Judging by the number of entries received, there are not too many people on the edge of their seats waiting for the results of the Christmas Quiz to be announced but you are going to get them anyway.

  1. Black’s moves are as follows:  …..e5…..Qf6…..Qxf3…..Be7 mate
  2. Lewis. This is, of course, a reference to the famous Isle Lewis chessmen.
  3. Thomas Middleton had written a play called ‘A Game at Chess’ in 1624 but two years earlier John Fletcher wrote ‘The Spanish Curate’ which was the first time a complete game of chess had featured on stage.
  4. In each of the tournaments listed the winner achieved a 100% score.
  5. Windsor Castle
  6. According to Tartakover, ‘The wisdom of the East has stated that there are some who play poorly and do not know that they play poorly: they are ignoramuses – avoid them. There are others who play poorly and know that they play poorly: they are intelligent – help them. There are some that play well and do not know that they play well: they are modest – respect them. And there are some that play well and know they play well: they are sages – follow them.’
  7. 1887 – a glance at the website masthead tells you this one.
  8. George Bernard Shaw
  9. This extract was written by Harpo Marx, describing an early visit to Moscow by the Marx Brothers. It was taken from his autobiography, ‘Harpo Speaks!’ a very interesting and entertaining book not just for Marx Bros fans.
  10. The key to this puzzle is, of course, underpromotion:      1. c8 (R)     Ke6 (the only move)          2. Rc6 mate

Congratulations to Clive Le Baigue, who scored 8/10, just missing out on the Tartakover categories and the Fletcher play. A worthy attempt and well worth a drink next time you’re in Cramptons on a Monday,  Clive.




Twas a week before Christmas and inside the pub all the Broadstairs members were tucking into their grub…Yes, folks, in case you haven’t noticed, it will soon be Christmas which can only mean one thing: the Christmas Dinner.  The venue for this celebration has more often than not been the Tartar Frigate in Broadstairs harbour which is enigmatically described on its website as ‘one of the only 18th century flint restaurants in Kent’. Only how many? Without delving into the archives we can’t be sure how many club dinners there have been but we are confident that the Tartar Frigate pre-dates the first.

Tradition has it that we meet in another of Mr Thorley’s eating and drinking establishments, the Charles Dickens, before moving on to the Tartar Frigate where fourteen members sat down to a delicious meal, generously subsidised by the club. Actually, only thirteen were Broadstairs members – the fourteenth was our guest, Clive Le Baigue, an old friend of ours from Margate Chess Club.  Midway through the evening it was time for the quiz – another tradition. In the past we have had quizzes purely about chess, others about Broadstairs, occasionally a mixture of the two. This year David Faldon produced an amusing multiple choice quiz on all things chess related and otherwise. We even had a poetry recitation (‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost) from David Clifford, who added some Shakespeare for good measure.

 Alas, there were no prizes, not even for Richard Bowles’ splendid Christmas jumper (see photo above). Towards the end of the evening, people began to drift away as taxis called. David Clifford’s chauffeur – his grandson, Elliott Boyes once of this parish – turned up to say hello and before long it was closing time for the Tartar Frigate. But that was not the end for some. The Dolphin called and there was time for a few more drinks and one final photo of John and Clive doing their best to pretend that it was not really 12.45 a.m.  Please note that Clive is still wearing his tie, striking a blow for the sartorial elegance of chess players everywhere. Many thanks to all those who attended. The club now closes for three weeks for Christmas and the New Year, re-opening on January 8th 2018. Meanwhile, don’t forget the Christmas Quiz and finally a ‘Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!’






Father Christmas popped into the club for a game of chess on Monday but he clearly wasn’t happy with the set he had to play with as you can see. However, he did suggest a few questions for the annual Broadstairs Christmas Dinner next Monday but I thought it best to advertise the quiz now. It’s a mixture of the fiendishly difficult, the trivial and the downright silly. (As I write this, not all questions have not been set so I hope they live down to the billing.) I am confident that no-one will get them all right so I am offering free entry to the 2018 Thanet Chess Congress to the first correct entry received by December 31st. Results will appear in the New Year.

