2022 Gordon Birch Memorial Tournament

Professor Gordon Birch was our friend, former Chairman of Camberley Chess Club, and stalwart of local chess over many years. He sadly died last Christmas and he is very much missed by the chess community.

To mark the anniversary, we held a Gordon Birch Memorial Tournament at our club on Thursday 15th December 2022.

It was extremely well supported with a capacity entry of 30 members and friends of Gordon.  

It was an unrated 5 round Swiss tournament, with a rapid play time limit of 10 minutes plus an increment of 3 seconds.  As a nod to Gordon’s well known and strict adherence to the Grob Opening over many years, it was mandatory for all games to begin 1. g4.

This made the whole tournament very different and exciting as players were mostly unfamiliar both as white and as black with the opening and many often strange positions that developed. In fact over the 5 rounds of 75 games there were no draws in the first 3 rounds and only one draw in the 4th and two draws in the 5th round. This shows the volatility of the Grob!

There was no entry fee, instead donations were requested, and over £200 has been raised so far for UNICEF. Donations can still be made via the donations to the club on the membership page.

Our special guest Ian Birch, one of Gordon’s sons, also entered and was kind enough to say a few words and award the prizes at the end.

Seb Twisk
The best placed Junior was Seb Twisk who received a cash prize.
Julien Shepley
The overall winner was Julien Shepley who received a Michael Basman book on the Grob.

Full results are below. Click on the image below to open up round details.

Here are some photos from the evening.

Tribute to Gordon Birch and photos can be found here.