View Full Version : Glen Gibbs 1935-2010

Kevin Bonham
15-12-2010, 08:27 PM
Tasmanian chessplayer Glen Gibbs passed away very early on Monday morning. His funeral will be held on Friday and will be advertised as a private service but is open to all members of the Tasmanian chess community - if you haven't received an email from me then please PM me or email me at k_bonham@tassie.net.au or call 0421 428 775 if wanting details.

Glen was involved with the Tasmanian chess community since arriving in the early 1980s, and was a regular player at the old Hobart club until it went into suspension in the early 1990s. Glen made many major contributions to the club including making his house available for members to play in STD intercity telephone matches. After the old Hobart club closed, Glen continued playing in weekenders on a very regular basis and was one of the state's top ten players for most of his three decades of involvement here; he was ranked as highly as number 3 in the state as recently as 2002. Glen was the 2010 Tasmanian Seniors Champion, and indeed won that title at all his three attempts since its recent inception. He was also active in the local bridge scene.

Glen often played in Australian Seniors tournaments and sometimes in other interstate and overseas events (including as part of an Australian team in an Asian Cities event in the late 1980s). One of his best performances came in the 2001-2 Australian Seniors Championship where he won his last four games in a row to tie with Phil Viner for 2nd in a large and strong field (the event was won by the late Paul Dosza). In 2007 Glen played in the World Seniors in Italy and met Korchnoi among others.

Glen loved prolonged strategic battles in Dutches and Frenches and so on but could also punish defensive errors in spectacular fashion. He tied for first in at least two weekenders and was an extremely consistent gatherer of second and third places. He had a great ability to play difficult endgames quickly and in the pre-increment days I quite often saw him emerge from apparently hopeless time trouble to win some complex ending with a minute or two on his clock.

During the last five years Glen was one of the main Interschool arbiters in Tasmania and he and I travelled together to many tournaments in small country towns; Tasmania's thriving interschool scene would not have been as successful without him. He also had a major role in the instigation of the Arlauskas Medal and Romanas Arlauskas Award for Australian Junior Player of the Year, and it was especially fitting that Glen was able to be present at the first presentation of this award in Hobart during the Australian Junior (to FM Bobby Cheng). Glen also served as photographer for the event.

I do not know too much about Glen's full professional career or the details of his life before he came to Hobart but I believe he worked at one stage as a parliamentary counsel, drafting legislation for the Tasmanian government. He was involved in similar drafting work on a contract basis up until his death, as well as working for ChessKids on the running of the Tasmanian Interschools.

Glen had a long history of health problems, but in general he was doing remarkably well to be as active as he was given that in his forties he had had a massive health scare requiring a quintuple bypass. He was always very grateful to the surgeons who had done such an excellent job and given him so many years of life he would otherwise not have enjoyed.

Indeed he was still active as an arbiter and player until late September, and was then admitted to hospital for an urgent but relatively minor operation. Unfortunately during this stay it was also found that he had a far more serious and unrelated condition that had not been detected before. After treatment he was briefly able to return home but soon had to be admitted to hospital again.

I found Glen to be a remarkable gentleman and one whose passion for the game and strength of play as a senior player were an inspiration to many. He will be much missed.

I will post a few games shortly.

Leonid Sandler
15-12-2010, 08:50 PM
With great sadness I have found that Glen Gibbs passed away.

I met Glen in December 1989 in Adelaide when we played in Adsteam- Lidums International tournament and stayed in his house.

We (together with my dad) have enjoyed Glen's company.He was a real gentleman ,open friendly person.

Australian chess community will miss him...

Leonid and Veniamin Sandler

Max Illingworth
15-12-2010, 10:05 PM
Rest In Peace Glen.

Tony Dowden
15-12-2010, 10:50 PM
... I found Glen to be a remarkable gentleman and one whose passion for the game and strength of play as a senior player were an inspiration to many. He will be much missed ...

Kevin has put it ever so well.

I only knew Glen for a short period - and only played him about half a dozen times - but he was one of my tutors in life.

I was very impressed by his strong play as a senior, his positive attitude towards pretty much everything, and his quiet humility.


Kevin Bonham
15-12-2010, 11:44 PM
One of my favourite Glen Gibbs games that I have a score of, and part of his great finish in the Aus Seniors I mentioned. White makes a few iffy moves and suddenly black is attacking him everywhere on the kingside and the queenside both at once and pretty soon there are too many fires to put out.