  1. Here’s a tricky one to start with. In this position both players have played four moves and White was checkmated after Black’s fourth but only White’s position is shown. He must have learnt from me as his moves were as follows: f3, Kf2, Kg3  Kh4.  The question is…..what moves did Black make in order to ensure mate on move 4?
  2. A British Museum record of December 8 1832 states that ’67 chessmen carved about the 13th century from the teeth of the walrus, found in………’ Where?
  3. In which 17th century play was a game of chess first shown on stage?
  4. What do these four winners of the tournaments in brackets have in common:  Emanuel Lasker (New York 1893), Henry Atkins (Amsterdam 1899), Jose Raul Capablanca (New York 1913), Bobby Fischer (New York 1963/64)?
  5. Where can you find a chess board that belonged to Charles I with these words inscribed around the edge: ‘With these, subject and ruler strive without bloodshed’?
  6. According to the Polish/French Grandmaster, Savielly Tartakover, there are four types of chess player. What are they?
  7. Here’s an easy one: in which year was Broadstairs Chess Club founded?
  8. Who said ‘Chess…is a foolish experiment for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever’?
  9.  Whose first attendance at a chess tournament in Moscow is amusingly described here: “In front of a good-sized theatre….there was an unusually long line of people ….It had to be something sensational with this many people waiting for a chance to get in….I had apparently come in during the intermission yet the curtain was raised and the stage was lit….Then a buzzer sounded and people damn near trampled each other to get back to their seats. A boy, maybe ten or twelve, walks out from the wings.  He moves one of the props on the table. The joint is so quiet I can hear my wristwatch ticking. A guy comes out, walks to the footlights, announces something to the audience and the joint goes wild….This is absolutely the craziest show I ever saw.” 
  10. Finally, in a neat symmetry, let’s finish with another puzzle. White to play and mate in two moves.






Here’s the only bright spot in our opening half-hour against Bridge (see David’s match report). This entertaining cameo from Nick is typical of his quirky style. Enough from me – what do I know?! – let’s hear how Nick saw it.

“We both had a blind spot. At black’s 15th move I was expecting Rd8 and then the Nxe5 works better. I hadn’t noticed that by instead playing Nc8, the black Queen now covered the d8 square. 16…dxe5 would have won for him I expect. But he had the same blind spot. Our prior analysis was still affecting our thought in that position. After Nc8, 16. Qa3 would have tied black up for a good few moves.”

White:   Nick McBride (173)     Black:   Shany Rezvany  (167)

Millar Cup v Bridge A

                            Broadstairs  2½         Bridge A   4½ 

1 David Faldon (174) 0-1   Vishnu Singh (205 )
2 Nick McBride (173) 1-0    Shany Rezvany (167)
3 Bob Page (135) 0-1    James Essinger (164)
4 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1    Robert Collopy (156)
5 John Couzens (116) 0-1    Tim Spencer (121)
6 Reg Pidduck (107) ½-½    Peter Blundell (120)
7 Andy Flood (106) 1-0    Ian Redmond (75)

David Faldon writes:

The match got off to a bad start for us when our boards 1 and 3 both lost quickly in different ways, neither good. But Nick on board 2 soon had us back in the match with a quick mating attack after a wild passage of play. The surviving players calmly ignored all the bloodshed on boards 1 to 3 and set themselves up for a long hard slog of proper chess. Due to my accident on board one I had more time than usual to watch the bottom four boards and great fun it was. All four games were hard fought with lots of cheeky tactical ideas. In the end only Andy and Reg had any success. Reg carefully withstood a bit of pressure and came out with a level position. Andy won a tricky rook and pawn ending the hard way, swapping off into a pawn ending where both sides were going to queen a pawn each, the crucial difference being that Andy’s pawn would queen with check. Brilliant! Anyway, congratulations to Bridge on their victory and many thanks to all of our players for putting up stiff resistance (except me).