James Macrae Aitken

James Macrae Aitken

James Macrae Aitken

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James Macrae Aitken (27 October 1908, Calderbank, Lanarkshire, Scotland – 3 December 1983) was a Scottish chess player. He was awarded a PhD on the topic of the Lisbon Inquisition.

He was Scottish champion in 1935, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1965, the latter jointly with PM Jamieson. He was also London Champion in 1950.

He represented Scotland in four chess Olympiads (1937, 1958, 1964, and 1972).

In 1946, he participated in the between the United Kingdom and the USSR. He lost his match with Igor Bondarevsky on board 8.

During World War II, Aitken worked in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park on solving German Enigma machine (Taunt, 2001, pp. 81–82). He died in Cheltenham in 1983, aged 75.


  • Derek Taunt, "Breaking German Naval Enigma", pp. 77–93 in Action this Day, edited by Ralph Erskine and Michael Smith, 2001, ISBN 0-593-04982-9.

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