Lushaj (1758) - Gibbs (1806) Australian Senior Melbourne 2001-2.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Bd3 Nbc6 8.Nf3 Bd7 9.0-0 c4 10.Be2 Nf5 11.g4 Nfe7 12.a4 h5 13.h3 Qa5 14.Bd2 hxg4 15.hxg4 0-0-0 16.Kg2 f5 17.Ng5 Rdf8 18.Rh1 Rxh1 19.Qxh1? Nxd4 20.Bd1 fxg4 21.Bxg4 Ndf5 22.Qc1 Qc5 23.Be3 Nxe3+ 24.fxe3 Nf5 25.Bxf5 Rxf5 26.Nf3 Qf8 27.Nd4 Rg5+ 0-1

The next one is definitely not one of my favourite Glen Gibbs games but was very probably one of his!

Gibbs (1835) - Bonham (1943). Hobart Weekender 2004.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4 f5 8.Qg3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Ne7 10.Bd2 g6 11.h4! Qxc2 12.Bd3 Qb2 13.Rb1 Qxd4 14.Ne2 Qc5 15.Rc1 Qb6 16.h5 Nbc6 17.hxg6 Nxg6 18.Rb1 Qc7?? [Wrong square, 18...Qc5 is correct but white has full compensation and black's position is rather difficult to play.] 19.Qxg6+!! hxg6 20.Rxh8+ Kd7 21.Rh7+ Kd8 22.Bg5+ Ne7 23.Rh8+ 1-0

I regret that I never asked Glen what his favourite game that he ever played was. I think the one he most often recollected was one played on the Australian mainland long ago where he won an ending with two knights against two bishops after the opponent overestimated the bishop pair and declined a draw offer.

16-12-2010, 03:06 PM
I regret that I never asked Glen what his favourite game that he ever played was...
Coming to think of it have we got a thread where players can post their own favourite games?
In some of my interviews http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=5069 I have asked interviewees to provide them, but I think a more sound collection of (annotated) games of our best players could provide the future historian with some valid information.
Of course, I am not undervaluying various books and other publications where such games have been included, but I believe a thread of this kind would add to the quality of the forum!

Kevin Bonham
16-12-2010, 03:36 PM
Coming to think of it have we got a thread where players can post their own favourite games?


16-12-2010, 08:15 PM
A fine tribute, Kevin, to a generous, friendly man, a real gentleman as you say, and a passionate and strong chessplayer. He played in the Olympiad for Hong Kong (where he worked for some years) at Lugano in 1968. He worked as a parliamentary draftsman in Hobart at a senior level from the mid 80s and was a great supporter of Tasmanian tournaments for the quarter century he was here - he was a real breath of fresh air when he arrived. Apart from his tournament games he played plenty of casual games at his home with some regular opponents. One thing you could depend upon was his unfailing commitment to the Winawer as black against 1.e4! He is a great loss to chess in Tasmania and amongst the wider Australian chess community. We'll all miss him.

16-12-2010, 08:26 PM
Glen was always very modest about his professional life and not many knew of the high level at which he worked - here's his CV

Glen Barker Gibbs Curriculum VitaeI am a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia, having graduated in Law in the University of Adelaide. In my final year I represented South Australia in the intervarsity law moots in Sydney.

In 1959 I was appointed as a Legal Officer Grade III in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel in Canberra. Since then my work has been mostly parliamentary drafting. I retired from my position of Senior Parliamentary Counsel in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, Hobart in September 2005. My former legislative drafting experience was in Canberra, Adelaide and Hong Kong. In Hobart and in Adelaide I have represented Tasmania in conferences of parliamentary counsel from the various States. I have drafted Acts and statutory rules in a wide variety of fields, including superannuation, water management and public and private trusts. In a drafting competition in August 2005 I was awarded first prize among the Australian participants.
My experience in private legal practice was as a barrister and solicitor for 9 years in the 1970s, mostly as a partner, in a suburban legal firm. During this period I was also a part time tutor in the Law of Real Property in the University of Adelaide.
For several years after retirement I was engaged in contract drafting for the Tasmanian Government.

16-12-2010, 10:23 PM
RIP. He was always so pleasant and although I never knew him closely both Marcus and I noted him as inspirational for playing at such a strength and with such energy at his age. Me and Marcus' wishes go to him and the family.

Kevin Bonham
17-12-2010, 11:41 PM
Hobart chessplayers including Graham Richards (TCA President) and myself (representing the ACF among other chess hats) today attended Glen's funeral service in North Hobart. Tributes were delivered by members of his family, and all three tributes mentioned his chess career in various ways. A tribute to Glen's legislative skills was read on behalf of Paul Harriss MLC for Huon, who was also present at the service. I have passed on condolences on behalf of the ACF and those unable to be present.

Kevin Bonham
18-12-2010, 12:38 AM

Link to Canberra Times website with a photo of Glen at work at one of his last arbiting assignments, which we did together at Wynyard in North-West Tas this September. I believe it found its way there via the Burnie Advocate which is from the same newspaper schedule.

