The 1949 Durban championship was won by John Earp, the son of long time club
member Bob Earp. John was born in the Cheltenham district of Gloucestershire
in mid 1930.
A newspaper article on his aunt, Mrs Constance Fisher, revealed that John was brought up in England by his aunt, as his mother died (in 1933) "when he was a lad". The family was separated during the Second World War as Bob arrived in Durban in 1939 and spent the war years in South Africa. Mrs Fisher used to teach mathematics and chess, and she taught John how to play chess when he was 10 years old. Within weeks he was beating her. He then joined the Cheltenham chess club, where he became a strong player. The family reunited after the war in Durban in 1947. The Earps were a talented chess family, as John's grandparents were also keen players, and his uncle Charles Earp played chess for Cambridge University.
Here is a game from the pages of the "South African Chessplayer"
published in 1953. It was played in the Inter Club tournament held in Harrismith.
Black was the reigning South African champion: