Back at the end of February I wrote a little ode to Allen Stanford that included a passage from The Grass Arena describing John Healy's introduction to our favourite game.
Regular S&BC(C as was then) Blog watchers will perhaps recall we'd previously published a series of puzzles based on Healy's games. For the most part these were thirty years or more old ...
1975 - TGA
1976 - TGA II
1980 - TGA III and TGA V (although note the contribution to the comments box that suggests the date for this one may be inaccurate)
... but in the middle of the series was an endgame position (TGA IV) that appeared to come from a club match in 1997. The conclusion of Healy's book, originally published in 1988, suggests he'd given up the game. Was 1997 a typo or had he come back to the fold?
It seems very possible that Healy was indeed playing in the late 90s because - aside from our own Arts Correspondent's encounters with him (see comments box to TGA and TGA V) - Healy, it turns out, is still an active player today.
Many thanks to Jon Manley for sending us the position at the head of today's post. In the traditional fashion it's White to play and win ... although speculation as to how White's rook ended up on c4 is also welcome.
We hope to have more on John Healy soon. I may yet even get around to writing something about the chess content of The Grass Arena as I'd planned some time ago.
As noted in the original posts, TGAs II-V were taken from www.thegrassarena.net.