It is with sadness that we report the passing on March 17th of former Welsh Champion Briant Peter Bourne (1927-1925).
He was our second Champion, gaining the title in Cardiff in 1956. At that time he was a member of Aberystwyth Chess Club and was consequently awarded a Life Mebership by them. The following season he led Neath to victory in the West Wales Chess League.
Subsequently he won the East Kent Championship, and later as a six times Gwynedd Champion, he held that title more often than has any other player.
Born in London, Briant originally came to Wales on National Service with the Roayl Marines at Aberystwyth. Here he met Blodwyn, his future wife, and so returned to study at the University College after working briefly as a research chemist for Kodak.
Afterwards, he taught Chemistry at Ammanford Grammar School and also in Kent raising a family.
Following a move to Bangor in 1970 he was for many years a Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Education at the University College of North Wales.
An indefatigable enthusiast, Briant was at the heart of Gwynedd Chess for over four decades running clubs, organising competitions, being the League Treasurer, giving simultaneous exhibitions both in schools and outdoors, and always done with his infectious enjoyment and winning smile.
Being a great admirer of Howard Staunton he regularly championed 1.c4 his own favourite debut.
A strong player to the end, Briant was difficult to defeat and relentless with the advantage, and woe betide anyone who didn't realise that "You've got me now!" meant "There's a subtle and suprising finesse. Can you see it?"
After his retirement he continued to be involved in University life and it's certain over the years dozens of chess-playing students of all ages have benefited from his wit and wisdom.
Taken from us after a short and complicated illness, we extend our sypathies to his family, wife Blodwen, daughter Louise, son Clive and his many grandchildren. His friends will remember an engaing and lovely man.
A brief example of one of Briant's games against D. Minty of Swansea Chess Club can be found below.
|Briant Bourne as a Chemistry teacher in Amman Valley Grammar School|
|Briant Bourne and daughter Louise around the time of winning the East Kent Championship circa 1960|
|This is how Gwynedd players will remember him, sometime in the 1980s/1990s wearing a Coleg Normal (the teacher training college) sweatshirt|
Obituary supplied by John Shakespeare