Church Stretton chess stalwart Jim dies at 102

Jim Samworth, who was a major force on the Shropshire chess scene in the 1960s and 1970s, has died aged 102 at a nursing home in Church Stretton.

Jim Samworth
Jim Samworth

He played for both Shrewsbury and the county team, and later for Church Stretton.

David Everington, a multiple county champion for whom Mr Samworth was a mentor in his young playing days at Shrewsbury, said: "Jim was one of the players in Shropshire’s historic win against Worcestershire in 1969 when his win against G Elwell contributed to our first county-team win since 1916.

"He was a member of the Church Stretton Club after retiring to a bungalow at Little Stretton.

"Jim didn’t play much outside the Shropshire league and county fixtures but was a high-class postal player and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of all aspects of the game, including its centuries-old history.

"He kept a rather splendid Bentley in which he sometimes transported the Shrewsbury team to away fixtures.

"In the early 1960s I was a junior player at the former Priory Boys’ school, and I remember with gratitude how much time he gave as a coach and mentor, and also the memorable piece of tongue-in-cheek advice: 'Never resign a postal game as your opponents will occasionally die!'

"Outside of chess Jim was a civil servant with HM Customs and Excise and had previously served with the Royal Engineers in India and he was member and supporter of the Royal British Legion."

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News