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Alan Whitbread

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:28 pm
by Stewart Reuben
ALAN Whitbread

A query has come through about this player who was active in the 1960s. He died recently. He was one of the founders of King' Head Chess Club.

Andrew Walker of the ECF is trying to pull the strands together.

Re: Alan Whitbread

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:32 am
by Roger Lancaster
I'm very sorry to hear this as Alan was someone I played alongside in the 1960s when he was one of the early members, and very possibly one of the original members, of Mushrooms Chess Club. [Kings Head came into existence only in the 1970s and I suspect Stewart has the two clubs confused]. He would then, I think, have been in his late teens or early twenties and was a strong player. However, I think he shortly afterwards stopped playing chess and we lost touch - it may be that someone from the Surrey chess community can add to this. RIP, Alan.

Re: Alan Whitbread

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:37 pm
by David Mabbs
I never met Alan in person, but I've always regarded Mushrooms with great fondness. My understanding was that Mushrooms was "inspired" by the model of Cedars Chess Club (an all-junior innovation) which was then flourishing, and for which I played regularly. In the nicest possible way, Mushrooms was a friendly counter-Cedars (or "anti-Cedars !!") Club, and it is very sad to hear of the demise of one of its founders.

Re: Alan Whitbread

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:07 pm
by David Sedgwick
David Mabbs wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:37 pm
I never met Alan in person, but I've always regarded Mushrooms with great fondness. My understanding was that Mushrooms was "inspired" by the model of Cedars Chess Club (an all-junior innovation) which was then flourishing, and for which I played regularly. In the nicest possible way, Mushrooms was a friendly counter-Cedars (or "anti-Cedars !!") Club, and it is very sad to hear of the demise of one of its founders.
Thank you David.

Mushrooms was indeed modelled on Cedars and was likewise an all Junior club in its early days. The late Peter JB Wilson was its principal founder.

David Sedgwick
Chairman
Mushrooms CC

PS Please can you pick up the private message which I sent you on 20th February

Re: Alan Whitbread

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:38 am
by Leon Watson
Hi, I've had the same request with regards to Battersea Chess Club.

Alan was a joint club champion with Ray Keene in 1963.

I would like to gather as much info as possible for his son.

Re: Alan Whitbread

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:39 pm
by Roger Lancaster
Leon. You can find three of Alan's games, all from 1961-2 and all against Ray Keene, at https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=100766 where the following anecdote is recounted:

<In around 1961 Keene discovered Clapham Common Open Air Chess Club, near where he lived. "There was a young guy there, about 15 or 16 years old, he said 'Do you want a game?', I said 'Fine,' and I beat him with extraordinary ease. He seemed a bit surprise." Keene was younger than his opponent. "But anyway, we played a whole series of games, I won them all very easily, and he said, 'Do you know who I am?', and I said, 'I've absolutely no idea who you are', and he said, 'My name is Alan Whitbread and I'm the London Under-16 champion.'">

I don't for a moment doubt the veracity of this although I confess to some surprise. I must be a near-exact contemporary of Alan but I wasn't aware of either of them until 1963 when I played Ray Keene in a junior county match. I had absolutely no idea who he was and, although he played well enough and our game was drawn, I would certainly have been amazed to learn that, two years earlier, he had been trouncing the London u-16 champion. Anyhow, to return to Alan, the fact that he was the u-16 champion speaks for itself.

Re: Alan Whitbread

Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:39 am
by Brian Denman
Brighton Chess Club had an annual match against Battersea in the 1960s. I know that Alan played either board 1 or 2 in the 1963-65 matches. He was a strong player and in the 1963 match I was outplayed by him for virtually the whole game, though it ended in a draw. In the 1964 and 1965 matches he drew one and lost one against Geoffrey James.

Re: Alan Whitbread

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 4:41 pm
by Ken Neat
The latest ECF Newsletter (May 2020) listed several obituaries, and I noticed the name of Alan Whitbread. The attached link didn’t work, but an online search led me to this list of postings.
Alan and I overlapped for one year at Imperial College, and I recall that the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit was a favourite opening of his. A search just now of my archives produced the following game (about which I had completely forgotten), where Alan soundly defeated me in the final of the 1965 Imperial College Championship.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 dxc4 5 e4 b5 6 e5 Nd5 7 Qf3 Qa5 8 Bd2 Nxc3 9 bxc3 Be6 10 Nh3 Bd5 11 Qg4 Nd7 12 Nf4 e6 13 Nxd5 cxd5 14 Be2 0–0–0 15 0–0 Qb6 16 a4 f6 17 axb5 fxe5 18 Ra6 h5 19 Qg6 Qxb5 20 Qxe6 Bb4 21 cxb4 Rhe8 22 Qc6+ Qxc6 23 Rxc6+ Kb7 24 Rg6 exd4 25 Bf3 Ne5 26 Rxg7+ Kb6 27 Bxh5 Rf8 28 Ra1 Ra8 29 Be2 d3 30 Be3+ Kb5 31 Bd1 c3 32 Ba4+ Kc4 33 Rc7+ 1–0.
I don’t recall having any contact with Alan after that, but I’m sorry to learn that he is no longer with us. By a curious coincidence, a few weeks ago I was browsing through some copies of B.H.Wood’s magazine Chess, and on p.217 of the March 14th 1964 issue I came across the following miniature:
A.W.Whitbread – A.R.Bracher
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Bg5 Ne4 5 cxd5 Nxc3 6 bxc3 Qxd5 7 Qd2 c5 8 f3 cxd4 9 e4 Qa5 10 Qxd4 e5 11 Bb5+ 1-0.