Dr Timothy Harding's homepage

This section is my private website.

I am a FIDE Arbiter, since 2020, having completed my qualification at an arbiter seminar in Dublin early that year. This enables me to be chief or deputy arbiter, running FIDE-rated and FIDE title tournaments (not only in Ireland).

You can read here about my academic publications and my chess books, especially Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography and a major work about Steinitz's times in Britain which was published in 2020. More information about my books can be found on this website, and on both Goodreads.com and Amazon (both as Tim Harding), or Amazon UK (as T. D. Harding).

My study of chess literature was published by McFarland in April 2018 and won a small award from the Chess Journalists of America. My first McFarland book , Correspondence Chess in Britain and Ireland, 1824-1987, was nominated for the English Chess Federation's Book of the Year award in 2011. My Eminent Victorian Chess Players is also still available. Three articles by me for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography were added to its online edition in May 2012.

I wrote a monthly column, The Kibitzer at The Chess Cafe website from 1996 to mid-2015 which ended due to problems with that website. During 2015-2017, I wrote articles for Worldchess about the history of the World Chess Championship and some topical events.

My doctoral thesis on correspondence chess in Britain & Ireland, 1824-1914, can now be found online. It was accepted in 2009 after the traditional viva voce examination.

On 10 July 2009 I was formally conferred with the PhD degree in History by Dr Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland), the Chancellor of the University of Dublin. In my youth I was a student at Oxford University (Pembroke College) where I earned two degrees.

For seven academic years I did part-time undergraduate teaching on twentieth century European history but have now retired from this work to concentrate on research and writing.

Tim Harding in 2009, wearing TCD doctoral robes, in front of the statue of Dr George Salmon (1819-1904), the distinguished Irish mathematician and theologian, who was also Provost of TCD in the last years of his life.

Salmon was an opponent of both Paul Morphy (1858) and WIlliam Steinitz (1881) and once beat Daniel Harrwitz playing level.

It was Salmon who proposed to Howard Staunton the idea for the first international chess tournament held at London in 1851.

I am the author of many chess books, mostly about chess openings and correspondence chess. Most of these are now out of print and many (on openings) are superseded.

My chess history books are mostly in print.

A few years ago I edited my late father's war memoir, Copper Wire, but the pages about it are no longer on this website.

I have been playing chess, both over the board and by correspondence, since the 1960s and have written about chess for over 45 years. I played on board 6 for Ireland in the Final of the 15th CC Olympiad and captained the team. I was on the Irish OTB team at the 1984 FIDE Olympiad in Thessaloniki, scoring 50%.

In 2014 I started playing over-the-board tournaments again, scoring 6.5/11 in the first 65+ World Senior Championship. In September 2015 I won the Irish Veterans Chess Championship (players aged 60+). I won the 65+ title in the inaugural Irish 50+/65+ Championship 2018, finishing third overall, and shared the same title in 2019.

In the summer of 2016 I captained the Irish 65+ team in the World Senior Team Championships at Dresden, the first time a team from this country participated in a senior team event. I again captained our team in the same event in July 2018 and in the 2022 European Senior Team Championships, all played in the same city.

Until 2019 I was playing for Dublin University in the Irish Leinster Leagues but before the Covid poandemic I ceased my involvement in league chess.

My International Master of Correspondence Chess title (1997) was earned in the postal and pre-engine era.

In 2002 I was awarded ICCF's Senior International Master title after achieving first place in the ICCF Delegates & Officials IM-A tournament.

For 25 years I was Ireland's delegate to ICCF but retired from that position as of 1 March 2019.

My FIDE title of Candidate Master is based on my having a rating of over 2200 for many years. Unfortunately there was no FIDE Master title to aspire to in my best years.

My best success as an OTB player was joint first with GM Bojan Kurajica at the 1973 Hammersmith Open in London ahead of many masters and GMs; we each scored 6.5/7, drawing against Jonathan Mestel. I also won won several weekend Open events in England, Wales, and Ireland during the 1970s, and a good prize (4th place) at the Le Havre 1980 international open.

The next version of my UltraCorr CC game database series should be out in January 2024.
I founded Chess Mail Ltd. in 1996 and the magazine was published in nine volumes (82 numbers) ending in January 2006. In 2010 we decided to retire from sales and production, and closed down the business. My wife is Irish. We have 2 adult daughters and 3 grandchildren.

I have done further research into the history of indoor games, on which I spoke at a conference in Dublin in June 2012. Also I began a (currently paused) research and writing project about Burma, with which I have a family connection. I have no current plans to publish in these areas.

I have dual citizenship: British and Irish.

History of the Hardings (research by Steve Harding, of Nottingham University: no relation, so far as I know!)

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