Newport Chess Club

Coronation Year 1953

With Henry Golding at the helm, this was to be an eventful year in the club Annals.

We took an active part in the National Celebrations.  It should be remembered that Monmouthshire joined the Southern Counties Chess Union in 1935, and was not a member of the South Wales Chess Association.  Monmouthshire joined the newly formed Welsh Chess Union in 1955.

A National Chess Week took place from Monday the 2 February. On the Wednesday, the Newport club held a Dinner at the Westgate Hotel, inviting selected juniors from local schools; it was hoped that a few juniors would join the club, and help raise funds by subscribing to the British Chess Federation.

The Dinner would be a formal occasion, with toasts to Her Majesty the Queen, and the future of chess in Newport, and Monmouthshire. Our President H. Ivor-Smith would preside, with club secretary Roy Finnemore, in attendance.  There would have been a vote of thanks to Henry Golding, and the Organising Committee.  Highlight of the evening, would have been a large walnut cabinet, supplied by A.E.Hughes, in a corner of the dining room. A small television screen could be observed.  Television arrived in Newport the previous year, when the Wenvoe Transmitter opened.  International Master  C.H.O’D Alexander would give a live simultaneous display at the National Chess Centre, in London.  It is believed that this was the very first live televised display in the United Kingdom. Alexander would play 18 boards.  He recently featured in a film entitiled, “The Imitation Game”, based on Alan Turing, and his war work, at Bletchley Park. Turing worked with Alexander, who was the reigning British Champion.  Mathew Goode played the part of Alexander.

On 7 March of that year, the South Wales Chess Association played the Monmouthshire County Chess Association, at Newport.    SWCA.   191/2   ---   141/2   Monmouthshire.