Hopeless Harry Hoskins (aka David McLean)
Harry playing IM 'The Thing' in a 20 board simul circa 1984
Black - but only when my chess opposition is playing it.
Favourite Football Team:
Ipswich Town (he says sotto voce).
Once had a cat (now deceased) called Toodles - which makes my pawn star name 'Toodles McGinty' ... nice, eh?
Hobbies other than Chess:
Drinking and crosswords - after all, a man should always have two things going on in his life or he is past buggered and all the way to lost.
Just me and the booze and, by God, the booze has never hurt me yet …
Favourite Music Band/Singer:
Dylan - who else is there? Okay, I'll admit there's Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and quite a few others ... but still, Dylan, eh!
Favourite Film of all time:
The Third Man
Last book read (excluding Chess):
Crikey, I used to read a book a day for a while when I was gainfully unemployed. Sadly haven't had time for them for a good few years so can't remember the last one, but I can tell you the next one will be Educating Slaves by St Johns’ very own Richard Downing.
Favourite Holiday Destination:
On my salary it would have to be Great Yarmouth - but if money wasn't an option then I'd say both Scotland and Italy are pretty lovely and America can be fun (for short periods of time, natch).
Most memorable Holiday:
40th birthday trip to Scotland to visit my ancestral home of Mull. Went road trip style with me ma and pa (much more fun than it sounds), hooked up with my sister and her husband at the Edinburgh festival and then continued on up and around Scotland. Beautiful country, great family company and plenty of booze. Lush!
Now for some Chess Stuff!
When did you start playing?
Me pa taught me the game at some point in my youth. Of course, this is a difficult period to gauge as I have never really grown up - but I fancy it was around eightish.
When did you first join a club?
First club is St Johns. After playing chess as a kid and getting good (well, better than the other kids) they asked me to learn theory when I was about eleven which made me quit playing chess immediately. After a hiatus of three decades I joined St John's in August 2017 to avoid becoming an inveterate gambler and generally meet people and enjoy meself.
Most memorable Chess Moments:
Gots to be going to the bar to get another beer with three minutes left on my clock in a lost position and then winning the game a few moves later. However, my record against Nathan Abbott runs a close second (never ever lost to the guy - fantastical really!).
Funniest Chess Moment:
Too many to list, but trying to check Richard Downing's sister's queen with my queen springs to mind.
Why did you become interested in chess:
See first chess answer.
What are your strong points and weak points?
Cavalier player and cavalier player.
Do you have a copy of your best ever win?
I do, but my notation is so bad it would make no sense to anyone.
Your aims for the future:
My pie-in-the-sky goal is to become an NM by 2122. My realistic goal is to reach 170 by 2022. My honest goal is to play some chess, hang out with some other St Johnites and generally drink some booze and pass some time until I turn up me toes or get kicked outta the club.