1968 Bernard Cafferty Display, Burton Chess Club

English chess master Bernard Cafferty is probably best known for his numerous prominent chess books but he had a very impressive chess career with a string of titles and International play both over the board and correspondence.

On 14th December, 1968, Bernard gave a simultaneous exhibition held at Anglesey School, Burton. He played 17, won 16 and lost 1 to Trevor Bould who was already Burton Champion.

Derek Davies, Jim Bishop, Sidney Gothard (unfortunatelly hidden), Ernie Benton, Bernard Cafferty (making a move that Trevor Bould finds highly amusing), Tony Henchcliffe, Kevin Crisp, Tony Fisher, Trevor Bould (seated), George Benton and T. Ramsell (non-member).

A surprisingly hansom Trevor Bould enjoying some personal time with Bernard as the only player to beat him.

1975 GM Raymond Keene Display, Belper Chess Club

In 1975, Chess Master Raymond Keene gave a simultaneous display organised by Belper Chess Club at Belper High School. Ray played against thirty players managing, as might be expected, to win 29, draw 1 and lose 0. This unfolded as quite a coup because shortly after the visit, Ray became only the second Englishman (following Tony Miles) to be awarded the Grandmaster title.

The photo (courtesy of Ron Harrison) shows:

Standing, trying their best not to look posed, (left to right), Ron Harrison, Norman Parkin, James Shore and one of Derbyshires chess characters that will always stick in my mind, Isaac Iglesias, sadly now deceased. Seated of course is Ray Keene.

Grandmaster Simultaneous Exhibitions, Burton-on-Trent

During the late 1970s and early 1980s there was (believe it or not!) a BBC TV Chess Program ‘The Master Game’ where 8 prominent Chess Gradmasters of the day such as Anatoly Karpov, Bent Larsen, Vlastimil Hort and significantly Tony Miles – Britain’s first ever Grandmaster, played one another in a tournament and annotated their own games.

In the same period, Kenneth Boardman-Weston, who owned among other companies, English Grains in Burton-on-Trent, was President of Burton Chess Club. As a local wealthy chess enthusiast, he was persuaded to sponsor a series of Grandmaster Simultaneous exhibitions which were highly popular and over-subscribed with player unable to get a board turning up to spectate.

1980 GM Tony Miles Display, Burton-on-Trent

Tony Miles won 25, lost 2 (Ray Hallmark, David Pickering) and drew 13 (Ralph Allen, E Benton, Trevor Bould, Kevin Crisp, Andrew Hines, John Hoddy, John Lill, Richard Webb, Steve Briggs (County Champion), Simon Gilmore, John Howlett, O Hardy & M Johnson). A pretty strong 40.

Trevor Bould looking as though he mischievously already knew his Nimzo-Indian was going to secure him a draw by move 4.

And Burton's main rivals at the time, the Belper mob with, foreground to background, Ron Harrison (is that a bribe being offered?), Simon Gilmore (trying to figure out where he had gone wrong), Steve Briggs (County Champion at the time) and Isaac Iglesias.

1981 GM Nigel Short Display, Burton-on-Trent

Following the success of the first exhibition, on May 9th, 1981 Nigel Short turned up with shoulder length hair and buried in a 10 feet long Dr Who scarf. He was aged just 16 but already an International Master and had famously beaten Bobby Fischer's record to be the youngest player ever to hold the title.

Determined to beat the Tony Miles result. As the above Burton Mail article confirms, he played 36, won 30, lost 1 (Ray Hallmark) and drew 5 (Ralph Allen, Simon Boardman-Weston, Kevin Gallagher, David Pickering of Burton Chess Club and David Greensmith of Derby Chess Club).

If I can bore you with my favourite chess anecdote (if I haven't already!). Knowing that I was sure to lose if I played a conventional game, I made a highly speculative material sacrifice on move 18. Luck was on my side because it led to an easy perpetual check. The key moment though is that on move 24, seeing the perpetual, Nigel offered me a draw which I declined and played my move. Looking very worried for a second and then confused, he moved on. At his next visit to the board I shook hands for a draw.

I was asked afterwards why I had done that but it was an easy question to answer:

"To say that you have drawn against a Grandmaster is one thing, but to say that you have DECLINED a draw from a Grandmaster is quite another!!!".

The scoresheet remains a cherished possession:

1982 GM William Hartson Display, Burton-on-Trent

On 3rd April, 1982, William Hartston gave a Simultaneous Exhibition. 'Bill', as he preferred, never lost a game but I don’t have a record of how many boards or how any draws. 

As Presenter of the above mentioned TV program, most of the Q&A questions were so inclined slightly to his irritation

I received comment from Kevin Byard who some might remember from Burton Chess Club in the late 1970s/early 1980s before he went to University and now lives in New Zealand.

.... It also states that Hartston didn’t lose and only drew a few games, but the writer said he doesn’t have a record of the number of games or draws. I don’t know the exact number of games he played (around 40ish) but I know for certain that there were four draws. I know this, because I was one of the draws - a proud achievement for me, certainly. I’ve attached the score sheet(below), that was also signed by Hartston. Note also from the score sheet that the date was the 3rd of April not the 12th of June as mentioned on the web page [corrected].

I also remember that in your own game, you could have made him late for his train back home by leaving a knight, bishop and king vs king ending, but chose the chivalrous option and resigned so as to let him get home on time.

Cheers, and all the best,

Kevin Byard
Senior Lecturer
Department of Economics
Faculty of Business and Law
Auckland University of Technology
New Zealand

It is quite amusing because I don't have quite the same recollection. Knowing that I was going to lose, I decided that the next best acclaim would be for me to be the last person to finish which is what I achieved. I also still have the scoresheet (below) although I had to also use a second one because I ran out of space. I resigned not out of chivalry but as soon as the second to last person resigned. I didn't however, have the same presence of mind to get it signed

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