Cyril Dennis

It is with deep sadness that we learn of the passing of Cyril Dennis on 4 November 2018. We believe he was 93 or 94.

Club Secretary, Martin Page, said: “Cyril had been a member of Insurance Chess Club for a great many years and, until his move to Scotland, continued to play for us regularly. I knew him very well as did many of the older Club members, and I am sure that they will be as sad as I am to learn of his passing.”

Former colleague at the Guardian, Michael Wiltshire, said “I first met Cyril in August 1964 when he was secretary of the Guardian chess club. Personnel had informed him I played chess so Cyril told me I was to play for the fourth team in Division 6. He was an excellent administrator and on retirement, if not before, became grader for the Insurance league. He was also a fine tutor as we would often play during our morning coffee break.”

In addition to the long service to Guardian Chess, Cyril was Assistant Secretary Inter-Office Competitions for a good number of years until 1995 and A/S Grading, retiring from the Committee in 1996. He was made a Life Member in 1997 and was a recipient of the Rodney James Award for Services to the Club in 1998.


John Philpott’s funeral details

japclipJohn Philpott’s funeral will take place at 11.30 am on Tuesday 8th November, at West Mersea Parish Church, CO5 8QD (note the time – not as given on the ECF Website). The family has requested no flowers, but donations can be made to either the Lifeboats Association or the Essex Air Ambulance Service.

Anyone who knew John is welcome to attend, and should inform Mrs Philpott at

John Philpott, R.I.P.

John Philpott, with the National Club Major Trophy won by Wanstead & Woodford CC in 2004 under his Captaincy.

It is with great sadness and shock that we have received news of the sudden death yesterday of John Philpott.

His son Robin has posted the following on Twitter:

“He was an eccentric man, an English gentleman, who went out his way for others, loved Cheese, Chess, West Ham, Anaheim Angels and living on Mersea Island, where  he felt at home actively participating in several choirs and the community.

The alarm was raised after he failed to meet up for West Ham vs Crystal Palace followed by Steel Panther tonight. Shortly thereafter he was discovered by a neighbour.”

Mark Murrell (Wanstead & Woodford CC and Essex) adds:

“News did not reach this afternoon’s ECF Council meeting where a minute’s silence was observed for all those lost to English Chess, to which another great loss has been added. A number of Directors had highlighted John’s voluntary and  immense contributions to national chess organisation over the past year.

He was the guiding influence that saw the ECF turn the corner both financially and as a corporation serving as Financial Controller and Company Secretary simultaneously and above all, wise counsel and friend to all.”

John’s contribution to English chess was prodigious and much to numerous to recount here; a better time will be found to pay proper tribute.

John was the Club’s Webmaster; this was his site, which he created when he succeeded me as Club Webmaster.

A terrible loss.

Ian Hunnable
President and Chairman

Nurse Lightning Championship 2015/16

This deferred opening night event will take place on Wednesday 6 April at 6.30 p.m.  The venue will be upstairs at the Carpenter’s Arms Pub, 12 Seymour Place, London W1H 7NE, which is 2 minutes walk from Marble Arch Station.

A buzzer will be used, applying a rate of 10 seconds per move.  The evening normally ends at 9.15 p.m.

Event organiser Paul Barclay hopes that as many club members as possible will attend.

City Chess Association results

Tony Paish reports on recent City Chess Association matches. Read more of this post

Ian Hunnable wins Ratcliff Blitz

The winner reports:


  1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 Total
1 Ian Hunnable 1 1 1 1 0 1 5
2 David Sedgwick 0 0 0 1 1 1 3
3 Paul Barclay 0 0 1 0 1 0 2
4 Martin Page 1 0 0 0 0 1 2

Played, unusually, on a Friday and – again unusually – the Friday before Christmas, but dates at the Carpenters Arms are difficult to find now. This owing to a combination of factors: a number of dates are taken up with our home City Chess League and Cup fixtures; there is more demand for the Carpenters Arms function room since it was refurbished. So the delayed “Closing Night” for the 2014-15 Season had to wait until Christmas. Read more of this post

Ratcliff Blitz Championship

The closing night’s event for the 2014/15 season will take place on Friday the 18th of December at 6.15pm.The venue will be upstairs at the Carpenters Arms 12 Seymour Place W1H 7NE which is 2 minutes walk from Marble Arch station.
It will be the usual format 10 minutes on each clock and less if we have a large entry we should finish at approximately 9.15pm
Paul Barclay