Nicholas Anthony Perkins

Born: 7 December 1912 - Died: 26 May 1991

From a photo of a group attending an Old Rendcombian dinner, c. 1946/47
(Thanks to Colin Hitchcock and Jane Gunner)

Nicholas Anthony Perkins (often simply referred to as Tony), learned to play chess at the age of seven from watching his father, a detail supplied by Perkins himself. He attended Rendcomb College (1924-31), a small public school near Cirencester, England, and St. John's College, Oxford, where he played against Cambridge in four Varsity matches in the years 1932-35. (Others who took part in these matches were J.M. Aitken, John Montgomerie, and Peter Reid, the latter at Cambridge.)

Perkins was also involved in tournament play: 1932, BCF Congress, Third Class Tournament, Division 1 - 1st with 11/11; 1936, Minor Tourney of London Chess League New year Congress - 1st= with J.E. Povey on 7/9; 1937, London League New Year Congress, Major Tournament, Section 'A' - won by Perkins after a play-off with Povey and Young. (4½/7). He went on to defeat the winner of Section 'B', Dr B.H. Neumann, for the trophy

Perkins later joined the Post Office, his work taking him to Edinburgh in late 1937. There he joined the Civil Service Chess Club where, among other activities, he helped the club win the 1939 Richardson Cup. Also that year, Perkins was invited to join the Scottish team for the 1939 Buenos Aires Olympiad, but he was not able to accept. As things turned out, Scotland did not participate in the event because of difficulties in organising a team, and a change of dates by the organisers.

During WWII Perkins was involved in secret Government work alongside other chess players, including Dr J.M. Aitken. [See the article on an interesting chess match in early 1945 involving a team from Bletchley.] He returned to Scotland to marry Gertrude Sinclair Davis at Melrose, on 4 September 1941.

Perkins played in five Scottish Championships; 1938, 1939, 1948, 1952 and 1954. In the 1948 event, he tied with Fairhurst, but lost the play-off match. In 1954, he finished a ½ point behind P.B. Anderson.

He also played in the British Championship 1955, and in 1958 he played on the Scottish team at the Munich Olympiad. He was active over many years as a player and administrator for Middlesex.

Perkins (right) against Aldecoa (Philippines) in round 1 of Preliminary Group 3.

Aldecoa - N.A. Perkins
Munich Olympiad 1958

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 c6 7. Nbd2 Nbd7 8. Qc2 Re8 9. b3 e5 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Bb2 Nxf3+ 12. Nxf3 Bf5 13. Qc1 Rxe2 14. Nd4 Rxb2 15. Nxf5 Re2 16. Nxg7 Kxg7 17. Bf3 Re6 18. Qb2 Qd6
19. cxd5 cxd5 20. Rac1 Rae8 21. Rfd1 Qe5 22. Qxe5 Rxe5 23. Rc7 Re1+ 24. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 25. Kg2 d4 26. Rxb7 d3
27. Rb4 d2 28. Rd4 Ne4 29. Rd3 Ng5 30. Bg4 h5 31. Bxh5 gxh5 32. Rxd2 Rg1+ 33. Kxg1 Nf3+ 34. Kf1 Nxd2+
35. Ke1 Ne4 36. f3 Nf6 37. a4 Nd5 38. Kd2 Kf6 39. Kd3 Ke6 40. Kd4 Kd6 41. Ke4 Ke6 42. Kd4 Kd6 43. h3 f5 44. g4 fxg4 45. fxg4 h4 46. Ke4 Ke6 47. a5 Ne7 48. Kf4 Nc6 49. a6 Nb4 50. Kg5 Nxa6 51. Kxh4 Nc5 52. Kh5 Nxb3 53. Kh6 a5 54. g5 Nd4 {time} 0-1

Perkins retired in 1974 after being at Post Office Headquarters.

Sources: British Chess Magazine 1932, p 428; 1936, p 59; 1937, pp 74/75; 1991, p 320; Marriage certificate; The Scotsman of Wednesday, 10 September 1941, p 8; Old Rendcombian Society Newsletter, May 1976; Sherington Historical Society (north Buckinghamshire) website-details of monument inscriptions in St Lauds Church, #370 for Perkins and #371 for Gertrude Sinclair Perkins (1914-1998), Location: 26crw; N.A. Perkins - Reminiscences.

Additional note (January 02, 2012)

On a recent review of the excellent web site devoted to the history of Bletchley Park , it was noted that additional information about Perkins had been added.

Perkins, Nicholas Anthony
Foreign Office Civilian
Bletchley Park Dec 1941 - Mar 1945. Hut 8 and ISK.
Hut 8. Location of German Navy Enigma Processing and Decryption Section from February 1940. This section continued to be referred to as “Hut 8” after moving to Block D in February 1943.
ISK: Illicit Signals Knox. Deciphering of Abwehr (German Intelligence Service) Enigma coded signals. Initially headed by Dilly Knox.

Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland