Category Archives: Club History

A message received from club member Bob Kane who recently purchased “The Later Years of Paul Keres”, translated/edited by Harry Golombek which we had in duplicate in the club’s library.  This is the third and final volume in a series of three autobiographical books written by GM Paul Keres.  Bob wrote to say:

“My new purchase contained a few interesting margin notes so out of curiosity I googled previous owner Eric Dott.  It transpires he was a conscientious objector in WW1, a local Doctor, who lived to 100.  He has an interesting bio!

Anyone in the club with memories of Eric Dott (1898-1999)?

PS Estonian GM Paul Keres visited Scotland in 1955 playing matches in Glasgow as part of a UK tour sponsored by the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR.  Amongst his simul opponents was a certain Erwin Knopfler [Ernö Knöpfler] – father to Mark and David Knopfler who formed the band ‘Dire Straits‘.

The catalogue is now online at where lots 101 to 123 comprise an extensive and interesting collection of surplus chess periodicals, mid 19th century to recent, from the library of the club!

Bidding can be made online from Thomson & Roddick and is also available on and

The magazines on offer include:

  • Bound volumes of early rare magazines such as Volume 1 of the Chess Chronicle (published in 1841), which became the first successful English-language chess magazine, and a bound copy of Volume 1 of The Chess Monthly (published in 1879-80);
  • Many other bound volumes and single issues of old magazines such as The Chess Amateur, Chess Pie, The Chess Monthly: “Suum Cuique”, Chess Chronicle, The Chess Monthly
  • Many bound and unbound volumes of long running publications such as Chess (Sutton Coldfield), British Chess Magazine, both Scottish Chess and its predecessor the Scottish Chess Bulletin;
  • Some foreign language magazines such as Shakhmatnyi Bulleten;
  • Recent unbound volumes and single issues of modern magazines such as King Pin and New In Chess;
  • And last, but not least, a bundle of Edinburgh Chess Club’s own magazine Capital (Capatal) Chess!


I’ve been making some changes to the technical capabilities of the menu system of the club’s main website to allow us to include more history, biographies, and articles. The first visible change is the addition of an Articles section under the History menu which has as its first entry an article I’ve been working on about the remarkable flowering of talent which occurred in junior chess in Edinburgh during the 1960s and 70s. This is entitled A Golden Age for Edinburgh Juniors – the 1960s and 70s.

I hope you enjoy it and if anyone has anything further that they can contribute to it then I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Equally if anyone would like to write anything about the club’s history or personalities then do contact me –

The son of Angus Burnet, Jon Burnet, has kindly donated some of his late father’s books to the club. In his donation letter Jon mentions that Angus features in “500 Master Games of Chess” by Dr S Tartakower & J Du Mont (which is also held in the club’s library)!

Some of the inscriptions pasted in the donated books include a press clipping showing him winning the first Koltanowski Chess Cup in 1931:

and his school prize pasted in his copy of MCO (5th Edition, 1932):

Angus moved to Edinburgh in 1930 and was Scottish Boys’ champion in 1931, 1933 (shared with A.A. Thomson), and 1934 (after winning the deciding game with A.A. Thomson).  He played in the World Record Blindfold Display by Koltanowski at Edinburgh 1937 and was successful in club and league chess in Edinburgh, distinguished himself in several Scottish Championships and played in the 1951 Scotland-England match.

The SCA history web site has a number of pages with further details about Angus’ chess career and his involvement in Koltanowski’s blindfold display which, incidentaly,  also has the score of his game versus Koltanowski.

A letter of appreciation has been sent to Jon for his kind donation.


In preparation for the club’s 200th anniversary in 2002 the sub-committee, chaired by Raj Bhopal, carried out a deep dive last night into the club’s archive and records.

The session was led by curators Ian Whittaker and David Archibald.  They first gave an outline of the types of material held by the club:

Examples were shown of the approach being taken cataloguing the library, magazines, digital media etc.

The group then made a deep dive into the cupboards!

David showing some of the published material
Deep dive by Raj and Alastair