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  Dr. Tim Harding   J. H. Blackburne     Paul Morphy   Correspondence Chess history book   Captain W. D. Evans

Theodore Tylor as correspondence player

Sir Theodore Henry Tylor (1900-1968), who was knighted for his services to the blind, was a law tutor at Oxford University and British Correspondence Chess Champion three years in succession (1932, 1933 and 1934) despite being virtually sightless. He also competed with some success over the board and was runner-up to Mir Sultan Khan in the 1933 over-the-board British Championship.

Unfortunately only three of Tylor's postal games appear to survive. In my book Correspondence Chess in Britain and Ireland 1824-1987, I mentioned on page 225 that Professor Michael Furmston told me that a pen-portrait of Tylor can be found in the 1972 novel The Manticore by Canadian writer Robertson Davies.

This is uncertain because Davies's daughter Jennifer Surridge (who had granted me limited permission to quote) told me that his tutor was Roy Ridley not Tylor. This does not, however, rule out Furmston's story. The character of Pargettter in the novel is pretty obviously based on Tylor. Readers can judge for themselves.

I had hoped to quote the relevant passages in my book but Penguin, who owned the print rights, only gave permission for it to be quoted in a book whose print run was not more than 1,000 copies and my publisher McFarland would not accept this because they hoped the lifetime sales of my book would be higher than that. Here are the relevant paragraphs.

That is on page 176. Two pages later there is an extended description of how Tylor managed his correspondence games. It seems he was still playing friendly postal games in the 1950s.