JOHN R. EARP
(1930 - ??)

no photo available

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.

Games

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:

[Event "Inter Club"] [Site "Harrismith"] [Date "1953.09.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Earp, John R"] [Black "Eriksen, John"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "?"] [BlackElo "?"] 1.d4 Nf6 2.e3 g6 3.Bd3 Bg7 4.Nd2 d6 5.Ngf3 Nc6 6.c3 0-0 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 Nh5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Nc4 f5 11.Bg5 Qe8 12.Be3 b6 13.Qe2 f4 14.Bc1 Bf6 15.b3 Kh8 16.Ncd2 Na5 17.Ba3 Rg8 18.Nc4 Nb7 19.h3 a6 20.Bb2 b5 $2 {falling into the rather obvious trap} 21.Ncxe5 $1 Nc5 (21...Bxe5 $2 22.Nxe5 Qxe5 23.c4 $18) 22.c4 b4 23.Ng4 $2 {extremely timid} (23.Rad1 $18) 23...Bxg4 24.hxg4 Nxd3 25.Bxf6+ Nxf6 26.Qxd3 Qxe4 27.Qxe4 Nxe4 28.Rfe1 Rge8 29.Nd4 Rad8 $2 {losing a vital pawn} (29...c5 {draws easily}) 30.Nc6 Rd2 31.f3! Nd6 32.Rxe8+ Nxe8 33.Nxb4 Rd6 34.Re1 Nf6 35.g5 Nh5 36.Re8+ Kg7 37.Re7+ Kg8 38.Rxc7 Rd1+ 39.Kh2 ({not} 39.Kf2 $4 Ng3 {then ...Rf1#}) 39...Ng3 40.Kh3 {and White won} 1-0

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