Here is a brief history of Camberley Chess Club

Camberley Chess Club was inaugurated in 1972

Camberley Chess Club was inaugurated in 1972 on the back of the huge media (chess on television !) interest in the Spassky-Fischer world championship match in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The idea came from four times British Ladies Champion Major Patricia Anne Mothersill (née Sunnucks)  to open her spacious home at 28, Brackendale Close for weekly club nights and matches.

Original home of Camberley Chess Club
Original home of Camberley Chess Club

Anne was a director of BMS Chess Supplies Ltd. which retailed chess books and equipment which the grateful membership purchased !

Major Patricia Anne Mothersill (née Sunnucks)
Major Patricia Anne Mothersill (née Sunnucks)

Anne passed away on November 22nd, 2014 at a retirement village in Meadow Park, Braintree, Essex.

The most notable early member was Keith Bevan Richardson who was master strength and was one of the world’s strongest correspondence players.

Keith Bevan Richardson
Keith Bevan Richardson

1974 Camberley Chess Club members

By 1974 club members now included: John E Upham (aged 14) Paul A Lamford, John G Trevelyan (WLS), Stephen C James (WLS), Gaynor D James (WLS), Ken Preston-Wyse, Mark A Johnstone (aged 13), RC O’Neil, David V Lofts, Adrian G Lofts, Sean Gaynor and Alec John Aslett.

In 1976 Keith Richardson was awarded title of Correspondence Grandmaster, the first such winner of this title from the United Kingdom.

Our first big success in local leagues came in 1977 when we won The Waecheter Shield which is the huge Division One trophy of the Surrey Border League and since then a further four times.

The Waechter Shield
The Waechter Shield

In 1978 John Upham went to UCL to study chemistry  and in 1979 Mark Johnstone left the area to become a barrister.

Change of venue 1980

In 1980 we had outgrown the Brackendale Close premises and transferred to France Hill School and in this year we were joined by club stalwart, Colin J Lyne on August 21st 1980. Colin recalls

 I joined the club on the 21st of August 1980 and played David Lofts on my first visit. It was a Two Knights Defence and was a 28 move draw. I also played Cliff Collis , George Berzins and Peter Putt who remained in the club many years . A few years later Sean Gaynor rejoined and to this day he is good friends with me . The first match I ever played for Camberley was at Guildford and I won. Frank Woolford used to play board 1. Other players were Russell Brittan, Albert Rowray and Geoff Rideout . Keith Richardson only turned out against Guildford in those times.  I found out about the club when I bought some chess books from Ann Sunnucks who won the British Ladies title more than once .

When I joined it was held at France Hill school and we had to pack up at 1030 as the caretaker would throw us out !

Colin Lyne
Colin Lyne

Move to Camberley Baptist Church 1982

in 1982 we relocated to Camberley Baptist Church, Frimley Road which is the current venue meeting on almost all Tuesdays.

During the 1980s the club had teams playing in the Thames Valley Chess League and in 1985 won Division Four of the TVCL.

Next to join was FM Ian D. Thompson who wrote :

I joined the club in late September or early October 1982, I think, so in time for the start of the 1982-83 season.  The first match I played was on 14 October 1982.

Ian was able to add :

Members that I recall  at the time include C Smedley (opponent from Camberley B in my first match), Keith Richardson, Colin Lyne, John Murrell, Richard Webb (for a year or two, I think), Nigel Povah (living in Frimley at the time, not sure he was ever a proper member, but he definitely played one or two matches for Camberley), Gordon Birch, Alec Aslett, Bob Pidgeon, Frank Woolford, Ian Duvall (I think, but possibly he joined after I left), Dino Lymbouri