Peter Keffler

Many players will be saddened to hear that Peter Keffler passed away on Tuesday 22nd December 2015 at 92 years of age.
The funeral will be held on Monday 18th January, 2016,  2pm at Weeley Crematorium.

For many years Peter was a strong player of Clacton club who also played county chess for Essex, Suffolk and in his earlier days for Somerset.

Following WWII, as RAF aircrew Peter worked as an interpreter, having completed a combined services course in Russian at Cambridge University. He obtained an honours degree  in French and Russian at Oxford University and then did a postgraduate year for MA. He took up an academic career teaching languages in the Bath/Somerset area and later moved to the Essex area as Senior lecturer at St Osyth College.

At the peak of his chess playing Peter had good scores against many well known players with many of his games and ideas being quoted in the chess literature of the day. He made contributions to Openings such as the Two Knights Defence that were acknowledged by authoritative writers.

Peter would often combine his chess knowledge and experience to teach chess to juniors and many of us have been grateful for the time he often spent to analyse our games and encourage less experienced players to improve their game. He kept a large stock of chess literature and for many years ran a bookstall at most local and some national tournament events.

In his later years Peter succumbed to ill health and reduced mobility. He also had difficulty adapting to his gradually failing eyesight, but we will best remember him for the many years when he was a formidable opponent who played with great ‘style’.

Other articles about Peter:
Peter Keffler Celebrates 90th birthday
Peter Keffler Celebrates 88th Birthday

Peter Keffler again wins the Club Handicap
Peter Keffler wins the Club Handicap Tournament
Peter Keffler & Jonathan Hills win Club Swiss Quick Play Tournament
Peter Keffler wins newly introduced Club Handicap Tournament to mark 80th birthday
Comments from Colleagues (English Chess Forum)

References and Game samples:-

‘Chess Openings for the Average Player’ – T. D. Harding, Leonard Barden – 1976
Section:  How Openings Evolve,  p12

Similar content also in ‘Openings for the Club Player’ by same authors, p221.
Leonard Barden also mentions Peter on p235 of Chess Treasury of the Air by Terence Tiller, published by Penguin Books in 1966, in an article about his favourite game against American master Weaver Adams.

‘The Two Knights Defence’  I︠A︡kov Ėstrin  Anova Books, 1983
Aitkin v Keffler  ·  0-1
Edinburgh 1954
Peter (black) arrived at this position where he saw he had a 4 move mate.
Would you spot this against the clock in a real game?
also quoted at
and published in ‘Build Up Your Chess with Artur Yusupov 2’ p9

Peter Keffler v Ernst Kotzem  ·  1-0
corres ICCF (1969)  ·  Scotch Game: Göring Gambit. Bardeleben Variation (C44)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 ed4 4. c3 dc3 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bc4 Nf6 7. O-O Bc3 8. bc3 d6 9. e5 de5 10. Qb3 O-O 11. Rd1 Bd7 12. Ba3 Na5 13. Qb4 Nc4 14. Qc4 Re8 15. Ng5 Qc8 16. Qf7 Kh8 17. Be7 Ng8 18. Bf8

Gerhard Niemand v Peter Keffler  1970
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Traxler Counterattack Bishop sac line (C57)  ·  0-1
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Bf7 Ke7 6. Bb3 Rf8 7. O-O d6 8. Nc3 Qe8 9. Nd5 Kd8 10. Nf6 gf6 11. Nh7 Rh8 12. Nf6 Qg6 13. Nd5 Bg4 14. Qe1 Bf3 15. g3 Qxg3

Keffler P v Kocem E    · 1-0
World Tournament (corr.),  1972
Opening: Scotch Game: Goering Gambit, Main Line (C44)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. c3 dxc3 5. Nxc3 Bb4 6. Bc4 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 d6 8. O-O Nf6 9. e5 dxe5 10. Qb3 O-O 11. Rd1 Bd7 12. Ba3 Na5 13. Qb4 Nxc4 14. Qxc4 Re8 15. Ng5 Qc8 16. Qxf7+ Kh8 17. Be7 Ng8 18. Bf8 Rxf8 19. Rxd7

‘The Spectator’ 1979, Vol 242, p63

Peter Keffler v Tim Lunn   ·  1-0
Ipswich A v Clacton A, Suffolk League Match, 15.12.2003
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 c5 5.b3 Nc6 6.Bb2 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nbd2 Qc7 9.c4 cxd4 10.exd4 Re8 11.c5 Bf8 12.Re1 b6 13.cxb6 Qxb6 14.Rc1 Ba6 15.Bb1 Rec8 16.a3 Rab8 17.Re3 Ng4? 18.Bxh7+ Kxh7 19.Ng5+ Kg8 20.Qxg4 g6 21.Qh4 Bg7 22.Qh7+ Kf8 23.Nxe6+ fxe6 24.Rf3+ Ke7 25.Qxg7+ Kd6 26.Rf7 Rb7 27.Qe5+ Nxe5 28.dxe5#

