by David Woodruff

A history of the chess club, published in the 75th League anniversary issue of the Bristol Chesstimes in 1982.

Keynsham Chess Club was founded in November 1946 and was originally known as the Keynsham Chess and Draughts Club. The club still possesses a draughts set as a remonder of those days. The club, so far as I know, has always met on Wednesday evenings at the J.N.Fear Institute and thus is one of the most permanent clubs in the League with regard to accommodation.

After a reasonably prosperous few years the club declined in membership and I believe in the late 1950's almost had to withdraw from the League through lack of members. In the early sixties the club was still running one team but had ample members to do this. The late sixties and early seventies saw an expansion of the club and the formation for the first time since the early years of a B team. This was followed by a few years when the club was hard put to continue running the B team. The late seventies saw a dramatic increase in the size of the club with the establishment of C, D, E, F, G and H teams in successive years. Last year was a disaster with one team withdrawing and several others almost folding. This year we are reduced to five teams.

1997 postscript: Keynsham still play at the Fear Institute; a residency of over 50 years now and by far the most permanent of any of the league clubs. It has been a minor club for most of the time since 1982, but then the Buckleys arrived. Keynsham won Division 3 in 1995, Division 2 in 1996 and then were League Champions and KO winners in 1997. Strong players like Chris Baker and Graham Burgess have been attracted to the club, which currently has the strongest first team in the League. - JR