John Barlow played four times in the Durban championship. On debut
in 1992 he finished second, just ½ point behind Keith Rust. He tied
first in 1993 with 6½ out of 9, missed the 1994 event, and then won
the event outright in 1995 with 6 out of 7. John finished third in
1996, again just ½ point behind the winners.
John is a civil engineer by profession. He lived for many years in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and moved from there to Namibia, before settling in Durban in 1992, where he still lives. John has largely given up over the board play, in favour of correspondence chess.
John is a prolific player of correspondence chess, both postal
and by email. John became an International Master in 1997 and
was awarded the Grandmaster title in 2001 by the International
Correspondence Chess Federation. John is currently the only CC
grandmaster in South Africa.
John reached a peak ICCF rating of 2527 in 2001 and is currently (October 2003 list) rated at 2456 by the ICCF.
John tied for 6th place in the 15th World Championship final (1996-2002) scoring 10 points from 15 games. That's right - the tournament took six years to complete! Due to lengthy postal delays most correspondence chess now takes place via email.
Here is a game from the 15th World Championship, where
John matches his skills against the Latvian contestant:
Barlow,John A (2505) - Vitomskis,Janis (2595)
WC15 Final ICCF, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 Rb8 9.axb5 axb5 10.c3 d5 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.Rxe5 Bb7 14.d4 Qd7 15.Qf3 Nf6 16.Qh3 Ng4 17.Rh5 g6 18.Rxh7 Bf6 19.Nd2 Qe7 20.Nf3 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Qe1+ 22.Qf1 Qxf1+ 23.Kxf1 Kxh7 24.fxg4 Ra8 25.Rb1 b4 26.Bf4 Ra7 27.Ke2 Kg7 28.Kd3 Rb8 29.g5 Be7 30.c4 Rh8 31.c5 Rh3+ 32.Kc4 c6 33.Bd1 f5 34.gxf6+ Bxf6 35.Bg4 Rh8 36.Rd1 Ra2 37.Kb3 Rha8 38.Be3 R2a6 39.Be2 R6a7 40.Bf3 Ra6 41.Rg1 Rh8 42.Be4 Rh4 43.Bxg6 Kf8 44.Rd1 Rxh2 45.Kxb4 Rh4 46.f3 Ke7 47.Be4 Rh5 48.Kc4 Kd7 49.b4 Ra3 50.Bd2 Ra4 51.Be1 Rh1 52.d5 1-0
Barlow,John A (2519) - Wang,Mong Lin (2463)
Interzonal Team Tournament - Board 3, 2000
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 b5 7.0-0 Bb7 8.Re1 Nc6 9.Nxc6 dxc6 10.e5 Rd8 11.Bd3 c5 12.Qh5 g6 13.Qh4 Bg7 14.f4 c4 15.Be4 Nh6 16.Bxb7 Nf5 17.Qf2 Qxb7 18.Ne4 0-0 19.g4 Ne7 20.Bd2 Nd5 21.Ba5 Ra8 22.g5 Qa7 23.Qxa7 Rxa7 24.Rf1 Rb8 25.Rf3 h6 26.h4 h5 27.Rd1 Bf8 28.c3 Be7 29.Nf6+ Bxf6 30.gxf6 Rd7 31.Rd4 Rbb7 32.Kf2 Kh7 33.Rg3 Rb8 34.Rg1 Rc8 35.Kf3 Rb7 36.a3 Kh6 37.Rgd1 Rd7 38.Ke4 Ra8 39.Rxd5 exd5+ 40.Rxd5 Rda7 41.Bd8 Rc8 42.Be7 Kh7 43.Rc5 Re8 44.Bd6 Rb7 45.Rc7 Rxc7 46.Bxc7 g5 47.fxg5 Rc8 48.Bd6 Kg6 49.Kd5 Kf5 50.Be7 Rh8 51.Kd6 Rb8 52.Kd7 1-0