1958 – 2024

It was with sadness that the untimely passing of FM Graham Morrison on 13th May after a short illness was reported earlier the year. Graham played for the Lancashire Open team for many years, and would occasionally be seen at Lytham Chess Club. His most recent exploits on the chess board being in the 4NCL, Graham was an experienced player for Scotland, representing them at many Olympiads.

We would like to look back at some of those games, and enjoy the skills on display. He will be sorely missed by the many chess players who knew him, and played against him.

World Junior Championship 1977

Graham was a solid player over many years. His first big tournament was the World Juniors Championship in 1977, he lost to the eventual winner Artur Jussupow, who would go on to become a GM. The game was even through to the endgame, which was a complex Rook and Pawn ending with R&2P v R&P. Move 68, and a slight inaccuracy by Graham. Artur seized his chance and went on to win the game.

In the game, Graham played 68 … Kf3, an inaccuracy it would seem. Best was Ra2 to stop the b-pawn in its tracks, and was the best way to draw. Not easy to see, I think most players would have played the same move in an attempt to promote that f-pawn.

British Championship 1988 Blackpool

The British Championship in 1988 was at Blackpool, and the list of entries contained a bunch of players who would go on to become household names. Round 1, and Graham was paired against a young upcoming Indian chess player by the name of Viswanathan Anand. Vishy as we know would go on to become a multiple World Chess Champion. Vishy temped Graham with a seemingly innocuously pawn sacrifice.

Grabbing the pawn appeared to be a crucial mistake. How many of us would still have grabbed the pawn in this position. It looks innocuous to say that this loses the game, but judge for yourself in the game player below.

European Team Championship 2021 – Scotland v Denmark

Graham would quote this game as his best “scalp”, the fact that it came so late in his playing career goes to show your best years are not always left behind, for some they are yet to come. A win against GM Sune Berg Hansen.

Hansen mindful of the fact that as a GM, he was expected to win, declined to take the pawn with the Queen forcing a Queen exchange and a probable draw – instead opting to keep the Queens on. Five moves later, and Hansen is looking at a loss having to give up his Queen for a Rook.

There are many games available for Graham Morrison, most will be available at Chessbase. Enjoy the 3 games selected below.

By Chess-Coach

A chess player for over 40 years, I have volunteered with Lancashire Chess Association for over 30 years. Have held several posts in that time, Treasurer, Junior Organiser, Junior Team Manager, Junior Team Coach, Web Author. I have managed the Lancashire Chess Association websites since 1997.