Donald Brunt – Waikato Chess Club Supporter

Posted: 17/04/2018 by Ian in Club News

The astute among you will have noticed that Donald Brunt has been listed as a financial member of Waikato Chess Club for several years now, although is strangely absent from any game records.

Caissa runs thick in Donald’s veins, and he continues to support us financially based on his love for the game, even though his playing days are over. We thank Don for his ongoing support.

By way of biography Donald has penned the following:

My introduction to chess was in 1949. I had just started work after leaving school the previous year, and saw two blokes playing in the lunch room. I was immediately hooked, and joined the Henderson (Auckland) chess club, as well as the NZ Correspondence Chess Association. In 1957, when the Henderson Club closed, I joined the very strong Dominion Road club. Four NZ Champions or future champions were members, Ortvin Sarapu, Fred Foulds, Barry Menzies, Roger Court and later the prodigy Rodney Phillips, who won the NC Championship aged 14. In 1971 I was transferred to Kawerau by my employer and found that there was a chess club, but it unfortunately went into recess about 1974.

The NZ Correspondence Association headquarters were transferred from Wanganui to Auckland in 1955, and I became Tournament Director, a position I held for 17 years. At the Dominion Rd club I was a committee member for about three years. About that time there was much infighting and strife in the NZ Chess Association, and eventually after intervention from Auckland agreement was reached to shift the Association’s affairs to Auckland for four years after which it alternated in four-yearly spells with Wellington. I became a delegate on the NZ Chess Council for two or three years. Other administrative positions I held were Sec/Treas Kawerau Chess Club, Sec/Treas Bay of Plenty Chess Association and Treasurer of the Kawerau Contract Bridge Club. (I seem to recall that William Lynn was in Rotorua in the 1970s and played bridge.)

Highlights of my playing days were playing Sarapu and C.J.S. Purdy in simuls. Sarapu thrashed me and Purdy wore me down. Sarapu played the simul at amazing speed.  After 23 moves he was averaging something like 7 seconds per move including walking time.  As to playing strength, my skills did not match my enthusiasm, and I was no more than average. My only good result was 2nd in the Bay of Plenty Champs 1972


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