Falling Membership numbers and the rise in popularity of internet chess are factors blamed for the Club’s demise.
In 1982 at the height of the Club’s standing. There were 5 teams and regular Club nights held at the St Bede’s Social Club. See photograph above of the members on 5th March 1982 extracted from a back copy of the Widnes Weekly News.
The Club has been in existence for decades previously as Widnes and Runcorn Chess Club then Halton Chess Club.
Although there is a group of keen chess players from Widnes who meet in the 4 Topped Oak pub in Prescot Rd, Widnes on Thursdays from 2.30 pm new players are welcome.
Where are they now?
It’s difficult to say where some of the members in the photograph are now. Many have moved out of the area.
Keith Brown who was in charge of the Club has sadly died. He is pictured standing at the back second from the right.
Peter McCann who is pictured at the back with a beard, above went on to run the Finance Section of Halton Borough Council and is now retired.
Mal French who is pictured standing at the back on the left still lives in Widnes and is retired.
Nigel Holland sat down on the right of the board is still running Holland & Co Chartered Accountants. In Widnes Rd Widnes.
The shield held above was the prize awarded to the winner of an internal Club competition known as The Holland & Co Shield.
There is now a larger competition which is planned to be sponsored by the Accountancy firm.
The chess match of the century
Holland & Co Chartered Accountants of Widnes sponsors a proposed Chess match between USA and GB
Holland & Co Chartered Accountants are arranging and sponsoring a chess match online between the USA and GB.
The details of this match is currently being discussed between the 2 teams and is hopefully going to take place in the near future.
Chess players from around the North West are being selected to play. Some are from Manchester, Eccles , Warrington and Widnes.
The fact that a Widnes firm is holding such a prestige match goes against the tide of the demise of Widnes Chess Club.
Marshalls Chess Club in New York have been sent an email. We await their response.