Hugh Blandford

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Hugh Blandford
Full name Hugh Francis Blandford
Country England
Born (1917-01-24)24 January 1917
Southampton, England
Died 20 September 1981(1981-09-20) (aged 64)
Hatfield, England
Title International Judge for Chess Composition

Hugh Francis Blandford (24 January 1917 – 20 September 1981) was a chess endgame composer born in Southampton, England.[1]


He spent several years of his childhood in Jamaica with his father, the Reverend Albert Francis (Frank) Blandford, a Minister in the Congregational church, his mother and two younger brothers, Evan Arthur and Philip Thomas Blandford. All three brothers then returned to England and attended Eltham College (the School for the Sons of Missionaries) in South-east London, while their parents remained in Jamaica. He married Marjorie Cox, whom he had worked with during the Second World War.

He played chess from his schooldays and as well as playing, also started to compose original chess endings. He became known in the field of chess endgame studies for a small but elegant body of compositions, expertly edited and published after Hugh's death by his long-standing chess endings colleague, John Roycroft.[2]

Hugh Blandford was co-inventor with Richard Guy – and, later, with John Roycroft – of the Guy–Blandford–Roycroft code for classifying studies.[3] In July 1951 he began as the endgame study editor for the British Chess Magazine.[4][5] He was made an International Judge for Chess Composition[4] in 1961.[6]

A metallurgist, he continued to compose chess endgame studies until the end of his life, dying of a heart attack in early retirement in Hatfield, England, on 20 September 1981.

Sample composition[edit]

1st Prize, Springaren 1949
a b c d e f g h
a7 black king
d7 white king
c3 white bishop
c2 white pawn
f1 black knight
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h

This example of the excelsior theme might be his best-known composition.[4]


1. Bd4+ Ka8 2. c4 Nd2 3. c5 Nb3 4. c6 Na5 5. c7 Nc6 6. c8=R+

6.Kxc6? stalemate; 6.c8=Q+? Nb8+ 7.K-any stalemate.

6... Nb8+ 7. Kd6



  1. ^ Gaige, Jeremy (1987), Chess Personalia, A Biobibliography, McFarland, p. 41, ISBN 0-7864-2353-6 
  2. ^ Hugh Blandford: Published Works and Notebooks, edited by A. John Roycroft, Russell Enterprises, 1998
  3. ^ Autobiography by A. J. Roycroft
  4. ^ a b c Sunnucks, Anne (1970), The Encyclopaedia of Chess, St. Martin's Press, pp. 30–31, LCCN 78106371 
  5. ^ Roycroft, Test Tube Chess, p. 58
  6. ^ WFCC International Judges of Chess Compositions


Further reading[edit]