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Club History

 

Although what follows may seem like a guide to the pubs and clubs of the Denton area, this has been due to the search for (preferably) free premises for the club.
The club appears to have been founded by Tony Malone around 1973-74, playing at the Festival Hall on Peel Street in Denton.

By 1975 the club had moved to Denton Cricket club on Egerton Street, Denton. The 1975-76 season was the first in which the club entered teams in the Manchester Chess League. Two teams entered in the F and G divisions. The handbook for that season states the club had 3 clocks! A particular highlight of this era was when member Trevor Kay beat Nigel Short, who was playing for Atherton at the time. The story goes that Nigel was so confident of winning that he went scouting round the other tables only to lose on time.

For the 1979-80 season the club had moved to the Angel pub on Hyde Road, Denton.

The 1980-81season saw another move to the Toll Point pub on Stockport Road. This stay was rather short lived due to a promotion celebration getting out of hand where the Manager was told that “he should put a bag over his head”. Who said Chess wasn’t Rock’n’Roll?

Moving into the Silver Springs pub for the 1981-82 season was also short lived due to the extortionate room hire price of £5-00/week (around £20 today).

All this moving around wasn’t good for the club and a return to the Cricket Club saw a stay of 10 years. Members had to be flexible with regards to which room they could use and on one occasion this led to two members being so involved in their game in the committee room that they played until 1-00am. This was of course long after the club had been locked up and they set off the Alarms and alerted the police. They were released after other members had to be woken up and verify the tale.

While at the Cricket Club, Denton Chess Club must have become the only Chess Club to play in a cricket score box. This occurred after the Cricket Club suffered fire damage. This resulted in an insurance claim supplying the Chess club with a complete set of new equipment (no chess member was implicated in the starting of the fire!)

It was during this period at the Cricket that a minor rule change took place to ensure that the members who regularly supported the Chess Club nights would be the ones picked to play in the tournaments. Before this, many first team players were only seen when matches were being played.

Relations between the Cricket Club and the Chess club were becoming more strained because it was claimed that the Chess Club members were not supportive enough of the wider Cricket Club activities. Things came to breaking point when a Cricket Club official suggested the Chess Club could play “on’t roof”.

For a few weeks around 1992 the Chess Club played at the Gardeners Arms on Stockport Road, although not having a room to ourselves, this was always going to be a temporary venue.

Within weeks, the club moved to the Bowling Green pub on Manchester Road. The club settled here for several years before competition from a local pop group forced another move.

The next 10 years was spent at the Jolly Hatters on Town Lane starting from around 1995. The club existed at this time with a membership only just into double figures but despite this it achieved one of its best club results with a 3-3 score in a cup match against Stockport Chess Clubs strongest team. This included Vic Knox who was at that time the strongest player in the League with a grade of 200+ which isn’t far off 2300 ELO.

From 2000 onwards it became very much a case of last chess club standing in Tameside. Droylsden and Ashton Clubs, both with a long history in their own rite had already folded and a few players from these clubs joined Denton. This helped to keep Denton Chess Club going although the club could only enter one team in the Stockport League and none at all in the Manchester League.

Although free, the room at the Jolly Hatters was unheated and when asked to start paying £10/week, it was time to move again. From 2007 until September 2009 the Club resided at the Boundary Pub on Audenshaw  Road, Audenshaw. This move coincided in a complete turning point in the clubs fortunes. The accommodation was ideal and warm! Membership soared and teams were entered into both Manchester and Stockport leagues as well as the Summer League. Sponsorship was obtained from personal Injury Website.co.uk.

Unfortunately another move has been forced on the club and at the time of writing we are using Guide Bridge Conservative Club on Stockport Road as a venue, however, we make this move with the knowledge that the club has never been in better state in the whole of its history.

 (Thanks to Stan for compiling this history and Pete Delahunty for detailed past club information)