Frank Arthur Rhoden died on 2nd July in hospital after a short final illness
British chess has once again been diminished by the loss of one of its
Frank was born in Lee, South East; London, in 1906 and learned to play
chess at an early age. While never in the top flight he became nonetheless a
strong player delighting in the more romantic openings.
Before 1939, apart from playing for the Bohemians in the London League, he helped to found
clubs in Manor House and at Marconi Limited (where he worked). He served in the R.A.F. during the war and after that qualified as a teacher. His work brought him to Hastings, a town he
love wholeheartedly as he soaked himself in its wonderful chess History
Frank was a great communicator. He wrote about the game, broadcast number of talks on the BBC radio chess
programme of the 1960’s and had a great fund of stories.
In 1954 he took on the post of Director of the Hastings International Chess Congress at a time when it was in some danger and quickly restored its prestige as nearly all the strongest players of the world took part in the Premier tournament during his fifteen-year tenure of office. Everything he did was in his own inimitable style (we recall his cabling direct to Khrushchev in 1953 when sending invitations to Soviet players companied by a remark that you didn’t address the monkey when the organ-grinder was available!
His column in the Hastings Observer was, for nearly 30 years, one of the best in the country.
Chess, and Hastings in particular, owes Frank Rhoden a debt.
¬ (The character of the man comes a through in the last long articles he wrote which appeared in the BCM june
page 198 and June,