The Gazette - August 2021

Edited by Julie Leonard
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

Gerry’s Chess Career: A FIDE Title!

Gerry Walsh writes:

Without doubt 1977 was a busy and exciting year for me! As the Spassky Portisch match was coming to a close Harry Golombek was reading some FIDE papers for future meetings one of which was the proposal to appoint new FIDE Arbiters. Harry asked me to write down the list of international tournaments where I had assisted or officiated and I seem to remember there were about 12 so Harry said he had no hesitation in recommending to FIDE that my name be submitted for consideration by the appropriate committee. And so my name appeared on the schedule for the FIDE Congress in Buenos Aires in the Autumn 1978. At the end of October, I received a phone call from an International Master in Portugal inviting me to be the Chief Arbiter in the FIDE Zonal Tournament starting in a few weeks’ time. I told him that I didn't know if I could accept because I had not heard FIDE’s decision. “Don't worry” he said, “I was there and you are a FIDE Arbiter.” So that is how I found out. I accepted his invitation and quite soon after I left my employment with a national builder and became a full time Arbiter.

This exciting time of my life was dented by the sudden death of my father in April 1978 when he was only 63. During the Zonal tournament the player representing Malta invited me to be Chief Arbiter at an International tournament in January 1979 and this became the first of many visits to Malta in ’79 and ’80 culminating in the FIDE Olympiad at the end of 1980.

Another Teesside event was the Clare Benedict Team Tournament held in July 1979 with teams from West Germany, England, Scotland, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Here is a game from round 1 between Scotland and Austria, White IM CW Pritchett Black GM K Robatsch

1 e4 c5, 2 Nf3 Nc6, 3 d4 cxd4, 4 Nxd4 Nf6, 5 Nc3 d6, 6 Bg5 Qa5, 7 Bxf6 gxf6, 8 Bb5 Bd7, 9 Nb3 Qd8,

10 Qh5 a6, 11 Be2 Rg8 12 O-O-O Rg6, 13 f4 Rxg2, 14 Qxh7 e6, 15 Rhg1 Rxg1, 16 Rxg1 Qb6, 17 Rf1 O-O-O,

18 Qxf7 Qe3+, 19 Kb1 Be7, 20 Qh7 Rf8, 21 Bd3 Bd8, 22 a3 Ne7, 23 Nd1 Qb6, 24 Qg7 Rg8, 25 Qxf6 Rg2,

26 Qc3+ Kb8, 27 h4 Rh2, 28 f5 exf5, 29 exf5 Nd5, 30 Qg7 Nf6, 31 Qg3 resigns