METROPOLITAN CHESS CLUB
(Established since 1959)
Allan Respini was the first Club President, 1959.
Metropolitan Chess Club developed from chess games played in his office before work and during the lunch hour. Allan worked in the Medical Department of the State Government where he was the Stores Requestioning Officer for all hospitals statewide.
He was a gifted artist with the pen and well known for his printing and sign writing. He was crippled from polio and had a leg deformity. Allan and his wife, Ivy, lived in Riverton and had no family. He passed away some years ago.
Bob was born in Fremantle on 25 January 1931, and was educated at Kensington State School and Wesley College. He had a distinguished career in the State Public Service.
Bob's chess career started in 1947, and in 1948 he and Allan Respini began the Chief Secretaries Chess Club. In 1959 this club became known as the Metropolitan Chess Club. Highlights of Bob's chess achievements include three Club Championships (Metropolitan 1959 and 1960, and South Perth 1960). He also gained a third place in the 1961 W.A. State Championships.
The Club honored Bob with Life Membership some years ago in recognition of his significant contribution to chess administration of W.A. In 1989 he became a Life Member of the Chess Association of W.A. In 1991 he was awarded the Garry Koshnitsky medal for services to Australian Chess Administration.
Furthermore Bob was awarded an Australian Sports Medal 2000. This Commonwealth Government produced Australian sports medal was issued to celebrate Australia's sporting achievements and provide recognition for current and former sports participants and those who have contributed to sport through the provision of support services.
Sadly, Bob Pilgrim passed away peacefully on the 16th of May 2019.
John was born in England in 1931 and emigrated to Australia in 1956. He joined the Metro Chess Club in 1959.
Administration of chess in W.A. through the Metro Club and the Chess Association of W.A. has taken much of John's time over the years, however this has not entirely prevented him from gaining chess achievements. John finished third in the State Reserves Championship in 1964. At club level, John won the Respini Tournament in 1973. He has also been the Auditor for the Association's financial accounts and has held all major positions in this Club and in 1994 was awarded Life Membership.
Sadly, John Butcher passed away on the 2nd October 2015 after an illness with cancer.
Victor Allan Smyth
Vic was born in 1933 in Belfast, Northern Ireland to an Irish father and Scottish mother. He trained as a Medical Technologist at the Institute of Pathology at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, qualifying in 1956. Vic learned to play chess at the age of 18 during his training period.
In 1959 Vic migrated to Perth W.A. to take up a post at the old medical school in Victoria square. He travelled to Australia on the P & O ship Orsova and met his wife-to-be who was returning to her home in Tasmania, from a European holiday. They were married in 1960 and have three adult children.
In 1963 Vic moved to a senior position at the King Edward Memorial Hospital laboratories (Perth) and worked there until 1994, retiring as Chief Technologist. 1963 was also the year that Vic was invited to join the Metro Chess Club. He has also given valuable administrative service to the Club over many years. Vic won the B Grade Club Championship in 1980 and 1986. Vic was made a Life Member of the Club in 1999.
Sadly, Vic Smyth passed away peacefully on the 22nd of February 2015 after a long illness.
Doug was born in 1938 and is one of the longest serving Metropolitan Chess Club Members. He attended the 1st meeting of the club in 1960-61.
Throughout his time at the Metro Chess club, Doug has placed many times in the Club Championship & Respini Tournament as well as winning the Arved Wasser Memorial Tournament in 1985, 1986, 1989 & 2001. He also won the Club Lightning in 1981, the Llightning Handicap in 1983 (shared) and the Robert Pilgrim Aggregate Trophy in 1981. Doug was also the winner of Best Club Member in 2004 & 2007.
With regards to administration at the club, Doug has held over the years the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Property Officer which he is currently at the moment.
Tournament success outside of the club include 1st in the South West Katanning Championship in 1967 and 1st in the City of Fremantle Championship in 1968.
Doug also has a bit of a reputation as a Grandmaster Killer as he has gained a draw in simuls against Yuri Averbakh in the 1960's and against Ian Rogers in 2010.
