CORSTORPHINE

CHESS

CLUB

Sponsor:  DMD Law LLP

Corstorphine Chess Club was founded in the summer of 1981. A number of chess players who had been members of the Castle Chess Club (Royal Overseas League, 100 Princes Street, Edinburgh) decided to form an independent club in the west of the city. The new club was called the Corstorphine Castle Chess Club. A temporary home was found in the Forestry Commission, 231 Corstorphine Road. By 1982, the club had gained permanent premises. For the next nine years, due to the generosity of the late Dr Ernest Cormack, the club met at the home of the Corstorphine Trust, 199 St Johns Road, Corstorphine. Key individuals involved at the inception of the club included Des Parsons (Secretary & Treasurer), Don Fraser (Chairman), Harry Crawford (Club Captain), Sandy Douglas (Club Vice Captain), Roddy McKay (Vice Chairman), Willie Barr (Tournament Secretary), Norman Banks, Graham Hind, and John Stohlner, many of whom donated wooden boards. Corstorphine Castle Chess Club was now established as a member club of the then Edinburgh and Lothian’s Chess Association, with two teams competing annually, one in the second, and one in the third division of the league. In December 1987, the Club organised a one day Lightening Chess Tournament in the Spats Bar of the Harp Hotel. The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Dr John McKay presented prizes. Due to its success, the club was able to donate the sum of £200 to the Save the Children Fund. It continued to support this annual competition on the occasions it was held. Other events organised during this period included a simultaneous evening event featuring Edinburgh International Master Mark Condie. With the assistance of club member Peter Elders, friendly matches with Saughton Prison were arranged on a regular basis when Peter was a staff member. In 1987 the club participated in the inaugural MacKay’s of Leith Summer Cup. It continued to support this annual competition whilst it was running. In 1991, Corstorphine Castle Chess Club moved premises. New clubrooms were found in the Dower House within St Margaret’s Park, Corstorphine however, due to a substantial increase in rent for use of the Dower House, the club moved to the Corstorphine Youth and Community Centre, Kirk Loan, Corstorphine at the start of the 1993/94 season. Club nights were held initially in the Masons Room, then later in the Small Hall. The Silas Wells quickplay tournament was established in 1997. This competition is held annually in memory of a former club member who died tragically young. In 2005 Corstorphine Castle Chess Club stalwart, Sandy Douglas was accorded honorary life membership in acknowledgment of his outstanding contribution to the club since its foundation in 1981. During the 2006 AGM it was agreed by a majority that the club’s name should be shortened to the Corstorphine Chess Club. In the same year Corstorphine entered a team in the Scottish National League for the first time. The club have been constant participants since this date. The Bruce Crerar Memorial Quaich was awarded for the first time at the end of the 2007/2008 season. It is a trophy presented in memory of long-standing chess club member Bruce Crerar to the Club player whose grading has improved the most during the previous season. In October 2013 a disastrous fire at the Corstorphine Youth and Community Centre forced the club to act quickly in seeking new premises. For a short while, to cover the emergency, the Edinburgh Chess Club graciously offered the use of their premises to host home league matches, an offer gratefully accepted. Since November 2013 the club has met in the Guild Room of St Anne’s Church in Corstorphine. In 2014 a successful grant application to the Western Edinburgh Neighbourhood Partnership allowed the purchase of a set of digital chess clocks. DMD Law has provided sponsorship since the 1990’s, generously contributing to the payment of the Chess Edinburgh league fees at the start of each season. Notably, in 2014, the strength of membership allowed three Corstorphine teams to be entered into the Edinburgh Chess League for the first time in its history.


Club History