John and Chris Constable

John and his wife Chris moved to Bude in 2012 from Surrey where they were involved with Coulsdon Chess Fellowship, which over the last 18 years or so has developed into one of the largest chess clubs in the country (if not the largest).  In 2003 they got married, left their respective jobs and started a chess based business supplying chess equipment and chess bookstalls to congresses all around the country (including Jersey and the Isle of Man).

John learnt to play chess aged 8 but gave it up on changing schools aged 11. The bug never really went away and he took it up again in his twenties joining first Hastings then Brighton chess clubs before arriving at Coulsdon and Purley Chess Club in 1997. He won the ECF U100 Grand Prix in 2005 and was the British U100 champion in 2006. With Chris he has coached chess in schools and helped to run Dorking Junior chess club. He is an ECF level 2 National Arbiter and has controlled at several congresses including Hastings, Paignton, Frome, Cotswolds, Hereford, East Devon, Torbay, Falmouth, Penzance, Clevedon, Weymouth and the West of England Championships. He is also the organiser of the Simon Bartlett Memorial Congress, The Riviera Congress and the Peter & Peggy Clarke Memorial Rapidplay.

Chris came to chess later in life, learning to play in order to run a chess club in the school where she was teaching.  She was soon hooked and joined Coulsdon and Purley Chess Club (later Coulsdon Chess Fellowship).  Shortly after this she started playing in chess congresses around the country and in 2006 became the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man Minor Ladies' Champion.  Chris was the East Devon Minor Champion in 2011 & 2012, and won Cornwall's Penwith Cup in 2019 & 2023. She is also an ECF arbiter.  Like John, Chris has arbited at the Hastings International Congress.

Currently John and Chris are the only ECF arbiters in Cornwall and organise the annual Peter & Peggy Clarke rapidplay congress, the Simon Bartlett Memorial standard play congress and most recently the new Riveira Congress.

They have recently "retired" and when not doing any of the above they can be found playing with Bude Metric Brass, St Genny's Silver Band, taking part in the many Oceans Community Church activities, bodyboarding, swimming, cycling and gardening.


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