Vic Soanes (1981)

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Vic Soanes (1981)

Post by JamesGallagher » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:00 pm

Going through some old Liverpool paperwork I found this obituary for Vic Soanes written by Alec Boswell on the agenda of the 1981 Liverpool chess club AGM which I thought was worth sharing.

I assume the Soanes weekender is named after Vic?

Does anyone have a photograph of him?


Vic Soanes Obituary 1981.pdf
Vic Soanes Obituary
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James Gallagher
President of Liverpool Chess Club
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Vic Soanes (1981)

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:33 pm

No photograph, but I do have a long ago memory of Vic Soanes, which though it is not the most flattering I'll take this opportunity to unload after 56 years.
The England v Netherlands match at Cheltenham 1961 was played at the local firm Dowty's, whose boss was a keen chess fan. I was on board 5 or 6 and was lucky in my little-known opponent, named van der Pol or similar, who had been a surprising second in the Dutch championship but never made waves before or after that. His play in our two games was around 2100 level and I defeated him quite easily.
Vic was the non-playing England captain and took his functions very seriously. In particular, he regarded it as his duty to deliver words of encouragement and exhortation to his troops before and even during play. I didn't like these lectures much and resolved to stay clear, so that instead of touring the other boards while awaiting van der Pol's move as was my usual custom I remained seated for several turns when I realised that Vic was hovering nearby waiting for a chance to pounce.
Unfortunately I had a career habit that nature used to call several times during my games, and eventually I headed for the loo. Vic saw his opportunity, followed me in, and in mid-pee adjured me at some length to do my best for my country. By the time I got back to the board I was fuming and in a mood to blunder, but fortunately van der Pol's position was already beyond repair.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Vic Soanes (1981)

Post by Michael Farthing » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:44 pm

Do we know who G.A.M.B. was/is?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Vic Soanes (1981)

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:47 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:Do we know who G.A.M.B. was/is?
Alec Boswell presumably.

David Robertson
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Re: Vic Soanes (1981)

Post by David Robertson » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:52 pm

Yes, Alec Boswell - an average club player who, for many years, was Mr Everything at Liverpool CC and beyond. A schoolmaster, with the tics and persona typical of the trade. In his obit of Soanes, he warns "beware the enthusiast". Alec was an enthusiast. He died a few years back. You can read more HERE

David Mabbs
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Re: Vic Soanes (1981)

Post by David Mabbs » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:56 pm

I was so pleased and relieved to read Leonard Barden's comments. (I am seldom able to outdo you, Leonard, but in this case my recollections outscore you by two years.) In 1959 V J Soanes was similarly non-playing match captain for an England team - albeit not so exalted: the Under-21 European team tournament played in den Haag. I was not having one of my best tournaments, and I came under Vic Soanes's guidance, though it felt more like a cosh. In appearance he was the model English gentleman, and I am sure he meant well ... but his effect on me was to make me feel an absolute failure, totally demoralised. Without a word of a lie, by Round Three I had taken up smoking, and did not give it up until we got back to English soil All these years, until reading your words, I have privately assumed that all this was entirely my fault, and nothing to do with VJS ! Now I feel liberated - thank you !

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Vic Soanes (1981)

Post by Carl Hibbard » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:18 am

This thread might be better placed in chess history but I will be going through tickets raised later in the week.
Carl Hibbard

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