About A J Roycroft

Here’s a potted biography, with a chess flavour:

Full name: Arthur John Roycroft, always addressed as John, often referred to as AJR.

  • Born 25vii1929 at 252 Ealing Road, Wembley.
  • Second of three brothers. No sisters.
  • Father (Benjamin Francis Roycroft, born in Killarney in 1896) worked in the Bank of England, finishing as their ‘Agent’ in Southampton in 1950s.
  • Married Betty Webb at Hampstead parish church 17vi1961.
  • Two children: Jonathan (b. 1962) and Katherine (b.1965).


  • Tower House (Leigh-on-Sea)
  • Brighton College Preparatory, (day boy, but boarder for the summer term of 1940)
  • Llanrhaiadr Elementary
  • Denbigh County (co-educational)
  • Sheen County (boys)
  • Malvern College (1943-1948)
  • (national service: 22033509 private, driver class 3)
  • Trinity College Dublin (1949-1953: II/1 honours degree in French and German Languages and Literature).


  • The London Assurance (1 King William Street, EC4) 1954-1961.
  • IBM 1961-1987 (early retirement).

Accepted into membership of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).


  • Learned chess aged ten.
  • Fascination with the endgame began in 1942.
  • Have won ‘best game’ and ‘brilliancy’ prizes, but by far the most memorable game was win against GM Laszlo Szabo, in a simul at The Gambit in the City of London 10i1948, following the Hungarian master’s triumph at Hastings.
  • Met Harold Lommer in 1955.
  • FIDE title of International Judge (endgame studies) awarded 1959.
  • Founded EG in 1965, chief editor for 100 issues.
  • Some self-published titles are under the imprint Chess Endgame Consultants & Publishers.
  • Studies composed and published: ca.12.