James Plaskett

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Jim Plaskett
James Plaskett (2004).jpg
Full name Harold James Plaskett
Country England
Born (1960-03-18) 18 March 1960 (age 55)
Title Grandmaster
FIDE rating 2450 (November 2015)
Peak rating 2529 (July 2000)

Harold James Plaskett (born Dhekelia, Cyprus, 18 March 1960) was British Chess Champion in 1990,[citation needed] awarded the International Grandmaster title in 1985,[citation needed] and is also a writer, blogger, sometime explorer/cryptozoologist and legal campaigner.[citation needed] Married in 1995 to writer Fiona Pitt-Kethley, they have a son, Alexander, born 1996, and live in Cartagena, Spain.[citation needed]


Plaskett was educated at Bedford Modern School.[1] He has written nine chess books and a quasi-autobiography, Coincidences. For some years in the 1990s he was chess columnist at The New Statesman.[citation needed]

He organised and led a 1999 National Geographic expedition to Bermuda to follow up reports of "Octopus giganteus" near the island, but was unsuccessful in filming it.[2][unreliable source?]

He then appeared unsuccessfully several times on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?,[citation needed] and drew on these experiences to write a defence of contestant Charles Ingram, who along with two supposed accomplices had been found guilty of cheating to win the £1 million top prize.

This essay led to an article by Bob Woffinden in The Daily Mail of 9 October 2004 – Is The Coughing Major Innocent?,[citation needed] and also prompted a reconsideration of the case in The Guardian Comment is free blog on 17 July 2006 from Jon RonsonAre the Millionaire three innocent?[3] Woffinden and Ronson had both been initially sceptical.

His collaboration with Woffinden led to the publication of their book - Plaskett´s eleventh - Bad Show: The Quiz, The Cough, The Millionaire Major on 29 January 2015.

Plaskett finally got into the hot seat on a show broadcast on 21 January 2006, becoming the seventh person to reach £125,000 without using any lifeline en route to winning £250,000.[4][self-published source] He was accompanied by fellow Grandmaster Stuart Conquest.

He is a Deist, a dualist and a vitalist. He is also a critic of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.

His brother, Allan, invented the snickometer device which is used globally to assist in umpiring decisions in cricket.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ School of the Black And Red-A History of Bedford Modern School, by Andrew Underwood (1981); reset and updated by Peter Boon, Paul Middleton and Richard Wildman (2010)
  2. ^ Institut Virtuel de Cryptozoologie
  3. ^ Are the Millionaire three innocent? guardian.co.uk
  4. ^ Charles Ingram and 'Who wants to be a Miilionaire?'

External links[edit]