Memorabilia Corner 2 (1982-1990)

1. Certificate for winning the 1987-88 Northern Counties Individual Postal Championship signed by well known organiser Peter Tipper and international player John Littlewood.

2. As a scientific conference in London finished early I realised I was but a 15 minutes taxi ride away from the Sadlers Wells theatre where the semi-finals of the World Championships (sponsored by Pilkington Glass) were being held. As spectators left the foyer for the playing hall and only two people were left I debated if I could risk getting the last train home and watch some of the games. The other person was a Middle-East gentleman who suddenly asked if I would take his photograph with Anatoly Karpov. He explained that his hobby was touring capitols and having his photo taken with famous people and he had a tip-off the players were using a side entrance to avoid the press and TV. We hurried there to just see Artur Jussopov arrive in a taxi not stopping for anybody he looked deeply worried. Next came Karpov in a large limousine and wearing a silk suite which he straightened as he stopped and stared at the theatre looked supremely confident. His burley bodyguards were clearly armed but allowed us to approach and after a short exchange in Russian the photograph was taken. I suddenly thrust the programme in Karpov's hands, and although the bodyguards drew closer in he signed it without problems. Next, also in a taxi, came Jan Timman who gave me a scowl then a smile and I realised I was asking for his autograph but was still on the page in the programme showing Karpov. In the background Jonathan Speelman casually dressed and with a jumper thrown over his shoulders slipped calmly into the theatre. October 1989.

3. A hand drawn picture of Correspondence Chess International Master Sakari Raty of Finland (drawn by local artist P.Mattanen). Sakari was my opponent on top board of the England-Finland correspondence match of 1990. Apart from being an excellent player and linguist Sakari helped support himself by prospecting for gold and precious jewels within the Artic circle!