England's Chess Gladiator
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| By Keene, Raymond D.|
| ISBN 1843821761|
| Paperback First 240 pages|
| Published 15 May, 2006|
| UK Price £17.50 Order from amazon.co.uk|
| US Price $30.00 Order from amazon.com|
Tony Miles was a phenomenon in English chess. From an early age it was apparent that he had no respect whatsoever for the vaunted Soviet School of chess and held their grandmasters in scant esteem. At the very start of his career victories came in quick succession against such renowned opposition as Bronstein, Geller, Smyslov and Spassky. The culmination was a victory at the head of the British Chess Federation team in the European Team Championship at snow bound Skara in Sweden against the reigning world champion Anatoly Karpov. For the very first time in any anthology of Tony Milesí games this win appears here with Tonyís own profound notes. This was an historic win with Miles using the iconoclastic 1...a6 to defeat the championís habitual 1e4. Amongst Tonyís exploits were winning the Junior World Championship, becoming the UKís first FIDE grandmaster in over the board play and leading the BCF team to silver medals behind only the USSR in the prestigious Chess Olympiads. Miles also won numerous first prizes in international tournaments. He feared no-one and his will to win was legendary, as exemplified by the front jacket photograph of this book. Taken at the Tilburg 1985 tournament, this shows Miles in play on a form of stretcher against grandmaster Djinjihashvili. Although suffering from terrible back pain, Miles insisted on competing, even from this unorthodox position, the only one in which the pain subsided. Characteristically Miles went on to win shared first prize in the event.
Tony Miles died tragically early in November 2001. This book is a memorial to him, written by a Grandmaster rival who faced him many times over the board.
Raymond Keene is a British Chess Champion, and the first British Player to achieve a FIDE (World Chess Federation) Grandmaster norm. He was awarded the OBE for services to chess in 1985. He is Chess Correspondent of The Times, The Sunday Times, The Spectator, and The International Herald Tribune. He is a prolific author of chess books, several of which are classics of the genre. He has organised three World Chess Championships.