Archive for the ‘Bedfordshire Chess’ Category

Most likely not, unless of course, the current world champion has had a litre of Vodka for breakfast and our Bedfordshire man is stone cold sober. Okay, so has a man from Bedfordshire ever outplayed our current world champion? The answer to that depends upon how you define what ‘a man from Bedfordshire‘ is. If you mean someone born in Bedfordshire, then no. If you mean someone who grew up in Bedfordshire, then yes. But -and yes it is okay to start a sentence with a conjunction, don’t go buying into Prescriptivism now -was the current world champion entitled so at the time? Sadly not. Was it a blitz game? Yes it was.

I shall now show you six diagrams and add some comments.

The Bedfordshire man plays with the white pieces, here. 3. …h6 has just been played.
Magnus Carlsen, a future world champion in 2006, has just played 10. …Nc6 and seems in sound shape as the middle game begins.
The Bedfordshire man has only just played 18. f3. As you know, every chess player’s favourite move is always moving your f-pawn one square only. Is the position equal, well I’m not an expert but notice that central pawn majority white has?
Ooh la la, sacre bleu, what is going on ‘ere? Zee future world champion has just played 26. ….Qxd6. Did he not see 27. c5 and the double-attack it unleashes?
This man from Bedfordshire is the exchange up and attacks the queen with 33. d6, surely the game is already won?
What trouble the future world champion is in here.? Or is he in any real trouble I should say? What is the result likely to be after black plays 37. … Qg5?

Some of us are proud of our county. I always have been. I am still. I will be always. Who was it that played our current world champion? The answer lies below.

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1820780

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In the only publication in existence on Bedfordshire chess, there are more games from foreign masters in it than local players.

https://mccreadyandchess.com/2015/09/09/chess-in-bedfordshire/

I’ve found in a Sussex Newspaper a game attributed to Bedfordshire Chess below some thoughts by H. E. Bird. None of this appeared in the text above.

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Is there anything better to do than grabbing journalists and giving them a kick up the backside? Probably not…well probably there is. Seek out Primary Source material perhaps?

According to folklore and legend my hometown had it’s own league in the 70’s. Thankfully, we postmodernists do realize that history is per se discourse thus develops. Okay. Let’s look at things before the…before thee…thee so called Fischer-fiasco as our comrades once put it.

So a wintery 1952 it is. Here’s a snapshot of the Beds league. Even then Luton already has almost an entire league of its own, some 19 years before the famous Fischer – Spassky match and the ensuing ‘chess-explosion’ England underwent thereafter.

As some of you may know Dennis.V. Mardle went on to be given a C.B.E for his work on Polio, from which he suffered. He was an exceptionally strong player and many of his games can be found of this site.

Together the pgns above shows us that chess clubs flourished across Luton not long after the war had ended… .

More on Mardle can be found here:

https://mccreadyandchess.com/2016/12/07/mardles-battle-against-polio/?preview_id=6870&preview_nonce=9cae60ad6f&preview=true

MJM

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The number of visitors which have mostly visited this site over the years went into the tens of thousands a long time ago. Mostly they find it amusing and informative but the last request made was very different to all others preceding -simply put I was stumped. I thought about calling the old bill for advice even ,anfd perhaps I should. An team captain e-mailed me asking if they could join next season, they call themselves the ‘Clophill Killers’ Some feedback required here, as agreeing to their wishes may not be for the best. Have a look and decide yourself.

The ‘Clophill Killers’ club captain was arrested and detained during a match against Leighton Buzzard for banging the clocks off the table during matches, and letting tires down in the car park after he lost his game.
Studied the Catalan extensively, throws a solid right-hook.
A Caro-Kann King. Will put his head on you in the corridor before the game. if he gets the chance
Will play the St. Georges defense, will try to break into your car when its your turn to move.
Nasty fucker in time-trouble, likes to turn tables over in the end-game.
Usually plays the English Opening. Rating below 100. Never does much during matches. Often looks edgy.
Looks like a young Peter Svidler. Strong tactically, works out at the gym a lot.
No real interest in chess. Rating less than 70. Doesn’t usually make it out of the opening. Good to chat to.
Likes the Benko Gambit. Always gets hammered during play. Always in court.
The team reserve drafted in away to Northampton. Opened with The Grob and got a dart in the head for it on move two by the team captain: the match had to be cancelled, then there was a right rumpus.
Aftermath of the abandoned match. A Northampton player had his jaw broken as a result.

They want to enter Division two next season and call themselves ‘The Clophill Killers’ as mentioned. I smell danger here: they look like a right roudy bunch to me. But as they say, the more the merrier. A new club with more members may improve the league no end. Their inclusion may give them a psychological edge over other clubs in the league so strong they will take Div 1 by storm even though I do know they are all steaming before 9pm….perhaps many opposing teams will default,

I should add for the last 18 months I have been fully engaged with two writing projects, one of which is well over the 30,000 word mark. The reading list accompanying both is far more voluminous than when I wrote my dissertation on early 19th century German Philosopy. It’s broad and makes me read content for characterization I am unfamiliar with. A day without 6 hours of research and writing is a blessing…sometimes something lighthearted like this helps alleviate the tension. I doubt whether the aforementioned posts will remain as posts only. The proof reader is pushing towards publication but vanity aside, saying ‘I’m an author means fuck all, for myself, vanity refers only to appearance: humble brags over how I wrote this and that mean fuck all much because I write for myself and myself only. I prefer not to be read: if I am read so be it, if not so be it, comment so be it, don;t comment so be it…I just don;t care. I am an artist I write only for myself and no one else.