2015 Peter Keffler Shield Update

Updated 16/06/2015

This season’s 9 round Swiss is being held from 19th May to 16th June.
As last season, this is no longer handicapped and the award of the shield will again be based on performance in excess of grade. Time controls are 40 minutes per player.
A ½ point bye  may be given to absent players, to a maximum of 5.
A full point bye will be given to non-paired players and count as a played game.
5 played games are needed to qualify.

Game points after round 9

# Name Points 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 Andrew Salmon 7.0 +B6 -W4 +B2 =W7 +B3 =W5 +B9 +W8 +W10
2 Warwick Estlea 7.0 -B3 +W11 -W1 +B18 +W12 +B7 +B4 +W5 +W6
3 Martin Alvin 7.0 +W2 =B10 =W5 +B12 -W1 +W4 +B6 +B20 +W7
4 Melvin Steele 6.0 +W8 +B1 +W12 +B5 +W7 -B3 -W2 -B6 +W18
5 John Lambert 5.5 +B18 +W8 =B3 -W4 =B10 =B1 +W7 -B2 +BYE
6 Mike Coughtrey 5.0 -W1 =W7 =B9 +B11 +W8 +B10 -W3 +W4 -B2
7 Nigel Lake 4.0 +W9 =B6 +W10 =B1 -B4 -W2 -B5 +W12 -B3
8 Denis Brown 4.0 -B4 -B5 +W18 +W9 -B6 +W12 =BYE -B1 =BYE
9 Richard O’Brien 4.0 -B7 =BYE =W6 -B8 +W18 =BYE -W1 =BYE +B12
10 Andrew Todd 3.5 +B11 =W3 -B7 =BYE =W5 -W6 =BYE =BYE -B1
11 John Rowe 3.0 -W10 -B2 +BYE -W6 =BYE =BYE =BYE =BYE
12 Haydn Hughes 3.0 +BYE +W18 -B4 -W3 -B2 -B8 +W20 -B7 -W9
18 Alex O’Brien 2.0 -W5 -B12 -B8 -W2 -B9 =BYE +W19 =BYE -B4
19 Kassey Spendlove 1.5 -B18 +BYE =BYE
20 Ryan Spendlove 0.5 -B12 -W3 =BYE


Standings ordered by ‘performance minus grade’ after round 9

# Points Name Grade Perf Perf – Grade
2 7.0 Warwick Estlea 80 122 42
9 4.0 Richard O’Brien 50 67 17
6 5.0 Mike Coughtrey 92 101 9
8 4.0 Denis Brown 68 76 8
3 7.0 Martin Alvin 132 135 3
12 3.0 Haydn Hughes 45 47 2
4 6.0 Melvin Steele 118 118 0
7 4.0 Nigel Lake 99 95 -4
5 5.5 John Lambert 119 113 -6
1 7.0 Andrew Salmon 152 143 -9
19 1.5 Kassey Spendlove 30 20 -10
10 3.5 Andrew Todd 111 94 -17
11 3.0 John Rowe 65 42 -23
20 0.5 Ryan Spendlove 50 18 -32
18 2.0 Alex O’Brien 70 35 -35


2015 Local Events

  • Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th October 2015 – 33rd. Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress at The Apex, Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3BA
    Format: Five-round Swiss. Four sections – Open, Major (u170), Intermediate (u145) and Minor (u120). A qualifying event for the British Championships in 2016.
    Entry Form:  Here      Website:
  • Saturday 11th July 2015 – ESSEX RAPIDPLAY
    at Longmeads Community Centre, Writtle, CM1 3LY

    3 Sections:-
    Open, Under-150 and Under-120
    Incorporates the Essex Rapidplay Championship,
    the North Essex Rapidplay Championship
    and the Essex Junior Championships (all decided by results in the Open).
    Register in advance, pay on the day.
    Click here for further details and entry form.
  • Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st May 2015 – EACU CHESS CONGRESS
    at The Turner Hall, Church Lane, Newmarket, CB8 0HL
    A Five-Round Swiss Tournament with 3 sections
    Open, Under-170 and Under-130
    Click here for details and entry form.

