About The Club
Troon Chess Club was founded in 1976 by Len Weir who is still an active member of the club. The club quickly established itself as a strong chess-playing club and entered the Ayrshire Chess League.
At the end of that first season in 1977 International Master and personality of BBC TV’s ‘Mastergame’ William Hartston gave a simultaneous demonstration against 25 players representing each club in the League. He won 20, drew 4 and lost to George Mann of the Massey Ferguson team. Robin Templeton of Troon was pleased to draw and still plays in the club.
Impressed by the Walker Halls venue and the capability of Troon’s organisation the Scottish Chess Association held their 1980 and 1982 championships there. They were to return in 1984 for a special International Congress marking the centenary of the Association. A Grandmaster’s dinner was held in Troon and World Champion Anatoly Karpov gave a simultaneous display in Glasgow. Among the players he defeated was David Andrew the Troon Club Champion.
Among the competitors was a young Dundonian, Paul Motwani who had won the World Under 17 Champion title and was to become Scotland’s first Grandmaster. He became a friend of The Troon club and was made an honorary member after several simultaneous displays at the club. We still contest the Motwani Quaich each year. Another simultaneous was given by Jonathon Rowson who resided in Troon but whose job as a chess Grandmaster meant continual traveling.
Troon won the Ayrshire League team title in 1999 and repeated the feat when tying with Kilmarnock in 2019 in an interrupted league programme due to the COVID pandemic.
Refreshed after the enforced break the club is healthy with a team in each of the three divisions. Members compete for the Club championships Gold, Silver and Bronze reflecting the strength of players. In addition there is the Knockout Coronelli and Motwani trophies and the OFP Salver which is really a highly contested friendly contest.
We have been enhanced since re-forming at the resurgence of interest in chess among younger players and the future of the club is looking good with several teenagers making their debut playing for our teams in the Ayrshire League.