RIP Dave Pearce

It is with great sadness we report the passing of a long standing local Chess player from Penketh. Below are a few words from his friend Mike Selway;

“Dave sadly died on 19 Sept. He contracted cancer just before last Christmas & gradually deteriorated until he became hospitalised finally succumbing after being moved to a hospice. Until lockdown in March I visited him at his maisonette in Culcheth for a weekly game & after lockdown we played first of all over the telephone & then via Skype. To begin with I couldn’t beat him as his grade was far higher than mine although we did have some great close games. His game gradually became affected by his condition & I kept having to go over the pertaining board position as his concentration was beginning to suffer. Consequently I was winning more & more games. We played our last game on 28 June. Unfortunately it remains unfinished but I have kept a record of it. It would be nice to play it out at the Club if & when we can resume activities. He called me from hospital a few weeks ago to tell me that he had just been informed that the cancer was terminal & he didn’t have very long to live. He was very upbeat about it & it was almost as if he was phoning to tell me that he’d just bought a new car. I hope that when my time comes I can be just as philosophical!

(Dave’s final, unfinished game against Mike is below)

An update from the club secretary:

Covid-19: ServiceMax Give Zinc for Free

I hope you are all keeping safe and well in these curious times. The impact of the COVID pandemic on club and league chess shows no sign of easing as the traditional start date of the season approaches. I am sure that you have already worked out that face to face chess is one of the most difficult sports to adapt to social distancing and all the other preventive measures designed to stop the transmission and spread of infection.

Our playing venue, Culcheth Sports Club (CSC), was in financial difficulties prior to the pandemic and the lockdown and subsequent restrictions have only made that situation worse. We were recently faced with a demand to pay our full annual subscription even though we could not use the venue for chess. Tom, Andy and I decided that we would not pay until we had greater certainty about the resumption of league fixtures and whether the venue met health and safety standards. Initially the CSC reacted by asking us to remove our equipment from the storage cupboard, but following a spot of negotiating they withdrew their request – at least for the time being.

I am sorry about the lack of positive news but rest assured that as soon as I get any you will be informed without delay.

Best wishes


*Below are a few games played recently online by club members for your enjoyment*

On the other end of the time control scale, Keith Maudsley sent in this nice win played at 3 mins each time controls I am told. From a quiet looking opening position Keith develops a strong kingside attack which ends in a nice checkmate.

Finally Damian had a couple of interesting correspondence games with Steven Jones. Both games ended up as drawn. The London system game was most interesting which followed a similar pattern to a game I played against Mike Rotchell in the league season, Steven however captured upon c5 early which led to a more unbalanced game:

Culcheth against The Greats: Part 2

Kasparov presenting a book to Richard Furness, who organised the event and co-founder of Culcheth chess club.

Considered by most to be the strongest player of all time Kasporov’s dynamic style was a refreshing throwback to the days of Alekhine. Which gave a tremendous boost to chess which had previously been dominated by the Karpovian Soviet style for the previous decade.

Kasparov’s long reign as World Champion ran between the years of 1985 to 2000, when he was finally defeated by compatriot Vladimir Kramnik, whose Berlin Wall defence in that match proved too strong to break down.

In terms of UK chess, Kasparov had his biggest impact in 1993 when he was to defend his title against Britain’s Nigel Short. I won’t go into the controversies surrounding the match itself, however I will say it gave UK chess a huge boost being billed as “The strongest British chess player of all time” V “The strongest player the world has ever seen,”

Sadly Short was to lose the match despite achieving many promising attacking positions. The matches were shown live on channel 4 which I eagerly followed after school. Not much footage remains of the match sadly but there are a few surviving snippits online;

In 1989 Kasparov whilst on a visit to the uk hosted a simultaneous exhibition organized by Richard Furness, in which some of our local players took part.

Simon Myles (from Winwick) was one of these, as well as Rob Furness whom has very kindly provided pictures and an annotation of his game below.

A win against a World Champion! That is certainly something you can always be very proud of.

A young Robert Furness (left) with Simon Myles who now plays for Winwick 2 boards down in stripey shirt.

Kasparov is now semi retired from the game of chess, however in recent years he has made the odd appearence in rapid chess, he has shown in these matches that he is still more then capable of mixing it up with the worlds best. Below is a full game I recorded from last year (2018) where he demonstrates his deep understanding of a Sicilian structure from start to finish.