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Jon Speelman

Speelman (unknown date)
Born Jonathan Simon Speelman
2 October 1956
Fields  • Chess
 • Mathematics
 • Writing

Jonathan Simon "Jon" Speelman (born 2 October 1956) is an English Grandmaster chess player, mathematician and chess writer.

Early life and education

He was educated at Worcester College, Oxford, where he studied mathematics.


A winner of the British Chess Championship in 1978, 1985 and 1986, Speelman has been a regular member of the English team for the Chess Olympiad, an international biennial chess tournament organized by FIDE, the World Chess Federation.

He qualified for two Candidates Tournaments:

Speelman's highest ranking in the FIDE Elo rating list was fourth in the world, in January 1989.

In 1989, he beat Kasparov in a televised speed tournament, and then went on to win the event.

In the April 2007 FIDE list, Speelman had an Elo rating of 2518, making him England's twelfth-highest-rated active player.


He has written a number of books on chess, including several on the endgame, among them Analysing the Endgame (1981), Endgame Preparation (1981) and Batsford Chess Endings (co-author, 1993).

Among his other books are Best Games 1970-1980 (1982), a thesis-like analysis of nearly fifty of the best games by top players from that decade, and Jon Speelman's Best Games (1997). These days he is more of a chess journalist and commentator than a player, is the chess correspondent for The Observer and The Independent and sometimes provides commentary for games on the Internet Chess Club