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December 2014
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Eric E Croker RIP

3rd November 1923 – 18th December 2014

Eric became an international arbiter in 1989, but he was much more than that. He received the ECF President’s Award for Services to Chess in 1991 and was a BCF Senior Arbiter.
He was a pioneer of the grading of junior chess in the SCCU. He remarked later that I was very useful, being one of the few juniors who also played adult chess. He was a past President of the Middlesex County Chess Association and of the SCCU. He had been Chairman of the Chess Arbiters Assocation. He was a mainstay of the arbirting team at the Chess Magazine Festival, Guernsey and British Championships; receiving the Richard Boxall Salver for services to the congress in 1993.

Read on — Eric E Croker RIP

ECF Office – Christmas opening

The ECF Office will be closed for business on the 24th, 25th and the 26th of December 2014, and on the 1st and the 2nd of January 2015. Season’s greetings to you all!

Challenge Match Gawain Jones v Romain Edouard – final report

- from David Openshaw, ECF International Director

Gawain Jones won the six game match against Romain Edouard 4-2 with wins in the first and sixth games and draws in the other games. The match was extremely well fought with two Grandmasters, who are both in the world’s top 100, playing exciting chess. All the games are shown below. The sixth game has a lovely finish – see if you can find Gawain’s winning 43rd move, which brought an immediate resignation. Congratulations to Gawain on a really good overall performance.

This match was part of an initiative by the ECF to help the development of key players. The match was played over six games. The first five were played in the auditorium at the London Classic at Olympia and the final game at the Brambles Administration Hampstead Congress. My thanks to Stewart Reuben for arranging the sponsorship, Malcolm Pein and the London Classic and Adam Raoof for hosting the event.

Peter Hugh Clarke RIP

18 Mar 1933 – 11 Dec 2014

FIDE and British Master P.H. Clarke will be best remembered as biographer to Tal and to Petrosyan, but he was so much more. The young Clarke played for Ilford CC in the London League and for Essex at county level. Doing national service he was to learn the Russian that was to so shape his writings. For a brief period in the late 1950s, and early sixties, he was the number two player in England, ahead of the vastly more experienced Alexander and Golombek. He played, of course, below Jonathan Penrose, a partnership that bore fruit when preparing openings; latterly they both became Correspondence Grandmasters.

At the British Championships itself he finished second on his first appearance; he was to tie for silver medal on no less than five occasions, appearing, almost without a break for thirty years, a run that ended in 1982. He represented the BCF – as it then was – in eight Olympiads, playing on top board in 1966.

The Clarke family moved to the West of England in the late Sixties. PHC played in thirteen WECU Championships, and lost only twice. As a player he could be cautious, agreeing too readily to draws. Accuracy and respect meant more to him than ambition. The biographer became a journalist as illness cut short his playing career. In his time he beat Larsen, Penrose and Szabo.

In 1962 he married BH Wood’s daughter, Peggy. They had three daughters. In 1975 my mother happened across Peter and Peggy on Morecambe prom.  “Never” she was later to tell me, “have I seen a couple more in love.”

– see more at: http://www.britishchessmagazine.co.uk/obituary-ph-clarke/#sthash.TObPwcnh.dpuf

Text and picture reproduced with the kind permission of the BCM

ECU Press Release – EICC Jerusalem 2015

ECU President Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili visited Jerusalem / EICC 2015 Prize Fund raises 120.000 euros and may raise more …

The ECU President, Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili made an inspection trip to Jerusalem on the 11th-12th of December.  Mr. Azmaiparashvili visited the hotels and the playing hall that will host the European Individual Championship from 23 February to 9 March 2015.  During his stay in Jerusalem he met and had talks with the Chairman of the Israel Chess Federation, Moshe Slav, and members of the Organizing Committee.

During the meetings it was decided that the prize fund for EICC 2015 will raise 20.000 euros to reach the total amount of 120.000 euros. The organizers said they may add an additional 10.000 euros depending on the sponsorship of the tournament.

As far as the European Individual Women Championship 2015 is concerned, it was decided that the remaining time is not enough for its successful organization in Jerusalem. The Championship will take place later in the year on available dates. The ECU President is already in negotiations with the potential organizers.

In the free time between the meetings, the ECU President had a guided tour in the historical city of Jerusalem and some chess challenges!

Full report here