Dougal you are a worthy recipient of Life Membership of the Metropolitan Chess Club.
Richard Lilly as a player, contributed greatly to the Metropolitan Chess Club for the past 50 years. The Club's 50th Anniversary Book highlighted his achievements which culminated in being recognised as Player of the Decade 1959-1969 and 1990-1999. He came third in 1980-1989 and fifth in 1970-1979.
As quoted in the book 'If one were to select the best and most consistent player throughout the whole period, you could go no further than Richard Lilly'.
Richard won the Club Championship on seven occasions and the Respini Tournament seven times. The Arved Wasser Memorial Tournament was won five times by Richard. The short game was also no problem for Richard, as he collected the Club Lightning Tournament trophy on three occasions and won the Lightning Handicap three times also.
Richard joined the Club in 1961 and has served on the committee for a number of years in different executive positions. He has also been the Club's Director of Play for many years.
Richard thoroughly deserves the honour of being a Life Member of the Metropolitan Chess Club.
Garry Taylor first attended the Metro Chess Club in 1997, and held for many years, positions in the Metro Committee such as President, Vice President, Secretary, Tournament Organiser (Xmas functions and Bernard Anton Shield) and Committee Member. With his vast experience in many administrative roles, he has assisted other committee members with their tasks and provided guidance and mentorship to new members commencing in the committee.
He has also been awarded the "Best Club Member" numerous years, 1998, 2003 and 2011 for his significant effort of voluntary work at Metro Chess Club. From previous winners of this award, only Douglas Mclean (Life Member) has achieved this accomplishment.
Administratively, Garry has:
s Produced the 40th Anniversary "History of the Club" booklet which was distributed to members and his creation of the "Player of the Decade" is a current feature displayed on the Metro Chess Club website, which gives players a glimpse of the past great players of the club. This required extensive research into the club's history and tournament results to create, as we didn't have the information electronically on the website, like we do now.
s Major contributor and editor to the 50th Anniversary booklet which Mike McGregor produced.
s Implemented the perspex board numbers with the Metro Logo (Kelvin Rabey approved design).
s Created a new point allocation system for the Aggregate trophy as new tournaments were integrated into the club. Also, continually calculated the points and provided the report at the end of every year, to allocate and announce the winner.
s Regularly engraved trophies at the end of the year (also arranged the acquisition and repair of trophies)
s Has run many Metro Chess tournaments throughout the years at the club (through the days of the card pairing systems)
s Previously arranged Metro teams for the Bernard Anton Shield and Harris Shield matches.
s He regularly comes in early every Thursday and helps setup the tables, pieces, boards and assist with the setup of teas, cups and cleaning eg kitchen.
s He regularly has been a point of contact for potential new members and provided advice, info and encouragement to join the club.
s Assisted with running of many past Metro Christmas Functions (organising the raffle and prize giving since the passing of Bob Pilgrim)
The above list is not an extensive of all his work he has provided for the club over 23 years, but it's just a sample of his voluntary service to the club over the years.
Garry's Metro Chess Club (Player) Achievements:
s Club Championships: 1997 D Division Winner, 2011 E Division Winner, 2013 D Division Winner
s Respini Tournament: 2001 D Division (Joint Winner), 2011 D Division (Joint Winner)
s Arved Wasser: 2008 B Division (Joint Winner), 2013 B Division (joint Winner)
s 2011 Robert Pilgrim Aggregate Trophy Winner
Also, recently obtained a peak ACF rating of 1500
Although his skills in chess might not have been as high as previous Life Members, his focus has always been placing the Metro Chess Club administration first, providing ongoing support and running of the club services, so members can enjoy playing their tournament games. His dedication to ongoing improvements, maintenance and sustainability has been a vital source of the continued success of the Metro Chess Club for the last 20+ years.
Garry you have been an outstanding contributor to the success of the Metropolitan Chess Club and thoroughly deserve this award.
Sadly, Garry Taylor passed away on the 25th July 2022 after a two year battle with cancer.