1906: Exeter Chess Club before the first war

At a certain club the rules as to silence in some of the rooms is perhaps carried to extremes. The other evening a new member hazarded a game of chess with one of the old stagers. After playing for twenty minutes without a word being spoken, he said, "Check!" At this the old stager left the table, exclaiming, "I can't play chess with a man who will talk!" The new member resigned.

(Unsourced cutting in Club scrapbook, c.1905)


During the late days of September there is always a great awakening of chess life in the county of Devonshire...

British Chess Magazine, Vol.XXVI (1906), p.455

  DEVON COUNTY CUP: FINAL Exeter vs. Plymouth

Plymouth and Exeter Chess Clubs met at Teignmouth yesterday in the Final for the Devon County Cup. Last year the same two teams had to meet in the deciding match for the trophy. Plymouth winning handsomely. Exeter won the toss and took the move at the odd boards, the openings being: 1: Giuoco Piano; 2: Queen’s Gambit Declined, 3: Giuoco Piano, 4; Vienna, 5: Sicilian, 6: French Defence. Exeter did badly from the start. Nicole mistook his KP for a QP, and made a fatal blunder, Col. Bennett scoring first win for Plymouth. Bremridge was the next to lose. Rickeard got the better of Thompson in a hard game, and at this point Plymouth had won all three of the games finished, and had only to obtain another half to secure the match. Palmer and Taylor were engaged in a stiff fight, but the former having a Rook up seemed to have an assured victory *

At boards 5 and 6 very even games were in progress, and the issue was doubtful. As the time for ceasing hostilities approached, however, the prospects of the Exonians improved. Presently Palmer forced a win, while Bleby gave up his two R’s for his opponent’s Q and Kt. Gundry, too, was pressing Howard, and although White’s advantage was not so obvious, yet he undoubtedly had the best of the argument. Presently Bleby carried out a successful coup, and scored a win for the citizens. Howard was now threatened with the loss of a piece, and although he struggled gamely his antagonist was not to be denied, and the fight continued well in favour of Gundry. The hour for ceasing play arriving, Messrs. Taylor and Palmer proceeded to adjudicate on the position. Exeter – a piece to the good, however – had an obviously won game, and the point was accordingly conceded to Exeter. This brought the scores three all, and another match will accordingly have to be played in order to decide which club shall hold the cup.


Plymouth Exeter

T.W. Taylor 0 E. Palmer 1

C.F.Cooper 1 Rev. H. Bremridge 0

W.W. Rickeard 1 G.F. Thompson 0

Col. R.D. Bennett 1 R.S. Nicole 0

W. Howard 0 W.H. Gundry 1

H.G. Phillips 0 Rev. H. Bleby 1

3 3

Western Morning News , 24 th May 1906



The members of the Exeter Club met in annual meeting on September 20th. Mr. Cecil E. Parry was elected president, and Mr. W.H. Gundry re-elected hon. Secretary and treasurer. Mr. A.L. Noake won the handicap tourney. The finances show a surplus of about £2.

British Chess Magazine , Vol.31 (1911)


GUNDRY.jpg William (?Wyndham) H. Gundry [1861-1914]   picture from the British Chess Magazine , 1903

"Mr. Gundry, the chess editor of an Exeter paper, entitled the Western Times , which started its chess column April 1902, is well-known as both a solver and publisher of problems. He has published nearly 500 chess problems; and gained solving prizes in Leeds Mercury (weekly supplement) and Western Morning News . He gained first prize in the "topsy turvy" competition held by the Reading Observer , 1901. He is also a strong player, having gained first prize in the Exeter C.C. Tourney. He is a most able and obliging secretary, and one who may be trusted to give impetus to the progress of the noble game."

— BCM 1903

"We regret to announce the death of Mr. W.H. Gundry, hon. Secretary of the Exeter Chess club, who died at Burnham (Somerset) on July 31 st . Mr. Gundry, who was a bachelor, and of a very reserved disposition, broke down in health last February."

— BCM Sept 1914

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