50 Years of NECL

Did you know that the North Essex Chess League is 50 years old this season?
A 1986 publication by J.R.Priestley titled “The History of the North Essex Chess League” stated that “play begun in Autumn 1964”, so  the current 2014/15 season is a semi-centenary.
A few local players have this book which has enabled our table of league winners to be extended back to 1964/5 season, though full game details only go back to 2002/3 season for league and to 1998/9 for the Knockout and Plate events (transcribed from spreadsheets provided by events secretaries).  Perhaps you have further details or early spreadsheets in your archives covering earlier seasons to help fill in the blanks?

Clubs shown on the above cover are Billericay, Braintree, Burnham-On-Crouch, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Essex University, Felsted, Harwich, Maldon, Marconi, Wickford, Witham and Writtle. Some of these later closed, had breaks or re-named and a few more recently formed clubs have since joined. Some, such as Clacton and Braintree, pre-date the NECL, having played in the earlier established Essex League prior to the First World War.

Some local club histories may be found on-line. (e.g. Billericay and Colchester. If other clubs have composed something similar just provide the link and we can add to this list. If you have this, but not already on the web, your club secretary can upload it to the NECL server and link to it from your NECL club page, or just send the document and we’ll do that for you)

Any volunteers to write an article putting all this together, as an on-line update to the earlier book? Any suggestions to put to the Committee on how to mark this occasion?

2014 Local Events

  • Essex Rapidplay – 21st September 2014
    Venue: Longmeads Community Centre, Writtle CM1 3LY
    Format: Six Rounds Rapidplay (incremental). Two sections – Open and Major (Under 135). Incorporating: Essex RP Championship, North Essex RP Championship, Essex Junior Championship
    Entry Form: Click Here


  • 32nd. Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress – 25/26 October 2014
    Venue: The Apex, Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
    Format: Five-round Swiss. Four sections – Open, Major (u170), Intermediate (u145) and Minor (u120). A qualifying event for the British Championships in 2015.
    Entry Form: Click Here


2014 Peter Keffler Shield Update

Updated: 03/06/2014

This season’s 6 round swiss is not handicapped and the award of the shield will be based on performance points in excess of grade, with 3 played games needed to qualify.

Game point results after round 6

# Name Grade Points 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 Andrew Salmon 152 5.5 +B9 +W4 +B2 =W3 +B5 +W6
2 John Lambert 128 4.5 +B12 +W15 -W1 +B6 +B3 =W4
3 Vincent Camilleri 140 4 =W6 +B5 +W16 =B1 -W2 +B7
4 Martin Alvin 128 4 +W8 -B1 =W6 +B12 +W10 =B2
5 Melvin Steele 127 4 +B10 -W3 +B11 +W7 -W1 +B9
6 Mike Coughtrey 95 3 =B3 +W9 =B4 -W2 +B8 -B1
7 Denis Brown 68 3 =BYE =BYE +B15 -B5 +W9 -W3
8 Warwick Estlea 80 3 -B4 +W12 -B9 +W15 -W6 +B10
9 Andrew Todd 110 2 -W1 -B6 +W8 +BYE -B7 -W5
10 Alex O’Brien 50 2 -W5 +BYE =BYE =BYE -B4 -W8
11 John Rowe 65 2 =BYE =BYE -W5 +B16
12 Nigel Lake 87 2 -W2 -B8 +BYE -W4 -B13 +W15
13 Alan Story 69 2 =BYE =BYE +W12 -B14
14 Robert Stephens 149 2 +B15 +W13
15 Richard O’Brien 50 1 +BYE -B2 -W7 -B8 -W14 -B12
16 Peter Keffler 123 1 =BYE =BYE -B3 -W11


Standings based on ‘performance – grade’ after round 6

Name Grade Perf Pef-Grade Played
John Rowe 65 105 40 2
Alan Story 69 98 29 2
Denis Brown 68 94 26 4
Mike Coughtrey 95 119 24 6
Andrew Salmon 152 166 14 6
John Lambert 128 140 12 6
Robert Stephens 149 159 10 2
Warwick Estlea 80 85 5 6
Melvin Steele 127 127 0 6
Vincent Camilleri 140 138 -2 6
Martin Alvin 128 123 -5 6
Alex O’Brien 50 37 -13 4
Richard O’Brien 50 33 -17 6
Nigel Lake 87 61 -26 6
Andrew Todd 110 74 -36 6
Peter Keffler 123 62 -61 2

See photos of Denis receiving the shield

Chelmsford now has a Junior Chess Club

The Knights of Chelmsford will meet every Tuesday beginning 25th March 2014
at Christ Church, New London Road from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. Offering children of all ages and abilities the chance to have fun playing and improving their chess in a safe environment. The sessions will be led by an experienced and DBS-checked coach.
Please contact Robin Slade for more information at