The Unknown Derek Oldbury


by Richard Pask

Derek Oldbury (1924 - 1994) was one of the game's great players and authors, and it was my privilege to have known him well. Indeed, between 1983 and 1994 I made over 30 visits to his charming home, and never ceased to be amazed by the breadth and depth of his understanding.

When he died, Derek left his library to me. Among the many fine volumes was a small, and rather nondescript, exercise book containing a number of carefully pasted newspaper columns. From 1956 - 1957 Derek had been the Draughts Editor of the obscure Rotherham Advertiser. This exercise book contained all 62 weekly columns.

Now, 10 years after his death, seems an appropriate time to publish these columns, verbatim and in their entirety. Although some of the material will be familiar, having featured in books such as Move Over and Derek's Complete Encyclopaedia, the vast majority of it will be new; highlights including 35 of Derek's problems and 36 games featuring his play and analysis.

Note: There was no space for diagrams in the original columns, but I have added them to make the book more attractive. Moreover, for convenience, all of the games are listed under the 3-move ballot; clearly many of them were GAYP or played under the 2-move restriction.

So sit back and enjoy a new book by one of the all-time greats. The unknown DEO!

Yours sincerely, (16 th August 2004)

(Richard Pask)