As the Ilford Club approaches its Centenary in the year 2000, a pair of interesting articles concerning the early years of the club, or at least one of its members during that time, has recently come into my possession. The articles were written by T.H. George, the Recorder's Chess Correspondent either side of World War II and the Club Member was Mr. H.E. Warren. The articles were sent to me by Mr. Warren's son, who now lives in Oxfordshire. One of the articles was written in 1935 and the other in May 1941.

H.E. Warren first joined Ilford, his first Club, in 1903 and from the outset it became clear that he was to become a leading member. Within two or three years of his enrolment he held Joseph Blackburne to a draw in a simultaneous display and two years later he defeated the then World Champion Emmanuel Lasker. The two articles do not agree over the date of the Blackburne game, given as 1905 in one and 1906 in the other.

Mr. Warren officiated for the Club as both Match Captain and Secretary as well as being amongst the strongest players. He played throughout the 1934 and 1935 seasons, losing only one game in that time. "Tournaments and Trophies leave him cold" wrote Mr. George, referring to Mr. Warren as "essentially a Match Player". By 1935 he was the longest serving member of the Club.

In 1941, Mr. Warren retired to Lancashire and the second article was written to mark that occasion. Has this record of 38 years' unbroken service to the Ilford Chess Club ever been bettered?


Essex League Division 1

Name P W D L U Pts GPF GPA Def

Ilford I 4 3 0 0 1 6 25 9 0

Wanstead I 5 3 0 0 2 6 28½ 19½ 0

Writtle 5 3 0 1 1 6 27 16 0

Eastbrook I 3 2 1 0 0 5 20 9 0

Southend I 4 2 1 1 0 5 27 12 0

Brentwood I 4 2 0 1 1 4 15½ 23½ 2

Upminster I 5 1 2 2 0 4 24 26 1

Powdermill I 4 1 0 3 0 2 18 21 0

Grays I 5 1 0 4 0 2 14 35 0

Basildon 3 0 0 2 1 0 7½ 15½ 0

Edmonton 4 0 0 4 0 0 7½ 27½ 2

One of the most significant results included in the above table is Wanstead & Woodford Club's win over Writtle. The U column signifies unfinished matches, and in Wanstead's case the two matches concerned are against Brentwood, where Wanstead lead 5 - 4 and, most important of all, the match between Ilford and Wanstead which was played as far back as 31st October and of which one game remains undecided. The position has been sent for adjudication, and since both clubs know the significance of the match, it will have been thoroughly analysed and may well have been returned for an appeal.

Southend have notched up a huge number of game points. They beat Brentwood 9½ - ½ and are currently 9 - 0 against Grays. This looks like inefficient use of resources, since Brentwood themselves are only one point behind Southend on the same number of games played.

Powdermill's one win was an early season affair at the expense of Grays, but since then they have had little success, losing 6 - 4 to Wanstead, 6½ - 3½ against Upminster and are currently 7 - 2 adrift with one game to finish against Ilford.

The bottom of the table will look a little different in a week's time. Basildon play a home match against Upminster tonight, and next Thursday another against Edmonton. On current form Upminster should win but Edmonton seem to have lost the habit of scoring points. Thankfully none of the Captains seems to have difficulty fielding relatively full teams, and defaults have been few and far between this season.


Blackburne, J.H - Warren, H.E.

Simultaneous Display, 1906 (?)

Notes by T.H. George.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 The Exchange Variation, frequently adopted to avoid heavy complications arising from the more involved lines of play. 3...exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Bd6 6.Nc3 c6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bg5 Bg4 9.Ne2 Inviting Bxf3 to open the g-file, preparatory to an attack on the black king 9...Bxf3 10.gxf3 Nbd7 11.Ng3 Qc7 12.Qd2 Bxg3 13.hxg3 fxg3 closed all files leading to the king, so white decides to try the h-file for his assault 13...Qd6 14.Kg2 Rfe8 15.Rh1 Nf8 16.Rh4 Ng6 17.Rh3 [17.Bxg6 fxg6 18.Rah1 h6 (18...h5 19.g4) 19.Bxh6 gxh6 20.Rxh6 Kf7 (best) 21.Rh7+ Nxh7 22.Rxh7+ Kg8 23.Qh6 Qf6 , etc., and with care, black weathers the storm.] 17...Nf8 18.Rah1 g6 19.Bf4 Qe7 20.Be5 N8d7 21.Bf4 [21.Rxh7 Nxh7 22.Qh6! Ndf6 23.Bxf6 Qxf6 24.Qxh7+ Kf8 White's progress is at an end] 21...c5 22.c3 c4 23.Bc2 b5 24.Bg5 Nf8 25.Qf4 Ne6! 26.Qxf6 Nxg5 27.Qxe7 Rxe7 28.Rh4 f5 Draw agreed. The initiative has passed to black, and, theoretically, his command of the king's file should ultimately bring a lasting advantage. ½-½

Last Week's Solution: Andrew Keehner played 1. Nb7! and Black resigned. The knight attacks the queen on a5 and also the critical square d7, where mate in 2 is threatened. Black's bishop on c6 can capture the knight, but this deflects it from its task of guarding d7, where mate in 3 occurs after Qd7+, Qd8+ and Rxd8. My acknowledgments to Ian Hunnable, who sent this excellent example of what can befall a player who allows the centre to be opened before removing his king to safety.