Chess grandmaster quits England to play for Wales amid bitter infighting
Exclusive: It has taken more than 150 years, but Wales now has a chess grandmaster. He’s GM Nigel Davies, from Southport, Merseyside

By Leon Watson
10:31PM BST 24 Oct 2015

It is the classic game of battle, played out by gentleman pushing pawns across a board in respectful silence.

But while the serenity of chess may have briefly erupted in the 1972 Cold War clash between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, immortalised in a recent film starring Tobey Maguire, it has rarely broken out into open conflict.

Yet now a very noisy spat has gone public nearer to home between the burghers of English game after one of its coveted grandmasters decided to defect to Wales.

The veteran GM Nigel Davies said he is sick of the bitter infighting that is dividing the English Chess Federation and has jumped ship to become the principality’s first grandmaster.

In a parting shot the 55-year-old, from Southport, Merseyside, said he has cancelled his ECF membership because it is an organisation run by a “rag bag of chess amateurs who think they should be important but lack the knowledge and skill”.

He also criticised the federation’s failure to manage its finances, saying the English game is slowing dying due to its failure to attract new money and players.

“English chess is not what it was,” he said. “Without radical change it will just drift to the end of the Fischer boom when tournaments and clubs will have been decimated through a lack of players.”

Full article here.

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