“The Tactician” One of the original (his jokes are very original) founder members of the club in 1994, Nick ‘The Tactician’ Davies is a fearless player. While the rest of us cringe at the thought of playing a 2000+ player (a 1600+ player in some cases), Nick fears nobody. “He’s not that good – I’ll have him” he’ll say – and that’s before the seven pints of Guinness that he regularly partakes on a club night. And this season his strategy is paying off… His team talks are an inspiration and his post match comments (“How could you play that move?”) are legendary. I see he is also after our money so maybe he is the Treasurer as well as the captain – or maybe he needs a new jacket? I don’t know what’s going on, I really don’t. Maybe he’s gradually taking the club over – today Malpas, tomorrow Slough. Nick does have other interests apart from chess (unlike some we could name…). Apparently, he still plays football (I know, at his age) and he is rumoured to be a neat pool player. But most evenings he is more than happy to just sit there in the Shoes and drink, swap repartee, play the odd game and have a good laugh. I can’t help wondering if he’s the social secretary as well….
"The Historian" It is customary for many chess clubs to have an old fogey and one of those players with such appalling blunders that you feel good about your own chess. In a cunning economic move Malpas have managed to find both in one player. Rumoured to have first played chess when it was still known as “shah” and to have been one of the models for the Isle of Lewis Chess Set, Mark lulls his opponents into a state of euphoria by playing appalling openings, followed by crass middle games. His endings may be bad as well, but so few of his games get there who would know ? Returning this season after about a quarter of a century layoff , he is dragging the B team to new lows. His favourite player is Fischer , but whether this is former World Champion Robert James or frog Jeremy is unclear.
"The Captain" Nationality Welsh (although birthplace Hereford!?) Occupation Insurance Agent. Married with 2 daughters (youngest daughter Laura represented Welsh Schools in UK Chess GIGA Finals at Nottingham University in 1998) I learnt to play chess at age 10, bought first chess book at age 13 and was Caerleon School chess champion in 1970 and 1971. My favourite player has always been Bobby Fischer. I transferred to Croesyceiliog School for one year and played for the school chess team. That same year I joined Newport Chess Club. I played in the Welsh U18 Chess Championships in 1972 and scored 4 points out of a possible 7. On 5th February 1972 I represented what was then Monmouthshire against East Glamorgan on board 20. My last over-the-board game at that time was on 3rd April 1972. From this point I started playing correspondence chess and was a member of the BCCS from 22nd September 1972 to until 11th November 1994. Gary, Nick and Richard formed Malpas Chess Club in 1994. I read an article in the South Wales Argus announcing that the club had formed and discovered the club met at the Three Horseshoes pub in Malpas. I then met Gary and was recruited to the squad. I played my first comeback game on 9th November 1994 against Newport Dragons in the Newport and District League, 2nd Division. The club has played in the first division of the N&D League for many seasons since 1994. I have been club captain for a few seasons. My other interests include sport, history and wildlife. I grew up in Caerleon where my parents still live and played for Caerleon RFC, on the wing. I also played rugby for Newport youth and played one game for Newport United. I once ran a marathon in 3 hours and 41 minutes and ran a half marathon in 1 hour 44 minutes. My rugby heroes are Gerald Davies and Barry John.
"The Mystery Man" Cardiff-born Steve joined Malpas in the 2004-2005 season and has been enjoying himself ever since. He works in the IT industry and currently maintains the Malpas web site (so now you know who to blame). His favourite player is Paul Morphy and on one occasion Steve ate breakfast at Morphy’s house (now a restaurant) in New Orleans. Needless to say, the magic didn’t rub off....
The above is in alphabetic order