Golombek vs Nikolay Minev, Moscow, 1956
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN
Harry Golombek was an important figure in a resurgence of the game in Britain after he began to publicize it in The Times. His name appeared on the prize list of the British championship 14 times, and he was British champion in 1947, 1949 and 1955. He played for England at the Olylmpics not less than 9 times! Golombek was the author of 38 books on chess.
A native of London, he became London Boys’ Champion in 1929 at the age of 18. He studied at London University and represented Britain at world tournaments in Warsaw in 1935, Stockholm in 1937, and Buenos Aires in 1939. He was awarded the IM title quite young, and in 1985 was awarded the GM title (honorary).
He spent World War II as a code-breaker (enigma-right), then resumed his career, which blossomed after the war.
He wrote about chess for The Times for 40 years, from 1945 to 1985, and for The Observer from 1955 to 1979. He also contributed to British Chess Magazine and edited the Encyclopedia of Chess, a standard reference work for chess writers around the world.
In 1966, he made the Queen’s Birthday List, the first honoree to receive the title of Officer of the British Empire “for services to chess.” Harry was a well known aribter, and served in that function at the 1959 Candidates Tournament, as well as the 1963 World Championship match between Botvinnik and Petrosian.
I met Golombek only once, during the 1989/90 annual Hastings tournament. He used to be found every evening in the smoking room of the hotel where the participants were housed, chatting with friends. He was an expert story teller, and his long involvement with chess meant that he personally knew Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker and all the other world champions! More often than not he would fall asleep in the big arm chair that he claimed as his own!