Thursday 18 October 2001

Archive: UNCUT! 7

The Sean Marsh Chess Column


Column No. 7

Local chess man wins top award!

Congratulations to Alan Brown!

Deaf and blind, Alan, 54, started using a computer just a year and a half ago but has already developed the skills necessary to produce a chess column for ‘Rainbow’, Deafblind UK’s magazine.

Alan was recently presented with the prestigious LibraryAssociation & learndirect E-Learning Community prize for 2001. He is the North East regional winner and has every chance of becoming thenational winner later in the year.

Alan received his prize at the Open Technology & UK Online Centre,Stockton Central Library, on 1st November. Terry Bean, Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, presented the award.

Alan says: ‘I was born disabled and have been totally blindsince the age of 14. I really believed that I would never be able to takeadvantage of what a computer could offer. I now have a major new interest in mylife. I am able to communicate with people in ways I would not have believed possible. The written word has been given back to me and I intend to take fulladvantage of the opportunity that has been presented to me through the Ann Kallagher Suite in the Open Technology Centre at Stockton Library.’

learndirect is the network of learning services being developed by UfiLtd, the government flagship for lifelong learning.

Alan’s achievements are absolutely inspirational. Let’s hope he can go onto even greater success at the national stage of the awards.

New Chess Book With Local Connection

Who won the first Redcar Chess Congress? If you can remember as far back as the weekend of 6-8 February 1981, when the current series started, you will say Colin Crouch and Ian Wells. However, the 1st Redcar Tournamentwas won by Reverend Arthur Bolland 1865!

The 2nd Redcar Tournament was much stronger and was won by the enigmatic Cecil De Vere. De Vere was the very first British Chess Champion and, in a famous match, he defeated the great Steinitz 8-4. Steinitz had given odds of pawn and move and De Vere was just too strong.

TB claimed De Vere was he was just 29 but his short life contained much mystery. In a great new book, ‘TheEnglish Morphy’? The Life and Games of Cecil De Vere byOwen Hindle and Bob Jones, De Vere is put under the spotlight like never before. This is, I believe, the first book to deal solely with the first British Champion.

The first half of the book comprehensively covers the story of his life, complete with tournament tables, rare photos and anecdotes. There then follow 101 entertaining De Vere games, most with annotations.

His opponents include Anderssen, Steinitz, Zukertort, Blackburne and many other chess giants of the 19th Century.

Published by Keverel Chess Books,this extremely interesting and entertaining book is a must for any chess historian and I guarantee that a lot of the material will be new to the vastmajority of players. Even if you are not particularly interested in the history,the bright games will make a refreshing change from the modern day theoretical, heavyweight Grandmaster clashes.

For us locals, it is a pleasant change to see one of our local events covered in a historical tome. Chess history is created everywhere, not just in Moscow and Reykjavik.

For further details, contact:

Keverel Chess Books,

Keverel Lodge,

40, Phillips Avenue,



(tel: 01395 223340)

Web site:

While you’re at it, ask for the latest Keverel Chess Books catalogue - more recommended reading!

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