Gerald Abrahams

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Gerald Abrahams in 1933
National Portrait Gallery, London

Gerald Abrahams (15 April 1907 – 15 March 1980) was an English chess player, author, and barrister.

Chess career[edit]

Abrahams Defence
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
d8 black queen
e8 black king
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
b7 black bishop
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
e6 black pawn
a5 black pawn
b5 black pawn
c4 black pawn
d4 white pawn
b3 white pawn
c3 white bishop
e3 white pawn
f3 white knight
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
h1 white rook
Position after 10... Bb7
Moves1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bb4 6.e3 b5 7.Bd2 a5 8.axb5 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 cxb5 10.b3 Bb7
Named afterGerald Abrahams
ParentQGD Semi-Slav
Synonym(s)Abrahams–Noteboom Variation
Noteboom Variation

He is best known for the Abrahams Defence of the Semi-Slav, also known as the Abrahams–Noteboom Variation, or the Noteboom Variation:
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.e3 b5 6.a4 Bb4 7.Bd2 a5 8.axb5 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 cxb5 10.b3 Bb7 (ECO D31).

In 1933 he was third at Hastings in the British Championship, after Mir Sultan Khan and Theodore Tylor.

Abrahams was known as a strong blindfold player. In 1934 he took on four strong Irish players, playing blindfold, at the Belgravia Hotel in Belfast, winning two games and drawing two.

In the Anglo-Soviet radio match of 1946 he scored one win and one draw against Viacheslav Ragozin on board 10.


Abrahams was the author of several chess books, including Teach Yourself Chess (1948),The Chess Mind (1951), Handbook of Chess (1960), Technique in Chess (1961), Test Your Chess (1963), The Pan Book of Chess (1966), Not Only Chess (1974), and Brilliancies in Chess (1977).

  • Brains in Bridge (1962)
Legal, Philosophical and Political
  • Law Affecting Police and Public (1938)
  • Law Relating to Hire Purchase (1939)
  • Ugly Angel (1940)
  • Retribution (1941)
  • Day of Reckoning (1943)
  • World Turns Left (1943)
  • Conscience Makes Heroes (1945)
  • Lunatics and Lawyers (1951)
  • Law for Writers and Journalists (1958)
  • According to the Evidence (1958)
  • The Legal Mind (1954)
  • Police Questioning: The Judges' Rules (1964)
  • Trade Unions and the Law (1968)
  • Morality and the Law (1971).
  • The Jewish Mind (1961)
  • Let's Look at Israel (1966)

Political views[edit]

Abrahams was a Liberal in a period of low success for that party in Britain, the period from 1920-1960, and stood in the Sheffield Hallam constituency garnering 7.7% of the vote in 1945, after four national elections in which no Liberal had stood for the seat.

External links[edit]