Bernard Cafferty, born at Blackburn on 27 June 1934, was long associated with Midlands chess. He first visited the Hastings CC in the spring of 1952, while a first- year student at Birmingham University.
This was when the British Boy’s Chess Championship was played at the former seafront premises, which was shortly to be replaced by the Cornwallis Terrace premises. Bernard was bowled over by the extensive club room and its impressive library. In a way he felt he had gained access to the Holy of Holies of English chess!
Bernard came equal first with two others in that Under-18 competition and followed it up with an outright win in the British Junior championship (Under- 21) of 1954 at Nottingham. His career was then put on hold by two years of National Service in the Army, but on his debut in the British Championship of 1957, he had a success: meeting six of the BCF Olympiad sides of 1954 and 1956, he made a 50% score, beating Peter Clarke and Stuart
Milner-Barry and drawing with J Penrose and Alexander.
He won national titles in the next decade securing both the British Correspondence title once and the British Lightning Championship on several occasions. A fuller record of his successes over the board can be found on Wikipedia.
Bernard’s knowledge of Russian, always useful for a chess player, enabled him to produce translations of Botvinnik’s best games from his later years, as well as of Kotov’s famous “Think like a Grandmaster”. Game collections of Spassky and Tal were also produced by him.
In January 1981, Bernard left Birmingham and took up residence in Hastings. His work as sole editor of the BCM, then based in Market Street, St Leonards, meant that he often did a seven-day week and so could not find time to join the Hastings CC till 1993 when he downsized by become a part-timer at BCM with the title of associate editor..
He won both the club and Sussex CA titles over the last 20-odd years, and is still a regular visitor to the club, living only ten minutes away from the premises. His appearances for the club in the Mid-Sussex League have tailed off in recent years as old age has taken its toll.
Here is a game from the Sussex Championship, 12.11.2012
Cafferty,Bernard – Tasker,Neil
1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.e3 Nf6 5.d4 cxd4 6.exd4 d5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qb3 This produces a position of the type that could arise in the Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, but in that case Black would have made the more useful move …Bg4, rather than …g6.
8…Nxc3 9.Bc4! e6 10.bxc3 Be7 (or 10…Bg7 11.Ba3 Bf8 as played by Petrosyan in his 1963 world title match with Botvinnik)
11.Bh6 Na5 12.Bb5+ Bd7 13.Qa4 Nc6 14.d5! Botvinnik’s idea, mentioned in his notes to the above match game.
14…exd5 15.0-0 a6? 16.Bxc6 Bxc6 17.Qd4 Bf6? An active move that loses at once, whereas defence in depth by 17…f6 18.Rfe1 Kf7 was called for, though White has a big plus after 19.Ng5+! Kg8 20.Ne6.
18.Rfe1+ Kd7 19.Qg4+ Kd6 (19…Kc7 20.Bf4+ Kb6 21.Rab1+ Ka7 22.Be3+ Kb8 23.Qf4+ Kc8 24.Bb6 exploiting the hole created at move 15, when White wins the Bf6)
20.Bf4+ Kc5 21.Bc7! Qxc7 22.Qb4# 1-0