at primary school and tutors privately. In addition, Wolf was invited to play for Lufthansa in this year's Airline teams World Championship, which was to be held in Cadun, Mexico, in November but the tournament was cancelled because of the events in USA in September.
Wolf's other hobby (besides chess) is music. He plays the saxophone, clarinet and piano-accordion in a Big Band in Germany, and in a smaller band in Perth. Due to an accident he stopped playing the piano, and instead plays the balalaika in a balalaika orchestra in Perth.
We are indebted to you Wolfgang, for your contribution to the Perth chess community over many years and thank you for sharing your personal history with us. [Return to top]
Fred was born in late 1944 and learnt chess when travelling to Newport Grammar School by steam train. In 1966 whilst in the Royal Air Force Fred married Dawn and they had Rob later that year. Fred taught Rob all he knew about chess, so in 1980 he decided to drop Rob at the local chess club in the village of Felsted. The organiser was retired vicar Rev A H (Bill) Franklin, who used his charm to persuade Fred to also stay and play. From then on both Fred and Rob were playing in club tournaments and for Felsted at interclub matches in the North Essex Chess League. They enjoyed the camaraderie with other long-term players: John Bradley, Don Iszatt, Derek Jones, Bill Norman, Eric Page and Ron Vallance. In the late 1980’s Fred became the main tournament organiser and helped relocate the club to the town of Great Dunmow to form the Dunmow Chess Club. Outside of the club Fred also enjoyed playing at the British Chess Championships a couple of times.
In 1990 Fred, Dawn and Rob migrated to Perth and settled in at Safety Bay, Fred soon helped organise the Mandurah chess club. A few years later they moved up to the Hills where he acquired many old chess books and magazines from AC Harris. Fred formed a club at Mundaring for a short while and then at Midland. The Midland club that Fred and Rob organised met on a Friday evening, so was conducive to attracting young players who improved well against the strong opposition. The Midland Masters tournament that ran at the club from 1995 to 2005 was often stronger than the WA State Championship. In 2003, by getting 4 FIDE rated players to play (Haydn Baber, Stewart Byrne, Michael Horstmann and Michael Wilkins), they were able to host the first FIDE rated tournament in WA. This enabled six other players to obtain FIDE ratings, including 18 year old Tristan Boyd who was 1st on 7.5/9 well ahead of Haydn Barber 2nd on 6 points.
As well as organising club chess each week, Fred spent a lot of time from 1993 to the early 2000’s as CAWA membership officer and ratings officer, plus providing chess equipment with “Chess Supplies of WA”. In 2000 Fred was awarded a Australian Sports Medal for his services to WA chess.
In 2008 Fred and Dawn retired from work and moved to Joondalup, where Fred joined Rob at Perth Chess Club in Woodvale. In the 2010’s, under his Presidency, Perth Chess Club modernized it’s time controls: instead of fixed time controls for all tournaments, incremental time controls are used in most tournaments. At the same time the club has increased the number of rated tournaments per year from three to five, instead of just one rating division tournament there are now three. This has enabled players to enjoy plenty of closely matched games.
Fred is usually rated half-way up the club in the 1500’s, however, since retiring Fred has achieved his best four results against highly rated players in long time-control tournament games:
Each of these were long games that reached the endgame and showed Fred’s capabilities over the board. Fred prefers long time controls such as those in these events, where you should make less mistakes if you are thinking properly i.e. determined, use your time wisely, plus anticipating and calculating well. Fred’s recent success may also be in part due to preparing an opening repertoire that leads to positions with which he is comfortable and familiar.
Fred is happily enjoying playing and organising chess at Perth Club with a supportive committee and friendly group of players. [Return to top]