We have launched on the Website a new section dealing with Club History.
The first contribution in this new area is to start publication of the former Club magazine, which was called “First Rank”. This ran from March 1978 until at least June 1981 (possibly later).
The first two issues have now been published, with the games given in those issues available for playing through on screen or downloading as a pgn file.
More issues to follow as processed. Each issue has to be scanned from the paper copy and the games loaded into ChessBase, then output to pgn. Some of the early issues are faded at the edges (no home computers in those days, all are retained as paper records) and where necessary these have to be overwritten by hand to clarify any print that is deemed too difficult to read on the scanned output.
To find the issues of First Rank, go to the new History item in the main menu. Under History (just click on the word “History”) you will find the introductory article for the History section, then under “First Rank” you will find the introductory article for the magazine publication and finally below “First Rank” you will find the Volume number for the actual issues. Within Volume 1 you will currently find Issues 1 and 2. For ease of access, use the links below.
To orientate you in the publication process, Volume 1 comprised 4 issues, Volume 2 comprised 8 issues, Volume 3 – 10 issues (including two “Special” numbers), Volume 4 at least 8 issues. This is a total of 30 issues, so Vol 1 Issue 1 published, 29 issues to come. On reflection it is believed that June 1981 was where it ended. From the following 1981-82 season, if memory serves, is when the first “Results” program was written (on a Sinclair ZX81) and Club match results were from then on displayed in the Club room on Club nights and the bulletin was discontinued.
Future plans for the History section: we also have an extensive collection of the Ilford Recorder the chess column (from around 1967 onwards) and at some stage will begin scanning and publishing those.