Allan Respini was the first Club President, 1959.
Metropolitan Chess Club developed from chess games played in his office before work and during the lunch hour. Allan worked in the Medical Department of the State Government where he was the Stores Requestioning Officer for all hospitals statewide.
He was a gifted artist with the pen and well known for his printing and sign writing. He was crippled from polio and had a leg deformity. Allan and his wife, Ivy, lived in Riverton and had no family. He passed away some years ago.
Bob was born in Fremantle on 25 January 1931, and was educated at Kensington State School and Wesley College. He had a distinguished career in the State Public Service.
Bob's chess career started in 1947, and in 1948 he and Allan Respini began the Chief Secretaries Chess Club. In 1959 this club became known as the Metropolitan Chess Club. Highlights of Bob's chess achievements include three Club Championships (Metropolitan 1959 and 1960, and South Perth 1960). He also gained a third place in the 1961 W.A. State Championships.
The Club honored Bob with Life Membership some years ago in recognition of his significant contribution to chess administration of W.A. In 1989 he became a Life Member of the Chess Association of W.A. In 1991 he was awarded the Garry Koshnitsky medal for services to Australian Chess Administration.
Furthermore Bob was awarded an Australian Sports Medal 2000. This Commonwealth Government produced Australian sports medal was issued to celebrate Australia’s sporting achievements and provide recognition for current and former sports participants and those who have contributed to sport through the provision of support services.
Sadly, Bob Pilgrim passed away peacefully on the 16th of May 2019.
John was born in England in 1931 and emigrated to Australia in 1956. He joined the Metro Chess Club in 1959.
Administration of chess in W.A. through the Metro Club and the Chess Association of W.A. has taken much of John's time over the years, however this has not entirely prevented him from gaining chess achievements. John finished third in the State Reserves Championship in 1964. At club level, John won the Respini Tournament in 1973. He has also been the Auditor for the Association's financial accounts and has held all major positions in this Club and in 1994 was awarded Life Membership.
Sadly, John Butcher passed away on the 2nd October 2015 after an illness with cancer.
Victor Allan Smyth
Vic was born in 1933 in Belfast, Northern Ireland to an Irish father and Scottish mother. He trained as a Medical Technologist at the Institute of Pathology at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, qualifying in 1956. Vic learned to play chess at the age of 18 during his training period.
In 1959 Vic migrated to Perth W.A. to take up a post at the old medical school in Victoria square. He travelled to Australia on the P & O ship Orsova and met his wife-to-be who was returning to her home in Tasmania, from a European holiday. They were married in 1960 and have three adult children.
In 1963 Vic moved to a senior position at the King Edward Memorial Hospital laboratories (Perth) and worked there until 1994, retiring as Chief Technologist. 1963 was also the year that Vic was invited to join the Metro Chess Club. He has also given valuable administrative service to the Club over many years. Vic won the B Grade Club Championship in 1980 and 1986. Vic was made a Life Member of the Club in 1999.
Sadly, Vic Smyth passed away peacefully on the 22nd of February 2015 after a long illness.
Doug was born in 1938 and is one of the longest serving Metropolitan Chess Club Members. He attended the 1st meeting of the club in 1960-61.
Throughout his time at the Metro Chess club, Doug has placed many times in the Club Championship & Respini Tournament as well as winning the Arved Wasser Memorial Tournament in 1985, 1986, 1989 & 2001. He also won the Club Lightning in 1981, the Llightning Handicap in 1983 (shared) and the Robert Pilgrim Aggregate Trophy in 1981. Doug was also the winner of Best Club Member in 2004 & 2007.
With regards to administration at the club, Doug has held over the years the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Property Officer which he is currently at the moment.
Tournament success outside of the club include 1st in the South West Katanning Championship in 1967 and 1st in the City of Fremantle Championship in 1968.
Doug also has a bit of a reputation as a Grandmaster Killer as he has gained a draw in simuls against Yuri Averbakh in the 1960's and against Ian Rogers in 2010.
Dougal you are a worthy recipient of Life Membership of the Metropolitan Chess Club.
Richard Lilly as a player, contributed greatly to the Metropolitan Chess Club for the past 50 years. The Club’s 50th Anniversary Book highlighted his achievements which culminated in being recognised as Player of the Decade 1959-1969 and 1990-1999. He came third in 1980-1989 and fifth in 1970-1979.
As quoted in the book “If one were to select the best and most consistent player throughout the whole period, you could go no further than Richard Lilly”.
Richard won the Club Championship on seven occasions and the Respini Tournament seven times. The Arved Wasser Memorial Tournament was won five times by Richard. The short game was also no problem for Richard, as he collected the Club Lightning Tournament trophy on three occasions and won the Lightning Handicap three times also.
Richard joined the Club in 1961 and has served on the committee for a number of years in different executive positions. He has also been the Club’s Director of Play for many years.
Richard thoroughly deserves the honour of being a Life Member of the Metropolitan Chess Club.