Michael Basman

Michael John Basman (born 16 March 1946 in St Pancras, London) is an English chess player, chess author and International Master. He was awarded the International Master title in 1980. He is a prolific writer, who has made many contributions to the field of chess openings, and is particularly known for frequently choosing bizarre or rarely played openings in his own games, including the St. George Defence (with which English Grandmaster Tony Miles once famously defeated the then World Champion Anatoly Karpov), the Grob (for Black and White) and also The Creepy Crawly, which is a3, then h3 followed by a quick c4. Possibly his greatest tournament success was when tying for first place in the British Chess Championship tournament of 1973, although he was to lose the play-off match with William Hartston.

Michael John Basman
Basman in Cambridge, 2006
Full nameMichael John Basman
CountryUnited Kingdom
Born (1946-03-16) 16 March 1946 (age 75)
London, England
TitleInternational Master
FIDE rating2313 (October 2016)
Peak rating2410 (July 1971)

In 1975 England contested a match over ten boards against France in Luton. Basman played Board One, ahead of future super Grandmasters John Nunn and Jon Speelman.

He created the UK Chess Challenge,[1] a tournament for juniors of all standards and ages progressing over four stages. Grandmaster Raymond Keene once wrote, referring to Basman's promotion of youth chess, "Michael Basman is in many ways the most important person in British chess."[2]

Basman's father was an Armenian immigrant who changed the family name from Basmadjian. His family knew the singer Cleo Laine, who worked as a babysitter for the young Michael.

Illustrative gamesEdit

Although Basman never attained the rank of grandmaster, he did beat several. He has defeated Speelman with his trademark 'Killer Grob' defence.[3]

Books by Michael BasmanEdit

  • Michael Basman (1982). Play the St. George Defence. Pergamon chess openings. ISBN 0-08-029718-8.
  • Michael Basman (1987). Chess Openings. Crowood. ISBN 0-946284-74-1.
  • Michael Basman (1989). The Killer Grob. Pergamon chess openings. ISBN 0-08-037131-0.
  • Michael Basman (1990). Batsford Chess Course. Batsford. ISBN 0020303777.
  • Michael Basman (1992). A Batsford Second Chess Course. Batsford. ISBN 0-71-3464755.
  • Michael Basman (1993). The New St. George. Cadogan Books. ISBN 1857440196.
  • Michael Basman (2000). Super.Activ: Chess. HodderChildren's Books. ISBN 0340791624.
  • Michael Basman (2006). Chess for Kids. DK Children. ISBN 0-75-6618-07X.