CONTACT No 44 - Summer 1966
"Silver Rook" Chess Tournament 1966
The Royal Game had a royal ending this year!
After seasons of endeavour, suffering more than once the exasperation of being losing finalists, the Bank team has won the "Silver Rook" - the trophy of the inter-departmental chess knock-out competition - and the formal presentation will take place at Yardley Sports Ground at 9pm on Friday, 8th July.
Progress to the final began by winning the match against the Building Department on 31st January. Peter Austin played as a "new boy" in the team; his opponent ruefully commenting after a short, sharp game that he did not know the Bank had a "secret weapon". Cross our hearts neither did we, but it was a performance Peter was due to repeat. Another victor in this strenuous game was Peter Aston who played his opponent to a lone King. John Britten and Howard Powell lost hard-fought boards, with Keith Parkes saving the day by forcing a winning position on the top board.
The Public Works Department (Drawing Office) were the semi-finalists and lost to the Bank by 1 game to 4, our team having two changes, Chris Addis and Norman Worwood.
The Annual Balance work and subsequent examinations led to postponement of arrangements for the Final, but eventually we met our old protagonists, the Town Clerk's Department, on 10th May, with a team consisting of Keith Parkes v T Rembges; Howard Powell v W Kinder; John Britten v K Morris; Peter Austin v J Broomhead and Chris Addis v W Pearson. For the third time Peter Austin won his game in well under 30 minutes! Chris Addis followed with a win in one hour and Keith Parkes settled for a draw. Howard Powell won his game, with John Britten losing after a sterling game giving a 3˝ to 1˝ win for the Bank - hence the "Silver Rook".
For the past five years, the award has been won by the Town Clerk's Department, following the Gas Board holding it for one year. The "Silver Rook" began its existence in pre-war years and was again played for immediately after the War, but interest waned until the Town Clerk's Department issued an open challenge to re-open the competition.
The Bank's original team included the late Roy Willingham and Roy Weaver, and from the very beginning the team showed an enthusiasm which has never lessened, despite the fact that we have no funds, no meetings, no equipment, no practice. In the words of the 16th Century poet-chess player:
"Know you that this shall read or see,
I wish nought for my paine:
If it thee please, I have content,
I seek no other gaine".