I believe that Glen represented Hong Kong at the 1968 Olympiad; he was certainly there around that time. I would be interested in any firm confirmation that he is the Glen Gibbs who played in the qualifying and final games scoring 5.5/13. I have found all 13 games in the Fritz database where they are wrongly attributed to Jamaican FM Grantel Gibbs and the style of the wins I looked at is certainly familiar.

Bill Gletsos
18-12-2010, 01:03 AM
See here (http://www.olimpbase.org/1968/1968hkg.html) on the OlimpBase site where it clearly shows Glen Gibbs playing for Hong Kong at the 1968 Olimpiad.

Kevin Bonham
18-12-2010, 01:09 AM
Yes. I also found the OlimpBase site and just wanted to be sure it wasn't another player by the same name - unlikely as that seems.

18-12-2010, 09:03 PM
Glen Gibbs attended Prince Alfred College in Adelaide and he has old friends here who have expressed their great sadness at his passing.


24-12-2010, 08:17 PM
Yes, Glen certainly played at Lugano. He was always rather diffident about it partly because of his natural modesty but also because the only game by which he was known in pre-database days was his quick miniature loss in 8 moves to Lothar Schmid.
Some chess databases assign this now to the English player P.C. Gibbs.

Kevin Bonham
24-12-2010, 09:58 PM
Maria tells me that they went to Lugano for the Olympiad as their honeymoon. Glen was President of the Hong Kong Chess Association at the time.

Kevin Bonham
07-01-2011, 11:32 PM
Glen Gibbs attended Prince Alfred College in Adelaide and he has old friends here who have expressed their great sadness at his passing.

The ACF has been advised by Glen's brother Ron Gibbs as follows:

A short memorial service to commemorate and celebrate Glen's life will be held in the Chapel of Prince Alfred College, Glen's former school, on Saturday morning, 22 January 2011, at 10 am, followed by coffee and tea in the Ashton Room of the adjacent main building of the school. The school is situated on Dequetteville Terrace, Kent Town, opposite Adelaide's eastern parklands, but the easiest entrance is from the driveway at the rear of the school and signposted at The Parade West, Kent Town (at the bottom end of The Parade, coming from Norwood). There should be ample parking along the driveway within the grounds of the school. The Chapel is on the left at the top of the drive, at ground level.

The service, which will not be long, will be conducted by the Rev. Dr Adrian Brown, a former chaplain of the school.
Please feel welcome to attend, and please bring this to the attention of anyone else who you feel might like to pay tribute to Glen.

26-01-2011, 10:48 AM
I too am saddened by Glen's passing as I considered him a valued friend. Our paths first crossed when we both played in the 1987 Tas Open Championship (where curiously I won a game against an unrated player named Botvinnik :) .

However I got to know Glen properly in 1992 when we both played in the Norfolk Island Chess tournament run by Terrey Shaw. We shared adjoining accomodation and I helped Glen cope with a very severe asthma attack. Despite his illness he struggled to the chess board for every round and eventually won the event. Our individual clash came in Round 3, and at move 32 I had an extra pawn and a small plus but in an unforced moment of blindness put my queen en prise.

Glen apologized profusely to me after the game for winning in what he considered to be an unworthy fashion; had the rules of chess not been so unyielding on the point I do believe he would have insisted I take my move back.
After that, till we met again in Hobart last year, we always maintained a close friendship. I will miss him.
Bill Egan

Kevin Bonham
28-01-2011, 01:10 AM
I too am saddened by Glen's passing as I considered him a valued friend. Our paths first crossed when we both played in the 1987 Tas Open Championship (where curiously I won a game against an unrated player named Botvinnik :) .

That was Lev Botvinik (one n in surname). There's a little story about him here (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=282094&postcount=19) which I think comes from the same tournament.

Kevin Bonham
23-09-2011, 11:28 PM
Glen Gibbs Memorial Award

The Glen Gibbs Memorial Award has been created thanks to the generosity of Maria Gibbs with assistance from the Tasmanian Chess Association. In Glen's honour financial assistance will be available to one junior player per year to help them compete in the Australian Junior; the winner also receives a medallion and their name is engraved on a perpetual honour board. The award may only be won once by any player.

From 2012 onwards it is envisaged that the winner will be determined by performance in specified tournaments. For 2011 because of time constraints this has not been possible and a TCA selection panel has decided the winner taking into account criteria of:

* playing strength
* strength for age
* recent strong results
* enthusiasm for chess as demonstrated by regular participation

The inaugural winner will be awarded at the Tasmanian Junior Championships, Princes St, around 1:30 pm this Sunday.