Peter Keffler

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Kevin Greenacre
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:42 pm

Peter Keffler

Post by Kevin Greenacre » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:38 pm

I'm very sorry to advise that Peter Keffler, long time member of the Clacton Chess Club, passed away on 22 December 2015 at the age of 92 - Peter had celebrated his birthday just a month earlier.

Peter played for Clacton in both the North Essex and Suffolk Chess Leagues, and was still playing as recently as 2014, despite deteriorating eyesight. He also played county chess for Suffolk. At his peak, he was a 200 graded player, who played many of top British players at that time. Later on, he played correspondence chess at a high level. Several of his games may be found in chess databases and he was quoted in Harding & Barden's 'Chess Openings for the Average Players' as finding an improvement in a sharp line of the Two Knight's Defence.

Peter also ran bookstalls at East Anglian chess events and meticulously packed away every single book into the correct box which must have caused some anxiety for organisers and caretakers after the chess had all ended and who wanted to go home!

He was a real gentleman and will be missed by many.

RIP Peter.

Leonard Barden
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Re: Peter Keffler

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:23 pm

I was very sorry to read of the passing of my old Oxford University friend, who made his discovery of 10 Qe4! in the Two Knights when we were analysing the defence in the train on the way back from a county match. As is known, I used Peter Keffler's innovation against the then US Open champion Weaver Adams at Hastings 1950-51. Adams's book White to Play and Win had only considered Qg4-f3+ with perpetual. When I bashed out 10 Qe4 and then immediately left the board for effect Weaver stared up at the ceiling and didn't reply for 20 minutes.
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1572074
Peter was a fine tactician and, as Kevin Greenacre states above, a gentlemanly and effervescent character who was one of the most popular members of the Oxford university and county teams in 1950.

Tim Harding
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Re: Peter Keffler

Post by Tim Harding » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:34 pm

Kevin Greenacre wrote:I'm very sorry to advise that Peter Keffler, long time member of the Clacton Chess Club, passed away on 22 December 2015 at the age of 92 - Peter had celebrated his birthday just a month earlier.

Peter played for Clacton in both the North Essex and Suffolk Chess Leagues, and was still playing as recently as 2014, despite deteriorating eyesight. He also played county chess for Suffolk. At his peak, he was a 200 graded player, who played many of top British players at that time. Later on, he played correspondence chess at a high level. Several of his games may be found in chess databases and he was quoted in Harding & Barden's 'Chess Openings for the Average Player' as finding an improvement in a sharp line of the Two Knight's Defence.
...
RIP Peter.
The story about Keffler's TN in the Two Knights was first told by Leonard Barden in his 1957 Guide to Chess Openings on which the book I later did with Leonard was based. The story made a big impression on me when I was a young player, so I didn't change it all in the new edition.
Leonard won an important game thanks to White's 10th move:



Happy New Year, Leonard!

Here is a correspondence chess miniature won by Keffler, also in the Two Knights.

Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

David Sedgwick
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Location: Croydon

Re: Peter Keffler

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:26 pm

The Guide to Chess Openings was one of the first chess books which I ever read.

I never met Peter Keffler, but he and 10. Qe4 are always associated in my mind.

Paul Habershon
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Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: Peter Keffler

Post by Paul Habershon » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:18 am

Peter was a hugely enthusiastic organiser of Somerset teams in the County Correspondence Championships.What hard work this was in those pre-email years! I don't know when he started or finished this job, but I am fairly sure that in the 1960s or early 1970s he had at least 7 teams entered in the Ward-Higgs and lower divisions. Although already living in Essex he generated great team spirit for Somerset and when adjudication time came round he produced lengthy hand-written analysis for his players. No doubt in most cases he could see far more in a position than we players could, even though we had only one game to worry about.

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