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Alexander, Conel Hugh O'Donel

Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander (1909-1974) was an Irish-born (Cork, Ireland) mathematician and International Master (1950) who won the British Championship in 1938 and 1956.  He was considered the strongest chess player in Great Britain from 1937 to 1957.  During World War II he was promoted to colonel in British Intelligence and was part of the British Government Code and Cipher Code at Bletchley Park, England, along with other English chess masters who helped break the German Enigma Code. He was prohibited from traveling to any country under Soviet control or influence during his lifetime because of his association with cryptography.  He was given the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his wartime services.  In 1946, he won one game and lost one game against Botvinnik in the Anglo-Soviet radio match.  In 1953/54, he tied for first (with Bronstein) at Hastings.  He played on 6 English Olympiad teams between 1933 and 1958.  In the early 1960s he gave up over-the-board chess to concentrate on correspondence chess.  He became an International Correspondence Chess Master in 1970.  He was ranked #24 in the world in 1932.

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