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Tony Miles: 'It's Only Me'
England's First Chess Grandmaster (Batsford Chess Books)

Published October 28, 2003 by Batsford .
Written in English.

About the Book

All three co-authors, from Birmingham, were personal friends of Tony Miles. Mike Fox, is co-author of the best-selling The Complete Chess Addict and The Even More Complete Chess Addict. Malcolm Hunt knew Tony Miles from schoolboy days to the time of his premature death from diabetes in 2001. Geoff Lawton is an International Master.

The charismatic Tony Miles has been much missed since his tragic and premature death in 2001. Regarded as one of England's greatest ever
chess players and analysts, he was also one of the wittiest writers on the game. By sheer force of example and ebullient personality, he inspired the 'English chess explosion' after becoming the first UK grandmaster in the mid-70s.
This fascinating collection of over a hundred games and articles, covering Tony's entire chess career, includes his most celebrated wins, a few losses,
and - in addition to the famous game against Karpov with the bizarre St George's opening 1 e4 a6 - a less well known victory over the then world champion from a television tournament. All the games are annotated by Tony himself in his own inimitable style.
This fitting tribute is rounded off with a review of Tony's original opening repertoire as well as personal appreciations by his Birmingham clubmates and friends Mike Fox, Malcolm Hunt and Geoff Lawton.
Geoff Lawton is an International Master who played alongside Tony in team competitions.

In November 2001, the chessworld was shocked by the news that Tony Miles, England's first - and most influential - grandmaster, had died suddenly at his home in Birmingham at only 46 years of age.
By way of tribute we have now compiled a selection of Tony's most interesting games with his own commentaries. Also included are some of his most memorable articles such as 'Has Karpov lost his marbles?' from Kingpin, together with a number of chess brain-teasers he set his readers and a rare interview he gave at Lone Pine 1980.
The majority of the annotations are taken from Tony Miles's chess column in the New Statesman which he conducted from 1976 to 1981 - a period in which he developed into a world class player - and from his contributions to Chess magazine, first as a budding junior and later as a hardened campaigner on the gruelling chess circuit.
In addition there are a fair number of good games which he never fully annotated in words but only with analytical symbols. Games from Tilburg 1984, probably his finest tournament victory, and thrilling encounters such as Miles-Belyavsky, Tilburg 1986, one of his most famous wins, have been taken from his Informator and Chess
Player notes (where we have replaced the symbols with words). We were, however, disappointed not to find comments on more of his instructive games with the English Defence, perhaps his favourite opening. Surely he annotated more than those we have managed to unearth here?
Chapter headings come in the form of Miles quotes which highlight key aspects of his 30 year chess career or specific character traits. Meanwhile the tournament record will provide a basis for further research, since he undoubtedly played more events than those listed here. We have also endeavoured to give a glimpse of Miles the man, through our own personal recollections, particularly relating to his school years and his contributions to junior chess in the Midlands.
Throughout the book, unless otherwise stated, any commentaries or quotes are by Tony himself.
Finally, in case you didn't realise, "It's Only Me" is an anagram of Tony Miles, and was one of his handles on the Internet Chess Club.
We feel fortunate to have known Tony and it has been a pleasure to compile this book in his memory. We do,hope it does him justice and that readers will enjoy his colourful writing and chess annotations.

The Authors, Introduction

Table of Contents

Introduction 5
Index of Openings 6
Acknowledgements 7
Foreword by Leonard Barden 9
1: The Chess Career of Tony Miles 11
2: "I played every night for a year until I got bored" 23
3: "A cable" 51
4: "I pushed Karpov all the way for first place at Tilburg" 78
5: "I beat Spassky twice heavily - lovely games, very pretty" 93
6: "I feel I'm overdue to win some tournaments" 109
7: "I heard that Karpov felt insulted by my choice of opening" (including Interview at Lone Pine 1980 - 133) 128
8: "When I play close to home it's the complex - I play badly" 159
9: "The Impossible Challenge, Tilburg Interpolis 1985" 175
10: "I get bored with playing the same thing all the time" 198
11: "I am nostalgic for the days before computers were invented" 218
12: Problems 240
13: Solutions to Problems 245
14: Articles 252
15: Memories of a generous soul, a great bloke and a unique personality 264
16: Tony Miles - one of my best and most loyal friends 267
17: "Can you show me your game against Karpov where you played 1.. .a6, please Mr Miles?" 271
18: "I have no style - I just make moves" 278
Tony Miles's tournament, match and England national team record 284
Index of Opponents 288

Edition Notes

A fascinating and entertaining collection of games, articles, annotations and reviews by Britain's first Grandmaster. It is the book that Tony Miles should have written had he not died so prematurely in 2001. The compilation includes: all his most famous wins, some of his losses, previously hitherto unpublished games from Tony's earlier years, and - in addition to the famous game against Karpov with the St George's opening 1 e4 a6 - a much less well known win over the then world champion from a television tournament. Nearly all of the games have annotations by Tony - in his own inimitable style. As well as being one of England's greatest players, Tony was, as this book demonstrates, one of the funniest writers on the game.

The Physical Object

Number of pages
8.5 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
13.4 ounces

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive


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