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The Paignton – Doeberl Connection.

Gary Lane has  just sent this e-mail from Australia, where a chess colleague of his is, apparently, putting together a book to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their Doeberl Cup  (Now where have I heard that kind of thing before?!). It seems Gary brought the Paignton book to his attention

Hi Bob,

I thought you might be interested to know that you are proving to be an inspiration to a guy writing a book celebrating 50 years of the Doeberl Cup which is Australia’s leading weekend tournament.

Bill Egan writes:

“I got a copy of the Paignton book after you made me aware of it.

I found it very interesting. There are many parallels with the approach I have been using but also some significant differences.

I think these are probably warranted by the different nature of the two events; Paignton has not had the central significance in the English scene that the Doeberl has in Australia, and the book makes it clear that it is in some ways in decline, whereas the Doeberl has been growing in significance.

Robert Jones made his task a bit simpler by simply incorporating a lot of available archival material whereas I have complicated mine by starting from scratch, just using historical info as a base resource. My main problem at present is that I am going to have to trim back quite severely to keep the book to a reasonable (and affordable) size. 

One obvious parallel is the use of profiles of leading players.”

For those less familiar with the Ozzie chess scene, the Doeberl Cup event runs over every Easter weekend in Australia’s federal capital of Canberra. It was originally funded by the architect, Erich Doeberl, who may have been involved in the construction from scratch of the city from its founding in the early 1900s. Like the Paignton Congress, it has grown in popularity, but the Doeberl has also grown in national significance, as it often attracts more entries than the Australian Championships, whereas Paignton’s original kudos of 1951 started to decline as the number of other events mushroomed in the wake of the British chess explosion of the 1970s.

There are connections between the two as several players have played in both events. The Doeberl’s original winner in 1963, John Purdey, son of the venerable Cecil, played at Paignton in 1955, where he came equal last.  Max Fuller came 2nd= behind Ray Keene at Paignton in 1969 and went on to win the Doeberl in 1974, ‘75 & ‘83. More recently, Gawain Jones has played in both events.

Anyway, the potentially inspirational Paignton book is still available to any would-be chess history recorders. Available from all good chess book sellers. Failing that, contact me via e-mail ( £15.99 post free.