First Rank Volume 4


Comments and Games (pgn) – Link: Game boards User Guide

Vol 4 – No 1 [of 10]


Magazine (pdf)

Games this issue (pgn)

All FR Games (pgn)

Issue Date: October 1980

Volume 4 No 1 was a landmark issue in several respects:

  1. Firstly, a new low-age for the Club Champion, Simon Lee, 14, won the play-off 2-0 against Tony Clark.
  2. First time for the Opening Night Caterpillar, previously only a tandem.
  3. Put your hand up if you thought our handicap blitz grand prix tournaments were a recent invention. Think again. On 29 July 1980 we held a time handicap blitz. Except that, in those days, blitz was called “Quickplay”. If I remember the historical progression of terminology correctly, the term “Quickplay” was wanted to refer to the Quickplay Finish, so Quickplay then became “Rapidplay”, which is why the John Wagstaff Trophy for what is now the Blitz Championship, is actually inscribed “Rapidplay”. Subsequently, Rapidplay chess came into vogue, meaning games of 15 minutes or more per player, so finally, games where each player had less than 15 minutes became termed “Blitz”. Which is all rather odd, because games of five minutes each had been termed “blitz” a long time before that. And how about that tournament on 29 July: 15 player all-play-all in one evening! So 5 minutes was the maximum time you could have, handicaps of one, two or three minutes, were deducted according to grade.
  4. Then on 7 October 1980, we had the first Lightning Tournament to be termed Club Lighting Championship. While lightning chess had been popular in the Club probably since its foundation, we only got round to having a Lightning Championship in 1980.
  5. And yet another first: in the Club Championship proper, this was the season we introduced a set of rules with a date for each round, with absence being treated with Default, unless you had received dispensation to play on another date.

FIVE landmarks in one issue! But only one game; and a pretty poor one at that.

And the “Gang of Four” in the Caterpillar Simul item? This is a reference to the four Labour MPs who broke away from the party to form the SDP.