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Chapter 3: Newsletters


“Now, what news on the Rialto?”

Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice

The earliest newsletter that has come down to us dates from 1977, when the Club was at 483 Elizabeth Street. Its format differed from time to time, and it seems to have been published every two or three months, its length varying from eighteen to two pages. The longer issues contained such things as Letters to the Editor, reports from office-bearers, highlights from the Club’s early history, games (with diagrams), Cryptic Chesswords and a column styled “From my Divan … by Simpson” and containing comic verses about grandmasters; advertisements also appeared. The years 1979 to 1981 were the Golden Age of the newsletter. But by the mid-1980’s publication seems to have ceased. The newsletter re-appeared for two issues in 1999. January 2001 saw the publication of one issue of a single page. The newsletter was revived again in January 2003 with what proved to be the first and last issue under a striking new format. The newsletter returned as the Club Bulletin in February 2009. A Club web-page was created in the late 1990’s and, as in the outside world, electronic communication has since become more popular.

Simpson’s Divan was an early home of Chess in London. It still exists. Masquerading as Simpson, Brooking published poems from fictitious contributors, for example:

From My Divan … by Simpson

This month Simpson announces the prizewinners in the Nimzowich Memorial Limerick Competition. A copy of “Die Blockade” goes to the author of the following lines, who uses the pseudonym “Backward Pawn” of Waverley:-

“Grandmaster Nimzowich of Riga

On the seizing of files was most eager.

A passed pawn escapade

He would foil with blockade

Saying “Your queening prospects are meagre.”