Jon Speelman

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Jon Speelman
black and white photograph of dark-haired male wearing glasses, seated at chess game
Speelman (unknown date)
Born Jonathan Simon Speelman
(1956-10-02) 2 October 1956 (age 58)
Fields  • Chess
 • Mathematics
 • Writing
Alma mater Worcester College, Oxford
Spouse Lyndsey Thomas

Jonathan Simon "Jon" Speelman (born 2 October 1956) is an English Grandmaster chess player, mathematician and chess writer.

Early life and education[edit]

He was educated at Worcester College, Oxford, where he studied mathematics, earning a doctorate.[citation needed]


A winner of the British Chess Championship in 1978, 1985 and 1986, Speelman has been a regular member of the English team for the Chess Olympiad, an international biennial chess tournament organized by FIDE, the World Chess Federation.

He qualified for two Candidates Tournaments:

Speelman's highest ranking in the FIDE Elo rating list was fourth in the world, in January 1989.[1]

In 1989, he beat Kasparov in a televised speed tournament, and then went on to win the event.

In the April 2007 FIDE list, Speelman had an Elo rating of 2518, making him England's twelfth-highest-rated active player.

He is noted for his imaginative style, often choosing unobvious ways to carry on his games.

Speelman is also known as "Spess", short for "specimen", one of the many misspellings of his name in the press over the years.


He has written a number of books on chess, including several on the endgame, among them Analysing the Endgame (1981), Endgame Preparation (1981) and Batsford Chess Endings (co-author, 1993).

Among his other books are Best Games 1970–1980 (1982), a thesis-like analysis of nearly fifty of the best games by top players from that decade, and the critically acclaimed[who?] Jon Speelman's Best Games (1997),

Personal life[edit]

Speelman is married to Lyndsey Thomas, they have a son, Lawrence, born in January 1994.[citation needed]




External links[edit]