Chess history trivia

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue May 28, 2019 5:02 pm

Yes, he was an advocate of the far right "Europe a (White Christian) Nation" construct that can still be found on the fringes here and there.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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John Saunders
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Saunders » Tue May 28, 2019 7:07 pm

This is rather a weird coincidence. I've just read this thread an hour or so after researching a bit of chess history which led me unexpectedly to a website about Oswald Mosley.

I've just put up a new item at BritBase with games played by the strong Hampshire player Wilfred Pratten (1908-1985). The link is here. I was researching Pratten's opponent's names and stumbled upon one I recognised in the 1926 BCM, p55 - Clement Bruning, who at that time was a schoolboy at Ealing Priory, with BCM showing him scoring 4/9 in the 1926 London Boys' Chess Championship. Pratten had drawn with said Bruning in the process of retaining his 1925 British Boys' Championship.

Anyway, Clement Bruning was an unusual name so I thought I would drop it into google and see what happened. I got a surprise - a page about British fascists who died during the war. Turns out Bruning was a pre-WW2 member of the British Union of Fascists and eventually died in a German concentration camp in 1942. Nobody seems to know quite what happened or why. I haven't researched it any further but, anyway, the guy was a chess player and quite a good one if he was able to draw with Pratten back in 1925. He would certainly have trounced his party leader.
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Richard James
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Richard James » Wed May 29, 2019 9:55 am

John Saunders wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:07 pm
This is rather a weird coincidence. I've just read this thread an hour or so after researching a bit of chess history which led me unexpectedly to a website about Oswald Mosley.

I've just put up a new item at BritBase with games played by the strong Hampshire player Wilfred Pratten (1908-1985). The link is here. I was researching Pratten's opponent's names and stumbled upon one I recognised in the 1926 BCM, p55 - Clement Bruning, who at that time was a schoolboy at Ealing Priory, with BCM showing him scoring 4/9 in the 1926 London Boys' Chess Championship. Pratten had drawn with said Bruning in the process of retaining his 1925 British Boys' Championship.

Anyway, Clement Bruning was an unusual name so I thought I would drop it into google and see what happened. I got a surprise - a page about British fascists who died during the war. Turns out Bruning was a pre-WW2 member of the British Union of Fascists and eventually died in a German concentration camp in 1942. Nobody seems to know quite what happened or why. I haven't researched it any further but, anyway, the guy was a chess player and quite a good one if he was able to draw with Pratten back in 1925. He would certainly have trounced his party leader.
Another weird coincidence. Bruning, or, to be precise, Brüning, was one of five sons of a German father and English mother. I'm not sure whether any of his other brothers played chess or shared his political sympathies.

Here's the record of his father's naturalization in 1903. Note the address: Rydal Mount, Albany Park, Kingston-upon-Thames, which is just round the corner from the residence of a much respected British chess historian.

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