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Gerald Abrahams
Gerald Abrahams in 1933
With permission of National Portrait Gallery, London
Gerald Abrahams (Liberal) by Lafayette Whole-plate film negative, 21 August 1933
mw177191 © National Portrait Gallery, London
(creatice commons license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Gerald Abrahams

Gerald Abrahams was born in Liverpool on April 15, 1907 in England. He was an English lawyer (barrister), political theorist, philosopher, a strong amateur chess player. and Prescot & Knotty Ash’s most famous player.

He is best known for the Abrahams Defence of the Semi-Slav, also known as the Abrahams–Noteboom Variation, or the Noteboom Variation:

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.e3 b5 6.a4 Bb4 7.Bd2 a5 8.axb5 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 cxb5 10.b3 Bb7 (ECO D31).

In 1933 he was third at Hastings in the British Championship, after Mir Sultan Khan and Theodore Tylor.

Gerald Abrahams was known as a strong blindfold player, and in  1934 he took on four strong Irish players, playing blindfold, at the Belgravia Hotel in Belfast, winning two games and drawing two.

In the Anglo-Soviet radio match of 1946 he scored one win and one draw against Viacheslav Ragozin on board 10.
He was the author of several chess books, including Teach Yourself Chess (1948), The Chess Mind (1951), Handbook of Chess (1960), Technique in Chess (1961), Test Your Chess (1963), The Pan Book of Chess (1966), Not Only Chess (1974), and Brilliancies in Chess (1977).

Chessgames of Gerald Abrahams online

He was also a keen Bridge player and wrote ‘Brains in Bridge’ published in 1962.
In addition he was the author of a number of legal texts stretching from 1938 - 1971.
Politically he was a Liberal and stood as a liberal candidate for Sheffied Hallom in 1945.
On Thursday 13th March 1980 he played a surprise visit to the club, not having been there for years. Most players didn’t recognise him but at the age of 72 he took on everyone in the club at lightning - beating everyone. He died two days later.

"Good positions don't win games, good moves do". Gerald Abrahams.