Captain’s Corner 4: Chris Waites

Here is the fourth in our Captain’s Corner series. This time it is the turn of Chris Waites of the MCC:

Tell us about your club.

The Marylebone Cricket Club was formed in 1787 when Thomas Lord acquired the ground now occupied by Dorset Square. The present ground was in fact the third acquired by Lord, and the first match was played there in 1814. Next year marks the bicentenary of the current “Home of Cricket”.

Although MCC is no longer responsible for the organisation of the England Cricket team, it retains responsibility for framing the laws of the game, and owns the copyright. The club currently has 22,000 members, which must be by far the largest of teams playing in the Hamilton Russell Cup. However, not all cricket enthusiasts feel the same about chess.

And your chess circle.

The MCC Chess Society has been in existence for some thirteen years, and we played our first match against the Hurlingham Club in 2000. We then entered the Cup competition. In addition, MCC teams have been to Gibraltar and Bermuda. As well as matches, the club holds monthly club nights through the season. In all, we have around 30 participants.

The Chess Society was the brainchild of Michael Clappe, whose energy and infectious enthusiasm in his role as Chess Secretary have made a huge contribution to what has become a flourishing club.

What about your own involvement with chess.

I took up chess at school in my early teens, and discovered I liked it. Probably the high spot was captaining the England Under-18 team in the 1963 Glorney Cup. I gave the game up the following year at Cambridge. I’d like to claim pressure of work, but in reality, there was too much else to do. I didn’t start playing again until prompted by teaching my twin sons, who learnt the game much younger than I did. I now play only in the Hamilton Russell competition.

Who is your favourite chess player.

Mikhail Tal.

Favourite Chess Book/DVD or video.

Either Mikhail Tal’s Best Games of Chess by Peter Clarke (see above) or Vishy Anand Chess Super-Talent by David Norwood.

Anything to add. Perhaps some trivia about yourself.

One of my diversions while a student in Cambridge was as a relief singer for one of the two bands that were playing the party circuit at the time. We were the more expensive. The other was called Pink Floyd.

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