John Nunn

Dr John Nunn (born April 25, 1955) is one of the world’s best-known chess players and authors. He showed early promise by winning the British Under-14 Championship at the age of twelve. In 1970 he entered Oxford University at the unusually early age of 15 and in 1978 he achieved a double success by gaining both the GM title and a doctorate (with a thesis in algebraic topology).

In 1981 John abandoned academic life for a career as a professional chess player. In 1984 he gained three individual gold medals at the Thessaloniki Olympiad, two for his 10/11 performance on board two for England and one for winning the problem-solving event held on a free day.

John's best period for over-the-board play was 1988-91. In 1989 he was ranked in the world top ten, and in the same year he finished sixth in the GMA World Cup series, which included virtually all the world’s top players. He also won the famous tournament at Wijk aan Zee outright in 1990 and 1991, to add to a previous tie for first place in 1982.

John became a successful chess author in the late 1980s and 1990s, and has three times won the prestigious British Chess Federation Book of the Year prize. In 1997 he (together with Murray Chandler and Graham Burgess) founded Gambit Publications, which now has more than 200 chess books in print. When he effectively retired from over-the-board play in 2003, he revisited an early interest in chess problems and in 2004 won the World Chess Problem Solving Championship, at the same time adding a GM solving title to his earlier over-the-board title. In 2007 he again won the World Chess Problem Solving Championship, and in 2010 had his best year to date, winning both the European and World Chess Problem Solving Championships.

In 1995 he married the German chess player Petra Fink. They have one son, Michael, currently aged fifteen, who also plays chess.

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