Mark.J.McCready

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In more recent years, Luton Chess Club has been in turmoil; with no fixed abode and a diminishing list of members you could write the names on the back of a stamp, it even moved to Bedford and played there for a while.

A sorry state of affairs arose, making the club the least popular in the league. But all that’s changed. We now have a playing venue that is modern and spacious. It’s location has re-titled Luton Chess Club as The University of Bedfordshire.

The University of Bedfordshire. (not your average looking chess club).

Beginner or expert, improve your chess and thinking skills by playing over the board with students, staff, and established club members. In the Library, we offer nights for friendly games,  league matches in the Bedfordshire Chess League, and simuls by established local players also. It’s a great way to meet fellow students and town folk with a shared love of our beautiful game -so what have you got to lose? All welcome: no one unwelcome. A typical evening might look something like this.



Recently, Andrew Perkins, a fine gentleman and Luton’s strongest player performed a simul at the club.


For those of us who have been around a while, can confirm Andrew is well known as a former county champion.

                                                               Sept.12th 1968

Beginner or expert, improve your chess and thinking skills by playing over the board with students and staff. We offer nights for friendly games, simuls by established local players and league matches in the Bedfordshire Chess League. It’s a great way to meet fellow students and town folk too -so what have you got to lose? All welcome: no one unwelcome.

This season’s fixture list stands as follows if you fancy some league chess.

Mark.J.McCready

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Courtesy of a source who shall remain anonymous, I have a portrait of William Ward. Local readers may well have learnt from perusing this site he was born in St. Albans in 1867 but lived in Luton for almost all of the first three decades of his life. He went on to champion the Atheneum club in London and the City of London club itself. He finished joint 2nd in the British Championships twice, and represented Great Britain in the Anglo-American cable matches long before we all had a plethora of expensive electronic devices at our disposal. Should you wish to know more about him, then by all means find the Bedfordshire Chess and Chess History categories, which is where he hangs out or alternatively click here.

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=19561

aviary-image-1577081358301

Mr. William Ward

 

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I thought it best to honour the life of Geoffrey Diggle in whatever way I could. 4 years ago I found a second hand book store that sold his extremely rare publications, so I bought them.

In case you don’t know who he is, he was a columnist for the British Chess Magazine for many years and made many people laugh courtesy of his way with words and immaculate sense of humour in his column ‘Newsflash’.

I took particular interest in him when I discovered passages of his on Edward Winter’s site http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/index.html

He spoke about my home town and I was soon to learn that he played for both Luton and Bedfordshire in the 1930’s -and was the manager of my bank as well. But more importantly I learnt that the venue for the Luton chess club at that time was The George Hotel on George street, which was the exact venue where my grandmother and grandfather met for the first time during ‘an evening of dance’. This I learnt through researching the post I hope to complete very soon: I wasn’t expecting it to go beyond 25,000 words but the care and effort put into I am deeply proud of, but more importantly, writing it has been more therapeutic than I can put into words.

Attached below are Diggle’s works. I apologize that some corners of some papers are slightly blurred. They were scanned 2 months back where use of my right arm was limited indeed, and there was no strength left to hold the cover down to my scanner. Anyway, enjoy Diggle, his sense of humour is second to none and the publications below are extremely rare. Now they are all yours…

Diggle Vol1Diggle Vol2

 

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“Admiration, by eroding our substance, depresses and ultimately demoralizes us; hence we turn against the admired — anyone guilty of having inflicted upon us the task of raising ourselves to his level.”

Emile Cioran

Luton Chess Club will now play every Thursday -not Monday– @ Wardown Bowling Club, Wardown Park, Luton not Bedford.

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New home of Luton Chess Club

Concerns over the lack of a fixed schedule along with uncertainty whether anyone will actually turn up caused doubts amongst the members of the bowling club. Given that their own club night is Thursday, whilst finishing off my seventh pint of cider at the bar just before I staggered into the toilets, I decided that Luton Chess Club should meet on that night too, I then told Mick Josephs who, believing ‘it shouldn’t be a problem’ agreed. This ensures that club matches can go ahead without teams arriving from afar Mondays, finding that the clubhouse is locked and remains locked because no one has the keys. The principle corollary of this I hope to be that all Luton players, now assured of an abode, will quickly storm towards the Division 1 title…here’s what to expect at the club now.

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Inside the new club.

There is a caveat: the dominoes being played may cause noise pollution raise the decibel level at times…I suppose when you blunder, at least you have a ready made excuse! Also, don’t puke up in the bogs and fall asleep in them for days like I did.  

Predictions for next season on a postcard [please see below for my address]

Name: Mark sub-standard county chess player quality chess player’ McCready

Address: Planet Earth, Inner Solar System, The Milky Way, The Universe

 

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F. Dickens who co-authored the only book ever written about chess in Bedfordshire is always described as a Schoolmaster from Kensworth. I cycled through there last weekend and took a picture of the only school it has, and what was his place of work during the 1930’s.

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Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream; the butcher’s the poet’s equal there.

Emile Cioran

Diggle lives on; that aside, when did Vauxhall gain their very own chess club? Answers on a postcard only please… .

IMG_20170725_153137

IMG_20170725_153107I am not yet sure who wrote this yet sure it was either Sweby or Diggle. It ends with the adverbial clause ‘Luton had the move on the odd-numbered boards’. That is more like Diggle than Sweby but could be either, I suppose… .

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