1895: From the Archives

From Exeter Chess Club: 1895-1961 by Richard Hitchcock:

On the opening page of the Club's first minute book it is recorded, under the heading " Chess Club ", that " a meeting was held at Gisson's Hotel on Saturday, October 26th, 1895.  (...) At this meeting, it was decided to ask the Literary Society, then established at Barnfield House, whether and on what terms the Society would set apart a room for the Club ".  A week later, " at Mr. Widgery's studio ", it was decided to accept a tentative offer by the Society and to go ahead. 

On 16th November, 1895, at Barnfield House, in what was already described as the Club room, a meeting of seven formed the Club.  It was to be called Exeter Chess Club; (officers) were to be elected annually in October; members were to meet " for practice and matches " on three evenings a week, and the annual subscription was to be five shillings (half a crown for members of the Literary Society).  The first President of the Club was C.J. Lambert. (...)

At the annual meeting of 1896 it was stated that the Club had 21 members, of whom 12 were members of the Literary Society.  Matches had been played and won against the Exeter Working Men's Society and the YMCA.  (...) Of the Club income of £3.15s.0d, £2.10s.6d had been paid for five sets of chessmen and three boards, " an expensive but necessary outlay ", and two more boards were required.



"This is the earliest reference to the Exeter Club I've found — Peachey's Everybody's Guide to Chess and Draughts (1896) refers to Exeter as having even at that date ' an excellent chess club

— Chris Ravilious


Match: Exeter v Plymouth.

This match, the first played between these clubs, was contested on May 18th at the Literary Society’s Rooms, Exeter. The meeting evoked considerable interest, and as the Plymouth Club has been established some years, and the Exeter Club is practically in its infancy, having seen three seasons only, the visitors were expected to prove the victors. These anticipations were not fulfilled, as after an exciting encounter Exeter won by 5 to 2

.— BCM June 1898

[...from IM Mike Conroy of Burnley, Lancs. via Phil Trussler & Bob Jones – thanks to all!]

Chess Quotes

"A lot of the difference between an IM and GM is a seriousness to the game. The GM is willing to go through all this. He's willing to put up with anything. This shows his dedication. One other thing is the GMs superiority in tactics. For example Christiansen can find tactics in any position. If you're a GM you should be able to overpower the IM tactically. The GM will often blow out the IM in this area. "
— Nick de FIRMIAN, in How To Get Better at Chess : Chess Masters on Their Art by GM Larry Evans, IM Jeremy B Silman and Betty Roberts

EDITORIAL NOTE: This of course contradicts David Norwood's view. While David's opinion is based on research, I think Nick's is the correct one. I have a wonderful proof of this theorem, but unfortunately this page is too small to hold it. - Dr.Dave.