Cecil Purdy

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Cecil Purdy

Born
Cecil John Seddon Purdy

(1906-03-27)27 March 1906
Died6 November 1979(1979-11-06) (aged 73)
Sydney, Australia
EducationCranbrook School, Sydney
Cecil Purdy
CecilPurdy.jpg
CountryAustralia
Egypt
TitleInternational Master (1951)
ICCF Grandmaster (1953)
ICCF World Champion1950–53

Cecil John Seddon Purdy AM (27 March 1906[1] – 6 November 1979) was an Australian chess player and writer. He was awarded the titles International Master in 1951 and Grandmaster of correspondence chess in 1953. Purdy was the inaugural world correspondence chess champion. He was also an influential chess magazine writer, editor, and publisher.

Life[edit]

When he was a child, Purdy moved with his family from Egypt to New Zealand, and then to Tasmania, Australia, before they settled in Sydney when he was 12, where he was educated at Cranbrook School. While in Tasmania, one of his classmates was future film star Errol Flynn.[citation needed]

He began his chess career at the age of 16, and he soon decided to become a full-time chess writer and player. Initially an over-the-board (OTB) player, he soon began to mix OTB play with correspondence play. He was a four-time winner of the Australian Chess Championship, in 1935, 1937, 1949, and 1951. He won the first two Australian Correspondence Chess Championships, in 1938 and 1945. He also won the New Zealand Chess Championship in 1924/25. In Auckland of 1952, Purdy drew a hard-fought match with Ortvin Sarapu, at the time by far the best player in New Zealand. They were thus declared Australasian co-champions.[citation needed]

He was married in 1934 to Anne Crakanthorp (1915–2013), the daughter of two-time Australian Chess Champion Spencer Crakanthorp. The marriage produced two children, John (1935–2011) and Diana. John Purdy followed in his father's (and grandfather's) footsteps in winning the Australian Chess Championship in 1955 and 1963. Diana was also a keen chess player, and she married leading New Zealand player Frank Hutchings in 1960.[citation needed]

Purdy founded and edited the magazine Australasian Chess Review (1929–1944); this became Check (1944–45), and finally Chessworld (1946–1967). He was described by Bobby Fischer as being a great chess instructor. Some of his writings are still in print. He is famous for having said "Pawn endings are to chess as putting is to golf."[citation needed]

In 1976 he was awarded the Order of Australia for services to chess.[2]

Death[edit]

Purdy died from an aneurysm while playing chess over the board; his final words were allegedly "I have a win, but it will take some time" (Dunne 1991:119). However, Australian grandmaster Ian Rogers reports that Purdy's last words were "I have to seal a move", and that Purdy "wasn't even winning in the final position — Cecil wouldn't have mistaken a drawn position for a winning position."[3]

Published works[edit]

  • Purdy, C.J.S. (2003). C.J.S. Purdy on the Endgame. Thinker's Press. ISBN 1-888710-03-9.
  • Purdy, C.J.S. (1972). How Fischer Won: World Chess championship, 1972. E. J. Dwyer. ISBN 978-0855742089.
  • Purdy, C.J.S. (1950). Guide To Good Chess. Horwitz.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Times, 26 May 1906, p.1 - His year of birth is incorrectly given as 1907 in several publications, including Chessworld (1960), The Encyclopedia Of Chess (Sunnucks, 1976), and The Encyclopedia Of Chess (Golombek, 1977). The (London) Times (Births announcements) of 26 May 1906, p.1 reports—"PURDY - On the 27th March, 1906, at Port Said, to Emily and J.S. Purdy M.D., F.R.G.S., Surg.-Capt. New Zealand Militia, a son (Cecil John Seddon)"
  2. ^ "Member of the Order of Australia (AM) entry for Mr Cecil John Seddon PURDY". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 26 January 1976. Retrieved 21 April 2019. AM (CIVIL DIVISION) AUST DAY 1976
  3. ^ Meeting of the Ken Whyld Association (an international guild of chess historians and collectors), 10 October 2009
  • Dunne, Alex (1991). The Complete Guide to Correspondence Chess. Thinker's Press. ISBN 0-938650-52-1.

Further reading[edit]

  • J. Hammond and R Jamieson, C.J.S. Purdy: His Life, His Games and His Writings, Belmont Printing Co. Melbourne 1982
  • C.J.S.Purdy, Frank Hutchings and Kevin Harrison, How Purdy Won: The Correspondence Chess Career of a World Champion, Castle Books 1983, ISBN 0-7255-1439-6

External links[edit]

Preceded by
none
World Correspondence Chess Champion
1950–1953
Succeeded by
Viacheslav Ragozin