|Sir George Thomas - Southea 1949|
1- Move nothing beyond the fourth (or 5th rank as black) until all pieces are developed unless it is a capture or attacks something.
2- Avoid h2/h6 or a3/a6 unless it attacks a piece
3- Castle as early as possible, but first make sure your opponent can't sacrifice a B on h2 (or h7).
4- As black play Bf8-e7.
As Purdy observed, these rules won't enable you to play like a master, but they will avoid almost all opening traps. He added that if your judgment tells you to break one of the rules, then break it.
He also pointed out that the above rules preclude one from playing the Ruy Lopez, but he advised against playing the Ruy anyway because it's a complex opening that requires too much study.
This brings us to the Hungarian Defense, a quiet response against the popular Guioco Piano which is often seen by white in amateur games. Besides being very solid and easy to play, it has almost no critical variations.
The variation takes its name from a correspondence game between Paris and Pest, Hungary played from 1842–1845, but was first analyzed by Cozio in the 18th century. It has been played on occasion by some GMs, including Reshevsky, Hort, and former world champions Petrosian, Karpov and Smyslov.
With the move 3...Be7, Black avoids the complexities of the Giuoco Piano, the Evans Gambit and the Two Knights Defense, but at the same time gives white an advantage in space and freer development, so Black must be prepared to defend a cramped position.
White's best response is 4.d4, seeking advantage in the center. Other moves pose less problems for Black; they are: 4.c3 Nf6 (Steinitz) and 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.d4 Bg4. After 4.d4, Black continues either 4...exd4 or 4...d6.
All that said, Harding and Botterill, in their 1977 book on the Italian Game conclude that, "The Hungarian Defense can only be played for a draw. White should have an edge in most lines".
|Tartakower - Southsea 1949|
|Rossolimo at Southsea 1949|
|Golombek preparing the tournament book|
Sir George Thomas is well known, but R.C. Woodthorpe, a British amateur, is almost unknown. His name shows up in many British tournaments of the 30s, 40s and 50s.
I am not sure they are the same person, but in the 1930s there was a British mystery writer named R.C. Woodthorpe. As a mystery writer, Ralph Carter Woodthorpe (1886-?) was the author of eight detective novels published between 1932 and 1940. Two of these featured Nicholas Slade as the leading character.