The Master Game - Jeremy James, Leonard Barden, Bill Hartston
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The Master Game - Jeremy James, Leonard Barden, Bill Hartston

Written by Jeremy James, Leonard Barden, Bill Hartston
Format(s): PDF
Language: English

The Master Game was a BBC production of televised chess tournaments that ran for seven series on BBC2 from 1976 to 1982. Presented by Jeremy James with expert analysis from Leonard Barden and, later, Bill Hartston, The Master Game was highly regarded for its innovative style, in which a display board with animated figurines and move notation, shown centre-left of screen, was accompanied by footage of the players cogitating, their thoughts during the game heard in voice-over. The series were variously directed by Geoff Walmsley, Sandra Wainwright and Jill Dawson.

Knock-out format, domestic field:
Series One (1975-6)
First Prize: £250
Participants: George Botterill, Bill Hartston (winner), Jonathan Mestel, Tony Miles, John Nunn, Jonathan Speelman (runner-up), Michael Stean, Howard Williams.

Series Two (1976-7)
Participants: George Botterill, Peter Clarke, Jana Hartston, Bill Hartston (winner), Julian Hodgson, Tony Miles, John Nunn (runner-up), Nigel Short.

International field adopted:
Series Three (1977-
First Prize: £1250
Participants: Jan Hein Donner, Bill Hartston, Werner Hug, Anatoly Karpov (winner), Bent Larsen, Tony Miles (runner-up) Helmut Pfleger, Lothar Schmid.

Series Four (1978-9)
Participants: Walter Browne, Jan Hein Donner, Gyozo Forintos, Vlastimil Hort (runner-up), Bent Larsen (winner), Tony Miles, John Nunn, Alberic O'Kelly.

Twin group format adopted:
Series Five (1979–80)
First Prize: £2500
Participants: A) Walter Browne (runner-up), Vlastimil Hort, John Nunn, Helmut Pfleger; B) Robert Byrne, Lothar Schmid (winner), Michael Stean, Viktor Korchnoi.

Series Six (1980-1)
First Prize: £2500
Participants: A) Robert Byrne, Svetozar Gligoric, Vlastimil Hort, Nigel Short (winner); B) Jan Hein Donner, Bent Larsen, Tony Miles (runner-up), Lothar Schmid.

Series Seven (1981-2)
First Prize: £2500; Second Prize: £2000
Participants: A) Andras Adorjan (runner-up), Larry Christiansen, Hans-Joachim Hecht, Nigel Short; B) Walter Browne, Raymond Keene, Eric Lobron (winner), Miguel Quinteros.

Series Eight (1982-3) - the 'missing link', never broadcast due to industrial action. The programmes, taped in English in Bath, was later dubbed into German and shown by NDR.
Participants: A) Anatoly Karpov (runner-up), Walter Browne, Murray Chandler, Ian Rogers; B) Tony Miles (winner), Vlastimil Hort, Guillermo Garcia Gonzales, Stefan Kindermann.

BBC published 2 books on the series. I have had both the books for 25 years. They are in excellent condition still, so I decided to scan & share them for those interested.

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