M.F. Grimstead


Post by brianjdenman on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:38pm

M.F. Grimstead

Recently Evelyn Grimstead, the widow of former Hastings chess player, Michael Grimstead, kindly donated two historical chess sets to the club. She has been helping me to write an article about Michael.

Michael Frederick Grimstead was born in Hastings on 23rd August 1934 and was educated at the Grove School and Hastings Grammar School. In the period following the cessation of World War II many promising young chess players came to the fore in Hastings and Michael received help and encouragement from Frank Rhoden, a local schoolmaster. Frank later became columnist for the Hastings and St Leonards Observer and ran several of the Christmas congresses in the town.

Michael played in the Hastings Boys Congress in April 1949 and in the same month
took part in a friendly match between Hastings Boys and Brighton Boys. In December 1949 he represented the Hastings CC in a McArthur Cup match against Eastbourne and drew with former Sussex president, Robert Williams. In a Sexton Cup match in 1950 he represented a Hastings and St Leonards team against the Rest of Sussex (N.B. this team did not include Brighton and Hove players) and gained a good win against P R Kings, who was in the Haywards Heath team which won the McArthur Cup in 1955. Michael played in the county team and early in 1952 reached board 20. In that same year he won the East Sussex Queen. He was a promising young player, but could not quite match the standard of rival Michael Davis, who won the club championship in 1952 and the county championship in 1954. Nevertheless he spoiled Davis’s chances of winning the British Boys’ Championship at Hastings in 1952, Bernard Cafferty was one of three players who came 1st equal in this event and Davis came fourth when he lost in the last round against Grimstead. As a reward for his efforts Michael held the Rider Shield for a year for achieving the best score by a Sussex-born player in the competition. After 1952 Michael played relatively little chess.

Michael suffered from asthma all of his life and this meant that he was not eligible to carry out National Service. After leaving school, he worked for a year or two for a Hastings company called Murdoch Engineering. He subsequently moved to Slough and joined Norstel and Templewood Hawkesley. This firm was engaged in the manufacture and engineering maintenance of water treatment plants. Michael gained valuable experience with this business and moved up its ranks. He also obtained an HND in Mechanical Engineering with distinction (the equivalent to a degree) at Slough College of Technology. This took him about four years of part-time study to complete.

In 1969 Michael made a brief return to Hastings to play in a chess match between the Cambridge Hotel, Hastings and the Adam and Eve Hotel, London. He may have been a guest of his friend Frank Rhoden, who played on board one for the Hastings team. The visiting London team had a London Transport connection (there used to be an annual match between Hastings and London Transport, when many buses travelled to the coastal town) and in addition to the eight players in their team they brought about forty supporters with them. The Hastings side won 6-2 and Michael won his game on board 2. Rhoden persuaded Guinness that it would be a good idea to present a prize for the winners of the match. They provided six sets of loaded, felted and varnished pieces with every box lid adorned with the slogan: ‘You can’t beat Guinness’.

In 1973 Michael married Evelyn and they moved to Uxbridge. Michael was a clear thinker, who possessed great patience. He was a loyal worker and an obvious asset in the workplace. In 1973 he changed his employment and obtained the post of Sales Director in the Rio Tinto Zinc company, B Attewell and Sons. Later he became Managing Director of the business. For a time he joined a local chess club where he gave some instruction to young players.

In 1989 Michael was made redundant by his firm and he returned to Hastings. He took up employment with Drallim Industries in Bexhill Road. Sadly his working career was cut short in 1991 when he suffered a massive stroke. He died in Hastings on 28th May 1996 at the age of 61.

I have four of Michael’s chess games in my database, all of which he won:

Grimstead,MF – Boff,FW [D38]
Hastings CC Championship, elimination round, 11.1951

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 Ne4 9.Rc1 c6 10.Bd3 Qa5 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Ne5 Nd7 13.0-0 Bxc3 14.bxc3 Nxe5 15.Bxe5 f6 16.Qh5 Kg7 17.f4 An imaginative move. 17…fxe5 18.fxg5 Bd7 19.Qxh6+ Kg8 20.g6 Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 1.12.1951. The article states that the game was played ‘last week’. 1-0

Dutton,Mr – Grimstead,MF [C58]
British Boys’ Championship at Hastings, 04.1952

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3 Rb8 9.Bxc6+ Nxc6 10.Qxc6+ Nd7 11.d4 Be7 12.Nf3 Rb6 13.Qe4 Bb7 14.Qe3 0-0 15.0-0 exd4 16.Nxd4 Rg6 17.g3 Bc5 18.c3 Re8 19.Qd2 Ne5 20.f4 Qd5 21.fxe5 Qh1+ 22.Kf2 Qg2+ 23.Ke1 Rxe5+ 24.Ne2 Rge6 Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 24.5.1952. The White player is given the initial of ‘C’ and ‘G’ in the same article. 0-1

Grimstead,MF – Davis,M [E17]
British Boys’ Championship at Hastings (10), 26.04.1952

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.Nc3 Ne4 7.Qc2 Nxc3 8.bxc3 f5 9.0-0 0-0 10.Ne1 Bxg2 11.Nxg2 Nc6 12.e4 fxe4 13.Qxe4 Na5 14.d5 exd5 15.cxd5 Bf6 16.Qd3 Qe7 17.Be3 Nb7 18.Rac1 Nc5 19.Qc4 Qe4 20.Bd4 Nd3 21.f3 Bxd4+ 22.cxd4 Rxf3 23.Rxf3 Nxc1 24.d6+ Kh8 25.Re3 Qb1 26.Re1 Qxa2 27.Rxc1 Qxc4 28.Rxc4 c6 29.Nf4 b5 30.Rc2 a5 31.d5 cxd5 32.Nxd5 Rb8 33.Nb6 b4 34.Nxd7 b3 35.Rb2 Rb5 36.Nc5 Rxc5 37.d7 Sources: British Chess Magazine of June 1952 and Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 8.4.1978. Played in the last round. 1-0

Pelling,G – Grimstead,MF [A84]
Adam & Eve Hotel v Cambridge Hotel board 2, 1969

1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.g3 b6 6.Bg2 Bb7 7.0-0 0-0 8.b3 d6 9.Bb2 Ne4 10.e3 Nd7 11.Qe2 Ndf6 12.Rad1 h6 13.h3 Qe8 14.Rfe1 g5 15.Qc2 g4 16.hxg4 Nxg4 17.Nxe4 Bxe4 18.Qe2 Qh5 19.Bc3 Bf6 20.Rd2 Rf7 21.Qd1 Rg7 22.Kf1 Rf8 23.b4 Kh7 24.a4 Rfg8 25.b5 Nxf2 26.Rxf2 Rxg3 27.Ng5+ Qxg5 28.Bxe4 fxe4 29.Ke2 Qxe3+ Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer of 23.8. 1969. Played in Hastings, perhaps at the Cambridge Hotel. The visiting team came from London. The article states that Black’s 29th move is mate, though this is not the case. 0-1

My thanks to Evelyn for her help in producing this article.

Brian Denman 4.2.2014

Est. 1882