I heard the sad news yesterday evening that Tony Goddard has been found dead in his flat. Tony played several games of chess for Nomads in 2013. He was a well-known Sheffield character, a highly intelligent man and a complex individual. Tony was an extremely strong Go (Wei Qi) player who had played many times at an international level. In 2008 he represented Great Britain at the Beijing World Mind Sports Games.
Although I’d known Tony well since 2003, it was upon his return from Beijing that he and I began to regularly play Xiang Qi (Chinese Chess). Tony even wrote a computer program that played Xiang Qi which he demonstrated to the public at Access Space, Sheffield.
Tony was a mathematician, something of an historian and a linguist. His view of the world was thoughtful and often nuanced. His dry wit was legendary, as was his inability to suffer fools gladly.
As a younger man he had worked as a computer programmer in many countries, including the USA, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. He had travelled in Iran and Afghanistan in the 1970s. He was something of a raconteur and had a wealth of stories with which he delighted audiences. To the dismay of his employers and other ex-pats Tony said he always seemed to prefer the company of the locals whilst abroad, often going native. The adventure he recalled to me of his time in a Washington ghetto was always my favourite.
Tony ate with chopsticks and loved cats. He enjoyed a good smoke and an occasional glass of wine. A man with a good heart, and a fine mind, he will be missed by those who knew him.
Sunday was a very enjoyable day of chess at Ecclesall’s venue – Dore and Totley Golf Club. The small Nomads contingent was made up of father and son duo, Steve and Henry Withington, both eager to win something.
The Championship was a six round rapid-play tournament, with each player having 30 minutes on the clock for all the moves.
The first round was less than an ideal start for Henry, who was drawn against his father. Despite Henry’s patricidal onslaught, Steve was able to mount a strong counter-attack and a draw was agreed. But this was to be the only game Henry didn’t win. He scored 5½ points from six rounds, putting him one point ahead of nearest rival, and club champion, Peter Hempson. With three points Steve also picked up a grading prize.
And here is Alan McIntosh’s report from the Ecclesall website:
The annual Ecclesall Club Championship took place at our home venue, the Dore and Totley Golf Club, on Sunday 20th November. It was a 6 round swiss tournament, with 30 minutes per player per game. The entry fee was £3.50, plus an optional £6.50 for the food that was available, and the event was open to all Ecclesall Club members and invited guests. The tournament was well represented by our guests. Regulars such as Mark Allison and Bill Ward from Woodseats, Paul Fletcher from Stannington, and ‘newcomers’ such as Steve and Henry Withington from Nomads, all turned up to support the event. 18 players took part in total and all the entry fee money was returned in prizes: £20 1st prize, £15 2nd prize, £10 3rd prize and 2 x £10 grading prizes (one for the middle third and one for the bottom third of ranked players).
Henry Withington was drawn against his lower graded father in the first round and only managed to draw. Thereafter he ‘saw off’ Francis Kay, Paul Fletcher, Stephen Lee, John Neely and Ken McIntosh, to win the tournament outright with 5½.
Our own Peter Hempson, despite a loss in the first round to Stephen Lee and a draw against Ken McIntosh in round 5, finished 2nd with a score of 4½and not for the first time became the Club Champion.
There was a three way tie on 4/6, between Mark Allison, Stephen Lee and John Neely, for 3rd place. The latter two also picking up a half share of the first grading prize.
Paul Fletcher and Ken McIntosh followed with 3½. Then came a clutch of Ecclesall players (Peter Hoare, Alan McIntosh, Elliott Spencer and Norman Wragg) plus two guests (Paul Cheshire and Steve Withington), all on 3/6. These two guests and Elliott, sharing the third grading prize.
Those that scored less than half marks, and indeed some with more than half marks, may have been disappointed with their performance but, all seemed to have a good day. The venue was comfortable, the atmosphere friendly, the food tasty and the chess – brought us together.
The above report is by Alan McIntosh, Ecclesall Chess Club Secretary who also ran the Club Championship.
Comprising the Bruce Trophy, Holroyd Trophy &
These will be played as six-round Swiss tournaments spread out over the coming season, with one game scheduled every four to six weeks. In the case of insufficient entries then sections may be combined or a different format may be use
Closing date for entries is Saturday 15th October 2016
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee !!!!
Please send your entry, including
date of birth (Juniors only)
To Geoff Brown:
O17O9 837596; O7931 563787
This week, Bill Pettigrew, who has been with Nomads club since the 90s, has moved from his flat in Longley to be closer to his daughters in Bridlington. Though he hasn’t been to the club recently, people will remember his lively spirit very well from Eten Café (including his magic acts there!) and at previous venues before that. When we were still at The Harlequin, he gave a lecture on the history of chess in Sheffield: including amusing stories of how the allure of chess had proved the ruin of some people he’d come across in his working life, as well as the saviour for others.
Bill has had a long life, with memories of chess in Sheffield stretching back to the 1950s. Though he didn’t play at the Sheffield Boys’ Working Home where he was brought up (his only chess memories there are of boys using two torn-in-half chessboards as shields against the pieces thrown at each other!), it obviously stirred his imagination – he learned to play later in the army, buying his first chess set in an antique shop in Worcester (close to the Great Malvern barracks where he was based). He first played ‘properly’ in the 50s when he was a constable in Sheffield City Police, as part of the Works League. He was also for a time a member of Association clubs: The Limes first on Barnsley Rd and then Southey in the 60s. In Bill’s memory, there was a clear contrast between the two Sheffield leagues: while the Works was dominated by workers from steel and engineering, the Association was much more the domain of the professional classes. Bill took part in the famous 100-board matches that were played annually between the two leagues, he was part of the 1975 match between Sheffield and Manchester – and going further back well remembers local characters such as Charlie Gurnhill, the strong Sheffield and Yorkshire player of the mid-20th century.
Good luck Bill from players at the Nomads – all the very best and hope you find that chess club in Bridlington!
Most of you may know that Nomads 1 have made it to the final of The Richardson Cup, where they will take on the mighty SASCA 1. This will take place next Tuesday, 15th March. The venue is our very own Trades and Labour Club, so if you can, pop down and give your support.