9 July 2010: British Chess Championship Quiz
John Foley, chairman of Kingston Chess Club has somehow managed to win the British Championships Quiz 2010. See quiz
His winning score was 14/15. Apparently the hardest question was “Who was England’s first grandmaster?” Fortunately there was already an article on Jacques Mieses on this site. The one that got away was “What year was the English Chess Federation formed? John had answered 1904 based on no less an authority than the Wikipedia page on the English Chess Federation. However, the correct answer is 2004.
The politics of identity determine that each of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and even the Channel Islands have their own chess federations. English chessplayers strove magnanimously to bolster the political fiction that there was an encompassing British chess organisation. It was not until 2004 that the English accepted that the British Chess Federation was really the English Chess Federation.
The same trend is happening in Parliament. As the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly gain devolved powers, the British Parliament increasing appears to be the English Parliament effectively reverting to the period before the Act of Union of 1707.
Eventually Americans will be proved right – people living in England are English not British.
Stewart Reuben provides an historical explanation:
Wikipedia is wrong.
The BCF was formed in 1904. That included the Empire, but Scotland did not join. It was not a company.
The BCF ceased to be responsible for Welsh chess in 1970 and for the countries in the Empire at an earlier date, presumably at the time it changed from being an Empire to a Commonwealth.
In 2004 the English Chess Federation was formed and it is a company limited by guarantee. The BCF still exists and holds an AGM and has accounts. These are quite separate from the BCF. The membership is also different, although there is substantial overlap. The reasons for the change was to recognise that the organisation had no responsibility administratively for any part of the British Isles, apart from England. The other reason was to limit the financial responsibilities of the directors, so it required a change in the type of company.