Arnold vs LQ Barrett at the 1974 Natal open
Arnold Muscat, the winner of the 1981 Natal Closed title, was one of my contemporaries.
I have fond memories of our game at the 1974 Natal Schools, where I won the "best game"
prize against Arnold. He got his revenge the following year, and we have a level score in
our tournament games.
Arnold was the highest rated Natal player on the December 1980 rating list, after a string of good results in 1979 and 1980. After finishing 4th in the 1978 club championships, he was 2nd behind Mercer in the 1979 event. He was thus the favourite for the 1980 title, but had a poor event and only finished 4th (Blackburn won).
Arnold was conscripted into the Army during 1980 and became inactive for a while. His last tournament was the 1985 club championships, where he was again 4th. Subsequently he took up bowls as a hobby, and was selected for the Natal team on a number of occasions.
Arnold was always strong at blitz chess and had amazing natural talent. I think the
1980 Oude Meester Grand Priz was his greatest success. About 1890 players from all
over South Africa entered the knock-out, and Arnold won all his games in Durban to
make it through to the semi-finals. These were played at the Auckland Park TV studios,
but unfortunately Arnold was knocked out by Helmut Leicher, the eventual winner.
More details to follow.